Adam-ondi-Ahman – where Mormons plan to move to again someday
In his book The Millennial Messiah, Bruce R. McConkie gives an excellent opening regarding the mystery of Adam-ondi-Ahman:
We now come to the least known and least understood thing connected with the Second Coming. It might well be termed the best-kept secret set forth in the revealed word. It is something about which the world knows nothing; it is a doctrine that has scarcely dawned on most of the Latter-day Saints themselves; and yet it is set forth in holy writ and in the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith with substantially the same clarity as any of the doctrines of the kingdom. Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp. 578-579.
"Ahman is one of the names by which God was known to Adam." "Ahman is twice mentioned as one of the names of God in the Doctrine and Covenants. In each instance, Jesus Christ is called Son Ahman, suggesting Son God and son of Ahman (D&C 78:20; 95:17). Orson Pratt, an apostle, suggested that this was one of the names of God in the pure language (J[ournal of] D[iscources] 2:342; cf. Zeph. 3:9; see Adamic Language)." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Ahman."); see also Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 19. (Note, however, Alvin R. Dyer explains that "Ahman" refers to the Lord rather than God the Father.) Adam-ondi-Ahman, "a name carried over from the pure Adamic language into English, is one for which we have not been given a revealed, literal translation." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 19. The Adamic term "ondi" appears to express the relationship between Adam and God with reference to the land. As explained by Alvin R. Dyer in a 1968 Conference address:
In conferring the "keys of salvation" upon Adam, the revealing and unlocking of the conditions of salvation were made known to them and through them to mankind. In this we can understand the true meaning of the term "Adam-ondi-Ahman," or simply: from "Ahman," who is the Lord-"ondi," meaning through Adam unto mankind. Alvin R. Dyer, Conference Report, October 1968, p. 109.
More specifically, Alvin R. Dyer has stated:
The very word itself speaks of the manner in which Adam has received the "Keys of Salvation" under the counsel and direction of the Holy One, who is Jesus Christ the Lord. The word "Adam" refers directly to Adam. The word "ondi," means nearby or connected with. The word "Ahman" means the Lord himself. Therefore a literal translation of the words "Adam-ondi-Ahman" means The Lord Jesus Christ, through Adam unto mankind. Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 30 (quoting Alvin R. Dyer, The Lord Speaketh (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co. 1964), p. 216).)
As can best be determined from "from the early brethren who associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith, … Adam-ondi-Ahman means the place or land of God where Adam dwelt." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 19; "Orson Pratt interpreted the name to mean ‘Valley of God, where Adam dwelt.’" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Adam-ondi-Ahman (citing Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, p. 343).) "John Corrill says: though on what authority is not known–‘The interpretation in English is `the valley of God in which Adam blessed his children,”" B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, Ch. 32, p. 421 (quoting Corril, Brief History of the Latter-day Saints, p. 28). Other unauthoritative definitions have defined Adam-ondi-Ahman "to mean ‘the Valley of God,'[ Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1855-56), Vol. 16, p. 48.] by another as "Adam’s consecrated Land,"[ Public Signboard of the Missouri State Historical Society on the courthouse square, Gallatin, Missouri; John Corill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (St. Louis, Feb. 11, 1839) p. 28 ("Valley of God in which Adam blessed his Children.").] and by another, "Adam’s grave."[ Heman C. Smith, ed., Journal of History, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Herald House, Independence, Mo.), Vol. 9, p. 140.] Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 30.
The Doctrine & Covenants tells us that Adam-ondi-Ahman was so named by the Lord "’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." Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp. 587-588 (quoting D&C 116).) President John Taylor explained that Adam-ondi-Ahman was referred to by the Saints as "Di-Ahman." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 188. During the time of Joseph Smith, it was also referred to as "Spring Hill." D&C 116:1; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p. 122; John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, Ch. 8.
As taught by Prophet Joseph Smith, "the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 74. After Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 74. However, while "The Lord has revealed to us that Adam dwelt there towards the latter period of his probation, … "Whether he had lived in that region of country from the earliest period of his existence on the earth, we know not. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, p. 47, Orson Pratt, May 18, 1873.
The foundation of Adam-ondi-Ahman was established by Jesus Christ. D&C 78:15 ("That you may come up unto the crown prepared for you, and be made rulers over many kingdoms saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Zion, who hath established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman"); History of the Church, Vol. 1, Ch. 18, p. 256; Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 99. Prophet Wilford Woodruff taught Adam "went to Adam-ondi-Ahman to offer sacrifice." The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 18. Upon offering the sacrifice, an:
angel of the Lord asked him why he did so. Adam replied that he did not know, but the Lord had commanded him to do it. He was then told that the blood of bulls and goats, of rams and lambs should be spilt upon the altar as a type of the great and last sacrifice which should be offered up for the sins of the world. The first principle, then, ever taught to Father Adam was faith in the Messiah, who was to come in the meridian of time to lay down his life for the redemption of man. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 23, p. 127, Wilford Woodruff, May 14, 1882; The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 18.
