Sign in to follow this  
Seminarysnoozer

Adam names animals

Recommended Posts

This sounds like a silly question but why did God make the animals come to Adam so that He could see what Adam would call them?

Why does God concern Himself with what Adam names them. Isn't the name God came up with good enough? When He created them spiritually, did He leave them nameless?

I feel like I am missing some deeper significance to this act. Any ideas?

The way it is worded so closely to "...and there was not found a help meet for him", it almost sounds like God was trying to show him every animal and have Adam realize that none of them could serve as help meet, he couldn't find one. That can't be the reason God made him name all the animals.

This leads me to another question - Does our mortal name matter in the eternities? I am sure we had a name previously. If so, why would a temporary situation name, mortality, take precedence over the eternal name?

Moses 3; " 19 And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if God wasn't trying to teach Adam a lesson. Adam discovered that there wasn't a helpmeet for him among the animals. I wonder if he wasn't being taught that he was different than the animals in the field and that he was a special creation. That he was created in God's image.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what language did he speak? Did he have his own name for animals that were lost to the sands of time, hence there were so many we never knew about and were thrilled when we found them (and prompted to kill them)

What about the sea? Did he name everything there too? There are still things down there we don't know about...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scriptures only mention that Adam gave names to cattle, fowl of the air and animals of the field. Doesn't mention that he named all of the fish and reptiles and insects etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scriptures only mention that Adam gave names to cattle, fowl of the air and animals of the field. Doesn't mention that he named all of the fish and reptiles and insects etc.

that would have been tedious... especially the different strains of flies...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like I am missing some deeper significance to this act. Any ideas?

I wonder if you're missing it because you're looking for it but it's not there. That's my take, anyway. I've never thought much about it, so it's never bothered me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith illustrates that the naming demonstrates that Adam was an intelligent person before the Fall. He learned from God in His presence. And that after the Fall Adam retained that knowledge as well.

It helps diminish the idea that Adam was innocent like a child who knew things in the world as a toddler understands them. He definitely was innocent but his knowledge was probably as great if not greater than the mightiest prophets. I mean he was taught by God Himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith illustrates that the naming demonstrates that Adam was an intelligent person before the Fall. He learned from God in His presence. And that after the Fall Adam retained that knowledge as well.

It helps diminish the idea that Adam was innocent like a child who knew things in the world as a toddler understands them. He definitely was innocent but his knowledge was probably as great if not greater than the mightiest prophets. I mean he was taught by God Himself.

Good points. Even beyond that, I have pondered the possibility that "naming" represents a greater involvement, like the physical creation of these animals. Maybe he inserted the DNA in the bag of cells and nursed it along until it was an animal. The animals "coming to him" might be the instructions as to how the DNA coding was to be aligned. But as has already been pointed out, I probably am giving this way too much thought. Thanks for your responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It helps diminish the idea that Adam was innocent like a child who knew things in the world as a toddler understands them. He definitely was innocent but his knowledge was probably as great if not greater than the mightiest prophets. I mean he was taught by God Himself.

How is a person's knowledge greater than the mightiest of prophets when in the beginning we know they didn't remember anything -- "all."

How also is one's knowledge greater than the mightiest if they did not know the difference between "good" and "evil" except with regard to the two commandments?

The scriptures specify they would not have known joy or misery, nor sin without partaking of the fruit. If they were, in the garden (before partaken the fruit), without joy neither misery, both of which are apart of knowledge, how then would they be greater than the mightiest of prophets?

It is probably more so that after they partook, they also grew grace for grace until he became one of the mightiest after partaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like a silly question but why did God make the animals come to Adam so that He could see what Adam would call them?

Why does God concern Himself with what Adam names them. Isn't the name God came up with good enough? When He created them spiritually, did He leave them nameless?

I don't think this is a silly question, and obviously God had a purpose in having Adam name the animals, versus God simply telling Adam their names.

I have honestly not put much thought, the only hint we are given is it says God wanted "to see what he would call them."

I wonder Seminarysnoozer if this has something to deal with "dominion" over all things as Adam was given. The naming of an animal, person, or place provides some ownership -- dominion -- so to speak.

A person that enters an unknown Valley is often named after, or named by, the person that discovered it.

A child who receives a pet for the first time is asked, "What would you name it?" Also, providing ownership, dominion, or responsibility to keep and to take care of them.

But, then again, these are all just guesses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admittedly I was a little overzealous with that description(I was struggling to find the right words to express the sentiment that I was feeling), but I had some thoughts going through my mind and the feelings that Ive had in the past.

