~ The Fall of Man ~

an essay by Don R. Hender

    Some attempt to make more of the Biblical account than is in the scriptures. How can a simple eating of a piece of fruit have caused man to fall? There must of been something more to it. In all reality NO. It is just that simple. It was as it is in the scriptures. But what is in the logic of that?

As spirit children of God, in Heaven we lived by light and truth. Yes we had our agency, but our agency chose to obey God. And in God immediate presence there was never cause to not obey what was the truth. Yes, someone could have and did. That was Lucifer and those that followed after him and chose not to obey God. And because of their rebellion they were 'cast' out of Heaven without the opportunity to advance and become like God by eventually taking on a body of flesh and bone. They will forever remain as spirit and outside of the presence of God.

For those who were faithful and lived by the Word of God and did not rebel, but kept their first estate, there needed to be another way for God spirit children to maturate. That is they needed to mature in becoming self reliant and responsible being who could think and make their own decessions outside of the presence and influence of God. Since those who kept their first estate and did not rebel against God, light and truth, another way had to be devised for them to enter into a state of experience and learning outside the presence of God. They needed to become agents unto themselves. Yet because they obedient God could just not place them in that lower position of being outside of his presence. To 'deserve' to 'fall' they would have to disobey God. It did not have to be anything great or terribly rebellious in it nature. It could be justified to fall from God's presence over just any little simple thing which God commanded not to do. And that little simple thing was to disobey God direct instruction of not to eat of that fruit which God had forbidden one to eat of.

And yes, the fruit need not be something yucky and awful tasting. In fact it could be delicious to the taste good to eat. And it was, except that God commanded not to eat it. So God created immortl bodies of flesh and bone for the spirits of Adam and Eve after the image of God, after the image of the spirit body—head, shoulders, knees and toes; eyes, ears, mouth and nose. And God breathed the breath of live, that is the spirit of Adam and Eve into their tabernacle bodies. In that state, Adam of Eve still could not be caused to suffer death as long as they were obedient to God's directions. In fact they could continue to live that way as long as they did not disobey Father.

And that was Adam's degree of innocence. His intent, and Eve's also, was not to disobey Father. But as God had planned, he placed Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden. He would visit them periodically so technically they were not outside of His presence, just spending time in the garden alone between God's visits with them. There in the Garden, as a part of Adam's and Eve's introduction in their new imortal tabernacles of flesh and bone, which they deserned and earned by having kept their first estate, God cause a veil of forgetfulness to restrict their minds, that they could not remember their lives in Heaven before they had been placed in the Garden, but they did remember God who would visit them. And they knew that they were to obey him.

Now the Garden of Eden was place on that earth, or world, where Lucifer as Satan was cast down to. So God's plan was to 'test' Adam's and Eve's commitment to obey him in all things by placing them in bodies of flesh and bone, though yet immortal, and having them become subject to Satan's temptations. And Satan was subtle and indirect. He feigned talking by the mouth of the serpent, or perhaps that was a 'figurative name' for Lucifer. That is of no real consequence. It was Lucifer who did 'tempt' Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit of the forbidden tree. As stated it was likely 'good' to eat and the result was, though deceptively twisted, to give them 'further intelligence' as they did not recognize Lucifer as Satan when they tempted them and only after they partook of the fruit.

That it was Eve who first partook of the fruit may or may not have been of conseqence. What was of importance was the fruit was partaken in direct disobedience to the directive of God the Father and that both Adam and Eve had partaken of it, and both would be justified to be 'punished' according to the penalty which God had assiged to the act of disobeying God and partaking of the fruit. That penalty was that in the day that they would partake of the fruit, they would 'die' or that is they would become mortal and be subject unto death. In addition, so they would no longer have access to the 'tree of life,' Adam and Eve would be 'cast out' of the Garden of Eden into the dreary world.

Again, the scriptures may be taken literally. There was an actual tree designated as, that is to represent, the 'Tree of Life.' That tree resides in the presence of God, from whose presence Adam and Eve now were to be cast out from for disobeying Father. The significance of disobeying Father in one's Godly development unto becoming even as God is, that is having one's intelligence develop to that level of Godliness, cannot be over emphasized. It is that level of living by the light and truth of God which attains unto that direction given man by Jesus Christ when he commaned men to, 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect.'

