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It all happened in a garden…

August 4, 2010

The Christian tradition is rich with terminology and language that is accepted by all the adherents.  A typical message from any church service, LDS or traditional Christian, includes a wealth of phrases and words that both faiths accept—sin, death, Christ, God the Father, heaven, Satan, the atonement, grace, faith, works, righteousness, and justification.  To an outsider from another religion, our two faiths could seem identical—the same words and expressions are used in both.  But even a simple examination into the faith of either group reveals stark differences in semantics that are impossible to ignore.

An example of a difference in meaning can be found in The Hidden Christ:  Beneath the Surface of the Old Testament by best-selling LDS author James L. Ferrell. In writing on the Fall, Ferrell takes on a subject that is common to both Mormonism and traditional Christianity.  But, like many other topics, the terminology of that word takes on a very different meaning in each faith.  It should not be surprising that readers will have a very different take on the following quote.  LDS may view this as doctrine.  Traditional Christians might view it as heresy.  Consider the words of Ferrell on the Fall.

According to the Lord, agency was preserved in precisely the way it was threatened.  “As thou has fallen,” the Lord told Adam, “thou mayest be redeemed,” the word as suggesting that the atoning act that would restore man’s agency would parallel the act that precipitated its fall.  So it is no accident that the Atonement would begin, as did the Fall, in a garden. And it is no accident as well that the individuals in those gardens were each sinless, or that the events in those gardens centered on their exercise of agency–for Adam, whether he would partake of the bitter fruit, and for the Savior, whether he would partake of the bitter cup.  The Savior and Adam faced a similar choice:  If they did not partake, they would become lone men in paradise.  Both partook that man might be.  And by partaking of that bitterness, Adam came to know good and evil, and the Savior came to know all of the good and evil that had and would transpire in the hearts of men through all generations of time (2009, pp. 25-26).

It is hard to miss the proposition that Ferrell is making—Jesus and Adam faced similar dilemmas and made similar choices.   This position is rejected by traditional Christians based upon their interpretation of Romans 5:12-21.  Both LDS and traditional Christians view Romans as inspired scripture, but no one interprets the Bible in a vacuum.  Even honest, careful scholars come to the text with pre-conceived ideas, viewpoints, and ingrained doctrine.  LDS author Tad R. Callister postulates the cause of the disagreement in interpretation.

I grew up thinking that what I believed about the Fall was the same as what my friends in other Christian churches believed, in later years I discovered it was not so.  Many of the basic, underlying principles of the Fall were lost or distorted during the times of the great apostasy (The Ineveitable Apostasy, 2006, pp. 134-135).

While acknowledging that LDS view the Fall differently than their Christian counterparts, Callister asserts his proposition that the LDS view is the correct one.  His rationale?  The Great Apostasy.  He cites two major issues that support the LDS view of the Fall:  1) Adam and Eve would have had no children if they had not fallen.  2) They would have not been happy since they were in “spiritual neutral.”  These points are taken from the Book of Mormon: “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” (2 Nephi 2:23).

But are these arguments logical?  Was there anything to prevent Adam and Eve from having children in their innocent state?  What is intrinsically sinful or fallen about having children?  In heaven we will know no misery; will we also not know joy?  How can it be impossible to “do good” without the knowledge of sin?

Consider how differently traditional Christianity has understood the Fall. Commentator Adam Clarke had this to say on Genesis 3:6:

God had undoubtedly created our first parents not only very wise and intelligent, but also with a great capacity and suitable propensity to increase in knowledge. Those who think that Adam was created so perfect as to preclude the possibility of his increase in knowledge, have taken a very false view of the subject. We shall certainly be convinced that our first parents were in a state of sufficient perfection when we consider,

To have God and nature continually open to the view of the soul; and to have a soul capable of viewing both, and fathoming endlessly their unbounded glories and excellences, without hindrance or difficulty; what a state of perfection! what a consummation of bliss! This was undoubtedly the state and condition of our first parents; even the present ruins of the state are incontestable evidences of its primitive excellence.

