Posts Tagged 'Adam and Eve'

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.

Genesis Chapter 2

In the first chapter of Genesis it teaches about the first 6 periods of creation. Chapter 2 begins:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The seventh period of the creation, was a day of rest for the Lord. This was a time when God reflected on the creations that he had made. The footnote for the word made in verse 2, also says “done”. The things that we do in our daily lives are the things which we make. These things are our own personal creations, such as creating habits, relationships, as well as physical things. We should reflect on the things that we do, make, or create during our own weeks as we honor the day sanctified by the Lord.

Another footnote in verse 2, is for the word rested, which says “stopped”. God established the sabbath, as the day of rest from labor. In other words it is a day to stop or take a break from our normal work and activities. I believe that there is wisdom in setting a specific time for rest. I think that our bodies and minds need time to re-energize. The sabbath has been set-apart from the other days of the week, and we should treat it as a day unlike the typical days of our week. It is a gift from God, which we should respect and use the way that He intended. I don’t think that this means that we should spend the day sleeping and doing nothing else, but I think that it means we need to remove ourselves from the everyday business, hustle and bustle of life. I think that in doing this our minds are better able to focus on things of a more spiritual nature.

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

We were all created spiritually before physically. We had an existence in the pre-mortal world. In addition, every living thing was created spiritually before being organized physically on the earth. When I read verse 5, it causes me to reflect on nature and how I feel a witness of God through the plants and weather. I think that there is definitely a spiritual presence in nature that can be felt and appreciated when we take the time to notice it.

8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
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; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
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.

Adam, the first man, was created and put into the garden of Eden where God caused that plants and other beautiful things should grow. In the garden, was the tree of life, or the tree of immortality. We learn from Lehi’s Vision in 1 Nephi, that this life is a representation of the love of God (see 1 Nephi 8 and 11). There was also the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden to mankind because it would bring mortality and death into the world. I believe that in the pre-mortal garden state, Adam was allowed to freely eat of the tree of life, which probably sustained him in his immortality. The tree of knowledge, however would prevent him from being worthy to partake of the tree of life without the blessings of the Savior’s atonement.

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
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.

It is the pattern and design of God for everyone to have a help-meet in this life. It does not always work out that way, and that may have to do with the trials that we each have chosen to face in this life, but it is known to God that a man is made better with a woman by his side, and vice versa. God created Eve, the first woman, to be the wife and companion of Adam. She was created to be loved and to love him. She was created to be protected by him and for him to have constant support in life. God also established eternal marriage at this time. It was eternal because in the Garden all things were eternal. God taught Adam and Eve that men would leave their paternal families and create their own eternal families with their wife. This should be the patter of marriage for us today, and it is the only type of marriage that is sanctified and recognized by God. I am grateful for the beautiful and perfect creations of God in my own life. I know that there is wisdom in these creations. I am grateful to know that God loved mankind so much that he would create a paradise that we all can hope for someday.

The Second Article of Faith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

When Adam was in the Garden of Eden, he made the choice to transgress against the commandment of God. In Moses 3, we read the following:

15 And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.
16 And I, 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, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (emphasis added)

And then in Moses 4, the account continues,

6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
7 And he said unto the woman: Yea, hath God said—Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.)
8 And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
9 But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
10 And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die;
11 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
12 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat. (emphasis added)

This transgression brought mortality and death into the immortal world. It was both a physical death and a spiritual death. The physical death would eventually separate our bodies and spirits and the spiritual death would separate our spirits from our Father in Heaven. We are all subject to the consequences of Adam’s transgression. However, there are some who believe that we are all held accountable for this transgression. There are two pieces of doctrine that we believe about this.

First all, it is my understanding that God forgave Adam for his transgression against the law. The consequences had to remain in place until the law could be satisfied, which meant until the Savior broke the bands of physical death through his resurrection and brought the possibility of our immortality and eternal life (being reunited with our Father in Heaven again) through his atonement. In Moses 6:53 we read, “. . . And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.” If all people were to have this transgression held against us, it has been forgiven.

