romans8

The Fall - Blessings or Punishments?

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When I study further, it appears the term 'Fall' also refers to the actual changes that occured 
upon Adam & Eve.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles?lang=eng

The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall.
(Gospel Principles, chapter 6, )

When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. In this state, 
"they would have had no children” (2 Nephi 2:23). There was no death. They had physical life 
because their spirits were housed in physical bodies made from the dust of the earth (see 
Moses 6:59; Abraham 5:7). They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God. 
They had not yet made a choice between good and evil.

I need clarification on this 'not yet' part. What was their first choice between good and evil 
from God's perspective?


In the Adam and Eve’s Separation from God section, their choice is said to have had these 
effects:

- they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
- they became mortal.
- they and their children would experience sickness, pain, and physical death.
- they and their children suffered spiritual death (the could not walk and talk face to face 
  with God).

  
Another article of the church
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/1973/02/our-first-parents?lang=eng

says

- Adam and Eve were happy in their beautiful home in the Garden of Eden, for they had been 
given everything they could want for food and for pleasure. They knew nothing of evil, for 
their world was all good.
- Often in the cool of early evening the Lord would walk and talk with them, and their happiness 
was complete.  He told them that everything had been made for them to enjoy except one tree-
the tree of knowledge of good and evil - and that they should neither touch nor eat the fruit 
of that tree, for if they did, they would be punished. Adam promised that they would not 
disobey this commandment.

Is there any reason why Gospel Principles refers to them as effects instead of punishments?


Then another section mentions Great Blessings Resulted from the Transgression.  It says 
they would:

- get physical bodies.
- have the right to choose between good and evil.
- have the opportunity to gain eternal life.
- have children.
- know good and evil.
- know the joy of redemption.
- know that eternal life comes from God to all the obedient.

Why is a physical body viewed as a great blessing that resulted from a transgression?
Didn't Adam already have an immortal, physical body, made from the earth?   

Thank you,

Matteo

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1 hour ago, romans8 said:

Why is a physical body viewed as a great blessing that resulted from a transgression?

Perhaps the biggest reason is because (according to our beliefs) their bodies could now have children.

Our belief is that we all existed before the Garden of Eden and Fall.  We call this the premortal life or pre existence.

Adam and Eve could not have children before the Fall.

If the Fall didn't happen, none of us could receive bodies or ever progress.

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3 hours ago, romans8 said:

When I study further, it appears the term 'Fall' also refers to the actual changes that occured 
upon Adam & Eve.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles?lang=eng

The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall.
(Gospel Principles, chapter 6, )

When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. In this state, 
"they would have had no children” (2 Nephi 2:23). There was no death. They had physical life 
because their spirits were housed in physical bodies made from the dust of the earth (see 
Moses 6:59; Abraham 5:7). They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God. 
They had not yet made a choice between good and evil.

[1]I need clarification on this 'not yet' part. What was their first choice between good and evil 
from God's perspective?


In the Adam and Eve’s Separation from God section, their choice is said to have had these 
effects:

- they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
- they became mortal.
- they and their children would experience sickness, pain, and physical death.
- they and their children suffered spiritual death (the could not walk and talk face to face 
  with God).

  
Another article of the church
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/1973/02/our-first-parents?lang=eng

says

- Adam and Eve were happy in their beautiful home in the Garden of Eden, for they had been 
given everything they could want for food and for pleasure. They knew nothing of evil, for 
their world was all good.
- Often in the cool of early evening the Lord would walk and talk with them, and their happiness 
was complete.  He told them that everything had been made for them to enjoy except one tree-
the tree of knowledge of good and evil - and that they should neither touch nor eat the fruit 
of that tree, for if they did, they would be punished. Adam promised that they would not 
disobey this commandment.

[2] Is there any reason why Gospel Principles refers to them as effects instead of punishments?


