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Why Satan had access to the Garden of Eden


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12 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't disagree with any of this.  I don't believe like Obeone that Adam and eve could/would have lived in a terrestrial or paradisiacal world had they obeyed the first two commandments.  I think any transgression of God's law would have induced spiritual/physical death and a fall from paradise into a telestial-style mortal world.  I think this is how it unfolded in all worlds.  I just don't think that they all fell through partaking of the fruit.  I don't think that was predestined or even inevitable that they fall in that manner.  

The problem with popular interpretation is that there is an element of impossibility in fulfilling God's law as commanded.  They didn't have true agency to fulfill God's law as commanded.  They HAD TO fall one way or another.  There was no choice in it.  This goes beyond what is inventible to what is destined to be.  Without a way, and therefor full agency to "accomplish the things which the Lord hath commanded", they were pre-destined to fall.  That is a fatal flaw in this interpretation for me. It is contrary to doctrine. 

I agree that a fall was inevitable for all the reasons I mentioned above - given the commandments in the gospel, and given that they were fallible humans, they were deceivable, and given a deceiver in their midst, and given enough time (and they had all eternity) they would inevitably be beguiled one way or another - but not pre-destined as the Lord always provides a way and agency to fulfill his commands.  

This gets back to the difference between laws and rules, the kinds of commands issued and the kingdoms, estates and people involved. Adam and Eve and Nephi were “worlds apart” on innumerable counts, but had these two principles in common: One is that God allowed them to choose for themselves and the other is D&C 124:49.

“Preparing a way” to keep both the commandment and the prohibition did not apply as we usually conceptualize it in Eden because the commandment was designed for life in fallen and exalted worlds and the prohibition was for life in Eden. The plan called for Eden to serve as a gateway from the first estate into the second, and from the paradise kingdom into the others. It was the way prepared back in the first estate. By coming into Eden, Adam and Eve accomplished what the Lord had commanded and which they had agreed to do (including the inevitable) while in their first estate, but which they had forgotten in Eden in their second estate. Then the principle of “preparing a way” resumed in the way we commonly take it to mean in the fallen world.

D&C 124: 49 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their adiligence, and their enemies come upon them and bhinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to crequire that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.

Edited by CV75
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22 minutes ago, CV75 said:

This gets back to the difference between laws and rules, the kinds of commands issued and the kingdoms, estates and people involved. Adam and Eve and Nephi were “worlds apart” on innumerable counts, but had these two principles in common: One is that God allowed them to choose for themselves and the other is D&C 124:49.

“Preparing a way” to keep both the commandment and the prohibition did not apply as we usually conceptualize it in Eden because the commandment was designed for life in fallen and exalted worlds and the prohibition was for life in Eden. The plan called for Eden to serve as a gateway from the first estate into the second, and from the paradise kingdom into the others. It was the way prepared back in the first estate. By coming into Eden, Adam and Eve accomplished what the Lord had commanded and which they had agreed to do (including the inevitable) in their first estate, but which they had forgotten in Eden in their second estate. Then the principle of “preparing a way” resumed in the way we commonly take it to mean in the fallen world.

D&C 124: 49 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their adiligence, and their enemies come upon them and bhinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to crequire that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.

I’m not sure what you are trying to say here.  It sounds like you are saying that God commanded Adam and Eve in the first estate to do what he commanded them not to do in the second estate. That just seems like you are compounding the contradiction is all.   However you look at it, it was impossible for them to fulfill Gods commands as laid out in scripture and the temple, not because an “enemy came upon them and hindered them” but because God made it impossible.   According to your explanation above the enemy didn’t hinder them at all, quite the contrary according to your explanation above.  There is no way out of God making it impossible to fulfill all of his commands - thus removing true agency to obey all of his commands . I can’t buy that. 

Edited by pogi
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5 hours ago, pogi said:

I’m not sure what you are trying to say here.  It sounds like you are saying that God commanded Adam and Eve in the first estate to do what he commanded them not to do in the second estate. That just seems like you are compounding the contradiction is all.   However you look at it, it was impossible for them to fulfill Gods commands as laid out in scripture and the temple, not because an “enemy came upon them and hindered them” but because God made it impossible.   According to your explanation above the enemy didn’t hinder them at all, quite the contrary according to your explanation above.  There is no way out of God making it impossible to fulfill all of his commands - thus removing true agency to obey all of his commands . I can’t buy that. 