However, the important thing to realize, which is a core belief in the lds theology and my second piece of doctrine I wanted to mention, is that we believe that all mankind is accountable for their own transgressions and not for those of others. In Moses 6:54 we read, “Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.” What others do to sin against God, is never held against us personally. If this were the case, justice would not be balanced. If each of us were to be held accountable for the sins of our own parents, we might as well not try to live worthy of salvation, because there is no way for us to make restitution for someone else’s errors and therefore, we all would be lost.

Instead of placing the focus on Adam’s transgression and punishment for it, we can therefore focus on how we repent for our own sins and transgressions. With this frame of mind, we can come to the understanding that we should be grateful to Adam and Eve for their choice in the Garden of Eden. At the time, Adam and Eve were not in a state of mortality. They did not have the ability to die, and they did not have the ability to procreate. They were in a state which halted not only their own progression, but the progression of all the spirits (meaning us) who waited for their opportunity to come to earth and gain a body of flesh and blood. Because of their choice, we all have the opportunity to be here so that we can learn, grow, and progress in this life and after it. Our salvation depended on the fall of Adam. I am very grateful to Eve for making her choice and for Adam’s decision as well. I am sure that the weight of that decision was enormous and I would not have wanted it for myself, but because they made it I am living and breathing today.

We believe that we are going to be held accountable for those things that we do. There is no one else on this earth who can suffer the consequences for our sins, save Jesus Christ. He has done the work of the atonement and has paid for each and every soul who will have ever lived on this earth. It is our individual responsibility to allow that atonement to work in our lives, through complete repentance. In Doctrine and Covenants 20:29 we read, “And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.”

I am grateful that I do not have to focus on the sins of others in order to gain my salvation after this life. I don’t think I could live with the weight of the sins of my ancestors on my mind. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the temple, because it is there that I have gained a testimony of this. It is through temple work that I have learned to have great admiration and love for our first parents, Adam and Eve. I honor them for their purposes in the plan of salvation and what they have done for all mankind. I am grateful so much for my Savior and his loving sacrifice which allow me freedom from death after the resurrection and the chance to be free from my sins as well.

Moses Chapter 4

In the preceding chapters of Moses, the Lord has taught Moses face to face, about the creation of all things on the earth, that these things existed before their earthly creation, about the first commandments given to man, and about eternal marriage. He continues to teach Moses about the things that happened in the pre-mortal existence:

1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

God refers to the confrontation that Moses just had with Satan, who had tried to tempt him to obey and worship him. The Lord teaches Moses that this same spirit sat in the council in heaven with us. In the premortal existence, we heard the plan of God, which included having a Savior to redeem us, so that we could return. Satan, or Lucifer, volunteered to bring all the children of God back to the presence of God. I think we see here the selfishness of Satan. He wanted the honor of God to be his, and he wanted to be the one with the power to save everyone else. Satan was not the “Beloved and Chosen from the beginning”, but he wanted to have the greatest purpose. Instead, our Savior said that He would do the will of God, and the glory would be God’s. Satan wanted to make us all return by taking away the gift of agency, which had been given to us for our learning and progression. The will of God, our Father in Heaven, is that we should use our agency to decide for ourselves how to live in this life and the eternities. A lot of unrighteous things come from wanting the best for people, but trying to get the result by doing the wrong things. This is a tactic that Satan has used from the beginning, to get us to fall away from God.

When Satan rebelled, he was removed from the presence of God and became the devil of this world. His desire is to lead men astray. When we fall into temptations, we hand over a portion of our agency to Him and become his servants. Satan will continue to attack those who are trying to live righteously and we will be better prepared against him, if we know what his purposes are.

5 And now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God, had made.
6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
7 And he said unto the woman: Yea, hath God said—Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.)
8 And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
9 But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
10 And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die;
11 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
12 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

Satan began his work to destroy God’s plan for man, with Adam and Eve. As the Father of all lies, he has a way of taking the truth and distorting or manipulating it so that people will think it is true. Eve had been given the commandment not to eat the fruit, but Satan lied to her and told her she would not die as God has said. Satan was trying here, to make God look like the liar. I think that he would have hoped that she would trust Satan over God if she believed this lie. We know that God was the one who spoke the truth, because we now experience both spiritual death (separation from God) and physical death (separation from our bodies).

