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ADAM GOD DOCTRINE
Brigham Young and his Adam God doctrine.
| During my mission for the cult, a good companion of mine handed me a copy of the Adam God doctrine from the Journal of Discourses and out of the blue asked me, “What do you think of this?” Needless to say it changed my Mormon world view, and it was the real beginning of the end for me and my devotion to Mormonism.
I spent three days trying to wrap my mind around old Brigham’s pronouncements and had myself partially convinced that it could still fit it in with my Mormon definition of deity. However, I needed more insight from someone “wiser” than myself, so I went to visit my mission president, a former institute director at Texas Aandamp;M.
I presented him with my new found doctrinal dilemma, and his words to me were as follows, “Well Elder Swedeboy, the Adam God doctrine is a theory just like Noah’s’ flood.” I could not believe my ears, and as he began to baffle me with his bullshit, I began to believe again, almost. After about thirty minutes of his spiritual reassurance that all is well, I said my goodbyes and left.
After returning home, marriage, kids and everything else, the question of Adam as God continued to surface and rear its doctrinally confusing head, begging to be resolved. I tried over the years to put my concerns to rest by reading apologist after apologist arguments, and of course what Bruce had to say about it in his book, Mormon Doctrine, and as they baffled me with their bullshit, I began to believe again, almost.
Thank God this thorn was lodged into my mind, and as it festered and machetied its way through my Mormon programming. It gave me pause to think over the years, and continue on my quest to find the truth.
In my post Mormon studies of all things Mormon, I came across an excellent explanation of this Mormon doctrinal conundrum from H. Michael Marquardt.
In this post you will further understand why this is an important issue to understand from Mormonism’s past. It is a clear doctrinal shift which clearly shows the lack of inspiration and doctrinal clarity which is so prevalent in the Mormon church.
I hope you will enjoy discovering more about this doctrinal epiphany as I have.
Outline Relating to the LDS Temple Endowment and the Teachings of Brigham Young
On 8-9 March 1842 Joseph Smith worked on his Book of Abraham, "and they organized and formed, (that is, the Gods,) the heavens and the earth" (Times and Seasons 3 [15 March 1842]:720, words rearranged in Abraham 4:1). Who or how many Gods were involved is not known for sure. In the Nauvoo temple endowment as organized by Brigham Young the Gods were identified as three in number, that is, Eloheem [Elohim], Jehovah [also spelled Yahovah] and Michael. Michael had been previously identified by Joseph Smith as "Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days" (LDS Dandamp;C 27:11, added to early text in 1835).
Characters in the Nauvoo Temple
Nauvoo Temple Organization: 10-13 December 1845:
H. C. Kimball presides as Eloheem,
Orson Hyde as Jehovah and
George A. Smith as Michael
(Heber C. Kimball Journal kept by William Clayton, entry of 10 Dec. 1845, LDS archives)
The following persons officiating
Orson Hyde as Eloheem
Orson Spencer as Jehovah
George A Smith as Michael
later that day -
Heber C. Kimball acting as Eloheem
George A. Smith as Jehovah
Orson Hyde as Michael
(Heber C. Kimball Journal, entry of 11 Dec. 1845)
Pres[ident] Young acting as Eloheem
P.P. Pratt as Jehovah
Orson Hyde as Michael
"During the whole of the three days already spent in the endowment, President Brigham Young presided and dictated the ordinances and also took an active part in nearly every instance except when entirely overcome by fatigue through his constant labors to forward the work." (Ibid., 12 Dec. 1845)
"Last evening an arrangement was made establishing better order in conducting the endowment. Under this order it is the providence of Eloheem, Jehovah and Michael to create the world . . ." (Ibid., entry of 13 Dec. 1845).
President Brigham Young's Teaching
Here we have the name/titles of the three creation Gods. Except for Michael the identities of Eloheem and Jehovah are not spelled out. Brigham Young mentioned, "It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael . . ." (Journal of Discourses 1:51, 9 April 1852).
In this same discourse (as published) President Brigham Young said:
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. . . . the seed was brought from another sphere, and planted in this earth. . . . When Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, their bodies became mortal from its effects, and therefore their offspring were mortal" (Journal of Discourses 1:50, emphasis in original).