Here is what I am trying to say: The Lord set forth the plan for us to ultimately multiply and replenish the earth and gain a full knowledge of good and evil. It was presented in the first estate and we agreed to it as spirits. The plan rolls out in the second and third estates in various ways suitable for our development in relation to Him.

In Eden (second estate, immortal paradise), the prohibition against eating the forbidden fruit was something Adam and Eve could choose to observe for as long as they wanted. They had the intelligence to do that much. On the other hand, they could not multiply and replenish the earth whenever they wanted. They did not have that intelligence.

So, Adam and Eve voluntarily chose to observe the prohibition until the enemy hindered them by beguiling Eve. They fell and began developing a knowledge of good and evil from there on out. At the same time, their access to the tree of life was rescinded and the prohibition against their partaking of it, unlike their access to the forbidden fruit, was forcibly imposed and absolute. They could only go as far as to multiply and replenish the earth on a telestial level, and their posterity likewise, their varying levels of knowledge of good and evil ranging anywhere from instinct to covenant.

Their inability to procreate and their ability to break the prohibition matched up perfectly with their level of intelligence. This shows that Eden and the Fall were steps, given our level of intelligence and development, in which the Lord provided a way to keep all the commandments, eventually, over the long term.

In the fallen world (second estate, mortal telestial world), Adam and Eve have the knowledge of good and evil along with the ability to procreate. The Lord provides a way for them and their posterity to keep all the commandments, and revokes any commandments that are no longer required, including those hindered by the enemy. Thus, providing a way can come in the way that Nephi expressed, or revoked as in D&C 124, or offered by way of post-mortal preaching and acceptance of the Gospel.

The third estate (resurrection) is at its fullest in exaltation where we both obtain a full knowledge of good and evil and multiply and replenish the earth. The enemy no longer hinders us. The means to that end, the entire rollout of the plan of salvation over time, is how the Lord provides a way to keep these commandments.

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1 hour ago, Obehave said:

I don't understand your reasoning in correspondence to my question.  Please rephrase or try to further clarify your response to my question.  Why would anyone think it was good to do what God forbid them to do?

I'll also rephrase my question to help you see what I wonder about from another perspective.  Do you think it was good for God to forbid Adam and Eve to eat fruit from that particular tree? If so, why was it good for God to forbid them to do that?

In my perspective, if it was good for God to forbid Adam and Eve to eat from that tree, then that would also mean it would not be good for them to eat from it.  How could it possibly be both good AND evil to eat from that particular tree?

Oh.  Wait.  Nevermind.  I think I understand now.  I'll leave my train of thought in print here now anyway though just in case this train may help somebody else to see what I now see.

It all depends. For example, it was good from the 30,000 foot level for Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit because it aligned with what the plan called for, and which they agreed to, before the veil of forgetfulness.

Once the passed this veil and entered Eden, it was good for God to forbid them to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil according to their understanding and choice. It was good that they had the option to eat of it, unlike not having a choice to eat of the tree of life after the fall. The idea is not that it is both good and evil to eat of that particular tree, or that it was either good or evil, to not eat or eat of the tree since Adam and Eve had no moral sense or agency one way or the other at the time. The idea is that a knowledge of good and evil is a good thing to have in mortality with an eye toward exaltation, and in exaltation with an eye toward all knowledge and eternal increase.

Edited by CV75
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On 6/14/2022 at 5:57 AM, Metis_LDS said:

Please be sure that I do NOT have the complete answer to this question.

I believe that it was not a mishap or accident that Satan got into the Garden.

I believe that God knowing Satan was vain made it difficult but not impossible to access the Garden of Eden.

I feel strongly that the cursing of Satan in the Garden is what explains why he was let in.

I know persons on this board that are more clever and better writers than myself and I hope for their

help in understanding why God let Satan into the Garden.

We are at the point of view of history and religious thought thousands of years from when passages were initially thought, believed, and preserved. What we know or think we know about the Garden of Eden story is a mix and match and full of add-ons (warranted and unwarranted, who am I to say) beyond what is there.

For example, if you take the OT story as we have it in King James Genesis, Satan is NOT there. The serpent is there. To say that the serpent is Satan is an add-on. (Again--warranted? unwarranted? I think a NT add-on.)

