one of the first episodes i ever did on this podcast was about the Adam-God doctrine with Jacob Vidrine and to date it is still one of the most downloaded episodes. After we were done recording that episode Jacob and I talked and felt like we really left some stuff on the table. Despite that episode being three hours long we really just managed to cover the history of the doctrine. In this episode we dig deeper on the doctrine. We try to answer some common questions about the doctrine, look at the importance of the doctrine and what it means to accept the doctrine. We also take a look at some evidences from scholars and historians which make an interesting theory that early humanity knew of the Adam-God Doctrine.
Digging Deeper into Adam-God Notes
Dave Sanders with the Mormon Renegade Podcast interviews Jacob Vidrine to answer additional questions about the Adam-God Doctrine.
What is the Adam-God Doctrine?
The Adam-God Doctrine in a nutshell is understanding that God is not only the Father of our Spirits, but the Father of our Bodies. There are four main aspects 1) That God is the father of our bodies, 2) That Adam is the Great Patriarch and High Priest who presides over the human family and priesthood on Earth, 3) That Adam and Eve were resurrected beings from a previous earth, 4) That Adam was one of the Creators of this Earth, and 5) that Adam was the literal Father of Jesus Christ.
Was Adam a Polygamist?
“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.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 1 <9 April 1852> page 50)
“There was a certain woman brought to Father Adam whose name was Eve, because she was the first woman, and she was given to him to be his wife; I am not disposed to give any farther knowledge concerning her at present. There is no doubt but that he left many companions.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 16 <31 August 1873> page 167)
“The Scriptures give an account simply of the woman Eve; declaring that this name was given her of Adam, because she was ‘the mother of all living;’ but outside of biblical record there has been handed down from time immemorial the idea that Adam had two wives, the narrators go so far, or rather so
near perfecting the tradition so as to give their names, Lilith being said to be the name of one as Eve was the name of the other, and while it may be difficult to harmonize all the Rabbinical and Talmudic
versions of this matter, it is said that Joseph Smith the Prophet taught that Adam had two wives.” — Henry W. Naisbitt (Journal of Discourses vol. 26 <8 March 1885> page 115)
“It is no matter with regard to the monogamy of father Adam and mother Eve, they were just enough to start the work of populating the earth. If man had lived as he ought to have lived, the earth would have been peopled quite soon enough, and to its utmost capacity, but there is enough upon it now; and if men will hearken to, obey the truth, and will cease their adulterous practices and whoredoms, cease their wickedness with the sex, and repent of their sins, we will fling up at once and will have but one wife; and if there are two or three women left without husbands, we will give them to the best man we can find.
The reason the Lord requires His people to practice the principle of celestial marriage is to save those who are willing to be saved; to gather up the pure in heart, those who will hearken to and receive the
Gospel. We have a great many more women than men in this Church, because more of them are
inclined to believe the Gospel. A great many more females than males leave their families and friends to gather with the Saints; for this reason there are more women than men here. In the world many men will not marry, and I am ashamed to say that in our own midst many young men are not inclined to
marry. It is their duty to take to themselves wives. I would be willing, and should rejoice and be thankful,
and would praise God if the men would be humble, repent of their sins, turn to God, and take to themselves wives and save them without putting us to this great trouble. I should be very willing to part with mine and say, ‘If you can only get better men, take them and give them to them.’ These are the reasons why God has called upon His people in the latter days to enter into the practice of plural marriage.” — Brigham Young (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <7 May 1870> page 2727)
Did Father Adam had natural relations with the Virgin Mary to conceive Jesus?
“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? He is the first of the human family; and when he [Jesus] took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as
the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so on in succession.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 1 <9 April 1852> pages 50–51)
“The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood — was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 8 <8 July 1860> page 115)
“Father Adam’s oldest son, Jesus the Savior, who is the heir of the family, is Father Adam’s first begotten in the spirit world; who, according to the flesh, is the only begotten, as it is written. In his divinity he having gone back into the spirit world, and come in the spirit to Mary and she conceived; for when Adam and Eve got through with their work in this earth, they did not lay their bodies down in the dust, but returned to the spirit world from whence they came.” — Brigham Young (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <1 February 1877> page 3105)
“[27 December 1886] Sarah M. Granger Kimball, counselor in Relief Society general presidency, says that
‘her brother Lafayette Granger and the late Bishop [George] Miller, in conversation once with the prophet Joseph Smith, were told by him that when Mary the mother of Jesus was on her way to the hill country she was met by [God] the Father and the Angel Gabriel and the latter performed the marriage between the Father and Mary.’” (Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power page 786)
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
“18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. 19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! 20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.” (1 Nephi 11:18–20)
Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael in the Creation:
“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.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 1
<9 April 1852> page 51)
“Elohim, Yahova and Michael, were father, son, and grandson. They made this Earth and Michael became Adam.” — Brigham Young (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <17 June 1871> page 2856)
“Michael, having accomplished the work committed to him, pertaining to this world, delivers up an account of his stewardship over the same, to that character represented as Yahovah in the creation of the world, who reigns in unison with those upon the earth, until his work is fully accomplished — till the last great contest with the enemy, who has been released for a little season, is won; then he in turn delivers up the kingdom to the great Eloheim, that in the language of the Apostle, ‘God may be all in all’.” — Samuel W. Richards (Millennial Star vol. 15 <10 December 1853> page 803.)
