Questions Answered: Were there “pre-Adamites” or pre-human beings prior to Adam being placed upon the earth? Were animals also “placed” upon the earth? Was Adam a cave-man? Are the world’s teachings about how language and civilization progressed accurate?
Cave men form an integral part of our culture. Schools use them for mascots, classes in universities are devoted to them, but is there any truth in the foundations of these stories? Joseph Fielding Smith, after rehearsing what the world believes about prehistoric man, commented:
This is a very pretty story with just one defect—it is not true! 1
The first man was instructed by the best Teacher man ever had, for he was taught of God, and spoke the language of the Most High, in which angels conversed. This language he taught to his children. 2
. . . the Lord had to reveal to our first parents the modus operandi of the manufacture of an apron of fig leaves. And when they wanted a little copper made up, after having found the ore, the Lord had to come along and show them how to do it; and how to manufacture the iron. How simple this is! It is beneath the notice of the intelligence and science that are in the world now; the scientific men of the present time say those were the days of ignorance. 3
. . . a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled. 4
. . . mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. 5
How do we explain “cave man” and “early man” and “stone age man”? They are simply a result of deterioration and retrogression. They fell away from a better life, that which was known by the first man, Adam. 6
We can easily understand that man rises and falls as he keeps the laws of God. In the world today there are societies of varying development. Some live in refinement and enjoy the very best the world has to offer. Others live in deserts, jungles or plains with little or no education scavenging for subsistence. This does not prove that one is prehistoric and that the other has advanced longer. Clearly opportunity, light and knowledge could change this almost immediately. Either society could rise or sink in one generation. One example of this is in the Book of Mormon. Nephi and Laman both lived in Jerusalem and were raised with gospel light, education and refinement. In their lives Nephi rose yet higher and became even more noble. Laman conversely, was cursed becoming like a flint and living in the wilderness akin to an animal. 7
If Adam was not the descendant of savages, who was he? What was his genealogy? President Joseph Fielding Smith taught this fundamental truth:
. . . God is the “first of the human family.” This same doctrine was taught by Joseph Smith. It is a fundamental doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . . literally, God is our Father; that men are of the same race-the race called humans; and that God, the Progenitor, or Creator, is the Father of the human race. . . . It is a doctrine common to the Latter-day Saints, that God, the Great Elohim, is the First, or Creator, of the human family. 8
For additional information concerning the doctrine that Adam was born a physical son of God please see this FAQ.
Therefore, rather than Adam bearing “. . . in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin” 9 as Charles Darwin taught, Adam was born of the Father with a near perfect body. If this were not true God could save our Spirit bodies, but never our physical bodies. President Boyd K. Packer taught this fundamental truth in these words:
An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral blood lines to beasts. 10
Father Adam was one of the most noble and intelligent characters who ever lived. He began his earth life as a son of God, endowed with the talents and abilities gained through diligence and obedience in pre-existence. He is the head of all gospel dispensations. 11
It is interesting that Joseph Smith wasn’t just guessing on this or merely teaching something he had read. He actually saw Adam on multiple occasions! He knew him! It is interesting that when the devil appeared as an angel of light on the banks of the Susquehanna River, who was it that came and detected him? Of all of the people it could have been, it was Adam. The origin of life on this earth was not prehistoric but refined and learned. The origin of language was not grunts, but the tongue of heaven. The physical bodies of our first parents were not diseased and degenerate as man is today, but near perfect in health. President John Taylor and other prophets testified of the previous condition of this earth. Please see the FAQ describing the original state of the earth and how it compares with today.
As mentioned above, Adam was born as a physical son of God the Father. How did the other forms of life originate on this earth? They were placed here. President Joseph Fielding Smith explained this placement:
“. . . does it not appear to you that it is a foolish and ridiculous notion that when God created this earth he had to begin with a speck of protoplasm, and take millions of years, if not billions, to bring conditions to pass by which his sons and daughters might obtain bodies made in his image? Why not the shorter route and transplant them from another earth as we are taught in the scriptures? Surely to any reasonable mind, the Lord would not have to start with an amoeba, pass through the stage of lower fish to higher fish to reptiles to apes and to man! When we stop to consider how perfect are the workings of God; how thorough he is and orderly, surely these theories flatten out and are without substance. 12
The doctrine that life was placed upon this earth is taught everywhere. It can be observed when visiting the temple, it is repeated in the scriptures and in the writings of the presidents of the Church. It has been taught by the First Presidency and apostles of the Lord during the entire history of the Church. To find countless references do a find on this FAQ compilation (CTRL + f). Any place where the Lord or his prophets speak of life originating on this earth, they use the word ‘placed’. Life was placed here, it did not evolve! This includes plants animals and man. Seeds were planted, which originated on another earth, and then animals and man were placed here as well. The supporting statements are almost countless. Nearly every President of the Church has made a statement on the origin of life using the word ‘placed’.
Finally, in closing, President Harold B. Lee in a First Presidency message, given while president of the Church, taught clearly that those who cannot accept what has been revealed by the Lord concerning pre-Adamites are weak in the faith.
“I was somewhat sorrowed recently to hear someone, a sister who comes from a church family, ask, “What about the pre-Adamic people?” Here was someone who I thought was fully grounded in the faith. I asked, “What about the pre-Adamic people?” She replied, “Well, aren’t there evidences that people preceded the Adamic period of the earth?” I said, “Have you forgotten the scripture that says, ‘And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also….’” 13 I asked, “Do you believe that?” She wondered about the creation because she had read the theories of the scientists, and the question that she was really asking was: How do you reconcile science with religion? The answer must be, If science is not true, you cannot reconcile truth with error .” 14
President Lee made it very clear that we can not and should not reconcile false scientific ideas such as pre-Adamites with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
First Presidency Messages
“It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was ‘the first man of all men’ 15, and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race.” 16 17
The Priesthood was first given to Adam. He obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the creation, before the world was formed, as in Genesis 1:20, 26, 28 . He had dominion given him over every living creature. He is Michael the Archangel, spoken of in the Scriptures. Then to Noah, who is Gabriel: he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood. He was called of God to this office, and was the Father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.
