Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Adam and the Fall: God's Plan Thwarted?

We've had a few comments recently from people who disagree with the LDS view of the plan of salvation, especially our understanding of the purpose of life and the destiny of man. And much of this centers around an understanding of the Fall.

From our perspective, the childlike state of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was not intended as the final state of mankind. For us to truly put on the divine nature and fulfill our destiny as glorified sons and daughters of God, it would be necessary for man to move beyond the innocence of the Garden and grapple with the dangerous gifts of knowledge and free agency. Why? That we might become more like Christ, even joint heirs with Him (Romans 8), destined to put on the divine nature (2 Peter 1) and become "like Him" (1 John 3:1). This required that we obtain the kind of knowledge and agency not available in the Garden. Remember, it was only after the Fall that the Lord said, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil . . . ." (Genesis 3:22).

Latter-day Saints differ from much of modern "mainstream" Christianity in their views on the Fall of man. Many other Christians teach that God intended for mankind to remain in the Garden of Eden without knowledge of good and evil, childlike and innocent. Adam is the great villain, who spoiled everything for the rest of us. As Augustine taught, Adam's sin was so terrible that all human beings deserve to suffer eternal punishment because of him and the original sin that comes upon us because of Adam (see Seth Farber, "The Reign of Augustine," The Christian Activist: A Journal of Orthodox Opinion, Vol. 13, Winter/Spring 1999, pp. 40-45,56). Adam's rebellion forced God to come up with an (inferior) alternative to His original plan. One minister explained to me that this whole existence of ours and all that we go through is a big mistake, all because of that villain of villains, Adam.

In the LDS view, God's plan was not thwarted. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God to rescue fallen mankind was not an unfortunate backup plan, but was a key part of God's perfect plan from the beginning. Thus, the New Testament speaks of Christ as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). In fact, it was God's purpose from the beginning for all of us to be introduced into mortality where we would learn to walk in faith, to grow up and become accountable, choose to follow Him, and receive of His grace. Thus, the Fall of Man was intended. As Brigham Young explained, "The Lord knew they would do this and he had designed that they should" (Journal of Discourses, 10:103).

Adam and Eve, as innocents without knowledge of even their own nakedness (Gen. 2:25; 3:7), were unable to have children and were unable to keep the greater commandment that they had been given, to multiply and replenish the earth. This is my understanding based on the teachings of the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 2:22-23:
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.
It was God's intent and sacred plan that they should have children, for as the Lord explains in Isaiah 45:18, He "created [the earth] not in vain, [but] he formed it to be inhabited." God gave Adam and Eve a higher and a lower commandment - multiply on one hand, or avoid the tree of knowledge of good and evil on the other. God knew of Satan's intent to stir up disobedience, but was one step ahead. Yes, Satan deceived Eve, and she partook of the fruit, which meant that she would be cast out of the Garden. Then Adam had to choose between staying in the Garden of Eden without Eve, where he could never hope to multiply, or following Eve into mortality by partaking of the fruit in order to keep the higher law. Adam, in choosing to partake of the fruit, Adam was transgressing a lower commandment to keep the higher law. Eve was deceived, but Adam was not, as the Bible states in 1 Tim. 2:14. What does this passage mean under "mainstream" views of Adam as a villain? Is there a more reasonable explanation than the LDS perspective, which holds, as the Book of Mormon teaches, that "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25)?

Yes, Adam faced a dilemma because of Eve's disobedience, and thus had to disobey one instruction to keep another that was more important (to multiply and replenish the earth). As a result of the transgression, they were cast out of God's presence and became mortal, fallen creatures, yet they were blessed with knowledge of good and evil, free agency, and the ability to have children. But faced with death and the certainty of sin, they were doomed creatures - were it not for the foreordained role of the Messiah, who would redeem them and provide a way to return to the presence of God as glorious sons and daughters of the Father of glory. The end result is that God's children, by passing through this fallen state of mortality, can gain knowledge of the glories of God and become joint heirs with Christ of all that God has (Rom. 8:14-18). We must taste the bitter to fully understand the sweet, and we must enter into the dangerous stage of mortality in order to receive the blessing of eternal life, which is God's kind of life (not just immortality per se). The words of God to Enoch, recorded in the Book of Moses (given to Joseph Smith by revelation), summarize this powerful doctrine well (see Moses 6:55-61).

If Adam were the ultimate villain, it is puzzling that the Bible would speak of him as a symbol of Christ ("the figure of him that was to come" - Rom. 5:14) or say that he was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) or refer to Christ as the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45). Yet Adam's fall resulted in temporal death (being cut off from the physical presence of God; see Alma 42:7-9) and sin in the world, which could only be overcome through an infinite price paid by a sinless Redeemer who took our pains (the price of our sins) upon Him and sacrificed His own life that we might be free from the Fall and become new creatures in Him (Rom. 5:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:17-21). Christ's Atonement overcomes spiritual death, the state of being cast out of God's presence by sin, by having paid for our sins and offering us forgiveness through his cleansing blood, if only we will follow Him. His Atonement also overcomes physical death, the death of the body, by the power of the Resurrection, offering immortality to all (1 Cor. 15:21,22 - "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive"; see also John 5:28,29). Further, "temporal death" in Alma 42 refers to physical separation from God, more so than mere physical death, a catastrophe which the Atonement remedies for those who accept Christ.

Christ's glorious role as Redeemer required that there be a Fall. Without the Fall, there would be no grace. Without temporal death (being physically cut off from the presence of God; see Alma 42:7-9), we could never be tried and there would be no righteousness. Without knowledge of sin, there would be no knowledge of goodness and thus no true appreciation of the glory of God. As the Book of Mormon teaches, there must be opposition in all things to achieve God's purposes (see 2 Nephi 2).

The ultimate implication of the Fall is the possibility of having joy. True joy comes in knowing God and Christ and knowingly choosing to follow them, entering into their presence as sons and daughters who chose the good part and the grace offered by Christ. A babe without knowledge of good and evil cannot know the joy that comes with good, or the growth that comes by choosing the source of all good. It is through overcoming the trials of mortality, "our light affliction," that we have hope of "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17). This mortal experience gives us the opportunity to become the "jewels" of God (Malachi 3:17), being refined and chosen in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10), enabled to sit with Christ in his throne if we overcome (Rev. 3:21). God wants us in heaven with Him and Christ. The Garden of Eden was not heaven. Our intended and long-planned destiny is not ignorant nakedness in the Garden of Eden, but as Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:2-4,
2  ...we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven;

3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life.
By the way, I'm pleased to note that not all non-LDS denominations feel that the Fall was a big mistake. A good treatise from someone a bit closer to our view is Erwin W. Lutzer in his book, Ten Lies about God (Word Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2000). See particularly Chapter 8, "Lie 8: The Fall Ruined God's Plan," pp. 137-157. Lutzer is a pastor at the Moody Church in Chicago.

A good resource for further reading is "Salvation History and Requirements" - chapter 4 of Barry Bickmore's excellent book, restoring the Ancient Church.

248 comments:

1 – 200 of 248   Newer›   Newest»
Peter said...

Hey Jeff,
Good post. I look forward to the cheerful banter this will bring.
I also wanted first post :D
Peter

Jon said...

Jeff:

Thanks for taking the time and effort for this post. I just wanted to mention that the leaders of the church no longer use the term 'free agency.' I quote from Elder Packer:

"Therefore, we know that “every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency [the words free agency do not appear in the revelations] which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (D&C 101:78; emphasis added)." - Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, Apr 2005, 8–14

Thanks,
Jon

marilyn said...

Jeff,
I'm a long-time lurker but have never posted a comment before. After reading this post, I just had to write and thank you for presenting, week after week, such thoughtful and insightful posts. Your explanation of the Fall from the LDS point-of-view was lucid and concise, and I appreciated that you cited biblical references to the various points you made. Keep up the wonderful work you do and please know that there are many of us out there who, although quiet, are so grateful for the work you do. You are a shining light in the sometimes murky blogging world.
Thanks!
Marilyn

Mormanity said...

Thanks, Marilyn. For this particular post, I've borrowed heavily from some material I had on my main Website (jefflindsay.com), so I wasn't working all night to put this together. But the topic was timely given some recent comments, so I hope that the info will be helpful.

Naturally, it is always possible to take very different views given the Bible alone, so I don't expect non-LDS people to succumb to my logic and scriptural citations. Without the gift of ongoing revelation to resolve doctrinal questions - the very purpose that the original Church of Jesus Christ had prophets and apostles in the first place, as Paul explained in Ephesians 4:11-14 - men can be swayed by every wind of doctrine and a thousand competing ideas can spring from the text alone.

This is why it's non-biblical to have the Bible be the ultimate and final authority. The scriptures are clear: God is the ultimate authority, and He does nothing save he reveals His secret to His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). Gotta have modern revelation by authorized apostles and prophets, gotta have modern as well as ancient scripture, gotta have truth revealed from God to settle debates like "what is the meaning of the Fall?"

Anonymous said...

This doctrine along with the understanding that we are trully the children of our Heavenly Father, that everyone will here and have the chance to return to Him, and where there is no law there is no punishment. Now I have a fair and just God on my side.

It too disturbed me that to the point of anger against Adam and God for bring this hard mortal life on me. But until was taught these doctrines I did not fully understand the full grace of my Heavenly Father and the plan He has for all people.

Anonymous said...

The intellectual "selling points" of the Restored Gospel are tremendous. Intelligent answers to issues like What was the Fall? Why Jesus? Who are we? Why this crazy earth life? What happens to all the billions who died without having a chance to hear of Jesus? Why should marriage simply dissolve at death? Who is God and what is our relationship to him? (Don't give me all the pagan Greek gobbledy-gook that simply isn't in the Bible - it's so obvious that Christ has a resurrected body, that man is in the image of God, that God and Christ are two Beings, etc.) What is the relationship between grace and obedience? What happened to all the prophets and apostles that were so important in the early Church/ Why did revelation and scripture dry up? Does man have moral agency? Why did God create us? Where do these other churches get any authority to represent God and perform ordinances? What happens to infants that die?

Over and over and over, major intellectual, theological, and philosophical issues that have befuddled intellectuals and preachers for centuries suddenly have clear, satisfying answers that resonate so wonderfully with the Bible, yet have been lost, ignored, or denied by those who claim that the Bible gives them all the truth they need (when God declares that we should live by every word that proceeds from His living mouth - not every word that proceeds from the pen of long dead copyists).

And yet our critics have on such massive blinders that they can say Mormonism is all insane garbage, non-biblical, etc. - when it is on a much more solid Biblical foundation than anything they offer.

The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ rocks. And it's built on the Rock.

NM said...

I'm afraid to say that the Reformed Theologians (of us who are under the banner of non-Mormons) do not think that Adam and Eve's fall thwarted God's plan. =(

In fact, we say that God who is Sovereign...planned it all. He continues to weave His will into people's lives and it's all for His own glory =D

Todd Wood said...

Adam did mess things up. And we are no better. I think of the case built in Romans.

But where the first Adam fell, thank God for the second Adam. And it is the imputation of righteousness offered freely by the second Adam that squelches any attempt by my flesh to cry out to the first Adam, "That is unfair."

JayFlow22 said...

We are quick to point out that Christ's Atonement will universally overcome the first death. All will be brought back from the grave never to be separated from their body again.
But in the scriptures I find that all will be redeemed from spiritual death [separation from the presence of God] universally, albeit temporally for some.
The Atonement is set up to bring us all back into the presence of God to be judged...rather or not we get to stay is up to how well we heeded the words of Christ and His prophets.
I don't envy the position Adam was placed in. But thanks to him, I have mortality to experience and a Savior to redeem me.
Without the Fall there is no Atonement.

Anonymous said...

Very excellent post. Honest question: After Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, God said: "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil". We understand that the "us" referenced is the Father and the Son. At this point, How can Jesus, the son, "know good and evil" since he himself had not experienced fallen life in the flesh yet?

Russell said...

This is the great question to me--

At once, we claim Adam to be a hero of sorts...he opened the way to mortality. But we have no evidence in the scripture that he knew what he was doing...how, then, can we call him a hero?

Second, Adam DID disobey God...I don't see how we can get around that...even though I would LIKE to get around that very much.

Finally, a corollary to that is that Eve gets most of the brunt, that she put Adam in a tough position to choose the 'lesser of two evils.'

I'm not losing my testimony over this--I've been pondering this for YEARS now, and am quite familiar with many of the arguments made. I just hope that Latter Day Saints can be aware of the ambiguity here. That way, all of us can avoid unwitting dogmatism and, hopefully, can learn more about how God does his business when we too find ourselves in 'tough situations.'

NM said...

Russell,

I think Anonymous' question is excellent! I don't think you paid enough attention to it though (and yes, of course my enquiry is loaded)...

You automatically presumed that to lose your LDS understanding of who Jesus is means to lose your testimony...when (I think) losing
your testimony is not what is at stake...

There are those of us (non-LDS) here who have always held the belief that God is three =)

I think it's more about looking at this particular Genesis account, really studying it for what it's worth and let the book say to you what it is trying to say, rather approach the Bible with our own preconceptions. What do you think? =)

NM said...

*sorry*

I meant to say: rather THAN come to the Bible with our own preconceptions...

quandmeme said...

Thanks Jeff, this was a good read like the God Makers post, but is more linkable as it is less snarky. (Regulars understand you, I think, but I can't link newcomers to it.) I guess that is what the FAIRLDS site is for though!

Re Anonymous' question, can you elaborate? Didn't we all know good and evil in premortality? Wasn't it the "veil" that took away that understanding. The Fall pierced that portion of the veil perhaps. So we were back as we were, or had become as the gods still were. We know from Abraham 3/Revelation 12/Alma 13/D&C 138 that there was someway to make choices and that we progressed differently based on different choices. I always understood that those were moral choices between good and evil.

Am I missing your point?

NM, thanks for adding your perspective. I always make the mistake of discussing beliefs based on what a person's church says they believe rather than what they actually believe. Whatever you mean by Reformed theologian sounds harder to pin down; its much easier, almost like a straw-man, to think about the big marquee brands.

Tim Malone, MCSE said...

Your post was so good that it inspired me to add my own two cents. Many of my Christian friends are puzzled when I try to tell them that we would not have been born if it were not for Adam and Eve having partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They look at me with a very puzzled look as if they had never heard of the idea before. I wrote about this on my LatterDayCommentary blog today. Oh, and I 'borrowed' your picture. Let me know if you want it back.

RWW said...

We understand that the "us" referenced is the Father and the Son.

Why is that?

NM said...

RWW,

I don't know whether this is true or not, but the word 'Elohim' in its Hebrew/Aramaic origin is actually a plural of not just two, but three or more...

Is this true?

Russell said...

NM:

I was not responding to Anon's question at all...didn't even pay a second thought to it. I was asking a question of my own, and I wasn't implying ANYTHING about how to lose a testimony of the Church equated losing a testimony of Jesus...equating the two is actually incorrect doctrine according to both faiths.

But my questions stand...

NM said...

Ooops. My bad Russell.

So, anyway, how WOULD you (or anyone else) respond to Anon's question?

Jon said...

I won't respond to Anon's question directly, but if a prior mortal existence is possible for God the Father (c.f. Joseph Smith, King Follett Sermon), I wouldn't rule it out for God the Son either.

However, I would like to respond to Russell's question about Adam's "transgression." I've always thought of it this way (read: this is only speculation and not official church doctrine): If I read 2 Nephi 2 correctly, there can't be any righteousness without any sin. Therefore, it doesn't make much sense for Adam to be able to truly understand the meaning of obedience and the blessings which come with it without first disobeying God. It's kind of like God provided him and Eve with the opportunity to bring the realities of obedience and disobedience into the world.

Jon said...

P.S. This is a different jon than wrote at 5:06 on Nov. 4.

James the Latter-day Saint said...

Jeff,

I truly enjoy your posts and I have read several while doing Google searches. I am a happy Latter-day Saint, 42, a convert at 19, missionary at age 20. While growing up, mom was Catholic, dad was Southern Baptist. In particular in the Baptist Churches I was made to attend, Adam was a villain and the mere mention of his name excited ire. Fortunately, the truth from the Book of Mormon corrected this doctrinal point for me, and now I look to Adam and Eve with awe and respect. Thank you for your posting! James

Bookslinger said...

From what I've read on Fairlds.org, I think they are _waaaay_ more snarky than Jeff's recent God-makers post.

Jeff,
NM has a good point, in that we LDS sometimes tend to lump all non-LDS Christians together as if they all subscribed to a given doctrine in question. NM does good to point out that there is much variety in Christian doctrine among the various major branches and denominations.

NM,
in the way you pointed that out, I think you're starting to illustrate how some of the perceived differences between some LDS doctrines and your theology are merely misunderstandings based on semantics, and are actually a lot closer than what is bantered about on the surface level.

Be careful. I think you, and Kathleen too, might be slowly gravitating towards LDS beliefs. :-)

It's been my belief ever since I first joined the LDS church that many Evangelicals and LDS share some deep-down core beliefs more closely than either of us do with the watered-down mainstream Protestant denominations.

Parties on both sides of the fence (LDS vis-a-vis non-LDS) have offended each other. Mormons have often given offense by ascribing the anti-mormon vitriol exhibited by some professional preachers to all evangelicals (ie, painting with too broad a brush.)

And many good-hearted Evangelicals (and even some of their close relatives under the Christian umbrella who eschew the Evangelical label) have bought into (without questioning) many of the factual errors presented to them by the professional anti-mormons, and have not delved deeper to verify that LDS actually held such beliefs.

Anonymous said...

"It's been my belief ever since I first joined the LDS church that many Evangelicals and LDS share some deep-down core beliefs more closely than either of us do with the watered-down mainstream Protestant denominations."

I would agree with this with the exception of the Pastors that have been to religious college.

Anonymous said...

Eve was deceived, but Adam was not, as the Bible states in 1 Tim. 2:14.

Adam was transgressing a lower commandment to keep the higher law.

I don't quite understand how do we know what that one law was lower or higher than the other. I understand how much Adam gave up but where do we get one law being higher and another lower? Plus Eve was tricked but Adam broke the law with some fore knowledge.??????

Anonymous said...

Was Adam given two choices or two commandments? With on or some or all the knowledge to make a fully informed decision?

Anonymous said...

"Christ's Atonement overcomes spiritual death, the state of being cast out of God's presence by sin,"



Did Adam also bring death into the world or was there death before Adam?

NM said...