Are we viewing the Fall truthfully, or are we seeing it through the lens of our religious conviction?  Were Adam and Eve living in blissful innocence, or joyless spiritual neutral?  In the end, could it be said that Adam made the right choice to sin?

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53 Comments leave one →
  1. marth18 permalink
    August 8, 2010 2:31 am

    Thank you Stephanie for this comparison between LDS’ belief and Christian’s belief in the Fall.

    I would like to add some direct contradictions between 2 Nephi 2:23 and the Holy Bible in Genesis 3:16
    1. And they would have had no children; 2 Nephi 2:23a

    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shall bring forth children; Genesis 4:16a

    It makes me wonder. How can God greatly increase the pains in childbearing when you have never had any children? If Adam and Eve had never had any children, wouldn’t God have said, “Now you are going to conceive and have children and the childbearing will be painful.” One can’t multiply from 0, it’s mathematically impossible.

    2. 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. 2 Nephi 2:23b

    And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; Genesis 3:19-20a

    So here’s Adam naming all the beasts and fowl. This is before the fall. That must have been a blast! What a great honor and joy to be asked to name all the animals of the earth. It sounds like he did some good to me. What do you think? Let’s see no sin and pure good and joy. I can’t wait! For I am assured that I will live with my God for all eternity. I already am, are you?

    I just thought I would add this interesting Mormon quote:
    Quote from President Harold B. Lee: LDS Church

    “Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won’t fail. I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America , if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges. I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through.

    America the favored land in all the world? Jesus coming to America? Eden in America? This guy obviously never read Genesis or Revelation. I’m laughing at how ridiculous this statement is.

    Please know that I think the people of the Mormon religion are nice, loving people. My parents are LDS, my cousins are LDS, and my brother is professed LDS. I love them dearly. It’s the principles of the LDS religion that I have a problem with. There is too much contradiction with the Word of God. If you are LDS, please read your New Testament, compare it with other translations. There is so much rich love in the true Word of God, the Bible. God bless you.

  2. faithoffathers permalink
    August 8, 2010 7:23 pm

    Stephanie,

    It is true that the restored gospel has provided light and knowledge when it comes to many things, including the fall and atonement. It is good you recognize that differences do exist. They are huge and important.

    While ferrell makes some interesting observations, he doesn’t really mention any differences between LDS and non-LDS Christian views. The parallels he notes are pretty cool, but don’t represent basic LDS doctrines on the matter, nor do they show the differences that you allude to.

    And while you are not real specific in demonstrating these differences, you ask:

    “Was there anything to prevent Adam and Eve from having children in their innocent state?”

    and

    “What is intrinsically sinful or fallen about having children?”

    You must understand a fundamental differences about our views about the garden and the state of Adam and Eve. First- we believe that each human goes through a process similar to the fall in childhood. And I don’t mean every person partakes of forbidden fruit after being tempted by a serpent.

    Each person is born innocent- without sin, and without accountability, just like Adam and Eve were before the fall. It is later that each person comes to understand good and evil and is accountable for what they choose.

    Consider the statement of God after they partook of the fruit, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22

    Also consider that Genesis suggests that Adam and Eve did not know or recognize that they were naked: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”

    My point- Adam and Eve did not have full understanding of good and evil- they were naive and innocent, just like little children.

    Let me tweak your questions- is there anything to prevent young children from having children in their innocent state? Anything sinful about that?

    While they were commanded to multiply, etc., could it have been that they didn’t fully know what that meant in their innocent state. Could it have been a commandment with a longer perspective than we appreciate? It all comes down to timing.

    Is it wrong for a male and female to procreate? The answer is no, not necessarily. But what if you make the question more specific- is there anything wrong with a 6 year old male and 6 year old female procreating? The answer is vastly different.

    Another question- is there anything to prevent a male and female from procreating? No, not necessarily.

    Is there anything to prevent a 5 year old male and 5 year old female from procreating? Yep- lots.

    Do you get my point?

    This is very logical and is demonstrated with every child that grows to maturity- it is right in front of our faces.

    You also ask why we can do no good without knowing evil. Good question- and it gets the core of our differences.

    Would you trust a doctor who had sat through classes but not taken any tests through all their training?

