Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I was reading this General Conference talk  (To Act for Ourselves)
                                                                 
Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said "Sometimes we forget 
that our Heavenly Father desires that each of us have this joy. Only by yielding 
to temptation and sin can we be kept from that joy. And yielding is exactly what 
Satan wants us to do
."

When I read accounts of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, I see the opposite
principle in play.  Instead of being kept from joy by yielding to temptation, they 
yielded to Satan so that they could receive the blessing of joy from God.

Is this the only exception or are there more instances where God rewards yielding
to temptation with joy?

Jim

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
2 hours ago, theplains said:

I was reading this General Conference talk  (To Act for Ourselves)
                                                                 
Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said "Sometimes we forget 
that our Heavenly Father desires that each of us have this joy. Only by yielding 
to temptation and sin can we be kept from that joy. And yielding is exactly what 
Satan wants us to do
."

When I read accounts of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, I see the opposite
principle in play.  Instead of being kept from joy by yielding to temptation, they 
yielded to Satan so that they could receive the blessing of joy from God.

Is this the only exception or are there more instances where God rewards yielding
to temptation with joy?

Jim

See the paragraph that says: “You and I were among those who used their agency to accept Heavenly Father’s plan to come to earth, to have a mortal life, to progress. “We shouted for joy … to have the opportunity of coming to the earth to receive bodies [for we knew] that we might become, through faithfulness, like unto our Father, God.”

Thus, as premortal spirits, we (including Adam and Eve) had joy in the prospect of becoming fallen people – but it doesn’t stop there, because the joy was in our redemption from that fallen state and become like God.

Adam and Eve were exceptional only in that they lived as souls (i.e., each having a connected body and spirit) in a terrestrial world before their fall. Like us, they had a veil over the memory of their premortal life

Like us, they did not have joy until they knew the plan of redemption. See Moses 4:22 through 5:11, where it describes how they sorrowed and labored, obeying the commandments out of faith in what they had been given thus far, until in 5:7 they were given more, which produced greater faith and hope. Only after they were taught the plan of redemption or the fulness of the Gospel could they rejoice and ascribe divine purpose and meaning to their transgression.

Eve’s wisdom and courage in partaking of the fruit in a beguiled state had more to with prioritizing the commandments and desiring greater wisdom to know how to accomplish what they had not yet done (multiply a replenish the earth).

Edited by CV75
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
3 hours ago, theplains said:

I was reading this General Conference talk  (To Act for Ourselves)
                                                                 
Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said "Sometimes we forget 
that our Heavenly Father desires that each of us have this joy. Only by yielding 
to temptation and sin can we be kept from that joy. And yielding is exactly what 
Satan wants us to do
."

When I read accounts of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, I see the opposite
principle in play.  Instead of being kept from joy by yielding to temptation, they 
yielded to Satan so that they could receive the blessing of joy from God.

Is this the only exception or are there more instances where God rewards yielding
to temptation with joy?

Jim

Yes they are different because we’re talking about different degrees of accountability for the violation of moral law. Genesis makes it clear that before the fall Adam and Eve were naive and inexperienced, having a limited knowledge of the difference between good and evil. In fact, Genesis informs us that Adam and Eve couldn’t have had a comprehensive understanding of the difference between good and evil, and the consequences that stem from yielding to each, because it was only by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they would gain a more mature and in-depth knowledge of good and evil.

Prior to partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, our first parents were likely like 7 year-old children who have not yet fully arrived at the age of moral accountability. While it’s also likely they weren’t as innocent and naive as, for example, 3 year-old children, it’s also just as likely that they definitely weren’t as aware of the consequences for their actions as a spiritually aware and knowledgeable 40 year-old Christian would be. Why? Because they had not yet partaken of the fruit that would give them a deeper understanding of the nature of good and evil.

It appears the two choices set before Adam and Eve we’re either to remain blissfully innocent and unaware forever (unlike God who possesses an infinite and eternally complete understanding of the nature of good and evil), or partake of the fruit and learn, as fully mature adults, how to deal with and overcome evil through the redeeming and enlightening power of God.