Then another section mentions Great Blessings Resulted from the Transgression.  It says 
they would:

- get physical bodies.
- have the right to choose between good and evil.
- have the opportunity to gain eternal life.
- have children.
- know good and evil.
- know the joy of redemption.
- know that eternal life comes from God to all the obedient.

[3]Why is a physical body viewed as a great blessing that resulted from a transgression?
Didn't Adam already have an immortal, physical body, made from the earth?   

Thank you,

Matteo

1.  I think some could argue that partaking of the fruit itself was the first choice between good and evil that Adam and Eve each made—God told them not to do something; they chose to do it anyways.  On the other hand, one could also argue that knowledge is a prerequisite to meaningful choice, and that since Adam and Eve didn’t have thorough knowledge of the nature of good and evil before taking the fruit, the decision to eat the fruit in and of itself didn’t actually constitute a choice between good and evil.  That’s probably why many Church members speak of the fall as a “transgression” rather than a “sin”; and if that’s the case, then Adam and Eve’s “first choice between good and evil” would have been the first time that they were faced with some sort of temptation after partaking from the fruit.  I don’t know that the scriptural record offers a clear-cut answer to when or what that temptation was.

2.  The thing to remember is that it was not God’s plan for Adam and Eve (or any of humankind) to live in Edenic naïveté for eternity.  Mortality and choice (and the death and pain and sin that inevitably result when immature spirits exist in such conditions) were always baked in to the purposes of creation.  They aren’t “punishments“ imposed on a vindictive god who wanted Adam and Eve’s posterity to revile their names forever; they’re just the mechanisms by which God achieves His purposes of polishing us into happy and holy mirrors that reflect His own greatness and goodness.

3.  Adam and Eve had their bodies before the fall, yes.  The rest of us didn’t.  Parental relationships were the way God planned on the rest of us getting our bodies, and that couldn’t happen if Adam and Eve were eternally unable to procreate.  Sure, maybe God could have responded by creating each of the rest of us from the dust of the ground just as Adam was; but that would deprive humanity of familial relationships, which apparently are essential for us to develop the characteristics and attributes God means for us to have.  Under the way human history actually played out, Adam’s and Eve’s transgression is a direct cause of our having physical bodies and familial relationships.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 10/3/2020 at 1:38 PM, Carborendum said:

Why does it have to be either/or? 

Have you ever heard of a "blessing in disguise"?  If not, what do you think it would mean?

@romans8

This thought came to mind as I glanced at the title. Admittedly I haven’t ready much of this thread but here is some food for thought.

You seem to be acting under the assumption that blessings and punishments are opposites. They are not. I would say every punishment from God is a full fledged blessing. 
 

If we are being punished it is because did something that will not bring us to God. A punishment teaches us, in a temporal way, what Will destroy us spiritually.

I think that is the main secret to the fall. It was merciful that he put Adam and Eve next to the tree of knowledge of good and evil and permitted Satan to tempt them. This let them learn in a non-permanent setting what will destroy them spiritually and what will save them.

Edited by Fether

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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2020 at 12:38 PM, Carborendum said:

Why does it have to be either/or? 

Perhaps both/and...even traditional Christians admit that the Fall clearly resulted in free will, and we all love the promise of Genesis 3:15--that Jesus would crush Satan's head. This first messianic promise comes as a result of the Fall--it is part of God's "punishment." On the other hand, they did lose Eden, and far too many of the progeny of Adam & Eve have chosen badly. We may differ as to whether the Fall was pre-arranged in a before-creation agreement or not, but that the Fall brought both punishments and silver linings is truth. 

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It is my opinion that all questions concerning G-d's will and pleasure concerning the fall - especially among traditional Christians is quite disturbing.  Here are some reasons why:

1. Did Satan outsmart G-d and ruin his initial plan for mankind?

2. According to scripture; Eve (the first to partake of the fruit) said that she was beguiled.  If this is accurate then her partaking of the fruit was NOT!!! a matter of will or agency expression by Eve.  Rather it is a matter of being unprepared to make a choice of will and agency - Whose fault is that????

