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Adam and Eve Ate the Fruit. Why?
Introduction to the Poison In Eden
This article is one of several written about the lives of Adam and Eve before, during, and after mortality; and is based on teachings found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; though this article is not an official document endorsed by the church or any of its leaders.The views expressed here are the author's understanding of LDS teachings.
Adam and Eve were not dolts! They knew the commandments of God, but as with their posterity, life happens. Agency helped pave the way for all that has followed since Adam and Eve's mortal beginnings.
Adam decided to poison himself to keep his marriage covenant to Eve and keep God's commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth! ....Sounds almost like Romeo and Juliet except for the boy gets the girl!
Except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat of that tree!
The reason they could not eat of this tree (depicted to the right) is that it would cause the seeds of death to grow in the bodies that God created for them. For the Plan of Salvation God orchestrated to glorify and sanctify humanity to work, Adam and Eve needed to choose to partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or remain forever in the Garden of Eden in a child-like mental state.
And still, He forbade them to eat warning them of the death that would follow if they did.
- Life Before Eden and You Were There!
We lived before we were born. We lived as spirit children of Heavenly parentage created in the image of God the Father.
By placing the tree in the Garden, it provided opposition to the commands of God and choice: eat and die or not eat and live in paradise.
Why italic paradise and not TRUE Paradise?
To obey the first commandment to be fruitful and multiply, Adam and Eve had to partake of the fruit. If they never partook of the fruit of that tree, they would still live in the garden to this day! Just a couple of people living--two humans isolated from others who would never exist!
For some reason, Adam and Eve could not produce children in their perfect state of immortality. They needed to be mortal. The prophet Nephi taught that if Adam had not listened to his wife Eve and partook of the fruit of the tree of good and evil
...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! (punctuation and bold added)
Nothing would have changed unless Adam and Eve partook! Thankfully they did partake.
The fruit of this tree, colloquially named sin, was delicious and tempting to the senses.
It was pleasurable but deadly. The price for knowledge to proceed with the Plan of Salvation was high. God placed the tree in the garden because it provided Adam and Eve with the choice to obey or disobey. Adam and Eve had to choose to participate in the plan because God could not instruct them to partake of the fruit.
Satan desired to be God. Unlike God, however, he endeavored to control the Plan of Salvation and dictate how it transpired for each person regardless of choice. He did not fancy Adam and Eve to fail necessarily as has been popularly believed, but that they should worship him as the Father of Creation.
His meddling in the plan to convince Eve to partake of the fruit proved advantageous for the progress of the plan, but in the end, Satan would not have them as his children as he hoped.
Innocence of Youth
Adam and Eve were as innocent as if they were children while living in Eden.
They were naked and not ashamed because the desires that come so naturally to humanity had not awakened within them.
Satan, not having a body himself, did not know of those passions but he was aware that they were to be a part of the human experience.
Satan did not care for such things at the time not knowing the power it has over humanity. He only wanted to lead Adam and Eve down to subjugation. This view in opposition of those who would imply that Eve was anything but virtuous when she knew her husband following their expulsion from Eden's garden.
A tradition has decided to debase the honor and integrity of humanity's first parents. In solemn truth, Adam and Eve broke no commandments save the transgression to partake of the sin-fruit of that tree.
- Prophets and Apostles Speak Today
Words of the prophets
Modern day witnesses testify of the virtue of Adam and Eve as circumspect before the Lord and innocent as children until they gained their knowledge and became like one of the gods, knowing good and evil--receiving the ability to act rather than only acted upon.
Sin - Strychnine
Sin is the willful act to disobey the will of God in full knowledge. Where there is no knowledge, there is no sin. Children have no sin but are alive in the Atonement of Christ.
- Doctrine and Covenants 68:27
And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.
A child may transgress a law, but cannot sin seeing as how that child does not know that it is wrong other than a parent disapproves of it--at least until the child reaches the age and mental state of accountability before God, revealed as being the age of eight years.
The tree's fruit had the power to alter the chemical make-up of Adam and Eve's physical bodies. It would change their neurological constitution and cause the poisonous blood to flow through their veins that causes decay and degeneration. If a person drinks Strychnine what will happen?
Strychnine was used to kill rats in the past and was an import from China to Europe.
The benefit of strychnine outweighed the hazard to humans because controlling the rats prevented disease like The Black Death plague.
Among other things, strychnine was a necessary danger to promote the overall health of communities. On occasion, some poor soul would ingest the seeds and sow the anti-reward of a painful and agonizing death left untreated.
Strychnine is a neurotoxin affecting the brain, which controls the functions of life.
The elements of the body would fail due to the inclusion of a foreign substance that did not support the neurological functions of the victims of strychnine.
The body would respond by going through biological changes that ultimately ended in death.
Satan knew that the very elements of the bodies of Adam and Eve would fight against them if they disobey the Creator.
The elements would eventually stop functioning the way they were commanded and return to chaos. This is called death because the spirit and body would no longer function together.
All the elements love the Father because He is just. If the pinnacle of His creations, humans, were to disregard God's word and disobey a decree, the elements would no longer honor men, because men do no honor themselves.