Also the idea that Satan is the lord of evil is not a Hebrew idea, but a Greek-informed one, when we started mashing Hades (lord of the underworld) and essentiality of evil (see Greek thinker Plotinus and others--later Greek philosophy that coincided with the establishment and cultivation of Christianity was convinced of absolute essences like evil and good) in with old testament stories.

For ancient Hebrews, Satan, or the Accuser, is a servant of God. He is always doing God's work. And to say Accuser is not so much a tempter (again--that is later Christianity) but the one who administers the test. That's like calling the LSAT proctor the devil incarnate. (Oh, wait.) The LSAT is the test, yes, but the test to greater gifts and a gate to another world. Metaphor earth life/eternal life.

To come to earth to receive challenges and the treasure from them IS God's work and Satan actually embodies that great work, so that work is very sacred. To say 'opposition' is not to say 'evil'. These are different things.

I am not advancing these things as LDS but I think this is what the original OT is going for when Satan is brought up. Later writings (Christianity and then Joseph Smith's movement) continued to engage with the material and ended up in a different place.

So as you will.

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@pogi, @Obehave

I literally stumbled upon this in a similar thread on the Third Hour site: https://rsc.byu.edu/ascending-mountain-lord/tree-knowledge-veil-sanctuary

I agree with Nibley, but I would say that "legitimately" in footnote 62 could refer to Adam and Eve's entirely, independent, unincited volition (and not necessarily of the Lord Himself when He saw fit to give it to them, since He already gave them access to partake by telling them it was for them to choose), rather than a usurping serpent hindering their obedience to the prohibition with his enticements.

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17 hours ago, CV75 said:

@pogi, @Obehave

I literally stumbled upon this in a similar thread on the Third Hour site: https://rsc.byu.edu/ascending-mountain-lord/tree-knowledge-veil-sanctuary

I agree with Nibley, but I would say that "legitimately" in footnote 62 could refer to Adam and Eve's entirely, independent, unincited volition (and not necessarily of the Lord Himself when He saw fit to give it to them, since He already gave them access to partake by telling them it was for them to choose), rather than a usurping serpent hindering their obedience to the prohibition with his enticements.

That article has some really good supportive information to my theory.  I especially appreciated the information on the "sacred center"

Quote

 

One thing that has always perplexed readers of Genesis is the location of the two special trees within the Garden of Eden. Although scripture initially applies the phrase “in the midst” only to the tree of life (Genesis 2:9), the tree of knowledge is later said by Eve to be located there too (see Genesis 3:3). [1] In the context of these verses, the Hebrew phrase corresponding to “in the midst” literally means “in the center.” [2] How can both trees be in the center?

Two Intertwined TreesFig. 1. Intertwined Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge in the Center of a Mountainous Garden of Eden Setting. From Lutwin, How the Devil Deceived Eve (detail), early fourteenth century.

Elaborate explanations have been attempted to describe how both the tree of life and the tree of knowledge could share the center of the Garden of Eden. [3] For example, it has been suggested that these two trees were in reality different aspects of a single tree, that they shared a common trunk, or that they were somehow intertwined, as shown in figure 1.

 

This makes so much sense when we consider the intertwined oneness of the Father and the Son - both residing in the sacred center of the garden.   The article concludes that the tree represents the veil of the temple.  Perhaps in layered symbolism that could be the case.  The veil of the temple itself can represent Jesus Christ:

Quote

We “enter into the holiest by the blood of Christ.” We effectively pass through Christ’s broken body, as the lamp of the Lord passed through the severed sacrificial creatures, and back into God’s presence. The Atonement is the pain-drenched portal through which alone access is to be found. And in the author’s final invocation of symbolism, he directs our minds to the image of the temple veil, which becomes the physical counterpart to the body of Christ, through which we pass into the holiest place. The writer of the letter says this explicitly: The “new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us” is “through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”3

https://www.ldsliving.com/what-the-temple-veil-symbolizes-how-it-relates-to-the-atonement/s/90938

The article further acknowledges that the fruit was intended to be given by God himself. 

Quote

 

There is no question that the knowledge itself was good. However, some kinds of knowledge are reserved to be revealed by the Father himself “in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will” (D&C 88:68). As the Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. . . .

Hugh Nibley succinctly summed up the situation: “Satan disobeyed orders when he revealed certain secrets to Adam and Eve, not because they were not known and done in other worlds, but because he was not authorized in that time and place to convey them.” [61] Although Satan had “given the fruit to Adam and Eve, it was not his prerogative to do so—regardless of what had been done in other worlds. (When the time comes for such fruit, it will be given us legitimately.)” [62]

 

It all aligns so perfectly.  The serpent itself is a symbol of Jesus Christ.  The tree and the fruit represented the Savior, and Lucifer was attempting to deceive them into taking the place of God in appearing as a symbol of the Savior. 