“Joseph is the God of this generation, Jesus is his God; Michael, or Adam, is Jesus’ God and Father; Jehovah is the God of Adam, and Jehovah is inferior to Elohim, who is in turn, subject to the grand council of assembled gods of infinity. All of these are polygamists, and they all rule over their own descendants, which are constantly increasing in number and dominion.” (John Hyde, Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs <1857> page 198)
Jesus Christ also helped create this Earth:
“Messiah is above the spirit and power of Messiah, for He made the world, and was that spiritual rock unto Moses in the wilderness. …There are some important things concerning the office of the Messiah in the organization of the world, which I will speak of hereafter.” — Joseph Smith (History of the Church
vol. 6 <10 March 1844> page 254)
“When the only begotten Son of God was upon the earth, he understood the nature of these elements, how they were brought together to make this world and all things that are thereon, for he helped to make them.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 1 <14 August 1853> page 270)
Mosiah 3:8 “And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the
Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.”
Helaman 14:12 “And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name.”
Colossians 1:16 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”
Ephesians 3:9 “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ”
Moses 1:32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. 33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
D&C 76:24 “That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”
Additionally the Holy Ghost helped in the Creation:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1–2)
So essentially you had both the Higher Trinity / Godhead of the Great-Grandfather (Elohim), Grandfather (Jehovah), and Michael-Adam (God the Father) create this Earth (the “Creation Trinity”), as well that Lower Trinity / Godhead of Father (Adam), Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Ghost participate in the Creation, Father Adam being the link between these two Godheads. [Note: I use the term “trinity” not in the modern Christian use of the word, but in the context of the strict definition of “trinity” is “a group of three people or things.”]
Elohim and Jehovah as Titles that apply to God the Father:
“Jehovah — God — Thou Eloheim, that sittest, as saith the Psalmist, ‘enthroned in heaven,’ look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him, even the faith of Elijah.” — Joseph Smith (History of the Church vol. 5 <22 August 1842> page 127)
“We obey the Lord, Him who is called Jehovah, the Great I AM, I am a man of war, Eloheim, etc.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <11 November 1867> page 2504)
“We begin with the father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our spirits. Who is he? Do you know anything about him? Can you find out who he is? Suppose we go to the scriptures and enquire who he is. At one time he says, ‘I am that I am.’ At another time when the question was proposed by someone he replied,
‘I am the Lord your God.’ At another time he is spoken of as a ‘man of war,’ ‘a general,’ and so on. You
may trace the scriptures through and you will find that he is known to one people [by] one title today and tomorrow and the next day by another and there he leaves it.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <25 April 1855> page 937)
“We believe in God the Father, who is the Great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the
Son of God, co-eternal with the Father.” — Joseph Smith (Times and Seasons vol. 3 <15 November
1841> Page 358)
“The Mormons Build not Temples to the Name of Jesus, but to the Name of Jehovah — Not to the Son, but to the Father.” (Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom <1877> page 79)
“As the Son of God, He triumphed over all, and forever ascended to the right hand of God, to further carry out the designs of Jehovah pertaining to the world and to the human family.” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement <1882> page 153)
Jesus Christ also was at times called Jehovah:
This is not to say that Jesus Christ isn't also referred to as Jehovah — an in-depth scriptural analysis would demonstrate that Jehovah was the Father's name and that Jesus Christ inherited the name Jehovah from the Father, and this is what Hebrews 1:4 references when it states “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Hebrews
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended [from it]? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)
“Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;” (Genesis 19:24)
John Taylor on one occasion also recognized that Jesus Christ at times may be called Jehovah:
“‘His name shall be called Immanuel,’ which being interpreted is, God with us. Hence He is not only called the Son of God, the First Begotten of the Father, the Well Beloved, the Head, and Ruler, and Dictator of all things, Jehovah, the I Am, the Alpha and Omega, but He is also called the Very Eternal Father.” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement <1882> page 137)
Adam’s Father acted as God while Adam was in mortality:
“After the deed was done, the Lord inquired for Abel and made Cain own what he had done with him. Now, says the Grandfather, I will not destroy the seed of Michael and his wife, and Cain, I will not kill you nor suffer anyone else to kill you, but I will put a mark upon you.” — Brigham Young (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <5 February 1852> page 468)
Adam’s Father visited Him and his children:
“How many nations were there in the days of Enoch? The very men who were associated with him had been with Adam; they knew him and his children, and had the privilege of talking with God. Just think of it.
Though we have it in history that our father Adam was made of the dust of this earth, and that he knew nothing about his God previous to being made here, yet it is not so; and when we learn the truth we shall see and understand that he helped to make this world, and was the chief manager in that operation.
He was the person who brought the animals and the seeds from other planets to this world, and
brought a wife with him and stayed here. You may read and believe what you please as to what is found written in the Bible. Adam was made from the dust of an earth, but not from the dust of this earth. He was made as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle.
Do you not suppose that he [Father Adam] was acquainted with his associates, who came and helped to make this earth? Yes, they were just as familiar with each other as we are with our children and parents.
