Welcome to New Nauvoo


Author Topic: The Fall  (Read 709 times)

Jana at Jade House

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • Thanked: 322 times
    • View Profile
The Fall
« on: January 24, 2018, 04:58:58 am »
Here is what the teachers manual says: "As long as they did not partake of the forbidden fruit, they would remain in the garden and would not die. But they also would not be able to obey the command to multiply (Moses 5:11; 2 Nephi 2:23). Heavenly Father gave them agency to choose between the two commands."

Am I the sole person in the LDS world that finds the last sentence problematic?

You see,  I think A and E were destined to leave the garden at some time WHEN THEY WERE PREPARED.  Until that time they were not to partake.  But the Serpent intervened and another plan came into play.

Just like we set a rule that our children CANNOT CROSS THE STREET.  That rule changes with age and preparation.  None of us reaches adulthood without having that rule completely removed, because we are taught, prepared, and practiced at crossing the street.

The Garden was a place of learning and preparation.  That process was cut short by Satan because he did not know the mind of God, having been cast out and not privy to the rest of the Plan.

What bothers me most about the sentence in the manual is the notion that A and E were set up.  They were always going to have children, meaning they were always going to have to leave the Garden.

I am sure I read this idea somewhere but I dunno where.  I just remember being glad someone on earth had the same thought.
 
The following users thanked this post: Roper, Redd

Roper

  • Thousand Year Egg Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1112
  • Thanked: 1251 times
  • Country: us
  • Earning my spurs.
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 09:05:55 am »
Thank you for your thoughts, Jana.  I have the same understanding about the Garden--it was a place/time of preparation, whether "Garden" is real or used as a metaphor.  Here are my thoughts:

I think that the concept of "multiply" means more than just posterity.  We multiply our talents, for instance.  The Garden did not provide the state needed to multiply, so it was known and planned from the beginning that Adam and Eve would leave the Garden at some point.

I don't think Adam and Eve's choices in the Garden, and the subsequent consequences, were sin and punishment.  "Transgress" means to move beyond the boundaries or limits.  In so doing, Adam and Eve demonstrated that their time of preparation was over, and that they were prepared for the next step--mortality as we understand it.

With that in mind, I don't believe Satan cut their time short.  I believe Adam and Eve demonstrated an eternal principle:  Choice is eternally more powerful than temptation.  That leads me to believe that Eve was prepared to leave sooner than Adam, but Adam came around  ;)  As they left, they stayed together. After they left, they stayed obedient.

Another way-beyond-doctrine thought:  I don't know if the "have children" part meant whether or not they could have sexual relations in the Garden.  And I don't think that's the point.  In the Garden, procreation meant that God placed spirit in physical bodies.  I believe God's plan was to not have physical bodies waiting around in the state of Eden waiting to be filled.  I believe His plan was to have physical bodies prepared for spirits in the world as we know it.  That part wasn't so much about Adam and Eve's knowledge (or lack of) about how human reproduction works, but about God's plan for sending His spirit children to this world.

Anyway, that's my $.02.
 

cook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 345
  • Thanked: 275 times
  • Country: fi
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 02:32:30 pm »
I don't know. I kind of like the sentence that says how they were given the chance to choose between the two commandments. Because I have found, it is something we all have to do in so many ways - we need to be able to choose which of the commandments is the higher one or the one we should choose to obey that particular time. That is the ultimate choice, the choice between good and evil is usually quite an easy one.
 
The following users thanked this post: Roper

Taalcon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 137
  • Thanked: 194 times
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 04:14:43 pm »
I like the idea of the Garden being analogous to the pre-mortal state, where all of us (respectively as Adams and Eves) couldn't progress without making the individual, personal decision to enter into mortality that we knew would inevitably lead to us sinning as a part of it.

One might consider the role of Satan in this approach is to link our choice to enter into the world where we will sin to be paired with the idea that in doing so we are choosing and embracing rebellion, rather than acknowledging a choice to progress that would involve missteps that we've already been forgiven for. Us sinning and overcoming it with God's Love is the plan. Satan would have us think sinning by itself is an ends to a means that ultimately sets us apart from God. And he wants to take the credit for it.

