Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is 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)
This is an interesting section. Not only do we have this prophesied future event of Adam coming to visit his people spoken of, but the place it is to occur is given a special name by the Lord.
How curious that Adam comes to visit his people. We understand that Christ must come, but Adam? We wouldn’t know this without revelation to the prophet. Since we think of Adam as the father of humanity, it might be easy to say, “Oh, he is visiting everyone.” But we don’t think that at all. We immediately associate “his people” as meaning the covenant people of the Lord.
Why does the Lord give this revelation to Joseph Smith? And why point to a particular place and say, “This is where this event will happen”? Why does it matter for Adam to come to that place?
I think this is yet another way that the Lord works to build and test the faith of His people. When a future event is tied to a very specific place, it gives us something to watch closely. When the Lord says an event will happen at a particular place, He also implicitly asserts lordship and power over it. It’s a shorthand way of declaring sovereignty over its destiny, over the flow of events toward it, over the who and when and where and how. In another place, the Lord asks rhetorically, “Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?” (D&C 117:6). The prophecy of New Jerusalem’s Zion to build in Jackson County, Missouri is similar.
I imagine future Saints will look back on the fulfillment of this prophecy and say, “But of course it had to happen there because [list of reasons],” and it will be obvious to them why and how it came about. Sunday school lessons will be taught about it, and the Saints will rejoice over it and point to how the Lord’s power and foreknowledge was demonstrated, and whole books will be written exploring all the little factors that worked together to bring it about.
Until then, we just don’t know.