The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven, whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam’s authority. Daniel vii. speaks of the Ancient of Days. He means the oldest man—our Father Adam (Michael). He will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the Father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men; and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ—that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.
The spirit of man is not a created being: it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, &c, had their existence in an elementary state from eternity. Our Saviour speaks of children and says, “Their angels always stand before my Father.” The Father called all spirits before him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him. 18
The Priesthood was first given to Adam. . . . He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Genesis 1:26, 27, 28 . He had dominion given him over every living creature. . . . Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. . . . Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.
The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity. . . . The Father called all spirits before Him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him. 19
In the beginning God called Adam by His own voice. “And the Lord called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and hid myself.” 20 Adam received commandments and instructions from God: this was the order from the beginning. That he received revelations, commandments and ordinances at the beginning is beyond the power of controversy; else how did they begin to offer sacrifices to God in an acceptable manner? And if they offered sacrifices they must be authorized by ordination. 21
Father Adam was one of the most noble and intelligent characters who ever lived. He began his earth life as a son of God, endowed with the talents and abilities gained through diligence and obedience in pre-existence. He is the head of all gospel dispensations. 22
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another. 23
In the infancy of creation the human family commenced down at the bottom of the ladder, and had to make their way upward. How small and frail that commencement looks now; why it is considered almost beneath the notice of the wise of this day to talk of the intelligence of our First Parents. When they waked from their sleep and found themselves in a state of nudity, we are told that they hid themselves, because they were ashamed and mortified and did not wish to expose themselves when the Lord came along. And he picked some fig leaves—what a simple idea! He picked some fig leaves and sewed them together and made aprons of them. I do not know whether he used scissors or His penknife for the cutting out of the garments, or what kind of a needle and thread He used, but he made aprons for the whole human family—Adam and Eve! What a simple idea! It is beneath the notice of the mechanic or artist, or the science of the world now-a-days. Yet simple as it seems now, the Lord had to reveal to our first parents the modus operandi of the manufacture of an apron of fig leaves. And when they wanted a little copper made up, after having found the ore, the Lord had to come along and show them how to do it; and how to manufacture the iron. How simple this is! It is beneath the notice of the intelligence and science that are in the world now; the scientific men of the present time say those were the days of ignorance. Yes, that was in the period of the childhood of the human family, in the infancy of the world. But what does it manifest unto us? Why that there is a Being superior to man, and though we may not know the place where He resides, He has come along occasionally and shown His creatures how to make and work up brass, iron, copper, and in fact has revealed to them everything they know at various stages of their development and progress.
The people of this day think they know more than all who have preceded them—that this is the wisest generation that ever did live on the earth. Perhaps it is in worldly things, and in some of the arts and sciences it may be; but there is no question that many things of great worth known anciently have been lost. Archaeological developments and investigations bring to light facts in the mechanical arts which set at defiance the skill of the world in our day. For instance, where is the mechanic now, who can sharpen copper so that it would shave the beard from a man’s face, or chop timber like an axe made of steel? The skill to do that is not in existence now; yet it once was, and many other arts, revealed to man anciently, have been lost through the wickedness of the people. 24
Now follow our fathers further back and take those who first came to the island of Great Britain, were they the same species of beings as those who came to America? Yes, all acknowledge this; this is upon natural principles. Thus you may continue and trace the human family back to Adam and Eve, and ask, “are we of the same species with Adam and Eve?” Yes, every person acknowledges this; this comes within the scope of our understanding.
But when we arrive at that point, a vail is dropt, and our knowledge is cut off. Were it not so, you could trace back your history to the Father of our spirits in the eternal world. He is a being of the same species as ourselves; He lives as we do, except the difference that we are earthly, and He is heavenly. He has been earthly, and is of precisely the same species of being that we are. . . . Now to the facts in the case; all the difference between Jesus Christ and any other man that ever lived on the earth, from the days of Adam until now, is simply this, the Father, after He had once been in the flesh, and lived as we live, obtained His exaltation, attained to thrones, gained the ascendancy over principalities and powers, and had the knowledge and power to create-to bring forth and organize the elements upon natural principles. 25
Let the human family do as they did in the days of Adam, in the days of Noah, or even as they did in the days of Lot; let parents propagate children, and let one generation succeed another, and this does not change the blood, flesh, bones, sinews, &c., pertaining to our organization in the flesh; this does not change in the least the peculiar characteristics of the organization of our bodies. The Apostle merely hinted at this subject when he said, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” 26
No matter who they are, nor whether they are upon the islands, or upon the continents; no matter whether they are the wild Arabs who traverse the scorching sands of Arabia, the aborigines of our own country, who roam over its plains and mountains, or the delicately nurtured dwellers in highly civilized nations; they are all of one flesh and blood.
Consequently we can readily and safely draw the conclusion that a man or woman who has sprang from the loins of Father Adam and Mother Eve, whether upon the islands of the sea, in the west, in the east, or on the opposite side of this globe, is flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone, as much so as any person now in this house or in this Territory. 27
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. . . . The very man who walked and talked with and knew the God of heaven, and knew and understood all about making this earth had associates who were associated with Enoch, and yet twenty-five years of the travel and experience of Enoch with his people had not advanced them so far, in my opinion, as this people have advanced in the same time, taking into account the difference of traditions and other advantages.
