Brigham Young’s Lecture at the Veil

It was 130 years ago today that LDS recorder L. John Nuttall, by order of Brigham Young, transcribed the Lecture at the Veil in the St. George, Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lecture at the Veil was a lesson at the end of the LDS endowment ceremony which summarized important theological concepts that had been taught throughout the ceremony.

From the time the Lecture at the Veil was first recorded in 1877, until it was removed in 1990, it had been an important element of the endowment ceremony. The content of the lecture in modern times did not include some of Brigham Young’s important teachings from the nineteenth century, the lecture having been revised during the intervening years.

The official transcription of Brigham Young’s veil lecture is not available, but John Nuttall recorded much of the same information in his private journal. In recognition of this 130th anniversary of Brigham Young’s Lecture at the Veil, an excerpt is provided here.

In the creation the Gods entered into an agreement about forming this earth, and putting Michael or Adam upon it. These things of which I have been speaking are what are termed the mysteries of godliness but they will enable you to understand the expression of Jesus, made while in jerusalem. “This is life eternal that they might know thee, the on[l]y true God and jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”We were once acquainted with the Gods and lived with them, but we had the privilege of taking upon us flesh that the spirit might have a house to dwell in. We did so and forgot all, and came into the world not recollecting anything of which we had previously learned.

We have heard a great deal about Adam and Eve, how they were formed and etc. Some think he was made like an adobe and the Lord breathed into him the breath of life, for we read “from dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” Well he was made of the dust of the earth but not of this earth. He was made just the same way you and I are made but on another earth.

Adam was an immortal being when he came on this earth; He had lived on an earth similar to ours; he had received the Priesthood and the keys thereof, and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation, and was crowned with glory, immortality and eternal lives, and was numbered with the Gods for such he became through his faithfulness, and had begotten all the spirit that was to come to this earth. And Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world.

And when this earth was organized by Elohim. Jehovah & Michael, who is Adam our common Father, Adam & Eve had the privilege to continue the work of progression, consequently came to this earth and commenced the great work of forming tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in, and when Adam and those that assi[s]ted him had completed this kingdom our earth[,] he came to it, and slept and forgot all and became like an infant child.

It is said by Moses the historian that the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and took from his side a rib and formed the woman that Adam called Eve — this should be interpreted that the Man Adam like all other men had the seed within him to propagate his species, but not the Woman; she conceives the seed but she does not produce it; consequently she was taken from the side or bowels of her father. This explains the mystery of Moses’ dark sayings in regard to Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve when they were placed on this earth were immortal beings with flesh, bones and sinews. But upon partaking of the fruits of the earth while in the garden and cultivating the ground their bodies became changed from immortal to mortal beings with the blood coursing through their veins as the action of life — Adam was not under transgression until after he partook of the forbidden fruit; this was necessary that they might be together, that man might be. The woman was found in transgression not the man — Now in the law of Sacr[i]fice we have the promise of a Savior and Man had the privilege and showed forth his obedience by offering of the first fruits of the earth and the firstlings of the flocks; this as a showing that Jesus would come and shed his blood…

Father Adam’s oldest son (Jesus the Saviour) who is the heir of the family is Father Adam’s first begotten in the spirit world, who according to the flesh is the only begotten as it is written. (In his divinity he having gone back into the spirit world, and come in the spirit to Mary and she conceived, for when Adam and Eve got through with their work in this earth, they did not lay their bodies down in the dust, but returned to the spirit world from whence they came.

(as quoted in David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship, 111-112. Paragraph breaks not in the original — inserted here to aid online reading.)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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