    Would you entrust the safety of your nation to soldiers who had only watched videos on warfare, but had no experience?

    Whose joys are more exquisite- a couple married 2 months ago or a couple who have been married for 70 years?

    Does a person really know how to ride a bike when they have only sat on a bike in a place with no gravity, and hence never fallen?

    Opposition- it provides a synergistic force to faith and obedience. In fact, that is the very reason that we are on this earth.

    Just out of curiosity- how would you answer the question “what is the purpose of life?”

    I believe the LDS view of the fall and atonement is more logical and reasonable than any other version by a mile.

    fof

  3. faithoffathers permalink
    August 8, 2010 7:34 pm

    Marth18,

    Answer a simple question- if a person came from another planet to our earth and observed our earth for the last 150 years, what would be their perspective on whether America was the most favored land on this earth? Hmmmmmm.

    Consider the influence America has had on the world. Consider the millions of people America has saved from dictators. Consider the food and aid America has provided for other around the world. Consdier the political influence the constitution and Declaration of Indpendence has had on the nations of the world. What people has enjoyed more riches and abundance than America? Whose economy has led the world for the last century? I could go on and on.

    (Interesting that all this would be a surprise to anybody who hadn’t read the BOM in 1830).

    Another question:

    Genesis 49 includes Jacob’s (Israel’s) blessing of his sons. He says “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.” (vs.22)

    “Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”

    Tell me- how has this blessing and prophecy been fulfilled? Remember, this is just before Jacob’s death and after Joseph had saved his father’s house from famine and after Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt.

    fof

  4. August 8, 2010 8:49 pm

    Marth18

    Welcome! Thank you for your comments! 🙂

    Stephanie

  5. August 8, 2010 8:50 pm

    FOF,

    I’ll begin by answering your question, “What is the purpose of life.” I believe that the purpose of life is to glorify God and to serve Him. As we do so God pours out wonderful gifts to us through His love. Heaven is the ultimate destination for believers and will be a place where we will enjoy fellowshipping with our family, friends and believers who have gone on before. Jesus commanded Christians to “store up treasures” in heaven. Our work on this earth should be kingdom work—reaching others with the gospel and bringing them into a relationship with Christ.

    I have been pondering the Fall for sometime and actually wrote this post quite a while ago. But last week my pastor’s sermon on the Garden of Eden really resonated with me and caused me to dredge this up and look at it again.

    I can understand your viewpoint but your statement, I believe the LDS view of the fall and atonement is more logical and reasonable than any other version by a mile, does not ring true to me. The problem with the LDS view of the fall is that it is illogical.

    You’ve made the comparison that Adam and Eve were as innocent as little children. This is true only to a degree. Little children today live in a fallen world and have to experience the consequences of other’s sin. Unfortunately, as a result of the Fall, many innocent kids have to suffer horribly. Even children raised in a loving home, protected as best as possible from outside influences, are not naïve. TV, radio, internet, magazines, and older friends and siblings all expose them to the knowledge of good and evil. Kids today learn about evil by observing and doing evil. The Garden of Eden was a vastly different place. There was no evil for Adam and Eve to observe. In many ways they were more innocent than the children of today.

    I also believe it is illogical to compare Adam and Eve to 5-year-olds in their ability to procreate. They were physically adults. They had the same reproductive organs and hormones as any other adult. Mentally they were also adults. God gave Adam the responsibility of naming all the animals and caring for the Garden. Those were adult tasks. Nowhere in scripture does God condemn the sexual relationship of a man and wife. In fact, Song of Solomon celebrates this relationship. Do you honestly believe that mankind has to be fallen in order to figure out how to have sex? Why would LDS teach that they could not have had children? This implies a Mormon view of intrinsically sinful marital relations. Is this what you are advocating? You mention that they didn’t know how to “multiply.” That is possible, but we don’t know how long Adam and Eve were even in the Garden before they fell. Some suggest it was a week or longer, others believe it was only one day. I would suggest that they could have figured it out—given enough time.

