Question: What is Adam-ondi-Ahman?

Question: What is Adam-ondi-Ahman?

According to revelation, Adam held a meeting of his faithful posterity in a valley designated "Adam-ondhi-Ahman"

Prior to his death, the repentant Adam held a meeting of his faithful posterity in a valley designated "Adam-ondhi-Ahman:"

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 forever.

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. (D&C 107꞉53)

LDS scripture further notes:

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)[1]

Since Spring Hill was named by the Lord as the place where Adam will come to visit his people, it has generally been presumed to be the Adam-ondi-Ahman of Adam's mortal meeting with his posterity

It is perhaps significant the Lord named this site because of a future event—the pre-millennial assembly of Adam and his faithful descendants prior to the second coming of Christ. It has generally been presumed that "Spring Hill," Missouri is thus the Adam-ondi-Ahman of Adam's mortal meeting with his posterity (D&C 107, above) and the pre-millennial visit (D&C 116), which is certainly possible.

An alternate interpretation would be the Lord has given the Adam-ondi-Ahman name to a second site (i.e., at Spring Hill, Missouri) in memorial of the first great meeting of the whole righteous human race. That first meeting, at which Adam presided, would then be a foreshadowing of the greater meeting of all the righteous prior to Christ's triumphant return in glory. This reading might better explain why D&C 116 bothers to explain why the Lord is giving the name to the site. If the site was already called Adam-ondi-Ahman, perhaps there would be little need for the Lord to renew its name. One could see this as analogous to the site "Jerusalem." There is, in LDS doctrine, to be a "New Jerusalem" built on the American continent in the last days.[2] Yet, this does not mean the "New Jerusalem" site is the same as the Jerusalem of David and Jesus in the Old World, or that the old Jerusalem has ceased to exist.

On the other hand, Doctrine and Covenants 117 also seems to associate the Missouri Adam-ondi-Ahman with Adam's dwelling place in mortality:

7 Therefore, will I not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in abundance? saith the Lord.

8 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?

9 Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion. (D&C 117꞉7-9)

The association of Adam-ondi-Ahman with the "land where Adam dwelt," and Adam's presence at Adam-Ondi-Ahman prior to his death have led most Latter-day Saints to conclude they are one and the same. (However, this verse raises more questions than it answers—there are no mountains of note in Missouri. So, was the geography more expansive than Joseph or the early saints presumed?)

Because Adam left the Garden of Eden, and (by this reading) dwelt somewhere in or near Missouri, many members have concluded the Garden of Eden must likewise be near by

As President John Taylor wrote:

Itt was stated by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in our hearing while standing on an elevated piece of ground or plateau near Adam-ondi-Ahman (Davis Co., Missouri,), where there were a number of rocks piled together, that the valley before us was the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman; or in other words, the valley where God talked with Adam, and where he gathered his righteous posterity, as recorded in the above revelation, and that this pile of stones was an altar built by him when he offered up sacrifices, as we understand, on that occasion.[3]


  1. See also Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 3:35. Volume 3 link
  2. See A+of+F 1꞉10.
  3. John Taylor, The Mediation and Atonement (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Co., 1882), 69.