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Understanding Adam-God


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1 hour ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

Isn’t that idea based on Hebrew or Aramaic? I think those ideas could still be embraced by the mainstream church, especially if they predate JS.

In Greek Sophia (Wisdom) is feminine and often they played with that and adopt anthropomorphic language. Likewise in the Old Testament chokhmah as wisdom is often personified and adopts feminine divine attributes. Many scholars see it as a remnant of the earlier Jewish pantheon prior to the Josiah reforms when Ashtoreth as mother god was orthodox. This persists in Jewish mysticism and remains a part of Judaism in Kabbalism - although in those cases the anthropomorphic language isn't taken literally but more as references to higher platonic realities. Also in the Old Testament one of the terms for spirit is ruach which is feminine. Likewise the word for the divine presence which is closer to our conception of the Holy Ghost is shekhinah which is feminine and is sometimes anthropomorphized, although again usually in an allegorical sense.

The explicit connection of Holy Ghost with the divine feminine tends to pop up in gnosticism. However again one has to be careful since of course the gnostics were again very platonic in what they actually meant even when they talk about things that seem similar to Mormon ideas.

The exact identity of the Holy Ghost seems pretty unclear to me. This confusion is made worse by the fact Mormons tend to conflate quite a few different notions under the broad rubric of "spirit." The main problem with identifying the Holy Ghost with mother in heaven is that Joseph taught the Holy Ghost doesn't yet have a body.

1 hour ago, HiJolly said:

Joseph Smith learned of Kaballah's Adam Kadmon via his family's involvement with Freemasonry's attendant bodies, the York Rite and the Scottish Rite. In Kaballah, Adam Kadmon is God, and he is also the father of all spirits. Of course there's much more to it than that, but I think it's a good starting point. And I agree with what some have said already in this thread, that Joseph told BY some of this but BY didn't have the background to make sense of it. 

That's pretty speculative. Of course Adam Kadmon isn't a formal part of masonry even in the expanded Scottish Rite. There's not really any evidence of Kabbalistic influence on Joseph despite some claims back in the 90's. That said the broader idea of Adam Kadmon as it arose in medieval Jewish mysticism has earlier roots in late antiquity. You can find similar ideas in gnosticism (which many scholars think influence Kabbalism). If one is postulating esoteric influences on Joseph Smith relative to Adam probably hermeticism is a better bet. Most of the ties between Kabbalism and Masonry come later as more and more texts get translated such that by the second half of the 19th century you see more speculative connections made by people like Albert Pike.

Of course once we inject the various theories of Kabbalism and the broad esoteric movement of renaissance speculation and knowledge then we end up with two Adams. One is the primordial cosmic Adam and the other is the Adam of the garden. But they aren't the same. So if Adam Kadmon (broadly construed to include non-Kabbalistic ideas) was the influence on Joseph then we'd explicitly have the two Adam theory. It's also interesting that the idea of two Adams is in the New Testament as well although there Paul treats Christ as the second Adam.

I'd add that Moses tends to adopt a Philo like interpretation of the two creation accounts in Genesis. Genesis 1 becomes a spiritual creation and Genesis 2 the physical creation. If that's the case then the Adam (man) of Genesis 1 is different from the Adam of Genesis 2. Contemporary Mormons usually take this as Adam/Michael as a spirit helping with creation along with Jesus and then being put into the body of Adam in the garden. However an other reading is that the Adam of Genesis 1 is simply a different being from the Adam of Genesis 2. Certainly one can take the Moses variation to Genesis as indicating that as well.

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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21 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

Do you happen to know when Pratt’s comments on intelligence first appear? I agree that those are relevant.

My Pratt books and notes are packed up so I'm not 100% sure. The Absurdities of Immaterialism is 1848 so it's around by then.

The Pratt's original view was closer to Emerson's but changed with the revelation on the materiality of spirits in 1843. So Parley Pratt's "Intelligence and Affection" has most of Orson's later ideas only minus mind being part of a Priestly atom (which was how Orson came to interpret Joseph's teaching). The Emerson view is the broad neoplatonic conception. In that conception spirits are literally made from God's spirit and there's a certain holism to it all. I suspect the spirit birth idea comes out of that earlier view only transfigured by the teachings of 1843 that heaven is the same society as here along with material spirits.

