Notes & Quotes From Lesson 4
Moses 4; 5:1-15; 6:48-62
- The fall of Adam and Eve and its effects.
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ saves us from physical and spiritual
- Adam and Eve begin life as mortals.
The fall was a necessary part of Heavenly Father's plan to bring to
pass our immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39).
The Fall Of Adam & Eve and Its Effects On Them and
After being placed in the garden, Adam and Eve were given two important
- "And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful,
and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it" (Moses 2:28).
- "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt
not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is
given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest
thereof thou shalt surely die." (Moses 3:17)
As long as Adam and Eve did not partake of the forbidden fruit, they
would remain in the garden. But they were left with a dilemma. They could
not fulfill the commandment to "multiply and replenish the earth"
without breaking the commandment not to partake of the forbidden fruit.
The Account of the Fall:
- READ MOSES 4:6-12. Adam and Eve partake of the forbidden fruit.
- One would think that Satan would not be assisting the Father in the
accomplishment of his eternal purposes.
In v9 Eve told Satan that if they were to partake of the fruit, they
should die. In v10 "the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not
surely die." In a sense, Satan was correct.
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "Lucifer did not know all the purposes
of the Father as we learn from the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:6. Therefore
the Lord used Satan's evil acts to accomplish his own purposes."
(Doctrines of Salvation 2:225)
Moses 4:13-31: Consequences of the fall.
- John A. Widtsoe: "One thing must be kept in mind: The fall
was not a sin in the usually accepted sense of that word. It was a necessary
act in a series of acts by which ultimately all men will win an eternal
possession of their earth-bodies. In the gospel sense, the fall of Adam
brought life, not death, into man's eternal existence." (Evidences
& Reconciliations, pp73-74)
- V13: After partaking of the fruit, Adam and Eve discovered that they
were naked. With that discovery, they made "aprons" of fig leaves.
- V14: While walking in the garden, they heard the voice of God and hid
themselves in the trees.
- V15-18: The Lord calls to Adam. Adam said that he had partaken of the
fruit of the tree that had been given to him by Eve.
- V19: Eve confesses to have partaken of the fruit after having been
tempted by the serpent.
- V20-25: The Lord tells the serpent, Eve, and Adam the consequences
of their transgression.
- READ MOSES 4:28-31: Adam and Eve to be sent out of the garden.
The Effects of the Fall
As we discuss the effects of the fall upon the
human family it is significant to note that, unlike traditional Christian
teachings, these results are positive. It is all part of the eternal plan
to help us achieve our ultimate destiny.
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE FALL FOR ADAM AND EVE AND FOR US?
- Adam and Eve were able to have children, thus opening the door for
us to come to the earth and receive mortal bodies.
We experience physical death, or separation of the physical body from
- "Because that Adam fell, we are" (Moses 6:48).
- "And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying:
Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed"
- "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might
have joy" (2 Ne. 2:25).
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Except for the fall, the earth would not
be peopled; we would still be in the pre-existence living as spirits, and
that agency and those trials we now possess would not be. There would be
no redemption from death, no immortality, no eternal life, no salvation
of any sort. The purposes of God would thus be frustrated and come to naught."
(A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p85)
We experience spiritual death, or separation from God's presence.
- "Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death"
- James E. Talmage: "Here let me say that therein consisted the
fall -- the eating of things unfit, the taking into the body of the things
that made of that body a thing of earth: and I take this occasion to raise
my voice against the false interpretation of scripture, which has been
adopted by certain people, and is current in their minds, and is referred
to in a hushed and half-secret way, that the fall of man consisted in some
offense against the laws of chastity and virtue. Such a doctrine is an
abomination. What right have we to turn the scriptures from their proper
sense and meaning? What right have we to declare that God meant not what
He said? The fall was a natural process, resulting through the incorporation
into the bodies of our first parents of the things that came from food
unfit, through the violation of the command of God regarding what they
should eat." (Jesus The Christ, p30)
We are partakers of misery and woe.
- "...because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence
of the Lord" (2 Ne. 9:6).
- WHY WAS THIS NECESSARY?
- "And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man,
after he had created our first parents...it must needs be that there was
an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life;
the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave
unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for
himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other."
(2 Ne. 2:15-16)
- Harold B. Lee: "Next to life itself, free agency is God's greatest
gift to mankind, providing thereby the greatest opportunity for the children
of God to advance in this second estate of mortality. A prophet-leader
on this continent explained this to his son as recorded in an ancient scripture:
that to bring about these, the Lord's eternal purposes, there must be opposites,
an enticement by the good on the one hand and by the evil on the other."
