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theplains

Adam and Eve - the rib

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 I saw this mentioned in a church teaching manual (pg. 19):

Moses 3:21–23. Adam’s Rib

President Spencer W. Kimball taught that Eve was not literally created from
Adam’s rib. He said: “The story of the rib, of course, is figurative” (“The Blessings
and Responsibilities of Womanhood,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 71).

(https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual?lang=eng)

About 11 years later, Russell M. Nelson (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the time) said
in General Conference:

"From the rib of Adam, Eve was formed (see Gen. 2:22; Moses 3:22; Abr. 5:16). 
Interesting to me is the fact that animals fashioned by our Creator, such as dogs 
and cats, have thirteen pairs of ribs, but the human being has one less with only 
twelve. I presume another bone could have been used, but the rib, coming as it 
does from the side, seems to denote partnership. The rib signifies neither 
dominion nor subservience, but a lateral relationship as partners, to work and to 
live, side by side
."

(https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1987/10/lessons-from-eve?lang=eng)

Does the Pearl of Great Price Student Manual's reference to the 1976 article (where the rib is
figurative) take precedence over the 1987 General Conference talk (where the rib seems to be
literal now)?

Thanks,
Jim

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Posted (edited)

Good question.

I side with scripture.

 

in another note.

adam and eve where not created in the garden, they were placed there after.

Edited by Doctrine 612
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After creating Adam, God took one look at him and said "Oh I can do better than that." And so He created Eve 🙂
At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, Johnny what is the matter? Little Johnny responded, "I have a pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife."
 
Whatever anyone says about this has to be personal opinion. We don't really know the facts. The scriptures say one thing and past church leaders have said other things.

Brigham Young Said:
"Where the gods dwell mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet and power was given them to propagate their species and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth." (Journal of Discourses 7:285-286)

Joseph Smith is quoted as saying:

"Now regarding Adam: He came here from another planet, an immortalized Being, and brought his wife Eve with him, and by eating of the fruit of this earth, became subject to death and decay. . . was made mortal and subject to death." - (Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., as recorded by Anson Call and copied by Patriarch John Whitmer)

So some say it happened on another planet the scriptures seem to say it happened here in the garden of Eden. Therefore it must be figurative. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I think then Elder Nelson is alluding to Pres. George Albert Smith's idea about the rib and being equal, so in terms it's like Pres. Kimball said, figurative

 

 

That quote from President Kimball was repeated at the beginning of every endowment presentation. He knew it well.

Every endowed person with ears knew it.

Edited by mfbukowski
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, theplains said:

 I saw this mentioned in a church teaching manual (pg. 19):

Moses 3:21–23. Adam’s Rib

President Spencer W. Kimball taught that Eve was not literally created from
Adam’s rib. He said: “The story of the rib, of course, is figurative” (“The Blessings
and Responsibilities of Womanhood,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 71).

(https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual?lang=eng)

About 11 years later, Russell M. Nelson (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the time) said
in General Conference:

"From the rib of Adam, Eve was formed (see Gen. 2:22; Moses 3:22; Abr. 5:16). 
Interesting to me is the fact that animals fashioned by our Creator, such as dogs 
and cats, have thirteen pairs of ribs, but the human being has one less with only 
twelve. I presume another bone could have been used, but the rib, coming as it 
does from the side, seems to denote partnership. The rib signifies neither 
dominion nor subservience, but a lateral relationship as partners, to work and to 
live, side by side
."

(https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1987/10/lessons-from-eve?lang=eng)

Does the Pearl of Great Price Student Manual's reference to the 1976 article (where the rib is
figurative) take precedence over the 1987 General Conference talk (where the rib seems to be
literal now)?

Thanks,
Jim

Elder Nelson was speaking metaphoricallly:  "I presume another bone could have been used [figuratively, and the human anatomy facilitates this], but the rib, coming as it  does from the side, seems to denote partnership. The rib signifies..."

From Alma 30:44, "But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form [and even the number of ribs assigned to man] do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Edited by CV75
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, CV75 said:

Elder Nelson was speaking metaphoricallly:  "I presume another bone could have been used [figuratively, and the human anatomy facilitates this], but the rib, coming as it  does from the side, seems to denote partnership. The rib signifies..."

From Alma 30:44, "But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form [and even the number of ribs assigned to man] do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Agreed.  Nelson is a medical doctor, and an endowed member of the church.  I believe he took it for granted that all listeners would know he was speaking metaphorically.

Edited by sunstoned
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14 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

False conflict:  Both Kimball and Nelson spoke of the rib as figurative.

Would you bold those parts of Russell M. Nelson's statement (mentioned earlier) which you
believe are figurative and underline the parts you believe are literal.

What is your understanding of these verses?

Moses 3

21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one 
of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;

22 And the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her 
unto the man.

23 And Adam said: This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be 
called Woman, because she was taken out of man.

Why did God cause a deep sleep to fall upon Adam?  What does it mean God closed up the
flesh of Adam?  How was Eve taken out of Adam?