3. Generally it is thought that because of the "Mistakes" of Adam and Eve (the parents of mankind) that all their children were brought to suffer through no fault of their own.  There is no honest way to mitigate any punishment applied to the children because of the transgressions of the parents.  How can this be according to the will and pleasure of G-d?  Let alone an act of agency on behalf of the children.  How can we say this is the plan of an all knowing and all powerful being - the will and pleasure of G-d to allow the children to suffer the wrongs (transgressions) of their parents?

4. Does G-d know the future?  Why would he allow Eve to be beguiled?  Why didn't G-d warn Eve about Satan?  He warned her and Adam about the fruit of the Tree?  Now we are warned about Satan and his tricks and temptations - why was there no such warning before the fall?

5. Why are there so many unanswered questions about the fall? 

To me the answer to all of the above is that we are not in a condition for have all the answers - we are fallen beings and by divine design (the will and pleasure of G-d - but not just G-d but ourselves as well) must learn to live and die by faith.  The fall was necessary for the plan of G-d that we can learn faith.  What occurred was exactly as he planned it - both for Adam and Eve as well for us all as their offspring.  His plan was from the beginning to provide a Messiah to redeem us and save us from sin.  That is his will and pleasure - and it has never changed.

 

The Traveler

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2 hours ago, Traveler said:

2. According to scripture; Eve (the first to partake of the fruit) said that she was beguiled.  If this is accurate then her partaking of the fruit was NOT!!! a matter of will or agency expression by Eve.  Rather it is a matter of being unprepared to make a choice of will and agency - Whose fault is that????

Eve was tricked or deceived into eating the fruit. How do we take this claim of Eve's? God told her not to eat the fruit or she would die. Eve understood this. The serpent said that God lied, that she would not die. Who should she believe--the God she walked with daily, or this serpent? Who should our adolescents believe, the parents who raised them or their very cool peers? Ah, but they are young--they are not equipped to fully understand the follies of youthful excess. Still, we ground them, punish them, call them guilty. Is it necessary to remove all blame from Adam & Eve in order to accept the Plan of Salvation? 

Edited by prisonchaplain

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3 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Eve was tricked or deceived into eating the fruit. How do we take this claim of Eve's? God told her not to eat the fruit or she would die. Eve understood this. The serpent said that God lied, that she would not die. Who should she believe. The God she walked with daily, or this serpent? Who should our adolescents believe, the parents who raised them or their very cool peers? Ah, but they are young--they are not equipped to fully understand the follies of youthful excess. Still, we ground them, punish them, call them guilty. Is it necessary to remove all blame from Adam & Eve in order to accept the Plan of Salvation? 

You make a good point in that the law of justice doesn't care what Eve's reasoning was or the fact she couldn't truly comprehend good and evil. She broke the law. End of story. Fortunately though for us through the mercy of Christ we will not be held accountable for any of the negative consequences of their choices only our own. That is why all will be resurrected because it's not something we have control over but we are accountable for our choices. So there really is no blame to be laid at their feet as the atonement frees us (eventually) of the negative consequences of their choices.

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On 10/3/2020 at 9:34 AM, romans8 said:

When I study further, it appears the term 'Fall' also refers to the actual changes that occured 
upon Adam & Eve.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles?lang=eng

The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall.
(Gospel Principles, chapter 6, )

When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. In this state, 
"they would have had no children” (2 Nephi 2:23). There was no death. They had physical life 
because their spirits were housed in physical bodies made from the dust of the earth (see 
Moses 6:59; Abraham 5:7). They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God. 
They had not yet made a choice between good and evil.

I need clarification on this 'not yet' part. What was their first choice between good and evil 
from God's perspective?


In the Adam and Eve’s Separation from God section, their choice is said to have had these 
effects:

- they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
- they became mortal.
- they and their children would experience sickness, pain, and physical death.
- they and their children suffered spiritual death (the could not walk and talk face to face 
  with God).

