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OH NO! The Adam/God Theory Returns!


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Look, I'm at my parents house during christmas break right now. I don't have all of my books handy here. If you'd like, I could probably dig up more info on it when I get home and send it to you via email or the message board. Once again, I'm not advocating the Adam God Theory. I don't believe it. But I beleive it was taught and I'm pretty confident that I understand what was being taught.

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He did, however, always refer to Adam as "Michael" or even as "Yahovah Michael."

This is incorrect. Therer are a number of discourses in which Brigham Young speaks of Adam, but does not refer to him as Michael.

You misunderstood me. I didn't mean that in every talk he refers to him as Michael or Yahovah Michael. I meant, he doesn't ever refer to him in any other way thatn Adam/Michael/Yahovah Michael and other varients of those names. He never refers to him as ELohim, or Jehovah.

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demmick, not to sound haughty or anything, but the two Adam theory just doesn't stack up with the things I've read.  I think I've read nearly everything ever written on the topic, everything ever said by Brigham Young on the topic, etc.  It just doesn't fit.  For Brigham Young, Father Adam was the father of our spirits, he came here to be the first man and to make physical bodies for his children, and he fathered Jesus Christ.  He even mentioned in the talk I refered to above that he believed Adam didn't die but that he returned to Heaven when his life was done here.  I recommend you read the lecture at the veil as well.  It says pretty much the same thing as the talk quoted above.  He was pretty clear and emphatic about it.  However, it appears that Brigham Young taught two different contradicting things on the topic.  Bruce R. McConkie said you have to chose which Brigham you'll believe (see the Eugene England letter).  I, for one, chose to believe what the scriptures teach and what Joseph Smith taught.  The "Adam-God theory" doesn't add up.

EDIT: typo

I also have read everything that Brigham Young said about Adam and the two Adam theory stacks up quit nicely. Demmick, I think you are on the right track.

The so-called "lecture at the veil" was actually some spontaneous remarks given by Brigham Young at his house on 7 February 1877 and written by John L Nuttall in his private journal, not a discourse given in the temple.

Elden Watson has pointed out that Elder McConkie recanted what he said in the Eugene England letter after Watson explained his understanding of what Brigham Young taught concerning Adam -- essentially the two Adam theory. http://www.wasatchnet.net/users/ewatson/7AdamGod.htm

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Elden Watson has pointed out that Elder McConkie recanted what he said in the Eugene England letter after Watson explained his understanding of what Brigham Young taught concerning Adam -- essentially the two Adam theory. http://www.wasatchnet.net/users/ewatson/7AdamGod.htm

That is nothing more than hersay. It's impossible to verify what Elder McConkie said (if he did say anything at all) to brother Watson. However, it is very verifible to see what he said in the Eugene England letter.

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After reading this talk through, I disagree that Brigham Young teaches that Adam is God, our Heavenly Father.

In several paragraphs Brigham Young recognizes Adam and our Heavenly Father as seperate:

This is what I was teferring to by the common misunderstanding. I think we are making a really small box to not think outside of when we confine ourselves to one or two possibilities of what BY was trying to teach. I would suggest considering other possibilities in light of all of the information. Consider the opinions of McConkie et al. but not as statement of truth. I found it interesting that McConkie dismisses much of BY's comments as unprophetic, but much weight is given to his own comments.

There is certainly no absolute answer hiding in the archives, but there are alternate understandings.

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I recognize that Brigham Young taught some strange doctrine in many of the mentioned discourses. I am just not satisfied that we are understanding exactly what he is teaching.

Here is an interesting quote from the link of A/G quotes I gave you:

28. Journal of William Clayton; Utah State Historical Society; Oct. 3 1852.

"A morning meeting was held at which Orson Spencer and Orson Pratt spoke on the subject of Adam.

Spencer spoke of Adam "coming to this earth in the morning of creation WITH A RESURRECTED BODY and etc...

He was followed by Elder Orson Pratt on the same subject...He takes the literal reading of the scriptures for his guide, and maintains that God took the dust of the earth, and molded a body into which he put the spirit of man, just as we have generally understood from the scriptures; while Brother Spencer endeavors to substantiate THE POSITION TAKEN BY PRESIDENT YOUNG; Viz, that Adam came to this earth WITH A RESURRECTED BODY, and became mortal by eating the fruits of the earth, which was earthy.

The subject was finally left in so much difficulty and obscurity as it has been from the beginning...Elder Pratt advised the Brethren to pray to God for knowledge of the true principles, and it appears evident that when ever the question is decided, it will have to be by revelation from God."

At an afternoon meeting four other Elders talked on the same subject, "without, however, bringing new light in regard to it. The knowledge of the truth in relation to the whole matter, is in the bosom of God, and when he sees fit to give the key, it will be plain and easy to understand."

From: Pages of A/G quotes

It seems pretty clear to me, based on just this record made by William Clayton in his Journal, that President Young unmistakably taught that Adam came to the Garden with a RESURRECTED body. There are a multitude of other quotes that support this.

