Selected Teachings on
The Location of the Garden of Eden

Brigham Young (President)

In the beginning, after this earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.102)


Now it is a pleasant thing to think of and to know where the Garden of Eden was. Did you ever think of it? I do not think many do, for in Jackson County was the Garden of Eden. Joseph has declared this, and I am as much bound to believe that as to believe that Joseph was a prophet of God. (Journal History, March 15, 1857)

Heber C. Kimball (First Presidency)

The spot chosen for the garden of Eden was Jackson County, in the State of Missouri, where [the city of] Independence now stands; it was occupied in the morn of creation by Adam. (Journal of Discourses, 10:235)

Wilford Woodruff (Quorum of the Twelve)

[spelling original] Again Presdet [sic] Young said Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson Co Missouri, & when Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden He went about 40 miles to the Place which we Named Adam Ondi Ahman, & there built an Altar of Stone & offered Sacrifize [sic]. That Altar remains to this day. I saw it as Adam left it as did many others, & through all the revolutions of the world that Altar had not been disturbed. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9 vols., ed., Scott G. Kenny (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985), 7:129 (journal entry dated 30 March 1879)

Joseph Fielding Smith (Quorum of the Twelve)

In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built [see D&C 116 ; History of the Church, 3:35–36; Dyer, The Refiner’s Fire, pp. 17–18]. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. Three years before the death of Adam he called the righteous of his posterity at this place and blessed them, and it is at this place where Adam, or Michael, will sit as we read in the 7th chapter of Daniel. [Daniel 7:9–14, 21–22, 26–27] (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:74)

John A. Widtsoe (Quorum of the Twelve)

[T]he Prophet designated "Spring Hill," a hill of eminence about fifty or sixty miles north and somewhat to the east of Independence, as Adam-ondi-Ahman, . . . the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet." (D. & C. 116) . . .

Since Adam called together seven generations of his descendants at Adam-ondi-Ahman, it can well be believed that there was his old homestead. If so, the Garden of Eden was probably not far distant, for it was the entrance at the east of the Garden which was closed against them at the time of the "fall." (Genesis 3:24) In fact, it has been commonly understood among the Latter-day Saints, from the teachings of the Prophet, that the temple was to be built in or near the location of the Garden of Eden. That the Prophet actually taught that the Garden of Eden was in or near Independence, Missouri, is amply testified to by many who knew and heard him.... 

That is the position of the Latter-day Saints today, with respect to the much-discussed location of the Garden of Eden. Adam, after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, lived in the vicinity of the great Missouri and Mississippi rivers. As his descendants multiplied, they would naturally settle along the fertile and climatically acceptable river valleys. When the flood came in the days of Noah, the Mississippi drainage must have increased to a tremendous volume, quite in harmony with the Biblical account. Noah's ark would be floated on the mighty, rushing waters, towards the Gulf of Mexico. With favorable winds, it would cross the Atlantic to the Eastern continents. There the human race, in its second start on earth, began to multiply and fill the earth.

The location of the Garden of Eden in America, and at Independence, Missouri, clears up many a problem which the Bible account of Eden and its garden has left in the minds of students. (Evidences and Reconciliations, by John A. Widtsoe, p. 395-397)

Mormon Newsroom

Do Mormons believe that the Garden of Eden is in Missouri?

We do not know exactly where the original site of the Garden of Eden is. While not an important or foundational doctrine, Joseph Smith established a settlement in Daviess County, Missouri, and taught that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in that area. Like knowing the precise number of animals on Noah’s ark, knowing the precise location of the Garden of Eden is far less important to one’s salvation than believing in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. ("Mormonism 101: What is Mormonism?" www.mormonnewsroom.org)