And don’t forget that Christ was ordained to be the sacrificial Lamb of God before the foundation of the world. This can only mean that God knew even before he created Adam and Eve that they were going to fall if he did. So one has to ask himself why a perfectly just and loving God would create Adam and Eve when he knew beforehand that if he did they would disobey him by partaking of the forbidden fruit, and then fall from his presence into a world of spiritual and physical death filled with evil spirits THAT HE INTENTIONALLY SENT HERE to tempt, torment and make life miserable for fallen man.

Why would a perfectly just and loving God send the utterly evil devil and his angels into this world, adding severe insult to what was already most terrible injury? Isn’t it easier to just accept the reality that a loving God, with infinite foreknowledge, knew that the fall was going to occur if he created Adam and Eve but went through with their creation anyway because it was all part of a wise and glorious plan of divine design?

Edited by teddyaware
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
6 hours ago, theplains said:

I was reading this General Conference talk  (To Act for Ourselves)
                                                                 
Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said "Sometimes we forget 
that our Heavenly Father desires that each of us have this joy. Only by yielding 
to temptation and sin can we be kept from that joy. And yielding is exactly what 
Satan wants us to do
."

When I read accounts of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, I see the opposite
principle in play.  Instead of being kept from joy by yielding to temptation, they 
yielded to Satan so that they could receive the blessing of joy from God.

Is this the only exception or are there more instances where God rewards yielding
to temptation with joy?

Jim

It's a mixed bag, Jim.  According to the universal Law of Opposites (II Ne 2), you cannot have one without the other.  The Garden was a perfect condition of stasis.  No sweet and no bitter, no joy and no sad, no good and no bad.  Apostle Hales was not discussing the Garden.  He was referring only to post-Garden life, which is the probationary life we live to gain experience and to be tested.  True, lasting joy comes from making correct choices, all of us stumbling along the way, repenting as we go.  Here a little, there a little.

In the Garden, Adam & Eve could not obey God's command to multiply and replenish the Earth.  Only by obtaining knowledge of good and evil could they reproduce and make any choices.  Why?  Because the figurative forbidden fruit gave them self-awareness and enabled them to make real choices.  Their childhood was over, and they began the great journey of real life -- in which they could exercise free agency.  Only thus could they be held accountable.

In actuality, the Garden is a temple, and the story of Adam & Eve is liturgical.  It is all scripted and preset.  Even Lucifer is merely a player in a ritual role which entails actual oaths and covenants.  That is the only sense in which it actually takes place in real time.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
7 hours ago, theplains said:

I was reading this General Conference talk  (To Act for Ourselves)
                                                                 
Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said "Sometimes we forget 
that our Heavenly Father desires that each of us have this joy. Only by yielding 
to temptation and sin can we be kept from that joy. And yielding is exactly what 
Satan wants us to do
."

When I read accounts of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, I see the opposite
principle in play.  Instead of being kept from joy by yielding to temptation, they 
yielded to Satan so that they could receive the blessing of joy from God.

Is this the only exception or are there more instances where God rewards yielding
to temptation with joy?

Jim

Stage 1:  before the fall of Adam and Eve we all shouted for joy at the prospect of becoming like our Father in heaven.  Then Satan and others like him became miserable after realizing what would be involved by following our Father's plan, at which point they proposed another plan, which our Father rejected, and after a wee bit of a war Satan and his followers were cast out of heaven to this planet where they are still miserable and, since everybody loves company, they want to help to make all of the rest of us as miserable as they are.

