Tree of Life


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Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off. 

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52 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off. 

I had the exact same question after my temple visit last night. I understand it represents eternal life… but there is an assumption there that immortality is possible without going through life. Why would there be cherubim and a flaming sword placed to guard it

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5 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off. 

 

4 hours ago, Fether said:

I had the exact same question after my temple visit last night. I understand it represents eternal life… but there is an assumption there that immortality is possible without going through life. Why would there be cherubim and a flaming sword placed to guard it

A number of years ago I did what I would consider an exhaustive study of the "Tree of Life" and the Cherubim (with a flaming sword) associated with the Tree of life.  I am somewhat convinced that all these things are symbolic.  I will summarize what I have come to think these symbols reference.  But before I begin, I want to make clear that I am not 100% sure I am correct and that I am willing to consider other options and discuss in detail any point - and I promise I will not get upset with any disagreements.

Besides the references in Genesis we also have references in the Book of Mormon.  I had several long discussions with an Muslim friend about the tree of life references in the Book of Mormon from Lehi's dream.  Being from the middle east my friend was associated with Middle Eastern Tradition and Culture.  There is a particular date palm tree that grows in the middle east called "the tree of life" and produces white fruit.  The fruit is very nourishing.  The reason this tree is called the tree of life is because the ripen fruit can be packed on camels and last for months without going rotten in the hot desert.  It is one of the very few foods for sustaining life for long trips in the desert.  The best variety of this tree grows naturally south of Israel on the eastern shores of the Red Sea. (BTW this is something that Joseph could not have known except by revelation when translating the Book of Mormon).

I believe the fruit of the Tree of Life is symbolic of the spiritual light and truth that sustains eternal life.  In careful reading of the KJV Bible the particular word used to describe the Cherubim with the flaming sword does not say that the Cherubim "guards" the way but rather "Keeps" the way to the tree of life.  In the New Testament Jesus says that he is the way.  I believe Jesus is that Cherubim symbolized as the keeper of the way to the Tree of Life in Genesis.  Jesus also said that if we search the scripture we will discover that the scriptures testify of him.  I believe this is one of the examples of how ancient Biblical scriptures testify of Jesus Christ.  I would also point out that in all of scripture there is only one other place where an individual displays fire and a sword in relation to man's salvation - this reference is in the 19th chapter of Revelation verses 12 and 15.  If any one has a better explanation - I would be interested in your explanation.  I would also point out that we are taught in the temple that Jesus is put specifically and uniquely in charge of the Cherubim that controls all access to the Tree of Life when Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden.   One last point - Mostly the scripture use the word Cherubim which is actually a Greek term that anciently referenced a "type" of G-d and that the word Cherubim has come to mean a type of angel somewhat after the time of Jesus.

In my mind the symbolism is clear and that the only way to eternal life (the Tree of Life) is by the Word of G-d (that John tells us - both in his Gospel and the Book of Revelation) that Jesus is the Word of G-d or the Iron Rod - both the iron rod and the word of G-d are referenced in the Book of Mormon, which is a testament of Jesus Christ.  All this make very clear sense to me.

 

The Traveler

 

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4 hours ago, Traveler said:

But before I begin, I want to make clear that I am not 100% sure I am correct and that I am willing to consider other options and discuss in detail any point - and I promise I will not get upset with any disagreements.

Let me point out a few areas where your analogy/interpretation doesn’t seem to fit.

In your interpretation, you suggest that the Tree of Life is “symbolic of the spiritual light that and truth that sustains eternal life.” However, in the Genesis account Adam was warned not to partake of the fruit of the tree of life. If the Tree of Life was symbolic of the spiritual light and truth that sustains eternal life then it is more likely that Adam would have been commanded or encouraged to partake of it, as we all have been, rather than commanded not to partake of it and prevented from doing so. God wants all of us to partake to the full of the spiritual light that sustains eternal life and is unlikely to place barriers in our path to stop us from doing so. 

A second area where your interpretation doesn’t seem to fit well, to me, is the idea that the Cherubim with a flaming sword that turned every way to keep the tree of life is actually Christ. This characterization of Christ doesn’t fit well with how Christ is often characterized in many other scriptures as the one who inviteth and enticeth all of come unto Him, as the good shephard who is out searching in the wilderness for His sheep, and who is forever doing all He can to help us return to Him. He beckons us to Him with a hand of love rather than keeps the way with a flaming sword.

