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elguanteloko

How literally do you take the creation story?

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Folks, in the last thread I oppened, some people (quite more than I expected, actually) expressed that they took the creation story not as a hard historical fact but as a symbol. The obvious question now is, how literally do you take the genesis as accounted in LDS scripture to be? In particular, how much of the "Adam and Eve" story do you take as actually having occured?

Also, how much of what goes on in the temple do you take as actually having occured and how much just as a symbol that didn't necessarily happen? ...obviously, without getting too specific.

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I don't take it literally at all. I think it's a great allegory about obedience and how humans separate themselves from God through sin. You really can't, in the real world.

IMO, the endowment doesn't make the creation/fall seem like it's supposed to be a literal retelling of events. Just my take.

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Not enough time to write a more in-depth answer, but I do believe a great deal of it to be symbolic. Also think that we don't have a terrible lot on it, despite the multiple accounts found in Genesis/Moses/Abraham/Temple. A good book that I like on the subject is The Savior and the Serpent by Alonzo Gaskill. Presents some interesting stuff on the subject.

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My take on the Creation Story is that Adam and Eve were real live human beings. That they transgressed God command. Beyond that it is largely figurative, symbolic, a Morality Tale.

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Folks, in the last thread I oppened, some people (quite more than I expected, actually) expressed that they took the creation story not as a hard historical fact but as a symbol. The obvious question now is, how literally do you take the genesis as accounted in LDS scripture to be? In particular, how much of the "Adam and Eve" story do you take as actually having occured?

I think there are some things you have to take literally else the Church/Christianity isn't true. Adam and Eve must be historical persons, for example. One could certainly take the fruit metaphorically, but there has to be some historical truth or the story is worthless in terms of spiritual progression simply because it is taught as history.

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One could certainly take the fruit metaphorically, but there has to be some historical truth or the story is worthless in terms of spiritual progression simply because it is taught as history.

Hmmm... I don't know if I'm the only one... but for some reason, I think the fruit wasn't metaphorical... but I dunno, that's just my impression.

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I basically agree with what Margaret Barker had to say about the literalness of the creation:

Adam. The word simply means a human being. The Hebrew text of the Book of Genesis says, literally:

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It is my understanding that the Genesis/+++ story that involves the portrayal of two characters called Adam and Eve was never created, presented, recorded or transmitted for the purpose of history. To take it as such is the mistake of a darkened, faithless era of human kind. It is an ENDOWMENT of esoteric knowledge. As such, there can be revealed in this sigil an unlimited amount of spiritual and universal knowledge (and therefore power), depending on the level and keys one has to harvest such knowledge from the initiation. This will include historical knowledge as well, but perhaps not in the way we are used to thinking of it. Not only that, but the stories of, say, Noah and the flood are also symbolic initiations . . . extensions of the endowment, of which we do not (I don't think?) have in the temples at this time.

Moses 1:34 "And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many." (my bolding)

I should also say that to use the binary literal/non-literal is a mistake and a function of our paradigm also. Fiction/non-fiction. None of these label the Genesis story accurately, but rather reflect the level at which we are only capable of engaging it. The Adam and Eve (etc) story is NOT a (accidental) myth (although it can be read fascinately enough at that level), nor is it even a creation story as to the mechanics of the universe (per se). It is a deliberately created initiation by God that has the power to transmit and redeem us to all level of salvations.

You have to ask yourself, other than taking Joseph Smith as getting direct revelation from God for restoring the endowment (which I do), you have to ask yourself where this story is coming from. Do we have original manuscripts? Is Moses getting this revelation? Directly? or culturally? What type of endowment or information was available pre-Moses (which the Bible does not purport, starting with Moses at least narratively, if not based on actual manuscripts or reliable transmissions).

If you read the Pearl of Great Price Moses, you get a better sense of what the total initiation is from Adam to Noah (through Enoch).

Lovely stuff. :P

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I don't take it literally at all. I think it's a great allegory about obedience and how humans separate themselves from God through sin. You really can't, in the real world.

IMO, the endowment doesn't make the creation/fall seem like it's supposed to be a literal retelling of events. Just my take.

Interesting answer, semlogo. So, if you take these things more like a symbol to teach us something, why did Christ had to die?

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I think there are some things you have to take literally else the Church/Christianity isn't true. Adam and Eve must be historical persons, for example. One could certainly take the fruit metaphorically, but there has to be some historical truth or the story is worthless in terms of spiritual progression simply because it is taught as history.

Do you think the "fall" is something more symbolic than literal? and, what's the "fall" from which Christ had to save us through his sacrifice?