Anonymous,

From my understanding, yes; Adam brought death. For the wages of sin is what? (Romans 6)

Anonymous said...

Spiritual death and or physical death?

Peter said...

both, for spirit can not die.

Anonymous said...

NM,

From my understanding, yes; Adam brought death. For the wages of sin is what? (Romans 6)

Is this not just talking of Adam, ie. he's sin brought his death but not the first death into the world?

Anonymous said...

Just spiritual death is being cut off from God.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, are you going to Russia now? The news release about the contract with Russia sounds pretty exciting! One of the most wonderful places in the world.

JayFlow22 said...

There was no death...physical [separation of body and spirit] nor spiritual [separation of the soul from the presence of God] until the Fall of Adam.
Which term BTW [Fall of Adam] I find to be interesting.
As some have pointed out, 1 Timothy says that Eve was deceived, but Adam was not in transgression. So then why is the Fall labeled with his name??
Could it have to do with the Priesthood responsibilities as the head of a family?? If the wife falls...the husband is responsible for it??

Anonymous said...

There was no death...physical [separation of body and spirit]

How do we account for bones that predate Adam?

NM said...

Anonymous,

You have asked an excellent question there! Being a creationist myself, the idea that it was Adam (and Eve) who through the catastrophic choice they made - made way to death, disease, etc. have a significant bearing on the gospel =)

Is your line of questioning something to do with evolutionary sciences? i.e. how could we possible entertain the idea that through Adam's sin, it made a way for death and disease to come about, when scientific evidence seem to point that death and disease have existed for millions upon millions of years?!

So, either the Bible (for those us who are literal Creationists) IS correct, or the alternative is that the Creation account is incorrect and should not be taken literally - if at all seriously? Is that what you are asking, or (as ever) have I jumped to the wrong assumption? Excellent question though =)

Russell said...

Hmm...I'm still curious about my question...I wonder though, would I receive more response if I were more critical of the Church? Please tell me that sincere questions from sincere believers are acknowledged--otherwise, that only plays into accusations that the LDS put on the "open to questions" face to investigators and then the "get back in line" face to members.

Bookslinger said...

re: bones that predate Adam.

My pet theory is that the fossil record was laid down prior to the use of this planet for our creation.

In other words, this is a recycled planet. Maybe. I think.

Genesis's "In the beginning..." was not the absolute beginning, but was merely the beginning of our turn on this ball of mud.

Everything started over with the creation account in Genesis. There was no death before Adam's fall, but only within the scope of our turn.

I believe God didn't start with raw atoms and molecules in Genesis. I think he started with a ball of stuff that was left over from one of his previous worlds.

God has not deigned to tell us about the previous uses of this planet, so all "beginnings" refer to the beginning of our turn, or the Genesis account.

Just like Jesus didn't tell his disciples in Judea about the Nephites. And he still hasn't told us about the remants of Joseph "on the isles of the sea" or where the 10 lost tribes are.

God apparently doesn't tell us everything. So all we can do is make guesses, but in the end we have to say "We don't know for sure."

tatabug said...

Russell,

I thought I would take a stab at your great question. I don't know if I can definitively answer your question, but I hope that I can help add some insight. Well, actually it isn't my insight, but the insight of others. Anyway, I just read your most recent comment, and just want you to know that I have been pondering and haven't been able to answer you until now.

Just how much did Adam and Eve know is something that I often wonder about myself. While the scriptures give little to no clear indication just what Adam and Eve knew, it is my belief that they did at least have some understanding of the plan.

Here are some of the words of Joseph Fielding Smith on the issue:

"The Father never at any time put one block in their way of remaining in that condition forever, but for a wise purpose they could not keep the first great commandment while in the Garden of Eden. Lehi has made that clear. It is true the Fall was in the plan of salvation and it was necessary for them to fall, but they were not coerced or in any way persuaded by the Lord to eat the fruit. It is clear that Adam and Eve were given their agency. The commandment the Lord gave them about eating the fruit, however, is different from any other commandment ever given in relation to committing sin. The Lord said to them that they could eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden except the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and frankly told them if they ate of that fruit they would surely die. But he said, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee.
"It may seem very cruel to us without any understanding of all the circumstances, to know that the Fall brought upon us all such awful consequences, and made it possible for an infinite atonement to be offered to amend the broken law. Adam and Eve did not come here in a mortal state. They had to come in the manner in which they did and then transgress the law. The transgression of that law, contrary to the view of many, was not a sin. It was not a sin any more than the transgression in the laboratory by a chemist in combining two substances and creating another entirely different from the first. It was not a sin to bring to pass mortality, a condition which was essential to the eternal welfare of man. The Fall changed the nature of Adam and Eve to fit them for the condition in which we now are."

"We learn from this that Adam had the privilege of making a choice with the penalty of death awaiting him if he ate the fruit of the tree. We may assume that Adam would not have eaten if Eve had not partaken. When she did, Adam realized that he had to partake or he and Eve would have been separated forever. Therefore there was nothing left for Adam to do but to follow Eve’s example and partake.
"Just why the Lord would say to Adam that he forbade him to partake of the fruit of that tree is not made clear in the Bible account, but in the original as it comes to us in the Book of Moses it is made definitely clear. It is that the Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain as he was in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so. So really it was not in the true sense a transgression of divine commandment. Adam made the wise decision, in fact the only decision that he could make."


Here's what Jeffrey R. Holland says:

"These terrible risks of sorrow and death were facts Adam and Eve were willing to face in order that 'men might be.' But they--like us--were able and willing to venture these only with the knowledge that there would be safety at the end of the day for those who wanted it and lived for it. They were willing to transgress knowingly and consciously (the only way they could 'fall' into the consequences of mortality, inasmuch as Elohim certainly could not force innocent parties out of the garden and still be a just God) only because they had a full knowledge of the plan of salvation, which would provide for them a way back from their struggle with death and hell...So Adam and Eve willingly made a choice, choosing the path toward growth and godhood inherent in the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil over the potentially meaningless (at least at that point in their development) tree of life. With the enticement of Lucifer, 'that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall,' as Abinadi phrased it, they consciously chose to step out of the garden of Eden--a magnificent, terrestrial-like, paradisiacal world--into a fallen, telestial one, a world filled with very unparadisiacal thistles and thorns, sorrow and sin, disease and death...But Adam and Eve made their choice for an even more generous reason than those of godly knowledge and personal progress. They did it for the one overriding and commanding reason basic to the entire plan of salvation and all the discussions ever held in all the councils of heaven. They did it 'that men might be.' Had Adam and Eve never left the garden, Lehi noted, 'they would have had no children.'"

Adam and Eve knew they were commanded to multiply, and we don't know how long they were in the garden, so it may could have been years, but I'm sure that at some point they realized that they were not being obedient to that commandment, i.e. they were not multiplying. I think it is very possible that they knew more about the effects of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil than what has been outlined in the scriptures. The fact that they later showed gratitude for their choice and that their eyes were now open and they were able to have seed, indicates to me that they may have had the knowledge, but not a full understanding, if that makes sense.

We know that God was with them in the garden, and He taught them. They were subject to the effects of the veil so that they couldn't remember the pre-existence and their roles there, but the plan of salvation is the most important and basic knowledge for us to have. Why would God not have taught it to Adam and Eve also?

I don't know. These are just some of my thoughts. Perhaps you have some more ideas of your own which would clear up my ideas or point out any contradictions.

tatabug said...

jayflow22,

It does say that in 1 Timothy, but how could Adam not be in transgression? Sure, Eve was the one who was deceived, and she transgressed first, but Adam partook of the fruit as well, and it was still contrary to God's command. There was no stipulation that I know of which said that "if Eve partakes, you must also but you will not bear the responsibility." There were two commandments and they couldn't keep one without breaking another. When Eve transgressed, Adam knew that in order to be obedient to the commandment to multiply, he would have to do as Eve did so that he could remain with her. He still had the same choices to face.

As far as why the Fall was named after Adam, perhaps the priesthood had something to do with it, but all men (and women) are responsible for their own actions. Husbands and wives do suffer when the other "falls," but we are not accountable for their fall. Adam too fell, even though Eve was the instigator. He still could have obeyed the commandment to not partake, but he would have remained disobedient to the commandment to multiply.

quandmeme said...

@Russel: LDS put on the "open to questions" face to investigators and then the "get back in line" face to members.

Whoa, there. Remember your forum. We're just a few people surfing a blog together right? There is not failure of the institution if we don't respond or don't know how to respond, right? Okay, maybe it is a "failure" of the institution of blog, but not of the institution of the Church, right?

Yes, if you had been critical you would have gotten an answer sooner. But what kind of answer, look what I'm doing, I'm patronizingly redirecting your focus. You might have gotten a defensive parry, shunting focus to the failings of alternative explanations. But when you throw out an honest question and I don't have a good answer, I'm going to defer to someone who has thought about it. Like Tatabug, who was probably typing away even as you were reaching out again for a response.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it trouble anyone here that the LDS idea of Adam and Eve is that God essentially set us up. Think about this. We all believe in a kind and generous God. But if you adopt the LDS line of reasoning, God put us here to set us up to fail. Is that consistent with the idea of a kind and generous God. It certainly wouldn't seem so.

Catholic Defender

tatabug said...

Catholic Defender,

God didn't set us up to fail. But your line of thinking implies that Adam and Eve failed. They didn't fail. They followed the plan exactly as God arranged it. The point is that it was a choice they had to make on their own, and God could not be a merciful God by forcing them to take the necessary step into mortality. If they didn't, they wouldn't have been able to have children and would have been in direct violation to the command to multiply. Either way, they break a commandment, whether by commission or ommission

Russell said...

"not of the institution of the Church, right?"

Spot on...certainly not. If anything (this is not direct at you tatabug--or even anyone in particular), I'm supporting the church's policy of open questions against the cultural baggage that church members (the "get back in line" mentality) have brought along for the ride. Sadly, I've seen this phenomenon myself; when investigators ask questions, we're all ears, as long as the questions are sincere and relatively well thought out. But I've asked questions myself and I get little but cold stares; friends even joked about how I would be found at a bar in 20 years--for asking a question! No, I'm vindicating the Church and its organization; I just worry about the nontheological assumptions about free inquiry.

Check out Hugh B. Brown's "The Freedom of the Mind: An Eternal Quest." It's vintage.

And I'm still chewing on your answer tatabug. Thank you for taking the time to tackle the question head on.

Darion Alexander said...

I kind of look at it this way, if the Original Sin was upon all of us at birth, wouldn't Christ's Atonement been enough to cancel it out? Doesn't the Atonement cancel out any past transgressions of the believers who are baptized and confirmed and the newborns until the age of accountability? So wouldn't the whole "doctrine" of the Original Sin be a mere misconception? That's what I tend to think, regardless of whether or not it was a Transgression or Sin, Adam was baptized and therefore washed clean.

Anonymous said...

To Rusell:

Perhaps this is oversimplifying your question (How can we call Adam a hero?), but here is something you may not have thought about:

Is a hero someone who never messes up? Or, is a hero someone who has the courage to do the right thing after he makes a mistake?

As for Adam's knowledge of what he was doing, it seems church leaders have been pretty clear that he had some knowledge--we just don't know how much.

But I don't really think his knowledge matters. It's the fact that he was faithful and repentant for the rest of his life that makes him (and Eve)a hero to me.

Think about Saul on the road to Tarsus or Alma the Younger. They sinned and called upon Christ as their Redeemer and Savior and were forgiven. Alma especially writes about how harrowing that experience was. Given what he describes, I'd say he's a hero.

So what if Adam and Eve did transgress the law? Their courage to keep the faith in the face of tremendous obstacles and trials is heroic.

Russell said...

Good points...all. A follow up question (or two):

So I accept that Adam can be a hero and that it was necessary to leave the Garden for a variety of reasons.

But 1): what are we to make of the established fact from every LDS account that God forbade partaking of the fruit? (even with the "thou mayest choose for thyself" caveat) I'm aware of the Elder Oaks' talk (where he distinguishes between transgression and sin). The question of the import of God's word, however, remains. Some argue that Eve was right in partaking of the fruit and others, that Adam was only to get Eve out of a bind. Either way, they are disobeying God's law--it almost seems as if God set up a no-win situation.

2) What are we to make of Moses 6:54--the only place in Bible, BOM, or POGP that uses the phrase in reference to Adam's transgression? What does it mean for the rightness/wrongness of Adam's/Eve's decision?

Thanks again for the insight...I know these seem like anti banterings, but those who know me from previous posts should recognize that I'm more than willing to spar with critics. This question still needs ferreting out for me.

pepektheassassin said...

Re: bones that predate Adam. Has anybody really set an absolute date for Adam? As for the "recycled" earth idea, not all good LDS are troubled by evolution. I am one of those who find it to be a beautifully accurate account of earth, the beginnings of life; geology, anthropology, astronomy and scriptures all fitting together like a grand and wonderful puzzle!

Anonymous said...

choice they had to make on their own

I like this idea better than they had a higher or lower commandment to follow. I think Adam acted in full knowldege.

Kathleen said...

Russell,
your comment got me thinking about heroes. In war, heroes don't usually do something for the sake of being heroic. They do it to save their buddies, or they follow orders. And afterwards, they usually say, "I'm no hero...I just did what I had to do."

Darion Alexander,
Where do you get the idea Adam was baptized?

I just wrote a post about the Fall on my "As a Girl Thinketh" blog. You folks may be interested. It presents a bunch of my questions resulting from an analysis of Genesis 2 & 3. Questions like:

"God lied. Or the serpent [Satan?] lied. But God can't lie. Therefore the serpent lied. But the serpent was right when he said their "eyes would be opened and they would know good/evil". This = death? The serpent says it isn't. If God tells the truth, logically it is. But then why is God not subject to death, if Adam and Eve know good/evil and are now like him."

And,

"Did Eve have the choice not to eat from the tree? If she didn't, God is the author of death, isn't he?"

And,
""Sin" (disobeying God) happened before Eve ate the fruit: she disobeyed in eating the fruit."

Also, how do we know A&E couldn't conceive until they ate the fruit? God would be unfair to give them a command they could not obey.

Sorry to open another can of worms...but the discussion is so "meaty" as NM says!

Kathleen said...

Book said, "Genesis's "In the beginning..." was not the absolute beginning, but was merely the beginning of our turn on this ball of mud."

I very much disagree! Scripture says, "In the beginning God created..." And it goes on from there. Everything we know in creation wasn't re-created, it was created--from nothing.

Anonymous said...

Where do you get the idea Adam was baptized?

The is a book called the Days of Adam which is goes back to middle ages or further and it goes into detail about Adams and Eves lives after the fall. There are also Jewish stories that go back to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Anonymous said...

My bible states that 15 billion years ago Heavenly Father created the universe and that 5 billion years ago He created the earth. 4 billion there was water then about 500,000 million years ago life started. About 600,000 years ago man was place on earth. Between then and Adam there were about 50 billion people. At the point where there was only land and water (or 6000 years ago it is not clear) Heavenly Father created a biosphere and put Adam where could live and eat from all the plants except the tree of Good and Evil. Heavenly Father had all ready created man, woman, plants and animals that lived outside the biosphere. Heavenly Father created Adam, plants, animals, then cloned Eve from Adam and put them in the biosphere. ( Actually the are both children of our Heavenly Father as the Garden is just an extension of Heaven where mortals do not die). They ate from the tree of life and other plants that kept them immortal, pure and barren, but not glorified. But nothing inside the biosphere would reproduce and all was reanimated from Our Heavenly Father. But as Adam and Eve looked outside the biosphere they could see people with families, plants and animals reproducing. A jealous person outside the biosphere told Eve if she ate from the tree of Good and Evil she to could have children but would not die, but would be like our heavenly parents. Eve did eat. Eves body was now changing so she desired to have children all the more and Adam saw the change and for a moment the life drained from him. She confessed to Adam and explained what was going to happen to them and begged him to come with her. Adam love Eve very much was given the choice to stay in the biosphere or eat from the tree of Good and Evil. He too was given the power to reproduce good or evil with this power. Heavenly Father drove them from the garden and put an angel with a light saber to guard the way and instructed them how to build empires, live the gospel, and that the Savior Jesus Christ would soon come so they could live forever.

I know the part about people living before Adam is disturbing but remember the promise to Abraham, that his see would be more numberless than the stars. There are 100 billion stars in one galaxies and 100 billion galaxies in the universe that we know about. There is a plan to bring the pre-Adam people back with the work for the dead if He so desires. This plan is larger and more expansive then our small minds can comprehend. If our population doubles every 30 years then there will be 100 billion people in 250 years. What will happen during the 1000 year millennium. Scientists consider man to have made a great leap forward 30,000 years ago when they started painting on cave walls, barring their dead, and having some sort of spiritualism. All of the great empires started shortly after Adam arrived here. Because he and Eve brought the God gene, knowledge of Our Heavenly Father and empire building. In 250 years man has gone into outer space just think what will happen in the 1000 year millennium.

Anonymous said...

Re: bones that predate Adam. Has anybody really set an absolute date for Adam? As for the "recycled" earth idea, not all good LDS are troubled by evolution. I am one of those who find it to be a beautifully accurate account of earth, the beginnings of life; geology, anthropology, astronomy and scriptures all fitting together like a grand and wonderful puzzle!

5:56 PM, November 06, 2007

I second this.

Anonymous said...

As for Adam's knowledge of what he was doing, it seems church leaders have been pretty clear that he had some knowledge--we just don't know how much.

I think he like us had full knowledge of what he was getting into before he came to this earth and made a contract with Heavenly Fahter that it was just and true.

Anonymous said...

Adam could have said I partake of this fruit (cup) so that all mankind might live. I think I have heard this before. Now I see why they compair Adam to Christ.

Latter-Day James said...

When I saw this post I knew we were in for some serious posting! hehe

I would like to offer what I have learned in church.
I have responded to the paragraphs in "quotes".

"But 1): what are we to make of the established fact from every LDS account that God forbade partaking of the fruit? (even with the "thou mayest choose for thyself" caveat) I'm aware of the Elder Oaks' talk (where he distinguishes between transgression and sin). The question of the import of God's word, however, remains. Some argue that Eve was right in partaking of the fruit and others, that Adam was only to get Eve out of a bind. Either way, they are disobeying God's law--it almost seems as if God set up a no-win situation."