(Stand Ye In Holy Places, p235)
We are capable of sinning.
- "Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death;
and we are made partakers of misery and woe" (Moses 6:48).
- "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow
and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy
desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto
Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and
hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not
eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat
[of] it all the days of thy life;" (Genesis 3:16-17).
- HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY BE A GOOD THING? HOW MANY ENJOY BEING PARTAKERS
OF MISERY AND WOE?
- "...they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the
good" (Moses 6:55)
- George Q. Morris: "There is the key to the question of evil.
If we cannot be good, except as we resist and overcome evil, then evil
must be present to be resisted. So this earth life is set up according
to true principles, and these conditions that followed the transgression
were not, in the usual sense, penalties that were inflicted upon us. All
these that I have named to you that seem to be sad inflictions of punishment,
sorrow, and trouble are in the end not that. They are blessings. We have
attained a knowledge of good and evil, the power to prize the sweet, to
become agents unto ourselves, the power to obtain redemption and eternal
life. These things had their origin in this transgression. The Lord has
set the earth up so we have to labor if we are going to live, which preserves
us from the curse of idleness and indolence; and though the Lord condemns
us to death -- mortal death -- it is one of the greatest blessings that
comes to us here because it is the doorway to immortality, and we can never
attain immortality without dying." (CR, Apr. 1958)
The ground is cursed, causing us to work.
- "Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth
them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish,
and are shut out from the presence of God" (Moses 6:49).
- This is one of the most frustrating things about mortality, especially
as one begins to learn the commandments and strive for perfection. If it
isn't one thing, it is another. We all, in one way or another, sin on a
- We lose patience with a child.
- We waste time.
- We don't care for our physical body as we should.
- We don't complete a chore to the best of our ability.
- We neglect to read the Book of Mormon as a prophet as commanded.
- We exceed the speed limit.
- None of these are major transgressions, but they are sins and keep
us from progressing. I get frustrated with myself when I give into temptation.
And yet, though sin itself is negative, to be tempted, tested, and tried
is necessary and positive in the eternal scheme of things.
- I am reminded of when I first trained to run a marathon (26.2 miles)
in the spring of 1985. I trained throughout the fall, winter, and spring
of 1984-85. Physically, it was the most demanding time of my life.
- To be physically prepared to run the distance there were certain things
I needed to do on a regular basis. Most importantly, I needed to run regularly.
As time progressed, I ran further and more frequently. I also needed to
get sufficient sleep and rest, eat a reasonable diet, and keep a positive
attitude. I also read running magazines to improve my attitude and find
out what it would take to complete the distance.
- During those months of training I often was "tempted" to
not run and sometimes didn't: I was tired, it was too cold, it was raining
(a frequent temptation here in the Northwest), dinner smelled good, etc.
Sometimes I didn't get enough rest or eat properly. I "sinned"
against the rules for achieving the goal. At times I became so frustrated
with my weaknesses, I felt like quitting.
- How was it that these temptations were positive? I learned from the
experience. If I didn't run for a few days, I found that returning to running
was difficult. I discovered the price I would pay if I didn't get sufficient
sleep. Over time, I became more and more physically and mentally disciplined.
I became a better person by learning to stand up to the challenges I faced.
- I struggled through that first marathon, but the growth I received
through facing the challenges and adversity led me to become a become a
better runner and a better person. The next time I ran a marathon, my training
period was more efficient and I did better. By the time I did my fifth
marathon, I had my training down to a science. I learned by dealing with
the challenges and mistakes.
- If we are to achieve our greatest destiny, we must be faced with adversity
and the chance to sin. By dealing with temptation and sin, we become stronger
and better prepared to stand in our eternal place. Completing a marathon
does not just happen. And becoming like our Heavenly Father doesn't just
We learn to recognize good and evil.
- "...cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou
eat [of] it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it
bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat
of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for
out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou
return" (Genesis 3:17-19).
- IS THIS POSITIVE? WHY?
- Recently the Washington state lottery had a prize of about $12,000,000.
Paid out over 20 years, after taxes, the annual payout would range between
$300,000 to $400,000. In discussing it at work, one of my fellow workers
said he would not be in the following day if he won. When asked what he
would do with his time, he responded that he would fiddle with his computer
and play video games. I have heard many stories of people who have won
huge lottery jackpots only to have their lives ruined.
- There is something of value in hard work. It makes us better people.
I think we are more honest with ourselves and those around us. As we serve
through our labor we bless the lives of others.
- I have read of islands in the Pacific where fruit grows abundantly
and fish are plentiful. Little effort was necessary to obtain the necessities
of life. Those societies stagnated for hundreds, even thousands of years.
