Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Adam-God Theory

Enemies of the Church of Jesus Christ criticize and spread a great deal of miss-information about a rather obscure teaching by Brigham Young. The Adam-God Theory, as it is known, was never considered a foundational doctrine of the church then or now. I've never heard it spoken of in church. The first time I heard it, I was confronted by a rather antagonistic pastor of another faith while serving as a missionary. So what is it? Enemies of the Church of Jesus Christ have grossly mis-interpreted several quotes by Brigham Young about Adam to mean 1. Adam is God, 2. Adam is the Father of Jesus Christ.

President Brigham Young is quoted as having said: "Now hear it, 0 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" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

First, President Brigham Young clearly declares that Adam is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days. Therefore, he cannot be saying that Adam is the God whom we worship. Members of the church of Jesus Christ worship our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We do not worship Adam and we do not pray to him. We are all Adam's children through the flesh, but Elohim, the God we worship, is the Father of our spirits; and Jesus Christ, his first Begotten Son in the spirit creation and his Only Begotten Son in the flesh, is our Eldest Brother.

So, why does Brigham Young say Adam is "the only God with whom we have to do"? Because we believe that men, through the grace of Christ, can become like God. Brigham Young is saying that Adam has obtained Eternal life and exaltation. Adam has returned to his place in God's heavenly council and has become like God. Because all men are the physical offspring of Adam, therefore, Adam is the only God with whom we [physically] have to do.

The next mis-represented quote involves a teaching that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. Brigham Young is quoted, "When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father?.... Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the Garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven.... Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses. vol. 1, pp. 50-51).

The "same character that was in the Garden of Eden" is not referring to Adam. Brigham Young is clearly referring to Elohim. Elohim dwelt in the garden with Adam, walked with him, and taught him his language up until the Fall. Adam can be considered the father of Christ through Mary. But Brigham Young is clearly referring to Elohim in this case.


erichard said...

As a 7th generation Mormon, my own experience with trying to understand the Adam-God teachings of President Young led me to a similar understanding as you have. However, I was also led to find more revelation from the LORD on the matter. If you are inspired to consider these revelations, here is a link to them:

If you question that the Lord could call a prophet (like John the Baptist) independent of His Gentile church, you might read this:


Anonymous said...

First of all, I will tell you where I stand, I am not Mormon. It seems to me that you are trying to work around the obvious teaching of Brigham Young. I have read several pro-Mormon apologetic articles on the web about the Adam-God issue. Your view is one of a handful that are proposed by Mormons. Some of the pro-Mormon sites at least acknowledge the shortcomings of the different apologetic answers. In a nutshell, it is clear that you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to accept that Brigham Young was a prophet of God, but you don't want to accept what he clearly taught. While you quoted the primary source material, you did not mention the other numerous times that he Taught or commented on this subject, nor the understanding that his contemporaries had of his teaching. Some of them accepted the teaching and some vigorously opposed it. My conclusion is that this is a false doctrine and Brigham was a false prophet and consequently, Mormonism is also false. Thank you for allowing me to share my viewpoint.

David B said...

You are free to have your own opinion. The truth is that 1.the LDS Church is God's Kingdom on Earth, 2. BY is one of God's prophets, and 3. BY clearly taught that Adam entered into his godhood but was not the same person as Eloheim.

I cannot help if some so-called smart people misunderstood BY then and misunderstand him today.

Anonymous said...

Read on the Internet an explanation which clarifies the teaching. It is by Eldon Watson. Type in his name with Adam God theory. He has articles and quotes that makes sense. I firmly believe BY was misquoted but it does bother me the First Presidency has not put this controversy to rest once and for all and to shut people up.
thank you