We learn that Adam didn't partake to get Eve out of a bind but rather to satisfy the higher law, which was to multiply and replenish the Earth. Heavenly Father didn't setup anyone to fail. This was His plan. Since they were in a state of innocence they couldn't have children. Once Eve partook, Adam knew he must as well or he would have been all alone in Eden. It takes 2 to tango right?

Moses 6:54 Well since Adam and Eve were as children then they could not have sinned. Only after they partook of the tree did they know the difference. Children are born sin free. Christ's atonement covers everyone's sins from the beginning of the world and forward.

Here is another comment I would like to reply to:

"God lied. Or the serpent [Satan?] lied. But God can't lie. Therefore the serpent lied. But the serpent was right when he said their "eyes would be opened and they would know good/evil". This = death? The serpent says it isn't. If God tells the truth, logically it is. But then why is God not subject to death, if Adam and Eve know good/evil and are now like him."

Not following you on the last 3 sentences. The serpent did deceive them. He told them that they would not die but would know the difference between good and evil. This is half true. They will die just not right away. When they were removed from the Garden of Eden this was also a separation from Heavenly Father's presence, hence the spiritual death. So both a temporal and a spiritual death. Just like Satan to deal in half truths isn't it? This may mean that they become mortal and now have the capacity to die.


"Did Eve have the choice not to eat from the tree? If she didn't, God is the author of death, isn't he?"

She did have a choice as we all have free agency. Heavenly Father knew that Lucifer would tempt them and He counted on it. Death is not a bad thing but a necessary step in our journey to exaltation. You make it sound so bad. :-)

" "Sin" (disobeying God) happened before Eve ate the fruit: she disobeyed in eating the fruit."

Not sure of the point or question here. Eve and Adam could not have sinned because they were as children. But yes she did transgress by disobeying.

"Also, how do we know A&E couldn't conceive until they ate the fruit? God would be unfair to give them a command they could not obey."

Thats why they HAD to eat the fruit, so they could lose innocence, bear children, and eventually die. They had to have mortal bodies to have children.

Russell said...

First of all, I know that these topics tend to bring out all the wild theories in people...I call upon everyone to keep their inner Kolob in check...please...for the sake of everyone's reading enjoyment :)

So:
"Once Eve partook, Adam knew he must as well or he would have been all alone in Eden. It takes 2 to tango right?"

Which, to me, equates getting Eve out of a pickle...if you accept that as being an all-inclusive explanation. However, then we have to admit that Eve did something WRONG. That's the question: how we do square the conflicting commandments conundrum?

Anonymous said...

First of all, I know that these topics tend to bring out all the wild theories in people...I call upon everyone to keep their inner Kolob in check...please...for the sake of everyone's reading enjoyment :)


Kolob...please...

That is what I found out about Mormons when I joined 30 years ago, you have a hard time thinking out side the box, you still think you belong to a church, rather than the KINGDOM OF GOD. I understand why these stories were put into the scriptures because they were to teach even the simplest of us. From child to adult. I understand why they are part of the temple so that all can understand and learn. It is still relevant to day but just a story. You don't really believe in talking snakes, fruit of life, fruit of good and evil, gardens where people never die? The next time you want to understand Our Heavenly Father pull up the Hubble telescope pictures, or study the atom, or DNA. So many of the scriptures are there so my simple mind can understand then build on as science and further revelation is given.

Think out side the box.

Anonymous said...

The intellectual "selling points" of the Restored Gospel are tremendous. Intelligent answers to issues like What was the Fall? Why Jesus? Who are we? Why this crazy earth life? What happens to all the billions who died without having a chance to hear of Jesus? Why should marriage simply dissolve at death? Who is God and what is our relationship to him?

These are the things I need, thank Heavenly Father for the restoration!!!!

Anonymous said...

Russell said...
This is the great question to me--

At once, we claim Adam to be a hero of sorts...he opened the way to mortality. But we have no evidence in the scripture that he knew what he was doing...how, then, can we call him a hero?

Second, Adam DID disobey God...I don't see how we can get around that...even though I would LIKE to get around that very much.

Finally, a corollary to that is that Eve gets most of the brunt, that she put Adam in a tough position to choose the 'lesser of two evils.'

I'm not losing my testimony over this--I've been pondering this for YEARS now, and am quite familiar with many of the arguments made. I just hope that Latter Day Saints can be aware of the ambiguity here. That way, all of us can avoid unwitting dogmatism and, hopefully, can learn more about how God does his business when we too find ourselves in 'tough situations.'

10:16 AM, November 05, 2007

Check out the temple or the words of Joseph Fielding Smith and Jeffrey R. Holland on the issue. If we stick to the bible then there is some problems.

Anonymous said...

they are disobeying God's law--it almost seems as if God set up a no-win situation.

I think many leaders of the LDS church has help us clear up the fact that Adam and Eve had a choice and understood the results. God say to have sex but only in marrage. God says not to kill but tells at time to kill. I don't see the problem. If they understood that they were making a choice not only for themselves but all mankind then is this much different than Christ?

NM said...

What I find really quite striking about The Fall of A&E is that God rejected their efforts, or their WORK (here we go again) of attempting to cover themselves when they sewed fig leaves for clothes...

Notice what God does: As a result of A&E's sin, an innocent creature was killed. Blood was shed in order to hide A&E's shame... Who killed the animal? God killed the animal. A picture perhaps of who was to come? =)

So God rejects the efforts of Adam and Eve when covering themselves, then to demonstrate just how drastic their sin was, God kills the animal.

My emphasis of course (with the whole subject of 'grace again) is that our effort of attempting to hide our shame is REJECTED by God, and that He accepts ONLY WHAT HE DOES to atone for what has happened.

The 'Alpha & Omega' is explosively passionate to bring glory to Himself...

JayFlow22 said...

"Second, Adam DID disobey God...I don't see how we can get around that."
I don't see why we need to get around it. Everyone, save Jesus Christ, has disobeyed God a lot more times than once.
As Joseph Smith pointed out...God operates like this..."Thou shalt not kill", then at another time, "Thou shalt utterly destroy". Moses and the Israelites had to break one law to keep another.
I still haven't figured out why mortality has to be jump-started by a transgression...but the scriptures attest to the fact that that is the way it is. You have to know the bitter to understand the sweet...so maybe you have to sin to understand holiness?? Just my thoughts.

tatabug said...

NM,

I don't believe that Adam and Eve covering their nakedness was at all figurative, and the sacrifice wasn't to cover-up their shame, but was a sin offering which IS figurative of the atonement of Christ. So, I'm not sure what you mean by the whole issue of cover-up by Adam and Eve or by us. Repentance is not an effort to hide our sins, but to admit them, apologize for them, make ammends for them, and overcome them. But yes, of course, if we were to try to hide them, or our shame for them, that certainly would be rejected by God, but forgiveness for them wouldn't be granted through such means.

Russell,

I don't think it was a matter of Eve bit, so Adam had to. He had two choices before and I don't think those choices changed at all once Eve partook. Yes they would have been separated, but I don't know if he knew that Eve would be cast out of the garden and that they would be separated. Perhaps when Eve partook, she gained a better understanding and as such was able to convince Adam of the necessity of it. I think they were both trying their best to be obedient, but perhaps they each saw the situation through different eyes.

As far as the "no win situation" you proposed, I think you have to go back to the commandments they were given. They were told to multiply and they were forbidden to partake of the fruit of the KOGAE (knowlege of good and evil) tree. The KOGAE tree was actually a pretty good tree. It made Adam and Eve mortal, which was a necessary step in their progress, but it brought to them an eventual physical death as well as spiritual separation from God. But that step had to be taken willingly by Adam and Eve and not forced upon them by God. The terrestrial nature of the Garden and the initial immortal form of Adam and Eve was a necessity of their birth and I think in God's mercy, He couldn't force them out of His presence and into a world of sin and death. In order for Him to not have any influence on their decision, it seems to me that He would have had to make it forbidden to them. My only confidence in saying that is that we know it was a necessary step. They had to become mortal, which is why the tree was actually good, but God still forbade them to partake of it. This theory could still use some expansion, but I just haven't quite gotten there yet. But I love your questions.

JayFlow22,

Excellent points about breaking one law to keep another. That would tie in perfectly with the idea that Adam and Eve's transgressions were not sins. But don't forget that Adam and Eve were innocent and therefore incapable of sin. We can only sin when we understand the difference between right and wrong. So can we truly say that the world had to begin with sin, since they didn't sin, and transgression doesn't always equal sin? You may be correct, but I'm just not sure.

Wow. The point I just raised leads me to believe that this lack of knowledge somehow played into the choices that were designed for them. I just can't quite get my head around that one yet.

tatabug said...

The 'Alpha & Omega' is explosively passionate to bring glory to Himself...

Whoa!! Just caught that. I don't think God is an egoist. I hope that isn't what you meant.

Anonymous said...

NM, said:

Yes they would have been separated, but I don't know if he knew that Eve would be cast out of the garden and that they would be separated.

Wow. The point I just raised leads me to believe that this lack of knowledge somehow played into the choices that were designed for them. I just can't quite get my head around that one yet.

These are two points that other Mormon scriptures and doctrine have covered that are not found in the Bible.

One question what does "wag on about it" mean.

tatabug said...

Kathleen,

The Law of Conservation of Mass Energy dictate that matter cannot be created or destroyed, it merely changes form. In other words, something cannot be created out of nothing. We don't understand all of the laws which govern science, but God does, and He does not violate them. All of His creations and all of His miracles are in harmony with those laws, even though we can't see that. How He created the Earth and the heavens is beyond our finite minds to comprehend, but not His. That, however, doesn't mean that He violates the laws of nature.

Anyway, the word creation does not imply creating out of nothing. Whenever we create something, such as a work of art or a nice dinner, we basically organized it, prepared it, put it together, cooked it, or whatever necessary steps needed for the creation process. We didn't create it out of nothing, even if we did use raw materials. Nevertheless, we created something.

Remember that all things can be broken down to an elemental level.

tatabug said...

anonymous at 5:40 Nov. 7,

NM didn't say that, I did, except for the "wag on about it" phrase.

You said:

These are two points that other Mormon scriptures and doctrine have covered that are not found in the Bible.

I'm not so sure about that. I don't want to attribute my thoughts to being doctrinal, because I don't know that they are. I would like to think that we or I are being consistent with doctrine, but the nature of this discussion leads us to topics that we have little information to verify the doctrinal status of our ideas.

tatabug said...

Kathleen (again),

A lot of the things we talk about are not things that are covered in the Bible. That's the great thing about continuing revelation.

The fact that Adam and Eve couldn't conceive children is one such example. In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 5:11 says, "And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, 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."

About Adam's baptism, Moses 6:64 says, And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water."

NM said...

Errrm...

I think I want to take my last comment back. I've just been re-reading Genesis chapter 3 and nowhere does it say that God committed any such acts of killing...

Sorry, my bad.

Saying that though, I'm still quite interested that even though Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover themselves, that God still GAVE THEM this coat of skins...Why would God give them this coat of skins when He knew they had already covered themselves? Hmmm...

tatabug said...

I'm still quite interested that even though Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover themselves, that God still GAVE THEM this coat of skins...Why would God give them this coat of skins when He knew they had already covered themselves?

Perhaps because the fig leaves were an obvious temporary 'fix.' Skins would be much more durable...and comfortable...and warm. Practical reasons I suppose.

Kathleen said...

Tatabug,

"But don't forget that Adam and Eve were innocent and therefore incapable of sin."
What? How could Eve disobey God then?

If God created the physical laws, there is no reason why he could not have created the earth out of nothing. Is there? :)

NM, about God giving A&E clothing...maybe it was to show that ALL is done through Him!

NM said...

Yeah. Maybe I do tend to over-spiritualise things, but I guess as with anything I read, I always move to question the whys and the hows. For example, why did the author choose the word, 'enormous' rather than 'magnitude' or whatever.

So, I guess much in the same way with the book of Genesis: why did the author move to include the fact that God gave them a coat of skins? Why bother mentioning that when it's probably quite irrelevant?

But, yeah, I do see your point.

NM said...

Kathleen,

"...maybe it was to show that ALL is done through Him!"

HAHAHAHA! Love it! Sentences like this put tingles up and down my spine... =D

NM said...

Kathleen,

Bear with me here because I know I'm about to do something against what you have written about in your blog, which is to isolate a single verse to press a point:

In Numbers 23:19 it says, "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"

Now I'm probably right to assume that Mormon-Christians might move to say God is not a man (anymore), than he should lie.... etc. etc.

Still, the thing that I want to tease out is that God does not lie. So, if we go back to the Genesis account where it seems the serpent told a half-truth, it still actually means that God told a lie. But Numbers says that God does not lie. So, even though the serpent seemed to tell a half-truth it still makes God a liar - for which (according to Numbers) He is not.

So, I might argue that the serpent was in fact not telling a half-truth but was out-right declaring that God is a liar and in doing so, the serpent sold not just a half-truth, but a complete lie.

My head hurts.

JayFlow22 said...

The "coats of skin" I think is an obvious reference to the Lamb of God. This plays in nicely to the Doctrine that the Gospel was preached in its fulness beginning with Adam.
Adam had rightly chosen to Fall into mortality. Now, by making them coats of skins, God was teaching that the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world would be the only way to overcome that Fall and reenter the presence of God.

NM said...

Jayflow,

ABSOLUTELY!!! The act of God giving them (and notice it was Him who gave and it was not through Adam and Eve's doing) was a picture of things to come!...couple this with the fact that God already knew that Adam and Eve had already made for themselves aprons, yet still gave them this coat of skins...

Isn't the Creation/Fall account is SO INCREDIBLY AMAZING!

NM said...

Jayflow,

ABSOLUTELY!!! The act of God giving them (and notice it was Him who gave and it was not through Adam and Eve's doing) was a picture of things to come!...couple this with the fact that God already knew that Adam and Eve had already made for themselves aprons, yet still gave them this coat of skins...

Isn't the Creation/Fall account is SO INCREDIBLY AMAZING!

tatabug said...

Kathleen,

"God does not hold one responsible for wrong done in ignorance or harm done to others unintentionally, because such actions do not constitute sin. One's ignorance, immaturity, or even recklessness may injure others, and individuals may be accountable for the consequences they help bring about. But in such situations, where there is no ill intent, there is no sin" Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

We consider children under the age of 8 to be incapable of sin. It isn't because they can't obey, it is because they don't fully understand right and wrong and the consequences of their choices. They can be taught those things, but they haven't reached the level to where they are able to fully comprehend them. We consider Adam and Eve to have been in a similar state in the garden, because they were innocent and didn't understand the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. Little children can disobey the commandments of God, and they may know that they are breaking a commandment, but we don't know how much they understand about what they did. That is why juvenile crime is treated differently than adult crime in our law.

tatabug said...

Kathleen,

Oh, I forgot about the physical laws.

God did not create the physical laws. The physical laws just...are. If God did create the physical laws, however, then He could change them. But that is not our belief.

NM said...

Tatabug,

You say, "God did not create the physical laws. The physical laws just...are."

I don't know about you, but this kind of thing affects me emotionally. In fact, it makes me feel quite sad.

My undestanding (and probably those who are Evangelicals/Reformed etc.) is that God simply is. i.e. physical laws exist because He exists. That concepts like truth, love, justice, mercy, hope, joy exist because He exists.

But, hey-ho...

Russell said...

This is excellent. G.K. Chesterton once remarked that Christian scholarship ought to be like this; he likened it to a playground with the sturdiest of walls, but where there was all kinds of romping, laughing, and exploring. And tatabug, you're working overtime. Kudos.

So tatabug--

How do we reckon the necessity of the step with the stated fact that it was forbidden? I'm still having a "bit" of a time (no pun intended re: "biting" into fruit) working through the contradiction/ambiguity/whatever you want to call it (to me, the word "contradiction" doesn't have the nasty connotation that others ascribe to it).

And I'm going to venture a bet that Adam knew Eve had to go...otherwise, he wouldn't have really been in a fair position to choose.

dave d said...

On the coats of skins - I have read something from Hugh Nibley postulating that Joseph's "coat of many colors" was actually the coat of skin given to Adam. I'm not sure where he got that, but he usually had sources that he cited. Where did the coats go after they were kicked out of the Garden - into some museum?

Anyway, if this is true, it would seem that the coat is tied to the covenants of God - some symbol for the covenant as it would have been passed down through the patriarchs with the birthright or covenant.

tatabug said...

Russell,

I gave my opinion with regard to reconciling the necessity of the act with the fact that it was forbidden. I realize that the theory isn't fully developed yet, and may be wrong altogether. Here's an exerpt from my comment:

But that step had to be taken willingly by Adam and Eve and not forced upon them by God. The terrestrial nature of the Garden and the initial immortal form of Adam and Eve was a necessity of their birth and I think in God's mercy, He couldn't force them out of His presence and into a world of sin and death. In order for Him to not have any influence on their decision, it seems to me that He would have had to make it forbidden to them. My only confidence in saying that is that we know it was a necessary step. They had to become mortal, which is why the tree was actually good, but God still forbade them to partake of it.

I don't understand your reasoning when you said that Adam knew Eve had to go...otherwise, he wouldn't have really been in a fair position to choose. How would his position not have been fair?

tatabug said...

I was just doing the dishes and I had a thought.

Suppose that there was the tree of the KOGAE, but no commandment not to partake of it. So Adam and Eve unknowingly partake of it. What happens? They become mortal. But does that alone force them out of the garden and essentially out of God's presence? Does the presence of Adam and Eve's mortality create the separation? Or is it the transgression, even though it wasn't a sin?

Back to the dishes.

tatabug said...

I think I may be on to something. Remember the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2)? Even Jesus (who was without sin) had to be transfigured in order to be able to withstand the presence of God.

Bookslinger said...

Kathleen:
The Hebew word that got translated as "created" in Genesis 1:1 does not mean "created out of nothing."

Actually, it would be better translated as "organized", because it denotes taking pre-existing material, not making material out of nothing-ness. Sort of like a potter taking clay and "creating" a vessel.

Ask any Hebrew scholar, that "created" word doesn't mean created ex-nihilo.

NM said...

BookSlinger,

What do you make of John's introduction of who Jesus is? I'm not looking for the 'Is Jesus God' thing...

Isolate verse 3 of John chapter 1. It says, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

John is so incredibly clever (in my opinion) in that he uses two perspectives to come to the same outcome.

i.e.
1)All things were made by him.
2)Without him, nothing is made that has been made.

I think both antithetical statements come to the same outcome - that God created everything. I don't know, what do you think?

