The Fall of Adam and Eve

June 11, 2009

garden-of-edenIn terms of doctrinal subjects, the case of Adam and Eve can be one of the more difficult to explain and understand.  The Biblical story can seem confusing.  I have found myself in the past studying this complex and important part of the Plan of Salvation because I plainly did not understand it.  The ‘whys’ didn’t seem to line up.  But with some time, I began to understand the importance and need for this event.

Before the fall, there was the creation of Earth.  Before that, there was a council.  Our Heavenly Father presented a plan for us to progress from our spiritual state to one where we could be like Him.  For this to be accomplished, we needed to come to Earth and gain a body, experience life, and learn to use the agency given us to submit our will to His through doing all that he would command us to do (Abraham 3:24-25).  This plan encompassed all these things.  God knew what would happen on Earth.  He knew that Adam and Eve would eat the forbidden fruit and would have to leave His presence, He knew of wars among His children, He knew of the pain and suffering they would pass through and He knew that left alone, His children could never return to Him.  That is precisely why the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the key part of this plan.  God planned that once the fall of Adam and Eve occurred, He would teach them about the Atonement so that they could live and grow in spite of being separated from God.

Once all the future of the Earth was planned according to God’s power, He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to create the Earth.  And create it, He did (Ephesians 3:9).  He created it beautifully and perfectly and placed the plants, animals, and man there.  Once Adam and Eve were there, God commanded them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).  Furthermore, they were told that they could eat of any plant or tree in the Garden of Eden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God told them that if they were to eat of this tree that they would die (Moses 3:17), however He gave to them agency and expressly told them that it was given to them to choose.  Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden in a state of innocence, not knowing good or evil, nor did they know what happiness or sadness were (Moses 5:11). They existed, and little more.

The book of Moses tells us that Satan did not know the mind of God (Moses 4:6) and wanted to destroy God’s plan for his children.  Through a serpent, he told Eve that she ought to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil so that her eyes could be opened, to know good from evil (Moses 4:11).  Now, eating this fruit was something that God had warned them against because of the consequences.  Eating this fruit would cause them to become mortal and therefore imperfect.  They would eventually die.  Mortal man, stained with his own sins, cannot withstand the presence of God in a permanent setting, so this also separated them from God.  God never allows us to make decisions that separate us from Him without first warning us, hence the commandment He gave Adam and Eve.

Eve saw that the result of knowing good from evil was indeed a desirable thing so being deceived by Satan, she ate the fruit.  As evidenced by Adam’s confession to God a few verses later (Moses 4:18, Genesis 3:12), Adam was commanded to remain with Eve.  Once Eve had eaten the fruit, Adam saw that he must either partake of the fruit or be separated from Eve.  It is a good thing that he chose the first or none of us would be here.

Adam and Eve’s world changed then.  It no longer was a paradise that grew all sorts of foods without effort.  It became a place where Adam and Eve had to work to live.  Aside from being a reference to the separation of God from the world, it provided an environment where mankind had to work, be humble towards God and rely on His mercies.  According to the plan, Adam learned the gospel of Jesus Christ and knew that the Atonement was coming.  He taught his children this truth and rejoiced in the knowledge of his Lord and Savior.

While the Fall of Adam and Eve may seem like a tragic event, it isn’t.  It’s true that they transgressed the commandments of God, but that event provided an opportunity for all of the spirit children of God to come to a place to receive a body and have the opportunity to become like God himself if they chose to do so.  Even though Adam and Eve disobeyed, God is merciful.  He provided a way for them to be forgiven of that transgression through His Son–the only sinless person who has or ever will live on this earth.  Likewise, all of the posterity of Adam and Eve, us, have claim upon this wonderful opportunity of forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ if we will choose to receive it into our lives.

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7 Responses to “The Fall of Adam and Eve”

  1. Brian

    Where does the LDS church find this story? This is not the Biblical creation story.

  2. Bus Gillespie

    That’s the beauty of having a living prophet and access to other scriptures that were revealed in this modern era. The cryptic story related in the Bible can be interpreted in a number of ways. The Mormon version is different than the accepted Catholic version which has been accepted by most other mainline Christian groups.

  3. Miriam

    I find it interesting that when I looked up Moses 3:11 that is used as a reference that Adam and Eve had no emotions they existed and little more… It actually says:and I the lord called the name of the first one Pison and it compassed the whole land of Havilah, where I the Lord created much gold.
    Sorry but that is not any kind of relevant interpretation even from a false prophet.

  4. Bret

    I’m sorry Miriam, I must have made a mistake when I wrote this. I meant Moses 5:11. “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.” Eve recognized the difference between their former state in the garden and the one she and Adam lived in after the fall. She knew at that point that their joys were well worth the sorrows. The power of the atonement gave them great hope in their redemption and the redemption of their children.

  5. Bob

    Wow. Just wow. Really?
    Redemption is so “joyous” that all the suffering in the world (literally) is worth it?
    That makes no sense. Unless you love to pour dirt on your coffee table just so you can vacuum it up. (Oh what fun!)

  6. Travis

    Oh my word. Our son goes to BYU. He is a bible-believing Christian. We sometimes check the BYU channel as we are curious. We saw 4 old men discussing the fall and thanking Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? This is a false teaching, from false prophets. We are not spirit children. I can’t believe so many strong, decent hard-working men and women have fallen for this deceit. The fall is one of the saddest, beside Christ dying for our sins and rising again, it is the most pivotal point in history. Saddest that is. That decision separated us from GOD! We don’t thank Adam and Eve for that. We are not going to be like GOD. We will one day live in Heaven to praise Him forever with Jesus! Jesus didn’t raise his hand and God didn’t choose Him over lucifer to be sent to help us. That did not happen. Lucifer and Jesus were not brothers. Lucifer is a fallen angel. All the angels know who Jesus is. Please people do not fall for these additions to the gospel of Jesus Christ. NO MAN SPEAKS FOR GOD. We can all ask Jesus to intercede on our behalf so that we may pray to our amazing God, the creator of all things. No temples, no secret ceremonies, no special underwear, nobody telling me to tithe, to give, to do anything but to accept the wondrous gift of Christ. He saved us. Sin is death. All you who believe what a man said, Joseph Smith, you have all the made up garbage that comes with it. Jesus was either Lord, lunatic or a liar. And because I believe He was God I believe all that He said. Because there are 14 million mormons or more who believe what Joseph Smith said, that means you have to believe all the other fiction he and others created a hundred and some odd years ago. Adam and Eve brought condemnation upon us. AM I THANKFUL FOR THAT? I am not worthy. I am nothing without Jesus Christ. None of us are. Thank you Lord. Forgive my angst towards others. But allow me to witness in truth. No feelings, just truth. The Word is life. Thank you Lord. 

  7. Stephen Purdy

    The Mormon version actually makes sense.

    The mainstream Christian version goes like this:

    God created Adam and Eve out of nothing to be ignorant (lacked knowledge of good and evil). He married them and gave them a commandment to have children. Adam and Eve could not fulfill the commandment because they were ignorant (did not know they were naked). Not only were they created ignorant, but they were also disobedient. God blames them for being ignorant and disobedient and then punishes them for doing something that God knew that they were going to do.

    The Mormon version says that Jesus Christ had been prepared from before the foundation of the world because God knew that the spirits of Adam and Eve were imperfect (naturally imperfect) and God provides them with a way to be perfected in Jesus, but in order to learn they must gain experience with good and evil.