The bodies of Adam and Eve would eventually grow weary and die because they were not worthy of immortality.
God told Adam and Eve they would surely die after partaking of the fruit and they surely did die. The scriptures teach that Adam's body betrayed its spirit after obeying the Father to give Adam life over 900 years.
When Satan approached Adam, he was refused immediately about partaking of the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Eve did the same, but Satan persisted with Eve because she would give him ear. Eve understood that she wanted and needed to become like the Father but did not know how.
Satan convinced her that if she partook of the tree's fruit, she would learn how to become like the Father. Once she partook, she started to realize and understand the plan better.
She also explained to Adam who decided to partake of the fruit to stay with her and keep the other commandment to be fruitful and multiply. With their eyes now, open to knowing good and evil they could discern the serpent as Lucifer, the brother who rebelled and wanted to be like the Father, without taking any of the risks of mortality.
James T. Summerhays
James T. Summerhays wrote an article on the edge of orthodoxy related to Mother Eve. Said he
...Margaret Barker, a scholar who has much to say about feminine wisdom, thoroughly documents that the early post-exilic Israelites were not monotheists but understood Elohim to be both male and female; they understood that there was not only a Father but a divine Mother as well, and the Israelites called her name Wisdom. This Mother was involved in the creation of the world and in the creation of Adam and Eve...
...How apropos that the divine woman, called Wisdom, created a daughter in her image, Eve the Wise. Eve followed the divine female pattern by partaking of the tree of knowledge.
...In looking at the story of the Fall, Eve's wisdom puts her one step ahead of Adam on more than one occasion. When God commands Adam not to partake of the tree of knowledge, he simply takes God's word at face value and goes about his way enjoying the delights of the garden.1
Summerhays's perspective may offend many who have long held tradition of God and Adam & Eve in a particular cultural tradition, however, the fact remains that Eve understood and partook first, even though she was deceived into thinking Satan was concerned about her salvation when in fact he just wanted a worshiper.
She was not deceived about the benefit of the fruit and she explained it too her husband, who wisely listened to her counsel and partook.
Modern day prophets assure of the wisdom and righteousness of Adam and Eve. President Gordon B. Hinckley, rest his soul, extolled the virtue of Eve and all women when he said
Gordon B. Hinckley
Woman [Eve and all] is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.
Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth.2
It is suiting in modern society that Satan would work to destroy the image and honor of women and distort their true divine nature--make them seem like second class people--an afterthought!
Women are the last to be organized not because they are the least of all of God's creations, but the most precious jewels of all creation. Men must always remember that their wives [all women] are not second to them, but equal and costly beyond any other association.
The Tree of Life
Point to Remember
Sin = Death
Death is the separation of the spirit from the body. The body ceases to function, and the spirit goes to paradise or prison--heaven or hell.
The Tree of Life grants eternal life also represents the love of God. In His wisdom and great mercy, God provided a tree that sustains human life for eternity called love.
Love is what makes the universe function. The planets stay aligned to produce the forces that provide the correct amount of gravity and oxygen for us to breathe on this planet because all the elements obey and love Jesus Christ.
Each atom loves God and does not fly apart from our bodies because it honors the Lord for His justice.
The Charcoal Treatment of Atonement
When He created worlds, Jesus Christ watched all things until all obeyed His commands--and only then did He declare them good. As strychnine is the representation of sin or transgression in this article, let love or a charcoal treatment be the cure for sin.
It takes more than a pill to save a person from strychnine poisoning as it takes more than an apology to take care of sin.
Someone must pay for it. At the time of Adam and Eve, no one had paid for the original sin. The very seeds that sowed death in the bodies of Adam and Eve could have been charcoaled away in the instant, but the wages of sin is death, both spiritual and temporal--somebody had to die for the transgression.
Had Adam and Eve partaken of the antidote immediately they would have remained in sin, cut off from God's presence--spiritually dead. If they could physically have children, all of them would have lived forever genetically, but never return to heaven to receive the rewards Father has to offer.
God's words would not have been void for the sextillions of people waiting to come to earth, and the Plan of Salvation for humanity would have been frustrated.
God could have started over with a new Adam and Eve damning the first couple for all time. God loves ALL of his Children. So He prohibited, our first parents from partaking of the Tree of Life, not because they were not loved, but because God loved them so much He provided a probationary time for them to have a chance to repent in this life and follow the path He laid out for them.
He reminded them that He provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, who would atone for their mistakes so that the elements of their body would break down, but Jesus Christ would pay for the demands of justice so that those elements would again return to reconstitute as immortal bodies to house their spirits.
Adam had to choose to partake of the fruit without interference from God as he did. And Jesus Christ had to opt to drink of the bitter cup to undo Adam's choice without interference from the Father--and he did.
Does it make sense that the eating of the fruit was a necessary act?
For official teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you may go to LDS.org or Mormon.org. President Thomas S. Monson is called by God as His representative on the earth and authorizes him to speak on behalf of the church and to ordain others to do so. All references to "the church" are to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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© 2013 Rodric Johnson