Unless I am misunderstanding him, Hugh Nibley seems to agree with me that the fruit would have been given to them "legitimately" and was intended to be revealed by God himself.  

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17 hours ago, CV75 said:

@pogi, @Obehave

I agree with Nibley, but I would say that "legitimately" in footnote 62 could refer to Adam and Eve's entirely, independent, unincited volition (and not necessarily of the Lord Himself when He saw fit to give it to them, since He already gave them access to partake by telling them it was for them to choose), rather than a usurping serpent hindering their obedience to the prohibition with his enticements.

I disagree with this.  You are suggesting that Adam and Eve did partake of the fruit legitimately because the Lord told them that they could "choose".  Giving them a choice is not the same as giving them permission.   After explaining to them that they had agency to choose wrong or right (partake partake of the fruit or not), he made it beyond clear - "but remember that I forbid it".  Giving them a choice was not giving them permission.  I don't think that is what Hugh Nibley was suggesting either. 

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5 hours ago, pogi said:

I disagree with this.  You are suggesting that Adam and Eve did partake of the fruit legitimately because the Lord told them that they could "choose".  Giving them a choice is not the same as giving them permission.   After explaining to them that they had agency to choose wrong or right (partake partake of the fruit or not), he made it beyond clear - "but remember that I forbid it".  Giving them a choice was not giving them permission.  I don't think that is what Hugh Nibley was suggesting either. 

Yes, but the way in which something is forbidden is important. EDITED TO CORRECT LINK: https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/74598-why-satan-had-access-to-the-garden-of-eden/?do=findComment&comment=1210100195 That is the post in which I tried to clarify what I was trying to say since you did not seem to understand.

I did not intend the article to sidetrack from that. I just found it interesting but while there may be consistent imagery and principle using the temple as a template for other things, the meaning of the imagery and principles in different estates and kingdoms, and for different intelligences, can change accordingly. The article only partially recognizes and applies that. For example, we have the first estate of spirits, but then the second estate of connected spirit and element, in a variety of kingdoms: paradise/Eden, the fallen world, and Zion above/Millennium, and then the third estate, the resurrection with innumerable kingdoms of glory. The highest of these is exaltation, where we multiply and replenish the earth eternally and possess a fullness of knowledge of good and evil.

So to your point about legitimacy, there was no cherubim and flaming sword in the way of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In the first estate, the plan was to give us eternal life after mortality, the knowledge of good and evil upon entering mortality, and our use of that knowledge determining our immortal glory. This is where the legitimacy to partake of the forbidden fruit in Eden came from. The illegitimacy of partaking eternal life by those yet unproven in mortality was absolutely enforced by imposing zero access in mortality. Relatively speaking, partaking of the forbidden fruit was more legitimate in Eden than partaking of the tree of life in mortality. The preparation of the atonement of Christ before the foundation of the world allows the forbidding in Eden and the inviting in mortality to occur in different ways for different purposes, all legitimate.

Edited by CV75
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13 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Yes, but the way in which something is forbidden is important. Posted yesterday at 03:55 PM  That is the post in which I tried to clarify what I was rying to say since you did not seem to understand.

I did not intend the article to sidetrack from that. I just found it interesting but while there may be consistent imagery and principle using the temple as a template for other things, the meaning of the imagery and principles in different estates and kingdoms, and for different intelligences, can change accordingly. For example, we have the first estate of spirits, but then the second estate of connected spirit and element, in a variety of kingdoms: paradise/Eden, the fallen world, and Zion above/Millennium, and then the third estate, the resurrection with innumerable kingdoms of glory. The highest of these is exaltation, where we multiply and replenish the earth eternally and possess a fullness of knowledge of good and evil.

So to your point about legitimacy, there was no cherubim and flaming sword in the way of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In the first estate, the plan was to give us eternal life after mortality, the knowledge of good and evil upon entering mortality, and our use of that knowledge determining our immortal glory. This is where the legitimacy to partake of the forbidden fruit in Eden came from. The illegitimacy of partaking eternal life by those yet unproven in mortality was absolutely enforced by imposing zero access in mortality. Relatively speaking, partaking of the forbidden fruit was more legitimate in Eden than partaking of the tree of life in mortality. The preparation of the atonement of Christ before the foundation of the world allows the forbidding in Eden and the inviting in mortality to occur in different ways for different purposes, all legitimate.