Satan was able to convince Eve to partake of the fruit, and even though this is what he wanted in hopes of destroying God’s plan, he made the remainder of God’s plan possible. Satan did not know that this fall would be necessary for the plan of God to go forward. Satan told Eve about the gift of knowledge and wisdom that would come from eating the fruit, which did come. This knowledge makes us more like God, because we can have experiences, learn and grow. I think that Satan wanted Eve to feel like God’s commandment was meant to stop them from being like Him. Eve had a desire for wisdom, and so she partook of the fruit. Then she gave some to Adam so that he would also have wisdom. In the LDS church, we do not believe that Adam and Eve sinned against God by partaking of the fruit. Rather, we believe that they made a transgression of the law that God had given them, because if they had not done this, the plan of God would have been frustrated. I am so grateful to have the knowledge of what happened with Adam and Eve, and to celebrate Eve’s decision, because it means that I could live my life and learn and grow to be more like my Savior and Father in Heaven.

13 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons.
14 And they heard the voice of the Lord God, as they were walking in the garden, in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife went to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

Partaking of the fruit, gave them the ability to have feelings and emotions that they did not know before then. One of these was the feeling of shame. Because of their shame, Adam and Eve covered themselves with leaves. Then, they hid themselves from God when they heard him coming. I think they did this out of shame and the feeling that they were not worthy to be in the Lord’s presence. We will all have the opportunity to face the Lord after this life and if we have not made use of the atonement through repentance, we will also feel unworthy to be in His presence.

15 And I, the Lord God, called unto Adam, and said unto him: Where goest thou?
16 And he said: I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I beheld that I was naked, and I hid myself.
17 And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?
18 And the man said: The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat.
19 And I, the Lord God, said unto the woman: What is this thing which thou hast done? And the woman said: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Part of the repentance process is confessing our sins and transgressions to God. This is the pattern that we must follow in order to being the repentance process. First, we must realize that we have done something wrong, and feel sorrow for it. Adam admitted that he felt ashamed for his nakedness, and acknowledged his unworthiness. Then, we must admit to the things we have done wrong and acknowledge our participation in them. Adam admitted to eating the fruit. I like that our example has an explanation of why he did this. It is not wrong for us to explain why we have done things wrong, as long as we are truthful and take proper responsibility for our own actions. When we blame our actions entirely on others, we are not going to be able to truly repent or be forgiven for what we do. Recently, because of my own children, I have been able to understand the reason God asked Adam if he had done this thing. As a parent, I understand that our children learn more from an experience, when they can explain what they did or what they learned from it. When we give all the answers, they are not being given the chance to ponder it for themselves. God knew exactly what had been done and why, but He needed to give Adam and Eve the opportunity to think about what they had done so that they could be completely honest and therefore learn the most from the experience.

20 And I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent: Because thou hast done this thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life;
21 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
22 Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
23 And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
24 Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.
25 By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die—for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou wast, and unto dust shalt thou return.
26 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many.
27 Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them.
28 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten: Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil; and now lest he put forth his hand and partake also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever,
29 Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken;
30 For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.
31 So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.
32 (And these are the words which I spake unto my servant Moses, and they are true even as I will; and I have spoken them unto you. See thou show them unto no man, until I command you, except to them that believe. Amen.)

There are always consequences for our actions. In a lot of instances, the consequences reach a lot farther than just ourselves. In the case of Adam’s transgression, the consequences affect every person who has ever come to the earth since that time. Women bear and raise children through sorrow and pain. We all have to work our “by the sweat of [our] face” in order to survive. We have to deal with temptations of Satan and with the weeds and other obnoxious things in our lives. And finally, we all will experience physical death because of Adam and Eve’s choice, but we choose for ourselves if we will experience spiritual death. Our strength comes in knowing that God has given us the power to be stronger then these things, especially the workings of the devil. We just have to realize that this strength comes from our Father in Heaven and so we must turn to Him. More specifically, the power to bruise the head of the serpent comes through the posterity of Eve, or of woman, because the Savior came and He saves us all from anything that Satan can do. The Savior has made it so that we will all overcome physical death through the resurrection, and we all have the ability to overcome spiritual death through repentance.

