The Plan He Set in Motion…
Father Adam and Mother Eve are a couple of the more misunderstood and under appreciated heroes of the scriptures. They are looked upon by so many as they who brought death and sin into the world. While it is true that they partook of the forbidden fruit, and by so doing initiated the mortal process of aging and dying, and gained knowledge of good and evil, therefore making it possible for man to sin, their act was a necessary one made in order to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of humankind. Although they transgressed the law, as individuals innocent and without knowledge of good and evil, they were as little children and not capable of sin. They suffered consequences for their actions, but they walked out of the Garden of Eden free of sin to brave a world that would bring the sin and death necessary for the infinite atonement we all were awaiting in our pre-earth life.
When God gave Adam and Eve instructions to follow in the Garden of Eden, He did so not to set them up for failure, but to provide them with agency, the right to choose their fate, and the opportunities afforded to their posterity. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17).
Yes, Adam and Eve did partake of the fruit, and by so doing, chose to leave the garden setting of Eden to create bodies for the spirit children of Heavenly Father. That day, when they partook, death did indeed come into the world. The first death they were required to endure was spiritual.
The man and the woman were no longer able to walk and talk with God as they had done in Eden. With mortal bodies they could not any longer endure the presence of God in the same way, but more importantly the sins that they would inevitably commit would create imperfection in man and disallow a return to the presence of God in the life to come. For this reason a Savior would be required, one who is without sin, who could pay the price of sin for all mankind, and make pure once again what had become impure. This purifying atonement would provide the grace that Adam, Eve, and all of their descendants would require for their return to live with God.
Mortality also brought physical death into the world. Although it is recorded that Adam lived to a very old age, as did many of his descendants, he did age, and along with his beloved Eve, he did die. What was incorruptible in the garden became corruptible in the world, and thus something would need to be done to restore the elements of the body and resurrect the dead to life. Again, the Son of God, would have to step in to save mankind, this time from physical death.
Because He was born of Mary, Jesus had the mortality to be able to suffer and even die. As the Son of God, His immortality allowed Him to suffer infinitely beyond what anyone would be able, sufficiently to descend beneath all things, and then only to yield to death when all was accomplished. In this He could achieve the necessary redemption for the sins of all mankind, that anyone willing to repent, could receive forgiveness and purification. By His same immortal power, He was able on the third day to raise Himself from the grave, thus conquering death, and raising every man to life again through resurrection, that all mankind will one day stand before our maker in the flesh and be judged and rewarded for our works.
The atonement of Jesus Christ conquers both spiritual and physical death, brought into the world through the transgression of Adam, even as it was always planned to be. Adam and Eve were taught of this coming atonement, and offered sacrifice as they were commanded to do in similitude of the work of our Savior. They were taught all things necessary to be known that they might teach their children, even unto this day, so we might repent and be able to follow the Savior and participate in God’s plan of salvation.
As God commanded Adam for the benefit of his posterity, “Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying: That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory” (Moses 6:58-59).
In our day, in similitude of the sacrifice of our Savior, we partake of sacred emblems known as the sacrament, even as He taught during the last supper. We are baptized of water, and of the Spirit, renewing our covenants through His sacrament. May we, as Adam and Eve before us, teach these things freely unto our our children, unto all God’s children, that they might know to whom to turn for salvation.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of us all. He stood before Adam, Eve, Abraham and Moses as the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament. He was born of Mary in Bethlehem, the baby Lord Jesus. The Great Redeemer innocently paid the price of sin in Gethsemane and upon Golgotha, that we may return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. The Savior arose from that garden tomb, so we will all live again, saved from death and rescued from the grave. The Messiah will come again, and we shall see Him, and with the same redemption that He rescues Father Adam and Mother Eve, He will rescue you and me. I believe in Christ, and I am grateful for the plan He set in motion and fulfills. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.