The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
Question #24

Q. If the Adamites were a new race of men how then are all human beings the descendants of Adam and Eve?

A. It says in Genesis that the “sons of God” saw that the  “daughters of men” were beautiful, so they intermarried with them:

“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2)

Catholic and Evangelical scholars have various theories as to what this verse means. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that this verse means that the sons of God were angels, who saw mortal women and lusted after them, and that these angels actually came down and had children with these mortal women. They believe this at the same time believing that angels do not marry, are sexless, and cannot reproduce.

There are two theories in the Church as to what this verse means:

The Pre-Adamite Theory states that the sons of God referred to the Pre-Adamites, and that the daughters of men referred to the Adamites; since the word “men” in ‘daughters of men’ here is Ah-dawm . The Adamites intermarried with the Pre-Adamites, and thus the children of the sons of God and the daughters of men became Adamites (the descendants of Adam and Eve–as well as  pre-Adamites). The Hebrew of this verse says that men (aw-dawm) spread about on the face of the land (erets) and that they had daughters which the sons of God saw were fair (beautiful), and took them as wives.

The Pre-Adamites would still be the “sons of God”; although not the sons or daughters of Adam. Hyrum Smith, brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith, believed that there were Prophets on earth before Adam. He said:

“There were Prophets before Adam, and Joseph has the spirit and power of all the Prophets.” (Millennial Star 23:406)

If the Pre-Adamites had prophets, it means they too were the sons (children) of God (Heavenly Father). If so, they had souls subject to salvation. They were given laws to guide them by their prophets.

Once the sons of God (Pre-Adamites) had children with the daughters of men (Adam), then their offspring from then on would be Adamites (descendants of Adam and Eve--as well as the descendants of the  Pre-Adamites).

The First-Humans Theory, states that Adam and Eve were literally the first male and female human beings on earth, that the “sons of God” refer to the Sethites; the descendants of Seth, and the “daughters of men” refer to the Cainites; the descendants of Cain. Under this theory, the white-skinned Sethites (sons of God) saw that the black-skinned Negro Cainite women (daughters of men) were “fair” (beautiful). So, instead of marrying other white-skinned Caucasian  Sethite women (who apparently weren’t that attractive), the Sethite males took Cainite (Negro)  women for wives.

If Noah and his wife and their sons and their wives were all Caucasians, except for Ham’s Cainite wife, then the world should be filled only with Caucasians and Mulattoes; no Negroes, no Chinese, no Malaysians, no Dravidians, no Ainu of Japan, no anything but Caucasians and Mulattoes.

In order to deal with this contradiction, those who adhere to the First-Humans Theory had to come up with yet another theory; that Ham’s black-skinned wife had become pregnant not from the white-skinned Ham, but from another black-skinned Cainite before she and Ham entered the Ark; thereby Canaan would be a full-blooded  Negro. But there is nothing about this in the Bible nor LDS revelation, and in fact both present Ham’s sons as his “sons”. This additional theory cannot explain races such as the Chinese and others.

The First Humans Theory  condradicts LDS revelation in The Book of Moses which identifies the daughters of the sons of Noah (all  Sethites) as among the “daughters of men” that the “sons of God” married (Moses 8:13). Moses himself calls the Gentiles (nations) the “sons of God” (Deuteronomy 32:42); further evidence that the “sons of God” referred to those who were not the “sons of Adam”.

The First-Humans Theory really has no explanation for races such as the Chinese, or the Malaysians. If the First-Humans Theory is correct, then everyone on earth should either be a Northern-European looking Caucasian, or a Mulatto. The variations and diversity of the races of men bear strong evidence against this.

The Pre-Adamite Theory holds that the flood was not universal, but only covered the ‘land’ where Noah lived. When Cain is banished, he says:

“Behold, Thou has driven me out this day from the face of the earth.” (Genesis 4:14)

Did Cain go to a different earth (planet)? No! He was driven out from the face of the erets (land). In Hebrew, it says that the flood covered the entire ‘land’ (Heb. erets). The Hebrew term erets is translated “earth” in many Bibles, but in fact it means ‘land’. Israel today is called Erets Yisrael (The Land of Israel). It doesn’t mean “The Planet of Israel” nor “The Earth of Israel”.

The First-Humans Theory holds that the flood covered the entire planet Earth; with all animals and humans dying except Noah, his family, and the animals in the Ark. This is because translations say that the entire “earth” was covered. But in Hebrew, it says the “land” was covered.