Namely, Adam or Michael is first in the administration of the Priesthood as it relates to this Earth (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, not sure what page but it then mentions that Noah or Gabriel is number 2 in that administration). The feelings that Ive had as Ive read about his intelligence in Lectures, indicates a man who is acquainted with God. One that dwells in God's presence, though innocent as he is, must be living well too. When Adam fell, he expressed to satan every determination to be obedient to the law that he was given. That determination represents much of his character. The discipline, the faith, the trust. True knowledge is living and adhering to a law that is known. When we abide by the laws of the Gospel, then will God reveal more of that Law until one day we abide a Celestial Law perfectly. Then we are as Him.

So, as I said in my inaccurate description, I'm responding in more of a high level of knowledge as opposed to the mightiest.

How is a person's knowledge greater than the mightiest of prophets when in the beginning we know they didn't remember anything -- "all."

I assume you mean when they were first on the Earth, just created? I'd say that he did initially have a vail by which he could not remember anything, but then the period of time in the garden is not specified. It seems from what is taught in Lectures that Adam gained knowledge sufficent to be able to know what to name the animals and I'd expect probably deeper relating to spiritual things. He knew enough to know in whose presence he was in.

How also is one's knowledge greater than the mightiest if they did not know the difference between "good" and "evil" except with regard to the two commandments?

I'd suggest that good and evil maybe better approached from the standpoint of feelings. What does it feel like to be evil, what does it feel like to be good? I'm sure we knew the differences before this life. Hence satan's host was cast out, because they were disobedient and they had decided they did not want to follow the plan. I've known various things in this life that are bad, but I fell short as our mortal weakness allows us to do, and I experienced the bad. When I was little I listened to my parents, I knew what was right. I had the good feelings that helped me know as well. If I knew right and therefore conversely knew the wrong, then why am I here? Before this life were there these feelings of pain and misery that we experience? I'd say no. We chose to abide the laws before this life. We thus possessed knowledge but not necessarily in the sense of feeling. The difference here now going through experience of pain and suffering and misery we have to learn how to master the body when we are subjected to these things. And once I have made my mistakes, can I overcome the evil and the feelings that are associated with it. What is so scary about touching a hot stove if it doesn't burn me? We have to overcome negative feelings in life. I know what evil, and misery feels like because of experience. I know good because I have lived properly and felt joy.

What's my point? I suspect that Adam and Eve were taught commandments of love, patience, diligence and others before the fall, though it is not told us. He was taught a law and thus knew logically what right and wrong were, but he did not know the difference between good and evil in the sense of feeling.

Why do I make this point of feeling? The Gospel is not a set of ideas that we just can bring forth from our minds, it is a feeling. You might remember spiritual experiences by the feeling you have, not necessarily the words. The Gospel is more about feeling. Empathy, compassion, love, kindness, comfort, mercy, virtue, and others(e.g. Galatians 5:22-23).

The scriptures specify they would not have known joy or misery, nor sin without partaking of the fruit. If they were, in the garden (before partaken the fruit), without joy neither misery, both of which are apart of knowledge, how then would they be greater than the mightiest of prophets?

I agree, this goes back to my feeling point above. They wouldn't have known those feelings until being here, because of the natural man and satan having access to us and tempting us.

It is probably more so that after they partook, they also grew grace for grace until he became one of the mightiest after partaking.

I agree. But I feel he also knew much much before he left the garden, I know the angel appearing when offering sacrifice, the angels teaching the plan of salvation, receiving the spirit and other ordinances suggest there was growth and ignorance to these things beforehand. The idea that if Christ came into the world and learned grace for grace then shouldn't Adam? What I have to say to both ideas, is that I feel he learned grace for grace in the Garden in the presence of our Father. And as to the growth afterwards, there were instructions that needed to be given which wasn't while in the garden. It was things that needed to be known, that it's like why teach someone how to be a king if they aren't of royal blood? Now say they get that blood then teach them but it does no good beforehand because the person cannot abide the laws or principles of being a king and have any real effect or meaning. (ex. I command my teammate to pass the ball. If I was coach and command that same player to pass the ball, in which case am I more likely to have an obedient response? My teammate might be like you aren't the boss of me, and shoots the ball. As my player he responds by passing because he doesn't want to get benched. In each case I give a command and am living as a coach lives, but unless I am actually THE coach, then it's pointless.)

Ultimately, like I said I probably phrased my comment too strongly. He probably wasn't to that level(that I said) at the time of leaving the Garden. But I feel his knowledge had to be fairly extensive pertaining to spiritual things. That's largely based on the 2nd lecture. And my understanding of knowledge as abiding the law. So when he received commandments he wasnt like a rebellious child or teenager that might question or wonder if its something they should do, but rather he knew the source personally and obeyed, because even though he didn't know everything about what he was told or that it was new, he did know that it was right and that he would be blessed. That start for mortal probation is vastly different than most people in the world.