In choosing to come here, we came to grips that it meant that we would sin, hurting ourselves and others, but with a resolve that we would make things right, and come out better for it, trusting in God's pre-emptive promise of forgiveness.
The alternate view is embracing the effect (us sinning) as the purpose, rather than an inevitable difficulty to be overcome along the way.

In other words, I see that there's a difference between Choosing To Commit A Sin (An act of rebellion, Satan's plan), and our choosing a plan that would, incidentally, involve us sinning (God's Plan).

It's not just about having eaten the fruit. It's about how you eat it, and under whose plan and circumstances you choose to be in the scenario where you partake.

In modern LDS tellings of the story, Eve ultimately ate the fruit not for the reasons Satan suggested to her to eat it, but because, in pondering his suggestion,  of her dawning understanding of how eating it fit in God's plan. She received new light and knowledge (revelation) from pondering the commandment and its purposes. And so when she partook, she was doing it out of obedience to God's Plan, and not Satan's enticing. Satan's suggestion to break the commandment caused Eve to ponder it and learn a new meaning for that commandment. So she did eat, and it wasn't in defiance to God, it was in defiance to Satan's purposes. That's a fascinating modern doctrinal twist on the standard ancient tale.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 04:25:15 pm by Taalcon »
 
The following users thanked this post: Roper, Sparky

Roper

  • Thousand Year Egg Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1112
  • Thanked: 1251 times
  • Country: us
  • Earning my spurs.
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 07:02:36 pm »
Several years ago, I heard an address given by an Area Seventy at a stake conference.  He believed that Satan did not / does not have a plan.  His understanding is that there is God's plan, and rebellion against God's plan.  In the pre-mortal world, we didn't have a choice between two competing plans for our happiness. We had a choice to follow Jehovah in embracing God's plan or to follow Lucifer in rebellion.  One plan. Not two. Satan does not create. Satan rebels against the Creator.

But then we have the words of Jacob (2N9) and Joseph Smith (D&C 10) referring to the "cunning plan" of the evil one.

I don't think the linguistic distinction matters much. Obedience or rebellion is the choice regardless of the words used to describe. An interesting perspective, though.

Edit:  An interesting consideration (and I hope this doesn't hijack Jana's thread): Are there situations where we have to transgress a "lower" law in order to obey a "higher" law?  Was that the situation in Eden?  In other words, do we understand the fall through the lens of situational ethics, or through absolute obedience?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 07:09:21 pm by Roper »
 

Taalcon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 137
  • Thanked: 194 times
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 08:43:30 pm »
I understand it through the lens of how accepting the plan of progression involves accepting that we will be screwing up and learning from it, and mortality and that humanity gives us a playing field where we will naturally absolutely commit sin, and have to choose what we will learn from it.

It's not choosing to commit A Particular Sin, it's accepting that we will sin, but having faith that God will give us the strength to overcome it, and be better for it.

Sin is relational - you can often tell something is sinful because, in some way, it causes a rift in some way with a member or members of of the Family of God slowing the full unity of the Divine Family. That's the point of defining sin.

We've learned a lot more about God's plan since the original Eden story was told, and we've tried to cram all this new wine into an old narrative wineskin that wasn't originally meant to hold all of these parts. So it makes sense if the framework rips from time to time.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 08:45:19 pm by Taalcon »
 
The following users thanked this post: Roper

Jana at Jade House

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • Thanked: 322 times
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 04:35:02 am »
Hmmm. I prefer to use the word transgression. This concept relating to the Garden is clariefied really well by ( forgetful moment) a lawyerly leader who explained the difference between breaking a law like murder and breaking a law like I think he said speeding.  There is a difference in the law...one is a regulation ?  Gah. I just read it the other day and have no idea which language or where.  dang.

Since Adam and Eve were innocent I have a hard time thinking they were fully cognizant of " the what happens next."  Of course we all chose to follow Christ, to receive mortal bodies and all the rest of it.  But just like a woman who gives birth, nine months before it was all joy, and that few hours is not at all what one volunteered for.

