Saturday, January 5, 2008

Article of Faith # 2

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

(Pearl of Great Price Articles of Faith 1:2)

Prior to partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. They were completely innocent, not knowing the difference between good and evil. I’ve heard many good people exclaim something along the lines of, “If only Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten that fruit, we’d all be living in paradise right now.” It seems readily apparent to me from the account in Genesis that if Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit, that you and I wouldn’t be here. They’d still be living in paradise…alone. Read carefully:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

(Old Testament Genesis 3:3 - 11)

A couple of interesting points:

1. They were immortal in the Garden of Eden – see verse 3.
2. Prior to eating the fruit they did not know good from evil – see verse 5.
3. In the garden, they walked around naked, and didn’t think anything of it – see verses 7,10, & 11, and Gen 2:25, i.e. they did not procreate.

22 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 in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 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.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

(Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:22 - 25)

Please note that it wasn’t until after the fall that Adam “knew” his wife and had children. See Gen 4:1.

Adam’s transgression brought mortality into the world. It also brought into the world the opportunity for you and me to exist. Here we are mortal and live, “by the sweat of (our) brow…” Moses 5:1.

What about “Original Sin?” Do I carry around the sin of what Adam did?

As stated above, the Fall of Adam, brought with it consequences. Specifically, mortality:

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

(New Testament 1 Corinthians 15:22)

As can be seen above, Adam brought death through the fall, but that is taken care of by Christ. Will I be punished for what Adam did?

6 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

(Old Testament Deuteronomy 24:16)

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

(Old Testament Ezekiel 18:20)

3 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.
4 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—
5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.
6 And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.

(Book of Mormon Alma 41:3 - 6)

In Summary, Adam transgressed God’s law by partaking of the forbidden fruit, and death, or mortality, was brought into the world. However, in this life, you and I will be judged based on what we do, not on what someone else does.

How can you know if this is true? In the scriptures, (Since I’m LDS, I’m including the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) the word “pray” is used 415 times. The word “prayer” is used 183 times. The word “prayers” is used 81 times. The word “seek” is used 355 times.

I do not believe that Heavenly Father would be that emphatic on the concept of praying to Him, if He was unwilling, or unable to answer. I testify that He has heard and answered my prayers on many occasions. If you humbly ask, He will answer yours as well. If you’re real lucky, maybe He’ll send a couple of missionaries in your direction.

Dan Olsen

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

April 26, 2007.

Kelli said...

WOW, what a lot of work you put into these art of faith. I dont have time to read it all, because the little ones are running like wild horses. But great job. Kelli

Dan and Wendy said...

Thanks Kelli.