That's a lot, Im not the best writer, so hopefully that made sense. That was good to make me think more fully about what I wrote. Ask me any question if it doesn't make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like a silly question but why did God make the animals come to Adam so that He could see what Adam would call them?

Why does God concern Himself with what Adam names them. Isn't the name God came up with good enough? When He created them spiritually, did He leave them nameless?

I feel like I am missing some deeper significance to this act. Any ideas?

The way it is worded so closely to "...and there was not found a help meet for him", it almost sounds like God was trying to show him every animal and have Adam realize that none of them could serve as help meet, he couldn't find one. That can't be the reason God made him name all the animals.

This leads me to another question - Does our mortal name matter in the eternities? I am sure we had a name previously. If so, why would a temporary situation name, mortality, take precedence over the eternal name?

Moses 3; " 19 And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him."

What I'm going to share is not in line with LDS teachings; however, the answer to your perceptive question has been asked by many others and their thoughts (apocrypha-based), to me, are interesting.

The 1st Creation involves two Gods (or one m/f androgenous) who make 'male and female' by speaking them into existence.

The 2nd Creation beginning at Gen. 2:4 is a single (lesser) God who uses dust already there (this God was not the creator of the world but thinks there is no one before him) to make man alone. This God is unable to make woman (won't explore here) but before he figures that out, he keeps making animals in hopes of finding Adam a help-meet. The Adam created from dust is smarter than this lesser God and so is allowed to name the animals (how he is smarter than the God who 'made him' is explained). Anyway, Adam is not happy with the selection animals, so lesser God puts Adam to sleep and builds woman from the rib by the mental image of the woman in the 1st Creation (there are other speculations about this as well).

This lesser God in apocrypha is Yaldabaoth/Yaltabaoth (Nimrod?) who was conceived by thought (Barbelo/Sophia) without the permission of her consort. Because the offspring was not 'complete', the mother tried to hide him and she lost some of her Light in the process and, perhaps, became Jezebel (gone a little crazy without all her Light).

It all seemed pretty fantastical to me at first. Then I began to contemplate the "2 Arks" and how different they were; two accounts of Abraham lying about his wife-sister and the very different outcomes of the 'same' incident. I've only recently started exploring Genesis in detail looking for this type of inconsistency but am amazed in only the first 36 chapters of Genesis. Like God insisting twice that Isaac is Abraham's *only* son. 2 Abrahams as well? (2 Abrahams, etc. began when watching a Christian program and hearing the speaker say, "The only way Moses wrote the Bible is if there was another man named Moses." Question I had suddenly had a path to explore.)

Today, I seriously think that we haven't really begun to explore the deeper mysteries of the Bible - and now I'm afraid the world will end before we get a chance to appreciate the exquisite clues God left for us right in front of our noses. Today, I subscribe to the saying, "The Truth is all around us if we but have the eyes to see." Just becaue the apocrypha didn't make it into the Bible doesn't mean it wasn't preserved for us to use when we became more spiritually mature - even if it is still but a fraction of a bigger framework.

The curiosity factor is God-given and I'm grateful, today, to have been given a healty dose of it (tho in my younger years, too many questions and didn't know where to look for answers was frustrating). I'm grateful to be living in a time when the information of the world is at our fingertips to explore with the Holy Spirit as my Guide.

I see organized religion as a framework within which to grow, not become stagnate and mummified in dogma. Christ is *Living* Truth. The reason I have an interest in LDS is the openness with which you (collectively) speak of the Holy Spirit for new Insight and the commitment to leading moral lives - the community that appears to thrive. The BYU Devotional Addresses fascinate me because the Elders who speak seem genuinely concerned for the souls of the students and pass on their experiences and widsom so freely. *I* certainly benefit!

The missionary visits are going well, I think. No major obstacles with the Book of Mormon so far. Baptism of the dead seems strange but I've found an intensive (unbiased) article by BYU that is helping to sort it out. I don't know yet if my willingness and need to 'think outside the box' to follow where the Holy Ghost leads me will turn out to be a hindrance to joing the LDS Church on the part of the Church.

I don't see any religon as being perfect - our Undertsanding is incomplete unless we become "Filled by the Holy Ghost" while still in the body. But it is my understanding from Holy Ghost that it will never be necessary to change the structure of a church to accomodate new learning. That would just alert the archons. We are to be 'gentle as doves and as sly as the snake who has made so many paths crooked' and not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.

