Most people know me as the first man to live on the earth, but many don’t know that I had a special responsibility before I came to the earth. In the premortal existence, I led God’s armies against Satan’s armies in the War in Heaven,2 and I helped Jesus Christ create the earth.3 I was known as Michael then, which means one “who is like God.”4
God chose me to be the first man on the earth and placed me in the Garden of Eden, a paradise with many types of plants and animals. He breathed into me “the breath of life”5 and gave me a new name: Adam.6
God told my wife, Eve, and me not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.7 If we didn’t eat the fruit, we could stay in the garden and live forever, but we wouldn’t be able to “progress by experiencing opposition in mortality”8 or have children.9 The choice was ours to make.
Because we chose to eat the fruit, we had to leave the garden and God’s presence. This is known as the Fall. We became mortal, experienced both the good and the bad of life, and brought children to earth.10
God knew that the Fall would happen—He sent Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and overcome death so that we and our children could return to Him.11
Eve and I learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ—including faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end—and we taught it to our children.12
Fact Box: Adam
Names: Adam, Father Adam, Ancient of Days, Michael15
Age at time of death: 93016
Premortal roles: Led armies of God against Satan; helped Jesus Christ create the earth
Mortal roles: Patriarch, husband, and father; helped bring about the Fall; lived the gospel of Jesus Christ
Robert L. Millet, “The Man Adam,” Ensign, Jan. 1994, 8.
See Revelation 12:7–8.
See Robert L. Millet, “The Man Adam,” 10.
Guide to the Scriptures, “Michael,” scriptures.lds.org.
See Moses 1:34.
Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 49.
See 2 Nephi 2:22–23.
See Moses 5:10.
See Mosiah 27:25–26.
See Genesis 5:5.