Sacred Cow #11: Church Leaders Never Taught Adam-God


The Mormon Chronicle is not trying to argue for or against official Church policy. We are presenting contextual historical events in hopes to provide readers a greater ability to “study out in our minds”, which will, hopefully, in turn provide us with a greater spirit of discernment. This is also NOT an explanation of the teachings, or an in depth analysis of the teachings.

What is the Adam-God “Theory”? This teaching has been an item of controversy since it was first revealed to the Church. The responses to this teaching have been varied and strong, however, many have never even heard of the “theory” or teaching. Most discussion of this topic stems from a conference talk in which the Prophet Brigham Young said,

“Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken – HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do.” (Journal of Discourses vol. 1 pg. 50, emphasis in the original)

There are several Adam-God “theories” that are propagated as fact; these theories though, are actually just a smoke screen. Like many theories that are spread in the effort to cover up the truth, these theories are always changing and evolve following the same pattern.

The theories start out by ignoring what they are trying to cover-up. Usually though, if something is important enough to want to cover it up, it is or it becomes too big to be able to ignore. They then move on to the second phase which is denial. The funny thing is though; the denials are usually so strong as to bring to mind the line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” They protest to such a point as to make one want to find out more to see what all the noise is about. Because if one is to deny something with such fervor, there is usually something to it. Now, instead of squelching what they were trying to get rid of, they just intensify interest in the subject that they have to just address the matter. However, since they still must cover-up the truth, they resort to changing the original meaning of what was said. Any thinking person will than ask themselves, “if this was the meaning all along, why the huge charade?” This is then followed by disparagement and a figurative throwing under the bus of the individual who originated what was trying to be covered-up.

Ignoring Adam-God Teachings

Now, ignoring something is not always unwise. Sometimes it is not really ignoring, but rather, it is protecting a pearl from swine as is related by Franklin D. Richards in a letter to President E.H. Nye;

“This, like many other points of more advanced doctrine, is too precious a pearl to be cast before swine. But when the swine get hold of them, let us rescue them by the help of the Spirit as best we can.” -12/18/1897

Brigham Young even said,

“You have had things laid before you that do not belong to the world, nor to men and women who calculate to apostatize. They belong to the wise – to those serving God with all their hearts. Now let me say to the wicked in heart, you cannot remember a word of this discourse unless you remember it in the Lord. I might reveal all there is in eternity, and those who have not their hearts on righteousness would know nothing about it, nor be in the least instructed.” General Conference October 8, 1854

So, not bringing light to a certain doctrine to protect people from accountability, or to not “cast pearls before swine” is very sound doctrinally as well as logically.

However, treating something as sacred is far different from discouraging anyone and everyone from learning about it, as was said here,

“Leave the mysteries alone… We do not and in our present state of spiritual progression cannot comprehend all things.” –Letter dated, 1, July 1980 & Seminar for Regional Representatives, April 1981

However, the scriptures clearly explain that we not only should seek the mysteries, but that it is one of the privileges of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

“The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church— To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven…” –Doctrine and Covenants 107:18-19, emphasis added.

In regards to Adam-God teachings, Brigham Young was very clear not to take an attitude of indifference to these things when he said,

“Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation.” JD 1:51

Ignoring the great revelations of the restoration is to ignore the scriptures, and to treat them as if they were of no worth to us, which leads to condemnation (D&C 82:14).

Knowing these things is our privilege and our duty. Brigham said we should “profit by them, both saints and sinners” (Journal of Discourses 1:50, see introduction). What does that mean for us if we ignore or “leave these mysteries alone”?

Denying Adam-God Teachings

Denying Adam-God teachings comes in basically a couple of different forms. Some say outright that Brigham never taught it – such as this comment,

“In all probability the sermon was erroneously transcribed!” -Doctrines of Salvation 1:96

Other denials come in the form of skirting the topic of who taught it and just saying the doctrine is false.

“Heresy six: There are those who believe or say they believe that Adam is our father and our god…It is contrary to the whole plan of salvation set forth in the scriptures,” -BYU, 1 June 1980

Followed by ad hominem attacks on the intelligence of believers (not usually the tactic of someone with a solid argument backed up by facts).

“…and anyone who has read the Book of Moses, and anyone who has received the temple endowment, has no excuse whatever for being led astray by it. Those who are so ensnared reject the living prophet and close their ears to the apostles of their day.” – BYU, 1 June 1980

This tactic was used earlier in the book, “Evidences & Reconciliations”, 57, 68-69

“[T]here are those who have nursed the irrational conclusion that President Young implied that Adam and God, the Father, are one and the same individual. Brigham Young’s much-discussed sermon says that ‘Jesus was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the Garden of Eden, and who is our Father in heaven.’

Enemies of the Church, or stupid people, reading also that Adam is ‘our father and our God,’ have heralded far and wide that the Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of Adam. Yet, the rational reading of the whole sermon reveals the falsity of such a doctrine.” (Emphasis added)

Addressing the reliability of the transcription of the Adam-God teachings first, Wilford Woodruff, while President of the Church, commented on the reliability of the text found in the Journal of Discourses:

“I have read some of the sermons Brigham Young published in the Journal of Discourses – some of them – they are in my library, and I presume are considered correct as published. They are published by the church of which I am President. They are correct in so far as every man had a chance to correct his own discourses, or should do so if he has a chance. Sermons reported by George D. Watts, one of the official reporters, were considered reported correctly, and when they are found in the Journal of Discourses, they are considered correct. Some of my own sermons are published there, and they are correct.” (Complainant’s Abstract of Pleading and Evidence, Temple Lot Case, p. 309)

President Young’s personal secretary clears up both myths when he wrote in his journal what Brigham told him to record for the standardized Temple “Lecture at the Veil”.

“We have heard a great deal about Adam and Eve. how they were formed &c some think he was made like an adobe and the Lord breathed into him the breath of life. for we read ‘from dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return’ Well he was made of the dust of the earth but not of this earth. he was made just the same way you and I are made but on another earth. Adam was an immortal being when he came. On this earth he had lived on an earth similar to ours he had received the Priesthood and the Keys thereof. and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned with glory immortality and eternal lives and was numbered with the Gods for such he became through his faithfulness. and had begotten all the spirit that was to come to this earth. and Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world…

Father Adam’s oldest son (Jesus the Savior) who is the heir of the family is Father Adams first begotten in the spirit World. who according to the flesh is the only begotten as it is written. (In his divinity he having gone back into the spirit World. And come in the spirit [glory] to Mary and she conceived for when Adam and Eve got through with their Work in this earth. they did not lay their bodies down in the dust, but returned to the spirit World from whence they came.” -Journal of L. John Nuttall 1:18-21, Tuesday 2/7/1877

These were not just notes he took from memory. He, along with Wilford Woodruff, was charged with putting the endowment in to writing.

“With Bro W. Woodruff engaged in writing the lecture for the Endowments to be read to Prest Young. spent the eving at Prest Young’s house” -Journal of L. John Nuttall 10 February 1877 (misspelling and abbreviations in the original)

Further evidence that Brother Nuttall did not misquote Brigham is his accounts of President Young approving those notes.

“12 February 1877 I wrote on a Mode of Procedure to be observed in the giving  of endowments also assisted by Bro J. D. T. McAllister & A H Raleigh – by invitation we all ate supper at the house of Bro Crane – and spent the evening with President Young reading what we had written. he accepted & corrected the same.”