    In presenting your position you have offered many reasons why it was necessary for Adam and Eve to fall. They must have fallen so they would know how to do good—just like a trained physician, soldier, or old married couple. You ask, “Does a person really know how to ride a bike when they have only sat on a bike in a place with no gravity, and hence never fallen?” FOF, I’m not sure if you are aware that the position you are advocating for is the serpents. God had commanded them not to eat. You, just like the serpent, are offering all your reasons why it was necessary to disobey the command of God.

    Stephanie

  6. NChristine permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:09 am

    Hi FoF,

    Just to add something to Stephanie’s excellent comment–the view that “we can do no good without knowing evil” would imply that Jesus Himself either did no good (because He was innocent) or did some evil (so He could do good). The New Testament scriptures adamantly contradict both ideas.

    Quoting Isaiah, Peter tells us that Jesus “committed no sin, neither was any deceit found in His mouth” (II Peter 2:22), and the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26). He was “tempted in all points as we are [and as Adam and Eve were], yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

    As for doing good, Jesus ascribed to Himself the title “good shepherd” (John 10:11 and 14) and asserted to the Jews that He had shown them “many good works” (John 10:32).

    Truly, the statement “we can do no good without knowing evil” impugns the character of the Son of God. Indeed, the significance of the garden of Gethsemane and–more than that–the wilderness temptations of Jesus (Matthew 4, etc.) is one of contrast rather than comparison. Unlike Adam, Jesus was tempted in a barren wilderness rather than a lush garden. Unlike Adam, Jesus had no choice of other fruits–He had fasted 40 days in the desert. Unlike Adam, Jesus did not doubt the commands of God through the serpent’s twisted falsehoods (“Yea, hath God said…?”) but refuted each devilish temptation by quoting from God’s Word. And unlike Adam, Jesus chose obedience to God rather than unbelief and disobedience. Other than the fact that they were tempted with similar temptations (compare Genesis 3 and Matthew 4), it is clear that Jesus and Adam were in every way different in their response to an encounter with the Tempter. Adam did evil, and Jesus did good. The two are mutually exclusive.

    NChristine

  7. faithoffathers permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:14 am

    Stephanie,

    Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    Like I said, children today are not tempted to eat forbidden fruit. The comparison isn’t complete in every detail of course.

    But the fact that Adam and Eve didn’t even know or recognize that they were naked certainly suggests something about their sexuality. This is precisely what we see with children- they initially could not care less if they are naked (most), then eventually develop a sense of embarrassment and shame, causing them to avoid being naked in front of others (I know some people for whom this does not apply, ha, ha).

    Think about that- Adam and Eve didn’t know they were naked. Explain that. Why is that significant? Their male and female “parts” didn’t seem any more important to them than any other parts of their bodies until after the fall. Hmmmm.

    As far as outside influences on todays kids- I would certainly consider Lucifer as the serpent being an “outside” evil influence on Adam and Eve in the garden.

    I personally believe Adam and Eve could not have had children before the fall because they did not have the disposition toward sex. I do not know either way whether they had the biologic capacity to do so before the fall- partaking of the fruit changed their bodies, that is certain.

    Here is my belief on God commanding Adam and Eve not to partake:

    Agency is at the core of man’s existence and his relationship with God.

    Adam and Eve had agency to choose whether or not to partake of the fruit.

    Partaking of the fruit would result in the fall- the capacity to die, to become diseased, to suffer pain, depression, fear, loss, helplessness. Ultimately, it would result in some individuals never returning (LDS view) to the presence of God. For these reasons, partaking of the fruit had to be a choice that was counter to God’s command. He did not want to push anybody into anything. In fact, to protect mankind from anything appearing like God compelling His children into this mortality, He arranged it so that in order to enter mortality, it had to be against His will.

    It had to be according to man’s free will. God commanded against it, but He knew Adam and Eve would eventually take the plunge and give in to temptation. Satan didn’t win. Rather, his twisted desires were utilized by the Father to further man’s happiness. Hence the Fathers statement “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” God outsmarted Lucifer. I am not taking Lucifer’s position, I am simply seeing his role in the fall and the necessity for that fall.

