“In the Beginning”


“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3.)

On May 19, 1838, Joseph Smith received a revelation at Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri, wherein the Lord named Spring Hill Adam-ondi-Ahman. (D&C 116.) According to the teachings of the early Brethren of the Church, this is the place where Eden was. In a hymn written by William W. Phelps we find the words, “In Adam-ondi-Ahman, Zion rose where Eden was.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine [Bookcraft, 1966], p. 20.)

In this setting at Spring Hill we try to capture some of the feeling that may have existed at that wondrous time, the beginning of the world and the creation of man as described in Genesis of the Old Testament and in Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. These photographs, though taken at Adam-ondi-Ahman, do not pretend to portray actual scenes but have captured the feeling of the scripture as the Old Testament begins.

[photos] Photos by Don Thorpe

[photo] “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3.)

[photos] “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed.” (Gen. 1:11.) “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind.” (Gen. 1:24.) “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.” (Gen. 1:26.) “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:27.)

[photo] “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work.” (Gen. 2:1–2.) “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Gen. 2:8.)

[photos] “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.” (Gen. 2:16–17.)

“And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die.” (Moses 4:8–9.) “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.” (Moses 4:12.) “And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: … Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?” (Moses 4:17.)

[photo] “And I, the Lord God, said unto the woman: What is this thing which thou hast done? And the woman said: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Moses 4:19.) “Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Moses 4:29.) “So he drove out the man. …” (Gen. 3:24.)