And again,

“13 February 1877, At the temple … worked on the Mode of Procedure as I call it- until 6 p.m. at 7 went to Prest Youngs and read over our writing which he approved spent an agreeable evening”

These accounts tell us several things: First, that President Young was clearly not misquoted on the topic, that it was indeed a part of the Temple ordinances, and an officially approved aspect of the Temple ceremony that lasted into the early 1900’s, decades after his death. Therefore, contrary to the above made assertion, anyone that had gone through the Temple as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith and set to writing under Brigham Young would actually have been taught this doctrine clearly and explicitly as a key part of the Plan of Salvation.

There are literally hundreds of other examples, but there is only room for two more in this short treatise of the subject,

“Another meeting this evening. President B. Young taught that Adam was the father of Jesus and the only God to us. That he came to this world in a resurrected body, etc.” Friday 4/9/1852, Journal of Hosea Stout 2:435


“President Brigham Young said that our spirits were begotten before that Adam came to the Earth and that Adam helped to make the Earth, that he had a Celestial body when he came to the Earth and that he brought his wife or one of his wives with him, and that Eve was also a Celestial being, that they eat of the fruit of the ground until they begat children from the Earth, he said that Adam was the only God that we would have, and that Christ was not begotten of the Holy Ghost, but of the Father Adam, that Christ, was our elder brother.” 4/16/1852, Journal of Samuel Holister Rogers 1:179

These are not hostile accounts, but those of faithful members recording what they learned directly from a Prophet of God.

Not only are there numerous contemporary accounts of the Prophets teaching this doctrine, President Young confirmed it personally in an editorial he wrote on the subject,

“I frequently think, in my meditations, how glad we should be to instruct the world with regard to the things of God, if they would hear, and receive our teachings in good and honest hearts and profit by them. … How pleased we would be to place these things before the people if they would receive them! How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me – namely that Adam is our father and God.” – Deseret News 6/18/1873

In a perfect chance to correct any “misquotes”, he not only reconfirms that he said it, but lamented in the fact that so many members were rejecting it.

The amount of times President Young would have had to have been misquoted and the number of people he would have to be misquoted by and his personal confirmations of the teaching debunk both the myth that the Prophets were misquoted as well as the myth that the doctrine was never taught.

However, the author of the above BYU talk (calling the teaching a “heresy”) knew that. In a letter he wrote and admittedly distributed to others, and is easily available, he said,

“Yes, President Young did teach that Adam was the father of our spirits, and all the related things that the cultists ascribe to him.” –Letter to Eugene England, 19 February 1981

Changing the Original Meaning

The next evolution in Adam-God doctrine denial is the myth that the Prophets did not really mean what was said.

Now the idea that the Prophets meant something else other than what was said takes  some serious mental gymnastics. Why tell people to leave it alone, deny it was said, say Brigham Young was wrong, etc, if it was just a misunderstanding all along? Why did it take almost 150 years for a professional apologist, who is not even an official in the Church to help us “understand” what the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young “really” meant? Though the mental gymnastics that must be performed for this to make any sense are beyond reason, this myth has garnered so many followers that it must be addressed.

This theory usually starts off with the premise that Brigham would never have contradicted apostate Christendom’s understanding of scripture, followed by the idea that it could not contradict the current interpretation of the Temple ordinances.

The later myth already being proven false, we are left with not being able to “contradict” scripture, and therefore, the Prophets must have meant something else other than what they said.

Thankfully the proponents of this theory do not apply this logic to other parts of the Gospel such as the doctrine of a Heavenly Mother, eternal marriage, “as man is God once was, and as God is man may become”, the Temple ordinances (ironically), and every other unique LDS point of theology.

According to apostate Christianity’s interpretation of the Bible, Christ taught that God is a spirit. Additionally, if we can’t “contradict” scripture, Hebrews 6:1 says that we must leave the doctrines of Christ to attain perfection.

If we were to apply their logic against Adam-God teachings to every aspect of the restored Gospel, we all might as well be Catholics, having no need for a restoration of all things.

Using this faulty and contradictory premise, they go on to suggest that Heavenly Father and Mother came here and naturally procreated both Adam and Eve (which already violates their original premise of not being allowed to contradict scripture) and that Brigham was talking about an “Adam Sr.” and an “Adam Jr.” concept, which again violates their original premise.

The convoluted argument goes thus,

Brigham Young believed that one of the names of God, our Heavenly Father is Adam, and in many of President Young’s discourses he referred to God the Father using that name. There are therefore two Adams, and although President Young did not use the designation, it will be simpler for us in the following discussion to distinguish between the two individuals by referring to them as Adam Sr. (When referring to God, our Heavenly Father) and Adam Jr. (When referring to the embodied archangel, Michael, who partook of the forbidden fruit, fell, and became the father of Cain, Able and Seth etc.)… It was Eve Sr. to whom Adam was referring who was the mother of all living. Adam was saying: I will name her after my mother, just as I was named after my father.Elden Watson, Different Thoughts – #7 Adam – God

The leap that is made here is so vast as to be unreachable. It doesn’t even follow their own premise that the “correct interpretation” has to conform to what amounts to apostate Christendom’s understanding of scripture! One must ask themselves, “Where is this theory validated in scripture or the Temple??” If their theory doesn’t even conform to their own rules, then why do so many get sucked into it?

Understanding that there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of quotes from the Prophet Joseph Smith to the Temple ceremony up until the early 1900’s that clearly explain what was meant, helps us to understand that there is no need for such mental contortion-ism to understand the identity of “our Father and our God”.

By consulting contemporary accounts of both the clear teachings of the Prophets, most of the Apostles, the Temple endowment, as well as dissension amongst the members in regards to Adam-God teachings will help us not only understand what was meant, it will also clearly show that the “two Adam” theory is a modern invention of the 20th century.

First, it was Brigham himself that lamented the rejection of this principle amongst the Latter-day Saints,

“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me – namely that Adam is our father and God.” -Deseret News 6/18/1873

If we are to believe theses theorists, we have to accept that the idea of Heavenly Father having the same name as the first mortal man was big enough to call a “revelation” and that the Latter-day Saints of Brigham’s time rejected it. This defies reason on its face.

From friendly, contemporary, first-hand accounts, of the “Lecture at the Veil”, the defiance of reason is made even more apparent, though due to it’s sacred nature, it is not included here (it can easily be found if the reader so desires). It clearly taught that the traditional Adam had his physical body made on another earth. That his wife, the traditional Eve, was the mother of our spirit bodies, that the traditional Adam is the literal Father of the Savior Jesus Christ, and that they did not die but returned to the spirit world.

Brigham left no room for misunderstanding on this subject, he made it clear whom he was referring to when he said that Adam is our Father and our God,

“Who was it that spoke from the heavens and said “This is  my beloved son hear ye him?” Was it God the Father? It was. … Who did beget [Jesus]? His Father, and his father is our God, and the Father of our spirits, and he is the framer of the body, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who is he? He is Father Adam; Michael; the Ancient of Days.” –Manuscript Addresses of Brigham Young, 2/19/1854

Here he left no wiggle room at all in whom he was talking about. He said Father Adam, Michael, the Ancient of Days is our God and the father of Jesus Christ. Is the next theory to come out going to say there is a Michael Jr. and an Ancient of Days Jr.?

The arguments between Orson Pratt and Brigham Young on this matter also make the Prophets meaning clear as we read in the Journal of Wilford Woodruff,

“Some of his [Orson Pratt’s] doctrines as contained in the Seer were being discussed. Brother Pratt also thought that Adam was made of the dust of the earth. Could not believe that Adam was our God or the Father of Jesus Christ.” Journal of Wilford Woodruff, 2/19/11854

Throw Brigham “Under the Bus”

This last one is more of a tactic than a theory. Many that recognize the intellectual dishonesty found in the other theories say that Brigham was just wrong. They use other statements Brigham Young made that go against the understanding of contemporary society as a reason not to take anything he said too seriously.