In most of the references to Genesis 3:24 that turn up on scriptures.byu.edu, almost all of them indicate that the role of the cherubims was to guard, not keep, the Tree of Life.

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11 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off. 

The first and foremost idea that presents itself is -- opposition. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was "death": physical and spiritual. The tree of life, while in the garden was "life": spiritual. It was a tree they could freely eat of previously.

If Adam and Eve partook of the tree of life after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil it would have overcome "physical" death, but not spiritual death. There would have been no resurrection. There would have been no Savior, as death or the great sacrifice could never have occurred if they were immortal. This means, both man and women, would have been lost forever and ever, and to forever remain in their sins.

Thus, a protector was placed to protect Adam and Eve from partaking of the tree of life.

Immortality was already achieved in the Garden with Adam and Eve, but not in the same sense as a resurrected body with glory. Eternal life/exaltation and immortality (Moses 1:39), on the other hand, can only be achieved through death of the body -- whether that means through translation or actual death (a time of separation of body and spirit). Once again pointing to some idea of the "Fall" had to have occurred.

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I find it difficult to believe there were literal trees that had these purported effects.  So, yeah, it is obviously symbolic.  So, what does the symbolism help us understand?

  • As @Anddenex pointed out, there is the model of opposition in all things.
  • The model of the Garden is that of our state of innocence that began in pre-mortality and extended on until we became accountable on earth.  The turbulent time after partaking of the fruit and expulsion can be analogous to adolescence.

During our state of innocence we already have full access to the redeeming power of God (access to Eternal Life).  The sins of little children are swallowed up in Christ. If we partook during that time, it wouldn't have any meaning to us.

Once we lose our innocence we are continually given choices opposing each other -- between good and evil (life/death). 

3 Ne 26:5

Alma 32

1 Ne 14:7

Alma 41:5

As we choose evil, we must be baptized by water (Cherubim) and fire (Flaming Sword) to access that power -- the power of the Atonement of Christ.

Being expelled from the Garden is symbolic.  It is not that we're "forced" out.  It is as natural as the aging process.  It simply "happens".  And while we are cursed, we're given a way out.  It is not that the Tree of Life is now forbidden.  We are now required to put ourselves under covenants and remain true to those covenants in order to access the power.

Additionally, as cyclical as life is, I'd say this process repeats itself over and over again in our lives.  Each time we sin, each time we repent.

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4 hours ago, Anddenex said:

If Adam and Eve partook of the tree of life after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil it would have overcome "physical" death, but not spiritual death. There would have been no resurrection. There would have been no Savior, as death or the great sacrifice could never have occurred if they were immortal. This means, both man and women, would have been lost forever and ever, and to forever remain in their sins.

I understand what would have happened if Adam had partaken of the fruit of the tree of life. That's not what I'm curious about. I'm curious as to why the tree existed. You suggest that if Adam had eaten of the fruit of that tree, it would have terminated the whole plan of salvation. I'm a bit puzzled by the idea that God, after having worked so hard to set up the Plan of Salvation and creating the setting in which it would take place, would then risk everything by placing a tree in a garden, whether literal or symbolic, that could have ruined everything if Adam had eaten from it. The idea doesn't seem to make sense to me. I think that all that God does is in furtherance of His plans and that He doesn't engage in self-sabotage or do anything to put His plans at risk. 

 

4 hours ago, Anddenex said:

The first and foremost idea that presents itself is -- opposition. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was "death": physical and spiritual. The tree of life, while in the garden was "life": spiritual. It was a tree they could freely eat of previously.

It may be, as you claim, that the tree of life, while in the garden was life, spiritual, but then again, that might also not be the case. I'm not sure what this idea is based on or where it comes from. I'm also not immediately seeing how the existence or absence of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whether literal or symbolic, had any impact on the nature or degree of opposition that was already in existence well before this earth was created. 

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3 hours ago, askandanswer said:

I'm curious as to why the tree existed.

...would then risk everything by placing a tree in a garden, whether literal or symbolic, that could have ruined everything if Adam had eaten from it.

I'm trying to help you understand something that is not right in your paradigm.  You ask why the tree existed at all.  It didn't.  You say you understand it is symbolic (which it was) but then you discuss it as if it were real (which it wasn't).  You can't mix a non-existent literal thing with the symbolic meaning and come up with a consistent understanding.