They had not a diversity of languages, but all spoke one language; they were not trained in the various traditions in which we have been, for they received only one from Adam; they were as intimately associated as we would be in living in this City two hundred years, with the gates shut down upon all egress and ingress, and under such circumstances do you not think that our traditions would be all alike? 28
Do you not all know that you are the sons and daughters of the Almighty? If you do not I will inform you this morning that there is not a man or woman on the earth that is not a son or daughter of Adam and Eve. We all belong to the races which have sprung from father Adam and mother Eve; and every son and daughter of Adam and Eve is a son and daughter of that God we serve, who organized this earth and millions of others, and who holds them in existence by law. 29
If we read the requirements made by Jesus, by the Father, or by any messenger sent from the Heavens to the children of men we shall find nothing that will injure any human being or that will destroy the soul of one of the sons or daughters of Adam and Eve. . . . The world may in vain ask the question, “Who are we?” But the Gospel tells us that we are the sons and daughters of that God whom we serve. Some say, “We are the children of Adam and Eve.” So we are, and they are the children of our Heavenly Father. We are all the children of Adam and Eve, and they and we are the offspring of Him who dwells in the heavens, the highest Intelligence that dwells anywhere that we have any knowledge of. . . . What are His commandments to us? Has He commanded us to build an ark? No. He told Noah to do that for the salvation of those who would go into it; and after he had built it, and had preached righteousness for a long space of time, warning the people of the coming judgments of the Almighty, how many believed his testimony? Only eight souls, and they were members of his own family. All the rest were swept from the face of the earth. This is according to the account given to us in the Old Testament which we believe. I know that there are a great many in the world who are so wise in their own eyes that they are not disposed to believe the account contained in the Bible of the Creation, of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the antediluvian world and other things, but we profess to believe, and we do or should believe these things. 30
Suppose a man should come here and tell you the very nature of our Father Adam—tell precisely how he was organized, his height, his proportions, the extent of his knowledge, tell you the agreement that was entered into, the amount of knowledge that he had to forget to reduce himself to the capacity of a corruptible being! Suppose this could all be told to the congregations of the Saints, what would they know about it? Very little. There may be some minds which could grasp some things pertaining to it, but others could not. The spirit of revelation can reveal these things to the people, but unless they live so as to have the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, they will remain a mystery, for there is a vail before the minds of the people, and they cannot be understood. Some of these principles have been taught to the Latter-day Saints, but who can understand them? 31
There was a Baptist minister present; he was staying at my house. He was a kind, friendly man, and was on his way to the gold mines. He was sitting beside me. I wanted to leave him in a puzzle. I would not tell him, but brought him right to the point, and there left him. When we got home, said he, “Oh! brother Young, you came right to the point exactly, and I did pray that you might tell us what kind of a being God is.” I replied, “I left you in a puzzle on purpose for you to guess it. You have read it frequently, and you can hardly read the Bible at all without reading precisely what kind of a being our Father is.” Said he, “I am not aware that I know anything about it.” I asked him if he could tell me what kind of a being Adam was. “Oh, Adam was a man like I am.” I asked him if he believed in the history of creation, as given in Genesis by Moses, for if he did he would find that God said to His associates, “Let us go down and make man in our own image and likeness.” He believed the history given by Moses, and had read the passage to which I referred. “Then,” said I, “you must believe that Adam was created in the exact image of the Father.” 32
If he could reveal unto Adam all of the events which would transpire upon the earth associated with coming generations, he certainly must himself have had a knowledge of those things which he communicated to our first parents, or he could not have revealed them. Among other things which the Lord designed should be introduced upon the earth was what is termed the dispensation of the fullness of times, wherein he would gather together all things in one, whether they be things on the earth or things in heaven; but all should be gathered together in one. . . . We find that Adam offered sacrifices, and when he did this, he said in answer to a question put to him by an holy angel, I do not know why I do it, only the Father has commanded it. And then the angel commenced to explain to him that this rite was a type of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father who should come in the meridian of time to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world; and said he, “Thou shalt do all things in the name of the Son, and call upon the Father in his name for evermore.” When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, the mercy of God was extended to them, and they perceived as Eve expressed it, that if there had been no fall, they would have had no posterity, and that they would have been deprived of many joys and blessings relating both to this life and the life to come. And so Adam and Eve rejoiced in their hearts that God had provided the plan, and although they were fallen, yet in this life, through the atonement, they would have joy, and by and by they would return to their Father, and there rejoice exceedingly in the abundant mercy of God, and in the redemption wrought out for them by the Son of God. . . . Now, with regard to Noah and his day. God made arrangements beforehand, and told Methuselah that when the people should be destroyed, that a remnant of his seed should occupy the earth and stand foremost upon it. And Methuselah was so anxious to have it done that he ordained Noah to the Priesthood when he was ten years of age. Noah then stood in his day as the representative of God; and after him Abraham was selected to take the lead in relation to these matters pertaining to man’s salvation. Some people suppose that Abraham was an old fogy who knew but little, a kind of dull, dumpy old shepherd. But we were informed that he was a man that followed after righteousness, and that he sought to obtain more righteousness; that he searched the records of his fathers as they had come down to him, and traced them back until the days of Adam, and even before the world was. 33
Now, Adam was in possession of these things; he was in possession of the spirit of prophecy and revelation. He talked with God, and it was through the medium of the Gospel he was enabled to do it. Enoch also conversed with and had revelations from God, and finally he was not, for God took him. Noah conversed with God, and God told him to build an ark, and gave him revelations about the size of it and the kind of animals he was to introduce into it. 34
There have been different agencies at work throughout this world’s history. Lucifer has been and is one of these agencies. There was a garden planted, and Adam and Eve were placed in it, and there they had communion with God. . . . After Adam there were Seth, Enos, Mahalaleel, Methusaleh, Lamech, and a great many others until we arrive at Enoch and Noah, who operated especially in behalf of the interest of the human family. They preached the Gospel as we preach it, and taught the same principles that we teach. They gathered the people to a Zion as we gather them, and when they had been gathered together, they had enemies as we have, who arrayed themselves against them. But Enoch was clothed upon with the power of God. He walked with God for 365 years, and, we are told, “he was not, for God took him.” That is about all that is said about him in the Bible; but we have other information. Many others walked with God, and there was a city that the people were gathered to—a Zion. They walked with God and they were instructed of the Lord; but it took at any rate, 365 years to accomplish this object. 35
George Albert Smith
The Holy Bible contains the advice of our Heavenly Father, and I accept without mental reservation the statements made in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and every living thing that has inhabited the earth, including man.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. 36
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 37
This was all a spiritual creation. Then follows the physical creation.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 38
It was in the plan of our Heavenly Father that every living thing that he created should each reproduce after its kind. Adam and Eve were the children of God; they were our first parents, and every human being that has lived upon the earth descended from them. God gave them their agency to decide for themselves in all matters and held them responsible for their conduct. They received their instructions in the Garden of Eden from our Heavenly Father and those teachings were preserved for succeeding generations. 39
Joseph Fielding Smith
Now, the Lord did not choose a being that had just developed from the lower forms of life, to be a prince, an archangel, to preside over the human race forever! , as Michael, was one of the intelligences in the spirit world and he stands next to Jesus Christ. When he came upon the earth, the Lord gave him a perfect form of government. 40
. . . God is the “first of the human family.” This same doctrine was taught by Joseph Smith. It is a fundamental doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . . literally, God is our Father; that men are of the same race-the race called humans; and that God, the Progenitor, or Creator, is the Father of the human race. . . . It is a doctrine common to the Latter-day Saints, that God, the Great Elohim, is the First, or Creator, of the human family. 41
We have been informed that history is the narrative of what civilized man has done, and that it cannot go back of written records. Some writers on ancient history say that prehistoric man dwelt in caves, under overhanging cliffs, and in other places of shelter which nature could afford as protection from wind, rain, and the ravages of wild animals stronger than man. His weapon was a branch of a tree which served as a club or spear. His club was ofttimes reinforced by a stone or tusk. Later he learned to use hard stone or flint, which could be chipped or sharpened by friction and fastened to his club with thongs from the skins of animals. This was in the age of stone before he discovered metals.