Just curious, what is your resistance to the idea that the fruit would have eventually been offered to them by the Lord after they were prepared, as Hugh Nibley seems to agree with?

There is no cherubim and a flaming sword preventing me from murdering anyone, that doesn’t make it any more “legitimate” to murder.  

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37 minutes ago, pogi said:

Just curious, what is your resistance to the idea that the fruit would have eventually been offered to them by the Lord after they were prepared, as Hugh Nibley seems to agree with?

There is no cherubim and a flaming sword preventing me from murdering anyone, that doesn’t make it any more “legitimate” to murder.  

I have no resistance to it. But Nibley observed that decades ago, and there is room to build greater understanding. I am extrapolating from the idea that we are so far beneath Christ and His heavenly peers intelligence-wise, and the model I'm sharing emphasizes that in Adam and Eve not being able to do anything but "live down" to a telestial level of life, even when placed in paradise and given, on the surface, fairly straightforward rules and commandments. Not much different than what we see the children of the kingdom do in everyday life today if they are not watchful. Adam and Eve did not have the knowledge to be watchful.

Adam and Eve were not given the ten commandments in the garden; that is one difference between them and you/me. This gets to the idea of my post which I think explains this more thoroughly [ https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/74598-why-satan-had-access-to-the-garden-of-eden/?do=findComment&comment=1210100195 ], and which was touched upon, but not thoroughly enough in my opinion, in the article.

PS: I miscopied this link in my previous post -- sorry for the confusion! I just edited it.

 

Edited by CV75
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44 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Adam and Eve were not given the ten commandments in the garden; that is one difference between them and you/me.

They were promised further instruction though.  There is no reason to believe that they would not have received further commandments/instructions preparatory to, or as a covenant with the partaking of the fruit. 

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20 minutes ago, pogi said:

They were promised further instruction though.  There is no reason to believe that they would not have received further commandments/instructions preparatory to, or as a covenant with the partaking of the fruit. 

That is as fine a thing to believe as any other. I was addressing how our commandments today are different from theirs in the garden, which gets to the points in the previously linked post where I tried to clarify but which you haven't acknowledged or addressed directly.

What further commandments and instructions might have been given that would not have coached or engaged them in partaking the no-longer-forbidden fruit? My take is that there is a lot of knowledge other than that between good and evil, such as some factual points about where they came from, the variety of kingdoms in existence, how they participate in getting materials and beings to other new paradisaical or mortal worlds, develop artistic talents, etc. Things that might have stretched the limits of their intelligence to the point of living up their predisposed proclivity to fall.

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4 hours ago, CV75 said:

That is as fine a thing to believe as any other. I was addressing how our commandments today are different from theirs in the garden, which gets to the points in the previously linked post where I tried to clarify but which you haven't acknowledged or addressed directly.

With respect, I haven't addressed it because I don't understand the logic.  I doesn't make sense to me that while in the first estate the Lord would command them to partake of the fruit when they arrive in the second estate, but when they actually arrive in the second estate that he would then forbid it.  I also don't agree that giving them a choice is the same as giving them permission.  I don't see how cherubim and a flaming sword (or lack thereof) makes it any less forbidden or a more legitimate choice.   To forbid it while fully expecting them to partake as they promised that they would do in the first estate - it all feels too convoluted to me.  The simpler answer and the one which aligns more with my understanding of gospel principles is that they were being prepared to partake of it.  

Edited by pogi
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10 hours ago, pogi said:

With respect, I haven't addressed it because I don't understand the logic.  I doesn't make sense to me that while in the first estate the Lord would command them to partake of the fruit when they arrive in the second estate, but when they actually arrive in the second estate that he would then forbid it.  I also don't agree that giving them a choice is the same as giving them permission.  I don't see how cherubim and a flaming sword (or lack thereof) makes it any less forbidden or a more legitimate choice.   To forbid it while fully expecting them to partake as they promised that they would do in the first estate - it all feels too convoluted to me.  The simpler answer and the one which aligns more with my understanding of gospel principles is that they were being prepared to partake of it.  

