Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Was the Fall of Adam and Eve a Tragedy or Essential to God’s Plan?

            My Come, Follow Me studies this week took me to Genesis 3-4 and Moses 4-5. Many people consider the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve to be a tragedy. Adam and his wife Eve lived living in the beautiful Garden of Eden until they partook of the forbidden fruit. Then they were cast out into a world where they would know sorrow, pain, and death (see Genesis 3:16-19). In addition, they were separated from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

            Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know that the story of Adam and Eve is not a tragedy. Truths were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the book of Moses. These truths tell us that the story of Adam and Eve is a story of hope and that the Fall of Adam and Eve was an essential part of Heavenly Father’s plan for the eternal happiness of His children.

            The Garden of Eden was a beautiful place to live, but it provided no challenges. Without challenges, they could not grow – just as you and I need opportunities to stretch and grow. Adam and Eve took the necessary first step toward returning to God’s presence and becoming like Him when they left the Garden of Eden.

            Living in the world outside the Garden of Eden brought opposition to Adam and Eve. They made mistakes, but they learned to repent and to trust the Savior. Heavenly Father’s plan provided for a Savior – even Jesus Christ whose Atonement made progression possible. As we study the Fall of Adam and Eve, we should focus on the glory of their choice – for them and for us – instead of the tragedy of leaving the Garden of Eden.

            When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, their action brought physical and spiritual death into the world. It also brought adversity, sorrow, and sin. All of those conditions seem negative, but the Fall of Adam and Eve and the Atonement of Jesus Christ were both part of the Father’s plan to redeem and exalt His children. (See Moses 5:7.)

            After Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, they began to have “sons and daughters” (Moses 5:2). The “sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters” (Moses 5:3). Some time later, Cain, Abel, and later Seth were born (Moses 5:16-17; 6:2.) The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual for Moses 5:1-15 has the following introduction.

The significance of Moses 5:1-2 is profound in light of the many attacks and challenges being made today regarding marriage and family relationships. In their proclamation on the family, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated:

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law abiding citizens wherever they live. …

“… Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129; italics added).

            Adam and Eve were married in the Garden of Eden by Heavenly Father, and their marriage was for time and eternity. Today, marriages for time and eternity are performed in the temples of God by men holding the power and authority to seal on earth and in heaven. Adam and Eve were the first family on earth, and they made life on earth possible for each of us. Our task is to so live that we can also be married and have our families with us for eternity.

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