The Truth About


Illumination or Deception?

Chapter 9

Brigham Young and the Adam-God Doctrine

     Teachings of the LDS Church became even stranger after Brigham Young led the Mormons to the Salt Lake Valley. There, they thought, they were free to practice what had been illegal elsewhere; i.e., polygamy and blood atonement.

     Brigham Young made polygamy public from 1852 on in Utah, even though the LDS Church still denied it outside of Utah. From this same year forward, Brigham started to teach that “Adam is God and Father and the only God with whom we have to do” and that Adam was the father of human spirits as well as Jesus’ physical father (for these, see Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51; 4:1; 5:331-32, etc).

     The LDS Church has issued denials saying that the Adam-God doctrine was never taught, but records clearly show that Brigham Young taught it, not by just mentioning it once or twice, but from 1852 until his death in 1877. Let’s look at some of his statements:

     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 the 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 Christian or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later…the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (J of D, 1:50-51)

     This teaching was repeated and carried on in other Church writings throughout the years. For example, in the Millennial Star, vol. 17:195, we read,

     Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he (Adam) is God of the whole earth. Then will the words of the prophet Brigham Young, when speaking of Adam, be fully realized—“He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom WE have to do.”

     Elder James A. Little counselled: “I believe in the principle of obedience; and if I am told that Adam is our Father and our God, I just believe it” (Millennial Star, vol. 16:530, as reported in Mormonism, Shadow or Reality, p. 174). The records show that there were only two leaders in the Church who had difficulty with this doctrine, namely, apostles Orson Pratt and Amasa Lyman. In one of Brigham’s sermons, printed in the Deseret News, June 14, 1873, Brigham declared,

     How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and WHICH God revealed to me—namely that Adam is our Father and God…. Our Father Adam helped to make this earth, it was created expressly for him. He brought one of his wives with him. Who is he? He is Michael….He was the first man on earth, and its framer and maker. He with the help of his brethren brought it into existence….Then he (Adam) said: “I want my children that were born to me in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh that their spirits may have a house, a tabernacle or a dwelling place as mine has.

     For more than 20 years, Brigham Young clearly taught as a doctrine the following:

  • Adam was not made of the dust of this earth (Journal of Discourses, 2:6)
  • Adam is the only God with whom we have to do (Journal of Discourses, 1:50)
  • Adam is the Father of our spirits (Deseret News, 14 June 1873)
  • Adam was the Father of Jesus Christ (Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51)

     Heber C. Kimball, the First Counselor to Brigham Young, also taught,

     I have learned by experience that there is but one God that pertains to this people, and he is the God that pertains to this earth—the first man. That first man sent his own son to redeem the world…. (Journal of Discourses, 4:1)

     Brigham Young had claimed that God himself had revealed this doctrine to him. Brigham also had claimed that his sermons were “as good as scripture” (J of D 13:166). If that is so, then how can the LDS Church today logically reject his teachings that he said he received from his God? Who was Brigham’s God?

     Joseph Smith had said, “Some revelations are from God; some revelations are of man; and some are of the devil…” (“Address to All Believers in Christ,” p. 31). Who determines the source of the revelations—the followers or the prophet himself?

     Further, if Brigham Young was wrong in this fundamental doctrine of who God is, how can the current LDS Church accept him as an authority of God? The LDS Church teaches that there must be an unbroken link of true prophets after the restoration, otherwise the authority would be lost. Contradicting Brigham Young now only proves the incredibility of both the current LDS Church and Brigham Young, and breaks the link to the claimed restoration by Joseph Smith.

     One could go on and on about these teachings that clearly show the non-Christian nature of the LDS Church, but let’s look at what the LDS Church today teaches about Adam. In Doctrine and Covenants 27:11 and 116, Adam is referred to as the “Ancient of Days,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Daniel 7:9-14). But the Ancient of Days is one of the names of GOD ALMIGHTY of the Bible, not Adam. There is absolutely no question about that! There is also no question that the LDS Church believes and teaches that Adam is the Ancient of Days, who will judge the world. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, in his book, Mormon Doctrine, page 34, says:

     Adam is known as the Ancient of Days….In this capacity he will yet sit in formal judgment upon “ten thousand times ten thousand….”

     In the temple ceremony, the Archangel Michael is one of the creators of the world and he then “becomes” Adam.

     According to Mormonism, “GODS” “organized” the world (see The Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 4 and 5), Adam being one of the three gods presented in the temple ceremony. In plain language, Mormon doctrine clearly implies that Adam is God—a belief documented in other LDS writings.

The Temple Ceremony
The God and Christ of Mormonism