Posts Tagged 'Mortality'

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.


Moses Chapter 3

In the book of Moses up to this point, God has been teaching Moses about the creation of the earth and everything upon it. This left off, at the creation of man and woman, who were given the first commandments and made ruler of the earth. This was the end of the sixth day of the creation.

1 Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work, and all things which I had made; and I rested on the seventh day from all my work, and all things which I had made were finished, and I, God, saw that they were good;
3 And I, God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it I had rested from all my work which I, God, had created and made.
4 And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
6 But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

As I read this bit of scripture, it makes me ponder over what my seventh day, the Sabbath, should be. God rested from his work and then reflected on the fruits of his labor. I’ve known that I should think about my week on the Sabbath, but I never thought of it in this way. Usually, I think about what in my week I may have done wrong and how to fix it. This is actually part of a bigger picture. What we do all week long is create: create tangible things (good and bad), create memories (good and bad), create relationships (good and bad), create habits (good and bad), and so on. I think that we should be thinking of the things we took the time to create during our week and see if they were good. If we don’t feel like we created anything worthwhile, then we need to think of ways to do better. I think that this approach to reflecting on my week is more pro-active, puts less focus on the negative, and more focus on all that I have done, which will help me to be better as a whole.

God revealed to Moses, that all things had been created spiritually in heaven, before they were created physically on the earth. All the host of heaven, includes all of God’s spiritual children. This is where we learn that there was a pre-mortal existence. We all were created and existed before coming to this earth. God gave us life both in heaven and when we came here. Before God created us on the earth, He had a design or plan for all things. He is a God of order, and we should be people of order. This adds to what we should be thinking about on the Sabbath. Before our next week of creation begins, we should actively think of the things we want to create the next week, with a plan for the purpose of those things. For example, I should think more about the time I want to devote to my children in the next week, and what I hope to get out of it. Setting goals and making plans for the week ahead, seems like a great thing to do on the Sabbath if I want to be more like my Father in Heaven.

All of these moments of reflection and preparation about the things we create, should all lead to our worship of God on the Sabbath day. Everything we do on that day, should be with the realization of God’s hand in our work. We should have a heart full of gratitude for the blessings that God has given us which allow us to create. That is when we will see if we have used all that God has given us for good and for His purposes.

7 And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.
8 And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there I put the man whom I had formed.
9 And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11 And I, the Lord God, called the name of the first Pison, and it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where I, the Lord God, created much gold;
12 And the gold of that land was good, and there was bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river was called Gihon; the same that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river was Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river was the Euphrates.
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.

The first man was created as an immortal being, from the elements of the earth or the dust of the ground, given the breath of life, and put in the garden of Eden. We learn also here that just as we have a spirit in our mortal body, the plants were created spiritually first and so they have spirits in their now mortal bodies as well. The plants were prepared for the use of man, and the first man learned that the plants were good for food. All the living things on the earth, have a soul and deserve to be treated as living things made by God. However, they were given to man for our use, including for us to eat. It is good for us to understand the purpose of these things as God intended them.

We learn here about some of the physical appearance of Eden, which brings beautiful images to the mind. The modern prophets have taught us that the garden of Eden was on what we now know as the American continent. There were two specific trees mentioned here, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. These trees are mentioned in later scriptures, and I think now as I think of them, I will imagine them in this perfect setting of the garden of Eden. I think it interesting that we have a tree that represents eternal life, which comes with immortality, and a tree which represents mortal life, which comes with morality. We also learn that there were four great rivers of the earth, which came out from Eden. God created the gold and other precious things of the earth. This brings to mind an even greater beauty of the garden of Eden.

After being told to take care of all the things on the earth, man was given the commandment that he should not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, because with it would come mortality and death. However, even though we are given commandments, God always allows us the agency to choose for ourselves. This agency is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given in this life. The choice that man had, was either to continue to be allowed to eat the food of the tree of life and live forever in immortality, or to eat the food of the the tree of knowledge and live in mortality until death. This was a great responsibility and I am personally very grateful that he made the choice that would allow all of us the opportunity to progress.