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My take on the Creation Story is that Adam and Eve were real live human beings. That they transgressed God command. Beyond that it is largely figurative, symbolic, a Morality Tale.

I, too, tend along these lines and believe that Adam and Eve were the first of "us".

GG

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I believe it to be literal. Always have. Don't see any reason to think otherwise. It's my opinion that we hear the story over and over to reinforce the fact that it really happened.

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Do you think the "fall" is something more symbolic than literal? and, what's the "fall" from which Christ had to save us through his sacrifice?

The temple ceremony on the Atonement Day in the First Temple was completely based on the sacrifice of the Lord and his cleansing of all creation, but from what I know, the Fall is never mentioned in the OT after the first part of Genesis. I wonder why?

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how much of the "Adam and Eve" story do you take as actually having occured?

Also, how much of what goes on in the temple do you take as actually having occured and how much just as a symbol that didn't necessarily happen?

I take the Genesis account of Adam and Eve as a very brief sketch of actual events, with a good deal of symbolism. I take the temple portrayal to be 99.99% symbolism based on the same brief sketch of actual events. My approach to either has extremely little to do with whether or how actual historical events are portrayed, but how I can apply the principles and covenants to my own past, present and future history.

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Interesting answer, semlogo. So, if you take these things more like a symbol to teach us something, why did Christ had to die?

Because we all, personally, fell:

1. All of us made a choice to leave the presence of God, and to 'fall' into mortal bodies

2. All of us eventually made a choice to sin, which separated us spiritually from God.

We cannot overcome the implications of those choices on our own - we need the Atonement.

Obviously, there had to be a first spirit to be born into a mortal body to get the ball rolling. We might as well label him Adam.

The Genesis account is a re-working and re-casting of an older myth, in its current form teaching a symbolic lesson about the loss of the Temple and Priesthood through disobedience, and has nothing to do with the origins of man's sinful nature.

The Modern Version, however, is re-framed (and re-staged) to teach about the modern Restoration understanding of the Plan of Salvation.

In both versions, the intent is to view ourselves as those individuals, and learn from their respective journeys.

I find the story highly profound and inspiring as symbol, and as a mythic religious history. On the other hand, I would find it Incredibly useless and confusing and problematic if its purpose was to teach literal history.

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I believe it to be literal. Always have. Don't see any reason to think otherwise. It's my opinion that we hear the story over and over to reinforce the fact that it really happened.

It is my understanding we hear it over and over because we are to view our selves as if we were Adam and Eve, and were participating in the Drama. It this case, the story isn't something that did happen, it is something that is happening in our very own personal lives.

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Because we all, personally, fell:

1. All of us made a choice to leave the presence of God, and to 'fall' into mortal bodies

2. All of us eventually made a choice to sin, which separated us spiritually from God.

We cannot overcome the implications of those choices on our own - we need the Atonement.

Obviously, there had to be a first spirit to be born into a mortal body to get the ball rolling. We might as well label him Adam.

The Genesis account is a re-working and re-casting of an older myth, in its current form teaching a symbolic lesson about the loss of the Temple and Priesthood through disobedience, and has nothing to do with the origins of man's sinful nature.

The Modern Version, however, is re-framed (and re-staged) to teach about the modern Restoration understanding of the Plan of Salvation.

In both versions, the intent is to view ourselves as those individuals, and learn from their respective journeys.

I find the story highly profound and inspiring as symbol, and as a mythic religious history. On the other hand, I would find it Incredibly useless and confusing and problematic if its purpose was to teach literal history.

All I can say is that Joseph Fielding Smith must be spinning in his grave if this thread is an indication of what the church believes today........

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All I can say is that Joseph Fielding Smith must be spinning in his grave if this thread is an indication of what the church believes today........

Nah, he's rejoicing in the truth now :P

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All I can say is that Joseph Fielding Smith must be spinning in his grave if this thread is an indication of what the church believes today........

What would Abraham Lincoln be doing right now if he were alive? He'd be desperately clawing on the inside of his coffin trying to get out.

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What would Abraham Lincoln be doing right now if he were alive? He'd be desperately clawing on the inside of his coffin trying to get out.

I know, all those Blacks being considered equal to White men... and voting!

...but we digress.

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Folks, in the last thread I oppened, some people (quite more than I expected, actually) expressed that they took the creation story not as a hard historical fact but as a symbol. The obvious question now is, how literally do you take the genesis as accounted in LDS scripture to be? In particular, how much of the "Adam and Eve" story do you take as actually having occured?

