Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 158: Adam-God Finale

RFM concludes his discussion of the Adam-God Theory.  Though officially denounced by the church, the AGT has tentacles that still impact the doctrine and practice of modern Mormonism!

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29 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 158: Adam-God Finale

  1. RFM, It doesn’t matter that you have divorced two women. In the future, some Mormon (possibly your descendants) will see that you were once married to you, and will do your temple work for you and you will be “SEALED” to both of them whether you like it or not. Enjoy your two wives. LOL

    • Hmmm. Seems I am having difficulty remembering a couple of new names . . .

      Oh, well. Can’t be helped!

  2. RFM…thank you for your kind words and use of my thoughts on the Adam God doctrine in this episode…what a hoot for me:) I had no hope of going head to head on the intricacies of even beginning to sort out possible origins etc. You’re a very smart man!

    I do remember hearing talk in hushed tones of God having sex with Eve to impregnate her. So much for the ‘virgin birth’. I heard it explained further that God had to marry Eve so that it wouldn’t be immoral to have his way with her. I guess that would make Mary the one with two spouses in her case.

    To think that the Mormon church managed to make the Christmas story no longer fit to tell in Primary. LOL….I suppose such is to be expected in a sex cult.

    I really learned a lot from this topic that helped me see some things from a new perspective that I’m glad to know. One of those things is that even tho one might not know what the beliefs of the church have been and remain to be based on; it does not protect one from the affects thereof. I think its a significant piece.

    Thank you!

    • I figured I wasn’t the only one who heard about this kind of stuff in “hushed tones.”

      I have heard from a few other listeners that they, too, had the experience.

      As I mentioned elsewhere, it was my very first home teacher who seemingly couldn’t wait to break the news to me that Jesus was begotten of sexual relations between God and Mary. I guess he didn’t want anybody else to have the fun of telling me first.

      I mean, I had only just been baptized months before.

      And this was in 1978, for crying out loud! Not exactly the dark ages!

      It was totally mind-blowing to me, and I was in shock over the idea.

      But I got over it. ;^)

      • Oh dear, that’s terrible…..

        Let me guess….without skipping a beat, he then asked you if you were coming to the corn roast, hahahaha!

    • >God having sex with Mary, not Eve

      Given that Eve said of Cain’s birth “I have gotten a man from the Lord” (and the evidence in the text for rape), and given that Abraham’s wife Sarah became pregnant through a miracle, and given the extreme sexism common in ancient times, and that other gods (notably Zeus) were famous for impregnating people, I would not be surprised if God had sex with every famous woman or pretty girl he could find.

      Maybe Joseph Smith was onto something.

      • Hahahahahahaha!!!!!! Too funny. I wondered if my slip was in error.

        • I just replied (more about God having sex with Eve) and didn’t make it a “reply” by mistake. It’s further down the page and probably looks like random spam now. Interneting is difficult!!

      • The evidence that God raped Eve:

        1. The context: Eve was a slave. The guy called “lord” walked in the garden of Eden and and did not know where they were hiding, so we are talking about a mortal. He threatened to kill them if they ate the tree, and his successors killed nearly everyone in the flood, so this is NOT a nice guy.

        2. This not-nice-guy chose Eve to be in the garden (naked) so presumably found her not ugly. And she was the one who disobeyed him, so he would want to punish her. He punishment was that “in sorrow would you bear children” What was the go-to punishment of a pretty women by a slave owner since time immemorial? For the political use of rape in later Biblical times (e.g. in the Roman legends) see here: http://readingreligion.org/books/rape-eve

        3. 1 and 2 Enoch and 4 Maccabees indicate that Eve was raped. IIRC they blame the serpent, but there is circumstantial evidence that the “serpent” was working for the lord of the garden. Hannah Wortzman examines these texts here: https://poj.peeters-leuven.be/secure/POJ/downloadpdf.php?ticket_id=5c8bae09adc71

        4. Cain in particular HATED the lord. Why? And the lord hated him first. Again, why? Cain, you will recall, invented music , metalwork and cities. There is a lot of evidence (e.g. in the Sumerian legends behind Genesis, in the careful wording of Genesis, in what Cain did next) that Cain did not kill Abel, but this was a story to explain why Cain left: he could not stand being around the Lord. The Bible mentions that Adam and co did not start to call upon the lord again for over a hundred years. Whatever he did they REALLY hated him for a long time.

        5. “I have gotten a man from the Lord” and all that sorrow that resulted. The next child, Seth, led to much happier times. Something was uniquely horrible about the conception of Cain.