Can we all totally agree President Young taught Adam came to Eden with a resurrected body? That would be a good first step in deciding exactly what President Young taught.


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Sacred Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11th Edition, revised in Liverpool, 1856, by Franklin D. Richards, Apostle; p. 375. See also the 25th edition, 1912.


We believe in our God, the Prince of his race,

The archangel Michael, the Ancient of Days

Our own Father Adam, earth's Lord as is plain,

Who'll counsel and fight for His children again.

We believe in His Son, Jesus Christ who in love

To His brothers and sisters came down from above,

To die, to redeem them from death, and to teach

To mortals and spirits the gospel we preach.


Sons of Michael, he approaches!

Rise; the Eternal Father greet;

Bow, ye thousands, low before him;

Minister before his feet;

Hail the Patriarch's reign,

'Stablished now o'er sea and main!

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OH NO! The Adam/God Theory Returns!, Did Brigham Young teach it???
No, never at any time did BY teach that Adam is God the Father or Jesus Christ etc. This is plainly seen in the JoD wherein BY taught that Adam is Jesus' Father in the same way Adam is the Father of us all.

What BY apparently taught (according to the WWJ) is that God and His wife (or wives?) were an Adam an Eve(s) in name title only and differentiated between them and Adam and Eve we know, the first of the human race.

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There's a good history of the Adam/God Doctrine here:

Dialogue Spring 1982

It starts on page 14 (and goes to page 58!)

Especially interesting is Brigham Young's introduction of certain aspects of this doctrine into the Temple:

The concluding chapter in the Brigham Young phase of this story is in some ways as predictable as it is surprising. Driven in his last years to reform and standardize a number of administrative and other facets of the Kingdom, the President decided among other things that the temple endowment ceremony should be standardized in a written format. On February 7, 1877, just six months before his death, Brigham held a meeting in his home in St. George, and recounted some of the initial problems encountered when Joseph Smith first introduced the endowment in the upper room of his store in Nauvoo. Joseph reportedly charged Young with "setting the ordinances right." Now, over thirty years later, since everything was to be written down by scribes L. John Nuttall and J. D. T. McAllister, Brigham had prepared a text for a "lecture at the veil to be observed in the Temple"--a summarization of the major aspects of the endowment. Thus, whatever its public fate, Brigham's inspiration would be preserved in one of the most exalted and restrictive of Mormon ordinances.69 According to Nuttall, the lecture informed initiates that:

Adam was an immortal being when he came. on this earth he had lived on an earth similiar [sic] to ours he had received his Priesthood and the Keys thereof. and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned wit-in 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. and when this earth was organized by Elohim. Jehovah & Michael who is Adam our common Father.

In discussing the earthly phase of Adam's existence, the lecture revealed that,

Adam & Eve had the privilege to continue the work of Progression. consequently came to this earth and commenced the great work of forming tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in. and when Adam and those that assisted him had completed this Kingdom our earth he came toil. and slept and forgot all and became like an infant child .... Adam & Eve when they were placed on this earth were immortal beings with flesh. bones and sinues [sic]

With respect to the parentage of Jesus Christ,

Father Adam's oldest son (Jesus the Saviour) 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 in the spirit World. who according to the flesh is the only begotten as it is written. (In his divinity he haveing [sic] gone back into the spirit world. and come in the spirit 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.70

Dialogue, Vol.15, No.1, p.33

But the lecture probably was never taught in the temple:

A few months later, Joseph E. Taylor (First Counselor in the Salt Lake Stake Presidency) delivered a speech in the Logan temple in which he claimed that Adam was a resurrected man and that Adam was the father of Jesus Christ,75 based in part on Brigham's April 1852 sermon. This does not appear to have been the Lecture at the Veil prepared by Brigham in his last year. It is not clear, in fact, what did become of the lecture. The apparent ignorance of the subject matter implied by Abraham Cannon's account--despite his having been a General Authority for six years--suggest it was not routinely presented in the temple. Similar ignorance among some missionaries and their president-- noted below--who also presumably had been through the temple prior to their missions supports this conclusion. Although exposes of the temple ceremonies published about this time do not include any reference to this lecture, "fundamentalist" authors have asserted without serious attempt at documentation that Brigham's lecture was an integral part of the temple ceremony until about 1902-1905. In support of this has been placed the testimony of one individual who in 1959 distinctly remembered hearing during his endowment in the temple in 1902 that "Adam was our God." On returning from his mission in 1904 he noted that these teachings had been removed.76 While one would expect more  extensive evidence than this were it true that the lecture was regularly given for twenty-five years, it is quite possible that something akin to the Joseph E. Taylor remarks is the basis for the recollection. It should also be recalled that other "discredited" notions were still being promulgated in some temples by a few individuals during the early years of the twentieth century--such as the continued legitimacy of plural marriage, also a cherished fundamentalist tradition.

The Adam-God doctrine has been a sensitive subject for most Latter-day Saints from the very day it was introduced to the Church. It is apparent that a substantial--and ultimately a dominant--number of Mormons rejected what Brigham Young held to be one of the "precious things of the kingdom.

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