The tree existed (symbolically) because that was part of the plan.  It never existed literally.  You may find it easier to understand if you fully acknowledge that fact.

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I'm trying to help you understand something that is not right in your paradigm.  You ask why the tree existed at all.  It didn't.  You say you understand it is symbolic (which it was) but then you discuss it as if it were real (which it wasn't).  You can't mix a non-existent literal thing with the symbolic meaning and come up with a consistent understanding.

The tree existed (symbolically) because that was part of the plan.  It never existed literally.  You may find it easier to understand if you fully acknowledge that fact.

It either existed physically, in which case it was possible to partake of the fruit, or it existed symbollically, in which case it was possible to take symbollically take of its fruit. In Alma 12:26 Alma discusses the precise scenario and comes to the same conclusion. I believe that the impossibility of Adam taking the fruit after he had eaten from the other tree was not because it was symbolic but because a cherubim with a flaming sword had been placed to keep the tree.

26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the atree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the bplan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.

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In Alma 32, Alma compares "the word unto a seed" which we are to plant in our hearts. This seed, upon maturity, is called by Alma "the tree of life" "springing up unto eternal life." Viewing the Garden of Eden from this perspective, something within us, opens up new meaning. I agree with @Carborendum that "the" Garden of Eden is largely representative of childhood and a state of innocence for Adam and Eve. We know the garden literally existed and I have no problem with the two trees being literal trees, placed there to help tutor the childlike Adam and Eve, one that gave life and one that brought death but knowledge also. Once cast out of the garden the tree of life became a symbol of returning back into God's presence.

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12 hours ago, askandanswer said:

I understand what would have happened if Adam had partaken of the fruit of the tree of life. That's not what I'm curious about. I'm curious as to why the tree existed. You suggest that if Adam had eaten of the fruit of that tree, it would have terminated the whole plan of salvation. I'm a bit puzzled by the idea that God, after having worked so hard to set up the Plan of Salvation and creating the setting in which it would take place, would then risk everything by placing a tree in a garden, whether literal or symbolic, that could have ruined everything if Adam had eaten from it. The idea doesn't seem to make sense to me. I think that all that God does is in furtherance of His plans and that He doesn't engage in self-sabotage or do anything to put His plans at risk. 

The tree existed mainly for -- opposition. There was a tree of "death" (and knowledge). There was a tree of life. I can understand your puzzlement, and yet in your response to Carb you mention Alma 12:26 which pretty much says that. If they partook, then they would have been miserable forever, the plan would have been frustrated, and the word of God void -- and this is the kicker -- "taking no effect."

And yet, the whole concept of "one" man (Jesus Christ) -- the bread of life -- with "one" sin (a single choice) could have also made all mankind miserable forever, the plan would have been frustrated, the word of God void -- the atonement taking no effect.

Both the tree of life protection and the Atonement of Jesus Christ were according to the foreknowledge of God. A way was already prepared in both cases. The option that something, even a single choice, could frustrate the whole plan of Heaven appears to be plausible by more than one account.

12 hours ago, askandanswer said:

It may be, as you claim, that the tree of life, while in the garden was life, spiritual, but then again, that might also not be the case. I'm not sure what this idea is based on or where it comes from. I'm also not immediately seeing how the existence or absence of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whether literal or symbolic, had any impact on the nature or degree of opposition that was already in existence well before this earth was created. 

As of right now, according to my current knowledge and understanding of things this is accurate. We agree, that opposition already existed outside of the creation of the earth. Satan is evidence for that.

However, remember, we are discussing a specific time period in relation to the spiritual creation of the earth and its fall. We are looking at a point, where Adam and Eve were provided a choice -- opposition -- between eating of the fruit of other trees while being counseled not to partake of a specific trees fruit. They didn't have much opposition other than that that we know of from scripture -- at least what has been revealed. So, if we go with what has been revealed, that becomes clearer. Until more light and knowledge is provided, the concept (my opinion) is clear.

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If Heavenly Parents came to Earth they could have partaken of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, become mortal and then produced Adam and Eve through the normal means.

They then could have partaken from the fruit of the Tree of Life become immortals again.

 

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On 5/14/2022 at 2:34 AM, askandanswer said:

Let me point out a few areas where your analogy/interpretation doesn’t seem to fit.