While in the first estate we all knew we could only act with our limited intelligence and that we would fall to a telestial estate even though we were placed in Eden. We all knew we would partake of the fruit when they arrive in the second estate, so when Adam and Eve actually arrive in the second estate, where telestial life is forbidden (thus the stated rule), they would partake.

They had a choice to partake of the tree of life while they were in Eden, and did, and then suddenly they were prevented from acting on this choice. They had a choice to partake of the forbidden fruit while they were in Eden, were permitted to do so, and eventually the did and continued to. “Permission” is semantic – they were no longer permitted to partake of the tree of life, while they were permitted to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil all along.

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51 minutes ago, Obehave said:

My idea now is that it was both good and evil to eat from the tree which God set apart as the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  It was both a good choice and an evil choice to eat from that tree because eating from it gave them knowledge of both good and evil.  And gaining knowledge of what is evil is never a good thing in and of itself because knowledge of evil is specifically about only what is evil, even though knowledge of what is good can sometimes be derived by knowing about opposites and opposition.

I also have another idea now to explain why our Father told Adam and Eve to not eat any fruit from that particular tree.  I had previously wondered why he would do that if what he really wanted was for them to eat from that tree.  If that was what he wanted, why forbit it?  I now understand why, I believe. I think he said No because he knew Satan would say the opposite, and because he (our Father) wanted them to have that choice.  If our Father had said Yes and Satan also said Yes then there would be no choice.

An alternate way of looking at this is, if they did not know good and evil until after partaking of it, how could partaking of it be an “evil” act or refraining from partaking of it be “good” act in the first place?

Partaking of it, for me, is more a reflection of their inability to maintain a paradisaical-level lifestyle with telestial-level intelligence and celestial-level sinlessness. The Lord forbade it (as in, to keep their current existence, don’t eat it), and while they assented to this, they couldn’t pull it off. The serpent beguiled them, not knowing the mind of God (given their intelligence and the veil, they didn’t fully know the mind of God either, let alone possess a knowledge of good and evil).

Semantics allow us to express these concepts of good and evil according to the various circumstances and conditions we face in terms of the principles of agency and accountability.

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22 minutes ago, Obehave said:

In my perspective, the act itself was both good and evil because of what resulted from that act. 

1) They didn't know good and evil and were told something about a particular tree 

2) They were told by one person that they should not eat from that tree, and then they were told by another person that they should eat from that tree.  At that time they then had 2 conflicting choices 

3) They chose to eat from that tree in response to the person who told them they should eat from it.  At that time they then showed their preference to who they would rather listen to and obey. 

This choice was a function of their innocence and intelligence, so I see it more as a tendency or urge to appreciate the finer things (according to Eve’s thought process, she saw it was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and conducive to wisdom) than a greater liking for the serpent over God, or for life in a fallen world over paradise.

22 minutes ago, Obehave said:

I see nothing to indicate they had an inability to maintain their current lifestyle involving not eating from that tree.  They chose their own fate at the cost of doing what our Father told them they should not do.

The only indicator I see for lacking the personal wherewithal to maintain a paradisaical lifestyle is their relatively low intelligence in relation to Christ and their innocent vulnerability to the wiles of the serpent.

22 minutes ago, Obehave said:

Yes.  I agree.  And do you now see why our Father forbid them to eat from that tree?  He knew what Satan would say and that Satan would not want to agree with our Father so our Father said what he needed to say to give them a conflicting choice.

I understand how you see it, but I don’t think there was a battle of reverse psychology going on between the Lord and the serpent. The Lord, I believe was acting straightforwardly all along. He forbade their partaking of the tree as a condition of remaining in their paradisaical state, knowing that they would eventually choose otherwise (and without the veil, they knew it too and agreed to come to Eden anyway). I almost said, “He forbade their partaking of the tree as a condition of remaining immortal” but that is an oxymoron of sorts since if there are conditions on your mortality, you are not really immortal.

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2 hours ago, Obehave said:

Unless maybe they could have obtained knowledge of good and evil in some way other than by eating fruit from that particular tree.  And I believe there was some other way to obtain that type of knowledge because that doesn't grow on trees, anyway.

Are you absolutely and positively stuck on the idea that the only way for Adam and Eve (or us) to gain knowledge of good and evil was to eat fruit from that particular tree?  What about the idea that God could have told them what was good, with no trees? 

The only way that we gain knowledge of good and evil is via the Spirit of Christ - the light of Christ.  Do you agree with that?