Stage 2: Adam and Eve were sent down here and they forget all about what happened in heaven.  They had experienced joy before coming down here but they had forgotten about that too.  Then Satan approached them and told them that if they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would become like our Father in heaven, which seemed like a good idea to them, even though our Father had told them not to eat from that tree.  And then after eating that fruit they experienced misery, which they had also forgotten about, and they would have remained miserable forever had they not been reminded of our Father's plan of happiness by an angel who asked them why they were offering sacrifices to try to appease our Father's wrath for their disobedience to his commandment not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

So you see, my young padawan, Adam and Eve had to experience misery before they could experience the opposite of what misery is, which is called joy.  And the joy came not by yielding to temptation but by realizing there was a remedy to cure misery which had been proposed at that grand council in heaven when everyone there shouted for joy.  The joy that comes from obeying the commands of our Father in heaven and repenting from our own disobedience when we see we have fallen from the grace of God.

  • Like 1
Link to post
10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It's a mixed bag, Jim.  According to the universal Law of Opposites (II Ne 2), you cannot have one without the other.  The Garden was a perfect condition of stasis.  No sweet and no bitter, no joy and no sad, no good and no bad.  Apostle Hales was not discussing the Garden.  He was referring only to post-Garden life, which is the probationary life we live to gain experience and to be tested.  True, lasting joy comes from making correct choices, all of us stumbling along the way, repenting as we go.  Here a little, there a little.

In the Garden, Adam & Eve could not obey God's command to multiply and replenish the Earth.  Only by obtaining knowledge of good and evil could they reproduce and make any choices.  Why?  Because the figurative forbidden fruit gave them self-awareness and enabled them to make real choices.  Their childhood was over, and they began the great journey of real life -- in which they could exercise free agency.  Only thus could they be held accountable.

In actuality, the Garden is a temple, and the story of Adam & Eve is liturgical.  It is all scripted and preset.  Even Lucifer is merely a player in a ritual role which entails actual oaths and covenants.  That is the only sense in which it actually takes place in real time.

So is Lucifer a real person, in your view? That is, is he one of the spirit children and one who rebelled, tempted Even in the Garden, and continues tempting mankind now?

Link to post
12 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It's a mixed bag, Jim.  According to the universal Law of Opposites (II Ne 2), you cannot have one without the other.  The Garden was a perfect condition of stasis.  No sweet and no bitter, no joy and no sad, no good and no bad. 

What do you think about this teaching in the 1973 Friend magazine?

"Adam and Eve were happy in their beautiful home in the Garden of Eden, for they had been
given everything they could want for food and for pleasure. They knew nothing of evil, for
their world was all good.

Often in the cool of early evening the Lord would walk and talk with them, and their happiness
was complete.  He told them that everything had been made for them to enjoy except one
tree - the tree of knowledge of good and evil - and that they should neither touch nor eat the
fruit of that tree, for if they did, they would be punished. Adam promised that they would not
disobey this commandment
.
 

  • Like 2
Link to post
10 hours ago, Ahab said:

Stage 1:  before the fall of Adam and Eve we all shouted for joy at the prospect of becoming like our Father in heaven. 

Were these people who shouted already gods?

Link to post
10 hours ago, Ahab said:

Adam and Eve had to experience misery before they could experience the opposite of what misery is, which is called joy.

In the premortal life with God in heaven (as taught by the LDS Church), did the spirit children 
experience misery before they knew what joy was?

Link to post
1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

So is Lucifer a real person, in your view? That is, is he one of the spirit children and one who rebelled, tempted Even in the Garden, and continues tempting mankind now?

All those in the temple, performing the liturgy are as real as you and me.  According to Anglican Bishop Tom Wright, the Garden of Eden is a temple, and the story of Adam & Eve is a "temple story."  He made that statement without any reference to the LDS POV.  The account in Genesis is liturgical, same as it is in any LDS temple today.  That includes the original performance in which God and Lucifer play themselves according to the preset liturgy.  All is figurative and symbolic, but the consequences are real.  In other words, no one eats an actual piece of fruit, and no one is created from a rib.

You will find another occasion in which Lucifer performs his appointed function as accuser/prosecutor in Job.  On that occasion, it is a formal court trial.  The story does not have to be a real account, but merely a parable to have full effect.  Same applies to the highly liturgical Song of Songs.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
15 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Why would a perfectly just and loving God send the utterly evil devil and his angels into this world, adding severe insult to what was already most terrible injury? Isn’t it easier to just accept the reality that a loving God, with infinite foreknowledge, knew that the fall was going to occur if he created Adam and Eve but went through with their creation anyway because it was all part of a wise and glorious plan of divine design?

