The Fall of Adam and Eve

The Book of Mormon, which is the cornerstone of the religion established through the ministry of Joseph Smith, gives a more meaningful explanation of the fall. In 2 Nephi Chapter 1, paragraphs 9-10, we read:

And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from Heaven. Wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from Heaven and had become miserable for ever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve — yea, even that old serpent which is the Devil, which is the father of all lies — wherefore, he said, Partake of the forbidden fruit and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, they were driven out from the Garden of Eden to till the earth. And they have brought forth children, yea, even the family of all the earth. And the days of the children of men were prolonged according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh. Wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent, for he shewed unto all men that they were lost because of the transgression of their parents.
And now behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state which they were after they were created; and they must have remained for ever and had no end. And they would have had no children. Wherefore, they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy for they knew no misery, doing no good for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the Fall. And because that they are redeemed from the Fall, they have become free for ever — knowing good from evil — to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh, and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the Devil, for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

We learn from this that the Devil was once an angel of heaven. He fell from that state. His fall was because he did things that were evil before God. This tells us that freedom to choose remains possible even in heaven, where God is present. Responsibility and accountability do not end after this life, but continue into the heavens.

Having chosen to fight against God’s commandments, the angel was cast out. But having been there, he understands the heavens, and he knows how to imitate heavenly things.

His deceptions rely on lies. In my recent Hurricane Conference talk I said, “A great fog of lies spreads over the earth again today. There is decreasing light because of false, evil and destructive ideas. Life expectancy in the United States has declined for the first time, largely due to two causes: suicide and drug abuse. There is a crisis of depression, loneliness and mental illness underway. Pollution of our minds is a far greater threat than anything we see in the physical environment. …Today’s greatest pollutions are lies, deceits and advocating all manner of abominations, as if they were good. Abusive and wicked practices are now advocated boldly, and incorporated into our entertainment media and culture fearlessly. Their advocates have no shame, no fear of judgment, and no concern for godliness.”

This environment, as the Book of Mormon explains, is as it is because of the work of a fallen angel in a fallen world.

But despite this, the fall of man has provided the opportunity to choose between liberty and eternal life on the one hand, and captivity and death on the other. But God intends for mankind to have joy.

The way to overcome this fallen state was provided by the Messiah, who came to redeem mankind from the fall. His labor was to rectify the imbalance, and to let us escape from captivity here in this dark world.

There was an Adam, and there was an Eve. And there was an angel that fell from heaven. The struggle that began with those individuals at the beginning is a struggle that continues today. We have the same opportunity to choose that our first parents had. We have become free for ever. But, like our first parents, we are accountable for the choices we make.

Some theologians question the account of Adam and Eve. But the most correct book, and cornerstone of our religion, reaffirms that they existed, and their choices affect all of us still.

Read the account above again. I’ve highlighted some of the words to make them stand out. The word “probation” in particular is worth note. Here a great part of passing the probation is to recognize and reject the lies that are everywhere in this dark place.