I do not for a minute think they were punished for partaking. They were penalized for listening to Satan.

And yes, the serpent beguiled Eve into thinking she had to partake at that very moment.  She did not wait to talk to her teachers, her husband...  she was introduced to the next step in a out of step manner.

Thats what I think.
Thus is the Gospel of Jana, which is of course full of discrepancies.
 
The following users thanked this post: Roper, Sparky

Roper

  • Thousand Year Egg Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1112
  • Thanked: 1251 times
  • Country: us
  • Earning my spurs.
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 08:44:16 am »
Jana, are you thinking of this?

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

Modern revelation shows that our first parents understood the necessity of the Fall. Adam declared, “Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God” (Moses 5:10)."

It's from Elder Oaks conference address in 1993.  Here's the link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1993/10/the-great-plan-of-happiness?lang=eng
 
The following users thanked this post: Jana at Jade House, Iggy

Roper

  • Thousand Year Egg Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1112
  • Thanked: 1251 times
  • Country: us
  • Earning my spurs.
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 09:02:35 am »
Taalcon, thank you for making the distinction between choosing to commit sin (rebellion) and choosing the condition for sin (mortality.) I think we sometimes misunderstand the Fall and label it as sin, because it separates us from God. 

I think it's important to attend closely to modern revelation (in the temple dialogue) regarding Eve's choices in the garden. Regarding "beguile," the word "AND" is used instead of "BECAUSE." That suggest correlation, not causation. Temptation was a prompt for carefully considered action, not, as Satan hoped, a manipulation which led to rebellion.

 
The following users thanked this post: Iggy, Sparky, Taalcon

Taalcon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 137
  • Thanked: 194 times
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 09:55:24 am »
It's tricky when one tries to give an exact interpretation of the Garden story, because we have Garden Stories, plural, and while the general characters and proceeding of events is the same, their purposes and intended teachings (and even motives and ultimate identity of the characters) are waaaay different.

In Genesis, it has nothing to do with Eternal Life and Salvation. It's an answer to the contemporary questions, "Where do people come from? Why do bad things happen? Why do we need to work to survive? Why are we constantly at war with snakes? Why don't human men have a 'bone' down there like most other animals do? Why does childbirth have to hurt? Why do men have to be in charge?" The snake was clever, Eve was DEFINITELY the villain of this version, and Adam was a dupe. And the world is hard and tough because they just couldn't be happy with paradise, and had to tick their God off. (It's an analogue to the Pandora's Box story. If the woman just hadn't opened the box, the world wouldn't have been filled with All Of The Bad. See? They deserve to be subservient! They caused all the trouble in the first place!)

In fact, when others later needed a story to more understand the rampant evil in the world and how evil spirits were involved, they didn't initially change the Garden story, they told a different one about Angels rebelling, coming down and giving their secrets to humanity (including beauty aids like makeup), having sex with their women (see! Women again!), and giving birth to offspring that was horrible mixed-breed giants that eventually were killed, but their spirits still roamed the earth possessing the bodies of humans, causing sickness and general evilness (these are the devils the people in Jesus' day would have believed Jesus was casting out as he healed people).

Apart from Genesis, the OT isn't actually interested in Adam and Eve at all, and there is zero identitification with the serpent of the story with a divine being. He was just a snake that was too clever for its own good, and now humans hate snakes, and they are still trying to kill us to this day.

Once Post-Mortal Salvation Was An Understood Thing, you needed a story to tell why it was required in the first place. So Adam and Eve now told a different story - about how we're all in need of salvation because the first of us messed things up. Adam was the prototype Screw Up, Jesus is the prototype New Start. We want to be adopted as Jesus' kids, not remain as Adam's cursed offspring. Oh, and women still need to be second place and keep quiet in church because the first woman acted without her husband. The snake was now more than a snake, in this story - it was a chief devil and instigator.

The Book of Mormon has Lehi seeing his son and his people as a unique  way to interpret the story. If Nephi had to break a law (don't murder) in order to fulfill a higher commandment (let his people survive with knowledge of a Savior), then perhaps Adam was doing the same thing. Just as Nephi fell so that the Nephites might be, Adam fell so that all of mankind must be.

In his Revision of the Bible, Joseph expanded the story (much like his prophetic predecessors did) based on the concept of, "If the original writer understood what I understood, this must have been how it would have been told". And now it is explicitly a cosmic story about not just the need for Jesus Christ, but an immediate teaching of gospel and redemption story directly and explicitly following, where the fall, following Lehi's approach, was a Good thing. Adam and Eve are now full-fledged heroes of humanity. It's not just something that happened, it was Part of the Plan.

The Temple Drama goes even  further, and takes premortality and all the new post-mortality doctrinal developments into consideration, and tells of man's complete journey from leaving home, to getting back. In new filmed versions, without changing the dialogue but with specific directorial choices, Eve's informed choice is made much, much more explicit.

All of these tell different stories with many of the same props. Consider all the reboots of Superhero stories that attempt a Fresh New Take For A New Audience, but making sure they contain key essential tropes from the original. I think there's a difference between trying to explain what the intent was in the telling of a particular version of the story, and trying to use the elements of the story to be a catalyst for questions and learning about our own eternal history. The story is a powerful teaching tool, and it's constantly been updated to teach us new things. But in adding new patches, we still often retain some of the old wineskin in there that doesn't necessarily represent current understanding of answers to the questions that were originally asked.

In other words, we don't practice our doctrine because of what happened in the Garden Story, the Garden Story is a tool to help give us a narrative framework or scaffolding on which we can build understanding from developing and newly revealed information as for why we do what we do. To paraphrase, The Garden Story was created for Man, not Man for/from the Garden Story.

We're piecing together the Cosmic Puzzle of the Epic of Eternity, and we don't have a definitive Picture on the Box to guide us. The Garden Story serves as a very workable temporary base layer/box picture on which to guide our placement of the pieces that we find. And sometimes as we get a newly revealed puzzle piece, we realize we can't make it jam in with a placeholder piece already there. We can try to, but sometimes its just better to replace the piece, realizing it belonged to a different puzzle. And some times, what we think are new puzzle pieces just aren't, and they need to be replaced almost as soon as they are put down (Hi, Adam God). But always we must be willing to expand our knowledge, and paint a new picture for the box cover.

It's clear Joseph Smith believed any one telling of the Garden Story shouldn't be an immovable creed. It, like the scriptures in general, are living tools designed to grow and expand as we do.

Keep in mind that Joseph had to learn more before he crafted new versions of the story to illustrate it. The knowledge came first. The adjustment to the story comes after.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 10:14:52 am by Taalcon »
 
The following users thanked this post: AndrewR, Roper, Sparky

Jason

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
  • Thanked: 75 times
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 07:41:22 pm »
If the story is changing to match new understanding, which I think it is, then I think it will continue to change as we learn more about evolution and the physical origin of humans and the earth.
 
The following users thanked this post: Roper

Enochscion

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Thanked: 27 times
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 08:19:50 pm »
For me, the Fall is one of the most amazingly instructive symbols in all of scripture (though I also believe the Adam and Eve spoken of are real pre-Sumerian people who passed down knowledge to their descending lineage).

Symbolically though, the story is packed full of stuff.

I think the description of partaking of the fruit as a sin is absolutely essential to the meaning (or the part of the meaning I'm focusing on).

The Genesis account tells us something about the nature of male and female and how sin relates to our life.

Men are, generally, more likely to be strict and women more likely to be lenient. Men lean towards the letter, women towards the spirit. Justice and mercy. Building character and nurturing. Honor and compassion. There is a masculine and feminine essence, and each is distinct and essential to the nature of God. (Heavenly Father without Heavenly Mother wouldn't be God...and wouldn't be a Heavenly Father either.)

Adam and Eve's interaction with the source of sin (the serpent) teach us about how men and women can help each other in that respect.

The man is more prone to stick to the letter of the commandment, to be honorable and stalwart. Woman is more likely to seek after goodness, to value growth and progression. His Good character traits in isolation would lead to pure stagnation. Her Good character traits in isolation allowed her to be deceived.

But after they had both demonstrated the weakness of their traits, they demonstrated the strengths of the Good traits. The woman sought to help her husband progress with her. The man remained committed to his bond with his wife.

The mythic heroes' strengths were also their weaknesses.

After the devil was cast out, the Lord gave them further instructions on how to unite their Good traits to avoid sin and temptation. The woman and man are to be united, both desiring and being drawn to one another. The woman is to nurture their children--their future, while following the man's lead in exact obedience to true laws. The man is to protect and provide for her in every way, and allow her vision to guide their future. By doing so, both temptations to disobey divine law, and temptation to stagnate could be overcome. Man could not be united with Lord without the woman, and woman could not be united with the Lord without the man.

More Male-Female Elements:
-The Book of Moses shows Adam thinking individually, "I", while Eve thinks unitedly, "We".
-Even little details mirror reality. Adam was older than Eve. Adam desired and was drawn to her immediately; it took her a little while to feel the same. Sounds like the most common male-female outcomes throughout history.

Maybe it's just my love for my Heavenly Mother and how that influences my focus, but I can't think of any other account with more symbolic significance packed into it. It will be cool to talk to Adam and Eve in the next life and find out more details about what the actual events were that inspired the account.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 08:23:29 pm by Enochscion »
 
The following users thanked this post: Sparky, Palmon

cook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 345
  • Thanked: 275 times
  • Country: fi
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 11:56:07 pm »
I think it's interesting you put it that way. In living the gospel my experience is the women are more strict and the men  generally more relaxed. And with the children. Might be a cultural difference.

 

Roper

  • Thousand Year Egg Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1112
  • Thanked: 1251 times
  • Country: us
  • Earning my spurs.
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2018, 09:06:02 am »
From the "Proclamation": "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." In this world, I wonder how much of what understand as "gender difference" is inherited and how much is learned--the whole nature vs. nurture argument. 

These things I do understand, from the "Proclamation"  and from my own experiences so far:

HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.
Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God.
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.
Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.
In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.

In my years of working with children, I have observed fathers who are strict authoritarians who insist that their children achieve highly.  I have also observed fathers who allow their kids to be kids and make mistakes.  I have observed mothers who "hover" over their children to ensure their kids do everything right.  I have also observed mothers who encourage their kids to be adventurous and then switch to giving comfort when their kids make mistakes.  So I'm not convinced that parenting styles are tied to gender.
 
The following users thanked this post: Sparky

Enochscion

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Thanked: 27 times
    • View Profile
Re: The Fall
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2018, 09:55:00 pm »
I should note that I'm talking about what I see as overall averages; the same way one might say "men are taller than women" because as a worldwide average, men are almost 5" taller than women. Of course every one of us knows many, many exceptions. My parents don't even match the way I interpret the story. I just think there are certain essences which contain certain elements that make the eternal gender identities of men and women actually meaningful rather than just mechanical.
 

 

* Top Posters

Curelom
1314 Posts
Roper Roper
1112 Posts
dyany dyany
814 Posts
LMAshton LMAshton
668 Posts
N3uroTypical N3uroTypical
419 Posts

* Recent Posts

Re: Predictions for the coming General Conference? by JLM
[Today at 12:49:39 am]


Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition by JLM
[Today at 12:05:29 am]


Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition by Roper
[September 25, 2018, 09:20:29 pm]


Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition by Curelom
[September 25, 2018, 08:37:15 pm]


Re: Photography by AndrewR
[September 25, 2018, 06:01:15 am]

* Board Statistics

  • stats Total Members: 106
  • stats Total Posts: 10240
  • stats Total Topics: 668
  • stats Total Categories: 6
  • stats Total Boards: 26
  • stats Most Online: 65

  • averages Average Posts: 11
  • averages Average Topics: 1
  • averages Average Members: 0
  • averages Average Online: 17

* Forum Staff

AndrewR_admin admin AndrewR_admin
Administrator
dyany admin dyany
Administrator
LMAshton admin LMAshton
Administrator

* Calendar

September 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 [26] 27 28 29
30