What we have are three creation Gods, Eloheim, Yahovah [spelled that way in the Endowment House records] and Michael. They are not the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) but a different trinity. They are like a LDS priesthood presidency of three (Elder's Quorum, High Priest Quorum, First Presidency, Mission Presidency, Temple Presidency). But there are now two trinities, the regular Father, Son and Holy Ghost and the creation Gods Eloheim, Yahovah (Jehovah) and Michael. Brigham Young taught that in order to create a world a man would have received his exaltation as a God. At a Special Conference held on 28 August 1852 he explained it as an important key to understanding:
After men have got their exaltations and their crowns--have become Gods, even the sons of God--are made Kings of kings and Lord of lords, they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit; and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world. Power is then given to them to organize the elements, and then commence the organization of tabernacles. How can they do it? Have they to go to that earth? Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporeal world, until this grosser matter is diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies to enable them, according to the established laws, to produce mortal tabernacles for their spiritual children. This is a key for you" (Journal of Discourses 6:275).
Some individual journals mention the teachings of Brigham Young about Adam/Michael but not all church members believed in Adam being God or understood what he was talking about. Apostle Orson Pratt opposed the doctrine from 1852-1868. It is evident that if the interpretation of the creation Gods was taught in the Nauvoo Temple like Brigham Young was explaining then Pratt probably would have accepted it. But it appears to have first been publicly taught in April 1852.
At the church conference held on 8 October 1854 Brigham Young preached a powerful discourse that was not published until the 1970s. Warren Foote recorded, "8th We went to conference again. President B. Young delivered an interesting discourse concerning Adam's being the father of our spirits as well as bodies" (Warren Foote Journal, 8 Oct. 1854, original in LDS archives, typed copy).
Joseph Lee Robinson also recorded what Brigham Young taught:
Oct. 6th. Attended conference, a very interesting conference, for at this meeting President Brigham Young said thus, that Adam and Eve were the names of the first man and woman of every earth that was ever organized and that Adam and Eve were the natural father and mother of every spirit that comes to this planet, or that received tabernacles on this planet, consequently we are brother and sisters, and that Adam was God, or Eternal Father" (Joseph Lee Robinson Journal, 6-8 Oct. 1854, LDS archives, typed copy).
This "Discourse by Pres. Brigham Young Oct 8th 1854" (in LDS archives) has been published in an edited version. A copy is in The Essential Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), 86-103. A few quotes from the discourse:
But let us turn our attention to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father of our spirits (93).
The God and Father [of] our Lord Jesus Christ is the Father of our spirits (94).
I tell you more, Adam is the Father of our spirits. He lived upon an earth; he did abide his creation, and did honor to his calling and Priesthood; and obeyed his Master or Lord, and probably many of his wives did the same, and they lived, and died upon an earth, and then were resurrected again to Immortality and Eternal Life (96).
Our spirits and the spirits of all the human family were begotten by Adam, and born of Eve (97).
Adam planted the Garden of Eden, and he with his wife Eve partook of the fruit of this Earth, until their systems were charged with the nature of Earth, and then they could beget bodies, for their spiritual children (98)
I tell you, when you see your Father in the Heavens, you will see Adam; when you see your Mother that bear your spirit, you will see Mother Eve (99).
At the School of the Prophets in June 1871 President Brigham Young taught, "Elohim, Yahova andamp; Michael, were father, Son and grandson. They made this Earth andamp; Michael became Adam" (Joseph F. Smith Journal, 17 June 1871, LDS archives). So this would mean:
Elohim = Father of Yahovah
Yahovah = Son of Elohim
Michael = Grandson of Elohim = Adam = God the Father
Jesus would be the only begotten son of Michael/Adam. This may explain the words of President Young made in 1862:
The Father frequently came to visit his son Adam, and talked and walked with him; and the children of Adam were more or less acquainted with their Grandfather, and their children were more or less acquainted with their Great-Grandfather . . ." (Journal of Discourses 9:148, 12 Jan. 1862).