Even though Adam and Eve had transgressed, God was still there for them. He had clothes made to cover them and then they were kept safe from partaking of the fruit again, be being sent out of the garden and by the tree being guarded from them. Even though the consequence was to be away from the presence of God, God was still there as their loving Father in Heaven. All of the consequences given to Adam and Eve, are actually the ways that cause us to learn and grow the most. I am grateful for the opportunity to have children even though there is a lot of hardship and pain that comes from it. I am also very glad to have hardships and to have the ability to make mistakes in life, because these are the things that I can get the most out of later on. I am most grateful for my Savior and that He has made it possible for me to find strength, hope, and guidance in every area of my life.

7 The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost Came to Adam and Eve

Why did Adam and Eve need the guidance of the Holy Ghost?

We learn in Chapter 6, that a consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve, was that they were separated from God’s presence.  When they were in the Garden of Eden, they were able to talk face-to-face with God.  Once they were cast out, they could no longer speak with Him like this.  They had a veil placed over their minds, just as we do when we are born.  Without the guidance of the Holy Ghost, they would have been left alone.  Adam and Eve had visits from angels, to teach them the gospel, but the gift of the Spirit was a blessing from God to help them and their families to know it was true.

In Moses, chapter 6, we learn that God told Adam that he and his family needed to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after they were baptized.  “Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment (Moses 6:61).” In verse 65 we read, “And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.”

How is our need for guidance from the Holy Ghost similar to that of Adam and Eve?

I have never had some miraculous visitation by an angel to teach me gospel principles.  We today, are separated from God as well and we do not have anything to help us build our testimonies without the guidance of the Holy Ghost.  God’s plan is that we all return to live with Him again and without inspiration we would not realize what is truth.  I know that without the Holy Ghost, the temptations of Satan would be too difficult to avoid completely.  I also know that without the Holy Ghost, we would not have the confirming feelings of truth, which build our faith and give us the hope to endure.

Attributes of the Holy Ghost

How does the Holy Ghost differ from the Father and the Son?  Why is that difference important to us?

As a member of this gospel, I believe that the Holy Ghost, or the spirit of God, is a member of the godhead.  I believe that he is a separate being from God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I believe that the Holy Ghost is the only member of the Godhead that is a spirit and does not have a physical body.  In D&C 130:22 we read, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”  This difference is important to us, because he has the ability to influence all people in their hearts and minds.  When we feel his revelations so personally, there is no way to deny the truth.  In order for us to be able to witness the Father and Jesus Christ, we would have to have our mortal bodies changed.  The Holy Ghost can dwell in all men as long as we are living worthy of it.

The Mission of the Holy Ghost

What are some of the truths that the Holy Ghost reveals to us?

I believe that we really know all that we did before coming to this earth, but that the veil placed over our minds is stopping us from remembering it.  As the Holy Ghost gives us impressions, we are being reminded of what we already know to be true.  In John 14:26 we read, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The Holy Ghost also reveals truths of greater knowledge to us as we become ready to receive them.  We have truths revealed to us as we study and search for answers.  Truths such as the nature of God and the Godhead, the plan of salvation, the life and mission of the Savior, and so much more.  In John 16:13 we read, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  The spirit can reveal truths of what will be in the future to us.  These truths can be inspirations of things that may happen in our lives on this earth, but they can also be witnesses to the truths of the plan of salvation.  We can have a greater hope in the blessings of exaltation, because of the witness of the Holy Ghost.

***

I know that the Holy Ghost has been given to me by my Father in Heaven.  I am grateful for the inspiration that the Spirit gives me.  I know that the more I listen to the promptings and follow them, I am given more inspiration.  I have felt the Holy Ghost open my mind to a greater understanding of the principles of the gospel.  I have felt the spirit leave in times when I have followed temptation and it is not a good feeling.  I hope to continue to become better and be worthy to continually have this gift with me at all times.

Gospel Principles Chapter 7 – The Holy Ghost

2 Nephi, Chapter 2

How can afflictions bless our lives?

