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StudMuff

Question about the beggining of man

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Good question! There are a lot of theories and speculation out there, even within the LDS community. Some are more archeologically sound than others, but there are a lot to choose from, so if you want to come up with your own, that's okay too.

I will present one, and others will present other theories or expand upon it.

To start with let me say, I have no definitive explaination, but here is what I can remember Cleon Skousen said in the book The First Two Thousand Years.

There was just one land mass before the flood. The garden of Eden was supposedly in Missouri, so Noah and his family was somewhere in the vicinity. When the flood happened, the ark started on what was to be the American continent, and floated to what was going to be Mt. Ararat.

When the flood receded, Noah and family spread out over the land again. I don't know how many years afterward, but there was a person named Peleg, whose name means "the land was divided". During this person's life is when the book says(asserts) the one land mass was divided into separate land masses, and North and South America broke off and drifted away, along with the rest of the world(continents, islands and what have you). Those who were on what was to be different continents stayed there. Others ventured out and found the isles of the sea.

Now this is from memory so I could be off a bit on what the book states but it is close. This, however, is not very archeologically sound, and many will poo-pah this away.

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One of the questions - concerns what is sometimes called pre-Adamites. This would be a human type species that existed on the earth prior to Adam. All that we know from scriptures is that Adam was the first man. Some take this to mean that prior to Adam there was no species even similar to man and that there is no genetic link to any creature prior to Adam and that of modern man. We also know that during the Eden epoch there was no death.

I believe that it is possible that G-d created the bodies for man from pre-Adamite creatures. I do not pass this on as official church doctrine only as one possible that has some scientific and religious possibility. Somewhere between 6 and 12 thousand years ago great changes took place. For example, many plants and animals were domesticated during this time. I find it interesting that after this time few species of plants or animals have been added to this list of domesticated things.

The bottom line is that science asks different questions than do those seeking religious understanding. Small wonder that with such different view that different ideas are emphasized.

The Traveler

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To start with let me say, I have no definitive explaination, but here is what I can remember Cleon Skousen said in the book The First Two Thousand Years.

There was just one land mass before the flood. The garden of Eden was supposedly in Missouri, so Noah and his family was somewhere in the vicinity. When the flood happened, the ark started on what was to be the American continent, and floated to what was going to be Mt. Ararat.

When the flood receded, Noah and family spread out over the land again. I don't know how many years afterward, but there was a person named Peleg, whose name means "the land was divided". During this person's life is when the book says(asserts) the one land mass was divided into separate land masses, and North and South America broke off and drifted away, along with the rest of the world(continents, islands and what have you). Those who were on what was to be different continents stayed there. Others ventured out and found the isles of the sea.

What is Skousen's time frame for this? We all know about continental drift (at first a very controversial theory), but this has occurred over millions of years, at the rate of about 10 centimetres a year.

The sort of "drift" Skousen conjectures cannot possibly happen in one year, which would be approximately the time Noah was aboard the Ark.

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All that we know from scriptures is that Adam was the first man. Some take this to mean that prior to Adam there was no species even similar to man and that there is no genetic link to any creature prior to Adam and that of modern man.

Adam is described as being the "first flesh" upon the earth.

Moses 3:7:

7 And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.

This theory doesn't seem workable.

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What is Skousen's time frame for this? We all know about continental drift (at first a very controversial theory), but this has occurred over millions of years, at the rate of about 10 centimetres a year.

The sort of "drift" Skousen conjectures cannot possibly happen in one year, which would be approximately the time Noah was aboard the Ark.

I stated in my post that this theory was not archeologically sound. I should have said that it is not geologically sound. I can only guess as to the time frame, but it is not going to fit in with any geology that I know of.

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What is Skousen's time frame for this? We all know about continental drift (at first a very controversial theory), but this has occurred over millions of years, at the rate of about 10 centimetres a year.

The sort of "drift" Skousen conjectures cannot possibly happen in one year, which would be approximately the time Noah was aboard the Ark.

The contintental drift according to what I interpret in the scriptures did not occur until the death of Christ.

Helaman 14:20-23

20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.

21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.