Kathleen said...

Bookslinger,
Re: ex-nihilo

Check out Deut 33.27.

Peter said...

I have been thinking about Adam and Eve's fall.

In the Bible it reads
Genesis 2:17 - 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.

And the Book of Moses 3:17 - 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.

To me I think of it more of a warning. I mean, think of a loving father, he may forbid us to steal a car or we will go to prison. We steal a car and go to prison. He pays the bail. to bring us back to him. What have we learned? Death may have been an interesting learning curve for Adam and Eve. They knew what was going to happen but wanted to find out what it was like for themselves? Eve was created after the command was given from God and may have only received a reiteration from Adam. Adam would have been the harder for Satan to beguile.

There is an interesting scripture that to me points to why Adam partook of the fruit, not only that but that we have a heavenly mother as well. It has probably been glanced over many many times.

Moses 3:24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.

or if you don't accept the BoM and related books.

Genesis 2:24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This seems to imply that Adam left his mother and father to cleave unto his wife. That's why he needed to take the fruit. There was no earthly mother or father at the time of Adam and him and Eve were not yet parents.

NM -

What makes you think God lied? Nothing in here shows that because God doesn't lie. Satan told a half truth. He said that we would be as Gods knowing good from evil and that we shall surely not die. The lie was the not dieing bit. Even God says that they have become as one of us.

Where did God lie?

Peter said...

Kathleen,

Which scripture are you after because to me Deut 33:27 doesn't point out anything regarding creatio ex-nihilo.

NM said...

Peter,

The thread about this lie subject originated from one of Jeff's previous posts. I say this only for the benefit of those who were not aware of a prior discussion...and I guess probably for you too Peter...

I think the discussion was all to do whether or not we are 'gods'. And I think that what we said previously was that if we are 'gods' (as a commonly held belief in LDS theology), then what are the implications for when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree? What did God say to them? Don't eat it, nor touch it or YOU WILL DIE.

...therefore, I think what we were trying to say was that if God knew that Adam and Eve were pre-existent creatures (as gods), why would He then say, "Don't eat otherwise you'll die" when He knew that they were already gods? Bah. My head hurts...

Kathleen said...

I based that on a quote from Maimonides: "God who preceded all existence is a refuge".

Kathleen said...

Has it occurred to anyone that the text reads "you shall be as gods"?

Peter said...

NM,

It's hard to keep track of everything. I tend to just focus on the thread I am in at the time of writing/ reading (unless there is a cross reference noted).

I guess we need to understand what it is that separated us from this god status pre-mortality. That is the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus had this knowledge but he didn't have a body. So to be a father in heaven perhaps there are several things required. 1) knowledge of good and evil, 2) a body, 3) the ability to control your body in righteousness to obtain perfection.
Ack, this is getting a bit muddled.
Jesus being the first born inherited the kingdom. Somehow he has knowledge of good and evil, perhaps something to do with his inheritance. He still needs a body to become a father. He gains the body on Earth and subjects the flesh to the will of the father thus bringing about a perfect atonement. He then decides to allow us to be joint heirs with him thus making it possible for us to become fathers also?

So we didn't begin as gods in any sense of the word. We are gods through Christ's decision to give us joint ownership of the kingdom.

Peter said...

Kathleen,

Sorry I still don't understand what that has to do with the creation.

Kathleen said...

It has to do with what Book and I were talking about.

If God was existent before all creation, the implication is that there was a time when no creation (all the things in Gen 1/2) existed. Hence, God created matter, he didn't just "reorganize" it.

Peter said...

My take on the creation account we have, is of our universe. Makes sense to me. Really the scriptures tell us only what we need to know in regards to our salvation. If he gave us more we would probably miss the point focusing on all the wrong details.

Anonymous said...

"But don't forget that Adam and Eve were innocent and therefore incapable of sin."
What? How could Eve disobey God then?

A child is innocent because they do not fully understand but can disobey. Where there is no understanding of God law there is not punishment.

Anonymous said...

You said:

These are two points that other Mormon scriptures and doctrine have covered that are not found in the Bible.

I'm not so sure about that. I don't want to attribute my thoughts to being doctrinal, because I don't know that they are. I would like to think that we or I are being consistent with doctrine, but the nature of this discussion leads us to topics that we have little information to verify the doctrinal status of our ideas.

6:08 AM, November 07, 2007

Sorry about to whom I was addressing. But I think the temple cover concepts not found in the bible.

Anonymous said...

NM,


Saying that though, I'm still quite interested that even though Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover themselves, that God still GAVE THEM this coat of skins...Why would God give them this coat of skins when He knew they had already covered themselves? Hmmm...

You will need to get a temple recomend and go to the temple. More Mormon doctrine

Anonymous said...

NM, said;

I'm still quite interested that even though Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover themselves, that God still GAVE THEM this coat of skins...Why would God give them this coat of skins when He knew they had already covered themselves?

There have been a number of papers prepaired compairing these coats of skin to Joseph's coat of many colors and Jewish temple robes and Mormon beleives and the Mormon temple.

Anonymous said...

NM, sorry david d. already covered this.


dave d said...
On the coats of skins - I have read something from Hugh Nibley postulating that Joseph's "coat of many colors" was actually the coat of skin given to Adam. I'm not sure where he got that, but he usually had sources that he cited. Where did the coats go after they were kicked out of the Garden - into some museum?

Anyway, if this is true, it would seem that the coat is tied to the covenants of God - some symbol for the covenant as it would have been passed down through the patriarchs with the birthright or covenant.

9:39 AM, November 07, 2007

richdurrant said...

I wanted to add a a couple of things here. First, and Kathleen pointed this out, becoming as Gods knowing good from evil. Not becoming Gods. That little word as changes the meaning a bit.

Creation, being the organizing of matter, is still occurring today. Take a look at science discoveries about stars forming, and most likely more planets around some of those stars also forming. Creation usually appears to be referred to as a single event, God created everything we see, not as those process that it really is as we can see from our own observations. So God existed before creation, could also be said as God existed before the organization of matter in the universe.

teranno4x4 said...

Hi Jeff,

Thoughtful, well written, devised post (some Biblical errors)- and even more colourful, diverse responses (both the LDS and non-LDS recognised ones). It seems that even in your denomination, there are no outright understood definitive aspects, because some 'square pegs' simply refuse to fit into the 'round holes' !

Please allow me to add my comment from your previous post to open up an alternative viewpoint - maybe you could respond ? :

"Dear Jeff,

Thank- you for your thought provoking and quite interesting comments.

Adam and Eve were already exalted in the Garden of Eden. The way that one views this is how one explains the whole temptation passage of Genesis 3 in the Garden of Eden, from the deception offered by the serpent (satan – whose name means ‘the accuser’) under area restriction of the tree only, not the whole Garden, note; until God calls for them when they are hiding and asks them who told them that they were naked. This isn’t a lesson for them to go and start shopping at Bloomingdales, it is far more simple than that, because 'their eyes were opened'. Opened to what exactly? The only difference is that they had both listened to satan, become his subjects, handed over to him the keys of dominion - and subsequently disobeyed God which constitued 'sin'. So 'sin' was the ONLY difference. The robes of glory and righteousness had adorned their bodies so that they knew no shame. This was exaltation from God for the crowing glory of all of His creation here on Earth, in it’s purest state. It was never God’s intention that Adam and Eve should ‘fall’. It was their own choice through their own actions and stupidity of going where they were instructed not to go – then taking their mistake further by undergoing temptation and both of them – agan note – BOTH of them individually falling in their own right. Adam’s was worse than Eve’s. She was deceived – He made his own choice as a result of the thought of losing his companion, which ultimately was worse, because he distrusted God’s own heeding at that stage. That was the sin – the fruit was the proof of the pudding in the eating! Have you ever gone somewhere that you simply shouldn’t, in your lifetime ? I have and I have felt the guilt afterward as a result.

Can we blame Adam and Eve – no of course not, because we all are no better. None of us – only Jesus who proved that we can choose to live like He did, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Adam's sin and my sin was equal in the sufferings of Jesus on the cross at Calvary. Often that choice to listen to the Holy Spirit comes once we seem to have made too many bad choices in our past.

No - your question about the heavenly diet is answered simply. “There will be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”. This means a complete paradigm shift in a completely new direction that none has ever experienced before. No more booting out from the presence of God – the price was paid at Calvary. No more desire to be proud or self exalted – “former things have passed away”. Bye-bye satan and followers – bye bye………

For the two people question that you posed - was it God’s intention to give man dominion of the earth, the power of reproduction and no ability to actually use it? This is pure supposition, but anyone can guess at the time when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Many people believe it was after millions of years, which gives us the data that some scientists claim to extract from scientific analysis today. Many believe that it was after a few hundred years as they were roaming around the single stretch of land mass in the whole sea that was ‘The Garden of Eden’, many (including me) believe that God is all powerful and merciful and that if they had overcome the wiles of satan, obeyed God implicitely and stayed away from ‘that tree’, then satan would have been sent packing, the tree as a test of obedience to God would have been removed totally from the Garden and we could all have enjoyed eternity living with God in His Garden. That they had no children, logically implies that they 'fell' well into their early days in the Garden, certainly within the nine months, which is the usual gestation period for human pregnancy. There is no distinct proof either way and to believe your notion is also pure supposition.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Jeff,

And also from before :

“The Messiah was part of God's plan from the beginning - not a solution proposed when God's real plan was overthrown by Adam.” I agree with the verses that you gave and also the comments that you made except the one quoted here. I did not suggest that the plan of redemption was an emergency plan quickly set up after man fell. Please go back to my original comment on this and re-read. The word that I used was a ‘contingency’ plan. Contingency doesn’t mean ‘after thought’, it doesn’t mean back-up plan exclusively. It means something that may happen but is not necessarily going to happen. So here we still see the power of free-will at work. Adam and Eve had that choice. ‘Foreordained’ does not mean His destiny. It means taking on status or title or position. In context to this verse it means acknowledgement of Jesus in the Godhead before the foundation of the world (in that He was involved in the planning of the activities of the complete unit known as God).
The verse in Revelation that you quote is an interesting one, because the key word in the whole sentence is ‘from’. In context, the plan of redemption (contingency) clicked into action after creation which was our beginning – that is what ‘from’ means in this instance. Hence the ‘promise’ given by God about the ‘bruising of the heel’ etc in Gen 3 and the contingency plan becomes reality ….
I am not making any mistakes here – my theology is Biblically sound. “Christ was prepared from the beginning - the only hope for mankind.” I agree with this wholeheartedly but it was not prepared as the ONLY way for fate, destiny, history or whatever you want to call it. This is pre-destination without free-will. It doesn’t apply to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or to mankind. We all have choices of freedom – Jesus made his choice to desire to save us – it is up to us to make our desire for Him.

Let me ask you a few questions in reply. Is the whole sinless sacrifice of Jesus just about His desire for man to be glorified and become ‘gods’ ? Or is there a deeper significance relating to the clensing of the sanctuary after the 2300 day prophecy found in Daniel – if so, which sanctuary ? Did sin originate on the earth ? If yes – how ? If no – where ? So whose benefit is the sacrifice of Jesus for ?

Teranno4x4

Bookslinger said...

Kathleen: that still leaves open the question of _scope_, and whether it is talking about _our_ creation (our world, our solar system, our galaxy, our universe) or whether an absolute beginning of a larger "set".

If there was a big-bang which formed this universe (and that still leaves open the question of whether other big bangs formed other universes within an overall "multiverse", which fits in with Stephen Hawking's model), then _our_ "creation" can still be interpreted as being this planet's creation, or even this ball-of-mud's reworking (like a vase made out of pre-existing clay) out of pre-existing materials.

We've attached so much cultural and semantic meaning to the Genesis account, and we're culturally "married" to a particular western/Judeo-Christian interpretation.

What Joseph Smith did is open our minds to the possibility of cycles of creation because.... if we humans eventually "grow up" to potentially be "gods" (lower g), then the implication is (and he unofficially even stated it flat out) is that God (Elohim, our Heavenly Father) did the same thing, was once a mortal man. Then the logical implication is that the cycle goes backwards endlessly.

Russell said...

terrano:

Hopefully, you've seen my questions (if for no other reason than to recognize that fellow LDS can ask hard hitting questions and still keep the faith). In any case, I don't see a compelling case to demonstrate Adam and Eve's exalted state. You use a verse from Revelation, but I wonder why we should connect the two conditions spoken of...the connection is fair but more one of individual interpretation. I suggest that you find a verse demonstrating to us why we ought to assume that Adam and Eve's existence would be anything like the one spoken of in the Revelation verse.

And I would strongly disagree with the suggestion that the atonement was merely a contingency plan. That would make it less than infinite...it particularizes it to much, relegating to Jesus being little more than a life saver. It temporalizes the atonement of letting it be the ultimate way of living life--a divine modus operandi of saving us...not just a one-time bail out.

tatabug said...

Kathleen,

I think what Peter is asking is how does Deuteronomy 33:27 apply to ex-nihilo. I'm thinking you gave an incorrect reference.

"The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them."

Peter,

I think you may have something with the idea of the fruit being forbidden as more of a warning. I don't quite follow the stolen car concept, since stealing a car is definitely wrong. The commission of such a crime wouldn't prove a necessary step to progression. Becoming mortal was necessary, so why was it forbidden is the question?

All,

I think, however, that I may have found the answer to why the KOGAE tree was necessary but forbidden.

I went back to 2 Nephi chapter 2 and studied it more thoroughly this time. In verses 15-16 it says, "And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

This got me to thinking. It said that there had to be opposing choices because they would have been able to do no good, for they knew no sin, as it says in verse 23. Nothing Adam and Eve did could be counted as good, because in their state of innocence, they had no opportunity to prove themselves.

But the most important thing I learned was when I was doing some cross referencing for verse 15. The cross reference was a, which pertained to "his eternal purposes in the end of man," and it led me to Alma 42:26, which reads, "And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery." It was the destruction and misery that hit me. God had to forbid Adam and Eve from partaking of the fruit of the KOGAE tree because, although it was a necessary step, and there was a promise of redemption through Christ, He knew that for some, it would mean their destruction. He meant it when He said they would surely die. Sure, some of us would escape destruction and return to Him, but He knew some of us wouldn't, so the tree had to be forbidden for that purpose. Mortality was a good and necessary step, but it was also a risk with terrible consequences for some, and God couldn't condone such a risk. It had to be our choice.

Russell said...

Tatabug,

Thank you being a straight dealer on the question. SO MANY--I repeat--SO MANY Saints talk about this issue in so much ignorance...not even knowing the depth of the philosophical problem at hand. It's frustrating because I am seldom satisfied by their answers and it becomes all the more difficult to explain why because they haven't ever critically engaged the answers they give.


So...that's an interesting idea. Many have made the point about the necessity of partaking before. Also, folks have made the point about the destructive consequences before. Few, however, have connected these particular dots. It suggests that Adam's decision was at its heart a paradoxical one. Of course, Chesterton would maintain that the paradox of the problem demonstrates that it is a "correct" problem--one we ought to face directly.

It reinforces the idea that God is, in some ways, subservient to agency. I need to chew some more on this idea...but thanks again.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Russell,

After reading and digesting many of the diverse comments, I have felt for you more out of sympathy for the scathing rebukes coming your way for the gall 'of asking questions' that you would like to have the answers to.

I am surprised that no-one so far (pro LDS) has attempted to address them. I have tried to help from outside of your circle.

Of course you have the choice to discern from my comments and choose what you will or will not accept. BUT you will find no error in my argument offered. All comments can be backed up Biblically.

Maybe you are mixing up my reference points to Revelation. I quote from Rev21:4, but then go on to refer to Jeff's use of a quote from Rev13:8 . Is this the confusion ?

Jeff stated previously in another recent thread : "Christ was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). It was the plan from the beginning! "

"Peter in 1 Peter 1 speaks of the glory that is possible through enduring the afflictions of mortality and obeying God. He calls us to look to the precious blood of the Lamb for our salvation (v. 19). This Lamb, even Jesus Christ, "was foreordained before the foundation of the world" (v. 20). The Messiah was part of God's plan from the beginning - not a solution proposed when God's real plan was overthrown by Adam. Christ as Redeemer was planned from the beginning, as was our potential for honor and glory with Christ as we overcome the trials of our faith through the grace of Christ (1 Peter 1:7). "

"Don't make the mistake of thinking that the glorious ministry of Christ was an unfortunate afterthought or a backup plan when God's real plan somehow went awry. Christ was prepared from the beginning - the only hope for mankind. God's objective was not to have two ignorant children remain forever as children, but He prepared a way for them to come unto Him as glorified sons and daughters who intelligently and knowingly choose God and Christ and the power of the Atonement of the Lamb, who was prepared long before Adam and Eve ever set eyes on that fruit. "

My comment was really generated also in reply to this as I noted the connection with the new post....

In discussing why my interpretation is NOT a personal one, I would ask you to continue reading all of Rev 21 and all of Rev 22. If you do, then in Rev 22 and verse 2 you will read that the 'tree of life' is there bearing twelve different fruits. Wasn't that in the garden of Eden ? Biblical - not personal interpretation. Also you will read quite clearly in ch 21 that 'God is with men' and 'they shall be his people'. Men and people ? I thought that we would be 'gods' according to LDS tradition ? But isn't that also how it was 'meant to be' in the Garden that God was supposed to dwell amongst us ("in the cool of the day")?

The 'Fall' was a fall (the level of man went down) - not any kind of progress. If you have ever had an elderly relative fall and break a limb or a hip or some ribs, or even bust up their face somehow; go and ask them how they are enjoying their 'progression' in learning how to die in their old age. Note the scathing remarks that they offer you in reply.

Jesus suffered monumentally moreso than any elderly relative could imagine for 'man's collective Fall'. Destiny or choice - now we must choose which one to believe.

Jesus had his Destiny - you fit the LDS square pegs in the Biblical round holes yourself. You do battle with them alone.
Jesus had the choice in contingency - consider the alternative other than that on offer from your LDS friends.

Please expand on your 'one-time bail out' comment.

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

Was Adam a man or a boy? A child or a man.

And Eve, a woman or a girl? A child or a woman?

Your answers here relate to the ownership of responsibility that each must face when looking at the consequences of their individual actions. They were not children and they could not be treated as children, so all children commenters must be bypassed in this respect.

Was it God in the tree of KOGAE or was it satan as a serpent? Did God give a warning for them to stay away from the tree or from the possibility of meeting satan and temptation there?