I believe the fall was allowed in God's permitted will. But I don't believe it was his desired
will.

Do you see a difference in what God allows to happen versus what God wants/desires to
happen?

Link to post
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, CV75 said:

Eve’s wisdom and courage in partaking of the fruit in a beguiled state had more to with prioritizing the commandments and desiring greater wisdom to know how to accomplish what they had not yet done (multiply a replenish the earth).

When God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, do you believe they looked at each
other or looked at God and thought, "Huh?  What does that mean?"  or  "How do we do that?"

And what of the animals which received the same command?

Edited by theplains
Link to post
5 minutes ago, theplains said:

What do you think about this teaching in the 1973 Friend magazine?

"Adam and Eve were happy in their beautiful home in the Garden of Eden, for they had been
given everything they could want for food and for pleasure. They knew nothing of evil, for
their world was all good.

Often in the cool of early evening the Lord would walk and talk with them, and their happiness
was complete.  He told them that everything had been made for them to enjoy except one
tree - the tree of knowledge of good and evil - and that they should neither touch nor eat the
fruit of that tree, for if they did, they would be punished. Adam promised that they would not
disobey this commandment
.

Cute, but no cigar, Jim.

The couple is only "happy" in the same sense an ignorant baby is happy and smiling.  The baby actually knows nothing and is not self-aware.  Being expelled from the Garden describes childhood's end and the moment of self-awareness.  That is the time real life begins.  This is what Genesis ritualizes for us.  The Creation and Garden stories are pure liturgy, not a narrative history and not a science text on geology.

Prof John Kselman (Catholic Univ of America, and a priest) called Genesis 1 "iterative poetry."  There is a reason for the obvious formulaic and repetitive presentation of the Creation, and that reason has nothing whatever to do with science.  Indeed, as Jewish Prof Ephraim Speiser pointed out in his translation-commentary on Genesis for Anchor Bible, the Genesis 1 creation has items created from pre-existing matter in the same order the creation is found in Assyro-Babylonian Enuma elish -- which was enacted annually in the main temple of their respective capitals.  In other words, it is all liturgy.  Context is everything.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to post
14 minutes ago, theplains said:

I believe the fall was allowed in God's permitted will. But I don't believe it was his desired
will.

Do you see a difference in what God allows to happen versus what God wants/desires to
happen?

You are allowing theological preconceptions to determine your interpretation, Jim, instead of allowing the text to speak for itself.

Link to post
4 minutes ago, theplains said:

When God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, do you believe they looked at each
other or looked at God and thought, "Huh?  What does that mean?"  or  "How do we do that?"

And what of the animals which received the same command?

I don't believe Adam and Eve acted or wondered in the way that you seem to be mocking them.

With regards to procreation, God dealt with the animals in a different way than Adam and Eve. "And God blessed [the animals], saying, Be fruitful, and multiply...," but with Adam and Eve, "God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the dearth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

What do you think of the rest of my reply to you? I think I know where you are trying to go by starting with the last of my comments, but we need to be clear on the previous part of my reply before we continue that.

Link to post
2 hours ago, theplains said:

I believe the fall was allowed in God's permitted will. But I don't believe it was his desired
will.

Do you see a difference in what God allows to happen versus what God wants/desires to
happen?

Yes. Because if God is perfectly good and loving, why in the world would he do something that he knew was going to bring to pass so much evil and destructive hate? According to your thinking, God is all sovereign, so why would he initiate something, by his own unchallengeable will, that would cause something so unimaginably terrible to happen that is so contrary to his perfect divine nature? And also according to your thinking, Adam and Eve didn’t even exist as yet, so there was no one that even existed to either bless or curse. Then why would he do what he did unless there was someone or something that had a greater and more irresistible will than his own? Either that or perhaps he has a sadistic side, even though we’re promised his nature is perfectly just, merciful, benevolent and charitable?

