Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thoughts and Questions About Adam and Eve and the Garden in Eden

I listened to Moses, chapters 1-7 a couple of times, and listened to the story of the creation and Adam and Eve getting kicked out several times because it's part of the endowment.

And I realized something. Adam didn't trust Eve. He was afraid she'd mess up, so he embellished the truth. He enlarged it. He made a "buffer zone". Exaggeration? Yes. Lie? I think so.

See, God told Adam not to partake of the fruit, but He didn't say anything to Eve. It was up to Adam to do that.

Adam told Eve that the fruit would kill her if she so much as touched it. It sounds like he wanted to scare her into obedience. Adam set the stage for the fall, even though he blamed Eve for it.

So when the serpent told Eve, "You shall not surely die," he could have been referring to touching it (in that way we have of responding only to part of what a person says without bothering to specify that that's what we're doing).

If Eve saw the serpent walking around on the fruit, or holding it, she could see for herself that her husband had not told her the truth. Why, then, should she believe the rest of what he told her? The serpent was not dead and it was touching the fruit. Obviously, touching the fruit was no big deal.

Had Adam told Eve the truth, when she saw the serpent handling the fruit, she may have resisted more, knowing that handling the fruit and eating it were two different things. If Eve were a stupid woman, tending to blind obedience, she would have still refused - but she was an intelligent woman who could think for herself, thus Adam's lie backfired.

After Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit, he blamed her and justified himself (you said she was supposed to remain with me) even though it was his own words that set the stage for eating the fruit.

This raises the issue of "what is sin?". Adam wasn't kicked out for embellishing the truth (technically, lying). Nor was he kicked out for not trusting his wife's intelligence and behavior. He was kicked out for eating something he wasn't prepared to eat.

Perhaps God never commanded, "Don't embellish the truth." Perhaps He never commanded, "Trust your wife's intelligence." It sounds like He only gave one commandment.

But I don't think they were kicked out for disobeying God. I think they were kicked out because the fruit they ate changed their bodies in such a way that they could die and could think of things they'd never thought of before. It was a fruit that was reserved for when they were ready to move out of the garden.

Which brings up another thought. Were Adam and Eve caged into the garden? Were they forbidden to ever leave? Did they ever go outside just to see what it was like? Like boy scouts, did God intend for them to go on short jaunts and camping trips to get used to the outside, so that when the time came for them to eat the fruit they would have less of a culture shock?

Were animals killing and eating each other outside of the garden? When did animals begin killing and eating other animals? Was it before the flood or after? Was it after people began killing them?

How normal and uneventful was all of this? We tend to think “magic”. Perhaps it was not.

Were there poisonous plants in the garden? They were told to eat “clean” herbs. Since the only other plants mentioned are trees, I would suspect that all other plants fell under the category of “herbs”. Perhaps unclean herbs simply meant poisonous plants. Perhaps we need to rethink the story we have been told of a pure couple, without fault, without defect who could not be poisoned by anything but a certain tree.

I would suspect that the unclean plants could not impart knowledge. Was the tree even a real tree with real fruit? If not, what was it? If the tree of life represents the love of God, and seeing the Gods, what would the opposite represent? If it was not literal, why this story and the embellishment by Adam? I cannot comprehend it being anything other than a literal tree, even though (for us) it represents beginning to sin.

Notice that God said to Adam, “I told you not to eat,” but to Eve, he said, “What did you do?” And God did not give the serpent a chance to answer for itself.

God said to Adam, “Because you listened to man over God,” (remember their name was man - Moses 2:27). To the serpent, “Because you did this.” To Eve, there was no, “Because you . . . .”

What would have happened if Adam had not taken the fruit? What if he had waited until God showed up again, then told Him there was a problem and asked God to solve it because he still wanted to stay with Eve? What if God had then given Adam permission to eat the fruit? What if God was not two men, but a man and a woman (husband and wife)? What if Jehovah was not involved until after the fall? What if we have no clue what the Godhead really entails?