There is not dire or sinister controller of controlling force making people to conform to an terrible fate of eternal enslavement at had. It is by one's own agency that they have come to understand that order of being even as perfect in line with that level of truth and light that constitutes Godliness, and of one's own will of choosing, one chooses to so live perfectly without sin or disobedience unto the high laws of the universe as permits one to stand as God over all things by complying to those laws which has dominion over them. It is kind of 'never putting you hand on a red hot stove top element.' You just know not to ever do that, so you don't. You may have even done it once and determined to repent and never do that again. But from then on, you just don't do that to yourself.

The Fall Was a Benefit to Man

It was God's mind and intent that eventually Adam and Eve would partake of the fruit of the forbidden tree. It was the way that had been for man to so fall from grace and into the temporal mortal world, the second estate. In the world, man would gain experience away from the presence of God, and he would be able to maturate and have his agency to develop unto himself.

"And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
"And he said unto the woman: Yea, hath God said—Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.)
"And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
"But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
"And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die;
"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.:
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
~ Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:6-12)

Satan is not able to know the minds of others as God is able to do. He did not perceive that the partaking of the fruit was part of the plan of God even if was to be caused by the temptations of Satan. Satan was seeking to destroy the world, as he still attempts to do not knowing the details of the mind of God.

Satan's methods is to beguile and deceive in attempts to tempt man to do wickedness. Lucifer will attempt to find a point or crack upon which he can begin, such as the leading question about 'God allowing Adam and Eve to eat of every tree in the garden?' How seemingly innocent but directly entering into the topic at hand are Satans talking point approaches. The answer was every tree but one and Eve supplied the continuing lead-in to the center of the matter. That is, 'if one eats of the fruit of the forbidden tree ye die.' Satan then takes exception to that truth and provides an alternative with an attractive hook to draw one in. Of course this is a muddle of lies, half truths, and suggestive alure to draw one in. Satan rebuffs the idea that one would die. He alures with the half truth lie that it will open one's eyes and one would be as the gods, knowing good and evil. Then after Satan's lure of deceit, Eve bites into the muddle of lies. She sees the tree was good for food and it became pleasant to her eyes and to be desired, as it would make her wise. It's the alure with the hook that reels men into breaking the laws of God. Most of what Satan presents is lies, smoke and mirrors based upon promises not true but made attractive with 'half truths' mingled into lies. It is a this pattern of Satan that draws people in today. Drinking has it alures though it will cause all sorts of health and mental problems. Smoking also. Immorality has hooks, lines, and sinkers, with the promised alures of the temporary desires met but with no lasting out comes in life or in eternity. They are all designed to destroy God's plan for his children. None of them have the actual person's best interests in mind. They are set just to reel people in and keep them from God and the ways of godliness, which will bring man everlasting joy and happiness, and exaltation in the Kingdom of God.

When relating an event all the details are not usually recounted, but a shorter representative account is given. If a full account was given everytime we'd be forever hearing and reading the accounts and never have enough time for living our own lives. Thus it is with the account of the forbidden fruit and the partaking thereof. The account given in the scriptures put the account in context with a representive account of the participants. It could have been more summarily states as such as, 'Satan tempted Adam and Eve and they partook of the forbidden fruit.' But some contextual relative story seems to be preferred to establish the full intent and nature of the event, particularly disclosing the methods of Lucifer's tempting of 'beguiling deceit, lying, half truths and presenting of an nice tempting picture though not completely based of the true facts of the matter.' For example, here is Lehi's take or retelling of the matter as he spoke of it as recorded by Nephi in which Lehi gives added observation concerning the nature of Lucifer.

"And to bring about his [God's] 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.
"And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
"And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
"And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.
~ Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:15-19

Lehi adds the truthful precept that God's intent was to give man a choice and an opposition in all things was needed for man to act for himself and choose what he would do. So the forbidden fruit and the tree of life were placed in opposition to each other according to the commandment of God. Lehi also states that the opposition included a choice between the sweet fruit of the tree of life and the 'bitter' fruit of the forbidden tree. This is opposite to the perception that Satan has sold Eve to suppose and see in the tree.