  
Another article of the church
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/1973/02/our-first-parents?lang=eng

says

- Adam and Eve were happy in their beautiful home in the Garden of Eden, for they had been 
given everything they could want for food and for pleasure. They knew nothing of evil, for 
their world was all good.
- Often in the cool of early evening the Lord would walk and talk with them, and their happiness 
was complete.  He told them that everything had been made for them to enjoy except one tree-
the tree of knowledge of good and evil - and that they should neither touch nor eat the fruit 
of that tree, for if they did, they would be punished. Adam promised that they would not 
disobey this commandment.

Is there any reason why Gospel Principles refers to them as effects instead of punishments?


Then another section mentions Great Blessings Resulted from the Transgression.  It says 
they would:

- get physical bodies.
- have the right to choose between good and evil.
- have the opportunity to gain eternal life.
- have children.
- know good and evil.
- know the joy of redemption.
- know that eternal life comes from God to all the obedient.

Why is a physical body viewed as a great blessing that resulted from a transgression?
Didn't Adam already have an immortal, physical body, made from the earth?   

Thank you,

Matteo

Their first choice between good and evil, where there was willful disobedience, from God’s perspective, would have been sometime after the Fall. I do not know what that might have been.

Before that, where Eve was beguiled and Adam made the best of it, there was no willful disobedience or sufficient knowledge to act in unrighteousness. This plus the silver lining, indicates the choice to partake of the fruit was not an evil act from God’s perspective.

“Punishment” and “reward” are subjective, qualitative assessments for the term, “effects”. In some ways they were punished (having to pass through suffering and mortality) and in some ways they were rewarded (continued progress through the Lord’s Atonement, up to and including immortality, eternal life and exaltation).

There is a distinction between a spiritual body and a physical body. While both are material, a spiritual body is not subject to the trials and tribulations of a physical body. We learn to appreciate both by experiencing both (the law of opposition in all things). Assuming Adam and Eve remembered their time in the Garden of Eden (unlike we who forget our premortal life), they were unique in that they had spiritual and then physical bodies while we are born with physical bodies and through Christ obtain spiritual bodies in the resurrection. Of course, they also obtain spiritual bodies in the resurrection.

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3 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I'm gaining the impression that Adam & Eve's innocence in taking the forbidden fruit is official church doctrine (or perhaps insight offered by a church prophet). Is this so?

I honestly don't know what "official Church doctrine" even means, besides what the scriptures teach and what the prophets have revealed. It is certainly the common and popular belief in the Church, apparently shared by our current Church president and prophet, that Eve is to be lauded for her decision to partake of the forbidden fruit.

It is my considered opinion that we do not know what constituted "the fruit of knowledge of good and evil". We have multiple instances of prophetic insistence that it does not refer to sex. I find this interesting, because the whole setting and feel of the tale—including the explicit LDS doctrine that Eve could not conceive in the garden of Eden—point to the sexual act as the "forbidden fruit" that provides "knowledge of good and evil" and makes one "as gods [i.e. able to create life], knowing good and evil." Consider that the old Hebrew idiom "to know one's wife" refers to sex. Yet that is apparently not what the Biblical account refers to, at least in LDS understanding.

So what does it mean? Was there a literal tree made of living wood growing in a literal garden in the land of Eden that produced a literal fruit that God commanded Adam and Eve literally not to eat? I mean, that's possible, but somehow that doesn't feel right to me. If we discount the literal tree-literal fruit idea and also discount the possibility of the forbidden fruit being sex, then what we're left with is a symbolic tale, possibly figurative, possibly parabolic, and certainly meaningful, but not immediately understandable to the modern western mind.

At that point, our supposition and speculation and theorizing into the meaning of the story of the forbidden fruit becomes opaque. We need to depend on the Spirit to tell us what it means, which is actually a very good thing, because that's what we would have to do anyway. And what the Spirit has indicated to me and many others is that the story is meant to give us some idea of our relationship to God, that our very nature of mortality makes us somehow cursed or indebted or in some other way obligated to the Lord.