Brigham Young died in August 1877. At the October 1880 conference the Pearl of Great Price was accepted as the fourth standard work of the church. In various publications on gospel topics many writers emphasized that Adam and Eve were spirits before earth life. They used the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price (portion dictated in 1830) as their basis. This was more in line with Orson Pratt's position. There were church members who believed what President Young taught and others who had views based upon LDS scriptures. James E. Talmage wrote his book Articles of Faith which was published by the church.
Finally in June 1916 Talmage wrote the official statement on The Father and the Son which was accepted by the First Presidency and the Twelve as the position of the church on the Godhead. In essence Adam/Michael as God, the Father of our spirits and Father of Jesus Christ as taught by President Brigham Young was replaced by Elohim as God and Father. This statement has the following relating to Elohim:
The purport of these scriptures is to the effect that God the Eternal Father, whom we designate by the exalted name-title "Elohim," is the literal Parent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race.
Prior to 1916 the interpretation of who the creation Gods were (as described by President Young) gradually changed. There was confusion over this issue for many years. It appears that during the Presidency of Joseph F. Smith the Michael in the temple endowment ceremony changed from being an exalted God who helped create the world to being a spirit personage "God." Elohim became God with Jesus Christ becoming the Jehovah creation God.
So part of Brigham Young's teaching expressed in his April 1852 discourse to priesthood members is rejected and part is accepted. At the time when President Young preached he was considered inspired. The conference minutes stated that the Holy Ghost rested upon Brigham Young at the time.
Current LDS Godhead:
Father = Elohim = God the Father
Son = Jehovah = Jesus Christ
Holy Ghost = spirit personage
Those who go through the endowment ceremony are taught that three Gods planned and organized the world and all things on it. Two of these Gods, that is, Jehovah and Michael were organizers under the direction of the third, Elohim. When the Gods had pronounced the world good, Michael, now designated as Adam, with Eve, was to commence the procreation of the children of men. Adam was given dominion over all the earth.
In the endowment ceremony men must follow Adam, and women follow Eve through all the priesthood ordinances if they are to become Gods. They are promised, if they are faithful, that they can become as Adam and Eve and create their own worlds and beget their own spiritual children to inhabit them. This is what Brigham Young was teaching. Currently in the church it is taught, after the change in the creation Gods, not to believe that the above applies to Adam. Church leaders teach that men can become Gods by following Adam but we are not to believe that Adam attained to that position.
| Has anyone ever read McConkie's letter to the BYU professor Eugene England? It's in response to some questionable doctrine Eugene was teaching at BYU. The entire letter can be found here.
In any case, one of the subjects that McConkie addresses is the idea that Adam is God. I will share a few excerpts with you:
In (a) ...devotional speech I said; "There are those who believe or say they believe that Adam is our father and our God, that he is the father of our spirits and our bodies, and that he is the one we worship." I, of course, indicated the utter absurdity of this doctrine and said it was totally false.
He makes so many crazy statements! How many mental hoops does this guy have to jump through? Read some of this:
Since then I have received violent reactions from Ogden Draut and other cultists in which they have expounded upon the views of Brigham Young and others of the early Brethren relative to Adam. They have plain and clear quotations saying all of the things about Adam which I say are false. The quotations are in our literature and form the basis of a worship system followed by many of the cultists who have been excommunicated from the Church. I also received, of course, your material in which you quote from Brigham Young and others of the early Brethren saying that God is progressing in knowledge.
But THEN he says:
people who teach false doctrine in the fundamental and basic things will lose their souls. The nature and kind of being that God is, is one of these fundamentals. I repeat: Brigham Young erred in some of his statements on the nature and kind of being that God is and as to the position of Adam in the plan of salvation, but Brigham Young also taught the truth in these fields on other occasions. And I repeat, that in his instance, he was a great prophet and has gone on to eternal reward. What he did is not a pattern for any of us. If we choose to believe and teach the false portions of his doctrines, we are making an election that will damn us.
Does anyone have ANY idea what he is saying here? He contradicted himself like three times.
So we are damned for teaching this doctrine but Young taught it all his life and he's exalted. Makes perfect sense.