This poor savage, these same writers are careful to instruct us, lived several hundred thousand years ago. Just how long ago they do not know; but a slight matter of two or three hundred thousand years makes such a little difference anyway! He had no written language and the words he used were limited to a few monosyllables or grunts. In course of time, along with other attainments which came gradually, he learned to communicate with his fellows by means of a few crude signs and drawings cut in clay or soft stone. This was the beginning of communication by writing. As time passed, his means of expression were improved, and signs were made to represent sounds of the human voice.
The dawn of history, so these theorists say, came when the writers learned to make their records permanent by baking their tablets made of clay, or carving their thoughts in stone. These great changes did not come in a day, but after many millenniums of progress, through the stone age which was followed by the age of metals, which is of comparatively recent date. Gradually man progressed, increasing in knowledge and power, until he reached the wonderful state of intelligence which he possesses today.
This is a very pretty story with just one defect—it is not true! Yet, such is the information our children are taught in our schools. I shall be bold enough to say that such theories should have no place in our schools in the manner in which they now appear. That I may not be misunderstood, let me say that I do believe that there has been a stone age, a copper age, and development and increase of knowledge through the centuries. I do not, however, accept the statement that the first man evolved from lower forms of life, and roamed over the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago as a savage, uncultured, ignorant, and with no spoken or written language. I know better than that, for the Lord has declared otherwise. 42
“. . . does it not appear to you that it is a foolish and ridiculous notion that when God created this earth he had to begin with a speck of protoplasm, and take millions of years, if not billions, to bring conditions to pass by which his sons and daughters might obtain bodies made in his image? Why not the shorter route and transplant them from another earth as we are taught in the scriptures? Surely to any reasonable mind, the Lord would not have to start with an amoeba, pass through the stage of lower fish to higher fish to reptiles to apes and to man! When we stop to consider how perfect are the workings of God; how thorough he is and orderly, surely these theories flatten out and are without substance. 43
The first man was instructed by the best Teacher man ever had, for he was taught of God, and spoke the language of the Most High, in which angels conversed. This language he taught to his children. 44
Then what is meant by the “first flesh”? It is simple when you understand it. Adam was the first of all creatures to fall and become flesh, and flesh in this sense means mortality, and all through our scriptures the Lord speaks of this life as flesh, while we are here in the flesh, so Adam became the first flesh. There was no other mortal creature before him, and there was no mortal death until he brought it . . . 45
In consideration of any question where a conflict appears to exist between the revelation of the Lord and the teachings of the scientific world, it is well to remember the key the Lord has given us which is always a safe guide to follow. This key is couched in the following language: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
There is no conflict between a scientifically discovered truth and the revealed word of the Lord, for truth everywhere harmonizes with truth. Or as it is expressed in the Doctrine and Covenants: “Intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light,” and we will ever find it so.
There may, however, be a vast difference between the revelations of the Lord through his prophets, and the theories of men. There may also be a difference between the teachings of science and the scriptural interpretation of men, but when the language is clear and there can be no misunderstanding of the meaning, we may with perfect safety rely upon the revelations of the Lord with the assurance that whatever comes in conflict with them will in due time cease to exist. There are many theories advanced in the scientific world some of which may in time be proved true, others will be proved false, and then must be discarded. We should remember that theories are, as it has often been said, merely the scaffolding to the scientific structure. Let us not, therefore, be carried away by the theories of men even though they may appear to be very plausible, when they seem to contradict the word of the Lord. It is the right of every member of the Church to know for himself the truth, and this may be obtained in the way the Lord has designated and through the spirit of humility and prayer. So much, then, preliminary to the question which follows. . . .
After contemplating the theories that have been advanced in the science of linguistics, we involuntarily exclaim with Zophar: “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Having learned that man has failed to discover the origin of language, why not turn to the revelations of the Lord? When we begin our research from false beginnings, we are bound to come to false conclusions, if we reach conclusions at all. The Lord has spoken and has made known to us where language came from and how it was first given. Of course, to accept this fact, we must have faith in the revelations, and be willing to believe the story of man’s beginning on the earth as the Almighty has informed us.