Look at this whole account through the eyes of satan. You are kicked out of heaven and separated from God because of your sinful pride and accusations. What better way to get back at God than by deceptively obtaining the keys of dominion from His 'perfect creation' and causing man to follow you in sin!

What is sin? - Sin is transgression of the Law.
Whose Law? - Gods Law.

My question now is can perfection be improved upon in the 'progress' that appears to be the LDS teaching? My understanding that perfection is perfection and is 100% complete.

Also - who can show me in the Bible the command to Adam and Eve to 'go forth and multiply'? I thought this was the command given by God to Noah ?

Teranno4x4

Latter-Day James said...

I think sometimes we make things more complicated than they really are.

The Fall HAD to happen. Otherwise Adam and Eve could not have children and none of us would have been born.
We wouldn't receive bodies and we would just be spirits unable to receive exaltation.


As much as our Heavenly Father loves us he wants to see us progress. I supposed he could let us "live at home" eternally. Would we want our own children to remain in a state of innocence forever? Some of us may but it is better for them to learn, fail, pick themselves up, succeed on their own: progress. How do we learn joy if we are permanently in a neutral state? We must have bad things to enjoy the good.


Ok I would like to comment on these comments:

"It was never God’s intention that Adam and Eve should ‘fall’. It was their own choice through their own actions and stupidity of going where they were instructed not to go – then taking their mistake further by undergoing temptation and both of them – agan note – BOTH of them individually falling in their own right."


Of course God intended for them to Fall, otherwise we couldn't come to earth.

"Adam’s was worse than Eve’s. She was deceived – He made his own choice as a result of the thought of losing his companion, which ultimately was worse, because he distrusted God’s own heeding at that stage. That was the sin – the fruit was the proof of the pudding in the eating!"


Adam and Eve didn't sin, they were as children. Remember the name of the tree? The tree of knowledge of good and evil. They didn't know right from wrong when eating the fruit. When your 2 year old disobeys, do you lovingly use that moment to teach them or damn them to hell?

"For the two people question that you posed - was it God’s intention to give man dominion of the earth, the power of reproduction and no ability to actually use it? This is pure supposition, but anyone can guess at the time when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Many people believe it was after millions of years, which gives us the data that some scientists claim to extract from scientific analysis today. Many believe that it was after a few hundred years as they were roaming around the single stretch of land mass in the whole sea that was ‘The Garden of Eden’, many (including me) believe that God is all powerful and merciful and that if they had overcome the wiles of satan, obeyed God implicitely and stayed away from ‘that tree’, then satan would have been sent packing, the tree as a test of obedience to God would have been removed totally from the Garden and we could all have enjoyed eternity living with God in His Garden. That they had no children, logically implies that they 'fell' well into their early days in the Garden, certainly within the nine months, which is the usual gestation period for human pregnancy. There is no distinct proof either way and to believe your notion is also pure supposition."

God knows everything that is going to happen. He knew Satan would tempt them and that Adam and Eve would fall. He wanted this to happen. I have no idea how long they were in the Garden. That would be a supposition. Again they couldn't have children while immortal.

One last thing I want to comment on:

"First of all, I know that these topics tend to bring out all the wild theories in people...I call upon everyone to keep their inner Kolob in check...please...for the sake of everyone's reading enjoyment :)"

I don't consider these things I have mentioned to be wild theories. Why check my "inner-Kolob"?

Sorry for the rambling, I just threw this together but it is just what I have been taught and what I believe.

tatabug said...

Russell,

I suppose I should thank you. Like NM and Kathleen, I love "meaty" discussions, and I also love solving things. For years now, I've had similar questions as the ones you've asked, though the questions haven't been "burning" ones, so to speak, which is why I never really put as much effort into finding the answers as I could have. It was your asking which motivated me to do so.

I can kind of understand you're frustration with regards to asking questions. I've never personally encountered the disinterest or stunned reactions to questions you seem to have received, perhaps because I just don't ask questions. That may be as a result of my personality. I'm a bit introverted, so my questions generally remain internalized. It's a matter of feeling comfortable enough to put myself 'out there' I suppose. But I do find a lack of interest in the deeper issues among the members of the Church. It seems that most (and perhaps myself at times as well) just accept things at face value, or they seem content to just know the basics of doctrine without immersing themselves in the depth of what the gospel has to offer. Maybe it's just easier. To learn and comprehend 'deep' is not easy. It's comparable to maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in adequate physical exercise. It takes a great deal of commitment in both time and discipline of mind. Perhaps it is due to laziness, or maybe it is due to a lack of time, or rather proper prioritization of time. I don't know, what do you think?

Also, about your 'getting Eve out of a pickle' response. It seems to me that Adam was also in a pickle, since that's where Eve put him. He had to get them both out. I don't know what they knew, but I'd like to think that they were both pretty smart and that they had some idea that this was the only way. I just wonder why it was Eve who went first, and in what way was she deceived?

Teranno4x4,

Genesis 1:27-28, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,..."

Yes, sin is transgression. Sometimes transgression is sin, but not all transgression is sin. Transgression is a violation of God's law. It is a sin when one knows the laws and can fully understand and comprehend it and the consequences. When one transgresses in ignorance or innocence, then it is not a sin. Adam and Eve were innocent and incapable of sin. After they ate the fruit, "...the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;..." In other words, they now had the ability to understand and comprehend the difference between right and wrong. Otherwise, how could they not comprehend their nakedness? That is how their understanding, regardless of their actual physical age, could be compared to that of a child.

They were forbidden to eat from the tree because of the risk of death, but it was Satan (whether a literal serpent or not) who tempted Eve, and I'm sure God knew that he would do that, but I don't think God forbade them because they might encounter Satan, but because either way, partaking of the fruit would risk their, and by extension, our destruction.

And yes, Satan's only objective was, and still is, to thwart God's plan. But the way I see it, he failed. Moses 4:6 says, And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world." The statement that Satan knew not the mind of God tells me that he thought he was going to throw a big wrench in the plan by getting Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit of the KOGAE tree. But little did he know that the tree was key to the success of God's plan. Perhaps his tactics would have been different had he known that little bit of information. Perhaps he would have tried to persuade Adam and Eve to remain in the garden of Eden childless forever, but then he wouldn't have had the ability to lead anyone after him. He would only have delayed God's plan for us.

As far as perfection, there is no improvement upon perfection. But I'm curious to know where you get the idea that Adam and Eve were perfect.

I understand the problems you must see. You are coming from a strictly Biblical point of view. The Bible, frankly, is very limited on this subject. We are coming from not only a Biblical point of view, but a continuing revelation view as well, which sheds further light and knowledge on an otherwise confusing event. I appreciate your efforts, but you must understand that nothing can compete with continuing revelation. Your only hope is to somehow convince us that there is no need for a prophet (I can just hear it now, the Bible is all we need. The law and the prophets were until John, and so on). Unfortunately, that's a tough sell too.

Latter-Day James said...

Here is your answer to your last question Terranno:

"Also - who can show me in the Bible the command to Adam and Eve to 'go forth and multiply'? I thought this was the command given by God to Noah ?"

Sorry, I don't think it says that in the bible, but it does say it in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses Chapter 2 verse 28

verse 28: And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Modern day revelation, isn't it grand?

Latter-Day James said...

Thanks for your comments tatabug, you make more sense than me when answering questions I think. :-)

NM said...

Tatabug,

You said (in your reply to T4x4), "I appreciate your efforts, but you must understand that nothing can compete with continuing revelation. Your only hope is to somehow convince us that there is no need for a prophet (I can just hear it now, the Bible is all we need. The law and the prophets were until John, and so on)."

I guess, this for me, is where the rubber hits the road, as it were. For those of us who are non-LDS, this is something that we (I) find difficult to swallow. I just hope you can appreciate the difficulty we might have about accepting on-going revelation...and certainly in relation to some of my recent questions about J.Smith =/

For example (if I can take just one subject), according to J.Smith, it seems that he introduced to many people that the God of the Bible is someone whose existence is governed by time, space etc. Whereas it seems that the general understanding of who God is (from both Jewish tradition and mainstream Christianity) is that God is self-governing. Time, space, matter, concepts such as love, joy, hope, truth etc. exist because He exists...

As a mainstream Christian looking into Mormonism, it seems that this God who I have come to worship and adore for His supremacy and sovereignty and isn't actually that big a God. =/

What I have said was not meant to degrade Mormonism; I said it in the hope that you might understand the awkward dilemma we are faced with =)

I guess the crux of it really boils down to Mr. Joseph Smith! =D

Our options are:
1) A mad man (deluded)
2) A bad man (plain old nasty, bordering on psychopathic)
or 3) A true prophet of God

Please note, the above three options are the ones I almost always present as to who Jesus might be whenever I talk people through Mark's Gospel...

Just one more thing: there was one point in your address to Russell where I thought you were beginning to sound like me! Especially when you used the phrase, "I don't know, what do you think?". Talk about identity crisis .

tatabug said...

Latter-Day James,

You're quite welcome, but your comments make perfect sense and as far as I can see, are in perfect agreement with the teachings of the Church. Mine, however, can at times be pure speculation.

And yes, the command to multiply and replenish is also found in Genesis chapter 1 verse 28, which I quoted in my response to Teranno4x4.

tatabug said...

NM,

I thought of you when I said, "I don't know, what do you think." :-) Although I was serious. I may be wrong. (That's not to imply that you aren't when you ask.)

I just read your comment, but I have to run right now, so I will 'try' to deal with the issues you bring up later.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

Thank you for the reminder to show everyone that God indeed want Adam and Eve to populate the earth before they fell. My 'supposition' comment about the 'infancy of their time'(sorry about the pun) - not their 'childish' state as I have read many times in previous comments, in the Garden of Eden due to them not having children seems pretty accurate wouldn't you say - looking at a gestation period of 9 months?

NM is right - it all comes down to being able to accept 'your' prophet as the real McCoy. For me the Bible is God's Word to mankind and if it has survived centuries of facing persecution and near elimination, then that is as important a reminder to me that it's message is just as much for today as it ever was.

On this note NM, you also forgot in your summary of Joseph Smith that there is a possibility that he could have been suckered in the same as Eve, not by a serpent this time, but in his more natural form masquerading as an 'angel of light'. If the message that he gave to Mr. J. Smith was a greater engineered half-truth, half-lie, I wonder how many LDS members reading this post would re-visit where they are at spiritually. I don't believe that Mr. J. Smith could have fabricated this himself, nor was he a deluded man. But he also wasn't lead by the Holy Spirit, when trying to fight with firearms to save his own life. Not exactly the actions of a martyr in the same light as Stephen, Huss, Luther or Wycliffe.

Teranno4x4

Latter-Day James said...

Only one way to find out NM! About Joseph Smith that is. Is the Book of Mormon true? If so, then Joseph Smith Jr. was a true prophet of God.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear LD James,

I have so much admired your comments in this post so far, until I have read your sectioned replies to me - which frankly do disappoint.

Just because you have been taught something and believe in it, doesn't make it true and right. Many people hear about the sure winner in the 2:30 horse derby, believe in the information, make huge bets and lose every penny. They had a 'dead cert' and believed in it. How do their families feel when the bet was the house, the car and their whole life? The Bible has NEVER let anyone down that has searched for God with all their heart, mind, body and might. It is THE bet that has already won!

Good status, neutral status, bad status - what's this ?

Please read what the Bible has to say about 'spirits' (little 's') :

SPIRIT. The translation of the Heb. ruÆach, “spirit,” “wind,” “breath,” and of the Gr. pneuma, “wind.”
God is declared to be a “Spirit” (John 4:24). The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Angels are “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14). With respect to human beings, “spirit” is the vital, animating force that characterizes a living person. RuÆach is sometimes translated “breath” (Gen. 7:15; Job 9:18; etc.), breath being a readily observed and conclusive evidence of the presence of life.
At death the invisible life force leaves the body (Gen. 7:22; cf. Job 27:3; Ps. 104:29). The spirit returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7; cf. Acts 7:59). Bible believing Christians have sometimes identified the spirit, which leaves the body at death, with simply the breath. For example, the expression in Luke 23:46 “he gave up the ghost” (Gr. exepneusen) is literally “he expired,” or “he breathed out.” On the other hand, the spirit that returns to God has also been identified with the character: Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character.

However, nowhere in the Biblical Scriptures does it indicate that a human’s “spirit” exists as an intelligent entity, apart from the physical brain and physical nervous system inside the body. In fact, quite the contrary is repeatedly and emphatically affirmed (Ps. 146:3, 4; Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10; etc. etc.). The concept of the spirit’s being capable of independent, intelligent, conscious, personal existence apart from the body was derived from pagan Greek philosophy and was introduced into the Christian church in the early centuries of the Christian Era by theologians of the church in Alexandria, Egypt, who adopted Platonic philosophy and blended it with Christian doctrine. This was noted in the Bible in the following textual warning :

1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 1John 4:1-6

The spirits spoken of are not floaty, invisible, ghostly apparition incarnations of our Being (pre-natal or post-death). The Bible texts do state quite literally without any mis-understanding exactly what they are, whether one looks at the English translation or the original language used. Please tell me when the last time you actually heard a spirit that you define, confessing to you?

Lastly - I have had a two year old - twice. I will give you the story about our cooker. There is a light that comes on when cooking and for a two year old, it is quite attractive and draws them in. As a father it is my responsibility to tell them "No, it's hot - it'll burn you". Do they understand completely? Probably not, but obedience and experience will tell them in their minds to trust you as their loving parent. If one is a weak father and doesn't supervise, love, or give any warning and the child runs over and places it's hand on the glass of the oven - when it is burnt whose fault is it ? The father's naturally! What about the first instance if the child has been warned previously and sneaks to the oven when Daddy's back is turned - whose fault is it then ? The child's - of course and the consequence is a burnt hand! As a parent we will love and comfort and care for the child, but the consequences of sin from the disobedience are still there - so it was with Adam and Eve. satan holds no friends amongst human beings - we are all his enemy and must pay him with our lives - 'the wages of sin is death'. God loved Adam and Eve just as much as before - but they had to pay the penalties for their individual sins. They deliberately disobeyed and 'burnt their hands. Whether you want to conisder them as adults or children the end result is still the same and God dealt with them in the same loving manner. The only trouble was that they chose to listen and 'fall' under the dominion of satan. THAT is hardly progress.

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Latter-Day James,

Mate, you've got it one! IF Joseph Smith really is a true prophet of God, then this whole world (not just within the realm of religion), but also the secular and this might include archeology, Egyptology, the whole of Jewish tradition being completely revised etc.

Can you imagine in the event when we actually find a bona fide city as described in the Book of Mormon?! This whole world would be ROCKED. Mormonism would stand head and shoulders above EVERY OTHER religion etc. I mean, to find a city or a host of cities - all from an obscure vision that a mere man with a less than humble upbringing received - would have catastrophic effects on everything we might know about God, 'the meaning of life' and 'truth' as we know it.

Believe me LD James: if an archaeologist finds just one city as described in the Book of Mormon...I'd have to seriously consider acting upon how I approach this book =) Do you see the magnitude this might have upon the world?!

Just as the world stood in awe when Einstein proved the theory of relativity, the world would be in a state of utter pandemonium... =D

Can you imagine what it might be like!? I can just see Jeff now, having done so much hard work to promote the Book of Mormon, jumping up and down on his desk saying, "Now do you believe me?!?!?"

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

You seem to question satan being a serpent ?

Either Moses 4:6 is right when it says : "And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world."

Or Revelation 20:2 is correct when IT says : "2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years".

You know which side of the fence I am camping on - the serpent is even getting a bit old now......

I would say that his plan was to destroy the world that God had made and I think that after one kills the very Son of God, that's possibly the only thing left to do. One can't do much worse than that in a celestial lifetime. So are we in the way? No we are the cause. The battle is for each and every one of us. Are we for God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome sin? Or are we 'progressing' in sin under the influence of satan, in full knowledge that we have a Redeemer.

What a quandry to pose! What part do you presume that satan is playing today?

Teranno4x4

Peter said...

Teranno4x4,
Here is a concept that you probably hadn't thought of. If Adam and Eve were immortal in the Garden it means that any possible fetus would not have grown because it would have been immortal. Mortality is what grants us age. Think about it. They may have had intercourse but any fertilized egg would not have progressed because it would not have grown.

Anonymous said...

Time is what grants us age. Immortality is what prevents death.

Peter said...

Time doesn't mean anything to someone who doesn't die. If we aged then there would be a bunch of really really really really old looking not dead people.

Latter-Day James said...

I know that it is possible for immortals to procreate. But would Adam and Eve as immortals do so being in a state of innocence? After all, they didn't know they were naked!

Terranno, did you agree with my other posts? Just curious. You mentioned you liked them and I wondered why. Is this a trick? hehe jk

Here is what I would like to respond to:

The story of the 2-year old.

Father tell 2-year old not to touch because they will get burned, compare this to God telling Adam and Eve not to partake of the Tree or they will die. Ok I agree.

Ok the child has run over and burned her hand after being warned. Of course the child is at fault. But does the father punish her? Does he punish her children for this? What about his great-grandchildren descended from her? No. Of course not. But I digress. Are there consequences? Yes she has burned her hand. Are there consequences for Adam and Eve? Yes, they will die eventually and leaving the presence of the Father is like a spiritual death. They must leave the Garden and immortality, for now.


"satan holds no friends amongst human beings - we are all his enemy and must pay him with our lives - 'the wages of sin is death'. God loved Adam and Eve just as much as before - but they had to pay the penalties for their individual sins. They deliberately disobeyed and 'burnt their hands. Whether you want to conisder them as adults or children the end result is still the same and God dealt with them in the same loving manner. The only trouble was that they chose to listen and 'fall' under the dominion of satan. THAT is hardly progress."


We don't die because we sin (unless you mean spiritually). We die because we get old, or get hit by a bus. This a step we MUST take to return to our Heavenly Father. It is not to satisfy Satan. When Adam and Eve partook we were not sad, we were happy, elated, overjoyed! We knew then that we would receive bodies and be able to experience sorrow as well as happiness. For we cannot know happiness without first tasting sorrow. This is the only way Man can make progress.

Peter said...

Teranno4x4,

If we didn't live as spirits before coming to Earth that means that Jesus was not Jehovah, doesn't it? Or, is he the exception to the rule?

Peter said...

Latter-Day James,

You are referring to spirit children which are different then embodied children. But the state of innocence is still a key factor as well.

