Sunday, March 22, 2009

Was “Adam’s Transgression” Actually a Sin?

This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin in the strict sense, for it was something Adam and Eve had to do” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:115).

Most Latter-day Saints have either taught or heard the distinction between Adam’s partaking of the forbidden fruit as a “transgression” rather than a “sin.” We even have an Article of Faith that states that we will not be punished for “Adam’s transgression,” instead of “Adam’s sin” (AofF 2). This belief has been a longstanding point of criticism by those not of our faith who contend that failure to abide by any of God's laws inherently constitutes sin.

As explanation, the LDS typically qualify Adam’s actions as a transgression of the law and not a sin, since he had no knowledge of good or evil. It has also been explained, by some, that Adam’s actions constitute a transgression and not a sin because he was the recipient of two conflicting commandments, where one commandment would have to be broken to fulfill the other. Since he was compelled to violate one command to fulfill the other, God could hardly hold him accountable for this as a sin.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that “the use of the term transgression lays emphasis on the violation of the law or rule involved, whereas the term sin points up the wilful nature of the disobedience” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 804). In the present context, does this mean that Adam was incapable of willful disobedience in the Garden of Eden and thereby incapable of sinning? We know that Adam was specifically told not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and, presumably, he willfully disobeyed that command.

In their arsenal of attack, critics typically use the above-quoted reference by Joseph Fielding Smith in conjunction with 1 John 3:4 wherein John teaches that “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” James further distinguishes this concept when he said, “therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Does this mean that sin is only a sin when the person is aware of goodness, yet denies it? Until he partook of the fruit, according to the account in Genesis, Adam did not know the difference between good and evil (right or wrong). Therefore, James’ definition of sin apparently parallels the LDS explanation.

In the Bible, the fall of Adam is almost universally referred to as a transgression. In fact, the first time the Bible even mentions sin is in context with Cain, the first biblically attested transgression after mankind knew the difference between good and evil. In the only instance in which Adam’s action is referred to as a sin, it is concurrently referred to as an offence and a transgression:

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

One may assume, therefore, that Paul used these terms interchangeably. This is further bolstered by Paul's reference to Judas' obvious sin as a transgression as found in Acts 1:25.

What is more, several Old Testament passages consistently refer to, on the one hand, one’s sins and, on the other hand, to their transgressions, thus illustrating a clear difference between the two. For example, Psalms 25:7 states “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions,” and Joshua 24:19 states “he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” Therefore, biblical writers consistently either used the terms interchangeably or specifically made reference to both as distinct nouns.

Critics of the Church take special issue with the LDS belief of conflicting commandments in the Garden. The one, “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Gen. 1:28), could be fulfilled only if Adam and Eve were mortal, since before the Fall (for whatever reason) they were incapable of having children (see Moses 5:11, 2 Ne. 2:23). Yet they were commanded not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:3), which was the only way to become mortal.

Although the eternal plan for the salvation and exaltation of God’s children required a mortal existence in a situation where there was opposition, God, being perfect, could not place Adam and Eve into such an imperfect, fallen world. They had to make that choice for themselves, or else God would have effectively limited their agency.

In any event, the key point here is that Adam and Eve knowingly disobeyed a commandment of God. Were their actions in accordance with the divine plan and, therefore, not a sin but a transgression? Or do you adhere to the strict interpretation found in 1 John 3:4?


Anonymous said...

Moses 6:53
"And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden."

If it was a mere non-sin transgression, does the Lord really need to forgive it?

D&C 29:34-35
34 Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
35 Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.

They violated a spiritual commandment, not a temporal one.

D&C 29:41
41 Wherefore, I, the Lord God, caused that he should be acast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the first death, even that same death which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say: Depart, ye cursed.

Isn't spiritual death sin? And how could sin be introduced into the world without...sin?

Tim J

Nate said...

I have always thought of this subject in terms of:

Transgression is a violation of eternal law, which creates a demand for justice. Therefore, we need forgiveness and partake of the atonement or else we will suffer spiritual death. However, God forgives us of our transgressions automatically. In other words, the atonement automatically applies to transgressions, just as it does to children.

Whereas sin requires us to have a broken heart/contrite spirit and to ask for forgiveness (i.e. repent).

I believe this mindset is in alignment with any scripture I have read...including the ones cited by Tim above.

Jeremy said...

Great scriptural additions, Tim. Your thought process is quite similar to my own thinking on this.

Nate, I have never heard that explanation of transgression v. sin before. Your definition of a transgression, however, sounds awfully similar to the basic definition of a sin, i.e. violation of an eternal law. How is the commission of a sin different than the commission of a transgression?

Evgenii said...

"In any event, the key point here is that Adam and Eve knowingly disobeyed a commandment of God."

Is this an eternal commandment in the sense of the Law of Chastity or like how we can look at gravity as a commandment of God. My point is that the commandment from God to not partake of the fruit was conditional for their continued existense in the Terristrial state. They did not transgress an eternal law in the sense that they committed a sin, but transgressed the law that would allow them to remain in that condition.

"Were their actions in accordance with the divine plan and, therefore, not a sin but a transgression?"

You somehow knew that I wanted to post on this. I seem to remember a GD class with a former candidate for the US Senate saying that reasonable minds can disagree whether their actions were part of the plan. Reasonable mind can disagree?

"Or do you adhere to the strict interpretation found in 1 John 3:4?"

I tend to not follow a strict interpretation of anything from the New Testament. Erhlman's "Misquoting Jesus" and the recent Sperry Symposium on the forming of the NT destroyed any real credibility that the NT had with me. I don't speak Greek. Do we have the original translation of what this verse said? The KJV is one of the worst translations to come out of its period because of the source material that was used. Instead, Erasmus relied on better source as well as Luther.

Anonymous said...

"Is this an eternal commandment in the sense of the Law of Chastity or like how we can look at gravity as a commandment of God."

Look at the D&C 29 verses again. The Lord, who is discussing Adam at this very moment, clearly states that he hasn't ever given man temporal laws. Only spiritual ones. The commandment to not partake of the fruit was a spiritual law violated by Adma & Eve. I don't see how violating a spiritual law could be anything other than a sin.

Tim J

Anonymous said...

"Critics of the Church take special issue with the LDS belief of conflicting commandments in the Garden."

As do I. But that's probably another discussion for another day.

Tim J

J. Max Wilson said...

Sin and Transgression are usually synonyms and throughout the scriptures and in General Conference they are often used interchangeably. For instance in the prophets have often referred to sexual sin as a "serious transgression." Both sin and transgression will damn you and both require repentance. Adam and Eve entered into covenants to place them into an expiatory relationship with Christ so that they could be forgiven of their transgression. So they are functionally equivalent.

Elder Oaks explained in the October 1993 Conference that the difference between a "Sin" and a "Transgression" is the the same distinction between what in law they call crimes that are mala in se contrasted with crimes that are mala prohibita. In other words sins are inherently wrong, but transgressions are wrong only because they are officially prohibited. But both are wrong and require repentance.

Partaking of the Forbidden Fruit was wrong because it had been forbidden, not because their was anything inherently sinful in it. Murder, on the other hand is inherently wrong.

But Elder Oaks also clarifies that while this distinction is useful in the context of the fall, the words are not always used to denote something different.

In most cases I think that the two words are completely interchangeable and when the scriptures use both ("sins and transgressions") it is simply a manifestation of a kind of poetic appositive style frequently employed in ancient literature where the same thing is repeated in different words.

Evgenii said...


I somewhat agree with you except that we have to make the assumption that only sin can violate spiritual law. I don't know if, based on all the scriptures we currently have, I would be comfortable saying that only sin could have dropped Adam and Eve out of their condition as it seems possible they could have broken spritual laws which are violations of their condition. But I do see your line of thought.

Evgenii said...

As a follow up, perhaps a reading of what the translated word "transgression" means in other languages can bolster what J. Max says, that it is more use of an older term. I can only account for Bulgarian, where the word transgression is is "pregreshenie". The word for "sin" in Bulgarian is "griah. The syllable "gresh" in the translation of transgression indicates that some sin was involved. Like I said earlier, I would be curious to see what the Greek and Hebrew versions are. This seems to lend more evidence to what Tim J. and J. Max are saying.

J. Max Wilson said...

In Exodus 34:7 "Transgression and Sin" is from Pesha` and Chatta'ah.

Pesha`occurs in the Old Testament 90 times and is translated 84 times as transgression, 5 times as sin, and 1 time as rebellion.

Chatta'ah occurs 272 times in the Old Testament and is translated 182 times as sin, 116 times as "sin offering", 2 times as "purification for sin", 1 time as purifying, 1 as sinful, and 1 as sinner

These same two words are used in Job 13:23, Psalm 59:3, Micah 3:8 and others.

