Adam-ondi-Ahman
PDF Version


Chronology of Events in Adam-ondi-Ahman



Latter-day Discovery


History of the Church
, 3:34-35

Saturday, May 19, 1838 -- This morning we struck our tents and formed a line of march, crossing Grand River at the mouth of Honey Creek and Nelson's Ferry. Grand River is a large, beautiful, deep and rapid stream, during the high waters of Spring, and will undoubtedly admit of navigation by steamboat and other water craft. At the mouth of Honey Creek is a good landing. We pursued our course up the river, mostly through timber, for about eighteen miles, when we arrived at Colonel Lyman Wight's home. He lives at the foot of Tower Hill (a name I gave the place in consequence of the remains of an old Nephite altar or tower that stood thee), where we camped for the Sabbath.

In the afternoon I went up the river about half a mile to Wight's Ferry, accompanied by President Rigdon, and my clerk, George W. Robinson, for the purpose of selecting and laying claim to a city plat near said ferry in Daviess County, township 60, ranges 27 and 28, and sections 25, 36, 31, and 3 0, which the brethren called "Spring Hill," but by the mouth of the Lord it was named Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said He, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet.

D&C 116 May 19, 1838

SPRING Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

Robert J. Matthews (Professor, BYU)

Elder Dyer also has gathered reports of early brethren and residents of Daviess county which describe Adam-ondi-Ahman as the site of two ancient altars (neither of which is now to be seen) used by Adam. One of these, an "altar of prayer" he locates not far from the Lyman Wight house on Tower Hill. The other, an "altar of sacrifice," is said to have been situated a mile or so away near the top of Spring Hill. (BYU Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p.31)


Leland H. Gentry
(CES Teacher)

Abraham O. Smoot, a member of the survey team for Adam-ondi-Ahman, is quoted as having said that Joseph
Smith was not present when "Adam's Altar" was discovered: President Smoot said that he and Alanson Ripley, while surveying at the town [i.e., Adam-ondi-Ahman], which was about 22 miles from Jackson County, Missouri, came across a stone wall in the midst of a dense forest of underbrush. The wall was 30 feet long, 3 feet thick, and 4 feet high. It was laid in mortar or cement. When Joseph visited the place and examined the wall he said it was the remains of an altar built by Father Adam and upon which he offered sacrifices after he was driven from the Garden of Eden. He said that the Garden of Eden was located in Jackson County, Missouri. The whole town of Adam-ondi-Ahman was in the midst of a thick and heavy forest of timber and the place was named in honor of Adam's altar. The Prophet explained that it was upon this altar where Adam blessed his sons and his posterity, prior to his death. (BYU Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, p.565)


Adam-ondi-Ahman
Like the Kirtland Temple


Heber C. Kimball

The Prophet Joseph called upon Brother Brigham, myself and others, saying, "Brethren, come, go along with me, and I will show you something," He led us a short distance to a place where were the ruins of three altars built of stone, one above the other, and one standing a little back of the other, like unto the pulpits in the Kirtland Temple, representing the order of three grades of Priesthood; "There," said Joseph, "is the place where Adam offered up sacrifice after he was cast out of the garden." The altar stood at the highest point of the bluff. I went and examined the place several times while I remained there. (Life of Heber C. Kimball  , pp. 209-210)


A Most Holy Place


Elder Alvin R. Dyer

I have been privileged to feel the nearness of President McKay's spirit. I have felt the majesty of his soul as we stood in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, observing in the short distance a place there known as Spring Hill, referred to in Section 116 of the Doctrine and Covenants as the place where Adam, Michael, or the "Ancient of Days," in accordance with the prophecy of

Daniel, shall in the due time of the Lord visit the earth for an important reason, and while there hearing President McKay utter quietly, "This is a most holy place." (Conference Report, October 1967, p.41)


Adam-ondi-Ahman and Far West


Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr.
and John J. Stewart (Author)


Elder Dyer, whom President McKay subsequently ordained an apostle and later set apart as a counselor in the church presidency, offered some interesting after-thoughts on Far West:   

"In connection with President McKay's visit at Far West, it is to be noted that while there the President appeared somewhat overwhelmed. The place made a deep impression upon him; so much so that he referred to Far West a number of times in the ensuing days as a place of deep impression.   

"The feeling that President McKay had at Far West registered upon me once again, but now with greater impact. The events that transpired there are significant: (a) The Lord proclaimed Far West a holy and consecrated land unto him, declaring to Joseph Smith that the very ground he stood on there was holy. (b) The Prophet Joseph Smith contended with the devil face to face for some time, upon the occasion of the power of evil menacing one of his children in the Prophet's home just west of the temple site. Lucifer declared that Joseph had no right to be there, that this was his place. Whereupon the Prophet rebuked Satan in the name of the Lord, and he departed and did not touch the child again. (c) The overwhelming feeling that President McKay had when he visited this sacred place.   

"The Answer: I have often pondered the holy significance of Far West, and even more so since President McKay's visit. The sacredness of Far West, Missouri, is no doubt due to the understanding that the Prophet Joseph Smith conveyed to the brethren, at these early times, that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the place to which Adam and Eve fled when cast out of the Garden of Eden, is where Adam erected an altar unto God, and offered sacrifices, and that Far West was the spot where Cain killed Abel.   

"This information tends to explain why the Lord declared Far West to be a holy consecrated place; and no doubt explains why Satan claimed that place as his own, as it was here that he entered into a covenant with Cain, resulting in the death of Abel, the first of mortal existence [to die] upon this earth.   