 None of it makes sense unless it ultimately turns out that there was a perfectly good, justifiable, merciful and love inspired reason to create Adam and Eve, while simultaneously having the full knowledge that they were going to be tempted of the devil (whom for some strange reason he sent in order to virtually guarantee that they would succumb to their miserable destiny) and fall eternally from his blessed presence.

Either God is infinitely and eternally perfect in every way or he isn’t. If he is, then there has to be a perfectly good and justifiable reason why he created Adam and Eve, even while knowing that they were going to yield to temptation and fall, because it’s contrary to his very divine nature to so royally botch his things up and generate so much otherwise easily avoidable misery.

Edited by teddyaware
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
2 hours ago, theplains said:

I believe the fall was allowed in God's permitted will. But I don't believe it was his desired
will.

Do you see a difference in what God allows to happen versus what God wants/desires to
happen?

The fall of Adam and Eve is a pivotal event in human existence.  It is huge.  Without it, we wouldn't need a Savior.  Without it we might be "happy" in the sense of contentment in that we would have the things we need to survive, but without it there would be no true understanding of joy. 

If this is simply a difference between what God "allows" and what he "desires", then why did God:

  • Foreordain Jesus to be our Savior, the "Lamb slain", before the foundation of the world? (Rev 13:8, 1 Peter 1:19-20, 2 Tim 1:9)
  • Put the tree of knowledge of good and evil right in the middle of the garden and tell Adam not to eat it?  (Gen 2:9, 17).  (Every parent knows that you don't put the very thing you don't want your children to do right in the middle of their environment and tell them, "don't touch it".  It doesn't take omniscience to know how that's going to turn out!)
  • Cast Satan to earth and permit Satan to tempt Adam and Eve?  Again, the outcome seems obvious.

This seems more like a plan than a mistake that God allowed to happen.

So why was it in God's plan?   That's the real question you should be asking.

Edited by InCognitus
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You are allowing theological preconceptions to determine your interpretation, Jim, instead of allowing the text to speak for itself.

@theplainsalso seems to be assuming that married childless couples who deeply want children simply don't know what it means or how to do it.

Link to post
3 hours ago, theplains said:

I believe the fall was allowed in God's permitted will. But I don't believe it was his desired
will.

What was God's desired will for the Redeemer who was foreordained before the foundation of the world?

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
On 3/20/2021 at 9:53 AM, theplains said:

Were these people who shouted already gods?

That would depend on which definition of god we chose to use, I think.   You and I were 2 of those people.  Does being the same kind of being as our Father in heaven suffice as a good definition of god to you?

Link to post
On 3/20/2021 at 9:55 AM, theplains said:

In the premortal life with God in heaven (as taught by the LDS Church), did the spirit children 
experience misery before they knew what joy was?

I don't remember.  Most of that is just a blur to me now.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
On 3/20/2021 at 10:58 AM, theplains said:

I believe the fall was allowed in God's permitted will. But I don't believe it was his desired
will.

The fall was the plan all along in Mormon theology.  It was supposed to happen, always going to happen.  God knew that, and after the Fall Adam and Eve knew that.
And there is plenty of evidence to show that.

Edited by JLHPROF
Link to post
9 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The fall was the plan all along in Mormon theology.  It was supposed to happen, always going to happen.  God knew that, and after the Fall Adam and Eve knew that.
And there is plenty of evidence to show that.

Does this mean Lucifer did not have free will?

Link to post
11 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Does this mean Lucifer did not have free will?

Of course he did.

But our theology also teaches us that he was doing what was done in all other creations.  Therefore, the plan.
And scripture tells us that "Moses 4:6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world."

He apparently didn't know God's plan when he tempted Eve.  We've always assumed only Adam and Eve had the veil over their eyes.  Perhaps Lucifer also was ignorant of premortality.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...