Thanks,
Jim

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4 hours ago, theplains said:

Would you bold those parts of Russell M. Nelson's statement (mentioned earlier) which you
believe are figurative and underline the parts you believe are literal.

What is your understanding of these verses?

Moses 3

21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one 
of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;

22 And the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her 
unto the man.

23 And Adam said: This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be 
called Woman, because she was taken out of man.

Why did God cause a deep sleep to fall upon Adam?  What does it mean God closed up the
flesh of Adam?  How was Eve taken out of Adam?

Thanks,
Jim

The whole story is figurative.

fig·ur·a·tive

/ˈfiɡyərədiv/

Learn to pronounce

adjective

1.

departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical.

"gold, in the figurative language of the people, was “the tears wept by the sun.”"

synonyms:metaphorical, nonliteral, symbolic, allegorical, representative, emblematic;More

2.

(of an artist or work of art) representing forms that are recognizably derived from life.

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19 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

False conflict:  Both Kimball and Nelson spoke of the rib as figurative.  Neither one of them suggested that it was a literal source of creation.  For Nelson, the rib denotes partnership and signifies a lateral relationship, side by side.  Both the Scripture and Nelson are speaking figuratively when they say that Eve was formed from man's rib.  As an M.D. he does comment on 13 ribs in certain other mammals, and only 12 in us humans.  A surgeon would be aware of that and think it interesting.  That does not in any way suggest that man lost a rib to women.

Occasionally, leaders of churches will disagree with one another.  This is not one of those instances.

Au contraire.  Nelson is obviously speaking literally.  He thinks that a physical, actual rib from the physical, actual man Adam was taken and used to form the physical, actual Eve. 

He is only ascribing metaphorical meaning to what it means that it was a rib.  But he thinks that it actually, physically happened, because he thinks there is still an actual, physical effect that can still be seen in our anatomy all these thousands (probably six thousands) of years later.  He's saying that this explains why we have fewer ribs than other mammals.  It explains an actual, physical phenomenon.  It's possible the origins of the story are based on some ancient storyteller noticing the difference in rib count and creating the story to explain the difference.  But that would be the opposite of what Nelson is doing.

This contradicts the statement in the manual, where it says that, based on Kimball's statement, the entire story is figurative and that Eve was not actually, physically created from an actual piece of bone from the actual, physical Adam.

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31 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Au contraire.  Nelson is obviously speaking literally.  He thinks that a physical, actual rib from the physical, actual man Adam was taken and used to form the physical, actual Eve. 

He is only ascribing metaphorical meaning to what it means that it was a rib.  But he thinks that it actually, physically happened, because he thinks there is still an actual, physical effect that can still be seen in our anatomy all these thousands (probably six thousands) of years later.  He's saying that this explains why we have fewer ribs than other mammals.  It explains an actual, physical phenomenon.  It's possible the origins of the story are based on some ancient storyteller noticing the difference in rib count and creating the story to explain the difference.  But that would be the opposite of what Nelson is doing.

This contradicts the statement in the manual, where it says that, based on Kimball's statement, the entire story is figurative and that Eve was not actually, physically created from an actual piece of bone from the actual, physical Adam.

No

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The answer is simple.

For members of the Mormon Church, the story is figurative.

For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is taken literally.

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15 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Agreed.  Nelson is a medical doctor, and an endowed member of the church.  I believe he took it for granted that all listeners would know he was speaking metaphorically.

He may have, but I believe that he didn't care much either way (appreciating the broad variability in perspectives) as long as they got the point.

55 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Au contraire.  Nelson is obviously speaking literally.  He thinks that a physical, actual rib from the physical, actual man Adam was taken and used to form the physical, actual Eve. 

He may well think that the rib is literal, but his message concerns the metaphorical significance of the rib and suggests the Creator understands the number and the significance of that too.

I know that I literally have twelve pairs of ribs (24 total) and not 23 total ribs. But the scriptures say there was a rib taken (which some construe to be the baculum in animals, which humans do not have), and not a pair of ribs, unless ancient Hebrews referred to each pair of costae in the singular.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, SteveO said:

No

If Nelson considered the story to be figurative and without a historical, physical basis, then how is the part about humans having 12 pairs of ribs compared to other animals having 13 relevant to the talk?

If I told you that I believed that God had cursed dachshund dogs with elongated bodies because they were disobedient in the pre-existence, and by the way, dachshunds really do have elongated bodies, but then back-pedaled and said I just meant it figuratively, would that make any sense?  The fact that dachshunds actually have elongated bodies is only relevant if the previous statement is meant to be taken literally.

If Nelson had thought it the rib story was figurative, he wouldn't have mentioned the fact (or "fact") about humans having fewer ribs.  Or he would have said

Quote

Interesting to me is the fact that animals fashioned by our Creator, such as dogs and cats, have thirteen pairs of ribs, but the human being has one less with only twelve. Which is odd because the story is only figurative, so that bit of trivia is totally irrelevant and just an odd coincidence.

 

Edited by cinepro
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Posted (edited)
Quote

how is the part about humans having 12 pairs of ribs compared to other animals having 13 relevant to the talk?

