Adam & Eve - The Fall
Creation and Communication
God the Father worked through Jesus Christ to create the earth
(Hebrews 1:1-2), and together they created man (Genesis 1:26). God
(“Lord God”—the term for God in the first three chapters of Genesis)
in the beginning communicated directly with Adam and Eve to provide
instruction and guidance (Genesis 3:9,13).
Adam and Eve were told by God to multiply and replenish the earth
(Genesis 1:28) and to eat not of the tree of knowledge of good and
evil (Genesis 2:17). While it is possible other commandments may
have been given, these two are recorded in the Bible specifically.
Eve is Beguiled, Adam Follows, Death
Satan by way of the serpent beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden, and
she ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
(Genesis 3:4-6). The serpent did not then beguile Adam (1 Timothy
2:14), but rather Eve’s decision was observed by Adam. Eve gave Adam
the fruit and Adam chose to eat of the fruit (Genesis 3:6). From
Adam and Eve’s transgression came physical and spiritual
death—ultimately resolved by the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Romans
Before eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam
and Eve felt no shame and were unaware they were naked (Genesis
2:25). After eating of the tree, they lost their innocence, felt
shame in nakedness (Genesis 3:7), and were cast out of the Garden of
Eden (Genesis 3:23). After being cast out of the Garden, Adam with
Eve had sexual intercourse and Eve conceived their first-born son,
Cain (Genesis 4:1).
Plan of Salvation Commenced
Jesus was ordained Savior before the foundation of the world (1
Peter 1:19-20, John 17:24, and Ephesians 1:3-5). God the Father,
knowing all, knew there would be a need for redemption long before
events in the Garden of Eden transpired.
The Fall brought about both physical and spiritual death, but the
Atonement and Resurrection of Christ brought hope to all mankind
that they might also be resurrected and returned to the presence of
Heavenly Father (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Despite its introduction of physical and spiritual death, the Fall
constituted the commencement of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation.
The plan includes men and women coming to the earth as mortal beings
having the hope of eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:44-45), having the
opportunity to gain the knowledge of and the ability to choose
between good and evil (Genesis 3:22), and having the opportunity to
be saved by the divine sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Direct Communication Ceases
In the first three chapters of Genesis, God is referred to as “Lord
God”. Thereafter, God is referred to as “Lord”. It is the “Lord God”
who speaks directly to Adam and Eve in the Garden. It is the “Lord”
who speaks to them outside the Garden (see Genesis 4:6, 6:3, and so
forth). Thus begins the role of Jesus Christ as the great mediator
(1 Timothy 2:5).
Mormon Doctrinal Clarification
Premortal Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were valiant spirits in the premortal existence, and
they were given the assignment to be the first man and woman on
earth. When they assumed their places in the Garden of Eden, Adam
and Eve had physical bodies; however, they were not yet mortal:
their bodies were not subject to death. It was part of Heavenly
Father’s plan of salvation that Adam and Eve should enter into
mortality by their own choice.
God was with Adam and Eve in the Garden, as he had been in the
premortal existence, but Adam and Eve had no memory of their prior
existence and they had no comprehension of good and evil. They did
not know who they were or what role they were destined to play in
the plan of salvation.
God gave Adam and Eve two key commandments: (1) multiply and
replenish the earth and (2) eat not of the tree of knowledge of good
and evil. Satan entered the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve to
join him in rebellion against God and thus disrupt the plan of
salvation. When Adam learned that Satan had persuaded Eve to eat of
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he chose to do likewise and
be cast out of the Garden with her. Had he not made this choice, he
would have remained immortal—and alone in the Garden, separated from
Eve and incapable of producing offspring.
Adam chose mortality, offspring, advancing physical infirmity, and
ultimately physical death: He chose the cycle of mortal existence.
Thus Adam and Eve took their first steps in fulfilling Heavenly
Father’s plan of salvation. There were not compelled in these
things, but they were part of the plan nonetheless.
As a result of the fall, Adam and Eve became subject to the
consequences of their transgression: They were cast out of the
Garden of Eden, became mortal beings, and were consigned to live in
a world much different from the Garden. In this world, Adam and Eve
and all their descendants would be subject to suffering and physical
death. The trial and training of mortality had begun.
The Fall made Adam and Eve and their descendants subject to physical
and spiritual death. Physical death is separation of the spirit from
the body. Spiritual death is separation from God. Satan works to
keep men confined in both forms of death. Jesus Christ, through his
Atonement, enables mankind to be freed from both kinds of death and,
through repentance, to return to Heavenly Father.
The Plan of Salvation
Despite the introduction of physical and spiritual death and its
consequences, the Fall constituted the commencement of Heavenly
Father’s plan of salvation. This commencement was a great blessing
to all mankind. This blessing included the obtaining of physical
bodies of flesh and bone, the ability to know and to choose freely
between good and evil, and the opportunity to take part in the
unfolding of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Had Adam and Eve remained innocent and immortal in the Garden, they
would not have been players in the great drama that was to unfold on
earth. Their mortal training would never have occurred. The
Atonement of Christ would have been unnecessary. Mortal men and
women would never have been.
Adam and Eve are accountable for their transgression and the fall;
their offspring are not. However, their offspring do inherit the
consequences of the fall, including all the blessings and hardships
of mortality. Men and women are accountable for their own
transgressions in mortality, not for those of Adam and Eve.
See chapter 2 in The Biblical Roots of Mormonism for a more
comprehensive explanation, scriptural references and commentary on
Adam and Eve
See the following Sword
SeriesTM papers for summaries: