Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Fall of Adam and Eve
God created or organized this earth as a home for His sons and daughters. He selected Adam and Eve to be the first people on the earth and placed them in the Garden of Eden. Their part of God's plan for His children was to bring mortality into the world. They were given the job to be the first parents on earth, and they were foreordained to this responsibility. Adam and Eve were among the most noble of our Father's children. Adam was known as Michael the archangel in the spirit world (Jude 1:9). Heavenly Father selected Adam to lead the righteous forces in the battle against Satan (see Revelation 12:7-9). God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage in order that neither should be alone. Eve was "the mother of all living" (Moses 4:26) and shared Adam's responsibility and his accomplishments. When Adam and Eve were put in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. They could not have children or die. They did not know good from evil. God commanded them to have children and said, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Moses 2:28). God told them to take care of the Garden of Eden and to eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He told them that they would die if they partook of the fruit of that tree (Moses 3:17). Satan did not know what was in God's mind; his only desire was to destroy God's plan for His children. He tempted Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He told her a half truth when he said that she and Adam would not die but would "be as the gods, knowing good and evil" (Moses 4:11). Eve listened to Satan and ate the fruit. When Adam understood what she had done, he chose to eat of the fruit also in order that they could remain together. Because they ate of the fruit, changes came upon their bodies. This change is known as the Fall. Adam and Eve were changed both physically and spiritually. Because they ate of the fruit, God sent them out of the Garden of Eden into the world where they would need to work to provide for their own needs. Their bodies changed and became mortal. They could have children. They and their children would experience sickness and pain and would eventually die just as God had promised. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed and transgressed Heavenly Father's law, they suffered spiritual death. This meant that they could no longer walk and talk with God face to face. They and their posterity were separated from God both physically and spiritually. Many people believe that Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I believe that they took a noble and necessary step in God's plan. I believe that their Fall was a great blessing to themselves and to their posterity. Because of the Fall, we have many blessings, opportunities and privileges that we would not have received if Adam and Eve had remained in the Garden of Eden. We are blessed with physical bodies, the right to choose between good and evil, and the opportunity to gain eternal life. After the Fall, Eve realized the importance of the step taken. She said, "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed [children], 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" (Moses 5:11). A prophet named Lehi saw the "big picture" and explained it to his children. He said, "And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen [been cut off from God's presence], 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 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. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:22-25). I believe that it is very important for us to know about the Fall and to understand how it influences us. It is good for us to know of the greatness and nobility of our first parents. It is important that we understand why Adam and Eve needed to become mortal and then honor them for their courage and willingness to do so. We must always remember that Adam and Eve were among the most noble of Heavenly Father's children and that He chose them to perform a very important part of His plan for His children. They helped to prepare the way for the rest of us.