18 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be 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 as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;
22And the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said: This I know now is 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 was not good for man to be alone, because the progression of all souls would have stopped there. No one else would have entered life on earth. It was also not good for man to be alone, because our eternal progression is dependent upon one another. A man and woman must be joined together through an eternal marriage in order to be exalted to the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom. Adam and Eve were eternally married by God, while they were in the Garden of Eden, and before they entered mortality from the fall.

Woman was created as a “help meet” for man. I looked this word up to understand it better, and the most common definition was the word helpmate. The thesaurus has related words also, such as “better half, married person, partner, spouse, mate – a person’s partner in marriage”. The modern prophets have taught that woman was created to be an equal companion in the leadership of the home and family. The design of God is for a man and woman to learn to work together and grow together as husband and wife and as parents. We will not have a fulness of the joy of marriage if one spouse takes control over the other or considers the other subservient to themselves.

Adam, as the Lord of the Earth, was given the responsibility of naming all the animals. As I read through the footnote on the word name, I saw that it referenced language. At the time of Adam and Eve, there was only one language. All words were understood by all people until the time when the languages were confounded by God. It was the wickedness of man that caused animals to be unknown, “discovered”, and renamed by man. I think that because Adam was still in a pre-mortal state, that the names he gave the animals are eternally what they will be called.

The thing I find most interesting here, is that after all other things were created from the elements of the earth, these scriptures say that God created woman from man. President Spencer W. Kimball explained that this was not literal, but figurative. I’m not sure how to interpret this, seeing as the description is given very plainly that the flesh of Adam was closed back up after removing a rib. It is clearly something that is not simple to understand, but I think that the point of this verse is that Adam was to have the closest relationship to Eve, over all the other creations, because she was created from him or like him. Adam was given the duty of naming her as well, and he chose to call her woman because she was part of man.

Finally, God teaches Moses the proper relationship of a husband and wife. Verse 24 teaches that husbands should become one with their wives, just as Adam became one with Eve. Cleave is an interesting word. In one sense (when using an object on something) it means to separate something into two, but in the case of this verse, it means to take take something and adhere it to another. Other words that are related are cling and stick. There is nothing about this word that implies that we should be married and then just be casual in our relationship. It sounds like in marriage, a couple should be so close that you would think they were one. The manual I am studying uses the word united, and so a husband and wife should be united in all things mentally, socially, physically and spiritually. When a married couple have differences, it is important to work through them and become united. Anything less would not be considered cleaving unto one another. The word cleave, also can be used in relation to faithfulness. In this case, a husband and wife should be completely faithful to one another. The lesson I get from this, is that no other relationship in this life should be as important then that with his wife. The same goes for the wife. A man should not be more devoted to his parents than to his spouse. The footnote for the word wife in this verse, references love within the family. I know that there is no greater way to cleave to another, then through love. A husband and wife should love each other more than any other person, even their children.

It may seem odd to some to have the last verse in the chapter, but it is important to understanding why it was that Adam and Eve had to experience the fall. Adam and Eve were not ashamed because the feeling of shame was not a feeling they could have before mortality. Shame did not come until sin existed for man. Adam and Eve were completely innocent and all they knew was happiness, joy, love, and so on. In their innocence their was no way for them to understand anything evil or any of the emotions and feelings that come from imperfection. The only way to understand these things is to experience them and witness them. In order to gain knowledge, they would need to be able to experience these things.

I am grateful for this deeper understanding of the creation and of our first parents, Adam and Eve. I love the purposes that we have been designed for. I am grateful to be sealed to my husband and to be able to learn and grow with him. I love that we are an equal partnership and that he needs me just as much as I need him. I am glad to have the example of Adam and Eve to pattern my own relationship after.

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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