It is entirely possible that the  children of Cain and his wife  intermarried with Africans, and this is how Africans also became Cainites (and later Hamites), and how Cainites became black-skinned. Certainly science tells us that the Africans are the oldest race of people on earth. This suggests that Adam and Eve founded a new race of men, and that the Cainites intermarried with a much older race. But, again, this is not official Church Doctrine! It is theory only.

But certainly Cain can’t be the “father” of all the black-skinned races of men.  Certainly there are black-skinned races of men who are not African (i.e. Negro). These include the Dravidians of India, the Melanesians and Fijians of New Guinea and Polynesia, the Negritoes of the Philipines and Indonesia, and the Aborigines of Australia. None of these black-skinned peoples are Hamites; nor are they Africans or the descendants of Africans. The Aborigines of Australia are genetically as remote from black Africans as any race of men can be. All this leads credence to the Pre-Adamite theory.

According to science, people have black skin because their ancestors lived for hundreds or thousands of years, perhaps millions of years, near the equator; where the ultraviolet rays of the Sun are strongest. In order to protect bare human skin from these harmful rays, melanin is created in great quantities. The name melanin comes from the Greek word for black: melos. The black-skinned people of New Guinea and Polynesia are called Melanesians (Black-polynesians).

The more melanin a person has, the darker-skinned they are, and the more their skin is protected from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the Sun. People living in Europe did not need such protection, so they have far less melanin. The Celts, a race of red-haired and white-skinned people, have the least melanin of all; so little that their own blood can be seen in their face.

Others believe that the reason why some races of men are black (Africans, Dravidians, Melanesians, Negritoes, Aborigines), and other races of men are brown, red, yellow, or white, is because the darker the race, the older it is; the longer it has been exposed to the Sun’s heat and light.

If you put a piece of white dough in an oven, the longer it is exposed to light and heat, the darker it will become. The lighter the dough, the less heat and light (radiation) it has been exposed to. Thus, if this theory is true, then the black-skinned races (there are at least four of them) are the oldest races on earth; while the brown-skinned, red-skinned, and yellow-skinned are younger, and the white-skinned being the youngest. The more melanin in the skin, the older that race of human beings has been on the earth. The lesser the melanin, the younger the race. The longer you keep dough in the oven (exposed to light and heat)  the darker it becomes.

*Adam  and Eve: First Humans or First Adamites?

Some believe that new human races are created sometimes out of older ones. One can see this in the animal world; when occassionally a animal is born different than it’s parents. In 1962 a blond-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned gorilla was born. Both his parents were normal African gorillas (black-skinned, black-haired, and brown eyed). The keepers named the baby gorilla “Snowflake”; because of his white-skin. This gorilla was not an Albino (who have white hair and pink eyes), but an entirely new type of gorilla: one with blue eyes and blonde hair. (National Geographic, Oct. 1970).

Among the Ile-Ife tribe of Nigeria there is an old oral tradition that is passed down from one generation to the next. It says that is very ancient times all the people in the world were black. Then one day a woman had a white baby. The elders of the village thought this a bad omen from the gods, so they killed the baby, and told the men not to touch the woman. Nobody did. Then the woman became mysteriously pregnant again, but this time the elders thought it a good omen from the gods, and decided not to kill the baby once it was born. The woman bore twins; a boy and a girl, and they were white and had red hair. This is the Ile-Ife explanation for the Caucasian race.

The Bakuba tribe of the Congo have a legend of the origin of man that says the white god Mbombo created the first man and woman; who were white also. Woto, their first king, was also born white, and he married his sister Labama. He took black dye and dyed his skin black; along with his wife and children. The Book of Moses says that the Cain married one of his sisters, and that the “seed of Cain were black” (Moses 3:22).

In ancient times when twins were born, it was believed that one was created in the womb out of the side of the other. In Hebrew the word “rib” means “side”, and the Bible says in Genesis that Eve was made out of a rib from the side of Adam.

*The Wisdom of the Egyptians

Many Mormons reject the noting of Pre-Adamites because The Book of Moses, a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, declares that Adam was “the first man” upon the earth. Joseph claimed that The Book of Moses was actually a work of Moses; who was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.” (Acts 7:22).

