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The Location Of The Garden Of Eden


Matthew J. Tandy

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In finishing up a few topics on my book, I have run into a research problem regarding the Garden eastward in Eden. While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself. I have heard it asserted that there never was, but I am still interested in any original poor conjecture that led to this. I have this quote:

As to what and where the Garden of Eden was, it is well to call to mind that in the process of the creation, during the third period, all waters were gathered in one place, and the dry land was in one place. The land was called earth and the waters sea.

The dry land, or earth, is also given other name, that of Eden, and it was eastward in Eden or eastward on the dry land that the garden of our first earth-life parents was placed.

In the course of time from the creation, in the days of Peleg, or about the year 2200 B.C., Just prior to the confusion of the languages, the single continent of land that had continued from creation was divided to produce the hemispheres as we now know them. But notwithstanding this, the geographic location of the Garden of Eden was made known to the Prophet Joseph Smith by revelation as here in the land of America, in Jackson County, Missouri, with Independence as the center place.

When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden, they traveled in a northerly direction less than 100 miles to settle in a place that we now have come to know by the revealed word of God as Adam-ondi-Ahman. (See D&C 116.) Here is where mortal family life began, as Adam and Eve begat sons and daughters, all of this here in the land of America.

President Alvin R. Dyer, Conference Report, October 1968, Third Dayâ??Morning Meeting, p.109

Lots of conjecture. He refers to a 100 mile walk. What are his soruces? I have had problems locating this specifically.

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In finishing up a few topics on my book, I have run into a research problem regarding the Garden eastward in Eden. While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself. I have heard it asserted that there never was, but I am still interested in any original poor conjecture that led to this. I have this quote:

Lots of conjecture. He refers to a 100 mile walk. What are his soruces? I have had problems locating this specifically.

Is this info another "personal" perception? rather than a historical fact.

:P

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In finishing up a few topics on my book, I have run into a research problem regarding the Garden eastward in Eden. While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself. I have heard it asserted that there never was, but I am still interested in any original poor conjecture that led to this. I have this quote:

Lots of conjecture. He refers to a 100 mile walk. What are his soruces? I have had problems locating this specifically.

Check out Adam Ondi Ahmen in the D&C.

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In finishing up a few topics on my book, I have run into a research problem regarding the Garden eastward in Eden. While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself. I have heard it asserted that there never was, but I am still interested in any original poor conjecture that led to this. I have this quote:
As to what and where the Garden of Eden was, it is well to call to mind that in the process of the creation, during the third period, all waters were gathered in one place, and the dry land was in one place. The land was called earth and the waters sea.

The dry land, or earth, is also given other name, that of Eden, and it was eastward in Eden or eastward on the dry land that the garden of our first earth-life parents was placed.

In the course of time from the creation, in the days of Peleg, or about the year 2200 B.C., Just prior to the confusion of the languages, the single continent of land that had continued from creation was divided to produce the hemispheres as we now know them. But notwithstanding this, the geographic location of the Garden of Eden was made known to the Prophet Joseph Smith by revelation as here in the land of America, in Jackson County, Missouri, with Independence as the center place.

When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden, they traveled in a northerly direction less than 100 miles to settle in a place that we now have come to know by the revealed word of God as Adam-ondi-Ahman. (See D&C 116.) Here is where mortal family life began, as Adam and Eve begat sons and daughters, all of this here in the land of America.

President Alvin R. Dyer, Conference Report, October 1968, Third Dayâ??Morning Meeting, p.109

Lots of conjecture. He refers to a 100 mile walk. What are his soruces? I have had problems locating this specifically.

There are a number of secondhand reports that Joseph placed the Garden of Eden in Jackson County, but I think they're all from years after the Missouri experience. Wilford Woodruff recorded this in his journal on 30 March 1873:

Again Presidet Young said Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson Co Missouri, & when Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden He went about 40 miles to the Place which we Named Adam Ondi Ahman, & there built an Altar of Stone & offered Sacrifize. That Altar remains to this day. I saw it as Adam left it as did many others, & through all the revolutions of the world that Altar had not been disturbed. Joseph also said that when the City of Enoch fled & was translated it was whare the gulf of Mexico now is. It left that gulf a body of water (Scott G. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833â??1898 Typescript, 9 vols. [Midvale, Utah: Signature Books, 1983], 7:129).

The Saints' expulsion from Jackson County (Eden) and resettlement in Daviess County (Adam-ondi-Ahman) neatly recapitulates the ancient expulsion, which is just the sort of immediate, tangible, seeric insight that kept so many people so loyal to the Prophet.