Suppose a number of our sons were going to Carson Valley to build houses, open farms, and erect mills and workshops, and that we should say to them that we wish them to stay there five years, and that then we will come and visit them, when I go there will they be afraid of me? No, they would receive me as their father, just as Adam received his Father.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 3 <20
April 1856> page 319)
“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.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 9 <12 January
1862> page 148)
Keys from Brigham Young to understanding Genesis:
“Some think he [Adam] was made like an adobe and the Lord breathed into him the breath of life. For we read, ‘From dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.’ Well, he was made of the dust of the earth, but not of this earth. He was made just the same way you and I are made but on another earth.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <1 February 1877> page 3104)
“The first people of the earth were no more made of the dust than we are. I would not make out that Moses lied, by no means, but we are made of dust as much as Adam was; so are our cattle. They are formed or created from the elements, all of which are necessary to pro- duce animal or vegetable life; as the dust of the earth will produce grass, and cattle will eat grass and increase. Every person must have a father and a mother or they could not be.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <8 October 1854> page 855)
“Listen, ye Latter-day Saints! Supposing that Adam was formed actually out of clay, out of the same kind of material from which bricks are formed; that with this matter God made the pattern of a man, and breathed into it the breath of life, and left it there, in that state of supposed perfection, he would have been an adobie to this day. He would not have known anything. Some of you may doubt the truth of what I now say, and argue that the Lord could teach him. This is a mistake. The Lord could not have taught him in any other way than in the way in which He did teach him. You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe, though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible; but it is not, to my understanding. You can write that information to the States, if you please — that I have publicly declared that I do not believe that portion of the Bible as the Christian world do. I never did, and I never want to. What is the reason I do not? Because I have come to understanding, and banished from my mind all the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child.” (Journal of Discourses vol. 2 <23 October 1853> page 6)
“Now about the rib. As for the Lord taking a rib out of Adams side to make a woman of, He took one out of my side just as much. ‘But, Brother Brigham, would you make it appear that Moses did not tell the truth?’ No, not a particle more than I would that your mother did not tell the truth, when she told you that little Billy came from a hollow toad stool. I would not accuse your mother of lying, any more than I would Moses; the people in the days of Moses wanted to know things that was not for them, the same as your children do, when they want to know where their little brother came from, and he answered them according to their folly, the same as you did your children.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <8
October 1854> page 850)
“It is said by Moses, the historian, that the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and took from his side a rib and formed the woman that Adam called Eve. This should be interpreted that the man Adam, like all other men, had the seed within him to propagate his species, but not the woman. She conceives the seed but she does not produce it, consequently she was taken from the side or bowels of her father. This explains the mystery of Moses’ dark sayings in regard to Adam and Eve.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <1 February 1877> page 3104)
Other Thoughts on Adam-God:
“The faithful will become Gods, even the sons of God; but this does not over-throw the idea that we have a Father. Adam is my Father (this I will explain to you at some future time) but [if He has a God] it does not prove that he is not my Father, if I become a God it does not prove that I have not a Father.” — Brigham Young (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <28 August 1852> page 578)
“I took up his quotation from the new translation of the Bible concerning the creation of Adam, and I said, according to my reading and interpretation, it is as clear to me that Adam was begotten in the usual way, through procreation, as it appeared to be in the mind of Father Bunker that he had been made as an adobie was made. I said, now we know that the Lord Jesus received a tabernacle in the manner in which our tabernacles were organized, and no doubt his father, if he had received a tabernacle, had received it in the same way; and I asked, Why should Adam be sui generis — that is, the only being in all the species that was a new creation? I reasoned upon this, and I think made it clear to all who were present that it was nonsensical.
I then referred to a number of passages to explain how difficult it is, unless we have the light of the Spirit, to understand the Godhead. I said the Savior — and I quoted revelations to illustrate the point — spoke to His servants as though He were the Father himself and spoke of himself as the Only Begotten Son. I said the reason for this is that Jesus represented the Godhead and spoke for the Godhead. Viewed in this light, many passages that would be puzzling might be clearly understood.
I said that according to the teachings of President Young Adam was our Father and our God, and the father of the Lord Jesus, but it was not necessary for us to argue or contend about this. If we cannot understand it, let it remain without agitation and without discussion; for it would inevitably lead to bad consequences if men indulged in that spirit.” (George Q. Cannon Journal, 11 June 1892)
Adam-God Clues in Genesis:
“We can read the history of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and that after they transgressed the Lord came along and they run scampering away into the bushes. How did they know it was him? Just as well as my family know mine, for they had lived with him and had a long experience with him. Just as soon as my family hear my footsteps they know that I am coming, and so did Adam and Eve know the footsteps of the Lord. Just as quick as they heard his footsteps they knew who was coming as though they had seen his face because they were acquainted with him. But this is no knowledge to you and I. He came along and said, where are you, what have you been doing? They had hid themselves. It is evident from this that they knew his footsteps, but what advantage is that to you? Would you know the footsteps of the Lord if you heard them coming into this hall from merely reading this account?
…Well, how can we learn by reading the history of Adam and Eve to know the Lord? If you were to hear the footsteps of the Lord would you know from the history of Adam and Eve that it was the Lord coming? They knew the Lord and his footsteps for they had lived with him and had been in eternity with him, and what I have upon this subject I now say: Adam had been with the Lord and had lived with him upon an earth like this and had been faithful and overcome, and had received his body and was resurrected and was well acquainted with the Lord and was one of his mess mates. He had eaten and drunk with him and had lived with him from generation to generation and in many worlds, probably while many had come into and gone out of existence.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <25 April 1855> page 936)
“We had a history this morning of the great celebration of the first marriage that took place on this Earth. I have been trying to find an account of the ceremony. I can find nothing more than that the Lord presented the woman to the man, saying ‘this is bone of thy bone, and flesh of thy flesh.’ I cannot find any account of a ceremony, the Lord gave the woman to the man, this is all the ceremony that I can find.
…As to the great wedding Brother Orson [Pratt] has been telling us about, it is nothing more or less than this: Adam’s father came to him saying ‘Here is the wife you have had so long. Now you are going to have one wife to take with you to yonder earth and if any of your other wives ever go to an earth to
become the mother of all living, to become an Eve, it will be another earth, not to that one.’ She is called Eve because she is the Mother of all Living and she is the Queen of that earth. Adam is the Lord of the earth and the Father of all living on this earth as Eve is the mother of all living on this earth.” (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young <25 August 1867> pages 2483–2485)
The Transgression of Adam and Eve:
“Adam did not commit sin in eating the fruits for God had decreed that he should eat and fall — but in compliance with the decree he should die — only he should die was the saying of the Lord; therefore the Lord appointed us to fall, and also redeemed us — for where sin [did] abound grace did much more abound.” — Joseph Smith (Words of Joseph Smith <9 February 1841> page 63; spelling and grammar corrected)
“The fall of Adam was the transgression of a physical law of nature. His fall was from immortality to mortality – from the celestial to the earthly. With a celestial resurrected body, he had engendered spirit
children – now he had incorporated blood into his body so that he could beget physical, mortal bodies for those spirits to possess. He descended to mortality so that his children would have the opportunity of ascending to immortality.” (Ogden Kraut, Michael-Adam page 52)
“The fall is simple. Our immortal parents came down to fall; came down to transgress the laws of immortality; came down to give birth to mortal tabernacles for a world of spirits. The ‘forbidden tree,’ says Brigham, contained in its fruit the elements of death, or the elements of mortality. By eating of it, blood was again infused into the tabernacles of beings who had become immortal. The basis of mortal generation is blood, without blood no mortal can be born.” (Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom page 198)
The Sin of Israel cost them the Higher Knowledge of God:
“And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.” (D&C 84:19; see also verses 20–25)
Jesus Christ became the one to primarily interact with Israel after they fell:
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him.” (Exodus 23:20–21)
“And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.” (Exodus 33:2–3)
According to the Book of Mormon, this angel was Jesus Christ himself:
“And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God.” (1 Nephi 17:30)
Adam-God in the Bible discussion, some of the verses cited: Matthew 19:4–5, quotes Genesis 2:24 but Jesus says it was God who said it. John 8:41, 54.
Luke 3:38, Acts 17:28–29.
Mark 2:27–28, references Genesis 2:2–3. Some scholars observe:
“We find ourselves on an unusual path if we trace Mark 2:27 back to a Hebrew ben Adam tradition. For then this text is understood as a reference to the creation story, ‘The Sabbath was made for Adam and not Adam for the Sabbath, hence the Son of Adam is Lord even over the Sabbath.” (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology vol. 3 page 623)
"The Sabbath was made for Man (Adam) and not Man (Adam) for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of the Man (Adam) is lord also of the Sabbath. (He is his legitimate heir.)" (Fredrick Houk Borsch, The Son of Man in Myth and History page 323)
See also Deuteronomy 32:5–9, also verse 43, observing the corruptions made in the Masoretic text that are not in the Septuagint.
See also Joshua 5:13–15, 6:1–5, the Lord appears to Joshua as the Captain of the Lord’s Hosts.
See also 1 Corinthians 15:47, Ephesians 3:14–15, and 1 John 3:1–3, 16, 23 for how the apostles also allude to it.
The Ancient of Days, Daniel Chapter 7, and Revelation Chapter 5:
Traditionally Christians and Jews understood the Ancient of Days as being a representation of
Deity, and Christians generally identify the Ancient of Days as God the Father. The text of Daniel chapter
7 makes it clear why: the Kingdom of God that Daniel saw was the kingdom of the Ancient of Days — it was the Ancient of Days being “ministered” to by one million, and 100 million “stood before him.” (Daniel 7:10) The Ancient of Days then dispenses dominion, glory, and judgment to both the “son of man” and the “Saints of the Most High,” a representation more closely matching a Deity’s role than a mere prophetic figure. (Daniel 7:13–14, 21–22).
The New Testament clearly identifies the Ancient of Days as God the Father. Jesus Christ himself said “ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62) The “glory” that the Son of Man receives from the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:14 is identified by Jesus as the Father’s glory: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27) Paul in 1
Corinthians 15:24–28 draws on Daniel chapter 7, identifying the interaction as being between Christ and
And most explicitly, the apostle John in Revelation 5:11 directly borrows from Daniel 7:10 to describe the throne of God in heaven:
“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;” (Revelation 5:11)
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:10)
It should be observed that the same amount of angels are described in both verses — and the statement in Daniel 7:10 referring to the “books were open” is also paralleled by John in Revelation 5:2–
5 describing Christ being the one who “prevailed to open the book,” fitting with Daniel 7:14 stating that the Son of Man was given “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” from the Ancient of Days.