Some use the fact that Prophets are just men to dismiss his clear teachings as well, saying that they are not perfect and need to be allowed to make mistakes, etc. This, mixed with the idea stated before that anything that seems to contradict scripture should be ignored as “false doctrine”, followed by the especially erroneous claim that Brigham was the only one to teach it, so it “must be false”.

All of these sentiments betray and make a mockery of the divine calling of a Prophet. This doctrine in particular is of such importance, worship of the true God, that neither the doctrine, nor those that taught it can be dismissed so easily without consequence.

President Young did not think these things should be treated so lightly.

“Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation.” JD 1:51 (emphasis added)

Again on another occasion speaking on this topic he said of its importance,

“And Adam is Michael God and all the God that we have anything to do with. They ate of this fruit & formed the first Tabernacle that was formed. And when the  Virgin Mary was begotten with child it was by the Father and in no other way only as we were begotten. I will tell you the truth as it is in God. The world don’t know that Jesus Christ our Elder Brother was begotten by our Father in Heaven. Handle it as you please,  it will either seal the damnation or salvation of man.” Journal of Wilford Woodruff, 4/9/1852

He again remarks on the importance of this piece of “doctrine”.

“I will give you a few words of doctrine, upon which there has been much inquiry, and with regard to which considerable ignorance exists… Some years ago, I advanced a doctrine with regard to Adam being our Father and God. That will be a curse to many of the Elders of Israel, because of their folly with regard to it. They yet grovel in darkness – and will. It is one of the most glorious revelations [concerning] the economy of heaven, yet the world hold it [in] derision. Had I revealed the doctrine of Baptism for the Dead instead of Joseph Smith, there are men around me who would have ridiculed the idea until dooms day. But they are ignorant and stupid like the dumb ass.” -10/8/1861 Brigham Young Papers

Brigham not only said it was a revelation, but he called it “scripture”.

“I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call it scripture.” JD 13:95

The doctrine of the true identity of our God is a revelation according to the Prophet Brigham Young, not a passing idea he had that he thought was interesting and wanted to see what others thought about it. He said it was a revelation!

Was Brigham Young really the only one to teach this doctrine as many Adam-God theorists contend? Brigham said that he was taught this doctrine directly from the Prophet Joseph Smith,

“It was Joseph’s doctrine that Adam was God &c When in Luke Johnson’s at O. Hydes the power came upon us, or shock that alarmed the neighborhood. God comes to earth & eats & partakes of fruit.” 4/4/1860, Minutes of Meeting at Historian’s Office

“Joseph said that Adam was our Father and God.” 5/14/1876, Journal History

“At meeting of School of the Prophets: President Young said Adam was Michael the Archangel, & he was the Father of Jesus Christ & was our God & that Joseph taught this principle.” 12/16/1876, Journal of Wilford Woodruff

George Q. Cannon also testified that the doctrine came from the Prophet Joseph,

“Brother Cannon said there was a learned Doctor that wanted to be baptized. …

He (the doctor) is satisfied that the doctrine of the plurality of God and that Adam is our Father is a true doctrine revealed from God to Joseph & Brigham. For this same doctrine is taught in some of the old Jewish records which have never been in print and I know Joseph Smith nor Brigham Young have had access to, and the Lord has revealed this doctrine unto them or they could not have taught it. President Young said if all that God had revealed was in fine print it would more than fill this room but very little is written or printed which the Lord has revealed.” 9/4/1860, journal of Wilford Woodruff

Joseph Smith’s private secretary, Benjamin F. Johnson said,

“In teaching us the “Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man”, we could begin to see why we should “love God supremely, and our brothers as ourselves,” He [Joseph Smith] taught us that God was the great head of human procreation – was really and truly the father of both our spirits and our bodies; that were but parts of a great whole, mutually and equally dependent upon each other, according to condition.” Letter to G.S Gibbs, 1903

A faithful member of the Church to the end, Anson Call recorded these words of the Prophet Joseph Smith in his journal,

“Now regarding Adam: He came here from another planet an immortalized Being and brought his wife, Eve, with him and by eating of the fruit of this earth became subject to death and decay, and He became of the earth, earthy, was made mortal and subject to death.”

This statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith is of particular interest in substantiating the fact that the doctrine originated from the Prophet,

“Commencing with Adam… to whom Christ was first revealed, and through whom Christ has been revealed from heaven, and will continue to be revealed from henceforth.” TPJS pg.167-168

Who revealed Christ to the Prophet Joseph in the First Vision? As recorded in our scriptures, it was our Father in Heaven, who, according to this statement, is Adam.

These testimonies give witness to the fact that Brigham Young was not the originator of this doctrine, nor was he the only one to teach it.

Our understanding of the identity of God is of utmost importance. Brigham Young, quoting the scriptures, said,

“It is one of the first principles of the doctrine of salvation to become acquainted with our Father and our God. The scriptures teach that this is eternal life, to “know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent;” this is as much as to say that no man can enjoy or be prepared for eternal life without that knowledge.” JD 4:215-16

Joseph Smith said that knowing the character and attributes of God was the first principle of the Gospel.

“If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves. … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did and I will show it from the Bible.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 343 & 346

“[T]hree things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation … [This includes a] correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes.” Lectures on Faith, lecture three

If it is essential to become acquainted with the character and attributes of God, then the idea that these Prophets would be teaching a false identity of God, it is of utmost concern as we learn the consequences of such from the scriptures;

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that  dreamer  of dreams:  for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Exodus 34:14

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

Some interesting scriptures that may shed more light on the topic and clarify what might appear to be contradictions:

48 thoughts on “Sacred Cow #11: Church Leaders Never Taught Adam-God”

  1. Reading Drew Briney’s book helped clear things up for me. It is good to read the original quotes for yourself and make of them as you please.

    It is interesting to note that Mormonism is not the only religion where this type of theory can be found. I have discovered this idea in Jewish, Egyptian, and other religious myths.

    You are very courteous to not include the name of the BYU professor in the article. He doesn’t need to be attacked, just like Brigham shouldn’t be attacked.

    Great article

    1. If you are referring to the 1980 BYU thing….I looked it up…it was Bruce R. McConkie that wrote it. I think it makes perfect sense that he wrote that

  2. Amen. Amen. Amen! I love it. It really is one of the most glorious revelations relating to the economy of heaven. And the quote from Joseph Smith about “Adam… to whom Christ was first revealed, and through whom Christ has been revealed from heaven, and will continue to be revealed from henceforth” – I had never connected it up to Adam-God, but now that you have for me it’s clear as day. You just rocked it – thank you.

  3. Mary Grace Barluado

    Absolutely clear! Thanks I have found this information as clear as I have believed on that 2 great prophet in the latter days! Thank you!

  4. I appreciate the in depth coverage of this topic as its been on my mind a lot recently. I still have a problem though and that is Prophet Spencer W Kimball’s statement where he rebuked this doctrine.

    [We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the Scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine.

    —Spencer W. Kimball, “Our Own Liahona,” Ensign (November 1976) ]

    This leaves a deep conflict in my mind to hear a modern day prophet denounce something another prophet taught. Can anyone offer me insight on this as a Priesthood holder because this troubles me.

    Its also been a topic of Contention between me and my non member wife who quite simply cannot accept a man who committed sin can be God. I also have trouble understanding why a resurrected God would be subject AGAIN to a mortal probation and if this was the case then WHO commanded Adam to not eat the fruit or WHO cast Adam out of Eden? Why would God be subjected to this?