In your interpretation, you suggest that the Tree of Life is “symbolic of the spiritual light that and truth that sustains eternal life.” However, in the Genesis account Adam was warned not to partake of the fruit of the tree of life. If the Tree of Life was symbolic of the spiritual light and truth that sustains eternal life then it is more likely that Adam would have been commanded or encouraged to partake of it, as we all have been, rather than commanded not to partake of it and prevented from doing so. God wants all of us to partake to the full of the spiritual light that sustains eternal life and is unlikely to place barriers in our path to stop us from doing so. 

A second area where your interpretation doesn’t seem to fit well, to me, is the idea that the Cherubim with a flaming sword that turned every way to keep the tree of life is actually Christ. This characterization of Christ doesn’t fit well with how Christ is often characterized in many other scriptures as the one who inviteth and enticeth all of come unto Him, as the good shephard who is out searching in the wilderness for His sheep, and who is forever doing all He can to help us return to Him. He beckons us to Him with a hand of love rather than keeps the way with a flaming sword.

In most of the references to Genesis 3:24 that turn up on scriptures.byu.edu, almost all of them indicate that the role of the cherubims was to guard, not keep, the Tree of Life.

As we look into scripture - at least it is my opinion - there are many things that do not make sense or are difficult to understand.  I like your questions.  I had to go back to carefully review the scriptures in Genesis.  For example, Adam and Eve were never commanded not to partake of the tree of life.  But the Genesis scripture tell us some very interesting and important points.  The tree of life was always in the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve were told that they could partake of that particular tree along with all the others - the exception was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Once Adam and Eve partook of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - G-d (Jehovah?) said that they (Adam and Eve) had become like them.  This is an indication of the plurality of G-ds and that the status of man had changed in a manner to become more like the G-ds.

But the scripture is clear to indicate that Adam and Eve, being in the state and condition of having partaken of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil man was not to partake directly of the Tree of Life and G-d made absolutely sure that Adam and Eve and their posterity would not be able to partake of the fruit while in their fallen state.

I think there is something else you ought to know.  In your post above you used the word Cherubims.  Your use is grammatically incorrect.  The correct singular term would be Cherub and the plural of Cherub is Cherubim - not Cherubims.   With the Cherubim (plural) there is a sword with two distinct characteristics.   The first characteristic is a flame.  This concept of fire is symbolically used in scripture to indicate a process of purification.   An example is the baptism of fire by the Holy Ghost.  If you speculate any other symbolic nature of a flame - I would be interested in your source or logic by which you come to such as a possible conclusion.  

The other characteristic of the sword is that it terns "every way".  This I believe to be an indication of G-d's justice.  Often this symbolism is spoken of as a two edge sword that cuts in two directions.  This is a standard symbolization of the sword of justice and an indication that the sword both punishes (the guilty) and protects (the innocent).  I believe this is all very clear that the Cherubim were placed to guard the Tree of life to insure that nothing unjust and un-pure ever reaches the tree and that Adam and Eve were driven from Eden and the Tree of Life because they were no longer either pure nor innocent.

It is also interesting to note that anciently (in Hebrew and many other ancient languages) an individual's name was also their title or position.  This is in part what certain individuals in the Old Testament were given names - because their position or title before G-d and man was changed.  This change is also and indication of covenant.  The name Adam - is and indication of both title and covenant.  The meaning of Adam, interestingly is "mankind".  The epoch of "Adam" is critical and important and is even referenced much later in the New Testament.  I believe that we all can think of ourselves (male for Adam and female for Eve) as the participants in partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and being driven from the Garden of G-d into the lone and dreary world to suffer sorrow all the days of our lives that will eligibility end in death - both of the spirit and of the physical body.   That before we could partake of the Tree of Life there must be an atonement and our repentance.  That the Cherubim will make sure that only through the atonement and repentance can any man or woman partake of the Tree of life.

But because this is all symbolic that journey to the Tree of Life is not completed by just partaking of the fruit of the tree.  There is still something else to accomplish.

 

The Traveler

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On 5/13/2022 at 6:58 PM, askandanswer said:

Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off. 

