Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

consiglieri

Adam-god Theory--let's Really Talk About This!

Recommended Posts

Many people, such as myself, have studied Brigham Young' teachings about Adam and, taking them at face-value, have concluded he taught that Elohim, Jehovah and Michael are respectively Father, Son and Grandson. (In fact, Brigham Young said that in one place.) Specifically regarding Adam, Brigham Young taught that Adam is the father of our spirits as well as our physical bodies. (Or at least, so it is maintained by some.)

On the other hand, in an apparent effort to make Brigham Young's teachings comport with current Mormon Doctrine, a number of LDS have subscribed to a theory promulgated by Elden Watson (I believe I have the name right).

My understanding from one who subscribes to this theory is that it states, in thumbnail form:

BY never taught such a thing (as the Adam-God Theory). His opinion actually was that God the Father and Mother came to earth and by partaking of the physical fruits, conceived the Adam and Eve who fell. Thus God the Father and Mother became a type of Adam and Eve to Adam and Eve.

This thread is NOT to quote from Brigham Young and argue about what he meant. I think we have done that before on numerous occasions and made zero progress.

What I would like to do with this thread is:

1. Find out if this is what Elden Watson Theory subscribers understand his theory to be: and, if so,

2. Find out why it is that Elden Watson's theory is any less objectionable than what Adam-God Theorists believe.

The reason I started this thread is that, for some reason, Watson Theorists tend to be remarkably skittish about actually saying what it is they believe, but usually just repeat over and over that Brigham Young didn't teach the Adam-God Theory, (but that he actually taught something that only he understood and everybody else misunderstood until Watson came along).

(Okay, that last part was editorializing, but it does express how I feel about the Watson Theory.)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
1. Find out if this is what Elden Watson Theory subscribers understand his theory to be.

Yes.

2. Find out why it is that Elden Watson's theory is any less objectionable than what Adam-God Theorists believe.

It is consistent with the scriptures and declarations of the prophets in their official capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Yes.

It is consistent with the scriptures and declarations of the prophets in their official capacity.

Okay, at least I know I am understanding the Watson Theory (lame though I think it to be).

Any response as to why it was that nobody knew what Brigham Young meant until Watson came on the scene?

I mean, that really is one of the primary difficulties with holding to the Watson Theory, don't you think?

Thanks for your response.

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
Okay, at least I know I am understanding the Watson Theory (lame though I think it to be).

Any response as to why it was that nobody knew what Brigham Young meant until Watson came on the scene?

I'm not sure that nobody knew what Brigham Young meant until Watson came on the scene. Clearly what Watson understands Brigham to have been teaching was passed down at least to BRM, according to Watson, as recounted in the link Mudcat provided. In fact, such a teaching is the theological backdrop to the First Presidency's official statement "The Origin of Man."

I mean, that really is one of the primary difficulties with holding to the Watson Theory, don't you think?

It might be, if it could be demonstrated that nobody knew what Brigham Young meant until Watson came on the scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Okay, at least I know I am understanding the Watson Theory (lame though I think it to be).

Any response as to why it was that nobody knew what Brigham Young meant until Watson came on the scene?

I mean, that really is one of the primary difficulties with holding to the Watson Theory, don't you think?

Thanks for your response.

--Consiglieri

I wouldn't say that no one understood it until Watson came along, only that Watson thought of it as sufficient value to need to delve into it fully to explain what BY might have been portraying. He quotes other GA's who seemed to share his views. SWK seemed to agree in essence that what people tried to portray BY as saying was incorrect, but that he did in fact say everything he claimed to. Just their understanding was wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
It might be, if it could be demonstrated that nobody knew what Brigham Young meant until Watson came on the scene.

If the Watson Theory were correct, why would Orson Pratt and a host of others have been so hostile to the idea?

And when Orson Pratt confronted Brigham Young about it, why didn't Brigham Young just tell Orson he misunderstood--that really all Brigham Young was teaching was the Watson Theory?

If Brigham Young meant that Elohim is our Father and our God and the only God with whom we have to do, why did he say it not about Elohim, but about Adam?

Are you saying that Brigham Young was out to intentionally mislead the saints about his views?

You can say a lot of things about Brigham Young, but I think nobody can say that he did not have the power to explain his views with force and clarity. Is that what you are saying?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
If the Watson Theory were correct, why would Orson Pratt and a host of others have been so hostile to the idea?

Many of Jesus's disciples turned and never came back when he taught that unless they ate of his flesh and drank his blood they would not inherit eternal life. Jesus did not pursue them to correct their misunderstanding. A parallel? Perhaps.