How long Adam remained in the Garden of Eden we do not know. I think we may safely conclude that he was there some time, and all the while he was in the presence of his Father, the Lord omnipotent. From the Lord he received his early training and was not left to blindly find his way after having been given one or two commandments. The story says that the Lord spoke to Adam and gave him commandments. How could he give him commandments without speaking to him? What would be more natural than to believe that the Father would speak to him in his own language, and that that language was perfect, for it was the language of Celestial beings? We are informed that Adam and the Lord carried on conversations. How was this done unless Adam had been taught to speak? Therefore, all who have faith in the word of the Lord must know that Adam had a language; that his language was pure and perfect for it came from the Lord. All Latter-day Saints know this to be the case, for the Lord revealed to Moses, and later to Joseph Smith in the writings of Moses, that, not only did Adam have the power of speech, but he was taught also to read and to write, and records were kept by him and by his posterity. These scriptures say: “And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; and by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.”
Again, Enoch said: “For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language.” 46
Modern education declares that there never was such a thing as the “fall” of man, but that conditions have always gone on in the same way as now in this mortal world. Here, say they, death and mutation have always held sway as natural conditions on this earth and everywhere throughout the universe the same laws obtain. It is declared that man has made his ascent to the exalted place he now occupies through countless ages of development which has gradually distinguished him from lower forms of life. Such a doctrine of necessity discards the story a Adam and the Garden of Eden, which it looks upon as a myth coming down to us from an early age of foolish ignorance and superstition. Moreover, it is taught that since death was always here, and a natural condition prevailing throughout all space, there could not possibly come a redemption from Adam’s transgression, hence there was no need for a Savior for a fallen world. 47
Adam, our first parent,—and I believe that doctrine very firmly, which is now discounted in the world—through his transgression brought into the world death, and through death came suffering and sin. The first death that was pronounced upon him was banishment from the presence of the Lord. For Adam died two deaths, a spiritual death, or banishment from the presence of God, which is the first death, and which is like the second death which will be pronounced upon the wicked when they are cast out of the presence of the Lord; and he also died the mortal death.
The first death, spiritual death, came upon him at the time of his transgression. The mortal death did not overtake him for many many many years, for the Lord granted unto him a time of probation in which he was taught and instructed in the principles of the gospel and given a chance to repent, to show through his faithfulness his worthiness of redemption, and to be brought back again into the presence of God his father.
The mortal death passed upon all men through the transgression of Adam, and every man is subject to death. Being subject to death and to sin, it is impossible for us by any act of ours to redeem ourselves from death or from our own individual sins. We are absolutely helpless. Every man that has been born into the world since the days of Adam, save the Lord Jesus Christ, has been subject to death, and under the transgression of his own sins, without the power in and of himself to redeem himself from either situation. 48
The great honor to come here and be the first parents of all men was given to Adam and Eve. They were placed by the Father in the Garden of Eden where there was no death. Adam and Eve in the condition in which they were when placed in the Garden of Eden could have lived there forever if they had not broken a law, but they would have lived alone and would have had no children. 49 The Lord told them they could eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and if they did eat this fruit they would surely die. Satan tempted them and they ate this fruit and broke this commandment. By doing this a change came over their bodies and they became subject to death, as the Lord has said, and they were driven out of the garden. After they were driven out children were born to them and they have spread over all the earth. All the children inherited death from our first parents, so we will all have to die as our ancestors have done before us. This made it necessary that something be done to redeem us from death and restore us to life again where there would be no death, for this trangression of Adam and Eve, placed all of us subject to Satan’s power after death. 50
“Question asked of Joseph Fielding Smith: “Since reading your book, Man: His Origin, and Destiny, I have been troubled by your difference in view of organic evolution and the age of man and the teachings of some of our most outstanding scientists who maintain that scientific evidence prove the earth and man to be much older than you claim. Your statements are contrary to what I have been taught and believe.”
President Smith’s Answer: If what I have written is in criticism of the present theories in relation to organic evolution and the age of man upon the earth, in which you believe, then I can readily see why you disagree with what I have taught. I will state frankly and positively that I am opposed to the present biological theories and the doctrine that man has been on the earth for millions of years. I am opposed to the present teachings in relation to the age of the earth which declare that the earth is millions of years old. Some modern scientists even claim that it is a billion years old. Naturally, since I believe in modern revelation, I cannot accept these so-called scientific teachings, for I believe them to be in conflict with the simple and direct word of the Lord that has come to us by divine revelation.” 51
APOSTASY COMES WHEN TRUTH NOT TAUGHT. Modern education declares that there never was such a thing as the fall of man, but that conditions have always gone on in the same way as now in this mortal world. Here, say they, death and mutation have always held sway as natural conditions on this earth and everywhere throughout the universe the same laws obtain. It is declared that man has made his ascent to the exalted place he now occupies through countless ages of development which has gradually distinguished him from lower forms of life.
Such a doctrine of necessity discards the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden, which it looks upon as a myth coming down to us from an early age of foolish ignorance and superstition. Moreover, it is taught that since death was always here, and a natural condition prevailing throughout all space, there could not possibly come a redemption from Adam’s transgression, hence there was no need for a Savior for a fallen world.
Is it any wonder, under such circumstances, that churches are deserted; that more than half of the population of this country has become indifferent, if not antagonistic, to religion? This, also, is just as true of other lands. 52
Harold B. Lee
I was somewhat sorrowed recently to hear someone, a sister who comes from a church family, ask, “What about the pre‑Adamic people?”
Here was someone who I thought was fully grounded in the faith.
I asked, “What about the pre‑Adamic people?”
She replied, “Well, aren’t there evidences that people preceded the Adamic period of the earth?”
I said, “Have you forgotten the scripture that says, ‘And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also…'” (Moses 3:7.) I asked, “Do you believe that?”