    Forgive my lack of understanding on this topic, I’m very troubled by this subject so I appreciate any insight? Thank you.

    1. Explaining the teaching isn’t something we feel equipped (for lack of a better word) to tackle. There is certainly the FAIR approach (as you linked), but that falls short in honest discussion (as we hope we’ve shown conclusively). Fundamentalist Mormons are the only one’s we’re aware of that have attempted to answer the questions you present. As stated in our article, we don’t have a desire to explain, expound or defend the teachings. We only wanted to bring an honest discussion to the table so that when defending the faith in general we are not caught off guard, proven wrong in our assertions, and in turn lose the faith.

  5. John,

    I am not an admin so I am willing to send some resources to you that helped me, if you are interested.


    Do you have an email or place I can message you?

  6. John – If I coul offer my two cents – Pres. Kimball’s statement is just one example of a pattern that we have seen since (what I view as) the climax of our understanding of the nature of godhood. You’ll notice that revelation concerning the mysteries of godliness coincided almost perfectly with the era in which the Church was living the highest, most holiest law that we have ever been asked to live – plural marriage. I don’t have to be a Fundamentalist to see that – and I am NOT a Fundamentalist, nor do I believe they have the approbation of God. With the retraction of the Lord’s allowance of plural marriage because of the fact that the bulk of the Church held it in derision (if you don’t believe me, please read what Brigham Young’s own daughter, Susa Young Gates, wrote about why the Manifesto was issued), we simultaneously experienced a receding of knowledge concerning the character of God. I loved what Drew Briney shared about President Wilford Woodruff – that he basically counseled the Brethren to get rid of the doctrine because it was damning the members of the Church by their rejection of true doctrine. I believe that retraction took decades. Whether Pres. Kimball knew of the truthfulness of Adam-God or not, it doesn’t bother me. He nor WE were entitled to that knowledge because we were not living/believing (you don’t have to live it to believe it) the principles that accompanies that sort of light and knowledge. Having said that, I don’t know that I would trust that my non-member spouse was ready to accept or even hear about such things, which is hard because once you understand Adam-God you just want to burst with it (kind of like Brigham Young – who always feared he’d said too much).

    1. Slip-on Shoes
      I’ve enjoyed your posts on this subject. So much so, that I’d like to meet up and “pick your brain” to see what other insights you might have. Would you be willing to do that? Do you live in Utah?

      1. I’d be happy to help. I’ve studied it quite extensively for 30+ years along with other related items of theogeny. I’ve provided material for Drew Briney’s book on Adam-God which he couldn’t find anywhere else.

        We can do this publicly, or privately. And, I have the goods to back things up by way or quotes, etc. Over 100 quotes are available of the early leaders teaching it, including Joseph Smith.

  7. Why would a resurrected being be subject again to a mortal probation? Who said he was on probation? He simply had power to lay down His life, which Jesus said (of himself) that he did only what he saw the Father do. Adam had power to lay down his life, which he did for his children which makes him, in essence, a savior as well. Did he sin? I don’t know if he sinned or if he only transgressed. But even if he DID sin during his time here, is he not still “covered” by the atoning power of his own redeemer? How far-reaching is the power of Christ’s atonement in YOUR life? Is it not eternal? There is so much to this. I only say as much as I feel I should.

    1. Why wouldn’t a “resurrected being be subject …to a mortal probation”? There are at least 3 different types of resurrections, aren’t there? See D&C 88 and 76. Only one includes taking up thier same body again. And, little has been said of that one.

      Father Adam’s past has been little spoken of, yet, enough has been said to open up new vistas of understanding which the modern day Church has long since buried. Things such as the generattions of the Gods, hinted at in Abraham 3, steps of progression towards God the Fatherhood, sealings for the creations of worlds, etc. Two different Godheads of which we’ve been taught – not to be conflated together as the modern day Church teachers. Different Jehovahs, different Saviors, God the Father being the OT Jehovah and NOT Christ, etc.

      Time to graduate from Elementary and Junior High schools and move forward?

  8. I accept and appreciate what you’re stating and I appreciate the fact that you’ve chosen to at least broach this topic because generally it’s spoken in hushed tones or not at all.

    I’d brought this topic up in a FB doctrine study group and was advised to focus on doctrines the Church DO teach instead of one’s that they don’t. That’s all very well but it doesn’t address my question of HOW it’s possible the Church and modern day Prophets can denounce something that “American Moses” taught as certainty.

    Does this allude to Brigham Young having taught false doctrine in the eyes of the Church? Because to me that raises more question than it answers such as, if Prophets can never lead our Church astray and if all revelation is inspired from God, then how do we just explain away or ignore such a huge doctrine that is denounced by the Church without calling into question the prophet concerned?

    Does this mean other teachings of Brigham Young from Journal of Discourses such as blood atonement, polygamy and the curse of Cain pertaining to the Priesthood are falsehoods aswell and if so then HOW do we decide what revelations of his ARE true and WHY was a prophet allowed to preach incorrect principles? I’m having REAL trouble comprehending this.

    Let me state unequivocally that I know this Church to be true, I recognise the Priesthood as God’s divine authority on Earth and I believe our Prophet to be under the guidance of the Lord in these last days.

    My objective isn’t to raise questions of our church or leaders (the very opposite in fact, I’m looking to sustain them) but I NEED to resolve this conflict in my mind in order to answer the questions my wife has aswell as my own nagging questions. How can one prophet teach doctrine with a surety as fact given through the Spirit and revelation but then a Latter Day Prophet denounces that same doctrine? My head can’t compute what the potential answer to this means!

    Apart from anything it’s having a detrimental effect in discussions between me and my non member wife about the Divine authority of my church.

    My wife came across the Journal of Discourses and there are many things she’s read that I’ve mentioned in this comment that she can’t come to terms with and that I can’t explain and truthfully I’m having trouble coming to terms with. My answer was to advise her to not read them but what kind of advice is that to a religious and intelligent investigator? I’m troubled by the whole issue but I appreciate you putting it out there to be examined and pondered.

    My wife had raised these points and I had had these questions BEFORE reading this article and we found it very hard to find any informative information on this topic so I DO appreciate it being posted but maybe for objective balance the counsel of Spencer W Kimball should’ve been added as a footnote?

    1. Maybe the authors were wrong, but they felt that it was redundant to the other statements already provided in the section on denial.

    2. Consider this – Read 2 Nephi 29 to the end. Do you believe it? How does THAT relate to there being only “one true Church” on the world? What are we to understand about the many “triths” taught by all the worlds peoples, churches, wise men, etc. compared to “only one true Church”? Did the Church disseminate all of these truths to everyone throughout the world? Or, can God speak to people all over the world as they desire and seek Him out?

      Also, does God restrict man’s, and men’s agency, NOT ALLOWING them to teach for doctrines the commandments of men, mingled with scripture? Even in the LDS Church? Or, are there false teachings in the LDS Church?

  9. ‘Slip on Shoes’, I appreciate the perspective and I’ll ponder your words thoughtfully but, at the risk of being damned, I HAVE to say that this doctrine doesn’t make me feel edified, each time I refer to it I feel troubled afterwards and don’t have the normal uplifted feeling that the Spirit usually manifests to me when I ponder other doctrines.

    Now I’m not saying it’s a falsehood, I know better than to say such a thing, I’m simply saying I’m struggling with this because I’m not recieving the normal manifestations of the Holy Ghost that normally help me discrern light and truth. I’ve prayed earnestly about this and each time I think I’ve recieved an answer I end up doubting whether it’s definitive?

