The Fall of Mankind
READ Moses 3:16-17
What does "freely eat" imply?
To eat without consequence.
What is the consequence of eating of the fruit of the
Tree of Knowledge?
In the day thou eatest
thereof, thou shalt surely die.
So, one can choose to eat it
but not without being free of consequences.
READ Moses 4:6-26 and Genesis
In the Moses account Adam receives this commandment
alone; what does he tell Eve the commandment is?
They cannot eat or touch the
fruit of the tree of knowledge.
He adds the word “touch” to
the commandment that the Lord had given him; but the Lord said nothing about
touching the fruit, only eating it.
How does Satan use this well-intended but untrue
precaution added by Adam to "protect Eve"?
Satan was standing before her
holding the fruit and he was not dead – implied is that touching the fruit
would not cause death, as Adam had told her that God had told him; it brought
everything that Adam had told her into question.
an aside, the fact that Satan did not have a physical body in the way that Adam
and Eve did (which was glorified at this point, as they had not yet fallen) but
still held the fruit and gave it to Eve makes one think about what it means
that Satan “doesn’t have a body”; if he had risen to hold authority in the
presence of God, he had to have proven himself in a “first place” and if that
place was a probationary mortal existence, and the Redeemer who sacrificed His
life during that eternity did so on the same principles that Christ did, then
Lucifer would clearly have been resurrected; if that is the case, then “doesn’t
have a body” could mean “doesn’t have a mortal body in this physical realm and
was prevented from coming to this earth for another probationary experience but
is damned or his progression is stopped”.
that or the resurrected body that he was given was then stripped from him upon
his rebellion; if a soul can lay down a resurrected body to be born into a
mortality again, then God may be able to strip a rebellious soul of what He
(God) gave them through His grace; but this then brings into doubt how a spirit
being was able to hold a physical fruit in the Garden of Eden (granted I do not
know the physics of what can and can’t be done in this physical world by those
in the unseen spirit realm).
What is the lesson we should learn from this event?
Don't change what the Lord has
given us (3 Nephi 11:40).
Satan can use even
well-intended wresting to his advantage - the Lord is more wise than us and we
are building on a sandy foundation when we take these things into our own
It also reminds me of Elder
Packer's statement: “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve
behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior” (in Conference
Report, Oct. 1986).
One of the great lessons of
the Moses account is that adding to the commandments of God, no matter how well
intentioned, is going to lead to error if not tragedy. We do as He asks – which
shows our faith in Him. Without adding to, nor subtracting from what He has bid
us to do, we should follow what we are asked to do by Him. We cannot improve on
His commandments. We cannot build a fence around His commandments by adding
other precautions, gestures, supplements, or restrictions. When we do that, we
produce excess, rigidity, unintended consequences, and error.
What changed with the Fall?
Death for Man and animals
(physical death) Moses 4:25; 6:48).
Separated from God’s presence (spiritual death) Moses 4:29; 6:49).
Children (Moses 4:22-29;
Sin and temptation (Moses
Acquisition of knowledge of
good and evil (innocence lost) Moses 4:28; 6:55-56).
possible – free to choose (Moses 6:56).
Pain and suffering (Moses
Work by sweat of brow (Moses
What are the consequences of the Fall of Man?
Physical consequences: death
(separation of spirit from mortal body) and mortal imperfection (sickness,
pain, emotional suffering).
Spiritual consequences: cut
off from the presence of God (spiritual death) and a fundamental change in
nature (become fallen creatures).
What are the world’s
misconceptions about the Fall?
Some believe we are inherently
“depraved” – we are born sinful (in original sin) and because of that carnality
or depravity we do not even have the power to choose good over evil (Calvin and
While others believe we are
inherently “good” – that the spirit of mankind is
good or light; it has an inherent inclination to choose righteousness and those
who don’t are either mentally ill or pre-determined by their abusive
What truths about the Fall were restored through Joseph
We are neither inherently depraved
nor righteous. We have a propensity for
and susceptibility to sin but we can also choose to keep the commandments. We can choose to follow the light of Christ
or we can reject it. While we are eternal
beings of light, we do not have a fullness of light (we are not precisely like
Christ is and nothing else), implying that we all have light to gain and
darkness to reject.
Mankind falls first and then
the whole of creation falls with them.
God can’t create people as mortal and fallen; He must allow them to choose – there
must be opposition and enticements.
Adam fell that men might be –
“the fall was downward but forward” (Elder Orson F. Whitney).