America, the greatest nation in the history of the world, was built by
men and women who worked hard. A civilization was carved out of raw wilderness.
Their efforts have built for us the finest standard of living, the greatest
scientific, technological, and engineering advances known to man. If we
were still in the garden, we would probably be like those islanders.
We can have joy in mortality.
- "And it is given unto them to know good from evil"
- WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?
- "Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil"
- "...wherefore they are agents unto themselves" (Moses
We can know the joy of our redemption and obtain eternal life.
- "Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression
my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy" (Moses
- "And they would have had no children; wherefore they would
have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no
misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.... Adam fell that men
might be; and men are, that they might have joy" (2 Ne. 2:23,
- We have discussed some of the challenges of life: a mortal body subject
to pain, illness, and death; spiritual death or separation from God; partakers
of misery and woe; sin; working to provide for ourselves and our family.
Lehi tells us that we are, that we "might have joy". The
Prophet Joseph Smith said that "Happiness is the object and design
of our existence".
- HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE JOY AND HAPPINESS AS WE FACE THE VICISSITUDES
OF LIFE? WHAT BRINGS US JOY?
- "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had
seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption,
and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient" (Moses
- The fall made redemption necessary, but it also made eternal life possible.
This is our greatest hope and comfort.
HOW CAN A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE FALL HELP US DURING MORTALITY?
- In preparing this lesson and reviewing the results of the fall, I have
been impressed at how it was all part of the eternal plan, designed by
a loving Father, to assist us in returning to his presence and becoming
- As we face the hills and valleys of life, this knowledge can motivate
us to stay on the correct path, to "run with patience the race
that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Satan attempted to frustrate Heavenly Father's plan by getting Adam
and Eve to partake of the fruit. It is important for us to remember that
Satan cannot have power over us, as long as we seek to do the will of the
"THE works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot
be frustrated, neither can they come to naught." (D&C 3:1)
The Atonement Of Jesus Christ Saves Us From Physical &
The prophets often teach about the Atonement of Jesus Christ when they
teach about the fall. They are inseparably linked in the eternal plan.
- READ MOSES 6:51-54: Salvation to come through Jesus Christ.
- READ MOSES 6:57-62: We must repent to be saved.
As it says in v54, "Son of God hath atoned for original guilt,
wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the
children". WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- We do not have to pay the price for the sin of Adam and Eve.
- Yes, by them, we will suffer physical death, but Christ will make us
whole in the flesh. We will be resurrected as perfect physical beings because
of his death and resurrection.
- We do not have to pay the price. Christ did that. We qualified for
the resurrection when we accepted the plan of Heavenly Father during the
Council in Heaven.
V59 tells us that the fall came by "reason of transgression".
It is the fall which brings death. This death refers not only to physical
death, but also to spiritual death. HOW IS SPIRITUAL DEATH OVERCOME?
- Turn to the Lord, hearken to his voice, and believe (v52).
- Repent of your transgressions (v52,57).
- Born into the kingdom by water - baptism (v52,59).
- Born into the kingdom by the Spirit - receive the gift of the Holy
- Be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. As Nephi said, "we
know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do"
(2 Ne. 25:23).
Ezra Taft Benson: "As further noted in this scripture, the fundamental
doctrines consist of the doctrine of the Fall, the mission of Christ and
His atonement, and the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, which
include faith in Christ, repentance, baptism for a remission of sins, and
the gift of the Holy Ghost as the means to a sanctified life. (Moses 6:57-59)."
(Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p297)
Ezra Taft Benson: "... the plan of redemption must start with
the account of the fall of Adam. In the words of Moroni, 'By Adam came
the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ . . .
and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.' (Mormon 9:12.)
Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does
not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ.
No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands
and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind."
(Teachings ETB, p28)
WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THE FALL AND THE ATONEMENT?
The other day, my wife and I were discussing mistakes we have made thus
far during this mortal probation. Sterling W. Sill, in a General Conference
many years ago, called them "damn fool things". These mistakes
can weigh us down. It is part of our mortal existence and becomes frustrating.
My wife and I talked about the great hope we feel because of the atonement
of Jesus Christ. We wondered how those without a knowledge of this great
and wonderful sacrifice could continue through life. It is our great hope.
As that wonderful hymn states: "I marvel that he would descend
from his throne divine To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine;
That he should extend his great love unto such as I, Sufficient to own,
to redeem, and to justify."
- Study: Moses 5-7.
- Additional reading: 2 Nephi 2:25-27, Genesis 4:1-16.
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