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Here:

Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account of the Garden of Eden. It adds the important information that the garden was located on what is now the North American continent (D&C 116; 117: 8).

Section 116:

Spring Hill [in Daviess County, Missouri] is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

Section 117:8:

Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?

-Smac

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Here's something from the Ensign:

What do we know about the location of the Garden of Eden?

Bruce A. Van Orden, â??I Have a Question,â? Ensign, Jan. 1994, 54â??55

Bruce A. Van Orden, associate professor of Church history, Brigham Young University. We must remember that the whole earth was paradisiacal before the Fall. The Garden of Eden was a center place. After the Fall, there was no Garden of Eden or paradisiacal status on earth. Yet relative to the locale of the site of the Garden of Eden, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned through revelation (D&C 57) that Jackson County was the location of a Zion to be and the New Jerusalem to come. The Prophet first visited Jackson County, Missouri, in the summer of 1831. The Prophet visited Jackson County again in April and May 1832. On one of the occasions, or perhaps both, the Prophet Joseph apparently instructed his close associates, and perhaps even a general Church gathering, that the ancient Garden of Eden was also located in Jackson County.

Brigham Young stated, â??Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson [County] Missouri.â? (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, vol. 5, 15 Mar. 1857, Archives Division, Church Historical Dept., Salt Lake City.) Heber C. Kimball said: â??From the Lord, Joseph learned that Adam had dwelt on the land of America, and that the Garden of Eden was located where Jackson County now is.â? (Andrew Jenson, Historical Record, 9 vols., Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson, 1888, 7:439; see also Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1967, p. 219.) Other early leaders have given the same information.

Unfortunately, we do not have primary source documentation for all of Joseph Smithâ??s revelations or doctrinally related declarations. This is especially true for the periods when he did not have a scribe to keep a record of his daily activities. His 1831 and 1832 trips to Missouri fit into this category.

One of the early Latter-day Saint residents of Jackson County was Emily Austin. Remembering her first year there, she reminisced, â??Our homes in this new country presented a prosperous appearanceâ??almost equal to Paradise itselfâ??and our peace and happiness, we flattered ourselves, were not in a great degree deficient to that of our first parents in the garden of Eden.â? (Mormonism; or, Life among the Mormons, New York:AMS Press, 1971, p. 67.) She was reflecting a commonly held belief among the Saints that Eden was in Jackson County.

It wasnâ??t until May 1838 that revelation (D&C 116) identified Adam-ondi-Ahman, a site near the Garden of Eden, to be in Daviess County, Missouri, some seventy miles from present-day Kansas City. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., New York City: Macmillan, 1992, 1:19â??20.) Other revelations referring to Adam-ondi-Ahman were D&C 78:15â??16 and D&C 107:53â??57.

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: â??In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City of Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. â?¦ We are committed to the fact that Adam dwelt on [the] American continent.â? (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., comp. Bruce R. McConkie, Salt Lake City:Bookcraft, 1956, 3:74. Compare Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957â??75, 2:93â??95, 4:19â??24; and Alvin R. Dyer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1968, pp. 108â??9.)

Also:

Again President Young said Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson Co Missouri, & when Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden He went about 40 miles to the Place which we Named Adam Ondi Ahman, & there built an Altar of Stone & offered Sacrifice.

--Wilford Woodruff journal 30 March 1873; quoted in Waiting for Wordâ??s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff, ed. by Susan Staker, 1993, p. 305.

[edit: oops -- didn't notice that the above quote was already posted]

The spot chosen for the Garden of Eden was Jackson Country, in the state of Missouri, where Independence now stands; it was occupied in the morn of creation by Adam and his associates, who came with him for the express purpose of peopling this earth.

--Heber C. Kimball, JD 10:235.

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The person who wrote the Genisis account clearly believed the garden was in the middle east. Though to assert it was in the middle east does not work with the geography enough to fit it with the text. Was the person reporting mythical tradition about the location of the garden? Perhap's the garden will be found in the middle east some day.

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In finishing up a few topics on my book, I have run into a research problem regarding the Garden eastward in Eden. While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself. I have heard it asserted that there never was, but I am still interested in any original poor conjecture that led to this. I have this quote:

Lots of conjecture. He refers to a 100 mile walk. What are his soruces? I have had problems locating this specifically.

I,m really wondering if it even matters where it was, Would god deem it neccasary for us to know?

i dont think so. and this train of thought would definately account for a lot of missunderstood

Quotations?