While Jonathan Stapley and others note that there's no distinction in Nauvoo made between spirits and intelligence they simultaneously downplay neoplatonic elements in early Mormonism. Particularly that of Parley P. Pratt but also passages with strong neoplatonic elements like D&C 93 or even platonic language coming out of Plato's Timaeus or Iamblichus' various writings. (The translations of Iamblichus available at the time use the term telestic to describe rites from the lowest fallen level of existence to bring about the divine nature from the highest) So while I agree with Jonathan that there's no conception of the later spirit birth as a physical birth nor a separation between intelligence and spirit, I disagree that the elements of such as distinction aren't already there.

Hopefully Jonathan's new book coming out next month will push the discussion forward a bit. 

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15 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

So I'm sure this has been addressed before but I was wondering how believing Latter Day Saints on this board who have studied some of the more controversial things Brigham Young has said (particularly regarding Adam) have been able to understand where the heck he was coming from.

I'll say it again "The doctrine as taught by Brigham and his contemporaries is pretty straightforward.  It's only when we speculate beyond what Brigham taught that confusion appears."

This thread and every other thread that gets opened on Adam-God proves this again and again.

True, Brigham's teachings don't exist in a 
vacuum, but we inevitably get the Orson Pratt adulation , the Jewish traditions, the MMP teachings, the involvement of Joseph debate, the "Brigham didn't really believe/teach" it argument, etc.  And they are all valid side topics.
Just looking at the doctrine in quotes and the history of its implementation in the Church is a much better way to start to understand Adam-God.  It's really a simple doctrine.

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8 hours ago, ALarson said:

Not true.  If your explanation is correct, then why did Spencer W. Kimball call the Adam/God theory "false doctrine"? ("We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine.")

Your interpretation is maybe a part of the teachings or beliefs, but it is not what Brigham Young was teaching regarding Adam being the literal father of Christ and God the Father.

In the temple endowment, every endowed male is ritually identified as Adam. So if our Heavenly Father was once a man who was endowed on his planet, then he is also identified as an Adam (i.e. the “first man of all men” of his own personal kingdom of rulership). Therefore, a glorified celestial being who has received the name of Adam is indeed the Father of Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul even goes so far as to tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is also an Adam.

Edited by Bobbieaware
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47 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I'll say it again "The doctrine as taught by Brigham and his contemporaries is pretty straightforward.  It's only when we speculate beyond what Brigham taught that confusion appears."

Again if we limit ourselves to what's called Adam/God you're right. If you start including scripture then things are far from straightforward to say the least. I don't think anyone is saying there's not a coherent model Brigham put forward. Rather the issue is how consistent he was on it and how to reconcile it to what scripture and other prophets said.

Edited by clarkgoble
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3 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Again if we limit ourselves to what's called Adam/God you're right. If you start including scripture then things are far from straightforward to say the least. I don't think anyone is saying there's not a coherent model Brigham put forward. Rather the issue is how consistent he was on it and how to reconcile it to what scripture and other prophets said.

I'd be interested to see any quotes from Brigham that taught the current understanding or contradicted his Adam-God teachings that were made after he began teaching Adam-God.  It seems to me he was pretty consistent.  We have dozens of quotes surrounding Adam-God.

And the OP asked a simple question - where was Brigham coming from in this teaching?  I don't think for a second all the reconciliation to every possible source is necessary to answer that question.  Brigham claimed revelation and that Joseph taught principles related to the doctrine to him.  Seems pretty easy to figure out where Brigham was coming from, and I doubt it was anywhere near as academic an approach as others here.

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16 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

So I'm sure this has been addressed before but I was wondering how believing Latter Day Saints on this board who have studied some of the more controversial things Brigham Young has said (particularly regarding Adam) have been able to understand where the heck he was coming from.

He was trying to teach something but we do not get it. Trying to find out what it is. Mystery is fun.

