Taught by Marie Tiller
Gospel Principles, Lesson 6, The Fall of Adam & Eve
What evidence helps us know that Adam and Eve were valiant spirits?
Adam and Eve were among our Father’s noblest children.
In the spirit world Adam was called Michael the archangel. He was chosen by our Heavenly Father to lead the righteous in the battle against Satan.
Adam and Eve were foreordained to become our first parents. The Lord promised Adam great blessings: “I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever”.
Eve was “the mother of all living”. God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage because “it was not good that the man should be alone”. She shared Adam’s responsibility and will also share his eternal blessings.
What can you learn from the examples of Adam and Eve?
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.
God commanded them to have children. He 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 they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Of that tree God said, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Moses 3:17).
Satan, not knowing the mind of God but seeking to destroy God’s plan, came to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He tempted her to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He assured her that she and Adam would not die, but that they would “be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Moses 4:11). Eve yielded to the temptation and ate the fruit.
When Adam learned what had happened, he chose to partake also. The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall.
What great blessings resulted from the transgression?
Some people believe Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, latter-day scriptures help us understand that their Fall was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us.
Because of the Fall, we are blessed with physical bodies, the right to choose between good and evil, and the opportunity to gain eternal life.
None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden.
After the Fall, Eve 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).
How can we honor Eve?
Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall.
Joseph Smith taught that it was not a “sin,” because God had decreed it.
Brigham Young declared, “We should never blame Mother Eve, not the least”.
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. … This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin … for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!”
From Dallin Oakes, The Great Plan of Happiness, Nov 1993, Ensign