The Fall - Divine Decree or Sin? (Part 2)
What does the Bible teach about The Fall of Adam and Eve?
This is a Christian response to what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches about The Fall. Was it a Divine decree or sin? To read what Mormonism teaches, go to:
WHAT IS THE FALL?
The Fall is never shown in Scripture as anything but negative. Nowhere in the Bible is the fall described as a positive change in a condition of being. Rather, it is shown in Genesis as an event that resulted in dire consequences, not only for Adam and Eve but for the rest of humanity and creation.
A fallen condition and The Fall are not synonymous. The Fall was an event; the results of The Fall is a fallen condition, which is not good. If a fallen condition was to further His purposes for humanity, God would have announced everything to be very good after the event of The Fall, not before. Adam and Eve were created as the crown of God's creation on the sixth day. On the day mankind was created God said it was very good:
- And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
Since in Mormonism a change of Adam and Eve's condition of being was necessary for them to produce children, shouldn't we be thankful and give honour to the instrument that brought them to that decisive event to eat of the forbidden fruit, the Devil? After all, Satan's tempting was successful, and it brought them to that pivotal moment to partake of the fruit. God forbid! Satan is evil at his core and everything he does is evil and corrupt. Jesus said:
- A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Matthew 7:18)
Mormons agree that everything Satan does is evil:
- Satan is evil: totally and always. He ever seeks to defeat the gospel plan and "destroy the souls of men." (Ensign, June 1971, Satan The Great Deceiver)
Satan's temptation was tragically successful. It also brought about God announcing curses upon him that included his doom:
- And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:14-15)
Mormonism identifies this passage as announcing Satan's doom as well. In their LDS website, it reads:
- Thus, the seed of the woman (Christ) shall crush the head of the serpent (Satan and his kingdom) with the very heel that was bruised (the atoning sacrifice). (Genesis 3: The Fall/Old Testament Student Manual, (1980), 38–43)
Also, Adam and Eve both received curses from God for eating of the fruit (read Genesis 3:16-19). Mormons will agree eating of the forbidden fruit brought about these curses, including death and separation from God. What is not found in His Holy Word, the Bible, is God blessing Adam and Eve for their decision to disobey Him.
So The Fall was an event where Adam and Eve disobeyed God that resulted in God's curses and their fallen state.
BUT DIDN'T ADAM AND EVE NEED TO EAT OF THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT SO THEY CAN FULFILL GOD'S COMMAND TO HAVE CHILDREN?
No! Adam did not disobey God out of necessity, either internally or externally, but freely and voluntarily. Adam and Eve's inability to produce children cannot be supported anywhere in the Bible. God never commands His children to do something He has not also empowered them to will and accomplish.
- For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
God granted Adam and Eve the ability to carry out His desires for them without hindrance. The Mormon message of The Fall opposes this truth. Think about the rest of God's creation. On the third day God created the trees and plants with their seeds already in them (Genesis 1:11-12). This means the plants and trees had the ability to produce after their own kind prior to The Fall. It is also recorded God created others of His creations with this same ability:
- And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:22)
If the rest of His living creatures had the ability to produce after their own kinds, wouldn't it make sense that the crown of His creation be created with that same capability? God's command for Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply was part of His blessings to them as well:
- And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28)
When God blesses His children to carry out His great and perfect will He always includes the desire and ability to do so.
So it was not necessary for Adam and Eve to go through a change of condition before they could produce children. They already had this capability prior to The Fall.
DID ADAM AND EVE COMMIT SIN WHEN THEY ATE THE FRUIT OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL?
Since eating of the forbidden fruit was not something they had to do to produce children, then there was no good reason to disobey God's command. There is never a good reason to disobey any of His commandments. God is holy and His ways are perfect and pure. There is no darkness in Him and He will not look upon iniquity:
- Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. (Habakkuk 1:13)
- For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
- As for God, his way is perfect. (Psalms 18:30)
- God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1John 1:5)
- HOLY, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is filled with his glory. (Isaiah 6:3)
(At this point the Mormon friend reading this may be thinking: "We believe God is perfect too. But how can immortal humans with bloodless bodies produce children?" (See https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/chapter-8-the-fall?lang=eng). What Adam and Eve's actual physiological makeup was like is unknown, and any description of such is speculative. The doctrine of Adam and Eve having bloodless bodies is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Too often people run with their imaginations where Scripture is silent about, and form doctrines to base their beliefs on. Beware of dogmatically holding onto doctrines God does not clearly reveal in His Word, the Bible. Wrong teachings could be a reflection of a wrong view of God. A teaching where God gives allowance to disobey Him, is not from God at all.)
Mormon's agree that Adam and Eve had transgressed God's commandment when they ate of the fruit. Notice what God's Word says about transgressing His commands:
- Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)
(Note: The Joseph Smith Translation does not change the way 1 John 3:4 reads)
The Mormon church teaches that in Adam and Eve's case, their transgression was not a sin. However, even their own teachings demonstrates that disobedience to any of God's commands is sin. Below are definitions of terms taken from the LDS website:
- Transgression . . . . Violation or breaking of a commandment or law. . . See Sin
- Sin . . . To commit sin is to willfully disobey God's commandments. . . See Obedience
- Obedience . . . "We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them". One reason we are here on the earth is to show our willingness to obey Heavenly Father's commandments.
Q. Did Adam violate or break a commandment?
A. Yes. Then Adam transgressed. (See Transgression above)
Q. Did Adam do all things whatsoever the Lord God commanded him?
A. No. Then Adam was disobedient. (See Obedience above)
Q. Did Adam willfully disobey God's commandment?
A. Yes. Then based on the Mormon church's own definitions, Adam sinned. (See Sin above)
In The Fall - Divine Decree or Sin? (Part 1), we learned Mormons believe:
- Adam and Eve did not sin because it was necessary for them to eat of the forbidden fruit in order to produce children.
- Mormons are thankful for Adam and Eve's decision to disobey God's command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- Had it not been for Adam's transgression, we would not be here to progress.
- The Fall was decreed by God.
In The Fall - Divine Decree or Sin? (Part 2), we learned the Bible teaches:
- On day six, God created Adam and Eve and blessed them to be fruitful and multiply.
- They did not need to partake of the forbidden fruit in order to produce children.
- There is no darkness in God. Everything He does is good, holy and pure.
- Adam's disobedience against God's command was sinful and resulted in dire consequence for the rest of creation.