It is interesting that Latter-day Saints are not alone identifying the Ancient of Days as Adam. Robert Boylan’s “Scriptural Mormonism” blog had an article noting that commentators observe that some ancient Jews also identified the Ancient of Days as Adam:
“Phillip B. Munoa III wrote a book, Four Powers in Heaven: The Interpretation of Daniel 7 in the Testament of Abraham (Journal for the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series, 28) that forwarded the thesis that the Testament of Abraham associates the Ancient of Days from Daniel 7 with Adam and the one like the Son of Man as Seth. For some time, I believed that Munoa was the only scholar who forwarded this claim, but I recently encountered another scholar who agrees with Munoa that the Testament of Abraham identifies Daniel's "Ancient of Days" with Adam.
Andrew Chester in his book, Messiah and Exaltation, wrote the following:
Testament of Abraham
The whole of chapters 11-13 of the Testament of Abraham constitute an important text for the present discussion. The following passages are especially notable:
11.8-9: Then Abraham asked the Prince, 'My Lord Prince, who is the most wondrous man, who is adorned with such great glory . . .?' The incorporeal one said, 'This is the first-formed Adam, who is in such great glory . . . '.
12.4-5, 11: Between the two gates there stood an awesome throne, flashing like fire. And on it sat a wondrous man, bright as the sun, like a son of God . . . And the wondrous man who sat on the throne was the one who was giving judgment and sentencing the souls . . .
13.1-3: And Abraham said, 'My Lord Prince, who is this all-wondrous judge, and who are these recording angels? And who is the angel like the sun, who holds the scales, and who is the fiery angel who holds the fire' And the Prince said, 'All-pious Abraham, do you see the terrifying man who is seated on the throne? This is the son of the first-formed Adam, who is called Abel, and he was killed by the wicked Cain. He sits here to judge every creature . . . '.
This quite extraordinary succession of texts does not describe a process of transformation, such as we have seen thus far, but it does clearly portray both Adam and Abel as having transformed appearance. Thus Abel is surrounded by the most exalted angels, who appear in altogether brilliant mode, yet his own appearance clearly exceeds theirs in its awesome and majestic nature; the same is clearly implied for Adam as well.
It may indeed be possible to find still further significance in Testament of Abraham 11-13. This is according to the view that the Testament of Abraham in these chapters has used Dan. 7.9-27 at its primary point of reference, and interprets the four designations or 'figures' there is a radically distinctive way as four separate and independent beings. So the Ancient of Days is interpreted as Adam, the One like a Son of Man as Abel (the 'wondrous man'), the Holy Ones as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and the Most High as the Master God. The way that Abel appears to be identified as the angelic Son of Man (a designation itself easily obtained for him as 'Son of Adam'!) is quite remarkable, as is the way that he is
set specifically on a throne, as judge of all humankind (and all this has clear similarities with the way that the Son of Man is identified in 1 Enoch 69, 71, and with Jesus in the New Testament).
The most extraordinary aspect of the interpretation here is the Testament of Abraham, however, is the identification of the Ancient of Days with Adam; but in fact Dan. 7.21-22 and 7.25 allow this figure to be distinguished from the Most High, and there are indeed other traditions (Rev. 1.13-14 and Apocalypse of Abraham 10.4) where it is used of a figure other than God. In any case, Adam is given an extraordinary high status here: he is specifically enthroned in the presence of the angels, described as a 'terrifying being' who looks like the 'Master' (clearly referring to God), and adorned in glory. Thus his appearance is like God's, he is enthroned, implicitly has all-encompassing knowledge, and takes part in the process of judgment. (Andrew Chester, Messiah and Exaltation: Jewish Messianic and Visionary Traditions and New Testament Christology [Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007], 71-72)” (Article “Andrew Chester on Adam
being the "Ancient of Days" in The Testament of Abraham”, http://scripturalmormonism.blogspot.com/2018/09/andrew-chester-on-adam-being-ancient-of.html)
The Book of Mormon doesn’t contain Adam-God on Purpose:
“And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.” (3 Nephi 26:8–9; See also verses 6–
All Revelation is Given According to Capacity of the People:
“I suppose there has not yet been a perfect revelation given, because we cannot understand it, yet we receive a little here and a little there. I would not stumble if the Prophet should translate the bible forty thousand times over and yet it should be different in some places every time, because when God speaks, he always speaks according to the capacity of the people.” — Brigham Young (Joseph Smith Papers: Council of Fifty Minutes <18 April 1844> page 119)
“I am so far from believing that any government upon this earth has constitutions and laws that are perfect, that I do not even believe that there is a single revelation, among the many God has given to
the Church, that is perfect in its fulness. The revelations of God contain correct doctrine and principle, so far as they go; but it is impossible for the poor, weak, low, grovelling, sinful inhabitants of the earth to receive a revelation from the Almighty in all its perfections. He has to speak to us in a manner to meet the extent of our capacities, as we have to do with these benighted Lamanites; it would be of no benefit to talk to them as I am now speaking to you. Before you can enter into conversation with them and give them your ideas, you are under the necessity of condescending to their low estate, so far as communication is concerned, in order to exalt them.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 2 <8