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17 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

So I'm sure this has been addressed before but I was wondering how believing Latter Day Saints on this board who have studied some of the more controversial things Brigham Young has said (particularly regarding Adam) have been able to understand where the heck he was coming from.

It was coming from his own brain and should not be considered revelation from God. There are several contradictory things he says on this subject that don't make sense. 
The apostle Joseph F. Smith said: 
"President Young no doubt expressed his personal opinion or views upon the subject. What he said was not given as revelation or commandment from the Lord. The doctrine was never submitted to the councils of the Priesthood nor to the Church for approval or ratification, and was never formally or otherwise accepted by the Church. It is therefore in no sense binding upon the Church."  (Letter to A. Saxey, January 7, 1897, LDS Archives).

 In 1976 President Spencer W. Kimball made a rather strong statement on this:
"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" (Church News, Oct. 9, 1976).

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2 hours ago, Bobbieaware said:

In the temple endowment, every endowed male is ritually identified as Adam. So if our Heavenly Father was once a man who was endowed on his planet, then he is also identified as an Adam (i.e. the “first man of all men” of his own personal kingdom of rulership). Therefore a glorified celestial being who has received the name iof Adam is indeed the Father of Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul even goes so far as to tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is also an Adam.

You really should study what Brigham Young actually taught because what you describe above is not the same as his theory, doctrine or teachings regarding Adam/God.  

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4 minutes ago, JAHS said:

It was coming from his own brain and should not be considered revelation from God. There are several contradictory things he says on this subject that don't make sense. 
The apostle Joseph F. Smith said: 
"President Young no doubt expressed his personal opinion or views upon the subject. What he said was not given as revelation or commandment from the Lord. The doctrine was never submitted to the councils of the Priesthood nor to the Church for approval or ratification, and was never formally or otherwise accepted by the Church. It is therefore in no sense binding upon the Church."  (Letter to A. Saxey, January 7, 1897, LDS Archives).

 In 1976 President Spencer W. Kimball made a rather strong statement on this:
"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" (Church News, Oct. 9, 1976).

Not being binding is not the same as not being true.  Polygamy wasn't binding on the Church from its revelation until at least 1852.  Even then it wasn't put to a ratification vote.
Yet we still have D&C 132.

And President Kimball gave an opinion, not a revelation.  President Young claimed revelation.  So neither of these is binding on the Church, but one of them was claimed to have come from God by his mouthpiece.

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52 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Not being binding is not the same as not being true.  Polygamy wasn't binding on the Church from its revelation until at least 1852.  Even then it wasn't put to a ratification vote.
Yet we still have D&C 132.

And President Kimball gave an opinion, not a revelation.  President Young claimed revelation.  So neither of these is binding on the Church, but one of them was claimed to have come from God by his mouthpiece.

Why would several subsequent prophets not accept it as revelation and even call it false doctrine? Couldn't president Young's claim of revelation be his opinion as well?
We have been told that we should always go with what our current prophets tells us. Perhaps, as the scriptures say, by way of line upon line of learning doctrines from God we now have a better understanding of what is true and not true. 

 

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I'd be interested to see any quotes from Brigham that taught the current understanding or contradicted his Adam-God teachings that were made after he began teaching Adam-God.  It seems to me he was pretty consistent.  We have dozens of quotes surrounding Adam-God.

And the OP asked a simple question - where was Brigham coming from in this teaching?  I don't think for a second all the reconciliation to every possible source is necessary to answer that question.  Brigham claimed revelation and that Joseph taught principles related to the doctrine to him.  Seems pretty easy to figure out where Brigham was coming from, and I doubt it was anywhere near as academic an approach as others here.

Actually Brigham contradicted himself, or is quoted as contradicting himself in the very famous speech that pretty much started the whole fireworks.

This is from the JOD, but we know from ongoing research that George D. Watt was prone to embellish the things that he recorded.
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. 