Anonymous said...

Age, not time, does not mean anything to someone who doesn't die. Adam and Eve were not omni-present. Before the Fall, they did not physically age, but they most certainly did age chronologically as they were bound by time, which was established when God began the Creation.

Peter said...

Physical age then is to what I was referring. I still think time doesn't mean anything to an immortal. At least not as much emphasis as we place on it. Adam and Eve could have been 1,000,000 years old and still have looked 18 for all we know. Which in any case still provides support for the comment I made in regards to a fetus not growing.

Peter said...

2 Nephi 2:22 supports - 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.

So, if they knew about intercourse, Adam's sperm would have been immortal and so would Eve's egg which means that they probably would have been two separate entities instead of even creating a fetus.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:



"However, nowhere in the Biblical Scriptures does it indicate that a human’s “spirit” exists as an intelligent entity, apart from the physical brain and physical nervous system inside the body."

Not true. Your reading is that the human spirit has ever been apart from the physical body per. the bible but, both Jewish and Christian documents of that time preoid show that there was a believe in preexistence of the human spirit.

Anonymous said...

Jewish mysticism which espouced pre-existence of the soul. Some of the hymns found with the Dead Sea Scrolls are similar to the Hekhalot hymns sung by the Jewish mystics. One text gives us unmistakable evidence of Jewish mysticism. It is called "Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice". Also, fragments of 1 Enoch, which is considered the oldest evidence of Jewish mysticism, were also found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Since Jewish mysticism existed in the third century before Christ, as Enoch indicates, then it would certainly have been present in first-century Judaism.

Rabbi Manassa, son of Israel, one of the most revered, says in his book Nishmath Hayem: "The belief or the doctrine of the transmigration of souls is a firm and infallible dogma accepted by the whole assemblage of our church with one accord, so that there is none to be found who would dare to deny it. . . . Indeed, there is a great number of sages in Israel who hold firm to this doctrine so that they made it a dogma, a fundamental point of our religion. We are therefore in duty bound to obey and to accept this dogma with acclamation . . . as the truth of it has been incontestably demonstrated by the Zohar, and all books of the Kabalists."
In the Apocryphal book Wisdom of Solomon, recognized by the Catholic Church, is the following verse:
"... I was given a sound body to live in because I was already good." (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20)
sage. Pre-existence soul of man has been a tenet for thousands of years for certain Jews and Christians.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Peter,

Turn in your Bible from the Creation account in Genesis to 1 Thes 4 and take a read.

This chapter describes the second coming of Jesus and what will happen to the 'saints', both dead and alive after he returns.

Think about both the living and the dead. At the point of Jesus' return they have a mortal age at that point in time. The Bible teaches (1 Cor 15:52) that they will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. You talk of time - how fast or how slow is that? I see the twinkle in my children's eyes and in my wife's eye and it is over in a flash. How will the people (babies, infants, elderly) appear physically after the 'twinkling' ?

Who knows for sure, but we do know the Gospel records of what Jesus was like when he appeared to His disciples after His own resurrection! The big question is - how OLD will these people appear ? Can God be held by time ? After He created the world and told Adam and Eve to multiply, can you really believe that our GREAT CREATOR would have requested them to partake of intercourse for the sake of their marriage happiness and 'multiplying', but to face a permanent contraception due to immortality - that could only be released by eating from the tree of KOGAE? To restrict the powers of God like this is to listen to the evil one!

God created time, but Adam and Eve's dimension was only governed by time after they 'fell'. I am sure that there are many dimensions unknown to us, but I am inspirationally sure that the 'spirit world' is not one of them - especially not in the way that the LDS believe. The verses that I wrote before from 1 John 4:1-6 support this Biblically.

If He can create the 'Breath of Life' in a sperm / egg meeting today in 2007 in a sinful world, how much easier for Him to 'bless' the union of Adam and Eve in His PERFECT creation.

On this point - Tatabug - you asked where I got the idea of perfection. For this you need to go back to the Hebrew in ch1 of Gen. On each of the day's creations, God reviewed and said that his work was 'good' (in English). On the sixth day on review of 'His physical icing on the cake' for the world in making man, he reviewed and said that it was 'very good' (in English). The Hebrew makes the point much clearer and identifies the difference in the perfection of the physical matter created. The only missing piece in the whole of creation was the Sabbath Day of rest on the seventh day - and this was sanctified. How is a day sanctified and if God sanctified it - what man has the right to change it?

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear LD James,

I have enjoyed your comments as much as those from Tatabug, Peter and Russell, as you all make the most logical sense when discussing the LDS perspective. Of course I side with NM, from a Biblial perspective and that is where we have the friendly opposition. My commnets were genuine - not a trick.

You said : "Ok the child has run over and burned her hand after being warned. Of course the child is at fault. But does the father punish her? Does he punish her children for this? What about his great-grandchildren descended from her? No. Of course not. But I digress. Are there consequences? Yes she has burned her hand. Are there consequences for Adam and Eve? Yes, they will die eventually and leaving the presence of the Father is like a spiritual death. They must leave the Garden and immortality, for now."

This is your interpretation. The Bible teaches that sin has an effect in heredity until the third and fourth generation. There MUST be the immediate consequence for any disobedience or wilful act of sin. Whichever way one chooses to arrive at the tree of KOGAE with Eve - it was wilful on her part. There was no force used, only deception and coercion from satan himself. Adam also chose himself. Consequences - satan rubbing his hands together and telling God "they are now mine - they listened to me and not you. You with your great big Garden and still they came and listened to me". This is the accuser at work. Expulsion from the Garden and the right to eat from the tree of Life was the ONLY natural progression. This is a negative physical separation from God. It is not a spiritual death as the Holy Spirit would continue and work with prophets of the future to secure the plan of Redemption. The Bible teaches in Revelation 20:14 that the 'second death' is the spiritual death, as this is permanent!


You said : "We don't die because we sin (unless you mean spiritually). We die because we get old, or get hit by a bus. This a step we MUST take to return to our Heavenly Father. It is not to satisfy Satan. When Adam and Eve partook we were not sad, we were happy, elated, overjoyed! We knew then that we would receive bodies and be able to experience sorrow as well as happiness. For we cannot know happiness without first tasting sorrow. This is the only way Man can make progress."

I do not have joy as a result of sorrow. I know - I have had much emotional pain in my life to know this personally. If you sincerely believe in your comment above, then please explain to me Hebrews 2:14 that tells me that satan had the power of death under his control (until the resurrection of Jesus). Now Jesus more importantly holds the power to the keys of death (otherwise known as the power of the resurrection). But satan continues as he always has done !

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon (1:05 AM, November 09, 2007),

Here lies the heart of the issue. The quote that you have made regarding third C BC beliefs are not borne out of belief in the Jewish Torah, but rather from mysticism. Are you not aware how many times in the OT, God calls His people to repent from their ways of idolatory and following the paths of their neighboring countries ? The apostacy of the nation of Israel of old is a glaring example for all of us in modern times, yet you seem to offer it apologetically as a mistake and that mysticism, because it was believed in at that time - therefore it must be true! Just look at the hardships that Israel brought upon themselves - the consequences of their own action (yet again!!!). Will man never learn from these past mistakes?

Please, please, please - "return to the Lord your God, for He is patient and compassionate...."

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon below,

11:04 PM, November 08, 2007, Anonymous said...

T4x4 said :"However, nowhere in the Biblical Scriptures does it indicate that a human’s “spirit” exists as an intelligent entity, apart from the physical brain and physical nervous system inside the body."

Anon said" Not true. Your reading is that the human spirit has ever been apart from the physical body per. the bible but, both Jewish and Christian documents of that time preoid show that there was a believe in preexistence of the human spirit."

Please show me this doctine in the Bible. Other documents 'of that time' are not good enough. I could show you documents of the time that show what the Ammonites did, or what the Ninevites did, or what the Babylonians did - would that make it right for us to believe in the same as them today, just because the accounts are 'of that time'?

My foundational faith is built on the Rock that is Jesus Christ, identified frequently in the OT and manifest throughout the NT and is TRUTH. That FACT can NOT be disputed.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

(Life and Works of Rufinus With Jerome’s Apology Against Rufinus, The Apology of Rufinus in Two Books; Anti-Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, s.2, v.3 [27], p 903). What is clear here is that many of the earliest of Christian church authorities openly professed the belief that the soul pre-existed the body and the life that we presently live -- and our soul is in fact a “sojourner” -- a "pilgrim” -- in this physical world. Speaking of men such as the Apostle Paul, Rufinus writes of Jerome and Origen’s doctrine: “…before the souls were cast down into the world, and before the world, which was made up of souls, had been cast down together with its inhabitants into the abyss, God chose Paul and those like him, who were holy and undefiled."
The reason these great truths are no longer the focus of the modern church is best captured in the words of A. Powell Davies: “Biblical scholars”, he writes, ”were not disturbed by what they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls because they had known all along that the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been” (quoted by Millar Burrows in More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls). What Davies was referring to was the fact that the Church of Constantine so altered the focus of the teachings of the New Covenant, that what we call Christianity today has its doctrinal legacy of birth in the fourth century, and has little in common with the religion that the Son of God revealed to man at the beginning of our Common Era.

To some respect St. Jerome in his 94th Epistle to Avitus revealed an element of truth which we fail to understand today when he wrote: “A divine habitation, and a true rest above, I think, is to be understood, where rational creatures dwelt, and where, before their descent to a lower position, and removal from invisible to visible [worlds], and fall to earth, and the need of gross bodies, they enjoyed a former blessedness. Whence God the Creator made for them bodies suitable to their humble position, and created this visible world and sent into the world ministers for their salvation”. We fail to understand this concept expressed by one of the most orthodox authorities of the post-Nicean church today, because we are unable to comprehend the relationship of our own pre-existing soul that exists in a parallel realm of inner consciousness. We fail to understand that prior to our entering into this present life, an embroyonic image of our soul descended into a “…lower position, and removal from invisible to visible [worlds], and fall to earth”.


In clarification of what is being said, Rufinus writes of St. Jerome and Origen’s teaching: "You say that these souls, for reasons known to God alone, enter into bodies at the time of birth in this visible world: those souls, you say, who in a former age had been inhabitants of heaven, now dwell here, on this earth, and that not without reference to certain acts which they had committed while they lived there. You say further that all the saints, such as Paul and others like him in each generation were predestinated by God for the purpose of recalling them by their preaching to that habitation from which they had fallen...”

The above are the words of how the early Jewish and Christian church understood these doctrines. Anyone can put their own spin on the scriptures. We must except some expert or we take every scripture at face falue. There are those that handle snakes as a religious doctrine, Christ said to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand if it sins, but I don't see to many blind or amputees in christian churches. We can't take them at face value, but must look to some authority. It would be nice if all of us would get the same directions from the HOLY SPIRIT or Heavenly Fathers true Prophet but we don't.

Your quotes of the scriptures does not give them meaning other wise there would not be million of books to explain what they mean.

The problem is that everyone is told what the bible says (means) by some one else ie., biblical scholars. You, NM, and we have our leaders we look to for meaning. Most of the time they disagree, but that does not mean that the doctrines that we believe are not backed up by scriptures or that there are not non-mormon scholars research that support our view of doctrine, even if they do not agree with our church.

tatabug said...

NM,

How do you suppose that the LDS version of God is governed by time and space? We believe God has no beginning and no end, nor is there any beginning or end to His creations. God is no less fascinating or all-powerful for us, let me assure you.

Teranno4x4,

I do question the idea that Satan was a literal serpent. It isn't an issue with me, I just wonder if the serpent was figurative. I don't doubt that it is possible, but I have a hard time with the idea of a talking snake.

Also, with regard to the Hebrew in Genesis 1, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one, unless you have some way to better prove it. I checked the Hebrew and numerous other translations, and they all come out as simply 'good.' Not actually knowing Hebrew, I may be wrong.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon 3:26 AM, November 09, 2007,

It's all very well using these 'church fathers' writings and insights and expose to 'prove' your beliefs, but I go back to my comment - It simply is not Biblical. That someone somewhere made some kind of theology out of their own original spin that was adopted, not from Biblical scripture but from pagan beliefs of the day (look at the Greek god Pan - from which pantheism has come - God in everything including every blood cell in your body). This is quite an absurd theology when one explores the nitty-gritty. It was even criticised by John as I pointed out in 1John4:1-6, and also rebuked by Paul in his epistles to some Early Church leaders for breaking away and teaching their own ideas and doctrines. So it is not so easy to prove in the way that you tried.

The Bible should be explored literally, historically, symbolically and prophetically. the Holy Spirit will certainly give discernment as to how texts and verses should be read and is far greater in reliability than anyone educated that you consider can be trusted.

The examples that you provided - considering how much sin exists in the world, maybe people would be better off plucking out an eye or sawing off a limb, rather than committing adultery, bearing false witness or commiting murder (and yes that includes by proxy in movies). Unless of course you belong to that holier than thou church where all the members are already translated? No ? Didn't think so - I have heard it said that church is a hospital for sinners, not a place of rest for the saved. We all need Jesus in whatever capacity we are in our daily spiritual walk with Him. And we only have that possibility whilst we are alive in the here and now - not the hereafter (otherwise what exactly is the point - and why the rush for a conversion to Jesus today? Relax - go and take in a belly full of beer, have that hedonistic weekend in Vegas, come back and shoot the guy that's sleeping with your wife). It's OK we have the hereafter to fix it.....But that is NOT the message from Jesus, so why question it?

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,
This may help you out in the English exploration of the original language used:

31. Behold, it was very good. The creation of man and his installation as ruler on the earth brought the creation of all earthly things to a close. According to the record God had frequently reviewed His work and pronounced it good (vs. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). The survey undertaken at the end of the sixth day embraced all works completed during the previous days, “and, behold, it was very good.” Everything was perfect in its kind; every creature met the goal appointed by the Creator, and was equipped to accomplish the purpose for which it was created. The application of the term “good” to everything God had made, and the repetition of the word with the emphasis “very” at the close of creation, with man as its crown and glory, indicate that nothing imperfect had come forth from God’s hand. This expression of admiration entirely excludes the possibility that any imperfection in the creation was responsible for the weakness demonstrated by Adam and Eve during the hour of temptation.

With regards to satan taking the form of a serpent, I have already given you the explaining verse in Revelation that ultimately declares his end. Why do you not accept that a former angel of heaven could take on the form of a snake and talk?
Do you believe in the Bible record of Balaam and his talking donkey - that actually saved his life at 'that' moment? Did Balaam think that it was strange? If he did why did he want to start communicating with it?
Like I said before - there are some dimensions that we will not have answers to in our lifetime. We just need to accept through faith based on the evidences that we have in the Bible.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

That someone somewhere made some kind of theology out of their own original spin that was adopted,


The point is you do not know what the original meaning (spin) was. Again you are believing what someone else taught you and they got it from some where and they could be wrong. So your best guess is as good as any other.

Anonymous said...

The Bible should be explored literally, historically, symbolically and prophetically. the Holy Spirit will certainly give discernment as to how texts and verses should be read and is far greater in reliability than anyone educated that you consider can be trusted.

Then you must speak for God.

Anonymous said...

I think I your last pargraph you started loosing it. I'll pray for you.

tatabug said...

Teranno4x4,

Sounds like someone's interpretation to me. Again, the Hebrew and all other translations do nothing to suggest that 'good' or 'very good' mean anything other than good or very good. The commentary you provided only serves to give someone's opinion.

I never said that it wasn't possible that the serpent was literal. I only expressed that I wasn't sure. It is more of a curiosity than anything, and whatever form Satan took does nothing to change the story or the effect of Satan.

I actually forgot about the donkey, so thanks for reminding me, but as I recall, it was God who caused the donkey to speak. The snake would have to have been influenced by Satan to speak. Does he have that power? I don't know for sure, which is why I ask. Again, I don't deny the reality of the serpent, I am only curious about it. But it really is unimportant either way.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


Like I said before - there are some dimensions that we will not have answers to in our lifetime.

I thought all we needed was the bible?

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon (whichever post you made),

Before you try to discredit or assassinate me in text, consider that maybe I do speak for God, because I uphold His Word as truth.

Bhe Bible is all that we need. We are not immortal, we are not celestial. That is what this post is about. That is why we CAN NOT understand the wisdom and magnitude of God. Who is mindful of His ways?

I do not believe what someone else taught me. I am probably one of the few who believe from what I have studied myself from the Bible.

Thanks for your support. I am already praying for everyone that is reading and contributing here.

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

The point that I am trying to make is to expand your thinking. The English gives more insight as to where the emphasis is on the Hebrew in this context. It is not someone's interpretation - 'it is written'.

The Hebrew word is 'meod' - go and study it for yourself. That is why the Genesis account is soooo much deeper than some have concluded it to be based on what Mr. J. Smith has to say. I state that this is simply his opinion and you believe what you have been taught and not what is written in Hebrew in Gen 1, 2 and 3. - Thanks anon... :-)

Maybe I was too hard on you for the literal serpent belief. I apologise. The Bible does make it quite clear for the record in this aspect. Ultimately you can believe as you prefer. If you make the distortion for this aspect, where will the distortion stop? - that was also my point!

Does satan have the power to make an animal speak? Does satan have any power ? Job ch. 1 states quite clearly that he does - we can ask Job or his wife when we get to heaven, about satan's 'cause and effect' strategy. The books of Hebrews and Revelation also pertinently explore the capabilities of satan, the latter on a more global religio-political scale for our end-time events.

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It is quite clear from this verse the powers that satan has, as this verse is not telling us how we wrestle with our true God ! To make a snake talk in the light of this information - easy as apple pie! Spiritual deception (wickedness) is still rife today.

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Hi Tatabug,

You said, "How do you suppose that the LDS version of God is governed by time and space? We believe God has no beginning and no end, nor is there any beginning or end to His creations. God is no less fascinating or all-powerful for us, let me assure you."