The ancient Egyptians, like most ancient peoples, believed they were the only true ‘men’. They called themselves ‘men’; but did not call people of other races ‘men’. Egyptologist Barbara Mertz writes:

“Like the Greeks and others, the Egyptians called themselves ‘the people’. Other men were not people, they were only barbarians.” (Black Folk Here and There, p.187)

Another Egyptologist has written:

“The ancient Egyptian...was semi-urban and sophisticated of mind and felt foreigners to be rustic and uninitiated.... He made a distinction between ‘men’ on the one hand, and Libyans or Asiatics or Africans on the other. The word ‘men’ in that sense means Egyptians.” (Black Folk, p.187)

This was also true of other ancient or primitive peoples; like the Amerinds (Native Americans).

Paul A.W. Wallace writes:

“The Delawares, as far back as the white man’s memory goes, were the Indians most closely associated with Penssylvania, called themselves Lenni Lenape, which means the Real (or Original) People.


Other Indian nations gave themselves comparable names. Illinois means Real Men; Ongwe Honwe (Iroquois), Original People: names which suggest priority over all other peoples on earth. ‘We are The People’, said Emerson Metoxon (an Oneida) to me, with a twinkle in his eye. ‘The rest are only Indians.’” (Indians in Pennsyvania, pp.2-3)

Protestant Bible scholar Arthur C. Custance has written:

“Among most primitive people the habit is to refer to themselves (in their own language of course) as ‘true men’, referring to all others by some term which clearly denies to them the right of manhood at all. Thus the Naskapi call themselves Neneot, which means real people. The Chuckchee say that their name means real men. The Hottentots [of South Africa] refer to themselves as Khoi-Khoi; which means Men of Men. The Yahgan of Tierra del Fuego (of all places) say that their name means men par excellence. The Andamese [of the Indian Ocean], a people who appear to lack the rudiments of law, refer to themselves as Ong, meaning Men. All these people reserve these terms only for themselves.” (Noah’s Three Sons, p.63)

Where the ancient Hebrew any different? There is evidence to suggest they weren’t, and when they referred to Adam as ‘the first man’ they meant the first one of their race; not to human beings of other races. Some believe that non-Adamites were referred to in the Bible as “Chay”; which means “breathing thinking entity” (erroneously translated in most English Bibles as “beast”). The Bible says that “Chays” have hands, and have the ability to repent in sackcloth and ashes; awfly difficult things for animals to do. The LORD told the Prophet Jonah to go into the city of Niveveh, in Assyria, and call them to repentence or they would be destroyed:

“But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn from violence that is in their hands.” (Jonah 3:8)

How could dumb animals pray to God for forgiveness? Do animals sin? How could they do violence in their hands?

There are three Hebrew words which are translated into English as “beast”:

1. Behemah (a domesticated animal)

2. Beiyr (a wild undomesticated animal)

3. Chay (living creature)

Some feel that “Chay” actually means ‘savage’. The first white Americans usually referred to themselves as ‘men’ and they usually referred to the Indians (native Americans or Amerinds) as ‘savages’. The early white Americans usually did not refer to Negroes (Africans) as ‘men’ either, but by some other term. To refer to Amerinds and Africans (admittedly both human beings) as ‘men’ was considered by most early white Americans as a novelty; if not a radical or even ridiculous notion.

The Prophet Joseph Smith himself seemed to believe in the existence of Pre-Adamites when he approvingly quoted his brother Hyrum saying:

“There were Prophets before Adam, and Joseph has the spirit and power of all the Prophets.” (Millennial Star 23:406)

That statement was later changed to read:

“There were prophets before, but Joseph has the spirit and power of all the prophets.” (History of the Church 6:346)

In 1854, in General Conference, Apostle Orson Hyde declared:

“The world was peopled before the days of Adam as much so as it was before the days of Noah.” (Journal of Discourses 2:79)

Yet, 100 years later Apostle (later President) Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Adam was the first mortal on the earth;...Since Adam was the first man on the earth, that does away with the false notion that there were pre-Adamites.” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:78)

Many Mormons assume that what President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote was ‘official’ Church doctrine.

But it wasn’t.

Other Mormon Presidents and Apostles did believe in and preach the existence of Pre-Adamites. James E. Talmage, an Apostle and author of Jesus the Christ (the only official LDS work outside of the Standard Works) said in 1935 in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City:

“Geologists and anthropologists say that if the beginning of Adamic history dates back but 6000 years or less, there must have been races of human sort upon the earth long before that time--without denying, however, that Adamic history may be correct, if it be regarded solely as the history of the Adamic race.” (The Earth and Man, p.11)

Elder Talmage’s talk was that year published by the Church, in it’s name, as a pamphlet and distributed to Latter-day Saints throughout the Church. Elder Talmage strongly suggests in the work that Pre-Adamites exist, and that Adam and Eve were the parents of a new race of men; not the first human beings on earth.