Now notice however that is the same speech, Brigham supposedly laid out the more orthodox view of the relationship between the Father, Son, and Michael.
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.
JD 1:51, Brigham Young, April 9, 1852

Now, read what Brigham supposedly said in a later discourse in 1857:
Things were first created spiritually; the Father actually begat the spirits, and they were brought forth and
lived with Him. Then He commenced the work of creating earthly tabernacles, precisely as He had been
created in this flesh himself, by partaking of the course material that was organized and composed this earth,
until His system was charged with it, consequently the tabernacles of His children were organized from the
coarse materials of this earth.
JD 4:218, Brigham Young, February 8, 1857

Now, go back to the 1852 speech and Wilford Woodruff

From Wilford Woodruff's Journal:
April 9, 1852: Part of remarks of Brigham Young: "I will now preach you a
sermon. There is one great Master and Head in all kingdoms and government. So
with our Father in Heaven. He is a tabernacle. He created us in the likeness
of His own image. The Son has also a tabernacle like to the Fathers and the
Holy Ghost is a minister to the people but not a tabernacle who begot [62] the
Son of God. Infidels say that Jesus was a ******* but let me tell you the
truth concerning that matter. Our Father begot all the spirits that were
before any tabernacle was made. When our Father came into the Garden, He came
with his celestial body and brought one of his wives with him and ate of the
fruit of the garden until He could beget a tabernacle. And Adam is Michael or
God and all the God that we have anything to do with.
JD 1:51, Brigham Young, April 9, 1852

From those statements and Wilford Woodruff's journal entry a case could very well be made that Brigham was teaching that our Heavenly Father came down to the earth with one of His Celestioal Wives, and partook of the fruits, etc. (coarse materials) of this earth until they could produce offspring (the Biblical Adam and Eve) that could become mortal. That Adam and Eve were raised to a point of physical maturity, given the instructions that we have read, and the rest is on point, more or less with our current understanding of the Garden of Eden story.

I am not advocating this as the Gospel according to Brigham Young. It does not reconcile every quote or what many thought he meant. It is just another fairly rational (at least to me) take on what Brigham supposedly said or meant.

Glenn

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49 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Actually Brigham contradicted himself, or is quoted as contradicting himself in the very famous speech that pretty much started the whole fireworks.

This is from the JOD, but we know from ongoing research that George D. Watt was prone to embellish the things that he recorded.
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. 

Now notice however that is the same speech, Brigham supposedly laid out the more orthodox view of the relationship between the Father, Son, and Michael.
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.
JD 1:51, Brigham Young, April 9, 1852

Now, read what Brigham supposedly said in a later discourse in 1857:
Things were first created spiritually; the Father actually begat the spirits, and they were brought forth and
lived with Him. Then He commenced the work of creating earthly tabernacles, precisely as He had been
created in this flesh himself, by partaking of the course material that was organized and composed this earth,
until His system was charged with it, consequently the tabernacles of His children were organized from the
coarse materials of this earth.
JD 4:218, Brigham Young, February 8, 1857

Now, go back to the 1852 speech and Wilford Woodruff

From Wilford Woodruff's Journal:
April 9, 1852: Part of remarks of Brigham Young: "I will now preach you a
sermon. There is one great Master and Head in all kingdoms and government. So
with our Father in Heaven. He is a tabernacle. He created us in the likeness
of His own image. The Son has also a tabernacle like to the Fathers and the
Holy Ghost is a minister to the people but not a tabernacle who begot [62] the
Son of God. Infidels say that Jesus was a ******* but let me tell you the
truth concerning that matter. Our Father begot all the spirits that were
before any tabernacle was made. When our Father came into the Garden, He came
with his celestial body and brought one of his wives with him and ate of the
fruit of the garden until He could beget a tabernacle. And Adam is Michael or
God and all the God that we have anything to do with.
JD 1:51, Brigham Young, April 9, 1852

From those statements and Wilford Woodruff's journal entry a case could very well be made that Brigham was teaching that our Heavenly Father came down to the earth with one of His Celestioal Wives, and partook of the fruits, etc. (coarse materials) of this earth until they could produce offspring (the Biblical Adam and Eve) that could become mortal. That Adam and Eve were raised to a point of physical maturity, given the instructions that we have read, and the rest is on point, more or less with our current understanding of the Garden of Eden story.