And when Orson Pratt confronted Brigham Young about it, why didn't Brigham Young just tell Orson he misunderstood--that really all Brigham Young was teaching was the Watson Theory?

Same question can be asked of Jesus (see above).

If Brigham Young meant that Elohim is our Father and our God and the only God with whom we have to do, why did he say it not about Elohim, but about Adam?

Because Elohim is but one of his many titles; Adam is just as accurate. Also, I don't think the currently orthodox divine naming conventions were quite in place, but that's a topic I'm not competent to treat at length.

Are you saying that Brigham Young was out to intentionally mislead the saints about his views?

Same question can be asked of Jesus (see above).

You can say a lot of things about Brigham Young, but I think nobody can say that he did not have the power to explain his views with force and clarity. Is that what you are saying?

Same question can be asked of Jesus (see above).

Share this post


Link to post
Many of Jesus's disciples turned and never came back when he taught that unless they ate of his flesh and drank his blood they would not inherit eternal life. Jesus did not pursue them to correct their misunderstanding. A parallel? Perhaps.

Same question can be asked of Jesus (see above).

Because Elohim is but one of his many titles; Adam is just as accurate. Also, I don't think the currently orthodox divine naming conventions were quite in place, but that's a topic I'm not competent to treat at length.

Same question can be asked of Jesus (see above).

Same question can be asked of Jesus (see above).

I respectfully think it is a dodge to equate Jesus talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood with Brigham Young talking about Adam being our Father, and saying that if Jesus can be intentionally misleading, it is okay for Brigham Young to be intentionally misleading.

Maybe I have missed something, because I confess I don't know everything, or even close to everything,

BUT

Understanding that Elohim has many titles and names, can you show me one place where Elohim is unequivocally called "Adam"?

That shouldn't be too much to ask, inasmuch as the entire Watson Theory seems to hang upon that assumption.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
I respectfully think it is a dodge to equate Jesus talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood with Brigham Young talking about Adam being our Father, and saying that if Jesus can be intentionally misleading, it is okay for Brigham Young to be intentionally misleading.

You are as much as conceding the analogy is exact enough to be an insurmountable obstacle to your primary objection. You can't take out Brigham without likewise taking out Christ.

Understanding that Elohim has many titles and names, can you show me one place where Elohim is unequivocally called "Adam"?

Links are provided, yet you avail yourself not of them. Run a search for "Two Adams" in the link we keep showing you. Better yet, do your homework and read the whole thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Many people, such as myself, have studied Brigham Young' teachings about Adam and, taking them at face-value, have concluded he taught that Elohim, Jehovah and Michael are respectively Father, Son and Grandson. (In fact, Brigham Young said that in one place.) Specifically regarding Adam, Brigham Young taught that Adam is the father of our spirits as well as our physical bodies. (Or at least, so it is maintained by some.)

On the other hand, in an apparent effort to make Brigham Young's teachings comport with current Mormon Doctrine, a number of LDS have subscribed to a theory promulgated by Elden Watson (I believe I have the name right).

My understanding from one who subscribes to this theory is that it states, in thumbnail form:

This thread is NOT to quote from Brigham Young and argue about what he meant. I think we have done that before on numerous occasions and made zero progress.

What I would like to do with this thread is:

1. Find out if this is what Elden Watson Theory subscribers understand his theory to be: and, if so,

2. Find out why it is that Elden Watson's theory is any less objectionable than what Adam-God Theorists believe.

The reason I started this thread is that, for some reason, Watson Theorists tend to be remarkably skittish about actually saying what it is they believe, but usually just repeat over and over that Brigham Young didn't teach the Adam-God Theory, (but that he actually taught something that only he understood and everybody else misunderstood until Watson came along).

(Okay, that last part was editorializing, but it does express how I feel about the Watson Theory.)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

The best explanation of Adam-God I have heard was in a book about Adam-Ondi-Ahman by a guy named Cottle. He didn't argue his position (because it wasn't an apologetics book) but simply asserted that there were two presidencies in the Godhead, a creation presidency and a post-creation presidency. The first of these presidencies consisted of Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael, the second consisted of Elohim, Jehovah, and the Holy Ghost. This makes sense to me in light of the whole of Mormon theology, and it reconciles most, though not all of the Adam-God Doctrine with Young's other teachings as well as modern orthodoxy.