No original sin/guilt, no
depravity of man, no need for infant baptism – mankind is punished for their
own sins, not for Adam’s
transgression (Moses 6:54). Adam has been
forgiven for his transgression in the Garden of Eden
Fallen nature: not depravity
but lost; an alienation from the things of righteousness, separation from the
things of God: spiritual death (Moses 6:55); natures are evil continually (see
Ether 3:2) meaning that they do not naturally want the things that God wants
Conception becomes the vehicle
by which a fallen nature (mortality) is transmitted to the posterity of Adam
and Eve. There is no sin associated with
what I inherit from Adam but there are real effects. (see Moses 6:53-55)
What are the effects of the Fall on Mankind?
All mankind is in a lost state
(see 1 Nephi 10:4-6).
All mankind is fallen or
“natural” (see Mosiah 3:19).
What does it mean that they
who they are, what they are, or what they may become.
They are lost from the family
of God – the Atonement reconciles, makes us “at one” with the family of God
again, like the lost prodigal who is “found.”
You have a name – you have taken upon you the name of Christ. (see 2
What is the Natural Man? (Mosiah 3:19)
Natural men are unable or
unwilling to perceive spiritual realities (1 Cor 2:14, Alma 26:21).
Natural men are fiercely
independent (Helaman 13:38). They seek
happiness by following their own way, not God’s ways (but wickedness never was happiness). They live without God.
Natural men are proud, overly
competitive, reactionary and externally driven.
Pride or enmity toward God and man is their defining attribute.
Natural men yield themselves
to the harsh and crude.
There is a range of “natural
men”: from the ungodly and evil to the well-meaning, moral, but spiritually
stillborn who persists in following their own will (Alma 42:6-7).
“Fallen man is not simply an
imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his
arms.” (CS Lewis).
“Conception, which clothes us
in the flesh, is the mechanism of transmission, the means by which Adam and Eve’s fallen nature, both physical and spiritual death, is
transferred from generation to generation.
The propensity for, and susceptibility to, sin, is implanted in our nature
at conception, just as death is. Another
way of saying that is this: the seeds of sin and death are present at
conception. Now a child is neither
sinful nor dead when it is born, but the seeds are there. In the case of little children, the results
of this fallen nature (sinful actions and dispositions) are held in abeyance by
virtue of the atonement until they reach the age of accountability. When children reach the time of
accountability, however, they become subject to spiritual death, and must therefore
repent, and come unto Christ by covenant through the ordinances of the
gospel.” (Robert Millet)
Why is understanding the Fall of Adam so important?
We won’t make the required
sacrifice needed to come unto Christ and be saved (which requires the sacrifice
of our whole soul) unless we understand our dire need for redemption.
“Just as a man does not really
desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ
until he knows why he needs Christ. No
one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and
accepts the doctrine of the fall, and its effect upon all mankind” (Ezra Taft Benson).
Christ, in the Atonement,
redeemed everything that went wrong when Adam fell. You don’t go from
being a natural man to being a spiritual man on your own – you must surrender
your soul and be changed by Christ through covenant by receiving His Spirit. The atonement is to raise us above the fallen
nature and redeem us from it, and make us into creatures that would feel
comfortable being with God; eventually to be saved we must be precisely like
What would have happened to Adam and Eve if they had
waited to partake of the fruit until they were commanded?
It was crucial to the plan of
God that Adam and Eve needed to partake of the fruit so that they could
transition from the deathless state of the Garden. It was never intended for
mankind to "remain in the same state in which they were after they were
created...forever." This world was designed to be a place where mankind
would come, experience mortality, and die. This is something done on other
worlds, as well.
it did not need to be done in transgression, for it is more often done by
mankind on other worlds in obedience to a commandment to partake. During the
Millennium there will be millions who will live in such a world (a terrestrial
but physical world).
Adam was tempted, as was Eve, and together they partook in transgression of a
commandment to not partake. The
resulting fall distinguishes this world.
We are in the worst place of all the Father's creations. (Moses 7: 36.)
Here alone, in the worst place, among the worst people of that place, the Son
of God came to die. This is the only people who would kill Him. (2 Ne. 10: 3.)
The sacrifice of the Son was ordained before the foundation of the world. That
is one of His names, "the Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the
World" (Revelation 13: 8.).
was not surprised by Adam's transgression. He always anticipated it. The
conditions necessary for Christ's sacrifice could only come about in that way.
