Adam-God Theory

Related Posts: The Fall of Man: Part I; Adam-ondi-Ahman and Eden; Angels

Anti-Mormon writers use a theory called the Adam-God Theory, with which they make the claim that Mormons believe Adam is God the Father; and also, that within the Mormon faith, this is (or was) a deeply held and secret belief.

The theory stems from a sermon delivered by Brigham Young on April 9, 1852. Here is the passage in question.

Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken–He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later.

…Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. (JD 1:50-51)

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What is Kolob?

Related Posts: The Mormon concept of Heaven(s)

It is believed by Mormons (like me) that Kolob is a planet or star which was the first of God’s temporal creations (Abr. 3:9; 3:16; 3:13; 2 Fac. 1). God measures time by the revolutions of Kolob which is the “grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides” (2 Fac.1:2). Of all celestial bodies Kolob is nearest to God’s throne, or, “nigh unto the throne of God” (Abr. 3:9). One thousand years on earth is equivalent to one revolution of Kolob (Abr. 3:4).

Mormons do not believe that God lives on Kolob.

There is an LDS Hymn, If You Could Hie to Kolob. It reads,

If you could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye, And then continue onward with that same speed to fly, Do you think that you cold ever, Through all eternity, Find out the generation where Gods began to be? Or see the grand beginning, Where space did not extend? Or view that last creation, Where Gods and matter end? Methinks the Spirit whispers; “No man has found ‘pure space,’ Nor seen the outside curtains, Where nothing has a place.” The works of God continue, And worlds and live abound; Improvement and progression have on eternal round. There is not end to matter; There is no end to space; There is not end to spirit; There is no end to race. (Hymn 284)

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Heavenly Mother

Related Posts: Godhead: God or Gods?; Whom do we worship?; Trinity

It would be somewhat overstating the matter to say there is a heavenly mother “doctrine,” since all we know about a heavenly mother is that such a person exists. There is no reference to her in any LDS scripture. In fact, I know of only three places in official Mormon publications where this teaching can be found. It can be found in the hymn O My Father, a statement by the First Presidency entitled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and a First Presidency statement from 1909.

The hymn O My Father reads,

In the heav’ns are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason; truth eternal tells me I’ve a mother there. When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal courts on high? Then, at length, when I’ve completed all you sent me forth to do, With you mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you. (Hymn 292)

The 1909 First Presidency Statement reads,

All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity (First Presidency, “The Origin of Man,” taken from Ensign, Feb. 2002).

The Family: A Proclamation to the World reads,

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

The heavenly mother teaching can be viewed as a conclusion from the doctrine of exaltation. Mormon theology teaches that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us [in Heaven]” (D&C 130:2). Thus earthly relationships can reflect eternal ones. A man and woman may be married for time and all eternity in a temple, and, if they are faithful to their marriage covenants, be husband and wife for time and all eternity and become gods in their own right: “all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (D&C 76:59). Doctrine and Covenants section 132 reads,

…if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise… [they] shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths…and if ye abide in my covenant…[then they shall enter into] their exaltation…which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end…then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. (D&C 132:19-20)

After they enter into their exaltation they can then do what God did: create a universe and children, and a way for them to progress and one day marry for time and all eternity and become gods–the cycle continues. This cycle is further illustrated in the First Presidency’s statement “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”.

…marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and…the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

As Joseph Smith put it, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!”[1] God became God by going through the same process that we can go through. Thus God is sealed to a wife for time and all eternity.

This process is illustrated in our hymn If You Could Hie to Kolob. It reads, “The works of God continue, And worlds and live abound; Improvement and progression have on eternal round” (lyrics).

See “Mother in Heaven” from Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

End Notes_______________________________________
See Kaimi Wenger’s “The Other Heavenly Mother Hymn” at Times & Seasons about another 19’th century Heavenly Mother hymn.

[1] Smith, Joseph, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Press, 1938 p. 345.


Idaho Test Oath (1885)

Related Posts: Edmunds Act (1882); Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862); Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887); More on gay marriage

The Idaho Test Oath in effect made it illegal for any Mormon in the state of Idaho to vote or hold public office. This disfranchisement was achieved through a test oath that every perspective voter was required to swear to prior to being allowed to vote.

Any person “who is a member of any order, organization, or association which teaches, advises, counsels, or encourages its members or devotees, or any other persons, to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy” was barred from voting.

This law was upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court on February 3, 1890. For Court’s final decision see DAVIS V. BEASON, 133 U. S. 333 (1890).

The following was taken from Laws of the territory of Idaho: An Act for Holding Elections, 1884-1885, pp. 106-117. Only the relevant sections are quoted. The sections which are quoted are quoted in their entirety. See part of the legislation at Google Books.  Continue reading

Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887)

Related Posts:Edmunds Act (1882); Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862); Idaho Test Oath (1884-85); More on gay marriage

(Google Books text here)

In an effort to stamp out polygamy the US Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887. This act made adultery punishable by up to three years in prison, unmarried sex was punishable by up to six months in prison, and the female vote was revoked. (Women had won the right to vote in Utah in 1870.)

Below is the entire text of the Edmunds-Tucker Act. Continue reading

Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862)

Related Posts: Edmunds Act (1882); Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887); Idaho Test Oath (1884-85); More on gay marriage

The constitutionality of the anti-polygamy laws were upheld in Reynolds v. United States (Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 1878).

Mormon Polygamy was recently criticized in a Weekly Standard article by Stanley Kurtz (“Polygamy Versus Democracy”). Under the title “The Mormon Question” he writes, “Modern Mormonism’s success is certified by the emergence of Mitt Romney, a Mormon governor from Massachusetts…as a presidential contender.” He then goes on to speak of “Mormonism’s largely forgotten history.” Prejudice against Mormonism still lingers over the long abandoned practice of polygamy. See here for the 1890 declaration wherein the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces the practice of polygamy.

The entire text of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act is given below.

(Google Books text here) Continue reading