Question: What statements have Latter-day Saints leaders made regarding the location of the Garden of Eden?

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Question: What statements have Latter-day Saints leaders made regarding the location of the Garden of Eden?

Most early statements about the location of the Garden of Eden in LDS thought come via Brigham Young

Most early statements about the location of the Garden of Eden in LDS thought come via Brigham Young, who often made reference to Joseph Smith's teachings on the matter. Brigham's history records he told Orson Hyde (who had been to Palestine):

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.[1]

As this idea was a common one among 19th century members, it seems likely Joseph was the source of the idea

At the very least, the members' perceived this to be what Joseph had told them.

Heber C. Kimball (1863):

...[T]he spot chosen for the garden of Eden was Jackson County, 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.[2]

George Q. Cannon (1867):

We appreciate the home that God has given us here, so fruitful in blessings [p.337] to the Saints; but we look forward to that land with indescribable feelings, because it is the place where God has said His City shall be built. It is the land where Adam, the Ancient of Days, will gather his posterity again, and where the blessings of God will descend upon them. It is the land for which the wise and learned have travelled [sic] and sought in vain. Asia has been ransacked in endeavouring [sic] to locate the Garden of Eden. Men have supposed that because the Ark rested on Ararat that the flood commenced there, or rather that it was from thence the Ark started to sail. But God in His revelations has informed us that it was on this choice land of Joseph where Adam was placed and the Garden of Eden was laid out. The spot has been designated, and we look forward with peculiar feelings to repossessing that land.[3]

Wilford Woodruff quoting Brigham Young (1879):

[spelling as original diary] Again Presdet [sic] Young said Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson Co Missouri, & when Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden He went about 40 miles to the Place which we Named Adam Ondi Ahman, & there built an Altar of Stone & offered Sacrifize [sic]. That Altar remains to this day. I saw it as Adam left it as did many others, & through all the revolutions of the world that Altar had not been disturbed.[4]

Notes

  1. Brigham Young in Journal History of the Church (15 March 1857); cited in John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, arranged by G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 396. GL direct link
  2. Heber C. Kimball, "Advancement of the Saints, etc.," (27 June 1863) Journal of Discourses 10:235.
  3. George Q. Cannon, "Truth to Be Received for Its Own Sake, etc.," (3 March 1867) Journal of Discourses 11:336.
  4. Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9 vols., ed., Scott G. Kenny (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985), 7:129 (journal entry dated 30 March 1879). ISBN 0941214133.