July 1855> page 314)
“When God speaks to the people, he does it in a manner to suit their circumstances and capacities. He spoke to the children of Jacob through Moses, as a blind, stiff-necked people, and when Jesus and his Apostles came they talked with the Jews as a benighted, wicked, selfish people. They would not receive the Gospel, though presented to them by the Son of God in all its righteousness, beauty and glory. Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to re-write the Bible, it would in many places be very different from what it now is. And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re- written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation. According as people are willing to receive the things of God, so the heavens send forth their blessings. If the people are stiff- necked, the Lord can tell them but little.” — Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses vol. 9 <13 July 1862> page 311)
Adam Kadmon as a “Celestial Adam” in Jewish Mysticism:
“Brother [George Q.] Cannon said there was a learned Doctor that wanted to be baptized. [He] believed in this work but wanted to close up his business in New York City first. Said when he was baptized that He should lay aside his practice of medicine as he believed the Lord had provided means for the healing of his Saints without the practice of medicine. He is satisfied that the doctrine of the plurality of God and that Adam is our Father is a true doctrine revealed from God to Joseph and Brigham. ‘For this same doctrine is taught in some of the old Jewish
records which have never been in print and I know Joseph Smith nor Brigham Young have never had access to and the Lord has revealed this doctrine unto them or they Could not have taught it’.” (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal vol. 5 <4 September 1860> page 493)
Isaiah 38:11, Young’s Literal Translation: “I said, I do not see Jah -- Jah! In the land of the living, I
do not behold man any more, With the inhabitants of the world.”
Isaiah 38:11 more directly can be translated: “I said, I do not see Jehovah — Jehovah! In the land of the living, I do not behold Adam any more, with the inhabitants of the world.”
Zohar commentary on Isaiah 38:11: “On another occasion Rabbi Simeon spake and said: ‘It is written, “I said, I shall not see the Lord even the Lord in the land of the living; I shall behold man no more with
the inhabitants of the world” (Ps. xxxviii. 11). How great the number of those who are ignorant and take no interest in the secret doctrine. They expend their strength and energy in the acquisition of worldly knowledge, oblivious altogether of that true wisdom which is both spiritual and divine. When a man departs out of earth life, he has to account for every act and deed committed in it and meets many with whom he has been acquainted and held intercourse in the world. Eventually he beholds Adam seated at the Garden of Eden rejoicing over those who have faithfully observed and kept the divine commandments. Surrounding him are the righteous who were wise and avoided walking in the way that leads down to Gehenna and found the path of light’.” (Zohar: Bereshith to Lekh Lekha by Nurho de Manhar chapter 52, retrieved from https://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/zdm/zdm061.htm)
The Gnostic Aeon Adam and Early Christian Esoteric Teachings:
“Adamas...is the first man, HE THROUGH WHOM AND TO WHOM EVERYTHING CAME INTO BEING, (and) without whom nothing came into being. THE UNKNOWABLE, INCOMPREHSIBLE FATHER came forth. He came down from above for the annulment of the deficiency.” (The Nag Hammadi Library: The Definitive Translation of the Gnostic Scriptures Complete in One Volume, 3rd Completely Revised Edition 1990 paperback ed. <James M. Robinson> page 212)
And it seems that the early Christians also had secret teachings:
“Am I not able to write to you about heavenly things? I am; but I fear to inflict harm on you who are mere babes. Pardon me, then — you must not be choked by what you cannot assimilate. It is the same with me: just because I am in chains and able to grasp heavenly things — the ranks of the angels, the hierarchy of principalities, ‘things visible and invisible’ [Colossians 1:16]" etc.” (Ignatius, ca. 110, Trallians
5:1-2, in Ancient Christian Writers vol. 1 pages 76–77)
It is interesting to note that in this quote Ignatius indicates there was esoteric teachings about angels and heavenly things that would be difficult to accept or harmful for those in the faith not yet ready to receive this knowledge.
Atum in Egyptian Mythology:
“Adam and Atum” article from http://kosmosidikos.blogspot.com:
“The great elephant in the room of Egyptian mythology is the god Atum, who, as Bojana Mosjov tentatively confirms, is “at the root of the biblical ‘Adam’” (Mojsov 2005, xiv). And indeed, this identification is certain and, if only it were properly understood, would be enough to shatter the already shaky edifice of Christian bibliolatry. The solar Atum was the great Primordial Man, always represented in human form, the “complete one” and source of all life who existed from the beginning and was identical with the supreme, uncreated god (Pinch 2002, 111). He is described as creating the cosmos by an act of auto-fellatio (Pinch 2002, 196), which, despite its apparent crudity, accurately describes the twofold nature of the Logos Spermatikos as both the Word and the “generative seed” of existence.