Share this post


Link to post
I respectfully think it is a dodge to equate Jesus talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood with Brigham Young talking about Adam being our Father, and saying that if Jesus can be intentionally misleading, it is okay for Brigham Young to be intentionally misleading.--Consiglieri
Tell that to Catholicism. You hold your opinion based on your interpretation of what Brigham Young said. While doing this, you tend to ignore OFFICIAL DECLARATIONS from the church stating that the interpretation of what BY said was incorrect! I don't believe that BY was intentionally being misleading, but that he did not think the subject of sufficient importance to drag it on. Just because we have a history of some of the brethren disagreeing with BY and we DON'T have a history of BY's correcting them of what he meant, does not meant it didn't happen. I doubt they make privy all of the goings on within the temple.Further, Eloheim, Jehovah, and Michael can definitely be a Father, Son, and Grandson relationship when viewe in it's proper context. Eloheim and Jehovah can be any Father-Son relationship as they are titles.

Share this post


Link to post

Fair enough.

I have cut-and-pasted below the entirety of Watson's research on the Brigham Young's usage of the title "Adam" to designate Elohim.

I will bold for emphasis, and add commentary in color.

Two Adams

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. (So far this is speculation that remains to be proven.) 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 follows that there are also two Eves, and although in English the designation is never used with women, we shall distinguish between them as Eve Sr. and Eve Jr. (Fair enough, so long as the usage of these terms doesn't lead to circular reasoning--i.e., when Brigham Young said "Adam" did something that we think today of being Elohim's role, we don't simply jump to the conclusion that Brigham Young must have meant Elohim.) This understanding allows us for the first time to correctly interpret a well known biblical passage.

20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. [Genesis 3:20, (see also Moses 4:26)]

To whom does the pronoun "she", who was the mother of all living, refer? It cannot refer to Eve Jr., because although she was Adam's wife, she was not the mother of anyone at the time. She had never had a child, nor would she be able to have one until after the fall.

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. [2Ne 2:22-23]

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. This explanation allows a simple understanding of one of Brigham Young's most difficult statements, found in the Wilford Woodruff Journals. Wilford Woodruff recorded Brigham Young as saying:

"Mother Eve was the daughter of Adam." [WWJ 7:152, Aug 31, 1873]

(I have never heard of this statement, and would be interested in seeing it in some sort of context. It seems rather . . . odd as it stands.)

Note how easily this correlates with the statement quoted above by Brigham Young that Eve was taken from the side or bowels of her father.

Similarly, one would expect the mother of all living to be the spouse of the father of all living. And who is the father of all living? The following is from the Lectures on Faith.

2. Let us here observe, that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.

3. First, the idea that he actually exists.

4. Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes.

5. Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to his will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness, unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. Having previously been made acquainted with the way the idea of his existence came into the world, as well as the fact of his existence, we shall proceed to examine his character, perfections, and attributes, in order that this class may see, not only the just grounds which they have for the exercise of faith in him for life and salvation, but the reasons that all the world, also, as far as the idea of his existence extends, may have to exercise faith in him, the Father of all living. [Lectures on Faith, Lecture 3, p.33, emphasis added]

The almost universal question asked by those hearing of two Adams for the first time is: "If there are two Adams, why didn't Brigham Young just say so instead of leaving his talks so confusing?" There are two distinct answers to this question, and we will present one of them now, and save the other to a more appropriate place which will be treated later.

Actually Brigham Young and others did on many occasions distinguish, or at least try to distinguish, between Adam Sr. and Adam Jr. He did not use those particular designations, but that is because it was not the vernacular of the time. The terms Jr. and Sr. were legal terms, and were frequently used in writing, but they were not common terms employed while speaking. Brigham Young did on occasion refer to the Prophet as Joseph Smith Jun., but he never did refer to the father of the Prophet as Joseph Smith Sen. In every instance in speaking of the father of the Prophet, he used the more common term, "Father Smith." The following paragraph is a good example of the way in which such designations were used at that time.

I have reflected much concerning the family of the grandfather and father of Joseph the Prophet. Their family connections were very extensive; and it has been a subject of deep regret to me that there were so few in that large circle who have been valiant for the truth since the death of the Prophet. Still I do not know but that Joseph had quite as many of his connections valiant for the truth, in proportion to their number, as Jesus had; for Jesus had many brothers and sisters, and the most of them were opposed to him, and continued so during the greater part of their lives. I used to think, while Joseph was living, that his life compared well with the history of the Saviour; though the most of father Joseph Smith's family have believed and obeyed the Gospel, and have lived their religion in a good degree. Many of them are not here. Some of them I have known in the Eastern States that never have gathered with us. But the old stock are pretty much dead, and I do not know but what all of them are. Father John Smith was the last one, in this Church, of the brothers of father Joseph Smith; and he died, and is buried here. Grandmother Smith lived in Kirtland a short time after she gathered. [Journal of Discourses, Vol.5, p.97, Brigham Young, August 2, 1857, emphasis added]