And listen to THIS:
Yes, President Young did teach that Adam was the father of our spirits, and all the related things that the cultists ascribe to him. (He admits it.) This, however, is not true. He expressed views that are out of harmony with the gospel. But, be it known, Brigham Young also taught accurately and correctly, the status and position of Adam in the eternal scheme of things. What I am saying is that Brigham Young, contradicted Brigham Young, and the issue becomes one of which Brigham Young we will believe. The answer is we will believe the expressions that accord with the teachings in the Standard Works.
Bruce McConkie has summed up why I don't trust anyone else to tell me what any supernatural being is or is not. Thanks Bruce, for once again re-validating why I walked away from the Morridor.
| In another recent thread, I mentioned that I had once read that Spencer W. Kimball's father-in-law had continued to live with two plural wives in Mexico into the 1950s. I found an article which gives the details at:
Before reading that article, I didn't know that Camilla Eyring's father had married two Romney sisters. Here's the most relevant excerpt as concerning post-Manifesto polygamy:
"While the leaders were encouraged to qualify for their positions by living "the law," many of the most faithful and dedicated lay members of the Church also entered plural marriage of their own free will. They knew the true relationship between the manifesto and the higher law. One example of this was the father of Camilla Eyring Kimball, wife of the current Church President, Spencer W. Kimball. On 3 November 1903 (over thirteen years after the manifesto was "unanimously" accepted by the Church) her father, Edward Christian Eyring took his wife's younger sister, Emma Romney, as a plural wife. The marriage was performed at Colonia Juarez by the Stake President, Anthony W. Ivins who had been sent to Mexico by President Wilford Woodruff to continue performing plural marriages after the manifesto, even though they knew such marriages were illegal in Mexico. (see Heber Grant Ivins, Polygamy in Mexico, Op. Cit., p. 5)
"In her biography, Sister Kimball said:
" . . . Mother told me that Aunt Emma would be coming to live with us as Father's second wife, . . . she had given her consent, believing as Father did that the only way for them to attain the highest glory in the celestial kingdom was to live faithfully by The Principle." (Caroline Eyring Miner and Edward L. Kimball, Camilla, [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1980], p. 13)
"In spite of the manifesto, according to Sister Kimball, her parents understood that "it was still permissible, and were encouraged [by their leaders] in that understanding." (Ibid.) Not only was Edward Eyring not excommunicated for entering plural marriage after the manifesto, but the early 1950's found him and his plural wife faithfully doing temple work in the Mesa, Arizona temple (Ibid., p. 142). Hundreds of situations similar to these have existed throughout the Church."
Oh yeah, and today's church leaders assert that the mainstream Mormon church has nothing whatsoever to do with fundamentalist polygamists. There's no contradiction in the fact that a sitting apostle in the 1950s had a polygamous FIL living in full fellowship in the church and was a temple worker, more than half a century after church leaders claimed to have abandoned polygamy. Nope, no relationship between the mainstream church and today's polygamists at all.
| Adam as our God - who are the false prophets?
Here is some good reading on the topic. It is a lot to read and it is from a Evangelical position, but it is full of very interesting commentary, valuable references and evidence for this speculation from a prophet who is sustained as the mouthpeice of the Lord, but could not identify him in a police lineup.
The Adam-God doctrine is one of the most damning evidences against the validity of the prophetic leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The church tried to claim that Brigham did not teach it. But they also condemned anyone for teaching this false doctrine.
The fact is, Brigham did teach it and Orson Pratt and others rebelled against it, and it disappeared a few years after Brighams death.
Spencer W. Kimball declared forcefully (as did Mark E. Peterson, Bruce R. McConkie and Boyd K. Packer) that the Adam God theory was false, and they commanded all to cease teaching it.
The problem is, the succession of prophets is an unbroken chain of priesthood authority. That means that if any prophet was a false prophet then those keys are lost and his successor does not have them. President Kimball by denouncing the AdamGod doctrine raises a question- If Brigham is a false prophet, SWK does not have the proper authority. If Brigham was a true prophet, SWK is in Apostacy and the current prophet does not have proper authority.
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