Monday, February 18, 2008

Adam-God theory

Wikipedia supplies some interesting information:

Just before his death, Young took steps to ensure that the Adam–God theory was taught in LDS temples as part of the Endowment ceremony. In his personal journal William Clayton recorded the teachings of Brigham Young given in the Nauvoo Temple on 28 December 1845. In these teachings Brigham Young clearly states that there are at least two persons named Adam.

Meeting at half past 10 o clock this day in the attic Story of the Temple, for those who could clothe themselves in the garments of the Priesthood. A very large congregation was present, the side rooms were some of them filled, a curtain was withdrawn and the other rooms besides the east room were filled. About 200 persons were present, clothed in priestly garments. President Young addressed the meeting, it having been opened by prayer by P. P. Pratt, and singing the songs of Zion, "The morning breaks the shadows flee" and "Come to me &c. President Young came into the room at 1/4 before 12 M. He said he supposed those present were a part of those who had received their endowment, that they were those who desired to be wise and do honor to the cause they have espoused, and bring no reproach upon the character of him who has given us of the things of his Kingdom liberally. The keys or signs of the Priesthood are for the purpose of impressing on the mind the order of the Creation. In the first place the name of the man is given, a new name, Adam, signifying the first man, or Eve, the first Woman. Adam's name was more ancient than he was. It was the name of a man long before him, who enjoyed the Priesthood. The new name should be after some ancient man. Thus with your ancient name, your modern name and the name that was last given you, you enquire concerning things past present and future. (Brigham Young, Intimate Chronicle 238-239 (William Clayton Journal) (28 December 1845))

If, as Brigham Young teaches here, Adam was named after "some ancient man" who held the priesthood and lived long before Adam did, then the identity of that more ancient Adam might help us understand better Brigham Young's teachings concerning Adam. If that more ancient Adam is God the Father, then all the mystery of Brigham Young's teachings relative to Adam disappear.

[bolded emphasis by Wikipedia]

This fits pretty well with my prior observation that Brigham Young knew perfectly well that Heavely Father and Adam-who-was-Michael are different people--but the part I could never figure out was whether the writing was garbled, or, if it isn't garbled, why Brigham Young would be referring to the Father as "Adam" also. If William Clayton's journal is correct it's because the name has significance. Maybe that shouldn't surprise anyone who knows what "Adam-ondi-Ahman" means.


"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

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