Adam built an altar on "a hill above the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman" Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2, p. 232. or "plateau near Adam-ondi-Ahman [comprised of] a number of rocks piled together [where Adam] offered up sacrifices." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 102 (repeating statements made by Joseph Smith). At that place, "the Lord revealed to [Adam] the purpose of the fall and the mission of the Savior." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2, p. 232 (referencing D&C 107:53-57, 116, 117:8, 11; Moses 5:5-8; Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 122, 158. Adam-ondi-Ahman became "the land where Adam dwelt" D&C 117:8 ("Is there not room enough upon the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?"). and "the valley where God talked with Adam." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 102 (repeating statements made by Joseph Smith).
Adam-ondi-Ahman is where "the family of mortals had its beginning. It was there that mortal man learned to work by the sweat of his brow. It was there that the first mortal children were born to the first mortal parents. Mortal man first learned to communicate with his God in those valleys." Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, pp. 278-279. Adam-ondi-Ahman was also "the site of the first death and murder on this earth. The blessings of the Savior’s atonement took on added significance there, for the members of Adam’s family. The first family relationships and associations were developed. In short, this area was truly a place of beginnings." Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, p. 279.
Three years prior to Adam’s death, 3077 B.C. Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, p. 606:
According to the Biblical chronology, Adam fell in 4004 B.C. and died 930 years later, in 3074 B.C. By latter-day revelation we know that the meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman, which was attended by all of his righteous posterity and to which the Lord himself came, was three years previous to Adam’s death, that is, in 3077 B.C. (D&C 107:53-56.), he called the sons of his lineage (in order: Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah) with the "residue of his posterity who were righteous … into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing. D&C 107:53-57:
53. 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.
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 for ever.
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.
57. These things were all written in the Book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time.
see also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section One 1830-34 p. 38; John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, Ch. 8. Joseph Smith described this incident:
I saw Adam in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. He called together his children and blessed them with a patriarchal blessing. The Lord appeared in their midst, and he (Adam) blessed them all, and foretold what should befall them to the latest generation. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42 p. 158.
Elder John Taylor also described these events:
Adam, before he left the earth, gathered his people together in the Valley of Adam-ondi-ah-man, and the curtain of eternity was unfolded before him, and he gazed upon all events pertaining to his descendants, which should transpire in every subsequent period of time, and he prophesied to them. He saw the flood and its desolating influence; he saw the introduction again of a people in the days of Noah; he saw their departure from the right path. He saw Abraham, Moses and the Prophets make their appearance and witnessed the results of their acts; he saw nations rise and fall; he saw the time when Jesus would come and restore the Gospel and when he would preach that Gospel to those who perished in the days of Noah; and in fact he saw everything that should transpire upon the earth, until the winding up scene. He was acquainted with the day in which we live and the circumstances with which we are surrounded. Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, p. 279 (citing Bruce R. McConkie, Gospel Doctrine, Vol. 17, p. 372).
President Wilford Woodruff described this blessing as Adam’s "great and last patriarchal blessing" The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 65-66. and explained that the "Holy Ghost rested upon Adam when he blessed his posterity in Adam-ondi-Ahman." The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 4-5; The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star (Liverpool) 48:802, Epistle to the Saints Abroad, October 26, 1886. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., explained further that "the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael the prince, the archangel. 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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 163 (citing D&C 107:53-55). Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., explained that "Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation — and no such a gathering on any other occasion has this world ever seen — ‘and notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost (he) predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the last generation.’ And all this is written in the book of Enoch, which shall be revealed in due time." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 288-289 (quoting D.C. 107:54-57); Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp.579-580. As Elder Orson Pratt has said, "When we get [the Book of Enoch], I think we shall know a great deal about the ante-diluvians of whom at present we know so little." Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, "Enoch" (citing Journal of Discourses, Vol. 19, p. 218).) However, "All that happened at Adam-ondi-Ahman in those early days was but a type and a shadow — a similitude, if you will — of what shall happen at the same blessed place in the last days when Adam and Christ and the residue of men who are righteous assemble again in solemn worship." Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p. 580.
President John Taylor reported the following song sang by the Saints about Adam-ondi-Ahman:
This earth was once a garden place, With all her glories common, And men did live a holy race, And worship Jesus face to face, In Adam-ondi-Ahman. We read that Enoch walk’d with God, Above the power of mammon, While Zion spread herself abroad, And Saints and angels sung aloud, In Adam-ondi-Ahman. Her land was good and greatly blest, Beyond old Israel’s Canaan; Her fame was known from east to west, Her peace was great, and pure the rest Of Adam-ondi-Ahman. Hosannah to such days to come — The Savior’s second coming, When all the earth in glorious bloom, Affords the Saints a holy home, Like Adam-ondi-Ahman. John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, Ch. 8.