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6 hours ago, CV75 said:

While in the first estate we all knew we could only act with our limited intelligence and that we would fall to a telestial estate even though we were placed in Eden. We all knew we would partake of the fruit when they arrive in the second estate, so when Adam and Eve actually arrive in the second estate, where telestial life is forbidden (thus the stated rule), they would partake.

They had a choice to partake of the tree of life while they were in Eden, and did, and then suddenly they were prevented from acting on this choice. They had a choice to partake of the forbidden fruit while they were in Eden, were permitted to do so, and eventually the did and continued to. “Permission” is semantic – they were no longer permitted to partake of the tree of life, while they were permitted to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil all along.

This doesn't resolve any of the issues I have with this theory.  We are going to have to agree to disagree. Take care. 

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35 minutes ago, Obehave said:

No I don't agree with that, unless maybe you think the light of Christ is equal to or given at the same time as the power of the Holy Ghost (which men and women can sometimes speak with as well as ministering angels) and the word of God, himself.

 

 

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The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience.

The Light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” It is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:12–13; see also Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–11). This power is an influence for good in the lives of all people (see John 1:9; Doctrine and Covenants 93:2). In the scriptures, the Light of Christ is sometimes called the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Life.

The Light of Christ should not be confused with the Holy Ghost. It is not a personage, as the Holy Ghost is. Its influence leads people to find the true gospel, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see John 12:46; Alma 26:14–15).

Conscience is a manifestation of the Light of Christ, enabling us to judge good from evil. The prophet Mormon taught: “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. … And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged” (Moroni 7:16, 18).

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/light-of-christ?lang=eng

 

What Adam and Eve received that day is a conscience - which is a "manifestation of the Light of Christ"

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Moroni 7:

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore,

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

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“He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death” (Hel. 14:30–31).

Note that it is God which gives us this type of knowledge.  

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And the light which shineth…is through him who enlighteneth your eyes and quickened your understanding D&C 88:11

The light of Christ is the word of God which governs all things and fills all space and is the power by which all things were created. 

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“For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

“And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.” (D&C 84:45–46.)

 

The Holly Ghost's primary role is to point us to that light or "truth" and testify of Christ but also to sanctify/purify by fire.  The Holly Ghost is a tool which refines our ability to access the light of Christ - which is the source of truth.

Adam and Eve didn't have the gift of the Holy Ghost at the time anyway, it couldn't have been the Holy Ghost which they were endowed with.  No, they were given a conscience aka light of Christ.

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 Do we even agree that knowledge of good and evil doesn't grow as actual, literal fruit from actual, literal trees?  

Of course it doesn't.  Neither is it consumed in bread and water/wine.  These are symbols and representations as part of covenants.  The tree simply represented these things, but it is also the means by which the gift was intended to be endowed - just like happens with bread and water every Sunday.  

Edited by pogi
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23 minutes ago, Obehave said:

I'm not so sure Adam and Eve didn't have a conscience until after they ate some fruit from that tree.  I believe our conscience helps us to know what is good and evil and I think they could have possibly used it or ignored it when making the choice they made.

There is a reason why temptations are enticing to us and it isn't necessarily because we don't know what is good or evil.  Sometimes we just want what we want even when we know we have been told we should not have what we want.


How could they have a moral conscience without knowledge of good and evil?

Without knowledge of good from evil, there is no moral conscience.  That is why their violation was a “transgression” rather than a sin.  They were ignorant of good and evil.  No conscience.

 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

This doesn't resolve any of the issues I have with this theory.  We are going to have to agree to disagree. Take care. 

OK but just one more thing :D

As I understand it, your issue is that God doesn’t give any commandments without a way to keep them, until He rescinds them. So, you believe He expected and provided a way for Adam and Eve to refrain from partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil until He was ready to rescind that prohibition. Likewise, He expected Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth, but did not provide a way for them to do that until He rescinded the prohibition.

The first commandment seems to be in the form of a blessing, promise or invitation with no consequence like death for not fulfilling it. The second is in the form of a warning with death as the consequence. But if all commandments are created and issued equally, it appears then that the Lord withheld a way to keep the first commandment until He rescinded the second commandment, and there was no explicit punishment for not multiplying and replenishing the earth, suggesting a temporary hold or rescinding of that command.