Jeremy said...

After reading J. Max's comments, now I wish I had researched before writing this. I'll have to go back and re-read Oaks' talk and see if I amend anything.

As a follow up, then, if "sin" and "transgression" are 2 disparate nouns, and yet used in the same verse, are they correctly used interchangeably?

Serendipity said...

By a modern understanding, the definitions of the words could be considered as thus:

Transgression –n. 1. the act of transgressing; the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle; “the boy was punished for the transgressions of his father” 2. the spreading of the sea over land as evidenced by the deposition of marine strata over terrestrial strata 3. the action of going beyond or overstepping some boundary or limit (WordNet ® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University)

Sin –n. 1. transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine command; any violation of God’s will, either in purpose or conduct; moral deficiency in the character; iniquity; as, sons of omission and sons of commission 2. An offense, in general; a violation of propriety; a misdemeanor; as, a sin against good manners…

Considering that there were only 6 definitions of transgression and 22 for sin when searched on I found it interesting that in most cases, sin was used when describing transgression and vice versa.

Just as our own modern definitions may be misunderstood without a standard definition (as found in accepted dictionaries), perhaps when the original authors of the Bible, etc. were interpreting their visions from God, they also misunderstood the definitions of the words they were using. I won’t say that they were uneducated; I’m just saying that synonyms are used interchangeably without understanding the nuances of the definitions. This is only then magnified when the same words were translated into a different language and the differences of the usage in that day aren’t realized (i.e. perfect as complete then verses perfect as flawless now). To truly understand what God intended for us to get out of the writings in Genesis and Moses, we would have to ask him ourselves.

God is omnipotent; I’m sure we can all agree on that point. He therefore knew that Adam and Eve would partake of the fruit before they were even placed in the garden. We’re fond of saying that you can’t choose the consequences of your actions; God merely chose casting them from the garden as the consequence as part of his plans. Adam and Eve didn’t remember this part of the plan; the veil prevented them from remembering the details so they didn’t know they were doing exactly as He has planned for them to do. It was the “necessary evil” required to continue the work. Considering that God is the embodiment of all that is good, he could not create them in that “evil state” and knew that they would have to do that on their own.

Consider also that God said “Thou shalt not kill” but required it of his people on numerous occasions. Take for example Nephi when he was instructed to kill Laban for the plates. Normally a “sin,” this murder was condoned by Him because it was a necessary part of the plan, His plan, for the continuation one branch of the people of Israel. Both commandments were in conflict, but the murder was forgiven without consequence because Nephi was instructed to do so by God. The only difference between this and the fall is that while it was necessary, it might have been understood that one of the two commandments from God had to be violated and they were indirectly instructed to do so by implying that it needed to be done. Would we have said that Adam and Eve sinned/transgressed by not having children if it meant that they never touched the fruit?

Anonymous said...

Nephi did not disobey any commandment. He was commanded in that moment to kill Laban. I'm not sure if that is classified as "murder", which is what the 7th commandment is, not kill but murder.

"Would we have said that Adam and Eve sinned/transgressed by not having children if it meant that they never touched the fruit?"

Nope. They didn't know how to have kids, or it was physically impossible to do so until the fall.
Additionally, I don't really think Adam & Eve were ever told to multiply and replenish the Earth while in the Garden. But that's just me...

Tim J

Jeremy said...

Wait, wait, wait, Tim J. They weren't told to multiply and replanish the earth while in the Garden? What about the accounts in Genesis, Moses, Abraham and the temple? Each medium specifically records this commandment given while our first parents were in Eden.

Can you explain why you think they were not given that commandment in light of scripture and temple precedent?

Anonymous said...

At best I'm crazy, at worst heretical. :)

The temple is the most difficult to deal with, but the scriptures are pretty plain.

Short answer: the commandment was given to them prior to being placed in the Garden.

Tim J

Nate said...

Jeremy said "Your definition of a transgression, however, sounds awfully similar to the basic definition of a sin, i.e. violation of an eternal law. How is the commission of a sin different than the commission of a transgression?"

I believe the only difference is a culpable mental state (which only God can judge). Think about it in a more practical sense. As a father, we know that we would teach our children principle "x". It is a rule in our minds regardless. But, if we haven't taught them "x" and we can't expect them to know/comprehend it, we would not punish them for disobeying principle "x".