    I agree that my wife shouldn’t be reading such things without a testimony of our Gospel but unfortunately she came across these things herself and it led to a deep discussion between us about these things where I realised I wasn’t equipped to answer her seemingly straight forward questions. I’d rather my wife hasn’t read any of the several Brigham Young doctrines she’s came across but she has and all I can do is try to ponder and pray about the best explanations to give?

    I’ve felt troubled over this doctrine since the moment I heard it because while in one hand it CAN MAKE SENSE, but in another sense it shatters much of what I learned and believed while growing up in the Church.

    Its troublesome and I can see why members are counselled to avoid discussing it because it raises questions that God fearing Saints with Testimony’s, like myself, don’t want to raise.

    All I know is I don’t come away from these discussions about this topic feeling good, it leaves an empty feeling inside me and its causing me to doubt my own ability to discern plain truths because its counter intuitive to every truth I’ve ever learned, be it by discernment or by scripture. It’s deeply problematic for me, not for my faith but for my understanding of divinely guided prophets. I grew up listening to Spencer W Kimball and his books are among my most read in my library, I can’t just dismiss what he was inspired to denounce, while at the same time I know Brigham Young is revered as one of the all time Great Prophets who transformed the Church from its infancy into a period of harmony and stability. I feel tortured by the questions this raises if I’m brutally honest.

    1. Jospeh Smith taught that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same person at the same time. You are feeling doubt, and faith, back and forth. Struggling with the contradictory teachings of Pres. Young and Pres. Kimball.

      Since we are talking about absolute truth – and either/or – between the two different prophets, then what have we been counseled to do by Joseph Smith, THE prophet of the Restoration vs. the numberous other prophets with greater or lesser prophetic abilities. He said that NOT EVERYTHING he or his brother taught WAS OF GOD! That they weren’t always speaking as “prophets”. That everyone needed to NOT be darkened in their own minds as to blindly follow them, or anyone else for that matter, but that everyone should get thier own revelation.

      But, most don’t bother, don’t care, and like to hear that they should just leave the mysteries alone. Stay in Elementary or Junior High school. Stay with the group.

      However, for some people, taking the road less travelled has made all the difference.

  10. Thanks for the article & to all who have commented. My thought about
    Pres. Kimball’s Ensign instruction is that the Saints are not ready for deep
    doctrine. Not today even if they were previously. I have a strong, solid
    testimony of the Church & all of the latter-day prophets. I appreciate con-
    sidering this issue, since I had heard vaguely about it. But I personally will
    not discuss it with others & will wait to learn more. I firmly believe that
    there is a whole lot more for us to learn. As Pres. Nelson has said that the
    Restoration is only beginning, (at least that’s how I understood what he
    said), I believe our understanding of correct, deep doctrine is only begin-
    ning also.

  11. This is the most in depth I have ever looked at the Adam/God theory or teaching. It was interesting reading the direct quotes from both Brigham and Joseph.

    The thought that each of us is not just spiritual offspring of Heavenly Parents, but literal physical offspring is thrilling to the core! I am, however, trying to wrap my head around Elohim and Christ visiting Adam and Eve in the Garden. I know that Elohim is a plural of the form of Eloah (or something like that). So, would it have been Heavenly Grandfather that, with Christ, visited our Heavenly Parents (His Son) in the Garden? Does that make any sense?

    1. Who does the Savior say is the first person He visited on the earth? Was it Adam? See scripture charts at the bottom. Since this is not an explanation of the teaching, we realize there will be many unanswered questions.

    2. Bingo. The Creation Godhead is a different Godhead than the Administrative Godhead of this earth of which we read about throughout MOST of the Old Testament, NT, BoM, D&C, etc.

      Joseph Smith, Brigham, and others of the early leaders NEVEFR TAUGHT that Christ was the Jehovah of the OT, but was the SON of Jehovah. Moses 1:1-6 clearly shows this, as well as numerous other passages.

      Father Adam’s God the Father and Father Adam’s Christ were the Godhead speaking to “Adam and Eve” in the Creation story. A generation of Gods. Next step, Father Adam’s generation of Gods for our current “organization” or “creation” of which we are a part. Father Adam heads this new “creation/organization”, with Father Adam’s son, our Jesus the Christ, being this creation’s/organization’s Savior and, through our converstion/begetting of Him, He becomes our Father. Thus, He is the Son and the Father.

      And, so can we become …..

    3. I read that “Elohim” means “the gods”. I think it was Andrew Skinner that wrote a piece about that. So it seems to be a collective term that could include Adam/Michael/Christ/Holy Ghost

  12. In 1896, Edward Stevenson, one of the Seven Presidents of Seventy, had “a deep talk” with President Lorenzo Snow about the Adam-God doctrine. Afterwards, Stevenson wrote in his diary concerning the temple creation gods: “Certainly Heloheim and Jehovah stands before Adam, or else I am very much mistaken. Then 1st Heloheim, 2nd Jehovah, 3rd Michael-Adam, 4th Jesus Christ, Our Elder Brother, in the other World from whence our spirits come…. Then Who is Jehovah? The only begotten [sic] Son of Heloheim on Jehovah’s world.” Edward Stevenson Diary, 3 March and 28 February 1896, Church Archives.

    There is one crucial piece that you need to understand before Adam-God can really click. It is that, through baptism and the keeping of our covenants, we become literally the children of Christ. We are born again, spiritually, of him – are we not? And, at the wrapping up of this earth’s time, Joseph Smith alludes to the fact that Christ will present the kingdom to the Father as complete and watch what happens…”The Son of Man stands before him [Father Adam], and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys to the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 158). So, as I understand it, Christ takes the place of Father to us, and “Elohim” takes the place of Grandfather. Try this concept out against everything you read, and see if it doesn’t make total and complete sense.
    “Elohim, Yahova & Michael, were father, Son & grandson. They made this Earth and Michael became Adam.” Joseph F. Smith Journal, 17 June 1871
    So, who would have visited Adam in the Garden? His redeemer and the father of his spirit (the Adam on HIS previous earth).

  13. I should make it more clear: when Adam delivers his stewardship to Christ, Christ becomes our Father and Adam becomes our Grandfather (used interchangeably with the title Elohim, although the words don’t seem to be perfect synonyms).

  14. This article feels strange, even if the quotations themselves are quite delightful. I do not know who wrote this, but it feels strange.

    There is a certain amount of shock many people experience when they read the first quotation in the article from JD 1:50. When you have someone reeling from shock, they might not notice the difference between what you said about the quote, and what was actually stated in the quote. When I read that page by Brigham Young, I find that it agrees in many ways with what I expected was true.

    However, JD 1:50 states “It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” This makes the matter of names different then what we anticipated. So different that it isn’t even clear who is who anymore except that we know that Michael is Adam.

    I don’t like that this article is laboring under a doctrinal misunderstanding generally. It keeps on saying “Adam is our God” as if that proves that Adam is God the Father.

    Sure Adam is our God. But what that conveys to the reader’s mind may be very different than what was intended when it was spoken. Here are some statements from Joseph Smith:

    “I shall leave my brethren to enlarge on this subject; it is my duty to teach the doctrine. I would teach it more fully–the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God is not willing to let me gratify you; but I must teach the Elders, and they should teach you. God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him.” (April 8, 1844.) DHC 6:318-320.

    Joseph Smith also taught:

    “These scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Christian world, who are blindly led by the blind. I will refer to another Scripture. ‘Now,’ says God, when He visited Moses in the bush, (Moses was a stammering sort of boy like me) God said, ‘Thou shalt be a God unto the children of Israel.’ God said, ‘Thou shalt be a God unto Aaron, and he shall be thy spokesman.’ I believe those Gods that God reveals as Gods to be sons of God, and all can cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ Sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods, even from before the foundation of the world, are the only Gods I have a reverence for.”

