How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:18 am

...there is no way to truly celebrate Christmas or Easter—without understanding that there was an actual Adam and Eve who fell from an actual Eden...
For those two holidays I would have to add to the list an actual Santa Clause and an actual Easter Bunny.
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jfro18
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:30 am

Corsair wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:00 pm
My problem with JRH statement is that it implies an unnecessary literalness. It's not that Adam and Eve are necessary. It's that the LDS versions of Adam and Eve. LDS theology is built around a narrow vision of Adam and Eve and the church has firmly attached the temple endowment drama to this view. But Adam and Eve don't really make any day to day difference even to believers. Sure, they pray to Jesus, but Adam's involvement is not necessary.
This is the game that the church plays SO well though.

They co-opt all of these Christian/Biblical teachings to the point where they then tell members if you leave the church, you're denying the Bible.

But the truth is that the Bible can stand alone on its own - it's the Book of Mormon that can't stand alone.

And the Bible has serious issues when it comes to historicity, but a lot of Christians are more than willing to accept that they are not literal events but teach a good message... cafeteria Christians, sure, but they are willing to drop the bad stuff and just live in a way that uplifts them without crazy 'health codes,' underwear that is the most unattractive clothing on Earth, and complete obedience to leaders.

So you're right - the Adam and Eve story is a problem for Christians, but not nearly as big of a problem as it is for the Mormon church that doubled down on literalism in creating scriptures. And that's why leaders constantly play that game that if you leave Mormonism, you have nowhere else to go and that, as a recent church article stated, leaving the church 'ruins' all other Christian churches for people.

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John Hamer
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by John Hamer » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:50 pm

The chance that Adam and Eve are historical figures: 0%. If your religion is based on them being actual people in history, it's toast.

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moksha
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by moksha » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:33 am

John Hamer wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:50 pm
The chance that Adam and Eve are historical figures: 0%. If your religion is based on them being actual people in history, it's toast.
Whoever wrote or compiled Genesis had no idea that the history of Modern Humans stretched back over 200,000 years or that mitochondrial Eve was much older than that.

I think the most poetic creation story is found in Rune I of the Kalevala.
https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/kvrune01.htm
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:06 am

John Hamer wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:50 pm
The chance that Adam and Eve are historical figures: 0%. If your religion is based on them being actual people in history, it's toast.
Which can also be taken literally:
Image
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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:16 am

jfro18 wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:45 am
So the story is created around 600BCE when creating the five books of Moses... and then it's mentioned just twice in the OT and I think he said 7 times in the New Testament.
And yet it is the central theme of not only the Book of Abraham, but also the Book of Moses and the temple endowment, and is woven tightly into the fabric of both the Book of Mormon and the D&C. Mormonism more deeply dug into the literal Adam and Eve story than any other religion. Imagine a house of cards and then pull out all of the jacks. That's Mormonism without a literal Adam and Eve.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:07 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:16 am
jfro18 wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:45 am
So the story is created around 600BCE when creating the five books of Moses... and then it's mentioned just twice in the OT and I think he said 7 times in the New Testament.
And yet it is the central theme of not only the Book of Abraham, but also the Book of Moses and the temple endowment, and is woven tightly into the fabric of both the Book of Mormon and the D&C. Mormonism more deeply dug into the literal Adam and Eve story than any other religion. Imagine a house of cards and then pull out all of the jacks. That's Mormonism without a literal Adam and Eve.
That's why I posted the thread - unlike Deutero-Isaiah or even to some extent a global flood, I have no idea how you get around Adam and Eve being in essence an anachronism to literally every aspect of Mormonism.

I don't see any way around it without admitting that it's all figurative but to just follow the prophet anyway, which is impossible in such a strict, fundamentalist religion.

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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:02 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:06 am
John Hamer wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:50 pm
The chance that Adam and Eve are historical figures: 0%. If your religion is based on them being actual people in history, it's toast.
Which can also be taken literally:
Image
I just learned that the diner lingo for ordering two poached eggs on toast is Adam and Eve, as in "Gimme an Adam and Eve, hold the axle grease and put wheels on it."
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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2bizE
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by 2bizE » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:31 pm

There was a talk from JR Holland where he claimed with certainty that Adam and Eve were real and our first parents....The church is tied to the literalness of A&E, yet I think at some point in the game, a symbolic A&E will be taught.
There is too much evidence today that A&E were not the literal parents of all humans.
~2bizE

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Reuben » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:54 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:07 am
I don't see any way around it without admitting that it's all figurative but to just follow the prophet anyway, which is impossible in such a strict, fundamentalist religion.
That's what I did. I can imagine a timeline where I kept it up for the rest of my life, too.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by moksha » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:37 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:18 am
...there is no way to truly celebrate Christmas or Easter—without understanding that there was an actual Adam and Eve who fell from an actual Eden...
For those two holidays I would have to add to the list an actual Santa Clause and an actual Easter Bunny.
Did Elder Bruce R. McConkie ever mention the birthdate of Adam and Eve? If not, how does August 15, 350,000 BCE sound?