I appreciate that the God that is served within LDS is BIG =) I have no doubt about how much of an effect it has had on your life =)

I guess I supposed that the LDS version of God is governed by time is from a previous conversation I had with somebody else (I don't know who), in passing, responded by commenting about the nature of 'eternality'. i.e. that God is eternal, BECAUSE eternity exists. Do you see the difference here? It's quite subtle. And anyhow, I don't know if this certain person really knew what they were talking about - plus I don't really know that what he said is accepted by all LDS. =)

If we take the widely accepted (LDS) notion that God was once a man, or whoever it was that said, "God is that man may become" (or whatever)... then by a single stroke of a pen, has diminished God. Do you see my point? Irrespective of how you as an LDS follower might feel in awe of God, it still objectively stands that J.Smith (or whichever LDS prophet it was) seems to have diminished His Sovereignty =)

In fact, I might go on to say that J.Smith has over-ridden John's account when John stated (ch1:v3) that ALL THINGS were made by Him and that WITHOUT HIM, NOTHING WAS MADE THAT IS MADE. Do you see my point? If it now seems to be (through on-going revelation) that God was actually a man to start off with, it must also mean that God was instigated by someone else - a greater God perhaps... Do you see my point?

The God in the Bible is HUGE! He's off the chart! His glory is immeasurable! There is nothing that He can be compared to (except for Himself) because HE IS THAT BIG!

So to reitterate: by saying that He was once a man (what? to show that we have something to aim for?!) might be nice for us to know (or whatever), has inadvertantly reduced the MAGNIFICENCE of His glory. Would you agree? Please tell me if I am making wrong conclusions here...but this is how it comes across... =)

tatabug said...

T4x4,

Meod means exceedingly. Tov means good (as in Mazel Tov or good luck). All the Hebrew sources I could find supported this. I found one non-Hebrew source which supported your translation, but that is one (questionable) source against a number of others.

One thing I would like to understand in regards to this subject relates to the statement, "This expression of admiration entirely excludes the possibility that any imperfection in the creation was responsible for the weakness demonstrated by Adam and Eve during the hour of temptation." Since Adam and Eve were capable of transgression, how could the creation be considered perfect since they were the pinnacle of God's creations? It would seem to me that their weakness would be considered an imperfection, would it not? God is perfect, and He has no weaknesses. But if Adam and Eve had weaknesses, then how could they be perfect? So what this statement seems to be is some kind of disclaimer saying that God isn't responsible for any defects in Adam and Eve's decision-making ability. That seems to say that an inherent flaw exists. How is that possible if His creation (which includes Adam and Eve) is perfect? This sounds like wishful thinking on the part of the commentator, because it makes no sense, since perfection is the absence of flaws.

And I see your point about Satan's power. I do know that he has power. I just don't know the extent of it. I know for certain though that his power doesn't even compare to God's power.

teranno4x4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
teranno4x4 said...

teranno4x4 said...
Dear Tatabug,

Exceedingly is an exaggerated form of very - I won't split hairs. I even had this verse translated in person today by an Israeli national, whose primary language is Hebrew.

Jesus was born into the world as a man - not as God. He emptied Himself of all his own Divinity in order to be our example and beacon in this dark world.

The Holy Spirit lived within Him as He can with us (should we so choose).

Jesus was and still is perfect. He was tempted and He overcame. He was challenged and he rose to the challenge even to death on a cross.

Do you take the view that He was imperfect..? He had to face a higher quantity and more difficult temptations than Adam and Eve - and He overcame!

It was not His destiny, it was His choice out of love for each and every one of us, including Adam and Eve.

Now re-read your comments to me and note where they fall over when measure by the human life of Jesus.

That is what makes His perfect sinless sacrifice for us even more so incredibly difficult for us to contemplate the reasons why would He do it for me...? And THAT is Grace.

Adam and Eve were created without flaws, that is what the Bible states by this expression and emphasis with "exceedingly good". That they had a total free-will to make a choice to accept flaws, imperfection, sin, transgression (whatever term you prefer), through temptation, it all has the same meaning. Their choice - not God's will!

Regarding satan's power - I don't give it too much thought. I know the power of God in my life and I know that my life is now in His hands. Whatever happens next I am at peace in God through Jesus. satan has no bearing on my personal relationship with God, so that day by day I pray for the same faith that Job demonstrated and Jesus taught and I too like my Saviour can overcome.

Teranno4x4

Darion Alexander said...

If God is not bound by time and space, then the transgression of Adam and Eve was already forgiven when Christ atoned for all the sins of all mankind, hence there couldn't be a sin carried on to the 3rd and 4th generation. There's no reason to jump into a debate or a question of interpretations of perfection or transgression unless you really want to drag this conversation out more. God' plan was the Fall of Adam and Eve and the Atonement for all the sins of mankind and the resurrection of everyone. Yeah, we gotta want to change ourselves and accept Christ for the Atonement to fully affect us, but other than that, I don't see the purpose of all of carrying this out to the nth degree.
Good post Jeff.

tatabug said...

T4x4,

You actually make an excellent point when you refer to the mortal life of Jesus Christ. He was perfect, in that He led a sinless life, but He still maintained the freedom to make choices and was also subject to temptation. So even if the KJV is correct (good, very good), I can see how the creation and Adam and Eve could still be perfect. But, I still disagree that it was God's intention for it to remain that way.

NM,

I'm still chewing on your last comment.

Kathleen said...

LD James,

You wrote: "Adam and Eve didn't sin, they were as children. Remember the name of the tree? The tree of knowledge of good and evil. They didn't know right from wrong when eating the fruit."

They did know that eating from the tree was a sin. God specifically forbade it in Gen 2.17.

Kathleen said...

NM said, "So to reitterate: by saying that He was once a man (what? to show that we have something to aim for?!) might be nice for us to know (or whatever), has inadvertantly reduced the MAGNIFICENCE of His glory. Would you agree? Please tell me if I am making wrong conclusions here...but this is how it comes across... =)"

That is exactly how it comes across to regular Christians and precisely why I said (in another comment train) that the fact that God "has a body" makes me go "ICK!!" Why would I want to worship a limited God? I'm limited too...what does he have on me?

Latter-Day James said...

Kathleen, my point was that Adam and Eve couldn't have sinned because they didn't have knowledge of good and evil yet. They knew Heavenly Father had told them not to partake. But this doesn't change the fact that they were innocent.

Anonymous said...

I've been following most of the postings here, not all mind you, but most. What strikes me as really problematic with LDS Doctrine on this subject is the concept that Adam was following the plan.

Here's the problem I see. What LDS Doctrine does, which no other Christian Faith does, is justify the actions of Adam in disobeying God. You do that by relying on the books found in the Pearl of Great Price, a standard work in the LDS Church, but a book considered to be nothing more than false doctrine by every other Christian Faith. But let me pose this thought to you, Satan is a master of lies. All of us on this posting would agree with that proposition, at least I believe that all of us would.

So if we assume the truth of the statement that Satan is a master of lies, then we should consider why that is. Here's why, Satan has mastered lying because every lie he tells has just enough truth in it to make us question whether its true or not. Therein lies the concern with the LDS Doctrine on Adam's fall. The way the LDS Church presents Adam's account is exactly the type of lie Satan would use to mislead us. It has enough truth to mislead us. What makes it even more concerning, and more likely misleading is that not only is the account of Adam's fall rewritten by LDS Doctrine, but added to that is justification for Adam's actions. It was okay for Adam to disobey God because that was God's plan all along. Can any of you say that out loud without really being concerned about what you're saying.

You see from this vantage point it would seem that you've turned a major transgression into something endorsed by God. If any of you follow treatments for alcoholism, or domestic violence, or any other type of addictive or aberant behaviour, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is justification. Its okay to beat my wife because she deserves it; its okay to over indulge in booze because I need this drink to relax...its okay to disobey God because its all part of God's plan. That's a really big problem with LDS Doctrine on this issue.

Follow God's instructions to Adam in Genesis regarding partaking of the fruit. God says don't do it. He doesn't create an out for Adam in those instructions. God simply says thall shalt not do this. So move ahead to just after Adam eats the fruit. God doesn't endorse Adam's actions by saying its okay, the plan was for you to eat the fruit all along so we could further a higher plan. God is really ticked off at Adam. God boots him and Eve out of Eden never to return.

To the person that suggested Adam could not have sinned in this action because he didn't know the difference between good and evil I have to say you're absolutely incorrect. Maybe Adam did not know the difference between good and evil, but Adam knew not to partake of the fruit. God told him no. God also told him there'd be consequences for disobedience. The point is Adam and Eve may not have called the actions good or evil, but they were certainly put on notice not to disobey God. They did it anyway, and right in the middle is our master of lies, Satan. And right in the middle of LDS Doctrine is Satan too. That didn't come out exactly right, but what I mean this is the type of lie we've been warned to look out for.

What Adam did here in not listening to God is change all of us. The original sin we're talking about isn't the literal eating of the fruit, and I think that's where mormon doctrine is misleading. Adam's original sin isn't eating the fruit, that's only the mechanics of the sin. The bigger picture is that in choosing to eat the fruit, Adam choose his own plan over God's. He put himself first and God second. And in doing that, Adam changed mankind permanently by making us all predisposed to choose ourselves over God. That's the sin in Adam's transgression. And it is a transgression, not a matter of choosing to disobey God to further a higher plan as has been suggested. Adam's actions render us all prone to sin. And you can't change that fact by rewriting his actions in a way that you can justify them. Ultimately when faced with the choice of following God's plan, or following his own, Adam choose to follow his own plan. It was the wrong choice, and it wasn't what God wanted.

Catholic Defender

Latter-Day James said...

Still, no sin was perpetrated. They were as children. Do you think a 3 year old sins? If so, then I guess we have to end at that. If not, then you must agree that Adam and Eve hadn't sinned.

Ryan said...

The Bible has NEVER let anyone down that has searched for God with all their heart, mind, body and might. It is THE bet that has already won!

I think plenty of disillusioned Christians would disagree with you there... but then, they must not have put everything into their faith like they should have.

That's not going to satisfy an atheist any more than LDSJames' injunctions to ask God satisfy you. It is a statement of faith. We're wandering back into NM's excellent question about how (or whether) one can trust in faith and spiritual experiences that might just be a figment of the imagination. I know what's worked for me, as do many other LDS. You seem to have a way that works for you. In the end do any of us *know* in this life? Nope -- or it wouldn't be faith.

Satan has mastered lying because every lie he tells has just enough truth in it to make us question whether its true or not.

True, but also a cop-out useful for tagging on anything you don't agree with.

If God wanted to take something as imperfect and worthless as a human being and for some unfathomable reason wanted to make that creature like Him in pretty much every measurable way, could He?

To someone who thinks God has no such plans, this idea sounds like the whisperings of half-truth.

But, suppose God did want to raise a human to some semblance of His own level of perfection and power. What would Satan whisper to that human to try and prevent it from happening? Perhaps something about it being impossible, even for God, because that human is too worthless and imperfect? It's more than half true... Or, even better, that God couldn't possibly want to do that?

Again, we hit NM's question of how to know what to believe. Too many of the methods we throw around to prove or disprove our point work perfectly well when wielded in the opposite way.

NM said...

Tatabug,

The very fact that you're taking a loooooong time to chew over this one, means you are taking my concerns VERY seriously; and for that, I thank you.

Whilst you're chewing (and this probably doesn't need clarifying - but I will - for my own mind's sake): is that the trouble with saying that God exists eternally because of the nature of eternity...is that it has made a God out of 'eternity'...do you see? Instead, what I propose (purely from an apologetic stance of course) is that 'eternity' exists, just as everything exists because of God.

Ryan,

You've once again hit the nail right on its head. And it's just worth reminding that (and I think T4x4 might also make this observation) I am encouraged by your zeal to do what is pleasing in God's sight. That we might be mindful in that in our conversation and discussion, somehow - God is magnified - that we might know Him fully and be changed - and live radical Christian lives =)

Anyway, in keeping with Jeff's post about The Fall and what not: I've been listening to (as ever) an excellent sermon entitled, 'The Fatal Disobedience of Adam and the Triumphant Obedience of Christ', which I have posted on my make-shift blog. In Piper's sermon, at one point, he goes to Revelation to reveal something quite unusual about the Book of Life...something that seems to tie everything that we might know about The Fall together.

Bear in mind that Piper (and I and most other mainstream Christians) come from a reformed doctrine, and his sermon alludes to the teaching of 'unconditional election', which ties into His Sovereignty...

Anonymous said...

Hey I'll go out on a limb here and say yes, I do think a three year old can sin. Before you get all up in arms I would ask you to hear me out. Three year olds are capable of knowing right from wrong. They can appreciate the nature of their actions.

For example when my son was three he climbed on top of the refridgerator to reach the candy on top while my wife was in the shower. In the process he made sure that my wife was otherwise occuppied by and he made a plan as to how he was going to get that candy. When he knocked the candy dish off the top of the fridge and broke the dish, he was able to form and articulate a lie as to how the dish got broken. What this tells me is that he knew he wasn't supposed to have the candy, knew he'd get in trouble for breaking the dish and trying to get the candy, and he knew there'd be consequences for not following the rules. Is this a sin? If so, what is the sin that occurred?

Lets analyze this in the context of Adam and Eve. The fruit is the candy dish. God said don't eat the candy. He made that abundently clear. Eve tells Satan God said don't eat the fruit. So she knows not to eat the fruit. Ultimately knowing that she shouldn't, Eve eats the fruit...she breaks the candy dish. Then she convinces Adam to eat the fruit...he helps break the candy dish. Then when asked about it, they both lie to God about what happened. Why lie if they didn't know what they were doing was wrong. The fact is like my three year old, they knew they were doing something wrong. Their sin was one of disobedience. The same as my son.

The point I'm making is that if you know the action to be wrong and you do it anyway, that is the definition of sin. So yes, three year olds can sin, and yes Adam and Eve did sin.

catholic defender.

nsjls said...

Catholic defender:

But if they don't know the ramifications of the wrong...they don't know that parents OUGHT to be obeyed...they don't understand the words "Honor Thy Father and Mother."

There are key assumptions that adults take on about which children are unaware. To hold them to the standard you are holding them to would be unfair indeed.

Anonymous said...

nsjls,

Do you have children? Children do know to follow the directions of thier parents, and they learn that very early on. Can a three year old sin in the same manner as an adult, no probably not.

Can they commit a wrong and appreciate the nature and consequences of the wrong they've committed, yes they can. The point with Adam and Eve is that they both were able to appreciate the nature of thier actions and they both were warned of the consequences of thier disobedience. Yet they still disobeyed. Its still a sin no matter how well the LDS Church wants to sugar coat it. They still disobeyed God.

In the laws of this country ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it. The same holds true for Adam and Eve. The difference is they knew what the Lord's law was. It still amounts to a sin.

Catholic Defender

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

I think that you are looking at this from our perspective. We can't wholly comprehend the state that Adam and Eve were in, neither can we apply the same state onto the children in our world today because simply the knowledge of good and evil is being learned from the time they start comprehending the environment they are in. The problem that Adam and Eve are in is that they have no knowledge of good and evil. They haven't started to learn the difference until after they ate the fruit. So to imply that Adam and Eve knew full well that they were doing something wrong is unthinkable as they knew no wrong until they ate. They knew that God had said not to but they don't understand it's wrong simply because they don't know what wrong is. This was the first time anyone had ever disobeyed God, on this planet, they didn't know it was wrong to disobey until after they had done it.

Satan knew it was wrong but he wasn't going to let Adam and Eve know because he wants to have his own followers, to be God. More and more of us are in thrall to him each day without even knowing it, some know it but don't believe it. God wants us to only serve Him. To cast off those chains that bind us to Satan and then to take up life which is in Jesus.

Adam had to take the fruit to honor his marriage covenant, he couldn't get divorced because there was no other female to marry.

Anonymous said...

T4x4,


Meod means exceedingly. Tov means good (as in Mazel Tov or good luck). All the Hebrew sources I could find supported this. I found one non-Hebrew source which supported your translation, but that is one (questionable) source against a number of others.

This is my point. You have to ask someone else what one word means. If all if the bible was so clear we would not need it go back to Hebrew. I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

Before you try to discredit or assassinate me in text,

No discrediting or assassinating here, just tring to point out that just pointing out differing scriptures without call upon some experts does not get us very far.

Anonymous said...

Here lies the heart of the issue. The quote that you have made regarding third C BC beliefs are not borne out of belief in the Jewish Torah, but rather from mysticism. Are you not aware how many times in the OT, God calls His people to repent from their ways of idolatory and following the paths of their neighboring countries ?

Yes, and just because you think you know what the bible means like the leaders at the time of Christ which were not using mysticism (or were they), Christ was very critical of them.

Anonymous said...

The reason these great truths are no longer the focus of the modern church is best captured in the words of A. Powell Davies: “Biblical scholars”, he writes, ”were not disturbed by what they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls because they had known all along that the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been” (quoted by Millar Burrows in More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls). What Davies was referring to was the fact that the Church of Constantine so altered the focus of the teachings of the New Covenant, that what we call Christianity today has its doctrinal legacy of birth in the fourth century, and has little in common with the religion that the Son of God revealed to man at the beginning of our Common Era.

It is statement like these that Joseph Smith almost 200 years ago about the bible and why the need for the restoration. Looking only to the bible that has been altered keeps anyone from having the whole truth of many of the important doctrines and topics. By the way these are non-mormon scholars and many of them are from the Catholic church.

Peter said...

Dear Teranno4x4,

Dear Peter,

Turn in your Bible from the Creation account in Genesis to 1 Thes 4 and take a read.

This chapter describes the second coming of Jesus and what will happen to the 'saints', both dead and alive after he returns.

Think about both the living and the dead. At the point of Jesus' return they have a mortal age at that point in time. The Bible teaches (1 Cor 15:52) that they will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. You talk of time - how fast or how slow is that? I see the twinkle in my children's eyes and in my wife's eye and it is over in a flash. How will the people (babies, infants, elderly) appear physically after the 'twinkling' ?

Who knows for sure, but we do know the Gospel records of what Jesus was like when he appeared to His disciples after His own resurrection! The big question is - how OLD will these people appear ? Can God be held by time ? After He created the world and told Adam and Eve to multiply, can you really believe that our GREAT CREATOR would have requested them to partake of intercourse for the sake of their marriage happiness and 'multiplying', but to face a permanent contraception due to immortality - that could only be released by eating from the tree of KOGAE? To restrict the powers of God like this is to listen to the evil one!

The problem with your idea is that you think that the Garden was meant to be the end, when it was only the beginning. The powers of God work within the Laws he has set. Because he is perfect he needs to adhere to the Law. Just because he created the Law does not mean he is above or outside of it. Because it is His it means that he must be the most perfect subject to His Law or He ceases to be a just God. We do not know all of the Law and so we can not adequately determine what the Lord has laid in place. To say there is no restriction on Him is just unfounded. As I have said just because we don’t totally understand doesn’t mean he isn’t limited somehow, in fact I can think of one limitation, he can’t work outside of His Law. I must ask you to stop thinking of your views as the determining of what is right and wrong.