    God set Moses as God over the people in God’s place, for the Lord said so himself.

    Joseph Smith was set as God over the people in God’s place. In fact, Joseph Smith said that sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods, even from before the foundation of the world, are the only Gods he had a reverence for, and he was including Moses as an example of such an individual. How does God reveal some as Gods? When he speaks from heaven and says “This is my son” bearing record of them as happened both for the baptism of Adam and of the Savior. For the scripture says “thus may all become my sons”.

    Hence, you have a perfect right to say Moses was set by God to be God over Israel in his place, for God said he made Moses be God to them in his stead.

    And you have a perfect right to say that Joseph Smith has been set by God to be God in his stead as well.

    And once you know that God made Joseph Smith (even during his mortality) be God in his stead, then saying “Adam is our God” doesn’t necessarily mean any of the things that it sounded like it means.

    So that is one of the things I don’t really like about this article. It misunderstands a fundamental point of doctrine in the first place, and one that can send much of its conclusion wrong.

    The article also takes advantage of the fact that most people don’t realize that Adam has a father himself who was God. That understanding is crucial to understand some of Brigham Youngs statements about Eden. For example, as I recall off my head, the Doctrines of Salvations quotations about the Adam God theory principally reference Brigham Young statements that are actually rather plainly teaching that Adam had a father and that his Father was God, and hence all mankind has God as their common physical ancestor. I learned that Adam had a father and his father was God by reading that part of Doctrines of Salvation and the Brigham Young quotes it contains. But this article doesn’t explain that at all, but rather contorts the issue by leaving out that critical teaching which would have made some of Brigham Youngs statements about God and Eden plain and easy to understand. If Brigham Young says that God the Father who walked in Eden is the father of the human family, Brigham Young could well be expressing the simple truth that God the Father is the father of Adam, and consequently is also the father of the human family.

    As to the statements that Adam is the father of our spirits, the whole idea that our spirits have a father directly contradicts the King Follett discourse as well as directly contradicting Abraham 3:18 “Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.” Both teach that if spirits have a beginning, they must have an end, and Joseph Smith says that God himself could not create himself, going so far as to call man coequal with God (at least two different transcriptions of that sermon use the word “coequal”).

    We know extraordinarily little about things before mortality, so appearing to contradict one of the extremely few verses we actually do have on the subject as well as one of the most revelatory teachings on the subject by saying that our spirits all had a beginning by being born makes me hesitant to jump to agreement. God is a father. But quite possibly he is the father (or progenitor) of our bodies, but not of our spirits, for our spirits had no beginning or else they must also have an end.

    Might this apparent contradiction go away with further knowledge? Might God be the Father of our spirits and yet our spirits not have a beginning? Absolutely. But when I have to choose between an apparent contradiction with Brigham Young on one hand and with Joseph Smith and Abraham standing together on the other, I will go with Joseph Smith and Abraham and Brigham Young will not have anything against me for doing so until I have enough light to understand how there is no contradiction for myself.

    Now, as to the statements that Adam is the father of the Savior, they are hard to validate, and two of them are third person, and somewhat terse. Whereas statements that Adam is our God seem to be plentiful by comparison. But those two don’t mean the same thing.

    The statement that Adam is our God doesn’t change anything about the gospel any more than the statements that Moses and Joseph Smith were each set by God to be God in his stead. However, saying that Adam is the father of the Savior seems to change a great many things, including discourses of Joseph Smith to the point that some of them seem to become kind of nonsensical (e.g. one of the discourses recorded by George Laub was pointed out to me by my daughter as an example).

    Is this teaching still possibly correct? Absolutely. We know ridiculously little about what came before, and what will come after. We like to draw a pattern of circles on the board and call it the plan of salvation without realizing that we have laid out a path from mortality all the way to Godhead that takes fewer steps than getting to the local grocery store. It is laughably incomplete. Abraham saw more steps from earth to Kolob than that, one above another, and he thus knew far more about it than we do.

    So the teaching in the quotations may be correct, but it has to be reconciled with other teachings by Joseph Smith himself. That reconciliation must come by either personal study and inspiration or by obtaining new revelation. Brigham Young did not ask for blind followers. Not that you said otherwise. But I think this is written as a quotation piece rather than from real insight, for it feels strange. And if that is the case, I would like the quotations it needs to be reconciled with as well so we can understand the whole puzzle.

    It seems strange that Moses 6 lays out the pattern by which Adam can be redeemed by becoming a son of God, and that the Savior himself follows that same pattern through his baptism to become a son of God, and yet to say that it was Adam testifying from heaven for Christ and Christ testifying from heaven for Adam. Adam had a father, so either Adam or his Father could be the person spoken of as “God the Father”.

    There is more I would observe about this general topic, but which requires a bit of doctrinal background.

    When we say that Abraham sits enthroned in yonder heavens, what do we mean?

    Well, we have gotten too scientific to understand a lot of our scriptures. We can no longer understand the word heaven. D&C 88 would explain it to us, but we can’t believe it. D&C 88 says that the sun, the moon, and the stars are all kingdoms of God. In fact, it says if you can find a place, there is a kingdom of God there, thus embracing the planets and their moons as well. But where is a kingdom without inhabitants? If I stand in the Sahara desert and declare myself king of all I see, I have no kingdom for I have no subjects. We reel at the idea plainly declared in D&C 88 that the sun and the stars and the moon are all kingdoms of God which all have inhabitants. We revolt at it because of our science. But that is precisely the point of the verse in D&C 88 saying the light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness percieveth it not. Put differently, God can hide those kingdoms that are higher than ours or else which need to be independent from ours from our undeserving dark eyes, and we will never perceive them no matter how clever our scientists think they are. Our scientific instruments will never detect them, nor will our natural eyes. God can hide a vast population from us, and we will know nothing about it except by inspiration. God has done this before and we know about it, for we live in the very midst of the post mortal spirit world, yet our scientific instruments can find out nothing about it at all. D&C 88 explains that no man can behold the kingdoms of God on the sun, moon or any other sphere as they truly are except he has beheld God in his glory as Moses did in Moses 1, though even then the Lord only told Moses concerning this earth. But the Lord showed Abraham more than this earth, one star or planet, or one kingdom of God, standing in order above another.

    When Abraham saw the stars standing one above another it was no lesson on scientific astronomy. He was seeing a vision not particularly different from the D&C 76 vision of the degrees of glory. The worlds follow in their track one after the other each following the one above it just as one kingdom stands above another. Abraham saw one kingdom or star or planet standing above another and so on up no differently that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw three degrees of glory standing one above another.

    When we say Abraham sits enthroned in yonder heavens, we mentally picture Abraham sitting on a throne in our mental (and somewhat ridiculous) picture of heaven.

    But Christ told his disciples “I go to prepare a place for you”. What sort of a place? Probably a kingdom of their own – a world which they each can be an Adam over. Thus they inherit a throne over a kingdom. Thus Abraham sits enthroned in yonder heavens (literally, “in yonder heavens”). Thus Adam got to be a God over his own world, having obtained his exaltation.

    But does that make Adam the Father of Christ? I don’t know. Adam himself had a father. We read that Adam had to be born into the kingdom of heaven and become a son of God, just as the Savior did. But who would Adam been born to? Would Christ have begotten himself? No, for a son needs a father. Would Adam have begotten himself? No, for a son needs a father.

