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Tree of knowledge of good and evil
Seminarysnoozer posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionWhy did it have to be a commandment from God to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil as opposed to simply providing a choice? Genesis 2; "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." Then in Moses the command seems a little more open; "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." And then in Abraham it seems like more of a choice; "12 And the Gods commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, 13 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Abraham's description sounds more like, this is what you do if you want to stay in the garden but if you don't want to then eat of the tree of knowledge and then you will die. The commandment seems to be a strong statement against what Satan will tell them in a while that they won't die. My question is why would God "command" them to not die? Why didn't he simply say if you want to live in the garden forever choose this tree and if you want to move onto mortality with its accompanying death then choose this tree. As it states in Moses "thou mayest choose for thyself" but then He "forbid"s it. Why did He have to "forbid" it? We believe that Adam and Eve made the choice knowing the consequences and still did it. This is what Joseph Fielding Smith said; "Did Adam sin when he partook of the forbidden fruit? I say to you, no, he did not! Now, let me refer to what was written in the book of Moses in regard to the command God gave to Adam. [Moses 3:16–17.] “Now this is the way I interpret that: The Lord said to Adam, here is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you want to stay here, then you cannot eat of that fruit. If you want to stay here, then I forbid you to eat it. But you may act for yourself, and you may eat of it if you want to. And if you eat it, you will die." In other words the commandment to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is only if they wanted to stay in the Garden of Eden, then it is a commandment. But the moment they do not want to stay in the Garden and they want to move on, as was previously planned, then they can eat of the tree of knowledge. Am I misunderstanding what Joseph Fielding Smith is saying? The commandment only pertained to the situation of staying in the Garden and eating of the tree of knowledge at the same time. That could not be done and that was the commandment, right? The commandment is one or the other but you can't have both. Like I tell my kids, you can have one dessert or the other but not both, if you choose this one then I forbid you to have the other one.
scholasticspastic posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionI'm doing my very best to accept the doctrine of the LDS church and become a member. Unfortunately, I come from an atheist background and I work as a scientist, so I tend to deal poorly with logical inconsistency. Must I believe in a literal Garden of Eden and a literal Adam and Eve to be LDS? Because, being a biologist, that would be a deal-breaker.