Thus, "x" is an eternal law. But breaking that law in this example is a transgression that is automatically forgivable (assuming it is in our power to forgive). That is something any parent would do. Breaking "x" after the fact is completely different. I think we would agree that if Adam partook of the fruit after knowing good/evil, that would be willful rebellion.

The whole point of life is to test what we do with our agency. A transgression is no indicator for those ends because of we are unknowingly making the mistake.

I know it is simply a common sense approach...and not necessarily based on scripture. That said however, I find that most of my best gospel insights feel this way.

Either way, I think we've established that these words are used differently by different people. So the question is...what did JS mean? I think it is what I explained above.

Nate said...

And Hans...

I don't think GD is a good acronym for gospel doctrine. I was in that class, and reasonable minds (not obeying the third commandment) could have characterized it as a GD class.

Doug Towers said...

In regard Nephi not being guilty in killing Laban I would quote Christ

"They said of old time, thou shalt not kill. But I say that whosoever is angry with his brother is in danger.."

Nephi wasn't angry with Laban, in spite of Labans attempts to kill him.

As his intent and feelings were righteous, his actions weren't a sin.

We sin when we know from experience that something is wrong. Our parents (or God) telling us that something is wrong doesn't really make us know. We must experience it or something sufficiently similar. Adam and Eve hadn't had such an experience until the occurrance. Therefore it was a transgression of an instruction. That then caused them to feel contrary to good, by the feeling they then had.

If they had then done it again it would be sin. IMO

Jeremy said...

Hey Doug, thanks for your comments. You stated: "We sin when we know from experience that something is wrong. Our parents (or God) telling us that something is wrong doesn't really make us know. We must experience it or something sufficiently similar."

By your reasoning, then, is a person's first adulterous experience not a sin since they haven't experienced it prior and have nothing to judge it against? To me, it seems that having a commmandment from God is enough to constitute sin if we thereafter violate that commandment.

In this context, I would like to have people's thoughts on Adam's sacrifice after being expelled from the Garden. Why did he perform sacrifices? As the Book of Moses tells is, because God told him to do so ("I know not, save the Lord hath commended me."). Would he have sinned in God's eyes if he hadn't performed the sacrifices?

Doug Towers said...


Adultery has several things to it that would help us know it is wrong.

First we would feel a lust of the flesh. This would lower our spirit into a dark-side feeling. If we listen to our spirit inside we will know it isn't good.

It also relates to stealing, as it is someone else's wife. Most people who commit adultery would have stolen something in their life before.

In regard your question on Adam and the sacrifices, my personal opinion would be that a true sin requires ill feelings and intent. So if he didn't do it because of ill feeling toward God it would be a sin.

sjr said...

What's the point?

Do you repent for a transgression? Yes.
Do you need to repent for a sin? Yes.

Does it matter which one was committed? They are both covered in the atonement, if we do our part.

Jeremy said...

To answer my own question above, I would have to re-quote James 4:17 - "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

The same principle applies to doing your home teaching, I believe. We all know it is a responsibility that has been given us, and if we fail to fulfill that responsibility, it may require repentance and a change of heart on our part. Therefore, if Adam failed to offer up sacrifices after specifically being told to do so, he likewise would have been sinning in God's eyes.

Jeremy said...

So, SJR, do you believe that Adam was required to repent of his "transgression" from Eden? Was he required to repent in light of the fact that he was playing a key role in the Plan of Salvation - that of providing a mortal experience for us all? In your view, do we commit transgressions on a daily basis? If so, what are some typical transgressions?

sjr said...

I have spent some time reading your blog and have liked it. I understand a little more where you are coming from. I especially liked your post on children being baptized and why they aren't accountable for sins until the age of eight.

As for Adam, I think he did need to repent. Even though the fall was neccesary, he still was free to choose. He was wise enough to understood the consequences of that action (meaning, it seems to me that he realized the choice had to be made and he needed to leave the Garden to progress) And Father in Heaven provided a way for his transgression to be forgiven. As He does with all of us. I don't fully understand the the difference between the two words. I did like Nate's comment, I hadn't heard transgression vs. sin described like that before.