:P

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One source that appears to be contemporary is an 1839 manuscript by Reed Peck. It says:

The Presidency Viz J. Smith H. Smith and S. Rigdon believing that Caldwell county was too limited for the reception of the multitude of converts that would be flocking to Missouri, directed their attention to Daviess county lying immediately north of Caldwell, in which they with others of the Society made numerous claims on congress land selected a site and laid out a city, the third "Stake of Zion" and named it Adam-on-diahman, informing their followers that it was the place to which fled when driven from the garden of Eden in Jackson County and that Far West was the spot where Cain killed Abel

It is available on a number of web sites, including http://www.mormoninformation.com/reedpeck.htm.

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While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself.

It was around the area where the Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon and Gihon rivers met. I don't think it will ever be found because I think it was symbolic, and if it was a real garden--then it was a garden. There would be no man made structural ruins remaining to identify it.

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"The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

It is slightly interesting to compare the Genesis, Moses and Abraham accounts.

The word "Eden"s eytymology is something like "delightful" or "abundant" or similar. In other words, it may be a redundancy to the word garden and also it may speak to the paradasaiacal conditions. Does anyone know what the word in Greek and Hebrew in that passage is -- or even the whole passage, how it reads in Hebrew, if it picks up any more symbolism?

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"The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

It is slightly interesting to compare the Genesis, Moses and Abraham accounts.

The word "Eden"s eytymology is something like "delightful" or "abundant" or similar. In other words, it may be a redundancy to the word garden and also it may speak to the paradasaiacal conditions. Does anyone know what the word in Greek and Hebrew in that passage is -- or even the whole passage, how it reads in Hebrew, if it picks up any more symbolism?

The term doesn't mean a garden in the western sense, but a field where plants can grow as in a farmer's field. The Sumerian term for eden refers to a plain or wilderness which is lush.

One speculation is that Eden was in Northern Iran or Tabriz. Another location has been identified at the al-Faw delta region in Iraq. Others have placed it at Dilmun while LDS see it in Missouri. Who really knows?

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Here:

QUOTE

Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account of the Garden of Eden. It adds the important information that the garden was located on what is now the North American continent (D&C 116; 117: :P.

Section 116:

QUOTE

Spring Hill [in Daviess County, Missouri] is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

Section 117:8:

QUOTE

Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?

Neither of those verses sets specifies the location of the Garden of Eden. The LDS Church says it is so, but is there any official reasoning as to how that is so?

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The interesting part about my request is that while some understood the difference between Adam-Ondi-Ahman and the Garden of Eden, others made the common mistake of reading the scripture verses about one and equating it with the other. I think it goes back to we see what we want to or have been taught to see sometimes.

As for does the location matter, I don't think so in one sense. However, my book is on the traditions of the church, both doctrinal and historical, that are taught in Sunday school matter of factly when the "history" taught is out-dated (eye-of-the-needle gate in Jerusalem) or the church has clearly said there is no doctrine (Pre-Adamites). So, in the context of the book, it's important in that it adds another useful entry. If I a unsure of the accuracy either way, then it doesn't go in. I don't mind mistakes that can be corrected later, but fudging towards a bias is something I am astutely avoiding.

Thank you to everyone who brought in the second and third hand accounts about the actual Garden location. This quote from Kamenraider is especially useful:

Unfortunately, we do not have primary source documentation for all of Joseph Smithâ??s revelations or doctrinally related declarations. This is especially true for the periods when he did not have a scribe to keep a record of his daily activities. His 1831 and 1832 trips to Missouri fit into this category.

This accounts at least in part why we would only have heavily dated second and third hand accounts of the location. The bottom line is that there is no known revelation recorded wherein we are given the location of the Garden, there are several that give the location of Adam-Ondi-Ahman, and there is a fairly good explanation with supporting secondhand sources that imply there was likely a revleation and no one recorded it until later. Based soley of the scriptures, one would be unable to locate the Garden itself. While it is not conclusive that people have not since simply associated one with the other, I feel it's strong enough that the entry won't be part of the book. With all of my thousands of documents and books, I don't know why I didn't think to search the church magazines for this one as I have others.

Thanks again!

Matt

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The person who wrote the Genisis account clearly believed the garden was in the middle east. Though to assert it was in the middle east does not work with the geography enough to fit it with the text. Was the person reporting mythical tradition about the location of the garden? Perhap's the garden will be found in the middle east some day.