I am not advocating this as the Gospel according to Brigham Young. It does not reconcile every quote or what many thought he meant. It is just another fairly rational (at least to me) take on what Brigham supposedly said or meant.

Glenn

You do realize there is zero contradiction here according to the Adam-God doctrines right?
The beings Brigham describes as Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michaelare not the same ones as the Church teaches today.  The only way to consider it orthodox is to ignore the teachings he gave as to who Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael are.

I have yet to see a quote where Brigham contradicts Adam-God after having taught Adam-God publicly.

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20 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Elden Watson has the best writeup of the two Adam theory, which has really been around a fair amount of time. I'm not saying it reconciles everything in the least. But perhaps it gives a theory that makes sense and can account for people misunderstanding it.

I do not believe Adam and Eve were created/organized through the "birthing" process.  It is indicated in the Temple Endowment Ceremony that Elohim AND Jehovah took Michael to Earth to form out of dust the bodies for Adam and Eve.  It was not a birthing process if two (or more) males had a hand in organizing bodies.  I believe the bodies were terrestrial that were capable of being subject to the "Fall."  Celestial bodies cannot descend into "corruption" and death.

Eldon Watson made the following statement about the nature of the bodies produced from "heavenly progenitors" that are either spiritual or physical depending on the environment they live in:

QUOTE:  "Another question frequently asked is, if resurrected beings have spirit children, then how can resurrected beings produce physical children? Apparently the type of body produced by an exalted being depends upon what type of materials are available to the body of the mother as she forms the child within her. If only spirit matter is available, then a spirit body will be produced, but if they plant a garden on an earth, and live in and partake of the physical fruits of that garden until their bodies are charged with the physical particles of that earth, then the body formed will be a physical body, and the particles constituting the body thus formed will belong to that earth."

I do not believe there is any reference or documentation to support this.  Sounds like strained conjecture.  It is a huge stretch to claim that Celestial Parents can birth either spiritual bodies or physical bodies.  We do not even have any hint on how spirit persons are "organized" from Celestial Parents.

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17 hours ago, K-2 said:

When is the Church going to publish an essay on Adam-God?

 

11 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

They should, as it's definitely a difficult topic.

 

7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Pres. Kimball thus agreed with Apostle Orson Pratt, who frankly disagreed with Brigham.

BYU professor Stephen E. Robinson wrote:

During the latter half of the nineteenth century Brigham Young made some remarks about the relationship between Adam and God that the Latter-day Saints have never been able to understand. The reported statements conflict with LDS teachings before and after Brigham Young, as well as with statements of President Young himself during the same period of time. So how do Latter-day Saints deal with the phenomenon? We don't; we simply set it aside. It is an anomaly. On occasion my colleagues and I at Brigham Young University have tried to figure out what Brigham Young might have actually said and what it might have meant, but the attempts have always failed. The reported statements simply do not compute—we cannot make sense out of them. This is not a matter of believing it or disbelieving it; we simply don't know what "it" is. If Brigham Young were here we could ask him what he actually said and what he meant by it, but he is not here.... For the Latter-day Saints, however, the point is moot, since whatever Brigham Young said, true or false, was never presented to the Church for a sustaining vote. It was not then and is not now a doctrine of the Church, and...the Church has merely set the phenomenon aside as an anomaly.

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59 minutes ago, longview said:

I do not believe Adam and Eve were created/organized through the "birthing" process.

It isn't only Brigham who teaches this.  It is also Pres Joseph F. Smith and his counselors speaking as a First Presidency.

59 minutes ago, longview said:

 It is indicated in the Temple Endowment Ceremony that Elohim AND Jehovah took Michael to Earth to form out of dust the bodies for Adam and Eve.  It was not a birthing process if two (or more) males had a hand in organizing bodies.  I believe the bodies were terrestrial that were capable of being subject to the "Fall."  Celestial bodies cannot descend into "corruption" and death.