Brigham Young was not consistent in using the words "Father Adam" to refer to Adam Sr. and "Adam" or "our father Adam" to refer to Adam Jr., but in most instances in which he refers to both Adams in the same discourse, he does attempt to make that distinction. It is inconsistent to complain that Brigham Young did not specify that there were two Adams, and at the same time refuse to understand the words which Brigham Young chose to tell us just that. Others of the general authorities also used the term Father Adam to refer to Adam Sr. Note in the following that Orson Hyde is discussing the instruction given "of" Father Adam, not "to" Father Adam.

This is really quite unpersuasive. There was a code name for Elohim, that being "Father Adam." I would think it more likely that from time to time, church leaders referred to the Adam as Father Adam, and used the expressions interchangeably. One would think that a claim this remarkable would have some pretty good evidence to back it up. Maybe it is coming. We'll see.

There is hardly ever a commandment given to any person or persons before whom a temptation is not placed to decoy them, if possible, from an obedience to that commandment. Our parents in the garden of Eden had had but little experience in this world; and it seemed that they must have a trial corresponding with the experience and knowledge they had of things as they were. The instruction of Father Adam was, "of all the trees in the garden thou mayest eat, excepting one; and in the day thou eatest of that, thou shalt surely die." The Lord said, Adam and Eve, you may enjoy yourselves; but there is one tree I command you that ye shall not eat of; for in the day that ye do, ye shall surely die." [JD 5:16, Orson Hyde, June 14, 1857]

There is another scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants which in its original form distinguishes between the two Adams. When this account of Joseph Smith's vision was first published in the Deseret News on September 4, 1852, someone, knowing that Michael was Adam, felt that the sentence did not make sense and modified it. Subsequent publications in Millennial Star and History of the Church have retained the modification. The account has since been incorporated into Section 137 of the Doctrine and Covenants in its modified form. In the current edition of the Doctrine and Covenants it reads

5 I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; [D&C 137:5]

In its original form, however, it read

I saw Father Adam, and Abraham and Michael and my father and mother, my brother Alvin that has long since slept, [Dean Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith, vol 2, p 157.]

In 1861 in speaking of this same vision of Joseph Smith's, Heber C. Kimball maintained the distinction between Adam and Father Adam as he related what Joseph Smith saw. He said that it was Adam who opened the gate of the Celestial City, but it was Father Adam who led them to the throne to be crowned

This brings to my mind the vision that Joseph Smith had, when he saw Adam open the gate of the Celestial City and admit the people one by one. He then saw Father Adam conduct them to the throne one by one, when they were crowned Kings and Priests of God. I merely bring this up to impress upon your mind the principles of order, but it will nevertheless apply to every member of the Church. [JD 9:41, Heber C. Kimball, March 17, 1861]

That's it? That's the evidence? And this quote where Adam is referred to twice, once by the name of Adam and once by the name of Father Adam, is supposed to clinch the case?

Why not just conclude that Kimball is saying that Adam did both things; i.e., Adam opened the gate, and then the same Adam conducted the people to the throne one by one, when they were crowned Kings and Priests of God.

As a sidenote, this quote itself militates against the Watson interpretation. If Father Adam is Elohim, why is he not sitting on the throne himself? Why is he fulfilling the role of usher to those who go to the throne and get crowned?

Okay. I have done my homework and shown my results.

Is there anything else I should know that will convince me that Brigham Young used the word "Adam" for "Elohim"?

I note that Watson goes here and there; to Genesis to Joseph Smith to Heber Kimball to Orson Hyde, but there is precious little here that deals with Brigham Young; and that is the point that is to be demonstrated, is it not?

Not Watson's novel interpretation of Genesis or the D&C or Kimball or Hyde, but whether Brigham Young used the word "Adam" to mean "Elohim."

I didn't see anything.

Did I miss it?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
I didn't see anything.

Did I miss it?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I am not of a mind to argue with a lawyer who is on zero-concession mode. I suppose you shall continue to miss it, and not see anything. Others, like myself, will find it persuasive.

Share this post


Link to post

I've read pretty much everything on the Adam-God teachings I could get my hands on. (ask my poor wife)

The Watson theory isn't satisfactory when you look at all the evidence, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
It is consistent with the scriptures and declarations of the prophets in their official capacity.

Except Brigham Young.