*Creationism & The Smith McConkie School

Also in 1935 Brigham H. Roberts, a Seventy, was writing a Church Manual called The Truth, The Way, The Life. Roberts wrote in the book that pre-Adamites existed. This offended Joseph Fielding Smith (the grandson of Hyrum Smith and son of Joseph F. Smith—6th President of the Church). Joseph Fielding Smith was an adherent of the writings of George McCready Price; the Seventh-day Adventist who founded Creationism. Joseph Fielding Smith (an Apostle at that time) believed that evolution (which he believed was the same as Darwinism) was a doctrine of the Devil, and he would not stand for the Church publishing a manual that people would use in Sunday School which taught the existence of Pre-Adamites.  The two men argued, and The First Presidency decided to step in and issue a statement:

“The statement made by Elder Smith that the existence of pre-Adamites is not a doctrine of the Church is true. It is just as true that the statement: ‘There were not pre-Adamites upon the earth’ is not a doctrine of the Chruch. Neither side of the controversy has been accepted as a doctrine at all.” (Excerpt from The Truth, The Way, The Life, p.8 online)

It was finally decided that the book should not be published as a Church Manual. Roberts decided to publish his work privately, but died before raising the necessary funds.

In 1954 Joseph Fielding Smith published Man: His Origin and Destiny, wherein he wrote:

“There is no Redeemer other than Jesus Christ for this earth and since Adam could not have brought death on pre-Adamite life, such life could not obtain the blessings of the resurrection. Yet the Lord has declared that through the atonement all things partaking of the fall [of Adam] will be redeemed. So there were no pre-Adamites.” (Man: His Origin and Destiny, p.279)

While initially sounding logical (i.e. ‘if there was no Fall there was no need of an Redemption from the Fall’), this reasoning has some serious flaws:

First It assumes the Fall must have occurred  in the physical dimension, and not the Spirit-World (where all Mormons believe Paradise exists).

Second It assumes that by ‘no death before the Fall’ it refers to no physical or spiritual death; not just to no spiritual death. If Adam and Eve ate fruit, the cells of such fruit would have to die before being digested. If the cells of fruit died then indeed some physical death must have occurred before the Fall.

Third It assumes that the Fall had to be chronological. Paul wrote: “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:22).  Using this chronological reasoning, if death entered the physical world just after the Fall, then all men (indeed all living things) should have been resurrected just after Christ’s atonement. If He reversed the result of the Fall (physical death) then no man, woman, or living thing in the physical realm should have died after His atonement.  To illustrate:

No death/Fall of Adam/death to all=Atonement of Christ/life to all

If Christ’s Atonement  has reversed the effects of the Fall of Adam, which is physical death, then why are physical things still suffering physical death?

Joseph Fielding Smith, in his book Man: His Origin and Destiny, relied heavily on the writings of George McCready Price; a Seventh-day Adventist “self-taught” geologist who was the father of modern Creationism. However, most of Price’s theories and ‘scholarly’ opinions have been repudiated and refuted; some by Creationist scientists. Price was also a white racist.

Joseph Fielding Smith became the father of the Literal school of interpretation. Another name for it is the Smith-McConkie School; name after Smith and his son-in-law Bruce R. McConkie (author of Mormon Doctrine).  The Smith-McConkie School taught:

*Adam was made out of dust or clay and fashioned like one makes a pot.

*Eve was made literally out of one of Adam’s ribs.

*The Garden of Eden was located in the Physical World, and there was absolutely no death of any kind in the Physical World before Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit.

*The talking snake in the Garden of Eden was Lucifer in the form of a talking snake with legs. All snakes today are the descendants of that one male snake.

*There were no Pre-Adamites; no humans or proto-humans on earth before Adam and Eve.

*Negroes and other non-white races are ‘degenerations’ from the original perfect white-skinned Adam and Eve. They are that way not because of evolution, or adaptation to their environment, but because their fathers sinned and God changed them to keep them separate from his chosen (white) people who were in the image of Adam and Eve who were in the literal physical image of God.

*The earth is no more than 12,000 years old: 6,000 years for it’s creation, and 6,000 years from Adam until now.

The Smith-McConkie school believes and teaches that the Flood of Noah covered the entire planet Earth by 15 cubits (about 23 feet). Two or more of every kind of living thing was brought inside the Ark; including wild undomesticated animals, poisonous snakes, lions, tigers, bears, etc.

