I am often asked by students: What about those people that lived thousands of years before Adam? They usually ask after class and expect me to give a definitive answer before leaving the room. I did for twenty years, and then gave it up—it was a waste of time. Within the past ten years, however, things have changed so much that it is time to resume the discussion if only to reorient my own thinking on a subject that is impossible to avoid.

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The talk was also unusual in that he expressed gratitude that it was being recorded. Brothers and Sisters, I am actually glad that this is being taped tonight. I may make some sort of effort to organize! Because one thing leads to another, yesterday I was in Disneyland, and that gives you different views of things. There was one thing that was very impressive: all these exhibits you see about the structure of the Universe and all the historical views are drawn from just one source.

There are two sources that we have: written and unwritten. By the written records, I mean an accumulation of human written records which has been going on for thousands of years. What will it tell us about the world we live in? We are all guilty of underestimating and largely ignoring this written record.

This is a tremendous spectacle. It would be a wonderful thing if Walt Disney was alive now, and I am sure he would leap at the chance. This mere collection of written documents is one of the great spectacles the world has to offer.

When the documents first started coming out in great numbers, before they had been doing it in the 8th century on, especially with the Council of Constance and finally with the fall of Constantinople in , vast numbers of ancient documents that had been reposing in the east and various places for a long time, suddenly poured into Europe. And they were collected and they were organized in great ducal, royal and imperial libraries, sometimes by very rich individuals such as the Corleone [?

And they captured the imagination of the age. They would have them organized in great rotundas, tier upon tier of this knowledge, organized chronologically and topically so that you would be completely surrounded with books on all sides, round and round, mounting gallery after gallery almost out of sight, in the form of a huge planetarium of written human knowledge. But, unfortunately for the books, at the same time the book of nature was discovered. Bacon, Galileo, and Scaliger are strictly contemporaries here.

At the same time, they discovered the book of nature, which is much easier to read, in a way. But the average man could read it just as well as anybody else. After all, the beginnings of geology were simply by a Scotch farmer, James Sutton, who went out and started guessing about the rocks on the beach near his home. And anyone could play the game.

On the other hand, the written records were read mostly by dunderheads. And so they completely ignored the written record from their knowledge. Joseph Justuscelli, who died in , was the last man ever to make a serious attempt to read what the written human record said. Remember, it covers thousands of years. The human race has documented its doings for a long time and no one pays any attention to those.

We can do all these tricks that the electronics can do today, but nobody reads them. Nobody knows what is actually in these books.

This is literally true. A few specialists will consider documents in one area or in another, but what does the record as a whole have to tell us? I wish there were someone who could do that.

There actually is this terrific written record. Now every book imparts information on two levels. You can see that in what the author intends to tell you and what he tells you unintentionally. And the unintentional is the interesting thing—it is most important. For example, Cicero wrote hundreds of letters which we still have, all sorts of things about himself, telling us he was the greatest man in the world. Well, at the same time he was really telling us that he was one of the greatest nincompoops who ever lived—he was a fool!

He tells us that unintentionally. Intentionally he gives us one story, unintentionally another. But any document can be treated just like a fossil. Just as impersonally, just as scientifically as anything else. In many cases, they knew a great deal more than we credit them with. Santillana, M. He shows that the Egyptians knew more than we ever gave them credit for. Levi-Strauss, another anthropologist, has written an astonishing book on that quite recently. We had the idea that since they lived so long ago and before our science, these must be superstitious ideas.

Any page in any letter will give you all sorts of things about the times, circumstances, the person who wrote it, etc. If we view all the books in the world as fossils, they can tell us much. There are no boney, broken structures here so much, but we have the flesh, we even have the life, the very thoughts of the creature left imprinted for our inspection. They want a situation in which they can pretty well call the tune. But the books hamper and confine freedom of invention.