But foreknowledge does not remove other possibilities. There is ALWAYS choice,
and the choice is real. It could be taken. If it could not be taken, then by
definition there is no choice.
the transgression not happened, there would have been a commandment, as in
other worlds, to partake – probably after the seventh period of creation, the
“day of rest” or Sabbath day was observed. Mortality would have happened, as it
does on other worlds (D&C 76: 24) but it would not have been
and Eve could not have children while they were in the Garden of Eden. They lacked the capacity to bear children in
the “innocent” state in which they then existed. See 2 Ne. 2: 23. They had been given the gift of childbearing
as an endowment from God. The endowment of
the capacity did not mean they had the means or understanding at the time to
act upon it. They were like little
children who are born male and female with the capacity to one day become
parents, but who are immature and innocent, and therefore unable to bear
great offense was in Satan's control of the timing. Had they remained in the Garden throughout
the Sabbath day of rest then they would have received the commandment to
partake of the fruit in the Lord's timing. At this point they would have moved
from their innocent state into a condition not unlike the Millennial day. The "fall" would have transitioned
to a Terrestrial state, rather than a Telestial state.
did Eve transgress the commandment and partake of the fruit?
of all, it wasn’t because Eve was less righteous than Adam or more prone to
it wasn’t because Eve was smarter than Adam (she understood God’s plan better
and wanted to kick it into gear by instigating the Fall that Adam seemed
reluctant to do) or that Adam was fearful or lazy (it wasn’t that he just
wanted to hang out in the garden forever, scared of what was to come).
knowledge of the commandment came from Adam, not from God. God's commandment to
Adam was: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. 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." The
restriction placed on Adam was to "NOT EAT" of the fruit of that
tree. Adam's explanation to Eve was
different. Eve explained her understanding to the serpent when the serpent
tempted her: "God hath said--Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye
touch it, lest ye die." (Moses 4: 9.) Eve's understanding of the
commandment varied from what had been given to Adam by the addition of the
words: "NEITHER SHALL YE TOUCH OF IT." Adam added to the Lord's commandment. This
additional precaution was the error which set the transgression in motion. For
when Eve saw the “serpent” (her “brother”) touching the fruit and not dying, it
lent credibility to his assertion that "ye shall not surely die"
(Moses 4: 10). Being innocent, and therefore vulnerable to deception, Eve could
not know she was confronting a lie or a withholding of key facts which led to a
willful deception. Instead, she saw with her own eyes that the commandment
"not to touch" clearly did not result in death, so she acted in
accordance with what she saw as the truth.
READ Moses 4:27 and Genesis
Who made the coats of skins for Adam and Eve?
Why did He make these garments for them and what is the
To cover their nakedness.
To “cover” their sinfulness or
to “dress” them in glorious robes of light of the Lord’s making (symbolic of
the real robes of light they’d laid aside in heaven when they condescended to
come to this earth).
Christ sacrificed or killed
the animals, which had previously been Adam’s friends and companions in the
Garden, to make these coats of skins to them; legend has it that the animals
chosen for this sacrifice submitted to this death because of their love for
Adam and Eve – that they had been beloved companions – favorite animals.
Just as Christ would lay down
His own life for Adam and Eve and all of us in willing sacrifice to cover our
sins and imperfection before the all-seeing eye of God who cannot abide sin in
the least bit, so that we can be able to return to His presence, these animals
submitted to death to make coats of skins to cover the nakedness of those they
READ Moses 4:28-31 and Genesis
Why did God drive Adam and Eve out of the Garden and
place cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life?
To stop them from partaking of
the fruit of the Tree of Life and living forever in their sins.
To give them a probationary
time in the telestial or fallen world to repent.
If they had partaken of the
Tree of Life immediately, they would not have died and God would have been
proved to be a liar, as He said that they would surely die if they partook of
the fruit of the tree of knowledge out of season or without being commanded to
do so; then God would have ceased to be a god and Satan would have won – this
was a key part of Satan’s plan, to get Adam and Eve to partake of both fruits
in short succession, but that is why God immediately came down to confront them
and to cast Satan out of the Garden of Eden and place a guard around the Tree
of Life, to prevent this from happening.
What does it mean to become “as one of (them”), the
We had to know good from evil,
which can only come from experience.
The experience is being
enticed by opposition – good and evil.
The experience also includes
experiencing the consequences of choosing good and evil – both the short and
long term consequences because evil can sometimes lead to an enjoyable short
term outcome, as good can sometimes result in suffering during this life.