Unless he consider it like signs in the heavens, physical symbols of spiritual events.  Something to draw our minds to a teaching of God.  We put marks on our clothes, God put a mark on our body (missing ribs).

Edited by Calm
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After many days in the garden, Adam was lonely.  He approached the Lord and expressed his woes.  The Lord thought for a bit, and told Adam, "I have a deal for you.  I will provide you a companion.  She will prepare your food, clean up after you, tend the garden, devote her time and attention to you, and see that your every need is met."

Adam responded, "That sounds great, Lord.  But won't she be expensive?"

"Oh yes," was the reply.  "She will cost you an arm and a leg."

After a brief moment, Adam asked, "What can I get for a rib?"

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6 hours ago, cinepro said:

Au contraire.  Nelson is obviously speaking literally.  He thinks that a physical, actual rib from the physical, actual man Adam was taken and used to form the physical, actual Eve. 

He is only ascribing metaphorical meaning to what it means that it was a rib.  But he thinks that it actually, physically happened, because he thinks there is still an actual, physical effect that can still be seen in our anatomy all these thousands (probably six thousands) of years later.  He's saying that this explains why we have fewer ribs than other mammals.  It explains an actual, physical phenomenon.  It's possible the origins of the story are based on some ancient storyteller noticing the difference in rib count and creating the story to explain the difference.  But that would be the opposite of what Nelson is doing.

This contradicts the statement in the manual, where it says that, based on Kimball's statement, the entire story is figurative and that Eve was not actually, physically created from an actual piece of bone from the actual, physical Adam.

We obviously read the Nelson text differently.  Nelson says that it is "interesting" that these rib counts exist, but he never actually claims that they were operative.  Just because he was attentive in anatomy class does not mean that he makes the actual causal connection.  I took the same class, got an A, and did not reach some silly conclusion about rib counts (I took it for my anthropology training).  Commenting on the scenery is not the same as delivering a lecture on a causal connection.  Perhaps I simply don't estimate Nelson to be so shallow.

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Sheep have 12

Horses have 18

Goats have 13

Pigs 15 or 16

Interesting, but much ado about nothing.

 

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12 hours ago, theplains said:

Would you bold those parts of Russell M. Nelson's statement (mentioned earlier) which you
believe are figurative and underline the parts you believe are literal.

When Nelson says "interesting" he is commenting on the curious nature of the rib counts, not telling us that there is a causal connection.

12 hours ago, theplains said:

What is your understanding of these verses?

Moses 3

21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one 
of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;

22 And the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her 
unto the man.

23 And Adam said: This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be 
called Woman, because she was taken out of man.

Why did God cause a deep sleep to fall upon Adam?  What does it mean God closed up the
flesh of Adam?  How was Eve taken out of Adam?............

That is a liturgical description, as is the formal Endowment currently used in our temples.

I have the same understanding that Brother Brigham got -- he saw the whole episode as figurative, and stated frankly that both Adam and Eve were formed and born the same as all of us -- by sexual reproduction.  Joseph F. Smith and his counselors said the same.

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4 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

When Nelson says "interesting" he is commenting on the curious nature of the rib counts, not telling us that there is a causal connection.

That is a liturgical description, as is the formal Endowment currently used in our temples.

I have the same understanding that Brother Brigham got -- he saw the whole episode as figurative, and stated frankly that both Adam and Eve were formed and born the same as all of us -- by sexual reproduction.  Joseph F. Smith and his counselors said the same.

AND, assuming there was such a couple, one possible paradigm might be that they were the first chosen to hear of El and Yahweh, and make Covenants. If any of it is literal at all that would be my pick.

The process could have been a theophany as happened for Joseph, it could be all legend.

The important point is that we are all God's children and that we have a fallen nature, and that he has sent a savior for us Christ Jesus.

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29 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

AND, assuming there was such a couple, one possible paradigm might be that they were the first chosen to hear of El and Yahweh, and make Covenants. If any of it is literal at all that would be my pick.

The process could have been a theophany as happened for Joseph, it could be all legend.

The important point is that we are all God's children and that we have a fallen nature, and that he has sent a savior for us Christ Jesus.

One could even toy with the notion that it is all a simulation -- no harm, no foul -- and we all get home safely.  :pirate:

“Do We Live in a Computer Simulation Run by Our Descendants? Researchers Say Idea Can Be Tested,” ScienceDaily, Dec 10, 2012, online at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210132752.htm .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_KJKEYoaoo  (5 Reasons You May Be Living In A Simulation | Answers With Joe Scott, 2016) Are you living in The Matrix? New scientific theories are suggesting that you may be.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

When Nelson says "interesting" he is commenting on the curious nature of the rib counts, not telling us that there is a causal connection.

That is a liturgical description, as is the formal Endowment currently used in our temples.

I have the same understanding that Brother Brigham got -- he saw the whole episode as figurative, and stated frankly that both Adam and Eve were formed and born the same as all of us -- by sexual reproduction.  Joseph F. Smith and his counselors said the same.

Yes.  I'm not sure how temple attending members can see the Garden of Eden story as anything but figurative.  Though many clearly disagree with me.

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