You see, what I could do, what I have done before is to show a lot of slides of these documents. Well, they mean nothing to you. I could show you rocks; I could show you pictures of star spectrums; I could show you ferns and other plants and fossils, and you could guess as well as I. And this is one of the reasons why the books have been shoved aside and are ignored. As a spectacle, they are quite a thing. But what is in them? What do they actually say? They are now making in Europe a microfilm card catalog of all of the books that have been printed since the invention of printing.

And there are only twelve and one-half million. And, well, there are almost that many books inside the Widener Library today.

Now comes an interesting question: If you were to read these written records, would they give you the same picture of the world that the scientific I transcripts into books give us? In the scientific, the book of nature has been read, they give us one picture and these written books give us another picture, and they go back.

They give a total picture of what was going on in the past, the so-called scientific. Now, this is really very good news, because until now, we have been told there is only one possible valid picture of the world and that is the picture that science gives us at the moment. A lot of the scientists are getting over that now—men like Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn. Then why do we accept it? Many scientists have said that about evolution.

But I will say that there might be something very wonderful there if you went and looked, but nobody goes and looks. Since World War II some very new and important additions have been made to this library. We are buried now under an avalanche of manuscripts. They just give up trying. They could be full of great surprises. We can go back to the great library collections of the 19th century, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Egyptian libraries, etc.

Now, what could we do? We try approaching this different ways. We can make some generalizations about them. They are found in great collections, and their value and significance can only be gradually appreciated because what they contain is quite radically different from what we thought about certain things before.

There are only two or three people in the world that could read the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Nag Hammadi texts. And then they called for a re-evaluation of all the other stuff.

This has been a very embarrassing thing. Well, we could describe the contents of one or two, we could take one or two really good examples, such as the Serekh Scroll or such as the Apocrypha of John or James and go to them in some detail. But then we have missed the cumulative impact, the fact that there are not one or two but hundreds of these documents and they match each other.

So what do we do? Well, the best thing is to look at some of the teachings that are found in all of these documents that are very different from what anybody expected. We started giving some of these references the other day in Orange County. But you must realize there are many, many of these. Now, why are we able to accept these? Because of the circumstances of their discovery. None have been willing to accept from them what they have refused to accept from the other sources in the past.

The Didache was just as sensational when they discovered it, but they came one by one and, people were sort of able to push them aside. These are libraries that were hidden to come forth in their purity in the due time of the Lord. But the people who hid them were aware of the fact that they were hiding them for a long term, a long rest to come forth at a later time.

So that when they would come forth, they would not be distorted and changed and everything different. Cosmism was an idea that was always coming out in these early sources, and that made them rather offensive. He says we have to get rid of it. The thing they accepted in early Christianity was this literal interpretation of things which Karl Schmidt, the greatest documents student of the last days, labeled cosmism.

The idea is that somehow or other the physical cosmos is involved in the plan of salvation.


Secrets of the Scriptures

Even after the renderings of the First Presidency, Elder Joseph Fielding Nibleey still felt strongly that pre-Adamites were incompatible with the scriptures and continued to voice his opinions to that effect. They were so constantly warned that only a high and determined willfulness brought befor upon them: The situation was, befroe, that the sons of God, or their daughters who had been initiated into a spiritual order, departed from it and broke their vows, mingling with those who observed only a carnal law. Subscribe for free email updates by clicking here. There can be no denying the fact that the intense polemics of the theology-biology debate has polarized people into opposite camps detrimental to the cause of both. Before Adam He was serious about it.


Archive: "Adam humans before" Tag

I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands. Yet, although their niibley seem to exceed those of the most advanced apes, there is little question that they were not highly civilized socially or culturally. To present and discuss all the ancient parallels to the Joseph Smith Enoch would require a work nibpey immense scope, but such is not necessary for our purpose. We believe that Adam, known as Michael, had authority in the heavens before the world was framed. The economy of the books is no mere toy for the weak minds of men to play with; it bevore a pattern that extends to other worlds.


Before Adam



Hugh Nibley Books Online


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