The Fall of Adam and Eve

This is the sixth chapter of the Gospel Principles manual for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To view the entire lesson, go here: The Fall of Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve Were the First to Come to Earth – What evidence helps us know that Adam and Eve were valiant spirits?

The plan laid out in heaven, included the first man and woman who would come to earth, being Adam and Eve. In the sixth period of the creation, man was created and given dominion over the earth. Adam and Eve were placed in the garden of Eden and given commandments. The evidence to me that they were valiant spirits before coming to the earth, is found in the knowledge that Adam was Michael before he came to the earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 107:54 we read, “And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.” Michael was the leader of the armies of heaven, which fought against Satan when the rebellion against the plan of God began. In Revelation 12 we read the following:

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

They were chosen to be the father and mother of all the people on Earth. In Doctrine and Covenants we read of them in the spirit world at the time when the Savior returned and the valiant spirits they are. In section 138 we read the following:

36 Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of spirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;
37 That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.
38 Among the great and mighty ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father Adam, the Ancient of Days and father of all,
39 And our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God.

In life, they continued to be valiant, in spite of their transgression in the garden. They transgressed the law and then had to experience the fall from God’s presence. The way they chose to live their pre-mortal and mortal lives is a great example to me.

What can we learn from the examples of Adam and Eve?

In the garden state, Adam and Eve remembered the commandments of God, but Eve transgressed because of the temptations of Satan. Their experience teaches me that Satan will use deceit and half-truths to try to stop the purposes of God and that we are all vulnerable to his tactics.

In Moses 5 we read the following:

4 And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.
5 And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

Adam and Eve were faithful and devoted to God in their mortal lives. They did not question his commandments, even though they did not know why they were to do them. Later, Satan began to lead their children astray, but Moses 5:16 starts, “And Adam and Eve, his wife, ceased not to call upon God.” They continued with devotion to God.

The Garden of Eden – Under what conditions did Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden?

The garden was a pre-mortal paradise. In Genesis 2 we read the following:

9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden . . .
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
. . . 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air . . .
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The garden was full of beautiful plants, a river to water the earth, and animals of all kinds. Adam was given dominion over all of these. Adam worked to keep the garden beautiful, but this work was not the difficult work of keeping gardens in mortality, because there were not any weeds and pests to destroy them there, plus there was plenty of those things that are needed to sustain the garden and all that was in it. They lived with commandments, because it is an eternal principle that there should be laws to govern us. Adam and Eve were married in the Garden and in their innocent state, they did not know of things such as shame or modesty.

In Isaiah 51:3 we read, “For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” This teaches us that Zion was a place of joy, gladness, thanksgiving and harmony. Adam and Eve lived in perfect peace while in the garden. The interesting thing about this is, that they did not recognize that they were living in this state, because they knew of nothing else. In 2 Nephi 2 we read the following:

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

They lived in an immortal state while in the garden, and although it was a place of joy, they could not have eternal joy because they did not know what joy was. We can only truly know what something is when we understand what it is not. We cannot understand joy without understanding misery. They lived in a sinless state where they could not progress any further.

Adam and Eve’s Separation from God – What physical and spiritual changes occurred in Adam and Eve as a result of their transgression?

Physically, Adam and Eve became mortal bodies. They would experience pain, suffering and eventually death. They would likewise experience joy, growth and learning. Spiritually, they became separated from God and could no longer dwell in his presence. The scriptures say that they could hear him, but could not see him any longer. These changes are known as physical and spiritual death. In Moses 6:48 we read, “And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.” Also in Doctrine and Covenants 29:41 we read, “Wherefore, I, the Lord God, caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the first death . . .”. From spiritual death, they inherited the qualities of the natural man. In Alma 42:10 we read, “Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.” Sin had been introduced to the world.

Great Blessings Resulted from the Transgression – How does the Fall provide opportunities for us to become like our Heavenly Father?

Because we have the opportunity to learn the opposition in all things, we can choose for ourselves if we would like to become like our Heavenly Father or not. In 2 Nephi 2:11 we read, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.” The ability to grow and progress further was not available before the fall of Adam and Eve, but now it is available to all of mankind. In 2 Nephi 2:27 we read “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” We have the power to choose if we will believe and follow His Son, to become like Him. In 3 Nephi 9:17, the Savior taught the people, “And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.”

Why do you think it is important to know about the Fall and how it influences us?

When we understand what the fall is, we can see that there is a purpose to our living this life. Eve teaches us of this in Moses 5:11 which reads, “And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” The purpose is to choose for ourselves what our eternal outcome will be. When we understand that we could not have gone any further in the eternities if we did not have the opportunity to live in mortality, we can be more grateful for the trials and suffering we experience in this life. Knowing that there is a greater future for myself and my family, gives me a greater faith and hope as I endure through my life. Understanding the fall, brings greater meaning to the redemption provided by the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The point is that we are in a fallen state, but that there is the miracle of the atonement which can save us if we choose it.

I know that we should all be grateful for Adam and Eve and the outcome of their choice. It was a transgression that was necessary in order for each of us to have this mortal opportunity. While they introduced a lot of unpleasant mortal things to us, they also introduced countless others of so much greater importance. If not for the fall, the Savior would not have had the opportunity to fulfill his purpose. If not for the fall, none of us would have had the opportunity to fulfill our own purposes either, but we would have remained as we were forever. Because of them, we have the ability to experience eternal joy and exaltation. Adam and Eve are valiant souls, and the parents of us all, to whom we should have gratitude for our lives.

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