    There are a couple of warnings that ought to be added to keep things sensible. One is that this earth is peculiar among all of God’s creations, for God said that he could look at all the worlds he had made, and his eye could peirce them also, and upon not a single one of them had there ever been wickedness such as there has been on this earth before the flood. Enoch chimes in to specify that we are talking about millions of earths or even vastly more than that. Does God make people be bad who come here, thereby making this earth such a uniquely rotten world among millions of them? No. Nothing like that. It is the sort of spirits that end up here that choose to make this world stand out as the darkest speck in the universe. This world is precisely the right place for the characters who are born here.

    Sure, there are exceptions, but they confess they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth. It really isn’t the right place for them. They are sent here not to condemn the world, but to save it. Nevertheless, they obviously don’t fit in with the crowd that is found here, as many of them are slain or forced to live in dens or in the wilderness.

    Also it seems to have been quite an event that an angel in authority in the presence of God rebelled and became Lucifer. That doesn’t seems to be part of the regular plan – for an angel in authority to rebel. And somehow Lucifer’s story is all bound up with ours, and he is on this same world with us. We don’t know much about it at all. But it seems to fit with the unique badness of this world.

    God himself noted this earth as very peculiar among all of his creations ever, so we don’t want to conclude too quickly that all other earths are a carbon copy of this one. Very much the opposite may be true.

    1. It appears John is getting there in his studies. He has studied much, and been given much. Yet, there is much more available. More “hidden” teachings. Most steps in progression given.

      Regarding the “spirit” topic, Joseph Smith NEVER taught that spirtis were conceived. That’s a Brigham Young teaching which others later adopted. Joseph used the terms “intelligence” and “spirit” interchangeably, whereas Brigham Young taught that spirits were begotten. Yet, differently that what we can read in the scriptures. For instance, consider Mosiah 5. The people had listened to King Benjamin teach for days, were overcome with the spirit, were “converted” and thus King Benjamin told them that that day the people had been conceived by Christ. Spiritual conception was by conversion/being engulfed by the Spirit. Baptism follows as a new birth. Partaking of the sacrament speaks of taking upon us the NAME of Christ, acting as His children, remembering His teachings and following His commands/instruction, and by doing so we may have HIS (ie. Christ’s spirit”) to be with us.

      I”ll stop here so as to not tread into yet one more topic/step along Christ’s, and our progression IF we are so valiant.

  15. Oh Mylanta – my brain just about went numb halfway through that last comment. John, this might not be the right place for you. First, maybe seek to understand our first estate (ie our actual spiritual birth with actual spirit bodies that house the intelligences that had always existed). After you get that squared away…you can try to find the answer to what kind of body Adam had when he entered the Garden. There really are only a couple of possibilities: 1) he was made from dust, like a brick (Orson Pratt welcomes you into his apostate camp), or 2) he was a resurrected being when he came here, just like Brigham Young explained. All children of the exalted Father were spirit children, and Adam was not merely a spirit. I guess you could argue that a translated being could have come here from another planet, but that’s not really a repeatable pattern, nor is it necessary or appropriate, nor does it remember anything Brigham Young or Joseph Smith ever said.

  16. John Roberts, you raised some helpful points, although I’ll need to read your comment several times for it to permeate fully.

    Brody, I take on board what you’re saying. I was born into the church but fell inactive age 12 for 28 years and am only a year back In the Gospel so I’m more or less learning from scratch in doctrine terms.

    Can I ask though, if Adam/Micheal was an Arch Angel but more than a Spirit child of God then what does that mean about other Arch Angels like Gabriel /Noah? Are they exalted beings or children of exalted beings? Surely exalted beings don’t have to complete another mortal probationary period so that would suggest they’re children of exalted beings sealed from a previous mortal probation or something less than Exalted?

    I guess I’m just lookimg for clarity here on what exactly you’re inferring that Adam is, was and will be?

    I’ve been reading and praying lots about all this recently, I have no problem accepting other things about Adam, I just struggle to accept the concept that he is our ultimate Father in Heaven/Supreme God/Elohim.

    Why would an exalted being have to be subjected to a second mortal probation? Was that the punishment for Adam breaking God’s commandment? If Adam is God then Who is punishing him, a more senior “God”?

    We’re told that when we’re exalted our Spirit and Body will never again be seperated yet this is exactly what you’re suggesting happened to Adam?

    Are you saying Adam was an exalted being having lived a previous life like us? So In essence, if you were exalted you could form a new creation, and then you’d be the one who begins that creation by producing the first off spring on a planet? But why would an exalted being commit sin? That’s another part I struggle with.

    Are Arch Angels the resurrected or even exalted children of an exalted Father from his mortal probation?

    So for conversation sake, Adam, Jesus and the rest of the Arch Angels could be children of an Exalted Father from a previous mortal probation or are they distinct seperate exalted beings who have been called to those specific roles to perform on this Earth?

    I guess I’m just trying to figure out the rhyme and reason to all this Brigham Young doctrine. Is an “Adam” an office? An “Elohim”? If so is a “Christ/Jehovah” and “Holy Ghost” an office and if so then what criteria would they have to meet to reach that office?

    Are there debates from Priesthood holders that I can access about this kind of thing so I can discern for myself? Sorry for the barrage of questions.

    1. Your clearly starting to see that there is a relationship going on between the Gods, Arch Angels, etc. They are all steps along the way to God the Fatherhood. Think Jacob’s ladder. Ascending and descending, even moving from one Kingdom to another. Former teachings were that we could move between “Kingdoms of Glory”, now, quite the opposite is taught.

      Eternal Lives was taught, then later not taught like today in the Church.

      Should we ever remain children? Or, eat meat? Former vs. current teachings differ greatly.

      Imagine that.

  17. For anyone interested there is a blog that did an article on Adam-God Theory. The owner has not done any articles since 2014. The blog owner really knows Scripture, history of the Bible, and many other things.

    It is called……

    Very, very interesting information. It takes a lot of thinking about this to understand it… “wrap your brain around it”. It is very very deep, and comes from ancient Scriptural teachings.

    For myself, this article explains Adam-God, it makes sense. I have shared this information numerous times and am dismissed. It’s discouraging that most LDS do not want to learn new things or consider other possibilities, especially the so called LDS Apologists.

    (Would it ever be nice if the Salt Lake City LDS leaders had more among them who were Biblical scholars, Hebrew scholars)

    1. The author doesn’t even understand who Elohim is according to the teachings of modern prophets. IF you start out wrong, it’s almost impossible to end up right

  18. The funny thing about all of this is that Brigham Young himself also said that we are the spirit children of Elohim. I don’t think it is possible to definitively say what Brigham was doing, only that safety and light is found with the living prophets and apostles.

    1. Elementary and Junior High school teachers do teach about safety and light. Yet, there are still High Schools, Colleges, Graduate programs, and post doctoral studies one can engage in. However, these things aren’t taught in the elementary and junior high schools. Perhaps there’s a reason.

  19. I and two others went and visited Eldon Watson to discuss two topics, Adam Jr./Sr. and MMP. He explained his theory on Jr./Sr. and I found it fell flat. I asked if he had any scriptural references to support his theory. He referred to a verse in D&C, I wish I could remember what it was, but I could see no relationship to anything of Adam in it.

    The conversation then switch to MMP/The Doctrine of Eternal Lives.He became quite agitated towards any support towards it at all, more so when the quotes by Brigham and Joseph saying we would have to be Saviors were brought up. It got real dark and I had to leave. The other two followed shortly. They were not affected as much as I, but did feel something.

    Of the two that accompanied me, I and one other do not believe Eldon’s theory, the other does. And our relationship has deteriorated and vanished over this theory. He would bring it up in conversations and present his views but forbids me from expressing mine.