That is why we had to leave
the presence of God – so that we could truly choose and experience the full
The gods must understand both
the full extent of the light as well as the full depth of the dark – they must
know all things to be able to save those who are dependent upon them.
In an odd paradox, the light
seems to require the sacrifice of all things and eternal suffering, while the
darkness seems to promise an easier road but still ends in the loss of all
things held dear and leads to eternal suffering, but without the redemptive affects
of the path of light.
The difference is that while
the former (good) is submitted to by the individual for someone else and is
driven by the love one has for another, the latter (evil) is the result of, or
is the consequence of, an attempt to maximize one’s own utility or reward at
the expense of all others. The work and
glory of the Gods of Light is the immortality and eternal life of others, while
the Gods of Darkness seek glory through the opposite – there is really only one
road, but with two ultimate destinations.
The Redemption of Adam
READ Moses 5:1-11
What does it mean that Adam had “domination” over all
the beasts of the field?
means that Adam had been given the Holy Order after the Son of God and had
power over the whole of creation (see Genesis 14:27-33 JST).
holding the power, Adam was a Son of God (albeit not THE Son of God for this
creation, with power in himself to rise from the dead) and Eve was a Daughter
of God, as this power is conferred by God on those in the image of God – a
Why do Adam and Eve still hear the voice of God if they
are cast out of His presence?
While they are cast out and
spiritually dead, God still loves them and the whole purpose of their “death”
is to see if they will now choose “life” or to heed the voice of God, repent in
faith, and find their way back into His presence.
Those who are spiritually dead
can still hear the actual voice of God speaking to them – even Cain heard God’s
voice AFTER the murder of Abel.
Is there value in performing commandments without
Yes, in that performing the
commandments aligns one’s behavior with eternal law, even if one does not
understand that is what is happening.
Yes, in that obeying
commandments rewards the individual with additional light as a natural
Adam’s failure to lift himself
out of his fallen condition cannot be due to his lack of obedience (he was
obedient) but rather to his lack of understanding.
Adam is symbolic of fallen or
carnal man – the “noble” side of the spectrum who submit in blind obedience but
fails to push through and have the conversation with God about why he is asked
to do what he is doing; and he must stop and ask because God’s thoughts and
ways are simply outside of his way of thinking – fallen man focuses on the
image and the outward performance but misses the substance that is behind the
Blind or unquestioning
obedience never exalts anyone, it makes one a slave-like puppet or servant,
rather than an all-wise son.
One must care enough to want to engage with
God – to know Him for oneself – to ask why you are being asked to do something
– so that you can know the mind of God and be enlightened (see 2 Nephi 32:4-7).
So, while there is value in
performing commandments without understanding, one will not be saved by so
doing – they must care enough about what they are doing to seek after God for
understanding so they can be changed spiritually and find the Lord in the flesh
(see 2 Nephi 32:3-7).
Why does the Lord tell them to offer animal sacrifices
instead of the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit?
The animal sacrifices point
the follower of Christ straight to the Lord’s sacrifice in a very tangible way
– in both the sacrifice of a prized material possession (in an agrarian
society), as well as in the sacrifice of an innocent living thing.
But animal sacrifices have
NEVER been a substitute for the true sacrifice required in repentance: your
whole soul, a broken heart and contrite spirit (see Moses 6:53-68).
The animal sacrifices were an
additional rite designed to symbolize the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, which
was to come; when He had accomplished His sacrifices, He no longer required
animal sacrifice at the hands of His people (see 3 Nephi 9:19-20).
The animal sacrifices were
designed to point the person to the true sacrifice (Christ as the “lamb” and
their own hearts when they finally realize the love they have for Christ given
what He has sacrificed for them) – so that their hearts would begin to break
and they’d start to be willing to sacrifice their own souls.
What happened when the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam?
He experienced the birth of
the Spirit; he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost - which is the Comforter,
the record of heaven, the truth of all things.
It is the vehicle through which we are born again into the kingdom of heaven.
Quickened in the inner man =
mighty change of heart.
Baptism of fire.
Entering in at the gate to
become a son of God.
When Adam said “in the flesh I shall see God”, what did
Notice that resurrection is
not mentioned in these verses – this is not referring to seeing God again in
the flesh after he (Adam) arises from the dead.
