Monday, August 27, 2012

Adam Is Our God, Brigham Young, General Conf. Report, April 1852

Adam Is Our God, Brigham Young, General Conf. Report, April 1852

Adam Is Our God, Brigham Young, General Conf. Report, April 1852
If the image appears blurry, Click to Open full screen and zoom full resolution

Reference:
LDS General Conference Report
April 9th, 1852
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, Pages 50-51

Full text below or see these links:

http://journalofdiscourses.com/1/8
or
http://www.journalofdiscourses.org/volume-01 [LINK BROKEN 11/8/12]
or
http://jod.mrm.org/1/46#50
or Full Resolution Scan here:
http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/9599/rec/1

Preview Thumbnail:
Adam-God Thumbnail

Text of Brigham's Speech: (Same as above)

Brigham Young, LDS Prophet
LDS General Conference Report
April 9th, 1852
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, Pages 50-51

My next sermon will be to both Saint and sinner.
One thing has remained a mystery in this kingdom up to this day. It is in regard to the character of the well-beloved Son of God, upon which subject the Elders of Israel have conflicting views. Our God and Father in heaven, is a being of tabernacle, or, in other words, He has a body, with parts the same as you and I have; and is capable of showing forth His works to organized beings, as, for instance, in the world in which we live, it is the result of the knowledge and infinite wisdom that dwell in His organized body.
His son Jesus Christ has become a personage of tabernacle, and has a body like his father. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Lord, and issues forth from Himself, and may properly be called God's minister to execute His will in immensity; being called to govern by His influence and power; but He is not a person of tabernacle as we are, and as our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ are. The question has been, and is often, asked, who it was that begat the Son of the Virgin Mary. The infidel world have concluded that if what the Apostles wrote about his father and mother be true, and the present marriage discipline acknowledged by Christendom be correct, then Christians must believe that God is the father of an illegitimate son, in the person of Jesus Christ! The infidel fraternity teach that to their disciples. I will tell you how it is. Our Father in Heaven begat all the spirits that ever were, or ever will be, upon this earth; and they were born spirits in the eternal world. Then the Lord by His power and wisdom organized the mortal tabernacle of man. We were made first spiritual, and afterwards temporal.
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.
They came here, organized the raw material, and arranged in their order the herbs of the field, the trees, the apple, the peach, the plum, the pear, and every other fruit that is desirable and good for man; the seed was brought from another sphere, and planted in this earth. The thistle, and thorn, the brier, and the obnoxious weed did not appear until after the earth was cursed. When Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, their bodies became mortal from its effects, and therefore their offspring were mortal. When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so on in succession.
I could tell you much more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy would be nothing to it, in the estimation of the superstitious and over-righteous of mankind. However, I have told you the truth as far as I have gone. I have heard men preach upon the divinity of Christ, and exhaust all the wisdom they possessed. All Scripturalists, and approved theologians who were considered exemplary for piety and education, have undertaken to expound on this subject, in every age of the Christian era; and after they have done all, they are obliged to conclude by exclaiming "great is the mystery of godliness," and tell nothing. It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Again, they will try to tell how the divinity of Jesus is joined to his humanity, and exhaust all their mental faculties, and wind up with this profound language, as describing the soul of man, "it is an immaterial substance!" What a learned idea! 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. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation. I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.
I will repeat a little anecdote. I was in conversation with a certain learned professor upon this subject, when I replied, to this idea--"if the Son was begotten by the Holy Ghost, it would be very dangerous to baptize and confirm females, and give the Holy Ghost to them, lest he should beget children, to be palmed upon the Elders by the people, bringing the Elders into great difficulties." Treasure up these things in your hearts. In the Bible, you have read the things I have told you to-night; but you have not known what you did read. I have told you no more than you are conversant with; but what do the people in Christendom, with the Bible in their hands, know about this subject? Comparatively nothing.


33 comments:

  1. The doctrine has changed? By whom?

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    Replies
    1. I don't understand you question? This is a talk given by Brigham Young in General Conference on April 9th, 1852.

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    2. It has not been changed. This photo is doctored, in the sense that the quote did not come from the official lds.org website (not an accusation - it was admitted by the creator of this photo). It is text from the Journal of Discourses, which is not officially endorsed by the church as "doctrine," and copied and pasted into the lds.org html format so that it appears to be from the church.

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    3. You blunder in your interpretation of the passage, possibly because President Young didn't state it as clear as he might have. Adam is the Father of all mortal mankind, including Jesus through Mary but God the Father is Jesus' direct Father in the flesh. He did clearly say that Adam was begotten by his Father, meaning God the Father or as he phrased it earlier, Heavenly Father. Because he referred to Adam as God, you mistook him to mean Heavenly Father. President Young and other priesthood leaders refer to everyone as potential deity within the context of eventual exaltation as did Jesus (John 10:34-36). The character in the garden of Eden who begot Jesus, as he correctly stated, was Heavenly Father, not Adam. Brigham Young may also have been thinking that Adam has already been resurrected and exalted, and so a god, and linked that with him also being head of the family. It surely is all to do about nothing. No doctrinal change here. This is self-evident in that no individual can be identified at any particular time as having altered the doctrine.