        6. The gnostics – literally the “learned” Christians – believed the Lord was a bad guy (as opposed to God, the good guy), and oms of them considered Cain to be a hero. In the Nag Hammadi text “On the Origin of the World” they write of how the Lord raped Eve to prevent her becoming “one of us”: “What sort of thing is this luminous woman? For she resembles that likeness which appeared to us in the light. Now come, let us lay hold of her and cast her seed into her, so that when she becomes soiled she may not be able to ascend into her light.” We can of course read this symbolically – heck, ALL ancient legends are symbolic to some extent – but that’s what it says. http://gnosis.org/naghamm/origin.html

        I hope that one day Radio Free Mormon does an episode on the roots of polygamy, and now Joseph Smith’s attitude to women has a LOOOOOONG history. It would make a great sequel to Adam-God, for the reasons you describe and RFM quoted: it’s really all about gods having sex with as many women as they want. And it goes much deeper than just Joseph Smith getting horny.

        • I just approved the comment with the links, Chris!

          Thanks for that wonderful exposition. I remember a lot of that from the time I spent studying Gnosticism and studying the Nag Hammadi library.

          Good times!

          Yes, that expression of Eve’s that still stands in the current Bible about how “I have gotten a man of the Lord” is a fun one, isn’t it?

          One of the thrills I had was that during this time period when I was deep into studying Bible scholarship including Gnostic Christianity was exactly the time when the Gospel of Judas was discovered and published to an eagerly awaiting Radio Free Mormon! (I just checked so this would have been around 2006 or so.)

          I love all your references! And of course, there were the Nephilim, the giants whom if memory serves were the progeny of the daughters of men and the sons of God (“Watchers” in the Enochic tradition, from which the Genesis account appears to borrow) who were, shall we say, extremely well endowed.

          I don’t know if I am up to that long a podcast about sex in the scriptures and in church history, but maybe it is an idea worth considering.

          All in favor, please signify by the uplifted hand!

          • I signify. The truth will set you free, but first it will really piss you off. Misogyny is pervasive in the Bible, but it’s slightly covert. In Mormonism it’s so overt it becomes quickly a bore. But if anyone can do it…

          • 🖐

            I’ve always assumed the idea that god the father came down and impregnated Mary was pretty straightforward mormon doctrine. I don’t know how else to interpret the reference to Jesus as “the only begotten of the father in the flesh.”

            I mean, what else could that mean?

      • Other miracles births in the Bible which may or may not involve a divine sire include, if I recall, not only Cain, but also Isaac, Sampson, Samuel and the most famous one of all, Jesus of Nazareth.

        It is interesting to situate the story of God being Jesus’s father with the spate of similar stories in the Old Testament.

        Let’s just say it was not something that a Hebrew scripture believing public would have blinked at.

        Thanks for your great comments!

        RFM

  3. My comment got put in a moderation queue, probably because it contains links. RFM is a very busy guy, so maybe won’t notice it. So here is the same comment without links:

    The evidence that God raped Eve:

    1. The context: Eve was a slave. The guy called “lord” walked in the garden of Eden and and did not know where they were hiding, so we are talking about a mortal. He threatened to kill them if they ate the tree, and his successors killed nearly everyone in the flood, so this is NOT a nice guy.

    2. This not-nice-guy chose Eve to be in the garden (naked) so presumably found her not ugly. And she was the one who disobeyed him, so he would want to punish her. He punishment was that “in sorrow would you bear children” What was the go-to punishment of a pretty women by a slave owner since time immemorial?

    3. 1 and 2 Enoch and 4 Maccabees indicate that Eve was raped. IIRC they blame the serpent, but there is circumstantial evidence that the “serpent” was working for the lord of the garden.

    4. Cain in particular HATED the lord. Why? And the lord hated him first. Again, why? Cain, you will recall, invented music , metalwork and cities. There is a lot of evidence (e.g. in the Sumerian legends behind Genesis, in the careful wording of Genesis, in what Cain did next) that Cain did not kill Abel, but this was a story to explain why Cain left: he could not stand being around the Lord. The Bible mentions that Adam and co did not start to call upon the lord again for over a hundred years. Whatever he did they REALLY hated him for a long time.

    5. “I have gotten a man from the Lord” and all that sorrow that resulted. The next child, Seth, led to much happier times. Something was uniquely horrible about the conception of Cain.

