Why study the Fall?
“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. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon.” (Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon, 33.)
Adam and Eve were chosen to be the first of Heavenly Father’s children to come to earth and were placed in the Garden of Eden. At that time, their bodies were not mortal (see Moses 3:7–8, 21–23).
In what physical condition were Adam and Eve before the Fall?
A Spiritual State – physical/immortal
· D&C 88:27-28
· Moses 3:7-9
Innocence – 2 Nephi 2:23
Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat. As a result, they were separated from God’s presence. This separation is called spiritual death. They became mortal, which means that their physical bodies would eventually die. They also became able to have children. The change to the mortal condition is called the Fall (see 2 Nephi 2:19–25; D&C 29:40–41).
Why is it called a Fall?
· Moving from a Celestial State (in which there was no death, no sin, etc. to a Terrestrial State)
· Out of presence of God
· Reliance on a Mediator, a Redeemer
Why did God not create man fallen to begin with?
· God does not create temporality.
· The Fall was about accountability – it still is.
Was it planned?
· Absolutely, see 2 Nephi 2:24 a great insight into the Fall in relation to the Plan of Salvation
Was the Fall immediate or a process?
· The Spiritual fall was immediate
· The Physical Fall was a process (for instance, a manuscript of the JST and a journal from Edward Stevenson both taught that Adam lived 1,000 years save six months.)
To what extent did the Fall of Adam and Eve affect the whole world?
· To the extent that the Atonement affects the whole world.
“What is meant by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that our first parents complied with whatever laws were involved so that their bodies would change from their state of paradisiacal immortality to a state of natural mortality.” (Elder McConkie, Christ and the Creation, Ensign 1982, p.15.)
The serious sin (transgression) of Adam and Eve was that they disobeyed the counsel of their Father, listened to Satan, and then followed Satan’s ideas. See D&C 20:17-20 for more.
Adam and Eve would not have had any children had they not partaken of the forbidden fruit. See 2 Nephi 2:22-23, Moses 5:11
What would have happened if Adam and Eve made it back to the tree of life after partaking of the fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”? Would they have negated the effects of the Fall on their bodies and lived forever? Why did God place Cherubim to stop them? See Alma 12:23 and Alma 42:2-6.