This is in the context of
Adam’s redemption or coming back into God’s presence during mortality (see
Ether 3:13) after he had been cast out of it because of his transgression with
It is referring to God making
Himself known to Adam in the flesh or during his mortal life – it is literally
coming unto Christ and knowing with a surety that He is who He says He is (see
3 Nephi 11). This is eternal life – to know
God and Christ.
Cain, Abel and the Holy
READ Moses 5:12-15
What did Adam and Eve do with this experiential
They diligently taught it to
all their children, hoping that they too would be redeemed by seeking after and
having the same experiences with God that they had experienced.
How did their children react?
They rejected the testimony
from Adam and Eve, and rejected the offer from God to experience the same.
Implied is that they were
adults or old enough to fully understand what they were doing; this gives
insight into how long the “after many days” was, when the angel finally came to
Adam asking him why he had been offering sacrifices these many years without
The fact that all of them
rejected the message and loved Satan more than God gives us insight into how
few will ever find the narrow Gate and straight path that leads up Jacob’s
Ladder to the Lord and His heaven, as all of these had not only the first hand
testimony of ones who knew God in the Garden of Eden and again had experienced
the way back and knew the path, but were also were their parents and loved them
(see D&C 132:21-25).
READ Moses 5:16-41 and Genesis
Why did Eve say “…wherefore may not reject His (the
Because all of her children up
to that point had rejected Christ.
But it seemed that something
about Cain was different, to the degree that she held out hope that here was a
son who would not reject Him, too.
Cain became the probable heir
to the Holy Order, which God had given to Adam; but Cain or anyone who was to
receive it had to receive it from God directly, through sacrifice and by living
by every word from God (see LoF 6:2-7; TPJS 171:2). It is something that cannot be given from one
mortal to another.
Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice?
heart had already been compromised by Satan; instead of being willing to
sacrifice for others, he was overcome with desire to possess the Holy Order so
that he might dominate all things, as his father had the power to do; but to do
it in line with Satan’s principles – without love and sacrifice for those under
the domination or power but to self-aggrandize the priesthood holder or “king”.
did not offer the required sacrifice but sought to change the ordinance – and
he broke the covenant, by so doing.
he offered the required sacrifice, he would have received the Holy Order, as
God is no respecter of persons; Abel’s righteousness would not have mattered –
he would not have displaced Cain (born first) had Cain remained faithful to God.
offered him repentance, but Cain would not submit; had he repented, he still
would have been the one to whom the Holy Order was given; Adam, Eve and Abel
all pled with Cain to repent but he rejected them all, took a wife (outside of
the covenant) and left the company of his parents and Abel (see Moses 5:26-27). His pride lost him the power of God he was
Why was Satan especially interested in
Satan wanted to hold sway over the individual who
held the Holy Order and Cain was the first of Adam’s children to show any true
promise of rising up to receive that power (which is why he counseled Cain to
still sacrifice to God, rather than just rejecting God outright – his lies to
Cain were also the reason Cain was so upset when his sacrifice was rejected by
God – he thought that his sacrifice was acceptable, but the true sacrifice of
his heart was not – it was already given to Satan).
Satan wanted control over the right of dominion and
leverage over the line of descendants through which the Messiah would be born,
so that Christ would be subject to a patriarch who would support Satan’s
At Adam-ondi-Ahman, all the people (couples) who
held this dominion over the creation (being “Sons of God” on earth – in proxy
for the Lord) via the Holy Order, are to give it back to Adam who will give it
all back to Christ (see TPJS 178:2-179:1; D&C 116:1; Daniel 7:9-10); if
anyone who has held a position in the Holy Order refuses to return dominion
back to Christ, it can create a conflict that continues the same war that began
in heaven; this was another contingency in Satan’s great plan: to help Cain to
gain power and authority before God but then to hold His heart so that when the
time came, he (Cain) would refuse to give back dominion or could impose Satan’s
conditions before returning the right of dominion back to Christ.
Satan still has it in his heart to attempt this,
which is why the Holy Order is so closely guarded by carefully qualifying those
who receive it – but remember, Lucifer rose to power in God’s presence
legitimately (there is no way to fool God), so it is still a possibility that
one with that power could fall, as we are all in jeopardy every hour we are on
Why did Cain end up killing Abel?
Out of vengeance for his
rejection at the hands of God.
Out of jealousy over what Abel
was given that was his to receive first.
was still after the Holy Order and perhaps was hoping that without an heir from
Abel, he might somehow still obtain it.
material possessions were a great bonus but were not the primary reason for the