I don't understand very well larger Christianity's condemnation of Adam and Eve as wicked people whose unspeakably awful act condemned us all to a hellish existence. Even the abbreviated Biblical account we have makes it clear that God dealt mercifully with Adam and Eve after casting them out of the land of Eden.

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14 minutes ago, Vort said:

I honestly don't know what "official Church doctrine" even means, besides what the scriptures teach and what the prophets have revealed. It is certainly the common and popular belief in the Church, apparently shared by our current Church president and prophet, that Eve is to be lauded for her decision to partake of the forbidden fruit.

… I don't understand very well larger Christianity's condemnation of Adam and Eve as wicked people whose unspeakably awful act condemned us all to a hellish existence. Even the abbreviated Biblical account we have makes it clear that God dealt mercifully with Adam and Eve after casting them out of the land of Eden.

I suspect that the bolded sections (my doing) are what constitute "official church doctrine." I asked, because I don't want to be pushing hard against an official teaching of the church on this site. However, I can explain my take on larger Christianity's views of The Fall. Adam & Eve directly disobeyed God's commands. They knew God well, having walked with Him daily. He told Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and Eve understood this as well. She recited the command to the serpent, even stating the penalty. So, yes, they are guilty. They began to die as a result. On the other hand, it appears that Adam and Eve were redeemed. They offered sacrifices to God, and taught their children to do likewise. Additionally, they received the first messianic promise in the midst of God punishing them. So, yes, God knew they would disobey. He was not thwarted. God can and does use our foibles for His glory. That does not mitigate the foibles, however. If we sin we must repent--even if God turns our lemons into lemonade.

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52 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I'm gaining the impression that Adam & Eve's innocence in taking the forbidden fruit is official church doctrine (or perhaps insight offered by a church prophet). Is this so?

They were punished to the degree they were guilty, and given a space for repentance so they could enjoy the full blessing of the Lord’s Atonement if they chose. Just like us.

To the degree they were innocent, they were given a space for mercy and grace so they could repent and enjoy the full blessing of the Lord’s Atonement if they chose. Just like us.

Repentance does not always require a punishment, but always requires effort and brings on some discomfort (growing pains).

They, like us, fell along a spectrum of guilt and innocence because they, like us, were not as gods yet children of God. God, who promised before the foundation of the world to atone for us who are not as gods, treated Adam and Eve accordingly.

Edited by CV75

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13 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I suspect that the bolded sections (my doing) are what constitute "official church doctrine." I asked, because I don't want to be pushing hard against an official teaching of the church on this site. However, I can explain my take on larger Christianity's views of The Fall. Adam & Eve directly disobeyed God's commands. They knew God well, having walked with Him daily. He told Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and Eve understood this as well. She recited the command to the serpent, even stating the penalty. So, yes, they are guilty. They began to die as a result. On the other hand, it appears that Adam and Eve were redeemed. They offered sacrifices to God, and taught their children to do likewise. Additionally, they received the first messianic promise in the midst of God punishing them. So, yes, God knew they would disobey. He was not thwarted. God can and does use our foibles for His glory. That does not mitigate the foibles, however. If we sin we must repent--even if God turns our lemons into lemonade.

Eve is to be lauded (by us, her posterity) not because she disobeyed a law but because she transgressed one law to open the way to obey a higher law (both laws given by God) -- not only for her and Adam, but for all their posterity. She certainly should not be condemned by us, especially for wicked acts she did not commit, or for what she did in a beguiled frame of mind.

