Question: If the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, how did Abraham, Moses and other prophets end up in the Old World?

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Question: If the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, how did Abraham, Moses and other prophets end up in the Old World?

A variety of approaches have been suggested for this issue

Members and others sometimes ask how Abraham, Moses and other near eastern Bible prophets ended up in the Old World if Adam and Eden were in the Americas. A variety of approaches have been suggested for this issue:[1]

  1. Some have conceptualized the earth as having only one land mass (e.g., Pangaea) even into historical time, which was only separated in the days of Peleg (Genesis 10:25).
  2. Those who accept a universal Noachian flood simply see Noah floating from a New World site to Ararat in the Old.
  3. Those who accept a "limited flood" theory see a similar process occurring whereby Noah traveled down rivers or from sea coasts with the flood's arrival. (This would, in effect, be a reversal of the Book of Mormon's Old World to New World migrations).
  4. Since there is evidence for human migration over the Siberia-Alaska land bridge from Old to New World, some have postulated travel in the opposite direction.
  5. It has been suggested that the Lord gave a second site the name of Adam-ondi-Ahman in the Americas, while the original site was located elsewhere, in the Old World (see discussion above). In this model, early Church leaders assumed that there was only one Adam-ondi-Ahman, when there were (in fact) two.
  6. Some have seen the concept of Eden as a symbolic idea which acted to "sacralize" the Americas for a new gospel dispensation, without having reference to actual geographic realities. Early members then made this concept more literal than intended.
  7. Some see Eden as a place which was always "separate" from the fallen world around it, and so regard questions about the present "location" of Eden as non-sensical.
  8. Many, perhaps most, members consider the matter of relatively little importance, and have no strong feelings about the issue at all.

It must be noted that there is little, if any, scriptural or scientific evidence to support any of the above hypotheses

The solution chosen by an individual member will probably depend mostly on their attitudes to other issues about which there is no official Church position and a variety of positions espoused by members. These issues include matters such as the issue of Death before the Fall, Evolution, Pre-Adamites, the nature of Noah's Flood, the extent to which scripture ought to be interpreted literally, and related topics.

Notes

  1. Kevin Barney, Was the Garden of Eden Really in Missouri? (blog entry), By Common Consent (4 July 2007).