The Bible itself attests that life existed before the physical Creation of the earth (see Gen. 2:4–5). he “created all things … spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. … And I … had created all the children of men, … for in heaven created I them” (Moses 3:5). The Prophet taught that during this period of the spirit existence Adam received the priesthood: “He obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith , 157). He was chosen to be the head of the mortal family and was instructed in his role as our earthly progenitor (see Teachings, 158). These sources reveal that Adam and Eve were taught the gospel long before they were in Eden. Indeed, life before Eden was obviously a time of preparation for their important ministry. In the premortal realm, Adam was known as Michael and led the faithful angels of heaven against Lucifer. As a result, Lucifer was cast out of heaven to the earth (see Rev. 12:7–9). (Arthur A. Bailey, “What Modern Revelation Teaches about Adam,” Ensign, Jan 1998, 20
In the beginning, our Lord Jesus Christ, with the aid of Michael, formed the heavens and the earth. Over the course of time, the earth was completed and then Heavenly Father stepped in and man was created.
First to be placed on the earth was Adam. I am very comfortable calling him Father Adam, because he is the physical Father of mankind.
President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876 to 1972), the prophet, seer and revelator from 1970 to 1972, said of Adam,
“Adam came here to bring mortality upon the earth, and that resulted in the shutting out from the presence of the Eternal Father of both Adam and Eve and their posterity. . .Adam did only what he had to do. He partook of that fruit for one good reason, and that was to open the door to bring you and me and everyone else into this world, for Adam and Eve could have remained in the Garden of Eden; they could have been there to this day, if Eve hadn’t done something. . . Well, that was what the Lord expected Adam to do, because that opened the door to mortality; and we came here into this mortal world to receive a training in mortality that we could not get anywhere else or in any other way. We came here into this world to partake of all the vicissitudes, to receive the lessons that we receive in mortality from or in a mortal world. And so we become subject to pain, to sickness. We are blessed for keeping the commandments of the Lord with all that He has given us, which, if we will follow and be true and faithful, will bring us back again into the presence of God our Eternal Father, as sons and daughters of God, entitled to the fulness of celestial glory.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Adam’s Role in Bringing Us Mortality,” Liahona, Jan 2006, 8–9)
And so when the term “the fall of Adam” is used, I pause and reflect. Had Adam and Eve not done what they did, the Father’s plan of salvation would have been stymied. How deeply our hearts, in gratitude and love, must have felt when Adam and Eve made the choice to follow the commandment “to multiply and replenish the earth,”
rather than the time-centered commandment,
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
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 (Genesis 2:16-17.)
Adam, along with Eve, carved a life out of mortality that provided the foundation for all of humanity. As President Smith went on to say, had Adam not partaken of the fruit with Eve, we would all be sitting in heaven begging, even pleading with SOMEBODY to do something that would take us from our spirit state to that of the physical state.
Adam and Eve rejoiced in the righteousness of some of their children and suffered in the wickedness of others. One son, Cain, killed another, Abel. And Cain took many with him when he fully embraced the path that Satan laid forth, rather than the Lord’s. Adam never turned from Jehovah and until the day he died lived his life accordingly to the principles and precepts he’d been taught in the Garden of Eden, as well as from Jehovah and angels in mortality (Moses 5:58.)
Adam chose mortality as did Eve. And together, for they are very difficult to separate, even in scripture, they provided the possibility of mortality for all of us. And as promised by the Lord, Adam died just short of the “day” indicated by the Lord.
At the closing of his life, Adam called all his righteous posterity together, that he might speak to them one more time.
53 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all ahigh 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.
54 And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.
55 And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him: I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever.
56 And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation (D&C 107:53-56.)
As every living prophet, since the beginning of time, Adam saw the earth’s fate, along with that of his posterity, beginning to end. He’d lived a long and fruitful life devoted to Jehovah. And at this time, his eternal reward was granted unto him . . . “And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.”
I can’t wait for the day that I can stand before Father Adam, then kneel at his feet in gratitude, for the choices he and Mother Eve made. Each of us are descended from Adam and Eve. Each of us holds that eternal promise. Have we lived up to the sacrifices they made that we might be? Have we honored their memory and lived our lives according to the dictates of the Lord God Jehovah? We are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve . . . what have we done with their name?