Whether they were the migrators travelling across the Bering Strait thousands of years ago, Vikings making a pre-Columbian era settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada, or the English settlers in Jamestown, they can all be considered some of the first Americans. But who were the very first Americans?
Mormons believe that Adam and Eve were created on the North American continent and that the Garden of Eden is located in the state of Missouri; more specifically, in Jackson County. Joseph Smith apparently revealed the following:
“The place called Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, [will be] the center place of the kingdom of God on the western hemisphere. A city called Zion or the New Jerusalem would there be built.” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 395)
“The Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p.74)
Mormons believe that after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, they settled 70 miles north of Jackson County in a valley, which was later called “Adam-ondi-Ahman.” At this site, there are two altars; one is believed to be an altar that the Nephites built, the other is one that Adam built to make sacrifices upon, as seen below. (Randall C. Bird, Adam-Ondi-Ahman and the Last Days, pp. 13-23)
Three years before Adam died, Mormons believe that he blessed his righteous posterity (Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah) with his last blessing. The Lord appeared, and speaking to Adam, God called him “Michael, the prince, the archangel.” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:53-55) In Mormonism, Adam is known as “Michael,” and as the “Ancient of Days.” (D&C 116) In biblical Christianity, Michael is a separate being, one of the chief archangels in heaven (Daniel 10:13) who disputed about the body of Moses when he contended with the devil (Jude 1:9), and who fought alongside God’s angels in heaven against Lucifer when he fell (Revelation 12:7). The Ancient of Days is clearly God and not Adam. (Daniel 7:13-14, 22)
Mormon Elder Orson Pratt stated:
“There is one revelation that this people are not generally acquainted with. I think it has never been published, but probably it will be in the Church History. It is given in questions and answers. The first question is, ‘What is the name of God in the pure language?’ The answer says ‘Ahman.’ ‘What is the name of the Son of God?’ Answer, ‘Son Ahman–the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Ahman.’ ‘What is the name of men?’ ‘Sons Ahman’ is the answer. ‘What is the name of angels in the pure language?’ ‘Anglo-man.’ (Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 2:342)
Jesus Christ is known as “Son Ahman” in Mormon teaching. (D&C 78:20) This is nothing but linguistic jargon. Adam-ondi-Ahman means, “the valley of God in which Adam blessed his children.” (B.H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:421, footnote 8) Perhaps on of the most interesting beliefs as to this location is what it has to do with Mormon belief in the last days. Mormons believe that there will be a Grand Priesthood Council in the valley, and that all priesthood holders of every dispensation of time will be in attendance, but only those who are secretly called to go (D&C 27:14) Jesus will be present. Adam will be present. All the prophets, apostles, elders, and bishops of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be present in the valley next to the Grand River. At this event, “Adam will turn over the keys of the kingdom to the Son of Man.” (Bird, Adam-Ondi-Ahman and the Last Days, p. 63) Members of the Mormon Church at large will not even know about the meeting! (Ibid, 55)
At that time,
“every government in the world, including the United States, will have to become part of the government of God. Then righteous rule will be established. the earth will be cleansed; the wicked will be destroyed; and the reign of peace will be ushered in.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:13-14)
Jesus Christ will also reveal himself in secret to the prophet, apostles, and selected members of the church. (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p. 578-579) After the events at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Christ will make his appearance on the Mount of Olives (D&C 45:49-53). After that, Jesus will make His final appearance to the entire world, known as the Second Coming. (D&C 45:44, 49-50)
But how could the Garden of Eden even be in Missouri? Mormon scriptures contradict one another. For example, the Bible tells it right when it says,
“Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” (Genesis 2:10-14, NASB)
How do Mormons even think that the Garden of Eden was in America if the rivers and lands clearly point to the Middle East as being the home to the Garden of Even? In LDS scripture, the Book of Moses gives nearly the same account of the biblical Garden of Eden, mentioning the same rivers in the same lands. (Moses 3:10-14) So while the Bible and Pearl of Great Price are in accord with each other in this respect, the Doctrine and Covenants teaches an American Eden, not a Middle-eastern Eden.
Notice something that Brigham Young, the second LDS prophet and president, said,
“In the beginning, after this earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the floating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 102)
So Adam and Eve were born in Missouri, and after generations, Noah took the ark over the seas and landed on the mountains of Ararat. Joseph Smith taught that Noah’s ark was constructed on the coast of the Carolinas.(Oliver B. Huntington, The Juvenile Instructor (November 15, 1895, pp. 700-701) In the footnotes to Moses 3:13, it cleverly says, “In the area of Eden and Adam-ondi-Ahman there were rivers and lands that were later attached to other lands and rivers.” How convenient…
In other words, the Missouri River, the Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and others were once called the Euphrates, the Tigris, Gihon, and the Pishon, and then those rivers in the Middle East were later named after them? This is so confusing and makes no sense whatsoever!
Perry Stone, international evangelist and a great preacher on accurate Bible prophecy has a famous saying about the Bible that goes like this: “When the plain sense of the Scriptures make sense, seek no other sense!” So, if the Bible says that the Euphrates and Tigris were rivers of Eden, and they are historically and modernly located in present-day Iraq, then the Garden of Eden was near that area. Adam and Eve were not on this continent, nor was the Garden of Eden in the United States. Mormons are going to be disappointed in the future, because no city of Zion and no New Jerusalem will be built in Jackson County, Missouri, and the Lord will not return in that area. There will be no priesthood gathering there.
Sadly, Brigham Young said the following to Orson Hyde on March 15, 1853,
“Now it is a pleasant thing to think of and know where the Garden of Eden was. Did you ever think of it? I do not think many do, for in Jackson County was the Garden of Eden. Joseph [Smith] has declared this, and I am as much bound to believe that as to believe that Joseph was a prophet of God.” (Elder John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 396)
The question we must then ask is this: If Joseph Smith was wrong in his revelation on the supposed location of the Garden of Eden, then what would that say about his alleged office of prophethood?
If the first domino, known as Joseph Smith, falls, the rest of the dominos follow suit.