“Because of My Transgression My Eyes Are Opened”
Lesson 4 - Moses 4; 5:1-15; 6:48-62
Today, we will review another of the three “pillars of eternity” which, according to Elder Bruce R. McConkie, make our salvation possible—The Creation, The Fall, and The Atonement.
The Fall of Adam and Eve and its effects on them and us. Moses 4; 5:10-11; 6:48-49, 55-56.
· Moses 2:28 - In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve the commandment to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”.
· Moses 3:17 – A second commandment forbade the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As long as they obeyed this commandment and never ate of the forbidden fruit, they would live in the garden and be immortal. But if they did not enter into mortality, they could not multiply, replenish the earth, and have joy in their posterity.
· This conflict between the two commandments was intended by Heavenly Father to provide them with a choice because they could not obey both commandments—choice was required.
Moses 4:6-31 provides us with an account of how the Fall was brought about.
· Satan did not know the mind of God and sought to beguile Eve
· Eve told the serpent that God had commanded them not to partake of the tree in the midst of the Garden—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they partook, they would die.
· The serpent lied to Eve, telling her that she would not die, but would gain knowledge of good and evil and become as gods
· Eve partook, desiring to be wise, and persuaded Adam to partake, so their eyes were opened
· When they heard the voice of God, they hid because they were naked
· They explained the events of their transgression to Heavenly Father
· Heavenly Father cursed Satan for beguiling Eve and put enmity between Satan and mankind
· Adam and Eve were told that the ground would be cursed for their sake and that Eve’s conception and sorrow would be multiplied. They were told that they would eat their bread by “the sweat of thy face”.
The Fall’s Results – Note that many of the results of the Fall were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and therefore, are not generally known in the world.
· Moses 5:11; 6:48, 2 Nephi 2:22, 25 – Adam and Eve could become parents, opening the way for us to come to earth and receive our mortal bodies.
· Moses 4:25; 6:48; 2 Nephi 9:6 – Physical death became effective on all mortals, meaning that our bodies and spirits would be separated at the end of our mortality
· Moses 4:29; 6:49; 2 Nephi 9:6 – All of us would experience spiritual death—separation from God’s presence.
· Moses 6:48; Genesis 3:16-17 – We will experience misery and woe
· Moses 6:49, 55; 2 Nephi 2:22-23 – Having free agency and opposition (choices), we can sin
· Moses 4:23-25 – We must work in mortality because the ground is cursed
· Moses 4:28; 6:55-56; 2 Nephi 2:23; Genesis 3:22 – We can learn to recognize and distinguish between good and evil
· Moses 5:10; 2 Nephi 2:23, 25 – We are capable of joy in mortality
· Moses 5:11 – We may experience the joy of redemption
· Moses 5:11 - It is possible for us to obtain eternal life
· Latter-day revelation teaches us that the Fall is beneficial to us. We now have the opportunity to make the Plan of Salvation effective for us, so that as we choose righteousness and obedience by shunning evil and choosing the good, we can pass the test of mortality and prove ourselves worthy of eternal life.
· God foresaw the Fall. It was incorporated into His plan as a necessary element of the Plan of Salvation. In this way, man entered mortality by his own choice. Even though Satan played a part in persuading Adam and Eve to make the choice, God’s plan was not frustrated as Satan wished. Satan is incapable of thwarting heavenly Father’s plans or His purposes.
Jesus Christ’s Atonement overcomes physical and spiritual death. Moses 5:14-15; 6:50-54, 57-62.
· The Fall of Adam and Eve introduced both physical and spiritual death into this world. Physical death is the separation of the body and the spirit that occurs when our mortal life is over. The spiritual death is the separation of man from the presence of God. That death occurred as our first parents were driven from the Garden of Eden. As mortals, we cannot overcome either of these deaths on our own. In Heavenly Father’s plan, we may only overcome the two deaths through the atoning sacrifice of his Only Begotten Son, who came to mortality to redeem his Father’s children. (Alma 22:14)
· Moses 5:10-15; 6:48-62; 2 Nephi 9:6-10. The prophets who have spoken or written about the Fall have also taught about the Redeemer’s atonement. These two events and the doctrinal teachings about them need to be taught together because the Fall created the need for the Atonement. While the Fall brought about the two deaths, the Atonement overcame both of them.
President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The plan of redemption must start with the fall of Adam. In the words of Moroni, ‘By Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ,…and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man’ (Moroni 9:12). 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 effects upon all mankind” (Ensign, May 1987, 85).
· 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; 2 Nephi 2:8; 9:6. We are saved from physical death through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, so all will be resurrected to an immortal state.
· Moses 5:14-15; 6:50-52; 59; Helaman 14:15-18; D&C 19:15-19. These scriptures teach that because of Christ’s atonement, we can be cleansed and become worthy to dwell with God if we develop faith in Christ, repent, accept baptism and its covenants, receive the baptism of the Spirit through confirmation and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and become obedience to God’s commandments.
· 2 Nephi 9:10. In this Book of Mormon passage, Jacob rejoiced that the Savior’s atoning sacrifice redeemed man from the grave.
Upon entering into mortality, Adam and Eve became parents, taught the gospel to their children, and worshiped God, obeying his commandments. Moses 5:1-9, 12.
· Moses 5:1-5, 12 record what Adam and Eve did after being cast out of the garden. They began to labor, tilling the land and working hard to make a living (farming and tending flocks). Even though they prayed and heard the voice of the Lord, they were shut out from his presence. Adam and Eve received commandments requiring worship and offerings. They blessed the name of the Lord and taught their sons and daughters. When you consider what they did, it has a lot of similarity to your life.
· Moses 5:1-9, 12 instruct us about the purposes of our lives. We are to work, multiply and replenish the earth, pray, obey the commandments, do that which we do in the name of the Savior, repent, be willing to be redeemed, and teach our families correctly.
· Moses 5:5-9 record an important commandment to Adam and Eve. Note that even though Adam did not understand the purpose of what he was required to do, he did it faithfully because the Lord commanded it. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Whatever God requires is right, …although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 256).
· Moses 5:7-9 reminds us of the purpose of the sacrifices that Adam offered. They were a likeness of Heavenly Father’s sacrifice of his Only Begotten Son. The point was to remind Adam and his posterity that all mankind may be redeemed from the effects of the Fall through Christ’s Atonement. In this dispensation, we remember the sacrifice of the Savior through the sacrament rather than animal sacrifice.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks: “It was Eve who first transgressed the limits of Eden in order to initiate the conditions of mortality. Her act, whatever its nature, was formally a transgression but eternally a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life. Adam showed his wisdom by doing the same…” “We celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall…Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: ‘I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin…This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin.’…
“This suggested contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second Article of Faith: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression”. It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin—inherently wrong—but a transgression—wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall” (Ensign, Nov. 1993, 73).