I wonder if my next step should be to speak with a bishop rather than keep using the time of the missionaries if my Path of following the Holy Ghost is unacceptable in the LDS religion. Perhaps I'll just have to keep watching from the outside. Dunno.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like a silly question but why did God make the animals come to Adam so that He could see what Adam would call them?

I can only speculate. But one speculation sounds reasonable to me: For the same reason that I called my kid over to name the new kitty cat I brought home for her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why does God concern Himself with what Adam names them. Isn't the name God came up with good enough? When He created them spiritually, did He leave them nameless?

No idea about God... But i STILL use the names my son came up with as a small child. Sure, their official names are fine, but HIS names are wrapped up in joy. All different kinds of joy. Of a parent, of the excitement of getting to introduce him to the world, of the pure love, of the memories that those names give me of those things.

Then, of course, there are our down under cousins. Not only do we have common names In English (dog I stead of canis familiaris, grass instead of... Oh. Bad example there. Too many subspecies)... But then the Aussies go a step further and rename everything all over again. Or add an O to the end, either or.Renaming, though, In a style that's half cockney half substitution code. I refer you to some such phrases such as Bickie, Buckleys, & cop it sweet. Then there's naval slang. Anyone with the surname Brown is renamed Bomber. Engineering boys are all called Charge.

Then we have proper names. Crazy changes there across geography and time. Both in spelling and usage. Spelling is simple... Maryam to Miriam or Maryanne, Mary.. Usage gets all culturally tied up (masculine or feminine like Ashley? Whitney?... Respect via first or last name? Is your first name your family name and your last name your individual name, or in reverse?... Is your name a variation of your fathers? Or mothers? Or neither? How many durn names DO you have? Do you change it at puberty, marriage, parenthood, old age, or other milestones? Can you change your name? Do other people give you nicknames? Are you known by an arbitrary designation? John or Archibald, or by physical trait or characteristic? Red, Swift? Or a combo? Fat Mark, Mohammed the sculptor, Tina the barbarian, Yankee Mike. Bomber?

Our poets, scientists (taxology!), cartographers, comedians, singers, lawyers, et cetera all question names. A rose by any other.... Orange four inch door hinge... India Caribbean tomato tomahto.

... I wonder less that God had him name the animals... And more that Adam could stop long enough to get on with the rest of life's business. ;)

Course... We've never really stopped.

We're still,trying to Grok things.

Name it, understand it.

Or at the very least,be able to argue about it with others.

Blood. RBCs, WBCs, plasma, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen... Cascading reactions of the sun. Name units of time. Measure that time for the suns rays and particles to hit the earth.

Names. Knowledge. Power. Wonder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea about God... But i STILL use the names my son came up with as a small child. Sure, their official names are fine, but HIS names are wrapped up in joy. All different kinds of joy. Of a parent, of the excitement of getting to introduce him to the world, of the pure love, of the memories that those names give me of those things.

Then, of course, there are our down under cousins. Not only do we have common names In English (dog I stead of canis familiaris, grass instead of... Oh. Bad example there. Too many subspecies)... But then the Aussies go a step further and rename everything all over again. Or add an O to the end, either or.Renaming, though, In a style that's half cockney half substitution code. I refer you to some such phrases such as Bickie, Buckleys, & cop it sweet. Then there's naval slang. Anyone with the surname Brown is renamed Bomber. Engineering boys are all called Charge.

Then we have proper names. Crazy changes there across geography and time. Both in spelling and usage. Spelling is simple... Maryam to Miriam or Maryanne, Mary.. Usage gets all culturally tied up (masculine or feminine like Ashley? Whitney?... Respect via first or last name? Is your first name your family name and your last name your individual name, or in reverse?... Is your name a variation of your fathers? Or mothers? Or neither? How many durn names DO you have? Do you change it at puberty, marriage, parenthood, old age, or other milestones? Can you change your name? Do other people give you nicknames? Are you known by an arbitrary designation? John or Archibald, or by physical trait or characteristic? Red, Swift? Or a combo? Fat Mark, Mohammed the sculptor, Tina the barbarian, Yankee Mike. Bomber?

Our poets, scientists (taxology!), cartographers, comedians, singers, lawyers, et cetera all question names. A rose by any other.... Orange four inch door hinge... India Caribbean tomato tomahto.

... I wonder less that God had him name the animals... And more that Adam could stop long enough to get on with the rest of life's business. ;)

Course... We've never really stopped.

We're still,trying to Grok things.

Name it, understand it.

Or at the very least,be able to argue about it with others.

Blood. RBCs, WBCs, plasma, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen... Cascading reactions of the sun. Name units of time. Measure that time for the suns rays and particles to hit the earth.

