Adam & Eve / The Fall

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
Curt Sunshine
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Jan 2014, 16:05

Yup, even Presidents of the Church are cafeteria Mormons. :thumbup:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Joni
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Joni » 14 Jan 2014, 16:16

Shawn wrote: Bruce R. McConkie:
"Scant knowledge is available to us of Eve (the wife of Adam) and her achievements in pre-existence and in mortality. Without question she was like unto her mighty husband Adam in intelligence and in devotion to righteousness during both her first and second estates of existence. She was placed on earth in the same manner as was Adam, the Mosaic account of the Lord creating her from Adam's rib being merely figurative."
(Mormon Doctrine, p.242, EVE)
Stop the presses! Did I just agree with McConkie?!?! :o

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Shawn
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Shawn » 14 Jan 2014, 16:49

mackay11 wrote:
Shawn wrote: Spencer W. Kimball:
“The story of the rib, of course, is figurative.” (Ensign, March 1976, p.71)
I smile at this. It's taught in the bible as fact. As a historical and literal step in the creation of Eve.

If Pres Kimball felt comfortable throwing the rib story under the "figurative" bus, then I don't consider it an unreasonable step to do the same with the entire Eden/A&E story.
The Old Testament jumps right into the story with "In the beginning..." but I'm not so sure it's presented as factual. I think the context allows for the possibility that it's being presented as a story told by Moses, rather than as an account of actual events.

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Shawn
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Shawn » 14 Jan 2014, 16:59

The talk by President Kimball is quite interesting. He inserts his own comments as he's quoting scripture:
The role of woman was fixed even before she was created, and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is written:

“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. [The story of the rib, of course, is figurative.]

“And I, God, blessed them [Man here is always in the plural. It was plural from the beginning.] and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over [it].” (Moses 2:27–28.)

And the scripture says,

“And I, God said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man [not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife] in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.” (Moses 2:26.) What a beautiful partnership! Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord. Such a marriage extends beyond the grave. All peoples should call for this kind of marriage...

“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam [Mr. and Mrs. Adam, I suppose, or Brother and Sister Adam], in the day when they were created.” (Gen. 5:1–2.)

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DarkJedi
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by DarkJedi » 14 Jan 2014, 17:17

Shawn wrote: B. H. Roberts:
"We are informed that the Lord God made every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb before it grew on our planet. As vegetation was created or made to grow upon some older earth, and the seeds thereof or the plants themselves were brought to our earth and made to grow, so likewise man and his helpmate were brought from some other world to our own, to people it with their children. And though it is said that the 'Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground'—it by no means follows that he was 'formed' as one might form a brick, or form the dust of this earth. We are all 'formed' of the dust of the ground, though instead of being moulded as a brick we are brought forth by the natural laws of procreation; so also was Adam and his wife in some older world. And as for the story of the rib, under it I believe the mystery of procreation is hidden."
(The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, p.268)
Fascinating. I've always believed this, I just didn't think many others did (and it would probably be considered heresy in some circles). Of course, Roberts wasn't actually an apostle so his words don't carry quite the same weight. (Just kidding on that last statement, of course. :D )
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Shawn
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Shawn » 14 Jan 2014, 17:28

Wow, I'm finding interesting stuff. Here's more from Bruce R. McConkie:
The Lord’s commentary about the Creation also says: “Out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; … and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life.” (Moses 3:19.) It also says, speaking figuratively, that Eve was formed from Adam’s rib. And in that primeval day, when neither death nor the probationary experiences of mortality had entered the world, “they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (See Moses 3:21–25.)

As to the Fall itself we are told that the Lord planted “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” in the midst of the garden. (Moses 3:9.) To Adam and Eve the command came: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the ...(Moses 3:16–17.) Again the account is speaking figuratively. 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.

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JohnLocke
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by JohnLocke » 14 Jan 2014, 19:19

Thanks for the responses!
The more I think about it, the more a figurative Fall makes sense. And it really really like the idea of the Fall being an allegory for the premortal life. Adam (Michael) and Eve could have even existed, and they were just the ones leading the way among the spirits, making the first choice to come down to the earth. The Fall is just our "fall" to earth. I also don't think any essential elements of the plan of salvation are lost without a literal Edenic fall, despite BRM and others' insistence that doing so destroys the need for an Atonement. From what I understand, the traditional consequences of the Fall are physical and spiritual death, or separation from God. Well, these both exist, so I don't see why denying they came about because Adam & Eve ate some fruit makes the Atonement not necessary. Perhaps death and separation came about because that is what we ALL chose before this life to be born into. Death and separation from God are very much a part of life. Not to mention the fact that we still grapple with our own personal struggles and sins, which would still make a compassionate Savior very much necessary.

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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Roy » 15 Jan 2014, 10:05

mackay11 wrote: Here's an official source:
In a symbolic way, the teachings and rituals of the temple take us on an upward journey toward eternal life, ending with a symbolic entrance into the presence of God. The characters depicted, the physical setting, the clothing worn, the signs given, and all the events covered in the temple are symbolic. When they are understood, they will help each person recognize truth and grow spiritually.
There are some words in between, but it means: "The characters depicted are symbolic." That doesn't mean they can't have a place in history, but for me their role as symbols is waaaaay more important than their theoretical as ancestors.

Happy to help

Mackay"just call me the quotes archive"11

http://manyotherhands.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... -than.html
Great! Now I can finally move on from wondering why a premortal and unembodied Peter would be able to do all those cool handshakes without physical hands! :P
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Shawn
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Shawn » 15 Jan 2014, 10:08

Regarding this from McConkie:
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.
So he says they complied with laws in order to change to a state of mortality. It would make more sense to me if he had said they violated laws and became mortal. However, I suppose some laws may need to be violated in order to comply with others, so the way he said it can make enough sense.

So what does the forbidden fruit represent? I know there isn't a clear answer, but it can be fun to speculate :smile:

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Jan 2014, 11:32

My only answer is that I am convinced it was NOT sex - and I really hate that traditional Christian view.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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