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    4. I would be incline to agree with you except that Brigham followed this teaching up with the following statement:
      "HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do."
      Making it clear that Adam is Our God and the only God with whom we have to do. If you do not agree with Brigham and you do not believe that Adam is your God then you reject Brigham Young as your prophet.

      How do you reconcile this?

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  2. But wait a minute Jess, didn't a recent Ensign article clearly state:

    “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accept the following as scripture: 1. The Bible… 2. The Book of Mormon… 3. The Doctrine and Covenants… 4. The Pearl of Great Price… 5. God continues to reveal truths to living prophets through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. These truths are considered scripture (see D&C 68:4). They come to us primarily through general conference, held the first weekend in April and October, when members throughout the world hear addresses from our prophet and other Church leaders”
    (Ensign, January 2011, 14-15)

    And Brigham Young was an LdS Prophet wasn't he? And this was given in a General Conference address wasn't it? So what's the problem here?

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    1. Yes, he was an LDS prophet. Yes, it may have been given in a General Conference address. However, here is the problem: we don't know the exact wording of his talk. We question the reliability and accuracy of the original source. Also see http://www.lds.org/topics/journal-of-discourses?lang=eng where it clearly states that "Questions have been raised about the accuracy of some transcriptions. Modern technology and processes were not available for verifying the accuracy of transcriptions, and some significant mistakes have been documented. The Journal of Discourses includes interesting and insightful teachings by early Church leaders; however, by itself it is not an authoritative source of Church doctrine."

      Thank you for your time.

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    2. @Jess

      According to (LDS owned) Deseret Book, The journal of discourses is legitimate:

      "If anyone tells you that the sermons found therein are not recognized by the Church, they know not what they are talking about."

      "Deseret Book .. would not distribute literature on the Church, particularly anything as important as the Discourses of the Presidents and Apostles of the Church, without the approval of the Church."

      Here's a copy of that letter:
      http://goo.gl/hgix3

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    3. Thank you for your response. However, this letter does not represent church doctrine. If you would like to know what a Mormon should believe, then you need to use look at resources approved and distributed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, all of which may be found on lds.org. Although the church owns Deseret Book, it also owns an operates many other businesses. Employees of those businesses are not sustained as prophets, and nothing they say should be considered endorsed by the church.

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    4. You also mentioned lack of technology. These sermons were recorded using "Pitman Shorthand" which is very accurate much like a court reporter.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitman_shorthand

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    5. Even if this particular talk used this shorthand you refer to, there could have been human error, as not all of these talks were recorded at the time of the talk (some were recorded after the fact, and I know that the human memory is quite fallible). Once again, from the church website, "some significant mistakes have been documented." Even with this very accurate shorthand.

      Finally, as I don't ever see this conversation concluding with a "thank you for enlightening me about what YOUR church believes," I will have to conclude with a thank you for attempting to understand what my church believes. I wish you a happy and peaceful life.

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    6. Help me then to understand, when is a prophet speaking as a man or a prophet? Is it when he's speaking over the pulpit in general conference? I'm jut rather confused what value a modern LDS prophet brings if we never know if he's man-speaking or God-speaking.

      And by the way, I don't believe in any churches. I believe in Jesus Christ.

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    7. So how is it that Jess is defining what is LDS doctrine and what is not? Only Prophets can say when another Prophet got it wrong. Jess apparently is female and so in the LDS Church that's above her pay grade. Brigham Young taught Adam-God. This is not a some sort of recording error. In fact for years in the St. George temple there was a Lecture at the Veil that discussed the doctrine clearly.

      Bruce R. McConkie and others have rejected what Brother Brigham taught back then but then their words have not been made canon so how is one towho was speaking as a man or who was speaking for God. Guess the last man standing is right.

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    8. Plus, this isn't his only speech on Adam-God there are quite a few more. This is just one example selected and presented here in this venue. So if you're going to run with the transcription error theory then you'll have to show how the same error got included in various talks over the decades of his reign as prophet.

      I'm at a loss to figure out when to believe an LDS prophet is man-speaking or God-speaking. There doesn't seem to be a clear system in place for us to make that distinction.

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    9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. That is a conversation for a different day. But then, you intended to change the topic, didn't you? ;) In general, the prophet is the mouthpiece for the Lord when he is speaking in General Conference (in case you intend to circle back to the fact that Brigham Young's "words" were purportedly spoken at a General Conference, this is not verified and/or the actual words have not been verified).