Names. Knowledge. Power. Wonder.

At that point he was still in the presence of God, he had not yet eaten the fruit of death so his body (and brain) had not yet been corrupted by the Fall. He spoke the language of God. And he could have simply asked God, 'what is this?' There would be no need to rename things or alter their names if they already had one. Recall, God has done this over and over again, one eternal round. He has a name for everything, I am sure.

We are talking about naming species, not a pet. Do you understand dogs more or less if your were the one to give it the name "dog" as opposed to just using the name that was already given? I am not following the idea that simply naming something gives one more knowledge about it. Especially, if it already has a name. God told him to do it. So, this isn't him just wondering would it could be and giving it a name because there wasn't one already.

Maybe, he chose the animals that would eventually continue in the fallen world? Out of those found in paradise, possibly he chose (named) those that would go on. Maybe those that didn't get a name became extinct at the Fall. ... it seems that there must be some other reason. Maybe it is just a ritual regarding ownership or dominion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At that point he was still in the presence of God, he had not yet eaten the fruit of death so his body (and brain) had not yet been corrupted by the Fall. He spoke the language of God. And he could have simply asked God, 'what is this?' There would be no need to rename things or alter their names if they already had one. Recall, God has done this over and over again, one eternal round. He has a name for everything, I am sure.

We are talking about naming species, not a pet. Do you understand dogs more or less if your were the one to give it the name "dog" as opposed to just using the name that was already given? I am not following the idea that simply naming something gives one more knowledge about it. Especially, if it already has a name. God told him to do it. So, this isn't him just wondering would it could be and giving it a name because there wasn't one already.

Maybe, he chose the animals that would eventually continue in the fallen world? Out of those found in paradise, possibly he chose (named) those that would go on. Maybe those that didn't get a name became extinct at the Fall. ... it seems that there must be some other reason. Maybe it is just a ritual regarding ownership or dominion.

Just a thought - I believe that the purpose of this in scripture is to give Adam importance concerning creation. Prior to the fall the creation speaks of G-d in the plural with pronouns like us and we. Thus it seems to me that prior to the fall Adam had divine status and was a participant in the creation. Also in scripture G-d is given as the father of Adam - which is interesting when we consider that Jesus is the only begotten of the father.

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A child who receives a pet for the first time is asked, "What would you name it?" Also, providing ownership, dominion, or responsibility to keep and to take care of them.

And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought - I believe that the purpose of this in scripture is to give Adam importance concerning creation. Prior to the fall the creation speaks of G-d in the plural with pronouns like us and we. Thus it seems to me that prior to the fall Adam had divine status and was a participant in the creation. Also in scripture G-d is given as the father of Adam - which is interesting when we consider that Jesus is the only begotten of the father.

The Traveler

Yes, this is what I think I was getting at. Thank you.

I think we consider Adam as a gardener but he also was likely a zoologist or together would be considered a biologist. Not to say that was the only thing he studied but to put it on equal footing with taking care of plant life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this is what I think I was getting at. Thank you.

I think we consider Adam as a gardener but he also was likely a zoologist or together would be considered a biologist. Not to say that was the only thing he studied but to put it on equal footing with taking care of plant life.

I think person we identify as Adam played a much more important role before his title was changed to Adam - which I understand also means mankind.

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This goes back to a deep-doc subject I was working on about a month ago. At the time, none of the languages spoken today, existed back then. Adam spoke the adamic language, or the language spoken in the eternal realm. (it mentions it in the pearl, and genesis, I hit a dead end with it, so I don't have a lot to go on) From what I was able to gather from it, the adamic language was perfect, and was what we all spoke in the pre-earth life, and what we will speak when we die.

Now then, we all know that God, and Jesus Christ made the earth, but Michael, (who we know as Adam) was with them, and assisted in the creation. That could be a good explanation of why God left it up to Adam to name the animals, because he helped create them, even though Adam did not remember.

I would love to explain more, but I don't feel at liberty to discuss some things over the internet. All I shall say is... Go to the temple, and things will make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a message about development about growth. Adam begins to understand the animals around him. In the allegorical sense he "names" them. Then comes the woman, as he has named species so he names her. She is "Woman" (i.e. helper). He understands her as one who can help him and correspond to him. He names her as such. But he still does not understand her true identity, her purpose, her worth. After they become "one flesh", after they eat the fruit, he names her again. This time she is to him something much more than "Woman". She is, "Eve"; "the mother of all living". Now he names her correctly, now he sees her individually, her true potential, he has understood. She is no more simply a "helper", she is "mother of all living".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this