    Now consider the atonement. Ultimately, after suffering in the garden and on the cross the pains and sins of all mankind, the Father’s influence and Spirit were withdrawn from Christ. Hence the question from Christ, “why hast thou forsaken me.”

    Just as the fall had to come about through the free exercise of man’s agency without God’s compulsion, the atonement- which overcame the effects of the fall- had to be accomplished through the free will of the Christ, the Son of God- not involving God’s compulsion to any degree.

    Another question- what would have happened if Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit?

    I find it interesting that people who say “God could certainly keep His word inerrant” also fail to recognize that, using that same logic, He should have also kept Lucifer from causing the fall. Side topic, but it seems contradictory to me.

    fof

  8. NChristine permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:39 am

    FoF,

    Forgive me for interjecting one more time. 🙂 You said…

    Partaking of the fruit would result in the fall- the capacity to die, to become diseased, to suffer pain, depression, fear, loss, helplessness. Ultimately, it would result in some individuals never returning (LDS view) to the presence of God. For these reasons, partaking of the fruit had to be a choice that was counter to God’s command. He did not want to push anybody into anything. In fact, to protect mankind from anything appearing like God compelling His children into this mortality, He arranged it so that in order to enter mortality, it had to be against His will.

    It appears you are saying that God’s will was actually the opposite of His word. In other words, He was deceitful–not “straight up.” He was twisted, for His will was not what He said it was.

    Not only this, but you are saying that God’s real will was something that resulted in pain, death, etc.–maybe for “a greater good.” There are people in counseling everywhere who were abused while being told “this is love…this is because we love you…this is for your good.” This plays havoc on a person’s concept of love, right, and wrong. And this is God?

    These are heinous views of God and completely contradict everything He has said about Himself.

    NChristine

  9. faithoffathers permalink
    August 9, 2010 1:11 am

    God was not deceitful- He fully disclosed the consequences of partaking of the forbidden fruit.

    I don’t know if you have children- but I have 4 daughters. While I recognize that their leaving our home will result in them experiencing loneliness, fear, likely poverty, and all the negative things that come with leaving the supportive and stable safety of home, I also recognize that if they do not leave, they will never achieve their full potential. It is a law of the universe. If I am unwilling to risk falling and scraping my knees, I will never learn to ride a bike. If I am not willing to suffer through two football practices a day in the hot August sun, I will never know the thrill associated with playing on a successful high-school football team. You get the idea. No pain, no gain.

    God recognizes this perfectly. While He does not joy in our pains or struggles, I believe He experiences immeasurable joy when we succeed and learn through those experiences. And this absolutely applies to the fall.

    EVs see the fall as a bad thing. We see it as a necessary step that ultimately leads to man’s happiness and joy.

    Why is America considered probably the greatest nation in history? I believe it is because the conditions here have traditionally been optimized for the individual to risk and achieve.

    It again comes down to the purpose of life. And I think this is where the EV answer falls short. Could God not come up with more effective and efficient ways of glorifying Himself? Honestly. Why would the fall be necessary for that? Couldn’t He create a situation that would avoid all that?

    Why not create things that would come into being in Heaven without needing to exist elsewhere like this imperfect earth? And His inability to keep Lucifer out of His plans suggests weakness, either in power or planning, on His part.

    I don’t ask these questions lightly. They are very logical and reasonable questions.

    The fall resulted in the eyes of Adam and Eve being “opened.” Did God not want their eyes to be opened? Did He not want them to understand good from evil?

    Any thoughts on my earlier comments and questions?

    fof

  10. martha18 permalink
    August 9, 2010 1:58 am

    Hello FOF,

    Thanks for your questions.

    Answer to question #1:

    I don’t believe we are talking about aliens here. I believe we are talking about God, the Almighty God who created the earth and the great whales and every living creature. We are talking about the God who created man in His own image for His own pleasure.

    “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine.” Isaiah 43:1

    “For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth. ” Deu 7:6

    “Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.” Deu 7:14

    “And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.” 1 Kings 11:36

    “And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” Zec 3:2

    You see, FOF, according to the Holy Bible, the Word of God, Israel is His chosen people and Jerusalem which God has chosen to put His name on. The Zechariah verse states that anyone who believes Israel is not the chosen people and that Jerusalem is not the city of God follows Satan and is like a brand plucked out of the fire. I recommend you read the entire book of Zechariah it is full of grace and redemption on the name of Jesus, who redeemed all those who believe in Him. If you would like to read it in a language more current to America, I would recommend the NIV version. It is in current vernacular.