But this presents a number of problems.

First How were the mountains all covered by 15 cubits of water if in fact the mountains are all unequal in size?

Solution: There were no mountains before Noah’s flood—only small hills (called “mountains”) which were all of equal size.

Second If two of every kind of species was brought upon the Ark by Noah then why didn’t the predators eat their pray?

Solution: God did something to make carnivores eat grass (if God could do that, why didn’t He just cause them not to be hungry?)

Third If two of every living thing was aboard, what about the dinosaurs? If ‘every kind’ means ‘every kind’ then the thousands of dinosaur species (some of them weighing many tons) must be included. What happened?

Solution: They died out long before the flood—perhaps a thousand years or more.

Forth If all the post-flood animal species on earth came from Noah’s Ark then why are indigenous animals of the Americas, Eurasia, Africa, and Australia to different?

Solution: They were divided into groups and sailed off in ships (can you imagine an Aboriginal family sailing off to Australia with a boat full of Kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, Tasmanian tigers, and all those other totally unique Australian species?)

Although many of the ‘solutions’ to problems that the Smith-McConkie school gives may seem lame, ever absurd, it doesn’t mean that the Smith-McConkie school isn’t popular with educated Mormons. They have been taught, over and over again, since childhood that ‘evolution’ is a lie; although no President of the Church ever said that. It is ‘Darwinism’ that was condemned; not evolution. Darwinism is a false Philosophy of Man. Evolution is a fact of science; not mere theory. The two are not the same.

Some Church teachers (Seminary teachers and Institute Instructors) who teach Mormon youth and college-students adhere very strongly to the Smith-McConkie interpretations; even going so far as to present them as ‘what the Church’s stand is on’ evolution and many other subjects. Many or most of these teachers know that some Presidents and Apostles of the Church agreed with evolution, believed in Pre-Adamites, and said that the story of Adam and Eve is not literal but “figurative”.

Yet, they believe so strongly in the Smith-McConkie interpretations that they will deliberately tell their students that the Church is anti-evolution, that there were ‘no pre-adamites’, etc. They will quote only those Church leaders who are anti-evolution, and only those statements from the First Presidency which are anti-Darwinist. Any quotes from Presidents or Apostles which are in any way open to evolution they simply don’t quote or refer to; leaving their students to mistakenly believe that the Church’s ‘stand’ on evolution is what Smith and McConkie said it was.

Those in the Church who insist that one must accept the Smith-McConkie interpretations as “the official Church position” and who deride others who hold other positions as “going against the Brethren” and even “outside the pale of salvation” are sometimes referred to as “Creationizers”; somewhat similar to the “Judaizers” of the ancient Church who tried to force all Gentile Christians to become circumsized, adopt all the Jewish laws, or not be saved. The Apostle Paul preached against them.

Here are some quotes from latter-day prophets on the subject:

Brigham Young (original Apostle and 2nd President):

“When you tell me that father Adam was made as we make adobes from the earth, you tell me what I deem an idle tale...There is no such tthing in all the eternities were the Gods dwell.” (Journal of Discourses 7:285)

Parley P. Pratt (one of the original Apostles of the Church):

”Man, moulded from the earth, as a brick! A woman, manufactured from a rib!...O man! When wilt thou cease to be a child in knowledge?” (Key to Theology, p.50)

John A. Widstoe (Apostle and scientist):

”The statement that man was made from the dust of the earth is merely figurative....Likewise, the statement that God breathed into man the breath of life is figurative.” (Rational Theology, pp.50-51)

Spencer W. Kimball (Apostle and 12th President):

“The story of the rib, of course, is figurative.” (Ensign, March 1976, p.71)

Are these Brethen ‘outside the pale of salvation’? Where they ‘going against the official position of the Church’? Only in the minds of those who insist that the Smith-McConkie interpretations are ‘official Church doctrine’ or ‘what the LORD has to say on the matter’.

The Smith-McConkie school was basically diametrically opposed to the beliefs of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith (Joseph Fielding Smith’s father and 6th President of the Church) , James Talmage, John Widstoe, Spencer W. Kimball, and other Apostles as to the meaning and interpretations of creation in Genesis.

Why is Creationism so popular among Members (especially those without professional degrees in the earth sciences)?

Because Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie were such popular and prolific writers, many or even most Mormons today assume their views are the official views of the Church. Their style of writing gives the reader the impression that they are not offering ‘opinion’ but solid and official LDS Church ‘doctrine’.

