Brigham Young vs. Modern Church | Adam God

Adam and Eve Ancient Sculpture

In my youth, I had learned that Mormons believed that Adam was God.  Weird.

When I joined the Church at the age of 30, I tried to get the scoop on this doctrine.  I came away from this quest without clarity, but figured it wasn’t all that important and I’d ‘put it on the shelf’ – you know, that shelf that our community likes to put doctrines on that there is confusion about.  Meaning, put it on the shelf and walk away.  Pay no mind, your salvation doesn’t count on it, you don’t need all the answers.  I did that for a couple of years, despite my natural inclinations, for the sake of getting along.

And maybe it doesn’t make a difference to our salvation, but wouldn’t we like to know who our Heavenly Father is?  I would.

Brigham Young became this weird Prophet (how it even made sense to call a guy full of false doctrine a Prophet is beyond me).  The awkward uncle that no one wishes existed. The one person you’d hoped wouldn’t be mentioned by those anti-Mormon people you were tying to have a discussion with.  The guy who, without fail, would be brought up.  Ugh.  What to do with this skeleton in the closet?

While I use to think Brigham Young was the quack, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’m now wondering… what if he was the right one?  What if he’s right and the Church is wrong (which clearly teaches that doctrine as false)?  That has to be a possibility, no?  How likely is it that he, being Joseph Smith’s friend and successor, the closest thing to the Prophet who restored our Church, is right?  Now more than ever, I have to give this serious consideration.

Going through my Scriptures today my eyes were caught by a notation I wrote alongside the column.  Growing up as a mainstream Christian, I had associated the name “Ancient of Days” with Jesus Christ – not recognizing any real separation between Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  Some point throughout my conversion while reading Daniel 7:9-14, I had that light bulb moment and realized that Jesus is not the Ancient of Days, but our Father is, which is the notation that I made.

But wait… I recollect that Adam is called the Ancient of Days by the Church.  So I looked up Adam in the Bible Dictionary, and there it is; “Adam is the Ancient of Days” (not to mention DC 27:11 calls Adam the Ancient of Days and Father and Prince of all).  Now compare that with Daniel 7:9 and tell me these are not the attributes of Heavenly Father.

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days
did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”

And who more likely to be the great Patriarch of the human family than that of the Father of our Spirits?  If we are to create worlds and bear spirit children, who more likely to be the ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ of their world, but us?  For Moses 1:34 tells us that ‘Adam’ is not just a name, but a title and an office… “And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.”  Jesus said he does nothing but what he ‘seeth the Father do’.  

So, if gods and goddesses, it only makes sense to go through all of the experiences and offices of Father and Mother (which Father and Mother?  our Father and Mother).  And no one can convince me that Adam, being the Patriarch of all the inhabitants of the earth, did not achieve godhood (prior to coming to this earth, which explains why he was immortal).  For he was only doing that which he had seen his Father do.

With the understanding that I have right now, I do believe Adam is God.

Further reading:

*  A good source of possible explanations for the discrepancy:  http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_doctrine/Repudiated_concepts/Adam-God_theory

UNDERSTANDING ADAM-GOD TEACHINGS – A Comprehensive Resource of Adam – God Materials

The Doctrine of Re-baptism Part II

Baptism | Christian Art

*If you haven’t already, read The Doctrine of Re-baptism Part I

Re-baptism was in fact so prominent a doctrine, that there were rules laid out for it:

 “Baptism for the dead and for the healing of the body must be in the font, and those coming into the Church and those re-baptized may be baptized in the river.” (H of C 4:586)

(This, introducing us to a new doctrine of ‘{re}baptism for the healing of the body’.)

Joseph Smith was baptized once when John the Baptist appeared to him and Oliver Cowdery (P of GP, JS 2:70) in May of 1829, then nearly a year later, he was baptized again on the day of the organization of the Church. (Deseret News, March 30, 1935, p. 6)  Nine in all were re-baptized a second time for entrance into the Church.