She wondered about the creation because she had read the theories of the scientists, and the question that she was really asking was:
How do you reconcile science with religion? The answer must be, If science is not true, you cannot reconcile truth with error…
I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures. If only each of us would be wise enough to say that we aren’t able to answer any question unless we can find a doctrinal answer in the scriptures! And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false ‑ it is as simple as that. But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about the things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today. 53
Spencer W. Kimball
“God has given us a plan. He has sent us all to earth to obtain bodies and to gain experience and growth. He anticipated the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent change in their mortal condition and provided his Son Jesus Christ to redeem man from the effects of the fall.” 54
“The Gods organized the earth of materials at hand, over which they had control and power. This truth is absolute. A million educated folk might speculate and determine in their minds that the earth came into being by chance. The truth remains. The earth was made by the Gods…opinions do not change that. The Gods organized and gave life to man and placed him on the earth. This is absolute. It cannot be disproved. A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true.” 55
Darwinist and Neo-Darwinist Statements
“Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin” 56
Bible Dictionary: Fall of Adam — The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Genesis 2, 3, 4 ; and Moses 3, 4 . The fall of Adam is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall, Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There was no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3: 7 ), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Helaman 14: 16-17 ).
Latter-day revelation supports the biblical account of the fall, showing that it was a historical event that literally occurred in the history of man. Many points in latter-day revelation are also clarified that are not discernible from the Bible. Among other things it makes clear that the fall is a blessing, and that Adam and Eve should be honored in their station as the first parents of the earth. Significant references are 2 Nephi 2: 15-16 ; 2 Nephi 9: 6-21 ; Mosiah 3: 11-16 ; Alma 22: 12-14 ; Alma 42: 2-15 ; D&C 29: 34-44 ; Moses 5: 9-13 .
“And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.”
“And God revealed himself unto Seth, and he rebelled not, but offered an acceptable sacrifice, like unto his brother Abel. And to him also was born a son, and he called his name Enos. And then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord, and the Lord blessed them; And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.”
And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
. . . we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure? Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand.
. . . received the priesthood by the commands of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man…
Abraham 1:2, 3, 31
. . . I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
. . . down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.
2 Nephi 2:22-24
. . . if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
“And I, the Lord God, formed man . . . the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also . . .”
“. . . mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them;
And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them…
And it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures unto the king—how God created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that because of transgression, man had fallen.
And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.
So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.
1 Ne. 5:11
And he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents;
Among the great and mighty ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father Adam, the Ancient of Days and father of all. And our glorious Mother Eve…
Mark E. Peterson
How do we explain “cave man” and “early man” and “stone age man”? They are simply a result of deterioration and retrogression. They fell away from a better life, that which was known by the first man, Adam. 57
A mid-western newspaper, in its editorial columns, defined the origin of language and said that primitive man was able to communicate only through facial expressions and bodily movements. It claimed that the spoken language came much later and was part of man’s evolution to his present state. This, of course, is in line with other false hypotheses being foisted upon an unwary public, many of whom are willing to believe that if we developed from lower forms of life, we also had to develop language from lower forms. They say we learned to speak as we also learned to stand erect or to think, hunt, and eventually cultivate the ground. But how foolish is this notion in the light of revelation. The first man, Adam, could speak eloquently. He could write. He could talk, not only with other men but with God, who was his teacher, who likewise gave him his language and his intelligence. The earliest men, according to the scriptures, kept books of remembrance, and they wrote the scriptures themselves, under inspiration from the Almighty. Has there ever been more beautiful language than is found in the scriptures? Has any writing been as uplifting and enduring? Language did not evolve from lowly origins. It was beautiful to begin with. It suffered from the same retrogression that centuries ago made cavemen out of intelligent beings and turned pure religion into superstition, as early men apostatized from God. 58
Boyd K. Packer
An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral blood lines to beasts. 59
Marion G. Romney
I would like to say just a word about my testimony of the mission of Jesus Christ. I want to go a little farther back for a moment, if I can be given guidance by the Spirit of the Lord to speak the truth accurately, and mention the great condition precedent to the efficacy of the mission of Jesus Christ. That condition precedent is the mission of Father Adam, because without the mission of Adam there would have been no need for the mission—the atonement—of Jesus Christ.
I have an assignment from the First Presidency to serve on nthe Church publications committee. This committee is expected to read and pass upon the literature proposed for use in the study courses of our auxiliary organizations. It would please me immensely if in the preparation of this literature, we could get away from using the language of those who do not believe in the mission of Adam. I have reference to wors and phrases such as “primitive man,” “prehistoric man,” “before men learned to write,” and the like. We sometimes use these terms in a way that offends my feelings; in a way which indicates to me that we get mixed up in our understanding of the mission of Adam. The connotation of these terms, as used by unbelievers, is out of harmony with our understanding of the mission of Adam.
“Adam fell that men might be.” 60. There were no pre-Adamic men in the line of Adam. The Lord said that Adam was the first man. 61. It is hard for me to get the idea of a man ahead of Adam, before the first man . . .
Adam was the son of God. He . . . “fell” to earth life. He did not come up through an unbroken line of organic evolution. There had to be a fall. “Adam fell that men might be.” 62 . . .
If Adam and Eve had not partaken of the forbidden fruit, they would have had no children, and would not have been. 63.
I do not look upon Adam’s action as a sin. I think it was a deliberate act of free agency. He chose to do that which had to be done to further the purposes of God. The consequences of his act made necessary the atonement of the Redeemer. 64
- Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, p. 38
- Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, p. 39
- President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 305 – 306
- Moses 6:5–6
- Ether 12:24
- Mark E. Peterson, Adam: Who Is He? p. 53-55
- 2 Nephi 5
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 102.
- Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, p. 405
- Boyd K. Packer, The Law and the Light
- Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.157-159
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 276
- Moses 3:7
- Harold B. Lee, “First Presidency Message: Find the Answers in the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec. 1972, 2
- Moses 1:34
- First Presidency of the Church, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75–81
- Ensign, February 2002, p. 26
- Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 6: 237 – 238
- Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 157-158
- Genesis 3:9–10
- Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 168
- Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.157-159
- Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345
- President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 305 – 306
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 4: 218
- Acts 17:26
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 4: 217
- President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 3: 319
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 14: 112 – 113
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 312
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 264
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 12: 69 – 70
- John Taylor,Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 22: 298 – 299
- John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 13: 18
- John Taylor, October 6-7, 1884, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 25: 304 – 305
- Genesis 1:27, 28
- Genesis 2:4, 5
- Genesis 2:7
- President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1945, Third Day—Morning Meeting 135.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:94-96
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 102.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964], p. 37
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 276
- Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, p. 39
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Seek Ye Earnestly [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970], 281.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Language of Adam: The Origin of Speech,” Improvement Era, 1928, Vol. Xxxi. January, 1928 No. 3
- Joseph Fielding Smith, “Melchizedek Priesthood,” Improvement Era, 1937, Vol. Xl. May, 1937. No. 5
- Joseph Fielding Smith, “Faith and Works: The Clearing of a Seeming Conflict,” Improvement Era, 1924, Vol. Xxvii. October, 1924. No. 12
- 2 Nephi 2:22–25 ; Moses 5:11
- Your Question by Joseph Fielding Smith, Improvement Era, 1954, Vol. Lvii. August, 1954. No. 8
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5: 112.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315.
- President Harold B. Lee, Ensign, December 1972
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 25.
- Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth”, Ensign, September 1978, p. 3
- Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man p. 405
- Mark E. Peterson, Adam: Who Is He? p. 53-55
- Editorial from local newspaper quoted by Mark E. Peterson in BYU Speeches Of The Year, 1973.
- Boyd K. Packer, The Law and the Light
- 2 Nephi 2:25
- Moses 1:34; 3:7 ; D&C 84:16
- 2 Nephi 2:25
- 2 Nephi 2:23–25 ; Moses 5:11
- Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1953, pp. 123-24. Italics added—as quoted in Living Prophets for a Living Church, Church manual for the LDS Church, 1974, pp. 119-20
9 thoughts to “23) PRE-ADAMITES: Were there “pre-Adamites” or pre-human beings prior to Adam being placed upon the earth? Was Adam a cave-man? Are the world’s teachings about how language and civilization progressed accurate?”
Thank you so much for researching and sharing these quotes! This is important information that is sorely needed to strengthen the testimonies of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, especially our youth. Sadly, two of my sons have chosen to trust science over the scriptures even though they attended church every Sunday unless they were sick, as well as weekly activity night, youth conferences, Super Saturdays, and service projects, and four years of seminary, plus daily family prayer and weekly family home evening. They have been to Nauvoo several times and have pioneer ancestors, some of whom sacrificed their lives for the gospel. I wish we had had these quotes and clear thoughts to strengthen their testimonies of the truth. One of them served an outstanding mission and married in the temple. The other sent his papers in but was not accepted because he had Crohn’s disease. Both have careers in the field of medicine. One is now an anesthesiologist. They are both intelligent, but have been deceived. I continue to reach out to them in love and have faith that they will return to the truth someday. Thanks again for your efforts to inform members of these truths!
It is fascinating that a “forum” can present this deeply scientific topic, and be so obtusely one sided. There are 64 references in this article, only two of which refer to one obscure non-church reference. On your homepage you quote the definition of forum as being a court or a place where causes are judicially tried. Not only is science completely left out of this forum, even the LDS views portrayed are cherry picked to be one sided. I feel sorry for people like Eileen (above comment) that are led to believe that there is only one way of viewing scientific matters in the church, perpetuated by errant posts such as this one.
There is substantial evidence in science that cannot be refuted. There are many LDS authorities and scholars that fully support the scientific record and remain faithful latter-day saints. Unfortunately they are not given the time of day in this article.
There is no reason for science and LDS doctrine to be viewed as contradictory.
This is a terribly biased article. Absolutely nowhere in this article was any mention of DNA, current archaeological fact, carbon dating of bones, forensic historical fact / physical proof of “pre-Adamites”. In fact, unless I read wrong, there is only one bibliography reference from 2002 that says nothing about pre-adamites, the rest are from the 1970’s, 1950’s, 1920’s and most are from the early 1800’s.
Brigham Young taught ,”….So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized.” – http://en.fairmormon.org/Journal_of_Discourses/13/31#271
SO we are to believe that the hunches and guesses of men in the 1800s are accurate? The sun? Inhabited? We have to stop force fitting biblically narratives into literalistic bottles. As we learn and grow, we realize how much of the biblical narrative isn’t literal but allegorical. Noah and the ark. Tower of Babel. Jaredite ships. Once we stop trying to discredit fact and science to fit a narrow literal narrative, we can value the scriptures for what they were intended for, allegory and spiritual messaging. Just my humble opinion.
I don’t know if taking on the prophets of God and arguing against the word of God with your incredible learning is a “humble opinion”.
I have to agree that the article is biased… but clearly toward truth. The article addressed the question of pre-Adamite men from the standpoint of what the scriptures tell us and what the prophets have shared. It does not mention DNA because that is not germane to the conversation, but if it had, actual genetic DNA studies support a common mtDNA ancestor only 6000-6500 years ago. Of course the theoretical phylogenetic assumptions assert a baseless claim of 200,000 years, but the empirical evidence doesn’t support that claim (see A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region, Thomas J. Parsons, et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 15, April 1997, P365)
The archaeological facts don’t support that claim either. In fact, carbon dating of bones is extremely flawed, even if calibrated. In one peer reviewed publication in the journal Radiocarbon in 2001, a study involving 2 present day euthanized rats produced dates of 2139 years old for one rat and -260 (yes, 260 years in the future) for the other. Less than half of all radiocarbon dates are accepted, and even those that are remain uncertain. That coupled with all the required assumptions such decay rate, abundance of C14 in the primitive environment, source of C14 and contamination leave this method completely unreliable.
The real facts and physical proof demonstrate that the antediluvian Adamites were indeed the first human inhabitants, verified by the complexity of their stone tools and the coordination of their societal patterns.
Truly, the more TRUTH we learn, the more we realize the Bible is far more than allegory. The great Universal Flood, recorded in most ancient texts, actually happened and the hard evidence is overwhelming. The diffusion of language related to the Tower of Babel is clear as well, but only for those willing to look at the evidence unfiltered by modern science’s cultural evolution dogma. There is no coincidence that the Egyptian Hieroglyphics, the Ancient Chinese (still used), and the Cuneiform languages appeared suddenly at about the same time. These were all pictographic languages, but they were complete, even to include a number system. Is it hard to imagine why they are pictographic systems?
