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“Adam, our progenitor, ‘the first man,’ was, like Christ, a pre-existent spirit, and like Christ he took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man… The doctrine of the pre-existence… pours a wonderful light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of man’s origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents… prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body.

“It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was ‘the first man of all men’… and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; and whether we take this to mean in the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father.

“True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is…There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation… proclaims man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity… Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.”

~First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith, et al., 1909), quoted in Encyclopedia of Mormonism 4:1665-1669, “The Origin of Man”~