Edited by CV75

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32 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I suspect that the bolded sections (my doing) are what constitute "official church doctrine." I asked, because I don't want to be pushing hard against an official teaching of the church on this site. However, I can explain my take on larger Christianity's views of The Fall. Adam & Eve directly disobeyed God's commands. They knew God well, having walked with Him daily. He told Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and Eve understood this as well. She recited the command to the serpent, even stating the penalty. So, yes, they are guilty. They began to die as a result. On the other hand, it appears that Adam and Eve were redeemed. They offered sacrifices to God, and taught their children to do likewise. Additionally, they received the first messianic promise in the midst of God punishing them. So, yes, God knew they would disobey. He was not thwarted. God can and does use our foibles for His glory. That does not mitigate the foibles, however. If we sin we must repent--even if God turns our lemons into lemonade.

If I might add, the official Church doctrine does not focus on Adam and Eve's innocence, but neither does it condemn them. That is up to the Lord. The 2nd Article of Faith refers to Adam's transgression (they replaced the laws of Eden, with the laws of the Gospel or the Atonement of Christ). Eden was not a perfect world, and the Millennium in its paradisaical glory is not a perfect world, compared to the Celestial world which would not be possible if Eden had remained as it was. The word "punishment" in this case (the 2nd Article of Faith) is condemnation for personal accountability, which Adam and Eve exercised as non-gods. Mortality is not a punishment for our sins.

Edited by CV75

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It's fair to say that the LDS Plan of Salvation and other latter-day prophesies/doctrines result in a very different understanding of Adam & Eve vs. the serpent. For traditional Christians the main discussion here might be between the doctrine of foreknowledge and predestination (God knew Adam & Eve would sin vs. God predetermined that they would do so). Ironically, if I understand Calvinism correctly, despite their teaching that all that takes place is preordered, they would still find us culpable for our sins. I believe that understanding struck Joseph Smith as terribly wrong. Since I am not Calvinist, I agree. :sparklygrin:

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6 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Eve was tricked or deceived into eating the fruit. How do we take this claim of Eve's? God told her not to eat the fruit or she would die. Eve understood this. The serpent said that God lied, that she would not die. Who should she believe--the God she walked with daily, or this serpent? Who should our adolescents believe, the parents who raised them or their very cool peers? Ah, but they are young--they are not equipped to fully understand the follies of youthful excess. Still, we ground them, punish them, call them guilty. Is it necessary to remove all blame from Adam & Eve in order to accept the Plan of Salvation? 

We can say what she should have believed - but based on what?  Eve had no means of understanding the difference between the word of the serpent and that of G-d.  You can say she should have known because you think that you would know.  But the truth is that your knowledge is hind sight.  The paradox she seemed to face required fore sight and that she was not given.  But the point I made was that because Eve was beguiled it cannot be said that her choice was based in an expression of will or agency.  She was not acting but reacting.

When we ask the question - Was the fall the will and pleasure of G-d - that is the essence of the same paradox that Eve faced.  The question itself is a temptation very much like the temptation to partake of the fruit.  It is a temptation warped in a contradiction.  It is a trick question because it focuses on but a part and not the whole of the story.  Obviously if this was all that was of the story - we could make a determination at this point - but it is NOT the end.  It is more of a beginning than an end.  And like so many things - if we try to understand the will and pleasure of G-d based or a portion of the information - then we fall for the same deception that Adam and Eve did.  But like so many things - when the experience becomes our own we see it differently.

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

 So, yes, God knew they would disobey. He was not thwarted. 

I do not intend to sound harsh - but I honesty do not know why you would make these two statements.  If G-d knew they would disobey - if it was not his will and pleasure - Why was the serpent allowed to beguile them into thinking it really was not disobedience?  In a different post you make the comparison of a parent and a small - say 2 year old child.  If a parent lived next to a freeway and knew that their child would be killed if they played in the freeway.  So the parent tells the 2 year old not to go near the gate that opened to the freeway and certainly not to play on the freeway or they would be killed.  The parent also knew that the neighbor kid would tell the 2 year old to play on the freeway.  And so when the parent saw the neighbor kid talking to the 2 year old and herd him say it was okay to play on the freeway that nothing would harm them - the parent thought that the 2 year old ought to learn a lesson?  Are you kidding me????  Do you really believe that parent ought to be trusted with little children?  Because they did their part - they told the 2 year old child not to go near the freeway and thus the child disserves to die because they disobeyed their parent that has told  them every day of their 2 years of life not to play on the freeway????  