In Genesis, we learn: "And God said, let the Waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:9-10. Thus, while Adam dwelt on the American continent, Adam-ondi-Ahman "was not the American continent, nor was it the Western Hemisphere, for all the land was in one place, and all the water was in one place. There was no Atlantic Ocean separating the hemispheres." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 74. As Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., explained further:
If all the water was in one place, then naturally all the land was in one place; therefore, the shape of the earth, as to the water and the land surface, was not as we find it today. Then we read in Genesis that there came a time when the earth was divided. There are some people who believe that this simply means that the land surface was divided among the various tribes, but this is not the meaning; it was an actual dividing of the surface of the earth, and it was broken up as we find it now. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp. 74-75.
Adam-ondi-Ahman was referred to during prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.’s time as Spring Hill and is located at in Daviess County, Missouri. "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." (D&C 116:1.) Spring Hill is north of the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, "through which runs Grand River, described by the Prophet Joseph as a ‘large, beautiful, deep and rapid stream, during the high waters of spring.’ In the spring and summer the surrounding valley is most beautiful, with its scattered farms discernible as far as the eye can reach." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 287; Adam-ondi-Ahman has also been described to be "situated on an elevated spot of ground, which renders the place as healthful as any part of the United States, and overlooking the river and the country round about, it is certainly a beautiful location. (Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, p. 277.) The most detailed description is found in a footnote in the History of the Church:
Adam-ondi-Ahman, or "Diahman," as it is familiarly known to the Saints, is located on the north bank of Grand River. It is situated, in fact, in a sharp bend of that stream. The river comes sweeping down from the northwest and here makes a sudden turn and runs in a meandering course to the northeast for some two or three miles, when it as suddenly makes another bend and flows again to the southeast. Grand River is a stream that has worn a deep channel for itself, and left its banks precipitous; but at "Diahman" that is only true of the south bank. The stream as it rushes from the northwest, strikes the high prairie land which at this point contains beds of limestone, and not being able to cut its way through, it veered off to the northeast, and left that height of land standing like palisades which rise very abruptly from the stream to a height of from fifty to seventy-five feet. The summit of these bluffs is the common level of the high rolling prairie, extending off in the direction of Far West. The bluffs on the north bank recede some distance from the stream, so that the river bottom at this point widens out to a small valley. The bluffs on the north bank of the river are by no means as steep as those on the south, and are covered with a light growth of timber. A ridge runs out from the main line of the bluffs into the river bottom some two or three hundred yards, approaching the stream at the point where the bend of the river is made. The termination of the bluff is quite abrupt, and overlooks a considerable portion of the river bottom. … North of the ridge on which the ruins of the altar were found, and running parallel with it, is another ridge, separated from the first by a depression varying in width from fifty to a hundred yards. This small valley with the larger one through which flows the Grand River, is the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 39, Footnotes.
Spring Hill is "a hill of eminence about fifty or sixty miles north and somewhat to the east of Independence, [Missouri]" John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pp. 395-396. and "immediately on the north side of Grand River, in Daviess county, Missouri, about twenty-five miles north of Far West." Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, p. 277 (citing History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 39). It is "not far from the town of Gallatin" Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 287. and about one-half mile from Tower Hill, The old ruin referred to as "Tower Hill" was erroneously accepted by some as marking the site of Adam-ondi-Ahman. However, "Tower Hill" is some half a mile east of that place. The tower was believed to "have some association with the first patriarch of our race, hence it has been called ‘The grave of Adam’" (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, Ch. 32, p. 422 (citing History of Caldwell County, p. 118; D. L. Kort, History of Daviess County.) Furthermore, "Joseph Smith assigned the ruin to Nephite origin." The tower "was but one of a number of such stone mounds or ruins in that vicinity: ‘We discovered some antiquities about one mile east of the camp [the camp was in the vicinity of Lyman Wight’s house], consisting of stone mounds, apparently erected in square piles, though somewhat decayed and obliterated by the weather (erosion) of many years. These mounds were probably erected to secrete treasures.’" (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, Ch. 32, p. 422 (quoting History of the Church, Period I, Vol. 3, p. 37).) named by Joseph Smith because "of the remains of an old Nephite altar or tower that stood there." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p. 122. Next to Adam-ondi-Ahman was Wight’s Ferry. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p. 122. Joseph Smith provided a legal description of "township 60, ranges 27 and 28, and sections 25, 36, 31, and 30." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p. 122.
On May 8, 1838, Joseph Smith went to Adam-ondi-Ahman with Sydney Rigdon and Joseph Smith’s clerk, George W. Robinson, "for the purpose of selecting and laying claim to a city plat … called ‘Spring Hill,’ but by the mouth of the Lord it was named Adam-ondi-Ahman Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p. 122. because, said the Lord, 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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 287 (citing D&C 116).. On "an elevated piece of ground or plateau near Adam-ondi-Ahman" was found "a number of rocks piled together … where [Adam] gathered his righteous posterity." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 102. According to John Taylor, Joseph Smith explained "that this pile of stones was an altar built by [Adam] when he offered up sacrifices." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 102.