    6. The gnostics – literally the “learned” Christians – believed the Lord was a bad guy (as opposed to God, the good guy), and oms of them considered Cain to be a hero. In the Nag Hammadi text “On the Origin of the World” they write of how the Lord raped Eve to prevent her becoming “one of us”:

    What sort of thing is this luminous woman? For she resembles that likeness which appeared to us in the light. Now come, let us lay hold of her and cast her seed into her, so that when she becomes soiled she may not be able to ascend into her light.” We can of course read this symbolically – heck, ALL ancient legends are symbolic to some extent – but that’s what it says.

    I hope that one day Radio Free Mormon does an episode on the roots of polygamy, and now Joseph Smith’s attitude to women has a LOOOOOONG history. It would make a great sequel to Adam-God, for the reasons you describe and RFM quoted: it’s really all about gods having sex with as many women as they want. And it goes much deeper than just Joseph Smith getting horny.

    • That’s very interesting backstory from the gnostics, etc.

      In addition to a request for an episode on the roots of polygamy (which would be fascinating), it would be fascinating to hear if there’s any additional backstory on “Mother in Heaven”. I recall Her being mentioned from time to time but when you ask why isn’t there more written about Her, the answer was always “She’s too sacred to talk about . . . “

  4. Just want to add a semi related thought to the whole ‘mother in heaven’ topic that has recently been given the green light for actual non taboo discussion in the church…..

    It seems that Nelson has deemed it now suddenly appropriate to let her out of her ‘sacred’ closet and into the public square. Her very existence is definitely a quiet remnant from the Adam – God thing, (I refuse to call it a theory) that’s been doing pushups in the wings for coming on 200 years.

    Why now?? the easy answer is, to throw the rabid feminists a bone, if not some fleshy meat. But they could have done that long before now without too much upset. No, it’s more than that.

    I’m sure it is satisfying more than one purpose, but one perhaps less obvious one, and every bit as important, is revealed in the timing.

    The top 15 don’t pay the big bucks to their PR machine for nothing, and they certainly can’t afford to squander what few concessions they’re willing to make…and Heavenly Mother coming off the taboo list is a big one, in my opinion, that needs to give them a lot of mileage.

    What I’m referring to is the massive investment the church has put into Rome and positioning itself in a friendlier more approachable way to the Pope and the Catholic church.

    If they wish to make any inroads into converting a Mary loving, very feminine church traditions culture, they have to provide something the Italian people can relate to in Mormonism. In other words, Heavenly Mother becomes the LDS answer to Mary….Its like, see?…we have that too…. sort of. Their seem to be some political agendas going on too.

    I see such a calculated , deliberate campaign going on that has very specific goals in mind being rolled out in a very timely and interrelated manner. Its their MO. If it quakes like a duck….

    I’m not impressed with the lack of sophistication in the plan, nor the embarrassing, continual inability for them to see themselves for how juvenile, one dimensional and transparent their antics appear on a world stage. #hashtag OBTUSE. They’ve gotta at least be grateful that the IQ in the members is going down.

    You opened a big can of worms RFM. For what its worth, that’s how I’m seeing this thread of Adam-God being pulled out and brushed off and thrown into useful action.
    Is it short sighted? It’s pretty risky. Time will tell.

    • That is a very interesting theory you have there, Angie, and one that may well be true.

      For my part, I honestly think it too clever for the clown car leading the LDS Church to come up with.

      But maybe I underestimate them!

      Great ideas!

      RFM

      • Hahahahaha! ‘the clown car leading..’ I’m afraid I won’t be out metaphoring you anytime soon 🙂

    • Sometimes my Muse works overtime. ;^)

      Thanks for listening!

      JFK

  5. Adam-god? Nonsense.

    Mickey Mouse – god, as evidenced by clips from disney’s fantasia included in the old temple film.

  6. So… if (according to B.Y.) Elohim is at the root of the god tree, with various gods/worlds below him, and Adam is one of those gods – the father and god of our world – where does Jehovah fit in? Does B.Y. agree with correlated teaching that Jehovah and Jesus are the same and that Jehovah is the god of our Old Testament? Or is there a Jehovah that hangs with Elohim and a Jehovah Jr. that hangs with Adam and was born in our world?

    I’m confused about where Jehovah/Jesus fits in this model.

    P.S. I think we should only call it the Adam-God Doctrine. Theory, schmeory.

    • I think for BY and his Adam God Doctrine:

      Jesus (or Jehovah) would be in line as a God under Adam in the hierarchy. Elohim would be the God and Father of Adam. Adam the Father/God of all the spirits and bodies of this earth – including Jesus.