"It would appear that President McKay while there felt the spirit and significance of this holy place."  (The Life of Joseph Fielding Smith, p.340)


Adam's Sacrifice
Offered in Adam-ondi-Ahman


Moses 5:4-8

And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.

And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.

And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.

Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.

Wilford Woodruff


Joseph Fielding Smith


Of necessity the first sanctified temples were the mountain tops and secluded places in the wilderness. If we are correctly informed, Adam built his altar on a hill above the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. At that place the Lord revealed to him the purpose of the fall and the mission of the Savior. [ Doctrines of Salvation, 2, p.232]


Adam Received Priesthood Ordinances
in Adam-ondi-Ahman


Moses 6:64-68

And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.

And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.

And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;

And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.


Ezra Taft Benson

When our Heavenly Father placed Adam and Eve on this earth, He did so with the purpose in mind of teaching them how to regain His presence. Our Father promised a Savior to redeem them from their fallen condition. He gave them the plan of salvation and told them to teach their children faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. Further, Adam and his posterity were commanded by God to be baptized, to receive the Holy Ghost, and to enter into the order of the Son of God. (See Moses 6.) To enter into the order of the Son of God is the equivalent today of entering into the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is only received in the house of the Lord.

Because Adam and Eve had complied with these requirements, God said to them, "Thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years" (Moses 6:67). ["What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple," Ensign 15 (August 1985): 8]


Adam's Meeting with Posterity


D&C 107:53-54

Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.

And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.


Joseph Smith

This is why Adam blessed his posterity; he wanted to bringthem into the presence of God. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.159)


Ezra Taft Benson

Three years before Adam's death, a great event occurred. He took his son Seth, his grandson Enos, and other high priests who were his direct-line descendants, with others of his righteous posterity, into a valley called Adam-ondi-Ahman. There Adam gave to these righteous descendants his last blessing.

The Lord then appeared to them.

The vast congregation rose up and blessed Adam and called him Michael, the prince and archangel. The Lord himself declared Adam to be a prince forever over his own posterity.

Then Adam in his aged condition rose up and, being filled with the spirit of prophecy, predicted "whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation." All this is recorded in section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants (verses 53-56).

The Prophet Joseph Smith said that Adam blessed his posterity because "he wanted to bring them into the presence of God." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book co., 1938, p. 159.)

How did Adam bring his descendants into the presence of the Lord?

The answer: Adam and his descendants entered into the priesthood order of God. Today we would say they went to the House of the Lord and received their blessings. ("What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple," Ensign 15 [August 1985]: 8-10)


Latter-day Meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman


Joseph Smith

Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.157)


Joseph Fielding Smith

It was in the night vision that all this was shown to Daniel, and he saw the Son of Man come to the grand council, as he did to the first grand council in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there he received the keys from Adam "and there was given to him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Dan. 7: 13-14.) In this council Christ will take over the reigns of government, officially, on this earth, and "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him," even Jesus Christ. Until this grand council is held, Satan shall hold rule in the nations of the earth; but at that time thrones are to be cast down and man's rule shall come to an end -- for it is decreed that the Lord shall make an end of all nations. (D.C. 87:6.) Preparation for this work is now going on. Kingdoms are already tottering, some have fallen; but eventually they shall all go the way of the earth, and he shall come whose right it is to rule. Then shall he give the government to the saints of the Most High.

This council in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman is to be of the greatest importance to this world. At that time there will be a transfer of authority from the usurper and impostor, Lucifer, to the rightful King, Jesus Christ. Judgment will be set and all who have held keys will make their reports and deliver their stewardships, as they shall be required. Adam will direct this judgment, and then he will make his report, as the one holding the keys for this earth, to his Superior Officer, Jesus Christ. Our Lord will then assume the reins of government; directions will be given to the Priesthood; and He, whose right it is to rule, will be installed officially by the voice of the Priesthood there assembled. This grand council of Priesthood will be composed, not only of those who are faithful who now dwell on this earth, but also of the prophets and apostles of old, who have had directing authority. Others may also be there, but if so they will be there by appointment, for this is to be an official council called to attend to the most momentous matters ' concerning the destiny of this earth. (The Way to Perfection, p.289-291)


John Taylor

A great council will then be held to adjust the affairs of the world, from the commencement, over which Father Adam will preside as head and representative of the human family. . . .

Then they will assemble to regulate all these affairs, and all that held keys of authority to administer will then represent their earthly course. And as this authority has been handed down from one to another in different ages, and in different dispensations, a full reckoning will have to be made by all. All who have held the keys of priesthood will then have to give an account to those from whom they received them. Those that were in the heavens have been assisting those that were upon the earth; but then, they will unite together in a general council to give an account of their stewardships, and as in the various ages men have received their power to administer from those who had previously held the keys thereof, there will be a general account.

Those under the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have to give an account of their transactions to those who direct them in the priesthood; hence the elders give an account to presidents of conferences; and presidents of conferences to presidents of nations. Those presidents and the seventies give an account to the twelve apostles; the twelve to the First Presidency; and they to Joseph, from whom they, and the twelve, received their priesthood. This will include the arrangements of the last dispensation. Joseph delivers his authority to Peter, who held the keys before him, and delivered them to him; and Peter to Moses and Elias, who endowed him with this authority on the Mount; and they to those from whom they received them. And thus the world's affairs will be regulated and put right, the restitution of all things be accomplished, and the kingdom of God be ushered in. The earth will be delivered from under the curse, resume its paradisiacal glory, and all things pertaining to its restoration be fulfilled. [The Gospel Kingdom, p.217]