This is my opinion, or what I think I know 🙂 : Any symbolism aside, the tree of life sustains immortality and life in God’s presence (as before the Fall) while the tree of knowledge of good and evil sustains temporal and spiritual death (as after the Fall). The tree of life was preeminent in the Garden of Eden because those who chose the second estate chose life with God; its purpose is to extend the presence of God from the first estate into the second estate (and third, if you count the resurrection). It took some spiritual effort for Adam and Eve to choose to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After the Fall, temporal and spiritual death became preeminent, and likewise we have to exert spiritual effort to once again access the tree of life through the covenant path.

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4 hours ago, CV75 said:

This is my opinion, or what I think I know 🙂 : Any symbolism aside, the tree of life sustains immortality and life in God’s presence (as before the Fall) while the tree of knowledge of good and evil sustains temporal and spiritual death (as after the Fall). The tree of life was preeminent in the Garden of Eden because those who chose the second estate chose life with God; its purpose is to extend the presence of God from the first estate into the second estate (and third, if you count the resurrection). It took some spiritual effort for Adam and Eve to choose to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After the Fall, temporal and spiritual death became preeminent, and likewise we have to exert spiritual effort to once again access the tree of life through the covenant path.

One of the concepts I have speculated a great deal about is what is meant by the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.  I speculate that everyone (soul) that comes into mortality obtains this knowledge of good and evil regardless of their status of birth, life experience or death.  I believe that the knowledge of evil is the experience of death.  Both the spiritual death which is being separated from G-d (which is why we live by faith in a mortal fallen state) and a physical death.  Scripture tells us that the wages of sin is death - thus I believe that the knowledge of sin comes through the experience of death which is something every person experiences.  The knowledge of good comes to us through the experience of the atonement (which includes our redemption from death) and the resurrection.

I speculate that partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Life is somewhat different than partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Rather than being a once and done experience the Tree of Life is intended to be a source of "constant nourishment".  

 

The Traveler

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11 hours ago, Traveler said:

One of the concepts I have speculated a great deal about is what is meant by the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.  I speculate that everyone (soul) that comes into mortality obtains this knowledge of good and evil regardless of their status of birth, life experience or death.  I believe that the knowledge of evil is the experience of death.  Both the spiritual death which is being separated from G-d (which is why we live by faith in a mortal fallen state) and a physical death.  Scripture tells us that the wages of sin is death - thus I believe that the knowledge of sin comes through the experience of death which is something every person experiences.  The knowledge of good comes to us through the experience of the atonement (which includes our redemption from death) and the resurrection.

I speculate that partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Life is somewhat different than partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Rather than being a once and done experience the Tree of Life is intended to be a source of "constant nourishment".  

 

The Traveler

Yes, these are ongoing processes and choices between light and darkness. We weekly partake of the tree of life in our sacrament, and in many other ways (prayer, study, service, the ordinances, etc.). While Adam and Eve partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we partake of it upon birth -- we simultaneously possess the light of Christ and all it leads us to, and mortality (all forms and degrees of spiritual and  temporal death). Adam and Eve knew and partook of the tree of life first, so knowledge of just how good it is was not attained or appreciated until they partook of the tree of knowledge. It is interesting to me that people come into this world innocent -- they know an aspect of the fruit of the tree of life in the form of the light of Christ, first (D&C 93:38-39), then the wicked one cometh, and so on. The fulness of the tree of life only comes later, after death and resurrection, and for those on the covenant path.

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Is the "it" highlighted in this verse speaking of the Garden itself or a tree or?

Moses 3:8 And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there I put the man whom I had formed.
9 And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

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6 minutes ago, laronius said:

Is the "it" highlighted in this verse speaking of the Garden itself or a tree or?

Moses 3:8 And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there I put the man whom I had formed.
9 And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

I would say the "it" before the "it" you mention are referring to the same thing -- every tree.

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Well, if the tree of Good and Evil caused the Fall of Adam (and I was thinking on this recently as  I read the beginning of 2 Nephi today) and Eve, and as a result all things that were subservient to them (The Earth and all there is) became temporal or mortal (changing), then it is possible that partaking of the tree of life would put them in a once again unchanging estate.

The problem is that this would save them in an eternal state of sin where they could not be washed clean.  They would be then, eternally cast out as they would be as the children who followed the adversary, but they would have the greater estate as they would also still possess bodies.

I read recently that the Earth is a rather strange thing.  The natural state of matter is to be unchanging.  It's natural state is to be eternally the same.  Mortality is an advantage in that it will destroy, but it also allows evolution in the process.  Things can change and thus evolve to be more efficient or better.  This can give an advantage that immortailty cannot.

