Bruce R. McConkie discusses Adam in Latter-day Saint theology, including his being the Ancient of Days; Adam was also "one of the most noble and intelligent characters who ever lived."

Bruce R. McConkie

"Adam," in Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958), 16-17

Joseph Smith, Jr., Anthon H. Lund, Bruce R. McConkie, Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Michael, Adam
Reading Public


See ADAM-GOD THEORY, ADAMIC LANGUAGE, ADAM-ONDI-AHMAN, ANCIENT OF DAYS, BATTLE OF THE GREAT GOD, EVE, FALL OF ADAM, FIRST FLESH, FIRST MAN, FORBIDDEN FRUIT, MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, PRE-EXISTENCE, WAR IN HEAVEN. Our knowledge about Adam, and the exalted station held by him in the eternal providences of the Almighty, begins with an understanding of his pre-existent work and mission. By his diligence and obedience there, as one of the spirit sons of God, he attained a stature and power second only to that of Christ, the Firstborn. None of all the billions of our Father's children equalled him in intelligence and might, save Jesus only. He sat in the council of the gods in the planning of the creation of this earth, and then, under Christ, participated in the creative enterprise. (Abra. 3:22-26.) He was foreordained to come to earth as the father of the human race, and when Lucifer and one-third of the hosts of heaven rebelled, Adam (with the exalted title of Michael the Archangel) led the hosts of the righteous in the war in heaven. (Rev. 12:7-9.)

"And the first man of all men have I called Adam," the Lord says, "which is many." (Moses 1:34; 3:7; 6:45; Abra. 1:3; 1 Ne. 5:11; D. & C. 84:16.) That is, Adam was placed on earth as the first of the human family and given a name which signifies many as pertaining to the greatness of the posterity which should flow from him.

As to the manner in which Adam was placed on earth, the First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund) has given us this plain statement: "He took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a 'living soul.' . . . All who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner. . . . Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father. True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ or embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man." (Man: His Origin and Destiny, p. 354.)

Adam's great part in the plan of redemption was to fall from the immortal state in which he first existed on earth and thus bring mortality and death into the world. This he did, bringing temporal and spiritual death into the world, from the effects of which deaths the atonement of Christ was foreordained as a ransom. After the fall, Adam and Eve became the parents of all living. (Moses 5:11; D. & C. 27:11; 1 Ne. 5:11; 2:23-25.) We are his descendants and there are no persons who have ever lived on earth who have not had this same ancestry. "He is the father of the human family; . . . [the] head of the human family." (Teachings, p. 157.)

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 (Teachings, pp. 167-169), the presiding high priest (under Christ) over all the earth; presides over all the spirits destined to inhabit this earth (Teachings, pp. 157-159); holds the keys of salvation over all the earth; and will reign as Michael, our prince, to all eternity. (D. & C. 78:16.) He was baptized (Moses 6:64-66), married for eternity, for death had not yet entered the world (Moses 3:21-25), had the fulness of the gospel (Moses 5:57-59), and following 930 years of existence after the fall went on to the paradise of God to await a glorious resurrection with Christ and the righteous saints. He has returned to earth in our day, bringing keys and authorities to the Prophet Joseph Smith (D. & C. 128:21); will soon preside at the great Adam-ondi-Ahman council (D. & C. 116); and finally will reign over his righteous posterity in the Patriarchal Order to all eternity. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 90-106.)

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