Also, how much of what goes on in the temple do you take as actually having occured and how much just as a symbol that didn't necessarily happen? ...obviously, without getting too specific.

one thought, perhaps much of it happened in the celestial sphere - that they were perfect/celestial beings - Eden was the perfect heaven, and that being cast out of Eden was akin to being cast out of the celestial sphere...

That Eden is at the same place as the chariots of fire:

(Old Testament | 2 Kings 6:17)

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and bchariots of fire round about Elisha.

Adam and Eve had their eyes opened too... I think they came from the realm of the chariots of fire so to speak.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

worlds without number...

I don't think that we are the first "world" on this planet.

(Book of Mormon | Ether 13:9)

9 And there shall be a anew heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.

I think new earths get build on the ruins of older ones... that Adam and Eve coming to Earth started a new world, a new age.

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Because we all, personally, fell:

1. All of us made a choice to leave the presence of God, and to 'fall' into mortal bodies

2. All of us eventually made a choice to sin, which separated us spiritually from God.

We cannot overcome the implications of those choices on our own - we need the Atonement.

Two things:

1) Doesn't this interpretation result problematic in light of Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (NIV) ?

2) Also, it seems like if the "fall" is just us choosing to sin, that leaves God responsible of directly creating the conditions for us to sin... which is kind of awkward. That would be similar to me creating you with the desires and inclinations you have as a "fallen creature" and putting you in a room full of porn on all the walls knowing you are, sooner or later, going to have dirty thoughts.

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I take the Genesis account of Adam and Eve as a very brief sketch of actual events, with a good deal of symbolism. I take the temple portrayal to be 99.99% symbolism based on the same brief sketch of actual events. My approach to either has extremely little to do with whether or how actual historical events are portrayed, but how I can apply the principles and covenants to my own past, present and future history.

This expresses my take on the Scriptural and Temple account of the creation story :P .

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The obvious question now is, how literally do you take the genesis as accounted in LDS scripture to be? In particular, how much of the "Adam and Eve" story do you take as actually having occured?

Also, how much of what goes on in the temple do you take as actually having occured and how much just as a symbol that didn't necessarily happen? ...obviously, without getting too specific.

At the risk of being ridiculed as usual in threads dealing with this topic (I am spinning along the Joseph Fielding Smith), because I believe the events of the Garden were very real literal events, not some sort of metaphoric nonsense... I do believe the Temple presentation to be both literal and metaphoric (in that all of us do represent Adam and Eve and thus it is more figurative in the sense that Adam is our prototype, the example of our human journey through this life) however I fully believe Adam and Eve are literally historic figures not some sort of "cave-men" like savages that evolved from a primordial soup. I believe the creation was a Terrestrial Creation and that the fall was necessary to bring mortality (death) into the world. I am not certain of all of the particulars or "how it was done" but I do believe it was beyond our understanding and the creation was not done under the same terms or laws under which we currently exist (Telestial)so yes Adam and Eve were historical and the fall was real, literal and was how death came to this earth. How this is reconciled to the theories of men, is of no importance to me. Man has never been able to replicate the creation. If these things are not literal then the idea of the fall is meaningless. I think it has direct implications for a true faith in Christ. In fact if Adam did not fall then Christ would have been unnecessary and if death was the normal state of all things then the resurrection would be impossible. I am not prepared to believe in such an Anti-Christ teaching. I think there was a reason why Moses said

(Moses 1:10)"...Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed."
We must have faith in Christ and in the fact that He is the literal Son of God the Father, He saves us from death, hell, and the devil. Just as I have faith in Him, I also have faith in the words of the prophets, not the words of "scribes" or scholars who try to "apologize" for the "opinions" of the prophets, seers and revelators who teach us things as "they really are" not trifling with sacred things. One very good reason to believe that Adam was a real man and not just a metaphoric figure head of the human race, is because we have a revelation that literally says so:
(D&C 138:38-40)"Among the great and mighty ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father Adam, the Ancient of Days and father of all, And our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God. Abel, the first martyr, was there, and his brother Seth, one of the mighty ones, who was in the express image of his father, Adam."
How meaningless is this revelation if Adam and Eve were not real people. As for me I will side with the revelations of God every time and not doubt or second guess the prophets and apostles in favor of the "great big elders" who are too wise to be taught.

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That is the magic in calling things symbols or metaphors. So much can be made from so little. If one believes that man came from some primordial vichyssoise then all other creation stories are symbolic or in layman's terms,not really connected to actual historic events.

What did Christ mean then ,when He said that He said that He had only done what His Father had done?

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