adam-eve-alter-mormonMankind began, on this earth, in the Garden of Eden. We learn of it and the creation in Genesis, Moses and Abraham. There has been much speculation as to where the Garden of Eden was located. Mesopotamia, Iraq, Turkey . . . on and on the wild speculation has gone on, all of it incorrect. Modern day revelation, received by Joseph Smith, Jr. revealed the following:

When Adam and Eve were placed on the earth, they lived in the Garden of Eden. We do not know its dimensions, but the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that it was located in or near Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. (See Journal of Discourses, 10:235; Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 15 Mar. 1857, 1; Matthias Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors (1964), 481.) We learn in the Doctrine and Covenants that Adam and Eve later lived, at least for a period, not far distant from the garden, at Adam-ondi-Ahman (see D&C 117:8).(Robert J. Woodford, “In the Beginning’: A Latter-day Perspective” Ensign, Jan 1998, 12)

Adam and Eve were not cavemen or aliens, nor were they fictional. Adam and Eve were children of God, just as we are. They lived, they breathed, they raised a family and they died. They were created in the image of our Heavenly Father, as are we. They could read and write (Moses 6:5,46), as can we. They were man and wife for marriage is not an invention of mankind, but an ordinance of God with eternal ripples most of mankind does not understand.

So what was the purpose of the Garden of Eden, of the contradicting commandments given to Adam and Eve (”touch not of the fruit” and “multiply and replenish the earth,”) and the earth itself?

It was during this time they learned to live as man and wife, to tend and care for the garden and the animals which resided inside. They were taught everything they needed to know before they could progress to the next step, mortality.

And progress they must, or we would not have been given our opportunity to progress and succeed in our Second Estate, mortality. It was there they learned the basics of being a family, so that the eternal family could continue. All was prepared in the Garden and then the Fall, which was critical to the plan of salvation, happened and the plan began to move forward. Adam and Eve were the beginning of the human family . . . the father and mother of all living.

And so it began . . .

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