God created time, but Adam and Eve's dimension was only governed by time after they 'fell'. I am sure that there are many dimensions unknown to us, but I am inspirationally sure that the 'spirit world' is not one of them - especially not in the way that the LDS believe. The verses that I wrote before from 1 John 4:1-6 support this Biblically.

This tells us how to tell if a spirit is of God. In fact, this supports the idea of bodiless spirits. It does not say anything about if there is a spirit world. Stop using your own ideas and making them “Biblically” sound. BTW, Joseph Smith declares that Christ had come in the flesh and that he is resurrected so therefore his spirit is of God.

If He can create the 'Breath of Life' in a sperm / egg meeting today in 2007 in a sinful world, how much easier for Him to 'bless' the union of Adam and Eve in His PERFECT creation.

On this point - Tatabug - you asked where I got the idea of perfection. For this you need to go back to the Hebrew in ch1 of Gen. On each of the day's creations, God reviewed and said that his work was 'good' (in English). On the sixth day on review of 'His physical icing on the cake' for the world in making man, he reviewed and said that it was 'very good' (in English). The Hebrew makes the point much clearer and identifies the difference in the perfection of the physical matter created. The only missing piece in the whole of creation was the Sabbath Day of rest on the seventh day - and this was sanctified. How is a day sanctified and if God sanctified it - what man has the right to change it?

Teranno4x4

No where does it say that his creation was perfect. It was good, or even exceedingly good, not perfect. I don’t know exactly how a day is sanctified and man didn’t change it, God did. This must be so because the disciples observed breaking the bread on the first day of the week, or the Lord’s Day. It was to celebrate his resurrection.

Now, this is my own view and I am not speaking for the whole church.

Peter

richdurrant said...

Teranno,

"
Adam and Eve were created without flaws, that is what the Bible states by this expression and emphasis with "exceedingly good". That they had a total free-will to make a choice to accept flaws, imperfection, sin, transgression (whatever term you prefer), through temptation, it all has the same meaning. Their choice - not God's will!"

You seem to be holding to the idea that exceedingly good=perfect. I don't agree. Even in above quote you contradict that, in my opinion. Actually the most glaring problem I see in this statement above is that you are saying it isn't God's will that we have freedom of choice. I know you probably meant disobeying commandments, but it certainly was God's will to grant us choice, also accepting that we will choose wrong.

Anonymous said...

You have to watch some people they think the bible is perfect rather than Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ being perfect.

richdurrant said...

Another thought occurred to me. If what you say about Adam is true, that he would have sent satan packing by overcoming him in the garden, couldn't we say that Christ accomplished that very thing? So should that then follow that we return to the garden of eden state because Christ concurred sin? Yet here we are still fallen. Still with the ability to sin. That would make Adams transgression/sin more powerful than Christ's atonement. I see that it is clear that this was how our earth life was intended to be from the beginning, a fallen state in which we would sin and therefore would have need of a savior who was selected from the beginning.
Also we don't seek to "justify" Adam by saying that his fall was necessary or part of God's plan. being part of a plan doesn't justify wrong.
One more thing to add to the sin/child discussion. I think we do come to a point of being able to commit sin as children, but are not held accountable for those sins. At 8 we don't magically oven night become more knowledgeable about sin and its consequences ,we have come to a point that we are now ready to be held accountable for our choices. There are of coarse stages of childhood where we are incapable of sin it is true, but we do grow to a point where we can sin but are not accountable for them.

Anonymous said...

Richdurrant, said:

"I see that it is clear that this was how our earth life was intended to be from the beginning, a fallen state in which we would sin and therefore would have need of a savior who was selected from the beginning."

I think the earth was created in a fallen state just waiting to Adam and Eve to be driven out of the perfect garden like in the temple. Christ atoned for the sins of mankind not the earth, I think.

Russell said...

Catholic Defender:

I think you're defining sin far too broadly. And it's odd indeed that we're being accused of sugar coating (as opposed to being hateful demagogues)...getting whacked from both sides is actually
not a bad place to be.

I have some experience with children...and I disagree wholeheartedly. They some ephemeral knowledge that they ought to obey...but as "The Catholic Encyclopedia" states (please inform me as to whether this is still accepted): "Dictate of conscience necessarily involves knowledge of the Divine Law as a principle of morality...for an actual, personal sin a knowledge of the law and a personal voluntary act...are required."

So yeah...I would suggest to you that it is simply impractical to believe that children can sin without a knowledge of the divine law. They only know that their parents told them no...that's it. How are you to teach a child who cannot even speak to repent, to apologize? From my experience, it can't be done.

tatabug said...

NM,

Of course, I take your comment very seriously, but I've actually been a bit busy and I've also wanted to try to give an adequate response that would give you a better understanding of our beliefs and how God is in no way diminished by them.

Growing up in the Church, we are taught the basics. I was NEVER taught that we could become gods, or that God was once a man. That wasn't something that I learned until I was well into my adult years, and I didn't learn it at Church. So, basically, my ideas about God were probably more similar to yours than they were to what we're talking about here. But when I learned about our divine potential, it was kind of strange at first, but then it started to make sense.

I had always before wondered what we would do in heaven after this life. When I was younger I at first thought it would be nice to sit around and just do whatever I wanted, but I pictured a lot of clouds and stuff and I thought it seemed like it would get boring after a while. Then, as I youth, I simply learned that we would be engaged in work. I didn't really know what kind of work, but that seemed better to me than doing nothing. Then when I learned that we could become gods, I learned that we would also be involved some way in the creation of other worlds. I thought that sounded much better and something that sounded useful and very exciting. Even if I was only a small part of it, wouldn't that be an amazing thing? But that didn't diminish the concept of God at all. It made me love and appreciate Him that much more, to know that He made me for a great purpose, and He made me for me and not for Him. He didn't make me to just because He could. He made me because He wanted to see me become something special. He wanted me to have His joy.

Then later on, as I learned that it is possible that God was once a man, I was excited at the possibilities. It made me think of the complexity of it all. It isn't just God up there giving orders and making things because He wants to. It made me think that there are principles at work. There are laws, and government, and huge families. But it isn't a corrupt kind of society that we experience here. It is a Utopian society. Can you imagine how vast it must be? In all this, I didn't see God as being minimized at all. Look at the amazing things He can do. He is perfect and His love for us in perfect. To think of all the wonderful things He has done and continues to do, and the amazing small things that He does to bless my life just touches me. He deals in simple ways, but at the same time, it is all so complex. It is just mind boggling to think about.

The idea that maybe He has a Father too only makes Him more personal to me. I just think of the joy that that would add to my existence with God. My earthly parents are great, and I love them, but I think to myself, what if they were all I ever knew? It would be enough. But then I think about how much more wonderful my life has been because of my grandparents, and great grandparents, and aunts and uncles and cousins.

"by saying that He was once a man (what? to show that we have something to aim for?!) might be nice for us to know (or whatever), has inadvertantly reduced the MAGNIFICENCE of His glory."

But it doesn't change who God is. If it is true, it only changes what our perception of Him is. You can choose to believe that God is whatever you believe Him to be, but He doesn't change to fit that perception. If you learned for yourself that that is truly who God is, would you cease to believe in Him because He isn't big enough for you, or would you try to adjust your beliefs to fit in with that fact? Do you believe in God because of the wonderful things He has done for you and for us, or do you believe in Him because of His power and His sovereignty? He is still the same God, you just didn't know enough about Him. I don't love and worship God because of how big He is in the grand scheme of things. I love Him for who He is to me. He is my Father. He loves me, and has done so much for me. I don't love an idea or an image. I love my God, in whatever form He may turn out to be. That seems to me to be a more appropriate way to love someone. Do you see my point?

Kathleen,

When you say things like, "ick" you need to be careful, in case you are wrong about your perception of God. I'm sure you aren't worried about that, but I was a bit disappointed in your statement, and your apparent disgust for our beliefs.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Catholic Defender,

I really enjoyed reading your comment.It said a lot of how I understand and see some of the issues that you raised.

Thank you for your own personal example.

------------------------

Dear Ryan,
" You seem to have a way that works for you. In the end do any of us *know* in this life? Nope -- or it wouldn't be faith. "

I can confidently say that 'I know', through the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. When the Spirit moves - believe me you know.

-----------------------------

Dear All,

Sin is sin, no matter the age of the perpetrator. Whether it is an 18month old (yes, I can clearly remember that far back) or a hardened criminal. Sin is sin and will separate us further from God - not draw us closer. It is true that God will up His efforts in an attempt to speak to us through His Holy Spirit, but do we choose to listen. In this respect we are no different to Adam and Eve, regardless of age (exception babies before accountability - age undefined).
And before anyone comments - no, Adam and Eve were not babies under the age of accountability. They had the power to communicate, more brilliant minds than either you or I and were fully corpus mentis.
--------------------------

Dear Peter,
"Satan knew it was wrong but he wasn't going to let Adam and Eve know because he wants to have his own followers, TO BE GOD. More and more of us are in thrall to him each day without even knowing it, some know it but don't believe it."

Isn't this what all LDS want from their doctrine today ? Isn't this still the deception that LDS are enthralled with by Satan still to be gods?

"Adam had to take the fruit to honor his marriage covenant, he couldn't get divorced because there was no other female to marry."
With this comment you limit the power of God to create another female for Adam, should Eve be lost as a consequence for her sin. All Adam HAD to do was OBEY GOD's INSTRUCTION (as equally did Eve).

Dear Anon,
"Yes, and just because you think you know what the bible means like the leaders at the time of Christ which were not using mysticism (or were they), Christ was very critical of them."
I don't understand the point you are getting at : Jesus repeated the message of times gone by - 'Return to the Lord your God. Repent - and sin no more' (paraphrased).

-----------------------------

Christian Greetings all !

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Peter,
"The problem with your idea is that you think that the Garden was meant to be the end, when it was only the beginning. The powers of God work within the Laws he has set."
I would kindly appreciate it that you do not try to determine what I am thinking by placing words in my mouth, but to please just appreciate my messages in content and context. I agree with you. The Garden was only the beginning. But time & satan were not to be man's rulers, so man would have known no end. Isn't this the parallel of understanding for our restoration back to God in His Kingdom for ALL eternity? Before sin, there would have been a beginning, but no end. Now there has to be an end - but an end to what - oh yes - SIN.
God's Law that you define is more simply the transcript of His character the heart of His Divine Loving Being ! It is not a law that you or I understand from a human perspective. It is vast and infinite, no human words can contain it. The 10 commandments are an insight, yes but they are not definitive. Look to Calvary - can you personally describe the heavenly event that took place there? If yes please describe it to all, so that we can all marvel at the Truest sacrifice of ALL ! Was that God's Law in action - you bet it was !

"I must ask you to stop thinking of your views as the determining of what is right and wrong. "
I have my own mind - why can I not think and contribute? Too challenging ? Biblical scripture is difficult to challenge.

"BTW, Joseph Smith declares that Christ had come in the flesh and that he is resurrected so therefore his spirit is of God." Thomas placed his fingers in the nail wounds of Jesus' hands. Jesus also made the dsciples a meal on the lake shore. This was physical matter in Jesus - no LDS defined spirit here. The power and might of Jesus is beyond recognition here in His resurrected form!

"I don’t know exactly how a day is sanctified and man didn’t change it, God did. This must be so because the disciples observed breaking the bread on the first day of the week, or the Lord’s Day. It was to celebrate his resurrection."
Be absolutely sure when you make a claim like this one. Please explain to me and show me where it states that God changed the Day of Rest? Breaking bread in the Bible describes 'having a meal' - it does not denote the 'Lord's Supper'. If you worship on a Sunday only to celebrate the resurrection, that's fine by me - but Jesus gave no instruction to do this. Please read one of the last books of the Bible : 1 John 5:1-3 , that collectively views the 10 commandments (and I read about no amendments).


Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Richdurrant,

Look at it a slightly different way - had Adam and Eve chosen not to sin, but to obey God, what next?

Would that have been their free choice ?

-----------

Adam's sin more powerful than Christ's atonement ? You forget the perpetrator of original sin - satan. He is still in the picture too. He is not a loose end that can just be ignored. He must be dealt with in the correct and just manner too. That is God's character coming into play. We are not the only ones under the influence of sin.

I answered about the age of accountability in a previous comment.

Teranno4x4

Peter said...

Teranno4x4,

No offence mate but I can't be bothered. Feel free to chalk up a victory if you want :)

Peter

teranno4x4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
teranno4x4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
teranno4x4 said...

Dear Peter,

Your response saddens me. I am not 'against' you! I am with you - we are on the same side are we not ? Are we both Christians battling against the enemy ?

If that is the case then we should be encouraging each other - there is no winning and losing. I don't want any victory. To me it feels as though you are battling with the truth that I offer and not with me.

We should both be lifting Jesus up and celebrating in the victory that is ours to claim. Adam and Eve no longer have their choice, but we do.

I took no offence from your comments (I just don't appreciate implied and presumed thoughts or words that I would not suggest), so please don't take offence from my comments in reply to you.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Sin is sin, no matter the age of the perpetrator. Whether it is an 18month old.

This is why there was a need for a restoration!

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

If you have access to the 'tree of life' in your 'restored' mind, please share where it is and how you will live for ever here on earth?

The restoration back to God can only occur when man has access to the tree of life that is now in-situ in heaven (according to the book of Revelation)

Teranno4x4

Peter said...

Teranno4x4,
I am fighting it would seem. As I thought I would just give up I was prompted to reiterate something to you. Mate, it is not that we are fighting about whether or not Jesus lives or anything like that, we are fighting about points of doctrine that have no baring on our salvation. We are fighting, whether you wanted to accept it or not. Now, because you believe that what you say is truth does not mean it is. It is merely supported by scripture. Which any Christian sect can do. How then can we settle a difference of opinion by returning to the scriptures? We will both interpret the scriptures differently and use even the same scriptures to back up our claim. What must be done is appeal to God to show us the truth of what is being told. Not relying on our own understanding, which we are, about the scriptures.

Please read this, The highlighted area is what I would call your attention to.
This may be hard for you to believe but this is the attitude that everyone needs to take (I continued the highlighting into the account of his first vision because I thought you might like to read of divine manifestations in these latter-days), not just rely on our understanding or that of others. While you may be able to back up any claim you have with scripture I can too. That does not mean you are right and I am wrong or vice versa. What I want you to understand is that your personal interpretation is possibly not the Lord's intended interpretation.

Peter

Latter-Day James said...

We are Christians now? Man, I thought we were a cult? I guess I need to bring back all the live chickens I just bought.

Anonymous said...

You already have the tree of life it is Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:

"If you have access to the 'tree of lJesus taught in John 6:51, "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." By partaking of Christ, we receive everlasting life, just as Adam might have received everlasting life by partaking of the Tree of Life instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The garden which God planted in Eden, immediately after creating the heavens and the earth, included the tree of life (Genesis 2:9). The first man Adam was barred from this tree after he sinned against God (Genesis 3:22-24). But whereas we read in the Book of Genesis of Paradise Lost, we read in the Book of Revelation of Paradise Restored: of "a new heaven and a new earth"

(Revelation 21:1) in which is "the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7; 22:2,14). This tree symbolizes Christ in the heavenly Eden. But the church of Christ today is also called "the garden of Eden" (Ezekiel 36:35), "the garden of the LORD" (Isaiah 51:3; cp. Song of Solomon 4:12-15). Herein also is found that divine wisdom personified in Jesus Christ (Proverbs 8; 1 Corinthians 1:30), and which is called a "tree of life" (Proverbs 3:18).
ife' in your 'restored' mind, please share where it is and how you will live for ever here on earth?"

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon,

The book of Revelation "of Paradise restored" is described only after the saints are with Jesus in His Kingdom in the New Jerusalem in Heaven.

This is not on this earth until the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven onto the earth. The text explicitely states this.

So the earth at the moment is not restored - sorry. However you describe it, you will not live forever based on this belief.

Eternal life can only occur after the second coming of Jesus and the saints being 'changed in the twinkling of an eye' to be restored and return to live with God in His Kingdom.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,

If I refuse to fight with you, then you are attacking and I am the victim.

Discussing Biblical matters or scripture is not 'fighting' nor will I engage if your discussions get too personal. That is why I politely asked you not to presume my thoughts or reasonings.

Put your boot of reasoning on the other foot. read your comments back to yourself as if I had written them. Aren't they rather bigotted ?

Isn't there a possibiliy that the Bible could be right as I have suggested and Joseph Smith has deceived many in believing in his 'overpowering darkness experience of the enemy' (I have never read such a powerful counterfeit for the imitated presence of God)? Who is willing to judge me and my belief and state that I am wrong, when I too have encountered my fair share of personal Spiritual experiences?

Let your rubber hit the tarmac of truth if you prefer - I have never stated that your belief was 'wrong'. Just understand the concept that there is a possibility that you 'could' be wrong and I will gladly equally accept my same council and wisdom!

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:

"Isn't there a possibiliy that the Bible could be right as I have suggested and Joseph Smith has deceived many in believing in his 'overpowering darkness experience of the enemy'"

No. Not if one has experenced the Holy Spirt.

Anonymous said...

T4x4,


"This is not on this earth until the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven onto the earth."

This is not the question you asked?

You ask how to live for ever on this earth.

John the Beloved is still alive and he did this through Jesus Christ. Christ can do anything. Stop puting limits on Him.

Anonymous said...

You are not wrong, just limiting your options.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon,

John was experiencing visions at the time.

John is now dead which the Bible defines as 'sleep' (for those who died under the redeeming power of Jesus). He will not be alive until the resurrection.

Where am I getting confused or limiting my options Biblically ? They are logically sound and accurate taken from the verses.

It is your comments that appear cloudy and confused, mixing prophecy with symbolism and reality.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the 'saints' will go from our current state to living in eternity on earth. The Bible teaches about heaven and living with God. It then expressly teaches that the New Jerusalem or heaven if you prefer, will descend down to earth. Then the saints will live for ever on the earth.

All the wicked will die at the second coming of Jesus and will have to face their personal judgement after the descent of the New Jerusalem to earth. They go nowhere except to death here on earth.

Are you suggesting that I have not experienced the Holy Spirit ?

Teranno4x4

Wg@22 said...

Isn't Tyranno getting out of control again here - posting numerous comments and trying to dominate this conversation?

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