I believe that even though Adam's role was neccesary for mankind, he could have lived in ingorant bliss for as long as he choose. I have wondered why he started out in the Garden of Eden. Maybe, since he was the first, he had to experiecne the beauty and blessings that come from being in the presence of the Father, so when he was kicked to the lone and dreary world he knew what he lost and how stark a contrast it was. We have the benifit of reading and learning from others for good and bad. But ultimately, we all still have the opportunities to choose. Also, since he was the first, maybe he needed to understand what he lost, whereas we have others experience to benifit from. I think the fall was just as important for Adam as it was for mankind. In the sense that he wasn't put on this earth to be perfect but to be tried and tested like the rest of us. He may have passed other tests in the Garden, we just don't read about those.

That's just my opinion.

We are in circumstances every day where we have to make choices. Maybe some bad choices are sins maybe some are transgressions. But the repentance process covers both.

Evgenii said...

As an aside from the most recent comment, I noticed in President Monson's message from the March Ensign that he used the word as transgression to mean something that we need to repent of.

As for sjr, I agree that it seems that Adam needed to repent, but does that not go against God's character to have someone commit a de facto sin? It gives me the impression that the a perfect plan requires an imperfect moment, while so many other elements require perfection. If we start talking about Adam as having to sin, and it being a necessary part of the plan, should we also not extend that privilege to our brother? I mean Lucifer (in case Mike Huckabee is reading). Is he simply playing a essential role in the plan as providing the necessary opposition to make mortality a test?

Jeremy said...

Nice Huckster plug.

I would relate this Nephi being commanded to kill Laban. Obviously Nephi lived the Law of Moses which forbids the shedding of blood. However, now it was the Lord's will to bypass that commandment in a sacrifice of one life to save the lives of many - a concept known very well by the Pharisees and how they justified Christ's death. So, did Nephi sin, or transgress, or is this like going through a red light when a cop tells you to.

Now, Adam was given 2 commandments (seemingly conflicting). Thus, he was required to violate one to fulfill the other. Transgression, sin, or going through a red light when a cop tells you to?

Evgenii said...

Jer, I guess the question is whether someone will personally repent for running a red light. But what are the implications of your larger question? Would God give two commandments that contradict each other. Nephi's example doesn't work because he goes to great pains to show that he was justified in killing Laban. Woudl Nephi had to repent after that episode? He certainly doesn't act like he had remorse. But if Adam did have to repent because of taking the fruit, then God is contradicting himself.

Jeremy said...

On the contrary, Hans, both Adam and Eve rejoinced in their violation of the law:

10 - Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my deyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
11 - And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

(Moses 5:10-11)

I am of the opinion that neither Adam nor Nephi were required to repent of their "violation."

Why 2 conflicting commandments in Eden? As I wrote in my post:

"Although the eternal plan for the salvation and exaltation of God’s children required a mortal existence in a situation where there was opposition, God, being perfect, could not place Adam and Eve into such an imperfect, fallen world. They had to make that choice for themselves, or else God would have effectively limited their agency."

In a sense, God has to provide "conflicting commandments" so that Adam and Eve could fulfill their role in the Plan. THEREFORE, was it a sin or a transgression to follow through? (Sorry, I just brought us back to square 1)

Jeremy said...

Sorry, Hans, I just re-read your comment. You were right - no remorse!

Doug Towers said...

Sin is a transgression of the Law. But transgression on its own is transgression of the gospel.

God tells us to love others. But if I hate someone, yet do no ill toward them I haven't broken the law of Moses.

Yet I need SANCTIFICATION by the Spirit. I need to repent. But Christ doesn't need to suffer for this bad thought. Only bad deeds - as sin is the transgression of the Law of outward actions.

John stated that he who is born of God DOESN'T sin (1 Jn 5:18). So we aren't doomed to sin. Mosiah 3:19 presents this same point of the natural man ceasing.

Yet such a person may still not respond perfectly to every given situation. He may need to learn more patience. More love. More holyness etc.

Jeremy said...

Doug, you wrote: "But Christ doesn't need to suffer for this bad thought. Only bad deeds - as sin is the transgression of the Law of outward actions."

How do you correlate this statement with Alma's?

"For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us." (Alma 12:14)

It seems to me that if our thoughts will condemn us, then Christ must have suffered also for our thoughts or else it would not have been a perfect sacrifice.

This is likely the same principle Christ was using when he counseled his followers:

"Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed dadultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28)

Anonymous said...

I've always thought of these two commandments a little differently, I guess.

The first commandment given to Adam and Eve was the same charge given to all of the living things created on the earth: to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, ..." (Moses 2:28).

He also created Eden - which was a specific place that was made after the creation of the Earth.