Elder Heber C. Kimball recalled being with the prophet in Daviess County, Missouri, and described the experience as follows:
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. Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, pp.278-279 (citing Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp. 209-210).
When the altar was first discovered:
it was about sixteen feet long, by nine or ten feet wide, having its greatest extent north and south. The height of the altar at each end was some two and a half feet, gradually rising higher to the center, which was between four and five feet high–the whole surface being crowning. Such was the altar at "Diahman" when the Prophet’s party visited it. Now, however, it is thrown down, and nothing but a mound of crumbling stones mixed with soil, and a few reddish boulders mark the spot which is doubtless rich in historic events. History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 39, Footnotes.
Another member of the church, Chapman Duncan, recalled:
I think the next day, he said to these present: Hyrum Smith, Bishop Vincent Knight, myself and two or three others, "Get me a spade and I will show you the altar that Adam offered sacrifice on." I believe this was the only time Joseph was in Ondi-Ahman. We went about forty rods north of my house. He placed the spade with care, placed his foot on it. When he took out the shovelful of dirt, it barred the stone. The dirt was two inches deep on the stone I reckon. About four feet or more was disclosed. He did not dig to the bottom of the three layers of good masonry well put up wall. The stone looked more dressed like stone nice joints, ten inches thick, 18 inches long or more. We came back down the slope, perhaps 15 rods on the level. The prophet stopped and remarked this place where we stood was the place where Adam, gathered his posterity and blessed them, and predicted that should come to pass to later generations. Chapman Duncan Autobiography, typescript, B.Y.U. Studies, pp. 37-38.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., stated that "When the Prophet Joseph Smith first visited Spring Hill he called it ‘Tower Hill, a name I gave the place in consequence of the remains of an old Nephite altar or tower that stood there,’ he wrote in his journal." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 287. It is unclear whether Adam’s altar and that of the Nephites are different or whether the Nephites simply used Adam’s alter. As explained by Leland H. Gentry:
The account of the discovery of "Adam’s Altar" is quite different from that for the "Nephite altar or tower." 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. Leland H. Gentry, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, p. 565 (citing Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1909), pp. 545-546.).
Leland H. Gentry points out from his review of various descriptions that "The ‘altar’ was ‘a quarter of a mile down the road,’ rather than on top of Tower Hill where the Nephite altar was found." Leland H. Gentry, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, p. 568. Mr. Gentry provides a further comparison of the two altars:
Area of Difference Altar "A" Altar "B"1. Origin 1. Nephite or Adamic 1. Adamic2. Condition 2. "no one stone on 2. Some stones another in 1838 to scattered recognizable show but altar form when discovered, standing in size or having measurable form" dimensions3. Size 3. Stones scattered to 3. Five or six feet circle of 30 feet long, another account in diameter. says "16 feet long by 9 or 10 feet wide"; 2 1/2 feet at each end but gradually rising in the center4. Description 4. Good masonry work 4. Untooled stones "dressed stone, nice but "laid accurately joints, ten inches as any wall nowadays" thick, 18 inches or in actual mortar or more long"; "stones of cement; none like them different sizes" and in the area; stones apparently native to partly burned and many the area; some partly exposed above ground; burned and most if not 3 altars in rising all bared by Joseph tiers representing 3 Smith at nearly a foot orders of the deep. priesthood5. Location 5. On top of the hill 5. On a sidehill"; "about a quarter of a mile down the road" but also on the "highest point of the bluff" "in the midst of dense forest or underbrush"; perhaps a "tower" on the prairie6. Excavation 6. Yes 6. Yes7. Approximate Date 7. May 18, 1838, with 7. After 20 June 1838,of Discovery Joseph Smith present with Joseph Smith not present
Leland H. Gentry, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, p. 575.
The expanse of Adam-ondi-Ahman may be substantially greater than merely that of Spring Hill and the surrounding valleys. As noted by Bruce R. McConkie:
Far West, Missouri, also appears to be included in the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman. On April 17, 1838, the Lord commanded his saints to assemble at Far West, which place, he said, was holy ground; and there they were to build a city. (D. & C. 115.) By July 8 of that year, William Marks and Newel K. Whitney had not left their temporal concerns in Kirtland, Ohio, and were not assembling with the saints coming to Zion. In rebuking them the Lord said this: "Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters? Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 20 "Adam-ondi-Ahman."