Then Lehi gives added information concering Satan than did Moses. He points out that Lucifer had 'sought that which was evil before God.' He also states that, 'because Satan had fallen from heaven, [he] had become miserable forever, [and] he sought also the misery of all mankind.' It is a seek personallity for a person in misery to actively seek that all others should also become miserable like unto themselves. It is a self-centered characteristic that has no concern for others and only selfishness pertaining to themselves. Lehi also states that Satan was the 'father of all lies.'

Lehi's account tells the same story from Lehi's perspective and understanding. So it is in telling and recording of events. Each telling tends to differ depending on the audience, one's own understanding and perspective, what one may have further learned, or wishes to emphasize. 

Also, in the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin give the true concept that after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, 'justice could not be denied that Adam should fall and be cast out of the Garden of Eden' (Mosiah 3:26). Of course it was for this cause, the fall of man that Jesus Christ's mission was fulfill (1 Corinthians 15:22). Thus man 'condemned to die' was not left without hope, that hope of gaining 'eternal life' through Jesus Christ our Lord. This perspective of the effects of the fall of man and Christ's mission are well taught by the prophet Abinadi.

"Thus all mankind were lost; and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people from their lost and fallen state.
"But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore, he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God.
"And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.
"And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
"But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."

~ Book of Mormon | Mosiah 16:4-8

If Christ had not come and fulfilled his mission there would have been no redemption. The spirits of the 'dead' would have to have remained in the spirit world forever being 'endlessly lost', for neither would there have been a resurrection from the dead. And as is, it was not until after Christ died and fulfilled and 'finished' his mission on the cross, that the Gospel being preached to the spirits in prision was not organized until Christ did it when he visited the spirit world during the three days his body spent in the grave. And thus it was that the lasting 'sting of death' has been swallowed up and all mankind will be resurrected unto such reward that they, by their obedience to God are entitled.

When a prophet 'speaks of things to come as though they had already come', that is a 'Hebrewism.' That is called speaking in the 'prophetic perfect tense' and it is that manner in which many prophets of the Old Testament did speak and it was unique to the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament and also here in the Book of Mormon.

The Attitude of the Lost

Alma, when he was assigned by an Angel to return to the people of Ammonihah who had once already expelled him from the city had the further reception from those of the city who would persist in their lost condition. Note how like this is to those who are in sin and rebellion against the ways and word of the Lord today in our modern society.

"Now behold, this is the voice of the angel, crying unto the people.
"And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye ought to be beloved, and ye ought to bring forth works which are meet for repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people.
"Now it came to pass that when I, Alma, had spoken these words, behold, the people were wroth with me because I said unto them that they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.
"And also because I said unto them that they were a lost and a fallen people they were angry with me, and sought to lay their hands upon me, that they might cast me into prison.
~ Book of Mormon | Alma 9:29-32

Alma had been charged by an angel of God to return and deliver this message of repentance unto the people. But seldom does those who are caught and wrapped up in their sins approachable as to their condition. They have already lied to themselves regarding God and are bound up in their lies of false self justification. They are not only slow to hear the truth and concerned word of God relative to their sinfull and lost condition. Rather than to being open to the message of God and seeing the ways of their error, they will continue to rebel and harden their hearts against God and stiffen their necks in their set sinfull ways, but they will also further begin to attack they who are right and correct in the eyes of God and even commit acts of violence upon them and even place them in prison according to their sinfully applied laws of injustice. They will pronouce their 'rights' of freedom of expression and lifestyle while all the time denying such equal freedom of expression and maintained lifestyle of such as the righteous among them.

This is what is happening today in American and even the wicked world. Good solid Christian people are not allowed to maintain their own freedoms of living according to their beliefs and religion. They are forced to conform socially and in business to the sinful ways of the often minority who have the liberal ear of the liberal governments today. Christians who run their own businesses cannot conduct their businesses according to the manner of their Christian beliefs. They have to bend and conform to the acceptance and tolerance of the wicked behaviors and lifestyles of the sinful and wicked among them. There is no equal justice being exercised in America today, only that of forced liberal conformity to the amoral immoral wicked without regard for those rights of the just and righteous among us. The liberal unjust laws of inequality, or equal treatment under the law, are on the attack against the foundational righteous and Christian base of the established American government of the United States of American. Under the disguise of 'human rights' the Constitutional rights of the moral, often majority, Christians are being taken away from our applications of the law in favor of those who are amoral and godless among us. Now those who believe in God cannot do so according to the dictates of their religious freedoms. Even to the freedom of speech speaking out against those who are wicked, it has become labeled as not acceptable liberally defined 'political correctness.' No longer is one able to call a sinner that which is the truth according to their own behavior, such as a Sodomite. They through their liberal bent and skewwed government can remove all sorts of freedoms and right from the conservative Christians, and the Christians cannot even speak out God's turth against them and to do so could well place a person into prison just like Alma was being threatened with.