Thinking more on this I thought about Adam and Eve in their natural state before the fall.  it is possible that they could not have children, not only because they lacked the knowledge on how to do so, and the urge to do so, but they also did not have the need to do so.  We procreate in order to ensure a continuation of the human race, but if there is no need or urge to continue this as you will continue indefinitely, then it could be plausible the thought would never enter their mind.

Just some thoughts on the scriptures I read out of the Book of Mormon today in relation to the fall, immortality, and what it all means.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/16/2022 at 9:32 AM, CV75 said:

Adam and Eve knew and partook of the tree of life first, so knowledge of just how good it is was not attained or appreciated until they partook of the tree of knowledge.

If it was good to them, why did they feel fear and shame?

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On 5/14/2022 at 9:21 PM, laronius said:

We know the garden literally existed and I have no problem with the two trees being literal trees,

What about all the other trees?

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On 5/14/2022 at 12:06 AM, Traveler said:

I believe the fruit of the Tree of Life is symbolic of the spiritual light and truth that sustains eternal life.  In careful reading of the KJV Bible the particular word used to describe the Cherubim with the flaming sword does not say that the Cherubim "guards" the way but rather "Keeps" the way to the tree of life.  In the New Testament Jesus says that he is the way.

In your analogy, is the Cherubim and flaming sword literal representations of a person or object
or are they symbolic representation of a non-person or non-object?  What do all the other trees
God created for Adam and Eve represent?

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6 minutes ago, romans8 said:

What about all the other trees?

I guess I don't know which other trees you are referring to. Of course there would have been other trees in the garden just like the ones we have now. 

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7 hours ago, romans8 said:

In your analogy, is the Cherubim and flaming sword literal representations of a person or object
or are they symbolic representation of a non-person or non-object?  What do all the other trees
God created for Adam and Eve represent?

There are only a few places in scripture that reference Cherubim.  It is important to note that Cherubim is the plural form for Cherub.   I forget the ancient Hebrew word for Cherub or Cherubim.  The term Cherubim is borrowed from the ancient Greeks.  Because there is no translation for the ancient Hebrew term into English the Greek term is used for modern versions of the ancient scriptures.  It is interesting to note that in the ancient Greek - Cherubim referenced a type of g-d.  Most Christians believe that a Cherub is a type of angle. 

In Exodus we have symbolic representation of Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant that is symbolic of the mercy and judgement performed by G-d upon the mercy seat or throne of G-d.  There is another reference to a Cherub that was in Eden but fell from the grace of G-d.  Traditionally it is believed that Satan is the fallen Cherub and that it is symbolic that those that G-d judges as evil and are at his left hand.  The righteous,, meaning those of the covenant are believe to be at the right hand of G-d for Judgement.   The old testament identifies the fallen Cherub as one that was anointed.  Note that the ancient Hebrew term for anointed is the term Messiah and the ancient Greek term for anointed is "Christ".

Jesus is also believe to be anointed and therefor given the title of Christ and those that covenant with Jesus and became his disciples were given the term of Christian by the ancient Romans.  I would also point out that there is an alternate reading of the Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant that in English is translated as: "The two brothers shall face each other."  I find this most ironic because many modern "Christians" criticize the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for teaching that Jesus and Satan are brothers - because they were believed to both be spiritual children of G-d the Father - which is why Jesus said we also should reference G-d as our "Father" in Heaven.

Jesus explained why symbolism is often used in scripture and revelation so that "the World" would not understand - only those that are willing to enter into covenant in order to be taught the divine meaning of symbolism by the Holy Ghost.

As to the flaming sword.  Anciently swords were often used to represent divine justice and a flame (fire) represents purification.  This symbolism ought to be familiar to Christians that one must become purified in order to stand innocent before G-d at His judgement and not be rejected by divine justice with the wicked.  I believe the Ark of the Covenant is symbolic of judgment where there is an Advocate (a title given to Jesus Christ) and an Accuser (a title given to Satan).  And so there are two that are anointed to play out a role in the judgement of man.  I really do not see how someone could be acquainted with the Biblical scriptures and not be aware of the critical roles that Satan and Jesus play out in the final judgement of mankind.

 

The Traveler

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