23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

It is suspected, by me, that the flood was the time of the separation of the one giant land mass, spoken of in the scriptures.

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I stated in my post that this theory was not archeologically sound. I should have said that it is not geologically sound. I can only guess as to the time frame, but it is not going to fit in with any geology that I know of.

There are different interpretations about how the earth was "divided":

‘For after he [Moses] has mentioned Arphaxad as the third of the sons of Shem, he then names Peleg, his great grandson, in whose days the languages were divided.’

John Gill (1697–1771), Exposition of the Bible:

for in his days was the earth divided among the three sons of Noah, and their respective posterities; their language was divided, and that obliged them to divide and separate in bodies which understood one another; hence that age, in which was this event, was usually called by the Jews the age of division; whether this was done about the time of his birth, and so this name was given him to perpetuate the memory of it, or in some after part of his life, and so was given by a spirit of prophecy, is a question: Josephus, Jarchi, and the Jewish writers, generally go the latter way; if it was at the time of his birth, which is the sense of many, then this affair happened in the one hundred and first year after the flood, for in that year Peleg was born, as appears from Genesis 11:11–16.’

C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentaries on the Old Testament, n.d., original German in the 19th century, English translation published by Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, The Pentateuch, Vol. 1, p. 171:

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The contintental drift according to what I interpret in the scriptures did not occur until the death of Christ.

I'm trying to understand what you're saying here. If continental drift did not occur until the time of Christ, with massive upheavals, then how does that explain the rapid drift at the time of Noah? At least according to some speculation.

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I'm trying to understand what you're saying here. If continental drift did not occur until the time of Christ, with massive upheavals, then how does that explain the rapid drift at the time of Noah? At least according to some speculation.

I would say.

God is. He can do what He wants. He has ALL power and ALL might and All dominion and All knowledge. So if the land mass was held together as one before the flood. Then during the flood while the whole Earth was covered, God changed the formations of the Earth. He separated the land mass for His purposes. This is evidenced by the fact that the Book of Mormon and the Church came to be, on this continent. How He did this. It would comparable to the Atonement in that we do not know in what "way" it was done, but we at the very least know that is was done according to the power of God.

I know this isn't scientifically reasoned. But what is to go to the reaches of divinity to find the answer? Why must something be proven by the methods of men or make logical sense? Scientific process is to gain knowledge of what is, according to what men know.(which is flawed and imperfected) Religion is to gain knowledge of what is according, to what God knows.(which is everything) Meaning the sources of knowledge are different.

This part is truly speculation on my part. I have another alternative, which I am working on. I haven't fully thought it out, neither has this been revealed to me, obviously so it is my opinion.

My original post about the tectonic plates and such, I say is correct. It is a prophecy that would have had to come to pass as the time for the death of Christ has passed. The prophecy illuminates the fact that the earth fractured along plates and made mountains higher just like the India subcontinent plate is continually increasing the height of the Himalayas in general. It is in the scriptures, the Word of God. The prophecy was real and would have to be fulfilled. I feel impressed that it is right. It makes sense, to me any way.

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I know this isn't scientifically reasoned. But what is to go to the reaches of divinity to find the answer? Why must something be proven by the methods of men or make logical sense? Scientific process is to gain knowledge of what is, according to what men know.(which is flawed and imperfected) Religion is to gain knowledge of what is according, to what God knows.(which is everything) Meaning the sources of knowledge are different.

I know of no revelation explaining this process. I do know of many scriptural mis-interpretations. D&C 101:

32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things

33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—

34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.

All else is speculation, and some speculation can be harmful to faith. I presume "no man", includes you?

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I know of no revelation explaining this process. I do know of many scriptural mis-interpretations. D&C 101:

All else is speculation, and some speculation can be harmful to faith. I presume "no man", includes you?

There is no revelation on it. But we know certain things about God. We know some of His Laws and attributes. From this we can speculate. I agree speculation can be harmful. I think it very unwise to speculate, though you implied it would be necessary to speculate to give the answer. I did it because it would help clarify my original position. However, I should have just said "I don't know," but then I would have lost validity for my point, or argument.

Since we know of what God can do, why can we not speculate in that regard(of what He can do)? Which is what I meant by, essentially, looking to the divinity of God.