Some confusion exists as the interrelationship between Adam-ondi-Ahman and the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is sometimes referred to as Adam-ondi-Ahman. James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 474, fn. 3:
Though there is no uniform belief among Christian scholars as to the geographical location of Eden, the majority claim that it was in Persia. The Latter-day Saints have more exact knowledge on the matter, a revelation having been given through Joseph Smith, at Spring Hill, Mo., May 19, 1838, in which that place 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" (D. & C. sec. 116). However, they are not the same place. Adam and Eve could not have lived and raised their family in the Garden of Eden as "it was the entrance at the east of the Garden which was closed against them at the time of the ‘fall.’" (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 396 (citing Genesis 3:24).) Adam-ondi-Ahman is "about fifty or sixty miles north and somewhat to the east of Independence, [Missouri]." John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pp. 395-396. The Prophet Joseph Smith has revealed that "the place called Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, [will be] the center place of the kingdom of God on the western hemisphere. A city called Zion or the New Jerusalem would there be built. There also, the foremost temple to the Lord should be erected. From the temple in Zion the law of the Lord would issue, as the word of the Lord would come from Jerusalem." John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 395 (citing D. & C. 57:1-3; Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2; History of the Church, 1:188).) Subsequent prophets close to Joseph Smith, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, have further revealed that Independence, Missouri, is the location of the Garden of Eden. John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 396:
That the Prophet actually taught that the Garden of Eden was in or near Independence, Missouri, is amply testified to by many who knew and heard him. Heber C. Kimball, close associate and friend of the Prophet, said on one occasion:
The spot chosen for the Garden of Eden was Jackson Country, in the state of Missouri, where Independence now stands; it was occupied in the morn of creation by Adam and his associates, who came with him for the express purpose of peopling this earth. (Journal of Discourses, 10:235)
Brigham Young, also a close associate of the Prophet, testified similarly:
In the beginning, after this earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the Boating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth. (Discourses, p. 102)
In conversation with Orson Hyde, on March 15, 1857, President Young said:
You have been both to Jerusalem and Zion, and seen both. I have not seen either, for I have never been in Jackson County. Now it is a pleasant thing to think of and to know where the Garden of Eden was. Did you ever think of it? I do not think many do, for in Jackson County was the Garden of Eden. Joseph has declared this, and I am as much bound to believe that as to believe that Joseph was a prophet of God. (Journal History, March 15, 1857).
See also Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-Ondi-Ahman."
Several years after the Prophet Joseph Smith’s revelations regarding the locations of the Garden of Eden and Adam-ondi-Ahman, the Deseret News of September 18, 1888, published:
A CORROBORATIVE DISCOVERY.
A short time ago the Washington Post made a remarkable statement regarding the location of the Garden of Eden. It announced that Dr. Campbell, of Versailles had lately discovered that it was on this continent, and near where St. Louis now stands. That gentleman, according to the Post, asserted that the Mississippi River is the Euphrates of Scripture, and that the Bible furnishes evidence of the correctness of his conclusions. It is probable that Dr. Campbell is not aware of the fact that he is not the discoverer of what he now announces, the Prophet Joseph Smith having many years ago stated that the Garden of Eden was located in what is now known as the State of Missouri. The Prophet also pointed out the precise spot where Adam offered sacrifice to the Lord, and where, as the great patriarchal head of the race, he blessed his children previous to his departure from the earth. That sacred spot in Missouri was designated by the Prophet as Adam-ondi-Ahman, the meaning of which is–the land where Adam dwelt. Collected Discourses, Vol. 2, Andrew Jenson, January 16, 1891.
In 1833, "after three years of temporary asylum," members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints were forced to leave Jackson County, Missouri, and then Clay County. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." After appealing to the state legislature for a new county for the "Mormons," Caldwell and Daviess counties were organized. The Saints first moved into Caldwell County and established Far West as the county seat. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." Not long afterwards they began settling adjoining Daviess County. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." Elder Lyman Wight, "was perhaps the first to build a home at Adam-ondi-Ahman [and] arrived there about 1 February 1838." Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 32.
Joseph Smith first visited Adam-ondi-Ahman on Saturday, May 19, 1938. History of the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 34-35; Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 32. "In May 1838 Joseph Smith led surveyors to a horseshoe bend of the Grand River, seventy miles north of present-day Kansas City." When "Joseph Smith arrived in the valley with the survey team, he found three or four Latter-day Saint families already living there and made the log cabin of Lyman Wight his headquarters." Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." While there, Joseph Smith "proclaimed a new community, which he 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,’" Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman" (citing (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 35; D. & C. 116). On June 28, 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith held a conference at Adam-ondi-Ahman to organize a stake of Zion. The conference was held near the house of Elder Lyman Wight. The Prophet’s uncle, John Smith, was called to be the president, with Reynolds Cahoon and Lyman Wight as counsellors. Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 33 (citing Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 38-39.).
As summarized in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:
This news helped confirm the decision to create a stake there and designate the area as a gathering place for Ohio members traveling to Missouri. At a June 28, 1838, conference in the newly laid-out community, affectionately nicknamed Di-Ahman, Joseph Smith’s uncle, John Smith[ John Smith was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s uncle. (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 38, Footnotes.)], was called as stake president. Throughout the summer of 1838, Latter-day Saints poured into Daviess County, where a plentiful harvest helped provide for the impoverished members of the Kirtland Camp when they arrived in early October. That same spring, the Saints also began to settle in DeWitt, in nearby Carroll County near the confluence of the Grand and Missouri rivers, where they established a steamboat landing from which immigrants could move to the other LDS settlements. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, "Missouri."