In 2 Nephi 1:1, Nephi discusses the his many tribulations.  In these verses (1-4) Lehi discusses the many tribulations suffered by Jacob.  Nephi realized he and been greatly blessed and Lehi tells Jacob that he will be greatly blessed also if he follows the Lord.  We are made stronger through our trials just as Lehi said, “He (God) shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.”  In D&C 121:7-8 we learn that the afflictions are for a small moment in time and we an be exalted if we endure them well.  I think I have to pay more attention to how I endure my trials.  I am not sure if I have been enduring them “well”.  Enduring them well is facing them with the faith that the Lord will be there to help us through them.  Those who endure a trial and complain as they go, are not enduring well.

How are Jesus Christ, Adam and Eve, and the devil a part of God’s plan?

Adam and Eve chose to partake of the forbidden fruit (v. 19).  Consequently they were driven out of the garden and had to work the land.  Then they were able to have children and they had the ability to repent (v. 20-21).  In Mormon 9:12 and 14, we read that Jesus Christ was needed and brought redemption of man and the judgement could now take place.  Also man could now have joy (v. 25)  If they had not eaten the fruit, they would have stayed in the garden, in the same state forever.  They would not have had children and would never have known joy or misery, good or sin.  In Moses 5:10-11 we learn that Adam was grateful to have his eyes opened and Eve said if they had not fallen they would not have had children, known good and evil, known joy from the redemption and eternal life.

The Savior Jesus Christ brought salvation to us, prepared the way to salvation, provided the redemption of man, offered himself a sacrifice for sin, gives us mercy and grace, laid down His life for us, was resurrected, makes intercession for us to be saved, created the world and all on it, allowed us to be enticed, gave us the chance to repent, did all things in wisdom, offered us joy, redeemed us from the fall making us free forever if we choose, and therefore gave us agency.  Also, in Mormon 9:13, we learn that He made it so that we can return to God’s presence and be resurrected.

Satan was a “fallen” angel from heaven and sought evil before God to become the devil (v. 17)  He is miserable because he fell from heaven and he wants us to be miserable as well (v. 18).  We can avoid the misery by choosing liberty and eternal life provided by the Savior (v. 27).  He told Eve she would not die, which was a lie (v. 18).  If we tell lies we are like Satan, because he is the “father of all lies” (v. 18).  I think living in the presence of Satan is called “eternal death” because you become captive to his will and cannot choose for yourself.  And in this captivity you can never dwell with God and you suffer a spiritual death, separating yourself from God.

The purpose and necessity of law is that through law we are cut off from God’s presence.  Law gives reason and need of the Savior to offer redemption.  The law gives us reason to prove ourselves worthy to live with God again.

The role of opposition is to bring righteousness to pass.  It balances the things in life and gives reason for life, otherwise the creation was for nothing and for no purpose (v. 11-12).  We need opposition to have a choice because without opposition there is no way to know one thing from another.  If nothing was hot and everything was cold, their would be no choice to have hot, we wouldn’t even know what it was.  Both have to exist to have a choice (v. 13, 16).  We have been given the awesome ability and responsibility to choose our own path in life.  It is so important to make the right choices and repent for those we know are wrong.  I pray that my brothers and sisters (and parents) will try to continue to make good choices so that we can all be together in the eternities.  I pray that my children can learn the importance of choices.  I hope that I can be a good example to them.

How do we know good from evil?

I think that every person is born with a conscience and knows right from wrong.  I think that how they are raised, trained and the choice they make, persuade their conscience.

What choice did Adam really have?

If I was asked to make a choice, but I only had one option to choose, I would realize that there is no real choice to make.  In order to make a choice, you have to have two things to choose between.  Adam’s choice was between the forbidden fruit and the tree of life.  God gave Adam the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, but forbid him to eat the fruit that would make it possible through mortality.  Adam had to choose the fruit to fulfill the plan of God.

What are our two great choices?

We may choose liberty and eternal life or captivity and death.  Liberty and eternal life are the things the Lord would have us choose, where captivity and death are the things that Satan would have us choose.  Lehi says he’s chosen the good part, liberty and eternal life, and he wants his sons to choose the same.  I should hope that everyone wants eternal life, especially those I love who I plan on living with through the eternities.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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