You are here

Publication TypeEncyclopedia Entry
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsAdams, L. LaMar
Secondary AuthorsLudlow, Daniel H.
Secondary TitleEncyclopedia of Mormonism
Place PublishedNew York
Citation Key9431

Show Full Text


Author: Adams, L. Lamar

Seth was the son of Adam and Eve, a high priest, a patriarch, and one chosen to fill the birthright promise of the covenant seed. While the Bible devotes only seven verses to Seth (Gen. 4:25-26; 5:3-4, 6-8), Latter-day scripture adds substantial detail, underscoring his importance in a manner reminiscent of other ancient texts. According to LDS sources, Seth was born after numerous other children (Moses 5:2-3), was ordained at age sixty-nine by Adam, and became patriarchal leader after the death of his father (D&C 107:41-42).

Following the murder of Abel, Seth inherited the birthright of the patriarchal order of the high priesthood because of his righteousness (D&C 107:40-43), taking Abel's place (Gen. 4:25; Moses 6:2). "The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of [Seth's] chosen seed, to whom the promises were made in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage from Adam to Seth, who received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth" (D&C 107:40-42). At Adam-ondi-Ahman, before his death, Adam bestowed a "blessing upon seven of his [descendants]-Seth, Enos, Jared, Canaan, Mahalaleel, Enoch, and Methuselah" (Durham, p. 64).

Seth was obedient and righteous under the tutelage of Adam so that "he seemed like unto his father in all things," and was called "a perfect man" (D&C 107:43), as were Noah and others (Gen. 6:9; Job 1:1). He "offered an acceptable sacrifice, like unto his brother Abel," with the result that "God revealed himself unto Seth" (Moses 6:3). Apocryphal texts, seeking patterns for the ministry of the expected messiah, focus on notions of Seth's leadership in the premortal life, his complete obedience, and his role as father and patriarch of the covenant race (Brown, p. 278).


Brown, S. Kent. "The Nag Hammadi Library: A Mormon Perspective." In Apocryphal Writings and the Latter-day Saints, ed. C.W. Griggs. Provo, Utah, 1986.

Charlesworth, James H. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 vols. Garden City, N.Y., 1983-1985.

Woodruff, Wilford. Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, comp. G. Homer Durham. Salt Lake City, 1969.