In this post I would like to address the age old controversy of when Adam and Eve actually appeared on the scene. Was man formed from the dust of the earth (physical creation) on the sixth day as the "crowning event" of the creation, or was he reserved to come forth on the seventh day as the "first living creation" and thus have true dominion over the animals?
In our doctrine we know that there are at least 4 separate accounts taught concerning the creation. They are- The Old Testament (Genesis), Moses & Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, and of coarse the Temple account. Each one has a slightly different take on what happened and the order on which things were placed or created. This can cause a lot of confusion to us Saints when trying to figure out how it all really came down. In this post I will just concentrate on a few scriptural passages with my own interpretation to show that things may not be as they really seem.
Let's start in Moses 3:1-
1 THUS the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
(Pearl of Great Price Moses 3:1)
"And all the host of them", this to me refers to all beings- all mankind. But does it also include Adam and Eve in their physical form? We shall see, let's read on-
2 And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work, and all things which I had made; and I rested on the seventh day from all my work, and all things which I had made were finished, and I, God, saw that they were good;
3 And I, God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it I had rested from all my work which I, God, had created and made.
(Pearl of Great Price Moses 3:2 - 3)
We are now informed that this creation event in this chapter is just a continuation of the events spoken of in the previous chapter. Some have mistaken this chapter to be a different account but we shall see that it is really only the continuation of the creation event. Let's read on-
4 And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
(Pearl of Great Price Moses 3:4 - 5)
This is where things really get interesting. God now informs us that all of these things he had created were not yet on the earth- they were only created in heaven "spiritually" and were not yet "naturally" found on the earth. This means that there was not yet anything physical on the earth. God further explains the he had not yet caused it to rain. Now we know that it is not only the seventh day when he is saying this, but also- no plants could possibly grow from seed form without water- no life is sustainable without rain. God also informs us here that there was not yet "flesh" (physical bodies) on the earth, or in the water, or in the air! He is specifically saying that there is not yet any living creature of any sorts on the planet! Let's read some more-
6 But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.
(Pearl of Great Price Moses 3:6 - 7)
Verse 6 now tells us that there went up a mist and watered the ground. This is a first event for the purpose of making plants grow. Then the Lord forms man from the dust of the earth and he now becomes a living being with his spirit now inside of a physical body. To not create any confusion, the Lord informs us again that the prior creation spoken of in the previos chapter took place in heaven not the earth. He also reinforces these seventh day events as to mention that Man (Adam) was now the "first flesh upon the earth", this means that he was the first creature to be housed with a physical body. Some have mistaken this to mean that this only means that he was the first to fall and become mortal. This is a very conjective approach though because it must then mean that God created man in his already fallen condition. Not to be so. God himself was just creating a person after his own likeness- namely- that of flesh and bone- a true physical being.
This all sets up the most intriguing of all scriptures. The one scripture that seals the deal as to when this all took place. Many do not even know this next scripture even exists, and when some read it they even try to ignore it or discount it as "error" in the transcriptions. I say no it is not. Let's read it-
12 Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.
(Doctrine and Covenants Section 77:12)
Notice the sequnce of events that unfold- God made the world in six days, then he- finished his work on the seventh day, and then he- sanctified it (the seventh day/ earth) , and then he formed man from the dust of the earth. Some could argue that God really means that he caused man to fall, or even say that it is just a mistake or anomaly. The truth of it is however that man truly wasn't formed from the earth and made a living breathing creature until the seventh day. The further implications are that all of the animals followed after Adams physical creation thus truly making Adam the Father over his dominions to rule over them.