And when the laws of man have turned about to not allow the free exercise of the worship of God among man, then the world is rippening in thier sins unto destruction. That is God's own injuction against those who dwell in this land. When they turn and Christ is not longer their God, then they will be destoryed. But now we return to the further discussion and explanations the scriptures offer to the understanding of the matters of the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man.

The What If's of the Garden of Eden and the Fall

Alma speaks to his son Corianton explaining unto him the gospel details relevant to the fall of man. And he answers the 'picky' questions that many have asked concerning the details of justice and conditions surrounding the fall of man from the grace of God. Often these are the belittleing matters that some 'pick at' as they attempt to skirt the truth and justice of God. And therefore Alma's intend was to settles these matters in the mind of his own son. While Alma's instructions concerning this topic are of some length, they are worth the time spead in order to learn the facts governing the fall of man and his possible redemption from the fall. That is, merely to be resurrected IS NOT redemption from the fall. All will be resurrected but not all will be redeemed and justified before God.

"AND now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand—which is concerning the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner; for ye do try to suppose that it is injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery.
"Now behold, my son, I will explain this thing unto thee. For behold, after the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground, from whence they were taken—yea, he drew out the man, and he placed at the east end of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life—
"Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit—
"And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God.
"For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.
"But behold, it was appointed unto man to die—therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of life they should be cut off from the face of the earth—and man became lost forever, yea, they became fallen man.
"And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will.
"Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.
"Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.
"Therefore, as they had become acarnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.
"And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.
"And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which man had brought upon himself because of his own disobedience;
"Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state**, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
"And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
"And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself [Jesus Christ who is Jehovah] atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.
"Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.
"Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?
"Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.
"Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?
"And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
"And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
"But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
"But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.
"For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.
"What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.
"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.
"Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.
"If he has desired to do evil, and has not repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done unto him, according to the restoration of God.
"And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.
"O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility."
~ Book of Mormon | Alma 42:1-30

The Soul: What exactly is the soul? The soul of man is that combination of 'eternal intelligence' and the 'spirit body of a child of God,' which God did organize in the preexistence. Once joined together they could never be separated nor could they ever die. That is what the soul of man is which may be further read about in The Plan of God.

**This Probationary State: Here I am left to consider that or probationary state includes individually that time from when we are born to that time that we stand before Christ to be finally judged. Collectively that would be from the fall of Adam until our final judgment. And this I conclude that int intells our lifes as separated from God's presence until we are judged and joined again into the presence of God or have been everlastingly cut off from the fall. And my logic here is that if we are performing the eternal ordinances for the dead, then the spirit world is a part of man probation and also as there are they who are to be born in the millennium then it does further extent unto such as they and thus on to the final judgment when all is finalized before God. I am also disposed to consider that for some this may not be the case individually for I do not know if those permanently lost is spirit prison, that is repent and accept the gospel when taught to them there, ever do again see God from that time of their partial judgment before Christ at the time of their death. But since eventually every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, I have hope that all will be raise to some degree of glory except for the very, very few.

This last chorus of scripture verse was rather long, but I'd feel amis if I did not include this one last sequence of information reguardin Adam and Eve and the Fall of Man. From the inspired Bible (JST), an angel appears to Adam and instructs him concerning sacrifice. And Eve rejoices in their decession to have partaken of the fruit. There is a very ominous verse at the end which foreshadows how wicked men resond to the Word of God.

"And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
"And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
"Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
"And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
"And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: 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.
"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.
"And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.
"And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.
"And the Lord God called upon men by the Holy Ghost everywhere and commanded them that they should repent;
"And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved; and as many as believed not and repented not, should be damned; and the words went forth out of the mouth of God in a firm decree; wherefore they must be fulfilled.
~ Moses 5:6-15