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Adam

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Adam and Eve mormon
The Latter-day Saint view of Adam is unique among the world's religions, informed by direct revelation from Jesus Christ through His modern prophets. They identify Adam as the archangel Michael of the eternities. They emphasize his pre-mortal role in the heavens, his service to mankind by enacting the "fall," his role as the "ancient of days" who holds the priesthood keys of all dispensations, his prophetic role as a testator of Christ from the beginning of the world, and his role again in the eternities as Michael, triumphing finally over Satan and his armies.
Few persons have been more directly involved in the plan of salvation than the man Adam. His ministry among the sons and daughters of earth stretches from the distant past of premortality to the distant future of resurrection, judgment, and beyond.
As Michael, the archangel, Adam led the forces of God against the armies of Lucifer in the War in Heaven. Under the direction of Elohim and Jehovah, he assisted in the Creation of the earth. Adam and Eve brought mortality into being through partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. With the Fall of our first parents came blood and posterity and probation and death, as well as the need for redemption through a Savior, a “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). To Adam the gospel was first preached, and upon him the priesthood was first bestowed. From Adam and Eve the message of the gospel of salvation went forth to all the world. Following his death, which occurred almost a millennium after he entered mortality, Adam’s watch-care over his posterity continued. Under his direction, revelations have come and angels have ministered. At his behest, priesthood has been conferred and keys delivered.[1]


Contents

Adam as the Archangel Michael

The Prophet Joseph Smith clearly identifies both Adam and Michael as one and the same person, an angel, the chief angel, or archangel, of heaven, the special servant of God and Christ. After his mortal death he reassumed his position as an angel in the heavens, once again serving as the chief angel, or archangel, and took again his former name of Michael.

Adam was called Michael the Archangel (see Doctrine and Covenants 27:11; Jude 1:9). He was chosen by our Heavenly Father to lead the righteous in the battle against Satan (see Revelation 12:7–9). Adam and Eve were foreordained to become the parents of the human race. The Lord promised Adam great blessings: “I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:55). [2]

Adam as the First Man

Michael, the most exalted angel in the heavens, was granted the privilege of becoming the first man on earth. It was a calling of honor and difficulty. Even after the fall, Adam heard the voice of the Lord from Eden, and continued to prophesy to his children until the end of his life.

Adam was made “lord or governor of all things on earth, and at the same time [enjoyed] communion … with his Maker, without a veil to separate between.” Our first parents would have remained in this state indefinitely if they had not partaken of the forbidden fruit (see 2 Nephi 2:22; Moses 4:9).
But, behold, I say unto you that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine Only Begotten Son (Doctrine and Covenants 29:42).

Thus, Latter-day Saints believe, the gospel of Christ was preached, understood, and upheld by Adam. Knowledge of Christ was had by all the prophets who succeeded him.

The Fall of Adam

"The Expulsion from the Garden" by Gustave Doré

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 [Adam and Eve] 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.
And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall (2 Nephi 2:22–26; see also 2 Nephi 2:19–21, 27).

But, remember, the Atonement came because of the Fall. Christ paid the ransom for Adam’s transgression. If there had been no Fall, there would be no Atonement with its consequent immortality and eternal life. Thus, just as surely as salvation comes because of the Atonement, so also salvation comes because of the Fall.

Mortality and procreation and death all had their beginnings with the Fall. The tests and trials of a mortal probation began when our first parents were cast out of their Edenic home. “Because that Adam fell, we are,” Enoch said, “and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.” (Moses 6:48.) One of the most profound doctrinal declarations ever made fell from the lips of mother Eve. She said: “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 eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” (Moses 5:11.)

"Remember also that the Fall was made possible because an infinite Creator made the earth and man and all forms of life in such a state that they could fall. This fall involved a change of status. All things were so created that they could fall or change, and thus was introduced the kind of existence needed to put into operation all of the terms of the Father’s eternal plan of salvation.

"The first temporal creation of all things was paradisiacal in nature. In the Edenic day all forms of life lived in a higher and different state than now prevails. The coming fall would take them downward and forward and onward. Death and procreation had yet to enter the world. Death would be Adam’s gift to man, and the gift of God would be eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thus, existence came from God; death came by Adam; and immortality and eternal life come through Christ. In Lehi’s precise and eloquent language, all men are in 'a state of probation' because of the Fall. And 'if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden.' He was then in a state of physical immortality; meaning he would have lived forever because there was as yet no death. 'And they [our first parents] would have had no children'; they would have been denied the experiences of a mortal probation and a mortal death; and it is out of these two things—out of death and the tests of mortality—that eternal life comes. But—thanks be to God—'Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall'" (2 Nephi 2:21–26). [3]

Adam as Prophet and Testator of Jesus Christ

"When our Heavenly Father placed Adam and Eve on this earth, He did so with the purpose in mind of teaching them how to return to His presence. Our Father promised a Savior to redeem them from their fallen condition. He gave to them the plan of salvation and told them to teach their children faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. Further, Adam and his posterity were commanded by God to be baptized, to receive the Holy Ghost, and to enter into the order of the Son of God. Because Adam and Eve had complied with these requirements, God said to them, 'Thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity'" (Moses 6:67).[4]

And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God (Moses 5:5-10).

"The angel told Adam other things. He told him that in the meridian of time the Redeemer would come into the world, and that until he should come God’s people were to offer blood sacrifices frequently. This they were to do to point their minds forward to the day when the Redeemer would come and be sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. Then the angel taught Adam the gospel and told him to repent and be baptized. From the days of Adam to the days of Jesus Christ, every people who understood the gospel offered blood sacrifices, using animals or birds without blemish. This they did in contemplation of the great event which was to take place in the meridian of time.