The principle is human reproduction, and that is the only way humans are produced, whether it is God the Father in an act of human reproduction with Mary the Mother of Jesus, or Adam and Eve -- who are born elsewhere and brought to Earth.  The Endowment Rite is symbolical and liturgical, and is not to be taken literally.  Adam & Eve in the Garden are participating in a ritual with figurative actions, just as we do (in fact, the Brethren insist on the figurative nature of those actions, including Eve being made from a rib, the eating of the fruit, etc.).  The Garden is the Temple of God where those rites of passage take place.  All, including Satan-Lucifer merely play their parts.  The oaths and covenants have cosmic import, and all actions have actual impact, just as the blessing and passing of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper has real impact.  We are all participants and the meaning for us is the same as for Adam & Eve on that great liturgical occasion.  You have mistakenly read Gen 1-3 as a history text, while it is actually an Endowment Rite.

59 minutes ago, longview said:

Eldon Watson made the following statement about the nature of the bodies produced from "heavenly progenitors" that are either spiritual or physical depending on the environment they live in:

QUOTE:  "Another question frequently asked is, if resurrected beings have spirit children, then how can resurrected beings produce physical children? Apparently the type of body produced by an exalted being depends upon what type of materials are available to the body of the mother as she forms the child within her. If only spirit matter is available, then a spirit body will be produced, but if they plant a garden on an earth, and live in and partake of the physical fruits of that garden until their bodies are charged with the physical particles of that earth, then the body formed will be a physical body, and the particles constituting the body thus formed will belong to that earth."

I do not believe there is any reference or documentation to support this.  Sounds like strained conjecture.  It is a huge stretch to claim that Celestial Parents can birth either spiritual bodies or physical bodies.  We do not even have any hint on how spirit persons are "organized" from Celestial Parents.

Then, what is your interpretation of Gen 1 - 3? Do you know how non-Mormon biblical scholars see it?

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

You do realize there is zero contradiction here according to the Adam-God doctrines right?
The beings Brigham describes as Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michaelare not the same ones as the Church teaches today.  The only way to consider it orthodox is to ignore the teachings he gave as to who Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael are.

I have yet to see a quote where Brigham contradicts Adam-God after having taught Adam-God publicly.

So, you do not see a statement where Eloheim [God, from the Supreme of the Universe, the great Eloheim, the Creator and upholder of all things (Brigham's definition)] is shown to be a distinct personage from that of Michael the Archangel which has been identified as Adam the mortal father of the human race to be a contradiction of the Adam-God theory? Maybe I misunderstand the Adam-God theory. Could you explain your version? the way that you understand it?

Thanks,

Glenn

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1 hour ago, Glenn101 said:

So, you do not see a statement where Eloheim [God, from the Supreme of the Universe, the great Eloheim, the Creator and upholder of all things (Brigham's definition)] is shown to be a distinct personage from that of Michael the Archangel which has been identified as Adam the mortal father of the human race to be a contradiction of the Adam-God theory? Maybe I misunderstand the Adam-God theory. Could you explain your version? the way that you understand it?

Thanks,

Glenn

I'd rather let the prophets do it.

  • Joseph Smith
    The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me. In the beginning the heads of the Gods organized the heavens and the earth. Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing. If we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, "Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aashamayeen vehau auraits"—"The head one of the Gods said. Let us make a man in our own image." I once asked a learned Jew, "If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?" He replied, "That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible." He acknowledged I was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe them. Hear and judge for yourselves; and if you go away satisfied, well and good.
    In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us;  Brigham Young - JD 1:50-51

  • 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.  - Brigham Young - WW Journal April 9, 1852

  •  “Our Father begot all the spirits that were before any tabernacle was made. When our Father came into the Garden He came with his Celestial body & brought one of his wives with him and ate of the fruit of the Garden until He could beget a Tabernacle. And Adam is Michael God and all the God that we have anything to do with."