On July 6, 1838, "A company of 515 souls, known as the Kirtland Camp, left Kirtland … for Zion. On the 14th of September, it appears only 260 members were left, the others having been scattered ‘to the four winds.’ The camp arrived in Adam-ondi-Ahman on the 4th of October. Neither Marks, Whitney, nor Granger were members of this company. Joseph Smith at Far West had no means of knowing, at that time, who had, or who had not, left for Zion; but the Lord knew." Otten & Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine & Covenants, Vol. 2, pp. 281-282 (citing Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, p. 744). The "new LDS settlements in Adam-ondi-Ahman and DeWitt angered other Missourians who thought that the Mormons had agreed to stay in Caldwell County. Church leaders countered that as American citizens they had the right to buy land and live wherever they chose." Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, "Missouri."
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism provides further history:
From June to October 1838, the population of the two-mile-square Adam-ondi-Ahman increased to about 400 people. Another 600 scattered throughout Daviess County viewed Adam-ondi-Ahman as their capital city. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman."
Adam-ondi-Ahman "became a port for shipping goods to and from DeWitt. Diahman, as it was called, boasted a population of 1,500 people, with more than 100 homes built by the Saints in a few months." Historical Atlas of Mormonism, p. 42. Meanwhile, "Gallatin, the county seat of Daviess County, only a few miles away from the rapidly growing Mormon community of Adam-ondi-Ahman, had only four houses and several saloons in 1838." Reed C. Durham, Jr., B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 40 (citing John D. Lee, Mormonism Unveiled (St. Louis: Byron, Brand, and Co. 1877), pp. 55-60.).
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism provides further history:
Approximately 90 percent of the Saints in Daviess County settled on land under "preemption rights," which meant that the government had not yet made the land available for purchase. Believing that they would eventually own the land, the Latter-day Saints worked hard to develop their farms. In June 1838, when the third stake of the Church was organized at Adam-ondi-Ahman, with John Smith as stake president, a peaceful atmosphere seemed to prevail. However, in July the settlers were served public notice to leave Daviess County or face serious consequences. The Saints placed their militia in a state of readiness to defend themselves. When hostilities erupted in August, the militia from Church headquarters at Far West went to Adam-ondi-Ahman, but no battle ensued. Similar action occurred in September. On October 11, mobs forced the Latter-day Saints from DeWitt in Carroll County and then turned to Daviess County, intent on driving them all out of the state. They burned cabins, stole animals, and harassed families. When the Far West militia arrived for the third time, in October 1838, Church members throughout Daviess County gathered to Adam-ondi-Ahman for safety, and the community’s population swelled to more than a thousand. Confinement in tents and wagons and a sudden snowstorm added to their miseries.
While Joseph Smith and the Far West militia were in Adam-ondi-Ahman during October, the Church members assembled to witness the dedication of the public square by Brigham Young. At this time, Joseph Smith pointed out a location where Adam had once built an altar. In May the Prophet had identified this same site as one that had also been used by early American Indians. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." Raiders from Gallatin and Millport in Daviess County harassed the LDS community of Adam-ondi-Ahman. Throughout October both sides engaged in burning, stealing, and intimidation. While clearly acting first in self-defense, some Latter-day Saints nevertheless felt that military measures were excessive. In late October, Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde, both apostles, signed affidavits critical of Mormon actions. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, "Missouri Conflict." After violence erupted in October 1838, Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued his infamous Extermination Order, declaring that all Mormons should be driven from Missouri or be exterminated. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, "Missouri." After the October plundering and burnings by the mobs and retaliatory actions by the Latter-day Saints, who were intent on defending themselves, the state militia forced them to surrender their arms on November 7, 1838, and gave them ten days to move to Far West. Adam-ondi-Ahman was abandoned and fell into the hands of non-Mormon settlers. Church families from Daviess County spent the winter at Far West before being expelled from the state in the spring of 1839.
"By March 1839, Mormons had abandoned all settlements in Missouri, and had moved into Illinois and Iowa. Today only traces remain of the cities Adam-ondi-Ahman and Far West." Historical Atlas of Mormonism, p. 42. As explained in The Encyclopedia of Mormonism:
The Missourians who were responsible for expelling Church members from Daviess County knew that in four days their land would be offered for sale by the U.S. government. With the Mormons gone, these residents purchased the improved land and reaped the benefits of the Saints’ labor. John Cravens purchased most of the central area of the city of Adam-ondi-Ahman and renamed it Cravensville. The town existed for thirty-two years and had enough residents to vie with Gallatin for the county seat of Daviess County, but after 1871 the land was returned to farming and grazing. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman."
In an October 1938 Conference talk, Elias S. Woodruff stated:
At the present time the hill upon which the old monument stands apparently an old Nephite look-out stations covered with large weeds, and is very difficult of ascent. Nevertheless, it is quite worth the climb up the hill to see it. I have sometimes wandered [sic] whether or not I should urge that we attempt to acquire some piece of ground there that would include the hill and part of the valley, and make it easier and more acceptable for people to look upon that valley and to attain that eminence on the hillside. Elias S. Woodruff, Conference Report, October 1938, p. 73.