  20. By reading the JD, it does indeed appear that By believed this Adam God idea. But that just makes it something he believed, not church doctrine. And if you read further into the JD, he states just that. He says that nothing is to be taken as doctrinal or binding on the church unless he personally writes it down, signs it as president of the church, and formally sends it out. This seems right to me and in compliance with the order of things in the church.

    GC back in that day was very informal, nothing like today. It was more like our fast and testimony meetings where all talks are impromptu and unrehearsed. In such a venue, nothing is well said, well stated, and a lot of rambling can occur with unclear statements and half sentences and very long drawn out sentences. If you copied everything said in a testimony meeting, even the next day it could be difficult to for someone who wasn’t there to make out clearly the exact intent of the speaker just by reading it. I am grateful that today, GC and church talks are written out ahead of time, practiced and prepared and given a set amount of time. This is much clearer to the understanding and more considerate of the congregation.

    And about the temple. So what if Adam God was in the temple presentation? Being a part of the temple presentation is no litmus test to the truth of an idea. I think that should go without saying.

    I am sure BY really believed in his Adam God idea and that he preached it over the pulpit, and he may have actually believed it was a church doctrine, but that doesn’t make it so, and he knew that. You just have to get into the debating atmosphere of the times. People loved to debate their ideas back then. BY also believed that hell was a place where spirits were destroyed and remade into parts for new spirits. He spoke about this every bit as much as Adam God. He believed it to be completely true even though it seemingly contradicted the D&C. But that didn’t make it binding on the church in a “thus saith the Lord manner”. What the prophet believes is just that, what he believes. He really did think that spirits who went to hell after the final judgement ( like all those who followed Satan in the premortal life, sons of perdition, and others ) would get the “potters'” treatment and be thrown on the floor to be broken up and reassembled into new spirits. He thought all who went to hell were like failed spirits and since God wastes nothing, he made hell to be a recycling plant of sorts.
    BY thought about the gospel a lot and developed many beliefs concerning it, just like the rest of us.

  21. A very careful reading of Spencer Kimball’s statement is in order. No Prophet or Apostle ever taught “The Adam-God Theory”. It was a product of apostates created in the 1940s. And that is to which Kimball’s warn referred.

    1. So you didn’t even read the article, or you’re saying the quotes in the article were made up in the 40’s, or you’re distinguishing between some idea of a Adam/God theory vs an Adam/God doctrine? Help us out, because on its face, your comment appears to be reactionary.

      1. Joseph, Brigham, John, Wilford, … did indeed teach that Adam is the father of our spirit bodies and the physical body of Jesus Christ. But that is not the Adam-God Theory – Prophets of God no not teach theory, they teach eternal truths.

        “The Adam-God Theory” is a product of apostates, it was a paper covering their “allegation”, as Spence Kimball said, of what Brigham taught. But it is just that, an allegation, and a false one at that.

        I had a copy of it, I started reading it but it was a total mess completely devoid of truth. The more I read the darker the spirit. I could not finish reading it and I could not even leave it in my house so I threw it out.

        So go and read Kimball’s statement with that in mind, it will take on the correct message Kimball was delivering.

        1. Kimball’s statement is included in the article and in several comments. Would care to enlighten us all with the distinctions between the paper you read (would be interested in the title and author) and what you feel the prophets taught?

  22. Brigham Young and Joseph Smith taught Adam God Doctrine because it IS an eternal truth. It is in the journal of discourses. It agrees with all eternal truths. Spencer Kimball made a mistake, he’s flesh and blood, prone to weakness and mistake like the rest of us.

  23. You made a veiled accusation that I did not read your article yet you ask questions already answered in my comments.

    “Joseph, Brigham, John, Wilford, … did indeed teach that Adam is the father of our spirit bodies and the physical body of Jesus Christ.” This has nothing to do with what “I feel” was taught, it is documented history.

    At meeting of school of the prophets, President Young said Adam was Michael the Archangel and he was the father of Jesus Christ and was our God, and Joseph taught this principle. [Journal of Wilford Woodruff, December 16, 1867, Prophet Wilford Woodruff]

    “Joseph the Seer taught the following principle that the God & father of our Lord Jesus Christ was once the same as the Son or Holy Ghost but having redeemed a world became the eternal God of that world. He had a son Jesus Christ who redeemed this earth the same as his father had a world which made them equal & the Holy Ghost would do the same in his turn & so would all the Saints who inherited a Celestial glory so their would be Gods many & Lords many.”[Wilford Woodruff, Jan. 30, 1842, “Book of Revelations,” 3-4]

    The name of the paper is as I said above “The Adam-God Theory”, the authors were apostates.

  24. Doug Hale above said it well. The Adam-God Doctrine was taught over and over again by the early leaders of the Church. It can be found in over 100 sermons given across the pulpits throughout Deseret and was openly for about 30 years. It was taught privately for probably another 10 years by the early leaders of the Church.

    There are dozens of witnesses that Joseph Smith was the originator of the doctrine, NOT Brigham Young – again given by the early leaders of the Church, numerous wives, and others.

    One item I will mention in deference to what Doug Hale stated above is that Joseph didn’t teach spiritual procreation. That came from Brigham Young. Joseph used the terms “intellience” and “spirit” interchangeably throughout his life, and taught that intelligence/spirit was never created, but has always existed.

    1. For clarity’s sake, yes, intelligence and spirit are the same thing, but not the same thing as spirit bodies.
      It is gaining a spirit body that redeems spirits from hell. Spirits must have their glory enrobed to reside in heaven with God The Father (of our spirit bodies). This is the meaning of “Eve, for she is the mother of all living”. That was stated before her mortal children were born, it was referring to her spirit children of which God/Adam is the father.
      Also, spirit body is not the same as spiritual body. Both are perfect but only one is eternal.

      In Doctrines of Salvation, and many other places, we learn that Adam and Eve entered Eden with spiritual bodies. Christ now also has a spiritual body of flesh and bone. Spiritual bodies are perfected resurrected celestialized bodies of flesh and bone, no blood.

    2. I always understood intelligence to be the “building blocks” of spirit from which spirit is made. D&C 93:29-30. My understanding has always been that intelligence is organized into spirit, then the body is a tabernacle to house the spirit.

      1. Then you’ have understood it wrong:

        The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity.
        Our Savior speaks of children and says, Their angels always stand before my Father. The Father called all spirits before Him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply.
        The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him.[History of the Church, Vol 3, p 387 Joseph Smith’s Teaching’s p 166]

        The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself . I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man . The intelligence of spirits had not beginning, neither will it have an end . There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven. [History of the Church 6:302-317]

        Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. Abraham 3:18 [S]pirits … have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they aregnolaum, or eternal. Joseph Smith (President) The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself. I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. The intelligence of spirits had not beginning, neither will it have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven.[History of the Church, 6:302-317; D&C 93:29]

        1. He [Joseph] explained the difference between an angel and a ministering spirit; the one a resurrected or translated body, with its spirit ministering to embodied spirits—the other a disembodied spirit, visiting and ministering to disembodied spirits. Jesus Christ became a ministering spirit (while His body was lying in the sepulchre) to the spirits in prison, to fulfill an important part of His mission, without which He could not have perfected His work, or entered into His rest. After His resurrection He appeared as an angel to His disciples. Translated bodies cannot enter into rest until they have undergone a change equivalent to death. Translated bodies are designed for future missions. The angel that appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos was a translated or resurrected body (i.e. personage). Jesus Christ went in body after His resurrection, to minister to resurrected bodies. [History of the Church 4:425, Sunday, October 3, 1841; TPJS, p. 191.]

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