    To your last comment, I don't believe the two are mutually exclusive. I believe in Jesus Christ, and also that Jesus Christ has and can establish churches, in which I can put my faith. But that is also a conversation for a different day, as well.

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    1. Jess,

      With respect, it's part of the same conversation. You say you believe in the Church that Jesus Christ established which (according to LDS) is led by the prophets, which leads back to Brigham Young. So, it seems quite legitimate for those of us who are concerned about following Jesus, to examine and weigh what his spokesmen say on his behalf.

      The trouble is, when you get past the rhetoric and fireside stories, and into the content, you come across all kinds of inconsistencies. What do you do when you find that Brigham Young taught something of central importance, that's no longer taught? Who has gone astray, you or him? Who decides which one of you is right? Worse yet, what happens when you find that your prophets teach something that is utterly incompatible with what Jesus, or the prophets of the Bible taught? Surely, we ought to be back-checking what is said against what was said before, so we don't slide into apostasy.

      In my reading of your posts, I see a sincere desire to follow Jesus, which is something you share with many Mormons. That's really good thing, and I sincerely hope you don't lose it. My concern is that you've fallen for an almighty "bait and switch" scam. You want to put your faith in Jesus, but you're actually being led to put your faith in the LDS movement.

      The good news is that Jesus can be found (start with the New Testament). The bad news is that he will not be found in the LDS movement. It's a different Jesus, as Brigham Young's sermon (and the LDS' later rejection of it) amply demonstrate.

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  4. Jess, I admire the fact that you're maintaining a even, civil tone and really seem to be listening - like Martin, I sense that you really want to follow God and I both respect that and commend you for it!

    However, I'm still confused. If I were sitting in General Conference, or following it via some kind of technology (streaming video, audio, etc.) how would I know if an LdS Apostle is speaking for himself or the Lord?

    According to the Ensign article seems quite clear to me, "God continues to reveal truths to living prophets through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. These truths are considered scripture (see D&C 68:4). They come to us primarily through general conference, held the first weekend in April and October, when members throughout the world hear addresses from our prophet and other Church leaders”

    Based on that it seems clear that General Conferences addresses are new scripture for Latter-day Saints - no if's, and's, or but's.

    Likewise, for the 19th Century Mormon the Journal of Discourses was the equivalent of today's modern technological distribution. So were I a 19th Century Mormon reading this General Conference Address I could only conclude that Prophet and President Young's address was to me new scripture given all the above. Further, President Young and the other LdS Apostles of his day didn't teach this doctrine in General Conference just once so it was clearly considered official doctrine.

    Frankly, were I a 19th Century Mormon that had just read President Young's address I would probably be telling you that you're apostate because you're in rebellion against the Lord and His anointed, called, and chosen living prophet, Brigham Young.

    Can you see the problem here?

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  5. Why would God allow his servants to lead the Saints astray like this? What good is having men who speak for God in General Conference if they say things that are not true? Was this true in the 1800s and now is not? If it is not true, why did Brigham teach it? What happened to the quote about the Lord never letting God's mouthpiece lead the people astray, that God would not permit it? What truths are being taught in General Conference today that are false or will be denied later?

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  6. At least two of the greatest prophets of the Saints have assured us of the validity and accuracy of the Journal of Discourses as scripture

    The prophet Brigham Young –
    "The Journal of Discourses is a vehicle of doctrine, counsel, and instruction to ALL people, but especially to the Saints. It follows then, then, [sic] that each successive volume is more and more valuable as the Church increases in numbers and importance in the earth." Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. iii(1867)
    and the prophet John Taylor

    "The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every right minded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every as it comes forth from the press as an additional reflector of 'the light that shines from Zion's hill.'" "Preface", Journal of Discourses 8:3., February 19, 1860

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  7. On 4 May 2007, the Church's official website wrote:
    Much misunderstanding about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revolves around its doctrine. The news media is increasingly asking what distinguishes the Church from other faiths, and reporters like to contrast one set of beliefs with another. The Church welcomes inquisitiveness, but the challenge of understanding Mormon doctrine is not merely a matter of accessing the abundant information available. Rather, it is a matter of how this information is approached and examined. The doctrinal tenets of any religion are best understood within a broad context (see here and here), and thoughtful analysis is required to understand them. News reporters pressed by daily deadlines often find that problematic. Therefore, as the Church continues to grow throughout the world and receive increasing media attention, a few simple principles that facilitate a better understanding may be helpful:

    Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.

    Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines. For example, the precise location of the Garden of Eden is far less important than doctrine about Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. The mistake that public commentators often make is taking an obscure teaching that is peripheral to the Church’s purpose and placing it at the very center. This is especially common among reporters or researchers who rely on how other Christians interpret Latter-day Saint doctrine.