Why do you say this. Since it mentions the Euphrates river and there is a river in the middle east calle the Euphrates? If so, that is as logical as asserting that since Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river and there is a river in Utah that is called the Jordan river, therefore Jesus was baptized in Utah.

Now where is Pishon in the middle east? Apparently it comes from an area that has a lot of gold. It has been suggested by some that the Missouri river could be Pishon as the Missouri river comes from the Dakotas that is the largest reserves of gold in North America. I don't know if the Missouri is Pishon but I sure am not seeing it in Iraq or the surrounding area.

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10-14 A river flows out of Eden to water the garden and from there divides into four rivers. The first is named Pishon; it flows through Havilah where there is gold. The gold of this land is good. The land is also known for a sweet-scented resin and the onyx stone. The second river is named Gihon; it flows through the land of Cush. The third river is named Hiddekel and flows east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

Havilah could perhaps be Tennessee, Gihon is maybe Kansas, Cush is undoubtedly the Deep South and Assyria is probably another name for Illinois. As pointed out these River names may either have changed or their location has been altered.

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In finishing up a few topics on my book, I have run into a research problem regarding the Garden eastward in Eden. While reveation states that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the last dwelling place of Adam, was in Jackson County, I have had problems finding any revelation or even original orgination regarding the actual location of teh Garden itself. I have heard it asserted that there never was, but I am still interested in any original poor conjecture that led to this. I have this quote:

Lots of conjecture. He refers to a 100 mile walk. What are his soruces? I have had problems locating this specifically.

The Garden of Eden was not in Jackson County. Nor was there any Garden of Eden. For what purpose did it serve? The earliest traces of human existence is mapped out clearly. The earth was not created 7000 years ago and man was not placed on the earth at that time. In your quote you mentioned the "confounding of language" and I wanted to comment on that. For what divine purpose would it serve for God to do such a thing? Did he say to the various people a the Tower of Babel that this group will be Asian, this group Black, this group Nordic, this group Anglo Saxon, this group Germanic, this group polynesian...etc? That was all the stories of man. It is mythology at best. So it most of the bible. The story of Jonah and the whale...let's get real. For what purpose did it serve for God to create a story like that one? It certainly doesn't illustrate God's power. It's a fable! Something someone made up. And...it is not a "leap of faith" to look the other way and believe in this stuff. There are much more compelling, loving, magical, things to embrace rather than the fictitious stories from dreamers throughout history.

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The Garden of Eden was not in Jackson County. Nor was there any Garden of Eden. For what purpose did it serve? The earliest traces of human existence is mapped out clearly. The earth was not created 7000 years ago and man was not placed on the earth at that time. In your quote you mentioned the "confounding of language" and I wanted to comment on that. For what divine purpose would it serve for God to do such a thing? Did he say to the various people a the Tower of Babel that this group will be Asian, this group Black, this group Nordic, this group Anglo Saxon, this group Germanic, this group polynesian...etc? That was all the stories of man. It is mythology at best. So is most of the bible. The story of Jonah and the whale...let's get real. For what purpose did it serve for God to create a story like that one? It certainly doesn't illustrate God's power. It's a fable! Something someone made up. And...it is not a "leap of faith" to look the other way and believe in this stuff. There are much more compelling, loving, magical, things to embrace rather than the fictitious stories from dreamers throughout history.

But it did make sense to the people of those times and we can still derive some symbolic truths from these allegorical stories. You are right in that we do not have to be like Jonah and swallow the whole whale of a story.
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Dance,

Calm down... take a deep breath.

A few clarifications: I did not mention the confounding of languages, the quote did. That's what you meant I'm sure, but choose your wording better.

I believe in an earth about 4.5 billion years old. I believe in evolution. So your point is lost on me. I also believe in the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve and do not view them as fables, though possibly some elements have become symbolic. I also believe in the story of Jonah. Perhaps you did not know, but some older versions of the story imply Jonah was dead in the sea creature for the three days and called out from the other world in prayer (this may be midrashic, I forget sometimes which old documents I've got what from!). For the life of me, I just can't figure out why Christ and the Apostles ever mentioned him in relation to the Ressurection...:P

As for Babel, as I believe it was a localized event, I think it was fairly effective considering what the tower itself was and what they were doing. Short of killing them, I don't think there was a more effective way.

While I believe parts of the bible may have become dramatized to some extent, it is foolish to assume it is all fable just because you are looking at it from a modern perspective using modern translations and views.

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