In all honesty this make no sense to me.  I do not understand this argument.  I believe something very important is missing.

 

The Traveler

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16 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

I'm gaining the impression that Adam & Eve's innocence in taking the forbidden fruit is official church doctrine (or perhaps insight offered by a church prophet). Is this so?

Yes.

2 Nephi 2:22 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.

So it's the innocence of not knowing what a hot stove is having never been burned, not the innocence of having never been told not to touch it because clearly they had.

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9 minutes ago, laronius said:

So it's the innocence of not knowing what a hot stove is having never been burned, not the innocence of having never been told not to touch it because clearly they had.

Correct. They knew that they were transgressing when they partook of the fruit...God told them specifically not to partake of it. I think Pres. Oaks puts it very well below...

“The contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: ‘We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression’ . It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin—inherently wrong—but a transgression—wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall” (Oct 1993 General Conference)

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12 hours ago, Traveler said:

 

 

36 minutes ago, scottyg said:

Correct. They knew that they were transgressing when they partook of the fruit...God told them specifically not to partake of it. I think Pres. Oaks puts it very well below...

“The contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: ‘We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression’ . It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin—inherently wrong—but a transgression—wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall” (Oct 1993 General Conference)

Great find. Definitely adds more context to meaning of transgression in this instance beyond simply not understanding. So with this in mind what do we make of this verse?

Alma 12:31 Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as gods, knowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good-

The commandments they broke are labeled "temporal" in nature. Does that mean there was not anything inherently wrong spiritually with eating the fruit?

I think this also adds to the discussion of who's "will and pleasure" is being acted upon.

Edited by laronius

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1 hour ago, laronius said:

 

Great find. Definitely adds more context to meaning of transgression in this instance beyond simply not understanding. So with this in mind what do we make of this verse?

Alma 12:31 Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as gods, knowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good-

The commandments they broke are labeled "temporal" in nature. Does that mean there was not anything inherently wrong spiritually with eating the fruit?

I think this also adds to the discussion of who's "will and pleasure" is being acted upon.

It could be that eating the fruit was only labeled a transgression because it was only temporal in nature...that the effect would be allowing death to enter the world, and one day overtake their bodies. What was incorruptible was now corruptible, and it was because of this change that they could no longer exist in God's presence. Sin could relate to things more spiritual in nature...distancing ourselves from God spiritually when we practice behavior the Holy Ghost cannot abide. This is when repentance is needed, because we cannot overcome the spiritual gap that now exists on our own. Some temporal mistakes we  make can mended, repaired, or even replaced. But the spiritual gaps that go along with many of our mistakes are unable to be bridged on our own...a mediator is needed.

Another way to possibly look at it is this: there is a difference between free will and agency. All humans, and even animals, exercise free will every day; these are the basic decisions we make that have no real consequence. "Should I have corn flakes or fruit loops for breakfast?" "Should I wear Brown shoes or Black shoes today?" A dog may choose to sniff this tree instead of that tree...it makes no difference and has no impact, but he still makes a choice, even if it is done subconsciously. Agency on the other hand takes into account choices that have lasting effects in regards to our spiritual growth...choices that take place when we are enticed by the light of Christ, or the adversary. "Should I steal this or pay for it, hurt that person or turn the other cheek, lie or tell the truth, watch more funny cat videos on YouTube, or read from the scriptures, pray or not pray?" 

Or, it could simply be a scenario that Pres. Oaks mentioned when he said "These words are not always used to denote something different,..."