But though Atum was the greatest god of all, there was perceived that he had fallen somehow, and he appeared as an old man, decrepit (Pinch 2002, 112), like the aging “Father Time.” For Atum was also identical to Osiris (Budge 1911, 2: 75), the Logos who had become flesh and dwelt among us. This drama was traced in the skies each day—Khepri was the only-begotten sun of early dawn; Horus “the triumphant sun who rose in the east,” reborn; Atum “the weary setting sun” (Pinch 2002, 184); Osiris
the dead sun at midnight (Budge 1911, 1: 59). At the end of all time, Atum would reconstitute himself from the scattered seed-members of Osiris, and creation would begin anew (Pinch 2002, 184).
This is manifestly the doctrine of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45-50, where there is an Adam who is “the Lord from heaven” and became a “quickening spirit.” Nor was it foreign to the Pharisees, for whom the spirit of Adam, or the Messiah, “not only existed before the creation of the earthly Adam, but was preexistent to the whole of creation” (Ginzberg 1901). And according to Philo of Alexandria, this heavenly Adam was the perfect image of the Logos, the Son of God (Mead 1906, 226 ff.).” [From: http://kosmosidikos.blogspot.com/2010/01/adam-and-atum.html]
Adam-God in the Epic of Gilgamesh:
“Man the Outcast: Now the idea that this life is a pilgrimage through the desert did not originate with the Christians or even the Jews: it has been the religious memory of the human race from the earliest dispensations of the Gospel. The apocryphal writings are full of it, and the great antiquity of the
tradition they report may be judged from Haidar’s study of the oldest known temple texts—those of the Sumerians. The religious activity of the Sumerians centered about a ritual drama that took place at the temples (built for that purpose) at the New Year, celebrating and dramatizing the creation of the world, the fall of man, the redemption and resurrection. The ritual drama began by depicting the original home of man as a Garden of Eden, ‘a beautiful place adorned with greenery,’ in which the hero, the father of the race, resided; next ‘the enemies enter the edin (for such the Sumerians called the place), destroying and carrying off the god to another place, also called edin…’ Edin is thus the world before and also after its transformation, when it becomes a dark and dreary place: “we meet with a kind of ‘exodus’ into the desert as an equivalent to the descensus ad inferos,” in which man becomes a homeless wanderer in a land of desolation, a place not to be confused, however, with the underworld or place of the dead.6 As Halder summarizes it,
‘In the beginning we meet with the ‘steppe’ flourishing with verdure being the pasture of the herds. Then, the enemies from the desert enter the god’s field, destroy it, and make it a desert; at this moment the god descends to the Nether World. Then the change occurs, and finally, the god’s triumph over his enemies and his return to life are celebrated, the field again becoming the flourishing dwelling place of the cattle.’
What we should notice here is not the important resurrection theme, or the Garden of Eden motif, or the appearance in the earliest known human records not only of an ‘eschatology of woe,’ but also of a millennial hope and ‘eschatology of bliss,’ but the specific reference to this world as a desert. Man has lost his paradise and though he shall regain it eventually through the sacrifice of the hero who overcomes death, he must live meanwhile as an outcast in a dark and dreary place. In the greatest Sumerian epic, man is represented by the wandering and homeless hero Gilgamesh (often identified by scholars with Adam), who travels through a dark desert in search of the water of life and the plant or tree of immortality (of which a serpent deprives him). Hundreds of parallels to this have been found in folklore and ritual literature everywhere; it is the great heritage of the whole human race.” (Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon pages 123–124)
Adam-God in Ugarit:
[Ugarit] Most Ancient Version of Adam and Eve Story:
“Bible researchers have always assumed that there must have existed a ‘myth of Adam’ on
which passages in the Bible about Adam and Eve are based. And now for the first time there also are tangible traces.
Vineyard of the Great Gods
“In the Ugaritic myth of the great gods the biblical paradise is ‘the vineyard’. Adam and his wife are among the gods who have access to the tree of life. An evil deity, Horon, wants to usurp the place of Creator God El, the highest god in the Canaanite gods world. El punishes him for this by throwing him off the mountain of the gods. In revenge Horon transforms himself into a giant snake who poisons the tree of life, which makes that all life on Earth is threatened.
The gods fear to lose their immortality and therefore give to someone from their midst, Adam, the power over the whole earth, with the intention of defeating Horon. Adam fails miserably, the snake buries his fangs in his flesh and Adam becomes a mortal being. The sun goddess offers humanity a consolation prize, though: via reproduction will man as a species yet remain eternal. To achieve this, she provides Adam with a ‘benign female consort’.” [From an article summarizing the new book Adam, Eve, and the Devil: A New Beginning on the Dutch news website http://ad.nl, no longer accessible, but preserved posted in a discussion thread: “Most ancient version of Adam and Eve story discovered” https://cassiopaea.org/forum/threads/most- ancient-version-of-adam-and-eve-story-discovered.34729/]
[Ugarit] El as “Ab Adm”, or “Father Adam”
In Hebrew, the term Adam and Man are the same word. Hence translators of Ugarit text often translate ab adm as “Father of Man” or “Father of Mankind”.