August could use an extra Utah holiday.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:33 am

2bizE wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:31 pm
There was a talk from JR Holland where he claimed with certainty that Adam and Eve were real and our first parents....The church is tied to the literalness of A&E, yet I think at some point in the game, a symbolic A&E will be taught.
There is too much evidence today that A&E were not the literal parents of all humans.
There's a very good chance they just won't say anything specific about it ever again. They are likely to only do so if it becomes a major topic of discussion on the Mormon internet, or if they hear that it's a big enough issue that members are leaving because of it. In that case, I suspect they will treat it just like the essay topics:

1) Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of a literal Adam and Eve.
2) Appeals to authority (why do you think you should know better than these men of God?)
3) Mormon scholars say that maybe X is true, or maybe Y is true, or maybe Z is true. Choose whichever works best for you.
4) Ultimately the only thing that counts is YOUR faith in Adam and Eve. Don't miss out on blessings and endanger your family's salvation.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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alas
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by alas » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:07 am

This reminds me of a time years ago where this very socially awkward guy who had just taken some class somewhere about how the Adam & Eve thing works as an allegory, brought up that idea in Sunday School. He went into excited detail about the whole theory. The crickets following his comment was just so pathetically hilarious. I mean, it is so obvious to any one with any literature training or ability to think that the story is a myth of some kind, and it was like the little kid saying that the emperor had no clothes on. But there is just this Mormon thing about stating the obvious, just church unapproved.

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by nibbler » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:13 pm

2bizE wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:31 pm
There was a talk from JR Holland where he claimed with certainty that Adam and Eve were real and our first parents....The church is tied to the literalness of A&E, yet I think at some point in the game, a symbolic A&E will be taught.
There is too much evidence today that A&E were not the literal parents of all humans.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... t?lang=eng
In our increasingly secular society, it is as uncommon as it is unfashionable to speak of Adam and Eve or the Garden of Eden or of a “fortunate fall” into mortality. Nevertheless, the simple truth is that we cannot fully comprehend the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ and we will not adequately appreciate the unique purpose of His birth or His death—in other words, there is no way to truly celebrate Christmas or Easter—without understanding that there was an actual Adam and Eve who fell from an actual Eden, with all the consequences that fall carried with it.

I do not know the details of what happened on this planet before that, but I do know these two were created under the divine hand of God, that for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family, and that through a sequence of choices they transgressed a commandment of God which required that they leave their garden setting but which allowed them to have children before facing physical death. To add further sorrow and complexity to their circumstance, their transgression had spiritual consequences as well, cutting them off from the presence of God forever. Because we were then born into that fallen world and because we too would transgress the laws of God, we also were sentenced to the same penalties that Adam and Eve faced.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:06 pm

2bizE wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:31 pm
There was a talk from JR Holland where he claimed with certainty that Adam and Eve were real and our first parents....The church is tied to the literalness of A&E, yet I think at some point in the game, a symbolic A&E will be taught.
There is too much evidence today that A&E were not the literal parents of all humans.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... t?lang=eng
...I do not know the details of what happened on this planet before that, but I do know these two were created under the divine hand of God, that for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family...
Elder Holland must also accept that Adam and Eve lived in Missouri, because for Mormons that's just as scriptural as the Bible story. So imagine these people living in a bubble in Missouri while life and death and ice ages and reality goes on as normal outside of this bubble. Holland tiptoes around the timeline, but to make any sense within the timeline laid out in the Bible it couldn't have been too deep in the past. The DNA essay talks about ancient Americans at least 15,000 years ago and Siberians 24,000 years ago, both presumably descendants of A&E. Or were these people not part of the human race? They certainly did all of the things normal everyday humans do.

Or does Holland imagine that evolution did it's thing up until Bible times and then two people were teleported to Missouri, translated to immortal status and stuck in the bubble and then after they ate some fruit they came out and instantly created a race that replaced all of the other people all over the grove and just picked up where they left off doing the same things and leaving the same evidence?

Or did A&E live in the Missouri Bubble at the exact time of the appearance of Behaviorally Modern Humans about 200,000 years ago and were then transported to Africa (oh no, they had the curse of Cain!™). But then what about all of those people who had wandered out of Africa and continued to evolve elsewhere?

I wish someone could just give me a version of a literal Adam and Eve story that makes even the least damn bit of sense, without sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "na na na na na na..." to block out the sounds of science. Come on brother Holland, you have given several versions of this answer, all of which bear all of the earmarks of fairytales. Isn't it about time you use those special apostle powers, or you daily interactions with the one and only true and living prophet of God Almighty to put together an answer that doesn't sound like it came off the back of a cereal box?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:55 pm

Just took a quick look at FAIR again because I remember them hinting at what Hagoth said about there being people before Adam and Eve.