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At this point I believe it is important to point out a few critical elements from our doctrine both for @romans8 and @prisonchaplain.  I will begin with the doctrine of a pre-existence.  The pre-existence is to be understood as what occurred prior to the creation story and Eden epoch given us in Genesis.   In the pre-existence we all lived as spirits in heaven with G-d - the Father of our spirits.  In the pre-existence there was a great council.  At this pre-existence council G-d the Father presented his Great Plan of Happiness - also known as the Plan of Salvation. 

The Plan of Salvation encompassed what the scriptures call the "Declaration of all things from the end to the beginning" (See Isaiah 46:10).  This declaration started with the creation of what is now our earth and the "heaven" wherein this earth would reside.  The next part of the plan following the creation is what this thread is all about.  The Plan of Salvation was for a man and his wife to fall from grace and be exiled from the Father.  From modern revelation we know that this fall would take place through a "transgression".

I would point out a very important notion.  When the spirit of Michael was placed into the physical body man became a living sole and that man was called Adam.  We are told that Adam forgot everything and had become as a small child.  According to the covenant - Adam and his wife Eve would partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Adam as an exercise of his Agency made a covenant with G-d to partake of the fruit (which is symbolic of something we do not understand in this life).  This fall was part of the plan of G-d.  

I will now skip to another very important part of the plan - and this was for a Messiah that would not sin but would redeem mankind of all their sins.  We have to understand that the planning of a fall included a Messiah - a Savior to save all mankind from this fall.  There were two that would be the Messiah.  Jesus was the first.  Lucifer was the second to volunteer but with a caveat.  He wanted two things for his taking this role.  First was that he wanted all the glory for himself - he wanted the credit which would put him on the thrown of the Father.  The second he wanted to destroy the agency of man - he wanted to force everyone to comply with him and do as he commanded.

Without going into all the details - the proposal of Lucifer was rejected and caused a great division in heaven.  A three part division.  Lucifer took a third part of the spirits of heaven and declared war on G-d and his Plan of Salvation (or Plan of Happiness).  This war against G-d and His Plan of Salvation continues to this day and is why he (Satan) is tempting us in an effort to divert us from G-d and his Plan of Salvation.

I want to point out a couple of things from scripture - first is what is given in Isaiah 46:10 where G-d makes a covenant and promise to complete his Plan of Salvation saying, "and I will do all my pleasure".  The next point comes from Ecclesiastes 1:9-10:

Quote

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no anew thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Note that in verse 10 we are told that all things were of old time that was before - I believe this is before man was created as a living sole - in the pre-existence.  I reference this scripture so that we can understand that G-d planned and determined all things that would take place.  That in the pre-existence we agreed to fall and suffer death but there were some that did not agree and in the exercise of their agency did not agree to G-d Plan and were excluded from the fall that was an integral part of the plan.

There was nothing that has happened that has ruined or changed G-d's Plan.  It has stood without flaw and has worked perfectly with the sacrifice unto death by Christ and his resurrection to glory.  Please note that as testified in Ecclesiastes - it was all known and planed so that when it occurred - it was not new or a surprise - especially to G-d the is the author of the plan and that the plan and all it parts are his will and pleasure.

I would say one last thing.  I have not encountered a greater understanding of G-d and his plan of salvation for mankind than is provided through the prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that the only way to understand these things in this life is to be baptized by covenant, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by covenant  and then to continue by covenant to learn of G-d and his plan in his Holy Temple.  That these things has been restored in our day as part of the Great Plan of Salvation and preparation as promised through covenants that must come forth to prepare a covenant people to meet Christ when He comes in glory.  Which is quickly approaching. 

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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14 hours ago, Traveler said:

Adam as an exercise of his Agency made a covenant with G-d to partake of the fruit (which is symbolic of something we do not understand in this life).

Have you made a covenant with God to disobey Him in any situation?

What do you mean by symbolic?  Are you saying the trees in the garden were not literal
trees that were pleasant to the sight of man and good for food (Genesis 2:9)?

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