SL10164: Adam-ondi-Ahman: An American Eden

In 1838, Joseph Smith proclaimed Spring Hill in Daviess County, Missouri, as Adam-ondi-Ahman, the place where eventually Adam “shall come to visit his people” (D&C 116). He had already established the idea of Adam-ondi-Ahman as the land into which Adam and Eve were exiled and where Adam gave his final blessing to his children. Tied into Book of Mormon revelations declaring this land “choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:9–10), these ideas integrated religious past with prophetic future, uniting sacred time with sacred space and bringing the natural world into a cosmic order. In this paper, I place Joseph Smith’s ideas about “spiritual creation” and the land of Zion into historical context and explore the evolution of these ideas in Mormon thought.