Thursday, April 02, 2009

Parents of the first man, Adam

Regarding Adam's parents (i.e. the origin of man), certain bloggers (Ray, for example, here) continue to assert that the Church's official stance is, "We don't know." These bloggers seem to believe God chooses not to reveal the origin of man to Church leaders, but that He does reveal it to experts on organic evolution.

I think these bloggers have overlooked what the Church actually says:

"Man, by searching, cannot find out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adam's race—God alone can reveal them. Some of these facts, however, are already known, and what has been made known it is our duty to receive and retain." ("The Origin of Man," Ensign, Feb 2002, p.30.)

In other words, except for what has already been revealed, no one knows.

What HAS been revealed?

It has been made known that Adam's physical body was created the same way yours and mine was. As with all men, Adam's body began life as a human embryo, a fertilized human egg.

"He [Adam] took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a 'living soul' [and] all who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner." (Ibid., emphasis added.)

Joseph F. Smith, who issued "The Origin of Man," taught that Adam's mother was a "woman" (an adult female human):

"Adam, our early parent, was also born of woman into this world, the same as Jesus and you and I." (Deseret News, Dec. 27, 1913.)

He further testified that Adam's physical body was begotten by our Heavenly Father:

"Our father Adam—that is, our earthly father—the progenitor of the race of man, stands at the head, being 'Michael the Archangel, the Ancient of Days',... he was not fashioned from earth like an adobe, but begotten by his Father in Heaven.

"Adam is called in the Bible 'the son of God.' (Luke 3:38.)"

(First Presidency, as quoted in James R. Clark, ed., Messages of the First Presidency, 4:265-267.)

Today, the Church states officially::

"It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; and whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our heavenly Father." ("The Origin of Man," Op. Cit., italics in the original.)


The first man, Adam, began his physical existence as a human being. His parents were human, not animal. Beyond that, "no one knows."

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