But it never was.

*The Talmage-Widstoe School (Metaphoricalist)

On the other side of the Smith-McConkie school is the Metaphorical school; sometimes referred to as the Talmage-Widstoe school (named after Mormon Apostles and scientists James E. Talmage and John A. Widstoe). This school teaches:

*Adam and Eve were born into mortality just like all of us where. The story of the dust and rib are figurative; as is the story of the talking snake and the forbidden fruit. All these are ‘tokens’ or symbols to represent other things.

*Pre-Adamites may indeed have existed. Adam was not the first human on earth, but the first of a new type of human. He was the father of the Adamic race of humans. Adam was the first “Awdawn” (blushing man).

*Negroes and other races are indeed the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve because the Adamic blood has diffused over the entire earth in the last 6,000 years. This doesn’t mean human beings didn’t exist before Adam. Abraham is called the “Father” of the Jews; yet he had a literal human father, and so on.

*The earth is billions of years old, as is life. No death before the Fall of Adam refers to events in the Spirit-World, not the Physical World. Adam and Eve entered the Physical World the same way we all do. If the Garden of Eden existed in the Physical World, then ‘no death’ existed there alone; not throughout the entire Physical World.

Some feel that in the story of the Garden of Eden, Moses (a former priest of Amon) was using signs and tokens to represent certain truths. The ‘talking snake’ in Genesis bears a striking resemblance to the Egyptian god Nahbkoon. Theosophist H.P. Blavatsky wrote of Lucifer:

“He is called the ‘Dragon of Wisdom’ all the Logoi of all the ancient religious systems are connected with, and symbolized by serpents. In Old Egypt, the god Nahbkoon...was represented as a serpent on human legs.” (The Secret Doctrine, pp.472,473)

Indeed, Nahbkoon is a messenger of the Egyptian god Set, who many scholars believe is what the Jews based their “Satan” upon. The Greek name for Set was Typhon. Helena P. Blavatsky wrote:

“Typhon, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, figures as the accuser¼One of Typhon’s appellations was Set; as Satan in Hebrew, means the adversary.” (Isis Unvelied 2:483)

In some ancient Egyptian manuscripts the soul after death is brought to the Hall of Judgment; with Osiris as judge. One god is there to tell of the good deeds of the deceased, but Set is there to accuse the deceased. Set was known as the ‘Accuser of his brethren’.

Another occultic writer says:

“In Egyptian tradition, the god Set represents the forces of chaos and destruction, or energy misplaced. He was the manifestation of Apep or Typon, opposers of the power of light.” (Pagan Pantheon, p.13 online)

Literalists believe that when Moses wrote that a talking snake with legs gave Eve a piece of ‘forbidden fruit’ to eat that means a talking snake, with legs, gave Eve a literal piece of ‘forbidden fruit’ to eat.

Metaphoricalists believe that Moses here is using signs and tokens; symbols to represent certain spiritual truths. Theosophists and other Gnostics admit that the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ represents the ‘Divine Wisdom’, or gnosis, that they believe Lucifer (symbolized by the serpent) gave to Adam and Eve. Gnostics praised the talking serpent as the messenger of ‘Light’ (Lucis or Lucifer); the God of Light.

Brigham Young believed and preached that the ‘forbidden fruit’ was sexual in nature; not a literal piece of fruit. He called the Story of Adam and Eve “a children’s rhyme”.

Indeed, ancient people’s considered the private parts of humans to be “fruit”. It is fruit that contains the seed of life. The Queen of Sheba says of her love Solomon the following:

“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons [of men]. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” (Song of Solomon 2:3)

Solomon speaks of the Queen’s charms as fruit:

“They plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard.” (Song 4:13)

Were they speaking of literal fruit? Or did they have something else in mind?

Literalists (First Humans School) believe that the story of Eve being made out of Adam’s “rib” (the Hebrew actually says “side”) is literal. Metaphoricalists (Pre-Adamite School) believe that the story is figurative.

President Spencer W. Kimball, when he was President of the Church, wrote:

"The story of the rib, of course, if figurative.


The creators breathed into their nostrils the breath of life and man and woman became living souls. We don’t know how their coming into the world happened, and when we’re able to understand it the Lord will tell us.” (The Ensign, March 1976, pp.72,73 emphases added)

In ancient societies twins were considered to be made out of each other’s “side” or the second twin out of the “side” of the first.