"In 1944 Wilford C. Wood purchased thirty-eight acres at Adam-ondi-Ahman for the Church. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." This purchase "included the site of Tower Hill and the Wight home." Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 35. Since Wilford C. Wood’s initial purchase, an additional 3,000 acres were purchased for the Church. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." These purchases included "parts of the valley, Spring Hill (including the storehouse and temple sites), and surrounding areas." Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 35.
Archival research and archaeological excavation have helped to determine the location, size, nature, and history of the city." Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, "Adam-ondi-Ahman." "A walk through the area today reveals little of what once existed at Adam-ondi-Ahman. If one looks for it, he can find the remains of the brick storehouse, a few logs,  the stone foundation of the Lyman Wight house, [and what may] be a few leveled-out places on the hillside where homes were once built." Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 34.
A site has been "marked out and dedicated for a temple block." Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 33. As explained by Elder Heber C. Kimball:
After hearing of the mobbing, burning and robbing in Gallatin, Daviess Co., and the region round about the brethren of Caldwell went directly to Adam-ondi-Ahman, which is on the west fork of Grand River. Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, myself, Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor amongst the number. When we arrived there we found the Prophet Joseph, Hyrum Smith and Sidney Rigdon, with hundreds of others of the Saints, preparing to defend themselves from the mob who were threatening the destruction of our people. . . . While there we laid out a city on a high elevated piece of land, and set the stakes for the four corners of a temple block, which was dedicated, Brother Brigham Young being mouth; there were from three to five hundred men present on the occasion, under arms. This elevated spot was probably from two hundred and fifty to five hundred feet above the level of Grand River, so that one could look east, west, north and south, as far as the eye could reach; it was one of the most beautiful places I ever beheld. Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 33 (quoting Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Stevens and Wallis, 2nd ed. 1945), pp. 208-209.).
Thus, although "the ‘temple block’ was dedicated, apparently no corner stones were laid, and no temple was built." Robert J. Matthews, B.Y.U. Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 34.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., commenting on the current citizens of Spring Hill, stated:
The citizens here go about their daily tasks all unaware of the wondrous occurrences which have taken place in this beautiful valley and on this hill. They are equally oblivious to the momentous events soon to be staged there. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 287. One of the first important events at Adam-ondi-Ahman is the building of Zion. "[O]n the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt,’ Zion shall be established." Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 4, p. 350 (citing D&C 117:8 ("Is there not room enough upon the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?").) The New Jerusalem "shall arise in the tops of the mountains and in the land of Missouri." Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 4, p. 350. Prior to this event, "[t]he western boundaries of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President [Brigham] Young tells us, ‘when we return to that place there will not be as much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.’" J. Golden Kimball, Conference Report, October 1930, p.59.
As noted above with regards to the location of Adam-ondi-Ahman, Zion will be built more specifically at the location of the Garden of Eden in Independence, Missouri, rather than at Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Next, and before the coming of Christ as spoken of by the prophet Daniel, "There will be a great gathering in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 13. As explained by Bruce R. McConkie:
Before the Lord Jesus descends openly and publicly in the clouds of glory, attended by all the hosts of heaven; before the great and dreadful day of the Lord sends terror and destruction from one end of the earth to the other; before he stands on Mount Zion, or sets his feet on Olivet, or utters his voice from an American Zion or a Jewish Jerusalem; before all flesh shall see him together; before any of his appearances, which taken together comprise the second coming of the Son of God — before all these, there is to be a secret appearance to selected members of his Church. He will come in private to his prophet and to the apostles then living. Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp. 578-579.
As the one presiding over the great meeting, Adam "shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:9-10.). D&C 116:1; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Three 1838-39 p. 122.
Adam is "the Ancient of Days" Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 288. and, "In this dispensation the Ancient of Days will sit in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman; and the judgment will be set." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 106 (referencing Dan. 7:9-14; D&C 116; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157).
Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., indicates that prior to this great gathering, the world governments, being in Satan’s control, will fall, creating a world of anarchy:
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. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 290.
The prophet Daniel, in stating the number of those in attendance at this great council, "speaks of ten thousand times ten thousand and of thousands of thousands, which is to say an innumerable host. All these, being present, shall see and worship the Lord." Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pp. 610-611 (citing Daniel 7:9-14).) All those "who have held keys and powers and authorities in all ages from Adam to the present will  be present." Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp. 578-579. "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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 290-291. These will include "Moroni, Elias of the restoration, who is also identified as being Gabriel or Noah; John the Baptist, Elijah, Joseph who was sold into Egypt, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Michael who is Adam, and Peter, James, and John." Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 4, pp. 65-66. It will also include "Every prophet, apostle, president, bishop, elder, or church officer of whatever degree — all who have held keys shall stand before him who holds all of the keys." Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p. 582.