Why does Jehovah (who we are told is the God of the Old Testament) refer to Jesus as “mine only begotten”? Enoch was talking to the Lord God. Enoch calls to the Lord and asks Him when He will come again on the earth and says, you've commanded me to ask in the name of your Only Begotten.” God is Man of Holiness and the son is Son of Man in the language of Adam.

In the Book of Mormon, it is explained that Jesus/Jehovah is both the father and the son - the father because of the spirit (His premortal self, I would suppose) and the son because of the flesh (his earthly self). He wasn't His complete self in mortality because He, like us, had a veil of forgetfulness drawn over His mind. I suppose that is why He considered His mortal (relatively speaking) self as separate from His Eternal self. But I seriously doubt He was His own father. I think the father (Jehovah's father) was the literal father, since He had a body and could impart the necessary genetic material. If spirits could father children, I'm sure the devils would have spawned many.

Anyway, back to the subject. Did Adam and Eve have tools in the garden? They were gardeners, after all. Did they have a house to live in? Did they have brushes for their hair? Did they have soap to wash their hair and bodies? Surely they'd get dirty working in the garden. Was Adam's hair as long as Eve's? Did Adam have a beard before they left the garden? Why do nearly all of the pictures show Adam with short hair and no beard even after they left the garden? Why was he bound by the hairstyles we think appropriate? Where was the razor and scissors? When did Adam and Eve learn to read and write? Did they have needles? If not, how did they sew fig leaves together? Did the fig leaves just cover their genitals like the pictures portray, or did they cover their chests and backs (like a tunic)? Why do we assume that they were only concerned about their crotches? If they had previously been clothed in light, would not the lack of light have included their whole bodies?

Anyway, back to the thing I was originally thinking, and wondering about.

There was no sin, but
Adam did not trust Eve
He feared she'd eat the fruit
He embellished the commandment
He (unknowingly) set the stage for the fall


We are to return to the paradisaical realm eventually.

Perhaps we misunderstand what “without sin” and “perfection” really is. Perhaps one can be without sin, but not perfect. In the Millennium we are considered without sin (or at least the children who grow up there), and some people resent those children and claim they will not exist because they won't have the trials and choices we have now. But it looks to me like they will have choices to make. They will still make mistakes and do things that are not perfect, and they will learn from their mistakes I expect. Perhaps the reason people will live so long is because they cannot learn all they need to learn in a short time, if it is in a gentle way. We learn harshly, but we don't have a 600 to 980 year life span in which to learn life's lessons.

Which brings me to another thought I had. Adam and Eve were created in day 6, during the 6th thousand years, as we count them. On the sabbath (7thday), while God was resting, they ate the fruit. That means they were less than two days old when they fell (or 2,000 years as we count time). I used to think they could have been in the garden for eons or for days, until I realized they ate the fruit while God was away, resting from His labors.

How did the devil tempt the serpent? Did the animals freely wander in and out of the garden? The devil and his angels were cast into the earth, but the scriptures seem to hint that he was not allowed into the garden, therefor he sent one of his agents (spies) into the garden to do his work for him. Did the serpent intend to work for the devil? What reward did the devil offer? I thought animals were immune from listening to the devil. Why can't we talk to animals and have them talk to us like they did in the garden? Will this be changed back in the Millennium? If Adam and Eve didn't wear clothing in the garden, will we not wear clothing in the Millennium, since it is a reversion back to the garden? Will animal sacrifice be made after Jesus comes but before the peace covers the earth? What will turn our minds to Christ since no animals will be killed in the Millennium? Will it be an ⅛ of a crust of bread and a few drops of water? Will it be a meal of whole bread and homemade red wine? Will it be the fact that we see Him often?

Anyway, those were some thoughts and questions I had as a result of listening to the audio book of Moses yesterday.

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