Literalists believe that when the Bible says that the “whole earth” was covered, it ‘means what it says’. Metaphoricalists point-out that in Hebrew the word ‘earth’ means ‘land’, and not ‘planet’ or ‘world’. They also point out that when the Bible says that Noah took two of every ‘kind’ the Hebrew says two of every behema; which means a dumb of mute animal like an ox, a cow, etc. It means a domesticated animal. It doesn’t say that two or every Beiyr (wild beast) was taken aboard the Ark. Metaphoricalists believe that the Flood of Noah was literal, but local; as the original Hebrew seems to declare. The flood covered the entire land that Noah lived in, and destroyed all flesh off of it. Two of every domesticated animal and fowl was aboard the Ark; because they had to take with them what they needed for food, clothing, and hunting.

Metaphoricalists believe in not one but two Creations: the spiritual and the physical:

"For I, the Lord God, created all things of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.” (Moses 3:5)

Each creation “remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it.” (Moses 3:9)

There are two planet earths; one spiritual and the other physical or material (the one we know). The LORD said to Joseph the Seer:

"That which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal being in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man being in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.” (D&C 77:2)

Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Bible scholars realize that in Genesis not one, but two creations are presented. Literalists have been greatly perturbed by Genesis chapter 4 where it says plants were created before the Sun.

There is a verse in The Book of Moses which reads:

"And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.” (Moses 3:4-5)

The eminent Mormon physiologist, Dr. Frank B. Salisbury, writes:

"These are the key verses if one is to understand Moses’ account of creation. The remnants remain in Genesis, but without the restoration through Joseph Smith, we would never understand the abbreviated ‘before it was in the earth’. The Lord tells us that the six generations of the heavens and the earth just presented refer to a spiritual creation. All organisms had been created ‘spiritually’ before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.


If the six periods refer to a spiritual creation, we should have no difficulty in trying to reconcile these periods with scientific findings.” (The Creation, p.74)

There is a spiritual dimension where God creates things spiritually before they are created naturally, or materially. Some liken this to where a house is designed completely on a computer before it is built. The question ‘When was the house created?’ is thus dependent upon what you mean. Was the house created on the computer before it was created in brick and stone? Or vice versa? In one sense, the house was created on computer, and in another sense, or dimension, it was created by contractors using wood, metal, stone, and so forth.

Literalists (Smith-McConkie school) must believe there were two Paradises and two Gardens of Eden; one in the Spirit-World and one in the Physical-World. Metaphoricalists (Talmage-Widstoe) believe there was only one Paradise, and that it still exists and never disappeared or faded away.

In other words, Paradise, where Adam and Eve existed, still exists: in the Spirit-World. This is why Jesus said to the thief on the cross beside Him:

"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Jesus meant ‘today’; not some day after the resurrection. Paul says that he knew a man “caught up into Paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) fourteen years before he wrote to the Corinthians. Thus, Paradise exists today. It existed when Jesus was on the Cross. It existed when Paul was preaching. It existed when Adam and Eve were there. It refers to a place in the Spirit-World—part of the spiritual creation—not the physical creation.

Literalists in the Church usually insist that they believe the truth about the creation, and those who believe that Moses’ descriptions were metaphorical are ‘wrong’, ‘misguided’, ‘stupid’, ‘going against the Word of the LORD’, ‘going against The Brethren’, ‘not believing the Living Prophets’, ‘sincerely mistaken’, ‘deceived by the Philosophies of Men’, and even ‘are outside the pale of salvation’. If that is true, then Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, James Talmage, John Widstoe, Spencer W. Kimball, and quite a few other Presidents and Apostles of the Church are ‘outside the pale of salvation’ because they also believed in the Metaphorical interpretation.

Of course, most Mormons don’t fall cleanly within either school of thought. Most Mormons believe bits and pieces of each, or really ‘haven’t thought about it’. Yet, the Smith-McConkie school is the most popular school among Mormons who do ‘think about’ such things; for the sole reason that the writings of Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie are so popular, they wrote so dogmatically, and because adherents of this school often insist (mistakenly) that it represents “official” Church doctrine (which is not true).

Metaphoricalists tend to believe in the existence of Pre-Adamites; that Adam and Eve were the first of a new race of men, not the first human beings on earth, and that other races of men are much older.