Also included will be "all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world," which is to say that the righteous saints of all ages, from Adam down to that hour, will all assemble with the offer Lord Jesus in that great congregation just before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives." Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 4, pp. 65-66. As stated by Bruce R. McConkie, "all the faithful members of the Church then living and all the faithful saints of all the ages past will be present. It will be the greatest congregation of faithful saints ever assembled on planet earth." Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp. 578-579. Bruck R. McConkie delineates these "faithful saints" to include: "every steward … to tell what he has done with the talents with which he was endowed," "the one hundred million and more who have been faithful and true in the days of their mortal probations," those "who are ‘kings and priests,’ and who will live and reign with Christ a thousand years," " those "who shall sing in that great day the song of the redeemed, saying, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing … Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever,’" Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp.584-585.
However, in-spite of this great listing, neither the world nor the members of the Church as a whole will know of this great council. Only those "who officially shall be called into this council" shall know of it "for it shall precede the coming of Jesus Christ as a thief in the night, unbeknown to all the world." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 291. How this will happen is explained by Bruce R. McConkie:
And we need not suppose that all these things shall happen in one single meeting or at one single hour in time. It is proper to hold numerous meetings at a general conference, some for the instruction of leaders, others for edification of all the saints. In some, business is transacted; others are for worship and spiritual refreshment. Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, pp. 585-586.
While the time for this great council is unknown, the Prophet Joseph Smith and eluded to its imminence by his remark "This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.732, "Signs of the Times (citing Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 157).)
This great council will be held there "to adjust the affairs of the world, from the commencement, over which Father Adam will preside as head and representative of the human family." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 216. As explained by Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., "There will stand before [Adam] those who have held the keys of all dispensations, who shall render up their stewardships to the first Patriarch of the race, who holds the keys of salvation." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 289. Those standing before Adam "will  be called upon to give an account of their stewardships and to report how and in what manner they have used their priesthood and their keys for the salvation of men within the sphere of their appointments." Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p. 582.
"This shall be a day of judgment and preparation." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 289. This "judgement, while "not the final judgment[,] … will be held, where the righteous who have held keys will make their reports and deliver up their keys and ministry." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 13. Those holding the priesthood that "were in the heavens … assisting those that were upon the earth" and those holding the priesthood upon the earth "will unite together in a general council to give an account of their stewardships" to those "from whom they received them." John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 216. The prophet Joseph Smith explained that the purpose of this council is "to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 289 (citing The Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 386-7).
After Adam had received an accounting, Christ will come "as he did to the first grand council in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman" Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 289-290. and Adam will "deliver 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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, p. 289 (citing The Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 386-7). Christ will "receive the keys from Adam." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 289-290. Also at this council, Satan will be replaced. Dan. 7:9-14, 21-27; 12:1-3; D&C 27:11; 78:15-16; 107:51-57; 116; 117:8, 11; Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 122, 158. "Christ will be received and acknowledged as the rightful ruler of the earth As stated by Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., "the kingdom will be turned over to Christ; and he will be sustained in his calling as King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 106 (referencing Daniel 7:9-14; D&C 116; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157). and be "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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 289-290 (quoting Daniel 7:13-14).) Christ will give directions to the Priesthood. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 290-291.
Following this event, every government in the world, including the United States, will have to become part of the government of God. D&C 87:6. Then righteous rule will be established. The earth will be cleansed; the wicked will be destroyed; and the reign of peace will be ushered in." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 13. "'[T]he 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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., The Way to Perfection, pp. 289-290 (quoting Daniel 7:13-14).)
When Christ comes, "as a part of the great restoration, this land surface will be brought back to its original form. When that time comes, the land of Zion (Western Hemisphere) and the land of Jerusalem ‘shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.’ D&C 133:21-25. John saw this day when ‘every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.’" Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 75 (quoting Revelations 6:14; 16:20).
The great council at Adam-ondi-Ahman will usher in the millennium. Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 493, "Millennium." As our anxieties rise as the world becomes more wicked and the end seems so near, Neal A. Maxwell, brings these events into perspective. Reminding us that while "there will be wrenching polarization on this planet," while "nation after nation will become a house divided," and while "Armageddon lies ahead — but so does Adam-ondi-Ahman!" Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am, p. 121.
Elias S. Woodruff, in On October 1938 Conference address, stated:
I sometimes wish that every member of the Church could have the privilege of going to Liberty, and Richmond, Far West, Adam-ondi-Ahman, and Haun’s Mill, on their way east or west, as they come through the Central States Mission, for the impression that it gives them, for the increase in their faith and their reverence for the work that has been performed in this Church by its founders and leaders.  One cannot stand upon the hill overlooking the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman without being very deeply impressed with the sacredness of the place. Elias S. Woodruff, Conference Report, October 1938, p. 73.
Similarly, in a 1967 Conference address Alvin R. Dyer reported:
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." Alvin R. Dyer, Conference Report, October 1967, p. 41.
Copyright 1996 Gary B. Wells