  • 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."    WW Journal Dec 16, 1867

  • "Elohim, Yahovah and Michael were father, Son and grandson. They made this Earth and Michael became Adam." - Brigham Young - Joseph F. Smith Journal, 17 June 1871. Church Archives 

  • We say that Father Adam came here and helped to make the earth. Who is he? He is Michael, a great prince, and it was said to him by Eloheim, : Go ye and make an earth." What is the great mystery about it? He came and formed the earth. . . . Adam found it in a state of chaos, unorganized and incomplete. . . . Adam came here and got it up in a shape that would suit him to commence business. Father Adam came here, and then they brought his wife. "Well," says one, "Why was Adam called Adam?" He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He with the help of his brethren, brought it into existence. Then he said, "I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this, in a mortal state, I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation. I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there will be no end. I want my children that were born to me in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh, that their spirits may have a house, a tabernacle or a dwelling place as mine has, and where is the mystery? - Des News 22:308 Brigham Young

All else is speculation.  This is the Adam-God teaching.  Here's a simplified picture version.

9cba3104488ebe0bd5388c26d801bc89.jpg

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2 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

So, you do not see a statement where Eloheim [God, from the Supreme of the Universe, the great Eloheim, the Creator and upholder of all things (Brigham's definition)] is shown to be a distinct personage from that of Michael the Archangel which has been identified as Adam the mortal father of the human race to be a contradiction of the Adam-God theory? Maybe I misunderstand the Adam-God theory. Could you explain your version? the way that you understand it?

For Brigham Young Eloheim is the great grandfather God, Yahweh is the grandfather God and Michael is Adam as God. So he's right you're reading earlier and later theology in here. I wouldn't say Brigham is consistent but he's fairly consistent in what he taught. He is inconsistent over whether it was revealed or not. Part of that is just inherent to when we get a doctrinal treatment without the revelation to evaluate. After all part might have been revealed to him from which he made conjectures. Heaven knows I've done that with answers to prayers. Going back I realized I read more into the original answer than was there. It's completely reasonable to think both Brigham and Joseph did that as well.

Again I'd also note the shorthand issue which I think people give short shift to. There are pretty good reasons to think the person transcribing Brigham "expanded" things and revised them somewhat. I'm not saying the basic doctrine he believed would change. I think he repeated it enough along with people who accepted the doctrine in the Quorum to be sure of the basics. However it might give us some more insight into its origins and evolution. (My sense is some are suggesting it arrive complete with no evolution or ambiguity in 1854 - I'm pretty skeptical of that)

Worth reading BTW is Nate Oman's grappling with the issue. I think he's right that this can't be separated from the doctrine of adoption and the doctrine of authority.  That said Nate unfortunately uses TPBY as a source neglecting that that was compiled by John Widstoe explicitly to expunge Adam/God teachings from it. So many of the references are distorted. So some of his contradictions just appear so due to Widstoe.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The Endowment Rite is symbolical and liturgical, and is not to be taken literally.

I agree that the Temple Experience is overflowing with symbols and shadowings that explain both what has transpired and what we will see in the Eternities.  There are also plenty of elements in the ordinances and throughout all scriptures (modern and ancient) that enable us to find harmonies in the Gospel.  Jesus encouraged us to search the scriptures.

1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

All else is speculation.  This is the Adam-God teaching.  Here's a simplified picture version.

9cba3104488ebe0bd5388c26d801bc89.jpg

The Endowment Ceremony is EXPLICIT in associating Jehovah and Jesus as being the SAME person.   Your "version" is a debauchery of the Gospel.

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10 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

For Brigham Young Eloheim is the great grandfather God, Yahweh is the grandfather God and Michael is Adam as God. So he's right you're reading earlier and later theology in here. I wouldn't say Brigham is consistent but he's fairly consistent in what he taught. He is inconsistent over whether it was revealed or not.

This is what Brigham taught consistently.  I agree with you that Brigham attributed both to Joseph and to his own personal revelations.  

Based on Joseph's teachings concerning the Elohim and the head God appointing a God for this earth I think that may have been Joseph's contribution to Brigham's understanding.  Not the full Adam-God revelation but the polytheistic principle behind it.

Edited by JLHPROF
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17 minutes ago, longview said:

The Endowment Ceremony is EXPLICIT in associating Jehovah and Jesus as being the SAME person.   Your "version" is a debauchery of the Gospel.