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    1. Did Brigham Young lead Mormons astray when he taught them that Adam was their God?

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    2. @ChristNowAndForever I would encourage you to not respond, to avoid frustration - avoid my mistake. I feel like our work is done here, giving the Mormon side of the story. Any replies will be like talking to a brick wall. It has already been mentioned (above, in a comment by me) that the accuracy of this statement from Brigham Young has been questioned by the central authority of the LDS church, and this man has conveniently forgotten this. You have shared one of my favorite posts from the LDS church's official website, explaining exactly which information is considered doctrine, and which is not. Thank you for the reminder. If only people would read comments thoroughly and with an open mind before replying...

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    3. I would like to share with you the testimony of a real life Mormon who believes that Adam is his God. Did Brigham Young mislead this fellow?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIorjTxP7AY

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    4. The only reply I can say is the picture above purports to be a page taken from LDS.org. Yet @Afterallwecando cannot provide a direct URL link to a supposed LDS.org page to show that this was a printscreen from LDS.org, making it look like legitimate.

      He even deleted my very first post on 9/4/2012 calling to this fact.

      I guess the purpose is make this a legitimate and official doctrine and to mislead and mischaracterize official doctrines of the LDS Church, which unfortunately this Kevin Kraut, son of Ogden Kraut was an unnecessary victim.

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    5. This image is the text of an actual conference talk given by Brigham Young over the pulpit. I often wonder why this talk has been suppressed by Mormons. And I created this rendering to demonstrate just what it would look like if they were honest enough to post it along with the rest of the conference reports.

      As to your 9/4/12 post, it was removed for use of pejorative terms, which I thank you for refraining from using now.

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    6. President Young spoke about our Father on many occasions outside of the context of Adam, not even mentioning him in any way, collectively making it clear what he really believed. Given that it doesn't fit well within the doctrines taught in the standard works and elsewhere commonly taught, and accepted in official church teaching materials, it appears that the few exceptions attributed to President Young are likely incorrect. No record of Joseph Smith or other prophets or apostles regularly teaching the same concepts tends to confirm the aberration. Anyone who owns or has access to the Journal of Discourses can read it for themselves, Mormon or otherwise. For some reason, many people just can't accept what we actually believe or don't believe and instead try to invent novel ideas and insist that is what we really believe, rather than those things that we plainly confess. Anyone can do this. The New Testament clearly says that Adam was "the son of God" (Luke 3:38), and if an antagonist wanted to, he could say that Luke taught that, it is in the N T and that is what all Christians believe: Adam is Jesus. There are plenty of real differences between The Church of Jesus Christ and other churches. No need to make up imaginary differences.

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    7. The most simplest explanation is true (Occam's Razer). That is, Brigham Young was mistaken about Adam being our God. No need to write up convoluted apologies for his teaching false doctrine.

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    8. How's this for a (previously mentioned) simple explanation? It cannot be verified accurately that Brigham Young actually said this. Case closed. Move on.

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    9. It has been verified by multiple primary and secondary sources that Brigham repeatedly taught this doctrine. He taught it many times over the course of about 30 years.
      adamgod.com

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    10. My explanation was neither convoluted nor apologetic, but crystal clear. President Young taught correct scriptural doctrine concerning the nature of God in this example and in thousands of other examples where we can see exactly what he believed. Don't be so lazy in your research. The only apology was for those who could not see that, understand it or believe it. In the end no one on this site cares about what Brigham Young really taught or believed anyway. The point is just to find something lame to whine about and try to convince people, including yourselves, that Mormons believe some trumped-up nonsense that you invented and then argue how false that is. Oh brother! Just like all of you, Mormons do not think Adam is God the Father. And you know that. In the end fraud gets you nowhere and deceit is always revealed for what it is. Why make up stuff like this? What do you think you will gain from it? Anyone want to have an honest discussion about something Mormons really believe that is different from what you believe (or the same as you believe)? There are plenty of them. If not, adieu.

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  8. Let's play a new game: can you anticipate what my response is going to be, based on my posts above? ;)

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  9. The question should be: Did President Young teach anything about Adam that is not the same as what the LDS church teaches today? I am convinced that he did. President Young taught that Adam lived on a previous earth and proved faithful there and gained his resurrection and exaltation. Adam was then the Father of our Spirits, and then help create this earth as a place where His spirit children could gain mortal bodies and be tested. Is this what the church teaches today? No.

    I do believe that more revelation is needed. The teachings of even the President of the church are not above controversy. (If you disagree, consider this: http://www.lds-awakening.info/Publications/Issue3.pdf)

    My own faith is that the Second Book of Commandments contains revelation resolving the matter. The 2BC shows that there was one significant error in what President Young was teaching, but it was otherwise correct.

    I anticipate that Jess will agree with everything I have said.

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