You're right, and I said this. "This is truly speculation on my part." There is no revelation on it(that I am aware of). "no man" does include me.

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Adam and Eve came from a different sphere. It's true and I have gotten over it.

-a-train

How? Or rather how'd we come to that conclusion. I know Brigham Young said it. I just sort of dismissed it as something I didn't need to know. I would like to see what he said.

I know that is was something like Adam and Eve came from "Kolob" or some planet and God took them and brought them here. So they were created, organized, established(whatever your definition) just as we were here on this sphere, but on another planet. This wouldn't break from eternal principle. All things could then could be created in the same manner, ordained by law from before the foundations of the worlds. It makes sense, but I want to hear(see) it from the source which would be Brigham Young.

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Here let me state to all philosophers of every class upon the earth, When you tell me that father Adam was made as we make adobies from the earth, you tell me what I deem an idle tale. When you tell me that the beasts of the field were produced in that manner, you are speaking idle words devoid of meaning. There is no such thing in all the eternities where the Gods dwell. Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth.

- Brigham Young Journal of Discourses 7:282

There were others, but I am not able to find them easily enough to offer more right now.

-a-train

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Sorry, link doesn't work Ray

Okay, I'll post it in two sections:

Four Accounts of the Creation

By Keith Meservy

All authentic accounts of the earth’s origins have a single source—the Creator of all things, whose explanations come to us through prophets. For centuries only one account has been available to the world—the record now preserved in the Bible. But with the Restoration have come three others. Each of these four accounts offers valuable insight into the process and purposes of the Creation.

1. The Genesis Account (Gen. 1–2). This is the common account shared by all Bible readers. Latter-day Saints regard it as the remnant of an account originally given to Moses.

2. The Book of Moses Account (Moses 1–3; JST, Gen. 1–2). After Joseph Smith had translated the Book of Mormon and learned that many plain and precious truths had been taken from the Bible, the Lord commanded him to “translate” the Bible. In doing so, he used neither Hebrew nor Greek documents but drew upon revelation and inspiration as the source of the text.

Moses had been shown a vision depicting something of the breadth and depth of the Lord’s creations. When Moses asked for more information about the origin of this earth, the Lord responded: “Moses … I will speak unto thee concerning this earth; … write the things which I shall speak.” (Moses 1:40; italics added.) Moses then wrote his account, which is the basis for the account appearing in the Joseph Smith Translation (JST, sometimes called the Inspired Version).

The text now known as the Book of Moses was extracted from the Joseph Smith Translation and published in the Pearl of Great Price in 1851.

3. The Book of Abraham Account (Abr. 3–5). This account was recorded by Abraham. A form of it was discovered in an Egyptian tomb and later sold to the Latter-day Saints. By revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith produced the text of the Book of Abraham and published it in the Times and Seasons. In 1851 it was reprinted in the first edition of the Pearl of Great Price.

4. The Temple Account. Using the power of drama and group participation, this account teaches, so far as possible within the limits of dramatic structure, the various steps involved in the Creation, the sequence of events, and the roles of those involved.

Why More Than One Account?

For those who may feel overwhelmed with so many accounts and feel, perhaps, that one should suffice, it helps to know that Abraham, despite having “a knowledge of the beginning of the creation” (Abr. 1:31) from the records available to him, still received a personal revelation from the Lord on the same subject—though it didn’t necessarily cover the identical material. He didn’t feel to say: “Account! Account! I’ve got an account, there can be no more accounts of the Creation!” There is always more to be learned from another recital of anything of value.

This is true of all teachings of the Church, as the history of revelation shows. Brigham Young taught that no revelation is ever received in its fulness. (See Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954, p. 40.) And revelations of general application don’t totally duplicate each other in phraseology, topics discussed, sequence of ideas, or application. This is true of the plan of salvation, the Atonement, and many other important doctrines. The complexity of gospel subjects, the circumstances under which revelations are given, the preparation of the one to whom the revelation is given—all suggest why no revelation can be defined by any single combination of words. Obviously, the Lord is not bothered that there are details in one account that are not in another. Furthermore, the Lord himself emphasizes to us the limitations of the present revelations when he promises that when he comes he will “reveal all things—

“Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof …

“Things that are in the earth, and upon the earth.” (D&C 101:32–34.)