We cannot hope to reconcile the truth with modern science’s claims if those claims are false. While three may be room to explore theories not in harmony with scriptural and prophetic utterance, their outright rejection because of the supposed learning of man leaves us adrift in a sea of shifting theories destined to strip us of truth altogether.
You know, I believe you are trying to defend the faith and keep members faithful, but an article like this does nothing but drive off anyone who has had even a cursory introduction to these subjects. Geology, biology, genome projects, DNA mapping. This is how the world really works, and how the church will have to adapt and “evolve” to stay relevant and healthy. If this had happened 600 years ago your narrative would be quoting the leaders who argued against the round earth and the heliocentric theory. Yes. Is the sun inhabited? Does the son reckon time and get it’s light from Kolob? It seems you skip these obvious statements to just regurgitate the tired arguments against some of the most established theories ever to be postulated by man. Here we communicate on a medium unthinkable to BY and JS, yet we do it none the less. And the method that brought us to this technology you embrace and benefit from, as you do when you go to the dentist, cross a bridge and board an airplane, yet when when the exact same method is employed that shows an understanding to our origins, age of the earth, and breadth of the cosmos, because it contradicts your world view it is rejected out of hand. You cannot know the damage you do to your cause by maintaining a view that is so easily debunked by the vast amount of evidence and information that is available from just a few mouse clicks. Your small commumity will get smaller. And as sure as I type on this ipad and medium of technology to send this message through for you to read, so will the evidences of evolution, old earth, and developed language strengthen to show your position not only wrongheaded, but immoral to continue to hold onto. It’s okay to me, because you’ll lose the very people you’re trying to hang onto. Repent, and do better.
Cognitive dissonance is strong in this group. I cannot argue further. If Hugh and Russ refuse to believe in the scientific method, I cannot persuade them otherwise. The fact that we drive cars, travel to space, use DNA to determine heredity, use genetics to study disease is ALL scientific method proven true. Evolution is not a theory but a proven fact. Organisms evolve. Hugh, if a prophet of God, Brigham Young stated that the Sun is populated, you would believe him? If Brigham Young taught from the pulpit many times that Adam was God and that if his listeners didn’t believe is was to their damnation, would you believe him? If Joseph Smith asked to take your 14 year old daughter as his wife in exchange for your eternal salvation, would you allow it? My point is, we have become a faith of worshiping prophets. Idol worship. What the Brethren say goes. No questions asked. What the scriptures say (written by men thousands of years ago) are absolutely true empirically. No questions asked. Why did Christ even mention false prophets? Why did Christ say not to trust in the arm of flesh? Why did Christ say that no man comes unto the Father but “by me”? Men are men. Good men are still men. Leaders of our faith are men trying their best. They can and do make doctrinal mistakes. They can and have led the Church astray. Ask over 100 years of black if they were led astray by not receiving saving ordinances based on Brigham Young’s racism. My final thought. Belief is a choice but you shouldn’t have to check common sense, empirical data and the scientific method at the door of the Church. Tell me I can believe in a prophet that makes grave sexual and other sins, and I will be back in the saddle. I can relate to that prophet. But I am done explaining away science, sexual sin, infidelity by prophets, racism to keep a narrative of prophetic and scriptural infallibility. We need to be able to embrace ambiguity, embrace change when we learn evidence. After all isn’t Mormonism perfect for changing theology? We believe in continuing revelation. We are built on theological change. We need to stop trying to dismiss science and discard empirical evidence and stop sacrificing historical evidence at the altar of orthodoxy and ‘all-or-nothing’ theology. And yes, this is my humble opinion. I may be dead wrong. But I have never heard those words come from Fair Mormon or JS Forum writers. This black and white / all or nothing narrative is driving people away. These articles do not hold up under scrutiny by anyone not so invested in the all or nothing paradigm that they can’t objectively look at facts. After all, if the CoJCoLDS is the only true Church on the face of the earth, the Holy Ghost would bear record of the truthfulness of it REGARDLESS of it’s ugly history and prophetic mistakes. Right? SO rather than fight science, and trust biblical and B of M narratives that are thousands of years old, recopies, retranslated and condensed with missing scripture, a healthy mixture of both would win the day and bring more people to the table. My humble opinion.
While you make valid points, Randall, and I am sure you mean well too, there are foundational issues with science at stake here. We are blessed with great technological advances and we have much to thank the scientists who sought to discover them, but there is a dark side to science too. Today’s science leaders are largely atheistic in their approach and as such, dismiss or disparage anything that supports a narrative that agrees with anything related to God. You mention evolution as one of those proven facts, yet beyond adaptation, there is nothing; no proof of speciation. There isn’t a standardized scientific method applied across fields, and even then, theories have supplanted the search for law in a grand sleight of hand.
While Mormons believe in ongoing revelation, and while we must adapt to the dynamic conditions in our world, there are Truths that remain invariant and no amount of cultural evolution or political pressure will change them. By revelation, not by speculation or intellectual reasoning, we learn that Adam was the first man. True science and a correct interpretation of the archaeological record confirms this. We also learn by revelation that the Noachian Flood happened, and the geological, archaeological, and the true fossil record absolutely empirically confirms this event.
Finally, thank you for not appearing to be argumentative. I welcome open dialog accompanied with open minded questioning.
Thanks for your response Russ. I would push back some. Your first few sentences describe the confirmation bias of scientists right? You say that “true science” is only true if it fits your narrative. You then spend the rest of your response iterating your confirmation bias. I would say that the scientific method has yielded far more reproducible evidence than religion has ever. From prophetic revelations to praying to know if something is true, those methods happy old and thousands of religions with the millions if not billions of people who believe that God has spoken to them and told them their faith and their ideologies and their confirmation bias is the only “truth”. Just a thought