Welcome back guys.
This week I read about “the fall”.
The scriptures I read were:
If you grew up even on the fringes of any christian tradition you are well aware of the story. Adam and Eve lived in paradise and then Eve was stupid enough to be tempted by Satan and got them kicked out of the Garden of Eden and caused all manner of problems. Darn that Eve. Except that is not the whole story or the right characterization.
Hold on to your hats. I remember when the Elders were teaching me and we discussed the fall I was trying to figure out a polite way to speed it along, I knew the story of the fall so let’s get to stuff I don’t know. Then those brilliant Elders said something that shocked me and took me a while, as in days, to fully process. They said
“The fall was not a bad thing.”
“What? Yes it was.”
“If the fall was a bad thing that was not a part of the plan then Jesus was just a backup plan.”
Did your jaw hit the floor? Mine did. I went from half tuning them out because I “knew” this story to staring at them in stunned disbelief. I had never looked at it that way…the logic tracked but I couldn’t process it, it went against my entire understanding of this pivotal story.
So, what does the scripture say about it? To completely understand this we have to have the basics of the Plan of Salvation, I am just going to discuss the basics because we will get to each part of the plan in a chronological order. We are all the literal spirit children of heavenly parents. God’s plan was to make us mortal and give us free will (or agency) so we could grow and progress to become closer to him. As any parent will tell you, when your kids are growing they will mess up and sometimes they need some help. The Lord knew we would need a saviour and Jesus was the man for the job. However, Satan wanted to take away man’s will so we HAD to follow God. He arrogantly thought his plan was better and there was a war in heaven after which Satan and a third of the hosts were banished. The Atonement of Jesus is so huge, but it was always necessary to help us overcome our shortcomings or trials we face in life and bring us back to be with God.
What does this have to do with Adam and Eve? A lot. If Christ was always the plan and we always needed him to return to our father in heaven than we HAD to leave the Garden.
If we jump ahead a little, in Moses 5: 10-12 we learn that had Adam and Eve stayed in the garden there would be no joy, because there would be no pain, we must have the dark to understand the light. There would be no children, there would be no chance for all of us to return to God in the flesh, there would be no joy in our redemption, and most importantly there would be no path to eternal life with our Father in Heaven.
Life in the garden was beautiful but it was stagnant, there was no chance for growth there.
I am still blown away by this idea because it never occurred to me before. God’s plans are always better than our own and that has been true from the very beginning. That is so wonderfully amazing to me.
If you are reading along, I am following this Chronological Scripture Timeline. Next week I will be covering Cain and Abel.