In God’s dynamic work, the depth and breadth of any revelation depends upon many factors—the doctrinal foundations already laid, God’s desires, the people’s needs, and the prophet’s individual preparation, since revelations come to the Lord’s servants “in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” (D&C 1:24.) It follows, then, that those who have access to the most information on any topic have the richest opportunity to understand it and be prepared to receive more when it comes.

I am glad, for example, that we have several accounts of the First Vision, the ministry of Christ, the Atonement, the plan of salvation, the signs of the last days, and the conditions during the millennium. None of the various accounts exhaust the subject; each contributes to its advancement line upon line, even though important elements may be repeated. We need not regard them as competing or as being at odds with each other, but rather, as enhancing our understanding of the whole.

Thus, accounts of the Creation could be infinite in their variety because the subject is complex and because individual needs and specific emphases are different. An elaboration of some of the contributions of each of the four accounts enables us to better appreciate each.

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Continued:

Contributions of Genesis

In comparing the four accounts of the Creation, we need to remember that we learn not only by differences, but also by similarities. All the accounts are basically similar and emphasize the points made by Genesis:

1. God created all things. Nothing came by chance, but rather by his will and pleasure, his planning and knowledge, his power and love. The universe, in its infinite variety of life, testifies of his infinite intelligence, power, and majesty. And we, who want to know the meaning of it all, are reassured, not merely by the words, but by the whisperings of the Spirit that divine intelligence ordered all of it: by the power of his word, they were created.

2. Man—male and female—was made in the image of God, with all the power of the great potential that this statement evokes. Of “divine mintage,” man has a true perspective of who he really is and this gives him power to overcome his various challenges.

3. We are commanded to multiply. Ultimately, the power to procreate and perpetuate the divine image is a divine gift (see D&C 131:1–4; D&C 132:19–20, 24), as is the love by which we nurture the offspring thus produced. And for those made in the divine image, there is another divine role—dominion over and responsibility for the use of the earth and its creatures. (See D&C 59:16–20.)

Contributions of the Book of Moses

Going from Genesis to the book of Moses, we find explanations replacing enigmas. At the conclusion of Genesis 1 and the beginning of Genesis 2, the record of the six creative periods—including the creation of man in God’s image—seems to be complete. (See Gen. 2:1–2.) But then we discover that “there was not a man to till the ground.” Consequently, the Lord “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:5–9.) How could this be, when Genesis 1:26–27 has already declared that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him?” [Gen. 1:26–27]

Many scholars assume that two different writers were at work recording two different versions of Moses’ account of creation and that the second half of Genesis is the beginning of the second version. They attribute the redundancy to a rather unskillful scriptural editor.

Complicating the issue, however, is the doctrine clarified in the Book of Moses that all forms of life were created in heaven “spiritually before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.” (See Moses 3:7–9.)

(This teaching that spirits were created in heaven before they gained bodies on earth should instruct Christians, who usually assume that the spirits or souls of men are created at the time of birth.)

Complicating the issue further for some Latter-day Saints is the idea that Genesis 1 may not be an account of Creation by another author but may, in fact, be an account of another creation, Genesis 1 being, in their minds, the account of the spiritual creation and Genesis 2 of the physical creation. But a close reading of the scriptures indicates otherwise. [Gen. 1; Gen. 2]

If Genesis 1 is an account of the spiritual creation, then Genesis 1:26–27 would be the account of the creation of the first man in the spirit—“the first-born of every creature,” the premortal Jesus. [Gen. 1:26–27] (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.) The Moses account, however, shows that this cannot be so:

“And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image. …

“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him.” (Moses 2:26–27.)

Since Jehovah was there when the man referred to in Genesis 1:26–27 was formed, the spiritual creation obviously had already occurred. [Gen. 1:26–27] The object of their creative intent could only have been Adam, the first earthly man. Thus, the creation being described in Genesis 1 is the physical and not the spiritual creation.