:P

(Ever read B.Y.'s Oct 8, 1854 talk about it?)

Share this post


Link to post

I have been trying to digest Watson's theory. Its a little difficult for me to grasp.

Does anyone know if the CoJCoLDS has promulgated it?

If so, where?

If not, is their a better way to bring BY's statements into line with LDS doctrine?

Share this post


Link to post
I have been trying to digest Watson's theory. Its a little difficult for me to grasp.

Yeah, it's pretty laughable.

Does anyone know if the CoJCoLDS has promulgated it?

It has not.

If not, is their a better way to bring BY's statements into line with LDS doctrine?

Sadly, I don't think so.

Share this post


Link to post

I just had a vision!

I saw myself sitting in the tabernacle hearing Pres. Young preach concerning Adam and God. I afterwards got up, approached him and said, "Pres. Young, that has got to be the craziest thing I've ever heard....But I love ya man!" He then clutched me by the scruff of the neck, shaking my head a little, and replied, "Son, you just keep it that way!"

Frankly, I'll leave it at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Does anyone know if the CoJCoLDS has promulgated it?

I think that Watson would say it has, and here is how he gets there (you folks should never have told me to do my homework!):

Watson appears to say that the LDS Church has promulgated his theory based upon the following ineluctable evidence:

1. Brigham Young taught certain things that, if taken at face value, do not comport with current LDS Doctrine;

2. Brigham Young could NOT have taught something that did not comport with current LDS Doctrine;

THEREFORE, Brigham Young is misunderstood about what he taught, and the ONLY way to properly understand Brigham Young is to make what he said comport with current LDS Doctrine.

(Let me know if I've got anything wrong so far!)

Then, Spencer W. Kimball is quoted as saying that Brigham Young did not teach anything other than current LDS Doctrine (without specifying what he meant) and that it is only the INTEPRETATION of what Brigham Young taught that does not comport with LDS Doctrine (without specifying what he meant).

WHEREFORE, since the Watson Theory, laborious and undersupported as it is, is the only known method of interpreting Brigham Young so as to comport with modern LDS Doctrine, . . .

. . . Spencer W. Kimball actually believed the Watson Theory and, as president of the Church, formally promulgated the Watson Theory as official Church Doctrine.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
"Mother Eve was the daughter of Adam." [WWJ 7:152, Aug 31, 1873]

(I have never heard of this statement, and would be interested in seeing it in some sort of context. It seems rather . . . odd as it stands.)

Compare it to this:

It is said by Moses the historian that the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and took from his side a rib and formed the woman that Adam called Eve-this should be interpreted that the Man Adam like all other Men had the seed within him to propagate his species. but not the Woman. she conceives the seed but she does not produce it. consequently she was taken from the side or bowels of her father. this explains the mystery of Moses's dark sayings in regard to Adam and Eve.

--Brigham Young, quoted in L. John Nuttall Journal, Feb 7, 1877.

I think that Wilford Woodruff misunderstood Brigham Young as saying that Eve was actually Adam's daughter, rather than that she was taken from the side of Adam/"mankind" in the sense of being procreated on the world that she and Adam went through mortality on.

In other words, I don't think that Brigham Young believed that Eve was literally taken from Michael/Adam, or was his daughter, nor do I think that Brigham Young believed that Eve was procreated physically by Elohim/Adam (as the two-Adam people believe) on this earth, but rather that he believed that Eve's spirit was procreated by Elohim and that her body was procreated by her mortal father (name not known) on the world that they and Adam went through mortality on.

Share this post


Link to post
Compare it to this:

I think that Wilford Woodruff misunderstood Brigham Young as saying that Eve was actually Adam's daughter, rather than that she was taken from the side of Adam/Elohim in the sense of being procreated on the world that she and Adam went through mortality on.

Thanks for the research, kamenraider. It looks like the same statement (or idea) is being referenced in both.

So, the one snippet of a statement that Watson uses to support his theory of two-Adams in Brigham Young's lexicon goes down the drain.

In the absence, then, of any evidence whatsoever to support the Watson Theory that Brigham Young referred to Elohim as Adam, why is there anybody who considers it "persuasive"?

I think the tail is wagging the dog.

Woof.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post
Yeah, it's pretty laughable.

Agreed.

Sadly, I don't think so.

I suppose this is one of those areas where LDS developed some concepts about when a Prophet was speaking as one.

However, though I am not a proponent of LDS doctrine, I do like puzzles.

I think if there is a harmonic solution, it may lay in the concept of patriarchy or perhaps a similar parallel within matriarchy.

I'm going to think about it for a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...