The Fall of Adam and Eve
“Chapter 6: The Fall of Adam and Eve,” Gospel Principles, 31
Adam and Eve Were the First to Come to Earth
God prepared this earth as a home for his children. Adam and Eve were chosen to be the first people to live on the earth (see Moses 1:34). Their part in our Father’s plan was to bring mortality into the world. They were to be the first parents. (See D&C 107:54–56.)
• Read D&C 107:54–56. Who was Adam? What was he chosen to do?
Adam and Eve Were Valiant Spirits
Adam and Eve were among our Father’s noblest children. In the spirit world Adam was called Michael the Archangel (see D&C 27:11; Jude 1:9). He was chosen by our Heavenly Father to lead the righteous in the battle against Satan (see Revelation 12:7–9). Adam and Eve were foreordained to become the parents of the human race. The Lord promised Adam great blessings: “I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever” (D&C 107:55).
Although the scriptures do not tell us anything about Eve before she came to earth, she must have been a choice daughter of God. She was called Eve because she was the mother of all living (see Moses 4:26). She was given to Adam because God said “it was not good that the man should be alone” (Moses 3:18). She shared Adam’s responsibility and will also share his eternal blessings.
• Read Revelation 12:7–9. How did Adam (Michael) prove that he was a valiant spirit?
• Why was Eve given to Adam?
The Garden of Eden
When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. They were not able to have children. There was no death. They had physical life because their spirits were housed in physical bodies made from the dust of the earth (see Abraham 5:7). They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God (see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 268). They had not yet made a choice between good and evil.
God commanded them to have children and to learn to control the earth. He said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Moses 2:28). God told them they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Of that tree God said, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Moses 3:17).
Satan, not knowing the mind of God but seeking to destroy God’s plan, came to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He tempted her to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He assured her that she and Adam would not die, but that they would “be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Moses 4:11). Eve yielded to the temptation and ate the fruit. When Adam learned what had happened, he chose to partake also. The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall.
• Read Moses 4:6–32. How was the Garden of Eden different from the world as we know it?
• Discuss the conditions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve’s Separation from God
Because Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the Lord sent them out of the Garden of Eden into the world as we now know it. Their physical condition changed as a result of their eating the forbidden fruit. As God had promised, they became mortal. They were able to have children. They and their children would experience sickness, pain, and physical death.
Because of their transgression, Adam and Eve also suffered spiritual death. This meant they and their children could not walk and talk face to face with God. Because Satan had introduced evil into the world, Adam and Eve and their children were separated from God both physically and spiritually.
• As a result of their transgression, what physical change occurred in Adam and Eve? What spiritual change occurred?
• Read Moses 5:1–5. What was life like for Adam and Eve outside the Garden of Eden?
Great Blessings Resulted from the Transgression
Some people believe Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, latter-day scriptures help us understand that their fall was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us. Because of the Fall, we are blessed with physical bodies, the right to choose between good and evil, and the opportunity to gain eternal life. None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden.
After the Fall, Eve said, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed [children], and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient” (Moses 5:11).
The prophet Lehi explained:
“And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen [been cut off from the presence of God], 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 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” (2 Nephi 2:22–25).
• Read Moses 5:6–12. After the Fall, how did Adam and Eve feel about their transgression and the Lord’s promise to redeem them?
• 2 Nephi 2:14–21 (opposition and the Fall; life a probation)
• 2 Nephi 2:22–26 (Fall part of the plan of salvation)
Adam and Eve kneeling at an altar.