Do Mormons believe in evolution, yes, some do, but others do not. This is one of those topics that is left up to the individual. The reason? The prophets haven’t received any specific revelation on the matter.
Yes it’s true that there are past quotes from different general authorities that are against evolution. There are also quotes for it. The official statement from the church on the matter is this:
Personally, because there is no official revelation other than Adam and Eve were real people and they are and were created by God, and we are descended from them, I keep an open mind to all of the possibilities on how He did that.
This attitude allows me to be free to explore both creation science and evolutionary science. The Doctrine and Covenants says:
32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—
33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—
When it comes to science it’s important to not let yourself become dogmatic. Today’s science is tomorrow’s myth. The only way we can know for sure if something is true is through the author of truth, and until He reveals all the details of how He created the earth and all life on it, we won’t know for sure.
At the same time, it’s not ok for us to just wait for Him to reveal these things either. Revelation doesn’t come unless we “study it out in our minds” (D&C 9:8) and pursue the truth. In this way, we qualify ourselves for answers from God.
This is exciting. A riddle that we need to try and solve while at the same time never trusting our powers to comprehend all things without the aid of providence. We need to weigh our ideas against revelation from the scriptures and prophets, and ultimately God. Then when He sees fit, he will reveal the truth of all things to us.
We also need to make sure we don’t discount ideas that might go against the grain of the current scientific establishment. Remember, scientists are mortal. Recently I’ve been reading up on the ideas behind intelligent design and creation science. I’ve been fascinated. Usually these people are written off as “Flat Earthers” and many straw man arguments are used to try and dissuade people from actually looking into what they have to say.
In reality, they have some very good science backing up their ideas. In fact after reading some really interesting info on www.creation.mobi I think evolutionists have some very hard questions to answer if they want to stay relevent to me.
But I won’t let myself completely settle on the final answer until God reveals it. Until then, I’ll study it and enjoy exploring all kinds of ideas. This is liberating because it really doesn’t matter what the latest arguments are on either side of the debate, they don’t negatively impact my testimony of Jesus Christ.
I believe that God is really the source of all truth. I know that someday, all of our questions will be answered if we are diligent in keeping His commandments and pursuing those answers.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.