"And so Adam likewise, blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, 'blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.' [Moses 5:10.]

'...having a language which was pure and undefiled,' given them by God (see Moses 6:6).
'And a book of remembrance was kept' among them, recorded in the language of Adam, and all who called upon God were allowed to write in this pure and undefiled tongue, by the spirit of inspiration (see Moses 6:5–6).
'And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost' (Moses 5:58).

"Latter-day Saints stand alone in the religious world in certifying that Christ’s gospel is eternal—that Christian prophets have taught Christian doctrine and administered Christian ordinances since the dawn of time. Adam was earth’s first Christian. He exercised faith in the redemption of Christ, was baptized in water, received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and received the priesthood (see Moses 6:64–67). Further, Adam and Eve entered into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage and thus placed themselves on that pathway that leads to life eternal. 'Father Adam was called of God,' President Wilford Woodruff explained, 'and ordained to the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood—ordained to the highest office and gift of God to man on the earth.'" [5]

Priesthood Lineage from Adam

It [the Priesthood] was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, 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 (Abraham 1:3).
“The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.
“This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in [order] … that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth.” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:40–42)[6]

“There has been a chain of authority and power from Adam down to the present time. 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 1:26, 27, 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 [the angel] 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 [see Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3]. 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." [7]

Adam's Past and Future Appearances at Adam-ondi-Ahman

"Three years before Adam’s death, a great event occurred. He took his son Seth, his grandson Enos, and other high priests who were his direct-line descendants, with others of his righteous posterity, into a valley called Adam-ondi-Ahman. There Adam gave to these righteous descendants his last blessing.

"The Lord then appeared to them. The vast congregation rose up and blessed Adam and called him Michael, the prince and archangel. The Lord himself declared Adam to be a prince forever over his own posterity. Then Adam in his aged condition rose up and, being filled with the spirit of prophecy, predicted 'whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.' All this is recorded in section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants (Doctrine and Covenants 107: 53–56)." [8]

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 [see Daniel 7:9–14]. 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. … 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.
In what would be, without modern revelation, a rather mysterious passage in the book of Daniel, reference is made to an unusual gathering of people. “I saw in the night visions,” Daniel wrote, “and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
“And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (7:13–14).

Latter-day revelation informs us that the location of this gathering is Daviess County, Missouri, in that area we have come to know as Adam-ondi-Ahman (see Doctrine and Covenants 116), the same place where Adam met with and prophesied to his numerous posterity three years before his death.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith offered the following explanation: “At this conference, or council, all who have held keys of dispensations will render a report of their stewardship. Adam will do likewise, and then he will surrender to Christ all authority. Then Adam will be confirmed in his calling as the prince over his posterity and will be officially installed and crowned eternally in this presiding calling. Then Christ will be received as King of kings, and Lord of lords. We do not know how long a time this gathering will be in session, or how many sessions may be held at this grand council. It is sufficient to know that it is a gathering of the Priesthood of God from the beginning of this earth down to the present, in which reports will be made and all who have been given dispensations (talents) will declare their keys and ministry and make report of their stewardship according to the parable. [See Matthew 25:14–30.] Judgment will be rendered unto them for this is a gathering of the righteous, those who have held and who hold keys of authority in the Kingdom of God upon this earth. … This will precede the great day of destruction of the wicked and will be the preparation for the Millennial Reign.” (See also, Doctrine and Covenants, section 27.) [9]

Michael's Future Role

President Joseph F. Smith, who was privileged to glimpse in vision the spirit world at the time Jesus entered it, wrote, “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" (Doctrine and Covenants 138).

In his capacity as archangel, Adam, or Michael, will yet perform a mighty mission in the coming years, both before and after the Millennium. This is startling, but the scriptures declare it. One important assignment that awaits him is to be the angel to sound the trumpet heralding the resurrection of the dead. The scripture reads, “Behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:26).

During the Millennium the devil will be bound, but afterward will be freed for a short time, during which he will rally his evil forces to make one final assault upon God.

Who will lead the defending armies of the Lord? None other than Michael himself, whose position as archangel qualifies him to be the captain of the Lord’s host. Is he not the chief of the angels? Then should he not lead them into battle against Lucifer?
As the archangel he continues to serve the interests of the Lord with respect to this earth. His ultimate exaltation, of course, is fully assured, but it must await the completion of his work here.
Seven angels are to sound trumpets to announce a series of events to precede the second coming of the Savior. Michael will be the seventh of those angels. Says the scripture:
“And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven. … And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:112, 114)[10]

References

  1. Robert L. Millet, “The Man Adam,” Liahona, Feb 1998, 14.
  2. Mark E. Petersen, “Adam, the Archangel,” Ensign, Nov 1980, 16.
  3. Bruce R. McConkie, “Christ and the Creation,” Tambuli, Sep 1983, 22.
  4. Ezra Taft Benson, “What I Hope You Would Teach Your Children about the Temple,” Tambuli, Apr 1986, 1.
  5. Robert L. Millet, “The Man Adam,” Liahona, Feb 1998, 14.
  6. Ezra Taft Benson, “What I Hope You Would Teach Your Children about the Temple,” Tambuli, Apr 1986, 1.
  7. The Everlasting Priesthood,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),101–13.
  8. Ezra Taft Benson, “What I Hope You Would Teach Your Children about the Temple,” Tambuli, Apr 1986, 1.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Mark E. Petersen, “Adam, the Archangel,” Ensign, Nov 1980, 16.
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