This is a question I’ve had for a long time. I will appreciate anything you can tell me to clear it up. I know with every fiber of my being that the Bible is the word of God and that the creation of this world and it’s first population, Adam and Eve, were perfect in every way and in the express image of God the Eternal Father. I also know that there is evidence that there were such creatures as ‘cave-men.’ Now here is my question. Where did they come from? Were they degenerate man? Or another species or what? Thank you so very much for your help.
Sister Beth, from Arizona
Dear Sister Beth,
It’s wonderful that you have a firm belief in the Bible. Unfortunately, the Bible does not give us the time line for the creation events or for the development of the earth, nor for the time after being created as a terrestrial world until it was transformed to a telestial sphere. We are left to take the information that does exist in the scriptures and attempt to fit our observations to them. Observations are one thing; deductions from observations are yet quite another. We cannot make any deduction about pre-history from our observations of the remains of the past without making certain assumptions about the conditions on the earth, and the environment of the earth prior to our historical accounts. Therefore, if scientific theory contradicts what is written in the scriptures, then the scientific theory has used the wrong assumptions on which they base their conclusions. If we are patient, we will see the theories change and be modified as new evidence of the earth’s past is uncovered.
Now, what do we know from the scriptures, or the words of the prophets about the history of the earth? Here are a few scriptures citing Adam as the first man on the earth.
“The doctrine here taught by the Prophet that Adam was the first man, and because of that fact was named the ‘Ancient of Days,’ the ‘oldest of all,’ because he is the grand progenitor of the earth, is confirmed in several passages of scripture. In the D&C 84:16, the Lord says in speaking of the authority of Priesthood: ‘And from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man.’ Again in the Book of Moses, 1:34: ‘And the first man of all men, have I called Adam, which is many.’ . . . In the same record (Moses 3:7) we also read: ‘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.’ In the Prophet Joseph Smith’s revision of the Scriptures where the genealogy of our Lord is given in Luke (v. 45) we find the following: ‘And of Enos, and of Seth, and of Adam, who was formed of God, and the first man upon the earth’ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section 4, Footnote #1, p.167).
So we know that any homosapien remains are post Adamic. But Adam did not come to the earth at the time of the fall. He came long before that. As a matter of fact, he was the chief participant in the development of the earth following its creation. In the words of Brigham Young,
“Though we have it in history that our father Adam was made of the dust of this earth, and that he knew nothing about his God previous to being made here, yet it is not so; and when we learn the truth we shall see and understand that he helped to make this world, and was the chief manager in that operation. He was the person who brought the animals and the seeds from other planets to this world, and brought a wife with him and stayed here” (Journal of Discourses, Vol.3, p.319).
After Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit the earth was transformed from a terrestrial to a telestial sphere and Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. We count their appearance in the telestial world from the scriptures to be about 4,000 B.C. But that transition was not a momentary event. We read the Lord’s command to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:17-
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The word “day” is rendered in Abraham 5:13 as “time.”
But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning.
We learn from Abraham 3:4 that one day on Kolob is the same as a thousand years of earth time.
And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.
So Adam and Eve were told that they would die (be cast out from the presence of the Lord) in the “day” (within a thousand years) of the time they partook of the forbidden fruit. It was undoubtedly during that time that the earth was transformed from a terrestrial sphere that was located in space near the celestial throne of God, and took up its residence in our solar system as a telestial planet. Again, in the words of Brigham Young,
“This earth is our home, it was framed expressly for the habitation of those who are faithful to God, and who prove themselves worthy to inherit the earth when the Lord shall have sanctified, purified and glorified it and brought it back into his presence, from which it fell far into space . . . When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven. And when man fell . . . the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this planetary system, and the sun became our light” (Journal of Discourses, Vol.17, p.144).