“El was foremost among deities as mlk 'King' of the Gods; he was ab snm 'Father of Years'; 'Father of Years'; ab adm 'Father of man'; and also, by implication, Father of the Gods.37 He ws bny.bnwt 'Creator of the Created'38 and tr 'Bull'.39” (Alberto Ravinell Whitney Green, The Storm-god in the Ancient Near East pages 228–229)
Looking at Footnotes 37 and 39, respectively:
“37. As outlined, for example, in the amorous tale of El's lovemaking and the birth of the gods in UT
52:1-76 (KTU1,23); Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 73, as the Father of the Gods, El is reckoned to have sired 70 sons with Asherah, who is called the qnyt,ilm 'Mistress of the Gods'; for example, UT 51: IV:27-39; II:30-53 (KTU 1.iv: 33; iii:28-30;33-36). The entire patheon is called bn.ilm, possibly to be rendered 'Sons of El'.”
“39. This title [Bull] emphasizes El's power and also confirms his procreative power withing the pantheon.”
It is interesting that while some Christian and Hebrew scholars attempt to mold El’s fatherhood of man and procreative powers to be figurative (no doubt to fit their existing conception of God), others take these statements at face value. Here’s an excerpt from “A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology” By Dr Gwendolyn Leick
"In Ugarit [El] was with Baal one of the most important deities...El, like the Moespotamian An, represents divine authority and the creator of the world. He represents the principle of order on a
cosmic and political level. His epithets reveal the rang of his competence: as 'ab snm, 'father of the years
(or the exalted?)', he is the father, the patriarchs of all the gods (with the exception of Baal who is
consistently called 'Son of Dagan'). As mlk, 'king', he rules over the world of men as well as gods. He is the source of royal power and therefore the king on earth and is called the 'Son of El' (e.g. Keret). Tr 'el,
'Bull El', refers to his procreative power and his function of dispensing fertility...The sexual vigour of El
has been the subject of much academic interest, as some myths seem ambiguous about his potency (Sahar and Salim) The epithet 'b 'adm, 'Father of Men' probably embraces both the physical and the social implication of this relationship. It is interesting in this context that most of the early verbal- sentence names composed with El seem to have allusion to childbirth and infancy.” (A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology, page 38)
[Ugarit] El as a Married Man, with Multiple Wives
“As recorded on the clay tablets of Ugarit, El is the husband of the goddess Asherah.”
“Ēl is called again and again Tôru ‘Ēl ("Bull Ēl" or "the bull god"). He is bātnyu binwāti ("Creator of creatures"), ("Creator of creatures"), ’abū banī ’ili ("father of the gods"), and , and ‘abū ‘adami ("father of man"). He is qāniyunu ‘ôlam("creator eternal"), the epithet ‘ôlam appearing in Hebrew form in the
Hebrew name of God ’ēl ‘ôlam "God Eternal" in Genesis 21.33. He is ḥātikuka ("your patriarch"). Ēl is the
grey-bearded ancient one, full of wisdom, malku ("King"), ’abū šamīma ("Father of years"), ’El gibbōr ("Ēl
“The mysterious Ugaritic text Shachar and Shalim tells how (perhaps near the beginning of all things) Ēl came to shores of the sea and saw two women who bobbed up and down. Ēl was sexually aroused and took the two with him, killed a bird by throwing a staff at it, and roasted it over a fire. He asked the women to tell him when the bird was fully cooked, and to then address him either as husband or as father, for he would thenceforward behave to them as they called him. They saluted him as husband. He then lay with them, and they gave birth to Shachar ("Dawn") and Shalim ("Dusk"). Again Ēl lay with his wives and the wives gave birth to "the gracious gods", "cleavers of the sea", "children of the sea". The names of these wives are not explicitly provided, but some confusing rubrics at the beginning of the account mention the goddess Athirat, who is otherwise Ēl's chief wife, and the goddess Raḥmayyu ("the one of the womb"), otherwise unknown.” (Taken from the article “El (deity)” subsection “Ugarit and the Levant” on November 3, 2016)
Michael-Adam by Ogden Kraut.
Understanding Adam-God Teachings by Drew Briney.
Adam, Eve, and the Devil: A New Beginning by Marjo C.A. Korpel and Johannes C. de Moor.
President Brigham Young’s Doctrine on Deity Volume 1 by Fred C. Collier.
Boyd Kirkland, “Jehovah as the Father: The Development of the Mormon Jehovah Doctrine,” Sunstone
Magazine, vol. 44 <Autumn 1984> page 36–44.
David Buerger, “The Adam–God Doctrine,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought vol. 15 <1982>
Doctrine of the Priesthood Vol. 8 No. 1 “New Light on the Ancient Hebrew / Christian Doctrine on Deity
Part 1” by Fred C. Collier.
Doctrine of the Priesthood Vol. 8 No. 2 “The Common Origin of Ancient Hebrew / Pagan Religion and the
Demise of the Hebrew Goddess” by Fred C. Collier.
Doctrine of the Priesthood Vol. 12 No. 4 “The Father and the Son — the Two Gods of the Old Testament”
by Fred C. Collier.
Then Jacob Vidrine has written up his own thoughts and research on Adam-God into four issues of his magazine One Eternal Round, available at http://OneEternalRound.org:
One Eternal Round issue #21 “An Introduction to the Adam–God Doctrine”
One Eternal Round issue #22 “A History of the Adam–God Doctrine”
One Eternal Round issue #23 “The Adam–God Doctrine in the Endowment”
One Eternal Round issue #24 “Answering Questions and Contradictions to the Adam–God Doctrine”