Frederick G. Williams was converted and baptized into the Church in 1830 but in 1837 he lost confidence in the Church for a time, and though never excommunicated, chose to be re-baptized. (Aug. 5, 1838 D.H.C. 3:55)

B.H Roberts wanted to make it clear that, “this procedure must not be regarded as casting any doubt upon the validity of their original baptisms, or repudiation of it as a sacrament.  It was only to make more solemn the renewal of covenants with God.” (C.H.C. B. H. Roberts, 2:286-287)

In Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, he relates the account of The Twelve apostles being re-baptized, and it was not because they lost their records or had apostatized!  (Wilford Woodruff Journal, August 6, 1847)  Brigham Young led the way and set the first example.  Some 300 Saints followed in re-baptism. (History of Utah, 1840-86, Bancroft, p. 265)

Speaking of re-baptism, John Taylor was quoted as saying, “The Saints generally responded to this requirement…” (Life of John Taylor, by Roberts, p. 193)

The practice was still being taught and practiced 18-years later, not only in the Salt Lake valley, but abroad in England.

“Now it was almost a general thing through England that the Saints were being re-baptized, for they had many and mostly become old and cold and it required a renewal of covenants and fresh works together with mere faith and diligence, to give the work new impetus and revive the dropping spirits of the Saints and the work generally.” (Huntington Diary, Feb.7 1847, p. 114)

So now we know, there is no arguing that re-baptism was only happening while the Church was getting established, and it wasn’t only for apostates, or for those who had their records lost.  Re-baptism was done for all members of the Church with various callings when they simply wanted to renew their covenants.

I love my baptism experience and making the covenants I made with my Father in Heaven.  There are many occasions I have felt the desire, and even urgency, to get re-baptized, renew my covenants, and start clean and new.  Taking the Sacrament is one way to renew your covenants, but it is not the same way as re-baptism.  And I would love to experience that again like the early Saints got to.

*Go to The Doctrine of Re-baptism Part III

* The research for these references comes from Ogden Kraut. For more information on the topic, I suggest reading his book, Re-Baptism.

The Doctrine of Re-baptism Part I

Jesus Christ Baptized in the River Jordan

With Adam (Moses 6:51-58), Enoch (Moses 7:10-11), and Noah (Moses 8:23,-24) all having been baptized and preaching the ordinance of baptism, the earth being baptized with water in the days of Noah through the flood (a shadow of baptism), Jesus Christ even having been baptized and proclaiming to all they must be born again of water and of the spirit, and Joseph Smith continuing the ordinance, we know that baptism is a true and correct gospel doctrine.

We know this because of the examples laid before us, right?  So what about the doctrine of re-baptism?  Why do we not practice this as it was also exemplified in the Scriptures?

In Acts 19:1-6 the disciples were re-baptized under the direction of Paul.  Now some would argue that this was only because it was discovered that the disciples had only had “John’s baptism” and they needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Ghost.  That is a fair argument.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, most people associate re-baptism with coming back into the fold after excommunication.  However, what about in Revelation 2:2-5 when the Lord spoke to the Church in Ephesus and called them to repent and “do the first works”?  The first works are repentance and baptism.  These people were already members of the Church, so they had already been baptized at least once, and, they were not excommunicated members.  They were members who had fallen short, as we all do.

Even Nephi, whom was already a disciple and such a believer who had raised his own brother from the dead was re-baptized (3 Nephi 19:11) before he began baptizing the multitudes whom Jesus had chosen.

When Alma baptized Helam (Mosiah 18:13-14), he went down into the water with him, being baptized with him, coming out the water “rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit”.  When he baptized the next person (verse 15), “he did not bury himself again in the water”.  So he must have been re-baptized with Helam.

In Moroni 6:1 “elders, priests, and teachers were baptized”.  If they were already elders, priests, and teachers, they were already members of the Church, and if already members of the Church, they had already been baptized as least once.

We will find that there were several occasions that called for re-baptism.

{end of Part I}

* This research comes from Ogden Kraut, for more information, I suggest reading his book, Re-Baptism.

*Go to The Doctrine of Re-baptism Part II