      Jesus would still be the Savoiur of our world through the plan of salvation being the Son of God. But in this case the son of Adam/God instead of Elohim/God. Elohim would be Jesus’s grandfather.

      Upon completion of this world’s plan of salvation, Jesus would then be able to become the God of his own world (and the only God with whom those inhabitants would have to do) like Adam God is to us now. Jesus would then be the father figure and I presume his first born might be the Savoiur of that world like he is now to this world.

      Apparently this repeating creation of worlds, plan of salvation, eternal progression, has been happening in the eternal past just like it will in the eternal future.

      This is how I understand the Adam/God doctrine fits into the bigger picture of Mormon Theology. You can see why it becomes so problematic to the current teachings.

      • I see…. I guess I trying to keep the Elohim/Jesus relationship intact, where it should actually (according to this doctrine) Adam/Jesus.

        I wonder if they ever told stories around the campfire about grampa?

        Thanks!

  7. I meant to leave spacing between paragraphs for better reading ease.

    Please use this one instead:

    RFM, I wanted to thank you and let you know how much I have enjoyed listening to your podcasts examining the Adam-God theory. Absolutely phenomenal evaluation!

    I believe when you were discussing the apologetic response about the scribes getting BY words wrong and misquoting him, one of the reasons listed as to why this apologetic response fails is in that OP and BY had major disagreements upon this teaching; and BY could have clarified it all up by correcting the record with OP. Their whole disagreement would have disappeared upon such clarification – if it was simply a matter of being misquoted and misunderstood. The seniority demotion that OP suffered (losing the potential to possibly become the prophet) demonstrates that this disagreement wasn’t settled between them. And time has sided with OP on this teaching!

    But anyways, you then later discussed the 2 Adams apologetic response presented by Elden Watson; that being that “Adam” (or should we say Adam Sr.) is another name for Elohim. Then there is Adam Jr. which would have been the first man in the Garden with Eve. This should clarify everything up, correct? No, it does not as you then explained why this response also doesn’t work.

    But I was thinking if this apologetic truly had any reason to it (whatsoever), then it must also be reasoned that BY understood that he was referencing 2 different Adams. As you mentioned in the podcast, Elden Watson acknowledged that nowhere did BY ever explain it in this manner. But yet, in some of the BY quotes, he (Adam) is identified as both God, being the father of our spirits, and being the one who partook of the fruit with Eve. This is highly problematic, but the apologist may still counter argue that it is possible, even without an explanation from BY.

    But I think this apologetic response completely fails when considered alongside the dispute BY and OP had over this teaching. Again, if this were the case, BY could have easily explained this to OP and clarified their disagreement up. I don’t suspect OP would have been too upset with “Adam” just being another name for Elohim (not to be confused with Adam Jr.) The fact that BY did not explain this to OP is actual evidence that this was not the way he understood what he was teaching. It doesn’t fit the historical narrative, but rather strongly suggests this to be a later apologetic creation developed as an attempt to synchronize opposing doctrines – of which both cannot be true!

  8. I’m loving your Adam-God content. I haven’t heard you mention this but it’s possible that the Adam-God doctrine could be a concept that originated in Kabbalah which Joseph was interested in. Here is a link: http://gnosis.org/jskabb1.htm This is the relevant quote from the article: “Kabbalistic theosophy was, if nothing else, complex. Different interpretations abounded among Christian Kabbalists removed from the original Kabbalistic foundations of Jewish culture and halakhic observance. We can imagine how easily such ideas might have been misunderstood by a concretely minded Yankee disciple of Joseph Smith. This may help explain a troubling conundrum of early Mormon theology: Brigham Young’s assertion that “Adam is God.” Brigham claimed that Joseph had taught him this doctrine—although there is no evidence that Joseph ever publicly avowed such a view. In Kabbalah the theme is, however, prominent: Adam Kadmon is indeed “God,” and His form is in the image of a Man—as noted earlier. Given the evidence that Joseph did know some elements of Kabbalah and had access both to the Zohar and to a Jew familiar with a wide range of Kabbalistic materials, it seems probable that Brigham heard this concept in some form from Joseph. The Adam-God doctrine may have been a misreading (or simplistic restatement) by Brigham Young of a Kabbalistic and Hermetic concept relayed to him by the prophet.”

    • Yes!

      Absolutely a possibility, Scott!

      Thanks for bringing it up, and for the Kabbalah quote!

      RFM

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