*Negro Race is the Oldest Race

Through intensive studies of peoples DNA (genes), scientists have discovered that the most ancient person we are all related to is an African woman who lived about 200,000 years ago (Newsweek, Jan. 11, 1988):

“The scientists’ Eve—subject of one of the most provocative anthropological theories in a decade—was more likely a dark-haired, black-skinned woman, roaming a hot savannah in search of food.” (Newsweek, Jan. 11, 1988, pp.46-7)

African-American researcher J.A. Rogers writes:

“Increasingly it is being said in the most informed scientific circles that the Negro was the ancestor of the human race. Henry Fairfield Osborn, the late head of the American Museum of Natural History, who had himself a strong tinge of white fanaticism, said, ‘Negroid stock is even more ancient than Caucasian or Mongolian man.’” (Sex and Race, p.28)

Journalist Boyce Rensberger writes:

“We are all descended from black people. Because humans first evolved in Africa, the first people probably had dark skin. The white people of Europe descended from Africans who migrated north, between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, and lost their coloring.” (Washington Post, Nov. 11, 1994)

The scientific explanation of skin-color is based upon the rays of the Sun. In equatorial regions the skin of humans are almost always dark; because the ultraviolet rays of the Sun come intensely and directly. In higher regions, like Europe, the ultraviolet rays are not nearly as intense, not even in the Summer, because of the northern latitude. Many of these ultraviolet rays bounce off the atmosphere at higher latitudes.

If these theories are true, then the African race is the oldest race on earth, and the white races the youngest; with the other races somewhere in-between the two in age.

If the Pre-Adamite Theory (held by some LDS Presidents and Apostles but not by others) is true then it would make sense that God would cause Cain and or his descendants to become black; since this would be a protection for them in the Land of Nod (a hot desert–a land of wandering). It would also ally them with other black-skinned peoples; who would help protect them from the vengeance of angry Sethites seeking to avenge the murder of Abel via a tribal blood feud.

Some others believe that the natives of Africa were originally not a black-skinned but a brown-skinned people, and that their intermingling with a black-skinned race (Cainites?) caused all native Africans today to have skin tones from light brown to jet-black.

*LDS Church: NEUTRAL on Evolution vs. Special Creation

Official Mormon Faith doctrine is neutral on the matter of Evolution (Pre-Adamite) versus Special-Creation (First-Humans). Latter-days Saints can believe either view; as long as they acknowledge the following:

God as the literal Heavenly Father of their spirits of all human beings.

2. God created the Universe and this world. It did not come about merely by chance.

3. Adam and Eve are the literal parents of all human beings (this would be true under either theory; since the we are all the descendants of Adamites).

*Mormon Faith: No Doctrine on How Cainites Became Black-skinned

There is no Church Doctrine on how the Cainites became a black-skinned people; only that they were. Most Mormons, especially the older ones, simply assume that when Cain was cursed he all of a sudden went from an Anglo-Saxon looking Caucasian into a full-blooded Negro. Of course, this is pure assumption; based upon traditions. Official LDS Doctrine does not say how the Cainites became black; although The Book of Moses suggests it was a gradual event by saying that a “blackness came upon” the descendants of Cain ( Moses 7:8). This suggests a gradualness; which would come about if in fact the Cainites began to intermingle with a black-skinned people.

Still others believe that the first native Africans were a brown-skinned people, and only later did a black-skinned race come into African and intermingle with them; creating what we have today--tribes of black-skinned and brown-skinned Africans.

Official Mormon Faith doctrine says:

1. The descendants of Cain became black-skinned.

2. They followed Jesus in Heaven.

3. Their spirits are pure, and are the children of God.

4. They were blessed with wisdom, but cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood (i.e. lost the birthright to the Priesthood).

5. One day the curse would be removed, and they would enjoy all the blessings of the Priesthood as the other descendants of Adam and Eve.

*Science tells ‘how’ but Revelation tells ‘why’

In conclusion, the Church is officially neutral on the subject of evolution. It may or may not have been the means-by-which man appeared on this physical planet. The Church is adamantly against Darwinism; which is a false Philosophy of Man, which teaches that there is no god involved in creation, but that the universe and life came about solely through random natural processes. While Literalists (Smith-McConkie School) insist their way is the only way one can believe, in truth Members can accept either the Literalist or Metaphoricalist view of creation and still be Members of the Church in good standing. Negroes may or may not be the oldest human race. Adam and Eve may or may not be the first human beings or the first of a new race of human beings. What is really important is now how man came to be, but why. Science can attempt to tell us how, but only the Revelations of God can tell us why.

Please feel free to e-mail Darrick Evenson

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