Effectively they are saying that there were pre-Adamites who mixed with the population outside of the Garden... just like how the church has backpedaled with the Book of Mormon:
-Hierarchy of Gods v Infinite Regress of Gods - For any option one must deal with what God was doing with the Pre-Adamites that existed in tandem with Adam and Eve. One must accept death before Adam entered the Garden of Eden. Thus, one must ask where the Pre-Adamites (over the millennia that they lived and died) fit in the plan. In each case, it would tie into the discussion about Hierarchy of Gods v Infinite Regress of Gods in Latter-day Saint theology. Both sides could produce an argument.

-How Adam and Eve's DNA Mixed with Extant Populations After Leaving the Garden - Once Adam has been formed, received the priesthood, and been expelled from the garden they could have done one or both of two things: 1) They and their descendants could have simply intermixed with contemporary populations—thus explaining the presence of dormant vestigial structures and neanderthal DNA present in humans today AND/OR 2) it is possible that they shed their perfect bodies in order to be given less perfect bodies that were developed from evolution.
https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Morm ... ally_exist

Or you can go with this gem from Hugh Nibley:
Do not begrudge existence to creatures that looked like men long, long ago, nor deny them a place in God's affection or even a right to exaltation — for our scriptures allow them such. Nor am I overly concerned as to just when they might have lived, for their world is not our world. They have all gone away long before our people ever appeared. God assigned them their proper times and functions, as he has given me mine — a full-time job that admonishes me to remember his words to the overly eager Moses: "For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me." (Moses 1:31.) It is Adam as my own parent who concerns me. When he walks onto the stage, then and only then the play begins. [10]

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2bizE
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by 2bizE » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:18 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:06 pm
2bizE wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:31 pm
There was a talk from JR Holland where he claimed with certainty that Adam and Eve were real and our first parents....The church is tied to the literalness of A&E, yet I think at some point in the game, a symbolic A&E will be taught.
There is too much evidence today that A&E were not the literal parents of all humans.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... t?lang=eng
...I do not know the details of what happened on this planet before that, but I do know these two were created under the divine hand of God, that for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family...
Elder Holland must also accept that Adam and Eve lived in Missouri, because for Mormons that's just as scriptural as the Bible story. So imagine these people living in a bubble in Missouri while life and death and ice ages and reality goes on as normal outside of this bubble. Holland tiptoes around the timeline, but to make any sense within the timeline laid out in the Bible it couldn't have been too deep in the past. The DNA essay talks about ancient Americans at least 15,000 years ago and Siberians 24,000 years ago, both presumably descendants of A&E. Or were these people not part of the human race? They certainly did all of the things normal everyday humans do.

Or does Holland imagine that evolution did it's thing up until Bible times and then two people were teleported to Missouri, translated to immortal status and stuck in the bubble and then after they ate some fruit they came out and instantly created a race that replaced all of the other people all over the grove and just picked up where they left off doing the same things and leaving the same evidence?

Or did A&E live in the Missouri Bubble at the exact time of the appearance of Behaviorally Modern Humans about 200,000 years ago and were then transported to Africa (oh no, they had the curse of Cain!™). But then what about all of those people who had wandered out of Africa and continued to evolve elsewhere?

I wish someone could just give me a version of a literal Adam and Eve story that makes even the least damn bit of sense, without sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "na na na na na na..." to block out the sounds of science. Come on brother Holland, you have given several versions of this answer, all of which bear all of the earmarks of fairytales. Isn't it about time you use those special apostle powers, or you daily interactions with the one and only true and living prophet of God Almighty to put together an answer that doesn't sound like it came off the back of a cereal box?
How about this theory:
Thousands of years ago, humans wondered where they came from; how the originated. They began telling stories in their regional culture. Over time, these cultural stories evolved into what today we know as Adan and Eve.
Essentially, A&E are just made up to tell a story.
~2bizE

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by dogbite » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:24 pm

It seems to me if you want to claim scripture actually means something and that prophets actually talk to God, then they're stuck with a literal A&E.

Otherwise they're just guessing at metaphor and no church org is necessary for that.

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Hagoth
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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:40 am

2bizE wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:18 pm
How about this theory:
Thousands of years ago, humans wondered where they came from; how the originated. They began telling stories in their regional culture. Over time, these cultural stories evolved into what today we know as Adan and Eve.
Essentially, A&E are just made up to tell a story.
Works for me. Now how are you going to get Mr. Holland to say it over the pulpit?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: How essential is a literal Adam and Eve story to Mormonism?

Post by Lucidity » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:11 am

John Hamer wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:50 pm
The chance that Adam and Eve are historical figures: 0%. If your religion is based on them being actual people in history, it's toast.
It often looks like the LDS church is being slowly yanked, kicking and screaming, to become more in line with the Community of Christ. I'm curious how members of the CofC see Adam and Eve, and what fallout may of happened from doctrinal changes. In interviews I've watched of Stephen Mark Veazey he seems pretty flexible and secure in allowing members to interpret many things in less literal ways.

Is there a generally accepted view on the literalness of Adam and Eve?

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