The conclusion is that the Bible offers no account of the sequential process by which all things were spiritually created, although it does offer a reference to the spiritual creation in Genesis 2:5. [Gen. 2:5]

Joseph Fielding Smith said: “The account of the creation of the earth as given in Genesis, and the Book of Moses, and as given in the temple, is the Creation of the physical earth, and of physical animals and plants. … There is no account of the Creation of man or other forms of life when they were created as spirits.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., comp. Bruce R. McConkie, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56, 1:75.)

Contributions of Abraham

Many Christian writers have defined the Creation as creation from nothing. But the book of Abraham clarifies that God “organized” the worlds out of unorganized matter. To those who were with him, God said, “We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell.” (Abr. 3:24.) And since all life came from the earth’s elements, all things came from existing material. This insight in no way diminishes the significance of the Lord’s creation, but rather gives us a glimpse into the nature of eternal law.

The book of Abraham also contributes to our knowledge of the nature of our spiritual life. We learn that in premortal life we existed as individuals (intelligences that were organized) and that there was a gradation in intelligence and nobleness in that premortal world.

This insight profoundly affects how we think of ourselves, our children, and others around us as we come to understand that earthly heredity and environment are not the only ways to explain individual behavior. It helps to know that man, in becoming something here, starts out in mortality with personality and certain predispositions. This account of Creation makes it clear that man is not merely a blank tablet provided by heredity upon which environment writes. Each of us comes into the world as a unique spirit with a capacity for becoming what our Creator is, in whose image we are formed.

We also learn from the Abrahamic account that the intelligence and nobility we developed in the premortal world were fundamental to the callings and assignments we were given before we came into the mortal world: Jehovah was called to be God’s Only Begotten in the Flesh, with everything that implied, and Abraham was among those whom the Lord called to be his rulers. (See Abr. 3:23.) This explains the Lord’s comment to Jeremiah that before he came “forth out of the womb” he was ordained a prophet. (Jer. 1:4–5.) Joseph Smith said that all who have callings here in mortality received them in premortality. (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 365.)

Abraham provides perhaps the singular scripture explaining God’s purpose for creating the earth. Said the Creator: “We will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

“And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abr. 3:24–25.)

There must be opposition in order for this proving to take place. Life, typically, has its wildernesses, where we walk by faith and not by sight. Yet where else can faith grow but in wildernesses, where it is under trial and the future is uncertain, where obedience to God is the issue and the means to survive. Passing such trials successfully is the basis for future high status. Those who prove faithful under trial and “keep” their second estate “shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” (Abr. 3:26.)

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Continued:

Contributions of the Temple Account

It is in the temple account of the Creation that we learn that Adam is Michael, who helped Jehovah in the Creation. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong … conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith, and those who were appointed to be rulers before the earth was formed?” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:75.)

In one sense, the harmony of the four accounts of the Creation could be compared to the harmony of the four gospels of the New Testament. They complement one another. Details from one embellish those of the others, ultimately giving us a fuller picture, a broader understanding, and a deeper appreciation.

Contemplating God’s marvelous works moves us to awe at his knowledge and power, to joy for the gift of life—for seed and soil, surf and sand, crag and tree, cloud and sun, bones and brawn; for companionship and offspring, for beauty and order, for sustenance and new beginnings, for creative opportunity and challenges, and for the confidence experienced in being entrusted with dominion over this wondrous world. All of this is enhanced for us as God recounts, at different times and in different ways, his role in creating our world and placing us upon it.

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What about boats - People were happy to float on things over distances we would only take a ferry boat? People clearly got about the planet from very early on - and they could also walk like people in 2008 don't,

-Charley

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WARNING: ONLY church publications carrying the words 'Copyright of the First Presidency' are official doctrine of the church. Be careful whom and what you quote as doctrine. Much is 'One man's Opinion", only that copyright is accepted as doctrine, no matter who wrote it. IE Mormon Doctrine by B R McKoncie(?) is NOT official doctrine, good as it is.

That said, there is no doctrine I'm aware of that says specifically that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri.

I await correction eagerly. The apparent reason for people thinking the Garden was in Mesopotamia is due to the name of a river. A co-incidence, perhaps-I do not know.

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