It is no such thing.  Jehovah was a God with a physical presence and body.  Jesus was a premortal spirit with no physicality.  Brigham considered them separate beings and he wrote most of the wording used in the endowment.  Jesus isn't even mentioned in the creation portion of the endowment, and Jehovah is never identified as Jesus in the endowment.

Jesus didn't become OT Jehovah in Mormonism till after Brigham died, thanks mostly to Talmage.

Edited by JLHPROF
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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The principle is human reproduction, and that is the only way humans are produced, whether it is God the Father in an act of human reproduction with Mary the Mother of Jesus, or Adam and Eve -- who are born elsewhere and brought to Earth.  The Endowment Rite is symbolical and liturgical, and is not to be taken literally.  Adam & Eve in the Garden are participating in a ritual with figurative actions, just as we do (in fact, the Brethren insist on the figurative nature of those actions, including Eve being made from a rib, the eating of the fruit, etc.).  The Garden is the Temple of God where those rites of passage take place.  All, including Satan-Lucifer merely play their parts.  The oaths and covenants have cosmic import, and all actions have actual impact, just as the blessing and passing of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper has real impact.  We are all participants and the meaning for us is the same as for Adam & Eve on that great liturgical occasion.  You have mistakenly read Gen 1-3 as a history text, while it is actually an Endowment Rite.

LOVE this although I don't consider the endowment entirely symbolic.  There is definitely an element of literality to it.

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48 minutes ago, longview said:

The Endowment Ceremony is EXPLICIT in associating Jehovah and Jesus as being the SAME person.   Your "version" is a debauchery of the Gospel.

That doesn't seem to be the case in the Endowment at the time of Brigham Young.

In the book "Wife Number 19," Anne Eliza Young lists who played each part when she went through the temple.  Yes she is an apostate and left Brigham and many will discount anything she says.  But I don't see why she would lie about something like this list of characters.  Notice that Jehovah and Jesus were played by two different people.

 

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Edited by Oliblish
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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

It is no such thing.  Jehovah was a God with a physical presence and body.  Jesus was a premortal spirit with no physicality.  Brigham considered them separate beings and he wrote most of the wording used in the endowment.  Jesus isn't even mentioned in the creation portion of the endowment, and Jehovah is never identified as Jesus in the endowment.

Jesus didn't become OT Jehovah in Mormonism till after Brigham died, thanks mostly to Talmage.

That's not entirely true. Joseph is inconsistent in the usage sometimes applying Jehovah to Christ and sometimes to the Father. For instance he says it's Christ who appears as Jehovah to Moses. Likewise he explicitly calls Christ Jehovah in D&C 110. 

I also think the doctrinal exposition on the Godhead which was largely dealing with A/G about 30 years later was the larger reason the usage changed from Brigham.

To your first point the endowment is symbolic and is filled with people appearing who haven't been born yet but act like they have bodies. (Not willing to be more explicit than that but it's pretty straightforward in terms of visitors)

Quote

Based on Joseph's teachings concerning the Elohim and the head God appointing a God for this earth I think that may have been Joseph's contribution to Brigham's understanding.  Not the full Adam-God revelation but the polytheistic principle behind it.

I tend to think most of Brigham's ideas came from Joseph which is how he typically described it early on. Claiming it as revealed tends to be more common later.

There are elements in Joseph of course. The idea of Adam as the Ancient of Days. Even in Nauvoo there were visions of Adam and Eve appearing to others with a strong theophany element. I don't think the details here are really understood well. Likewise I suspect the idea of spirit birth comes out of Nauvoo even though there's zero evidence for it there that I'm aware of. (Beyond the earlier Emerson like idea the Pratts bought into where we're made out of God)

But again the big dispute is in reconciling Brigham's formulation of all this (which I think was his attempt to make a coherent view of it tied to the endowment) with Joseph's. While elements definitely come from Joseph as I mentioned Brigham's formulation is impossible to reconcile with Joseph's. The easy answer is that he mangled it somewhat and expanded upon it.

Edited by clarkgoble
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