I see a contradiction in both propositions, which is why I’m thinking in terms of intelligence and His expectations for them, and how the nuanced structuring of these commandments honors their agency and capacity to carry out the plan. The first contradiction is that there were sometimes ways provided to keep the commandments and sometimes not, and sometimes there were and would be rescissions to the commandments and sometimes not, and not in equal measure.

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20 minutes ago, CV75 said:

OK but just one more thing :D

As I understand it, your issue is that God doesn’t give any commandments without a way to keep them, until He rescinds them. So, you believe He expected and provided a way for Adam and Eve to refrain from partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil until He was ready to rescind that prohibition. Likewise, He expected Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth, but did not provide a way for them to do that until He rescinded the prohibition.

The first commandment seems to be in the form of a blessing, promise or invitation with no consequence like death for not fulfilling it. The second is in the form of a warning with death as the consequence. But if all commandments are created and issued equally, it appears then that the Lord withheld a way to keep the first commandment until He rescinded the second commandment, and there was no explicit punishment for not multiplying and replenishing the earth, suggesting a temporary hold or rescinding of that command.

I see a contradiction in both propositions, which is why I’m thinking in terms of intelligence and His expectations for them, and how the nuanced structuring of these commandments honors their agency and capacity to carry out the plan. The first contradiction is that there were sometimes ways provided to keep the commandments and sometimes not, and sometimes there were and would be rescissions to the commandments and sometimes not, and not in equal measure.

I don’t see a contradiction in having them wait.  The command to multiply is still in effect today for us all, yet unprepared children are expected to wait to fulfill it.  It is the same with the command to be baptized, and probably several others.  
There was no contradiction which obedience wouldn’t have absolved by revealing a way as they waited patiently on the Lord.   In response to how they would obey both, all they had to do was say “I know not save the Lord commanded me”, and a way would have been revealed.

I just don't see it that way.

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, Obehave said:

How do you suppose they gained the light of Christ by eating from that tree?  Do you think God was watching or aware of when they would eat it and then at the very moment when they ate it God just turned the light on? How do you think God turned it on?

I believe the act of eating fruit from that tree may have acted as a catalyst for God knowing when to turn that light on, but I also believe Adam and Eve had a conscience even if or when they did not know the difference between good and evil.

I believe everything God says is always good even if some other people don't know that much about what God might or would say.  And I believe everything Satan says is evil when taken in the context of what he is saying, even when some truth is in it. 

So when did Adam and Eve know what God and Satan had said?  When did they gain knowledge of what each of them had told them? Good vs evil. Was the light of Christ just not on for them at that time?  They heard from both without seeing good or evil?

What do you think their conscience would have told them if they did have a conscience after hearing what God and Satan had told them?  Eat that fruit, or don't eat it?  What was it God said?  And yet they still did what Satan told them to do, anyway.

 

I think that comparing God's "decisions" and how he carries them out to flipping a light switch is ..... um.... inadequate 

Can worms understand quantum mechanics?

The theory says they decided against Satan's plan in the pre-existence

You know, these stories are probably parables right?

How does Satan crawl on his belly?

Maybe that would make him easy to notice?

"If a guy comes to you crawling like a snake on his belly, don't listen to him"

Problem of good vs evil instantly solved

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I don’t see a contradiction in having them wait.  The command to multiply is still in effect today for us all, yet unprepared children are expected to wait to fulfill it.  It is the same with the command to be baptized, and probably several others.  
There was no contradiction which obedience wouldn’t have absolved by revealing a way as they waited patiently on the Lord.   In response to how they would obey both, all they had to do was say “I know not save the Lord commanded me”, and a way would have been revealed.

I just don't see it that way.

The contradictions aren’t in allowing them to wait, but against the absolute that the Lord always provides a way to keep His commandments. If the qualifier is that the Lord always provides a way to keep His commandments according to His timing, His timing, as you pointed out, is contingent upon our readiness, capacity and accountability, just as with Adam and Eve. Then people can exercise agency to obey or not.

This contradiction extends to the spiritual position of, “I know not save the Lord commanded me.” Adam only attained that self-awareness (which turns out to be of his lack of knowledge and incipient faith) until after the Fall, and the Lord didn’t time the question until after the Fall, when Adam was ready. Before that, Adam and Eve could only parrot the prohibition and the consequence of breaking it, saying in effect, “But the Lord commanded me.” (Moses 4:9, Genesis 3:3).

I don't think Adam and Eve could or were expected to display patience or any other learned godly virtue that comes by way of knowledge of good and evil.

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