He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden, then he instructed them that they should not eat of the fruit of the tree of Good and Evil.

I might be speculating here, but I always kind of thought of this second commandment as the condition to living in the Garden of Eden - or, in other words, being in the presence of God. If they partake of this fruit, then they do become fallen creatures - which would then make it impossible for them to continue to live in the presence of God.

I do not, however, want to forget the importance of this decision. They needed to fall. If they didn't - not only would all mankind be lost - but they would never have had the opportunity to live inherit the blessings that God wants for us (immortality and eternal life). This choice was essential, and it could not be forced on Adam and Eve, they had to make the choice to partake of the fruit when they were ready to be alienated from God.

As a woman, I have often thought of the role that Eve has played in this choice, and the following verse has received a lot of my attention: "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat." (Moses 4:12). Adam and Eve were being taught throughout their time in the Garden. I think that as they grew in understanding, they probably desired more wisdom. I believe that this is why Satan came to Eve tempting her that by partaking of the fruit her eyes would be opened - and they would be "as the Gods, knowing good and evil."(Moses 4:11).

I'm not sure exactly what Adam and Eve had been taught in the Garden, but I like to think that Eve's true motive for partaking the fruit was so that she could gain wisdom and become like God - of course, she was beguiled into thinking that she could do this without dying - spiritually and physically.

Anyways...this is a long response to how I've begun to understand these seemingly conflicting commandments. I think that Adam and Eve's intentions were good when they partook of the fruit - to become like God, and to be able to keep the commandment of multiplying and replenishing the Earth. And I think that they transgressed the laws of the Garden - partaking of the fruit, thus separating themselves from God.

Evgenii said...


Your approach is well known and was heavily espoused by Joseph Fielding Smith and his school of thought. Though I tend to be on the downslope of my trust in his opinion, this one makes the most sense.

The law to not partake of the fruit was relative to their wanting to stay in the garden and was not something to repent of. For me this works the best right now because it prevents God from giving two contradicting commandments. One is relative to a temporary state of their location. The other, an eternal law.

Doug Towers said...


Good point about the thoughts. But I don't see this as meaning that Christ had to atone for them. It is stating that wrong thoughts will condemn us. This isn't something I would dispute either.

In regard adultery and lusting. I would be ex-communicated for doing it physically but not for lusting. Thus there is a large separation between thinking and doing.

Regarding Adam and Eve

I don't believe in the real tree concept. I believe that they broke a natural law that God had informed them of. They were born as children and raised to the point that they reached the age of accountability. They then made an error (as we all do).

Thus eternal laws created the conflict (which happens to us all also).

Anonymous said...

Mormons stand apart from christanity
In that they Paise the Day of the Fall of Man.How ever they do not Stand alone on this View.Mormons share this View in the Company of OPHITES,Merkava, Gnostics, Mystics, Wiccans. Luciferians, Masons,and Satanist.
Lucifer was the Bringer of Light,Promised Eve the Gnosis (Mystic knowlege}The Luciferians beleive that the "evil god" Jehova/EL
wanted man to live in live in darkness in-no-sense,and ignoance. and had forbidden man to partake of the Gnosis, lucifer would bring light and wisdom so Man could become as wise as serpents.Lucifer is a serpent and He wanted everone wise like a serpent,by partaking of the Gnosis Man was enlightened and was on the path to Becomming a God and a Serpent.
The "traditional"Mormon View
is as Follows ;
and Eve wre Glad in the fact that they Had followed Lucifer's advise and Had disobey God(was God the Villian and Lucifer the Hero?)It gets Better.Mormon View
God had placed Adam and Eve in the Garden with a Frustrated and contradictory set of commandments.

Multiply and replenish the Earth.

Do not partake of the tree of Knowlege.
Mormons Beleive that Adam and Eve would have to break the first commandment to fulfill the second one.

And that is Exactly what happened as requested by Lucifer.
Adam said "blessed be the Name of of God,because of my transgression my Eyes are opened"

Eve said"were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed and never should have known good and Evil

with this point of view Held by Mormons
God was the author of confusion.
God gave Adam Frustrated and contratictrory commandments.
God was the author of Sin Not Lucifer.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

looks like Seer Stone has been hit with a chinese blog spam spider. Those are some not nice words in there.

Anonymous said...

i am adam and i found my eve i received the spirt when i met her and saw a vision of the fall. what do i do i love her