    Answer to question #2:

    I’m not really sure what this statement has to do with our discussion, but I will give you my thoughts on the passages Genesis 49:22-26.

    “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.” (vs.22) Notice that the verse says IS not SHALL BE. He just saved thousands if not millions of Egyptians from starvation. He had a fulfilled and prosperous life despite his circumstances. His fruitfulness through God’s blessing was so abundant that “branches run over the wall.” He was a blessing not only to his family but the Egyptians. Joseph had victory over his suffering at the hands of his brothers and Potiphar. He was never bitter or discouraged. God made him strong. The line of Joseph shall indeed have many heavenly blessings. These blessings reach into eternity. Of all Israel’s sons, Joseph most foreshadowed the life of Jesus.

    Therefore, those who believe that Jesus came to this earth as the Son of God, lived a tempted but perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, rose again through the Holy Spirit and ascended into heaven to sit on the right hand of the Father, shall have the eternal blessing of living with Him for all eternity.

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

    This is the prophesy fulfilled through Joseph! That if you acknowledge you are a sinner, that you can never be perfect because you are not a god. That you confess that Jesus is your Lord; you shall have the assurance of living with God for all eternity.

    I believe that is a major contradiction between Mormonism and Christianity. Christians are born again into the Kingdom of Heaven and are assured of their salvation at that point. They do good works because they are madly in love with their Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They want to be a pleasant aroma to their God. Mormonism believes they must do works in order to gain their celestial kingdom. They are never assured that they will live in the presence of God for all eternity. What a sad burden to bear. I know because I was raised with this burden. It took me many years after being born again through the Spirit to shake off that burden and know that my Lord and Savior loves me and will never forsake me. He is the Lord of Love, not condemnation. I encourage you to read the New Testament so that you may learn of His enduring Love for you. God bless you.

  11. martha18 permalink
    August 9, 2010 2:02 am

    Sorry Stephanie for taking the discussion off topic. I thought that quote was a funny statement about Eden and it was disputed instead of the issue of the Fall. Good answer on the children issue. I totally agree — how can you compare Adam and Eve with children? That is definitely not logical. You are in my prayers as is FOF.

  12. martha18 permalink
    August 9, 2010 2:33 am

    FOF,

    This is my answer to your question:

    “Another question- what would have happened if Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit?”

    I think we would all be in the garden of Eden.

    Wouldn’t it have been great if they had never eaten of the fruit!! We would be living with no sin instead of in such a horrible sinful existence that we are now. Our beloved Jesus Christ would not have had to come to this earth to suffer by the hands of His people. To redeem us from that Fall. We would be walking and talking and living with Him. Our only hope that we can get back to Eden is through our belief in the redemption made possible by Jesus Christ. I praise Him for His love for us — even when we fall.

    Martha18

  13. faithoffathers permalink
    August 9, 2010 3:33 am

    martha18,

    Yes, Israel is the Lord’s chosen people. But you are likely equating this people to the modern nation of Israel. The two are not one and the same. Descendants of Jacob are spread throughout the world. It is very naive to claim Jacob’s descendants are assembled only in Jerusalem and within the borders of modern Israel.

    Jacob essentially blesses Joseph above his brethren. Jacob’s greatest blessing were to be answered upon the head of Joseph. You are saying that that was fulfilled by the mission of Christ, who was of the tribe of Judah.

    Can you explain that with a little more detail. Your explanation simply has no basis and makes no sense.

    My quotation of Genesis has everything to do with America. It is the land of Joseph. The fulfillment of Jacob’s prophesy regarding the descendants of Joseph is seen in the branch of Joseph that was broken off from “his brethren” and whose history is recorded in the Book of Mormon as well as the establishment and prosperity of America and the restored gospel.

    I understand that you do not believe any of that. But you cannot explain to me how the prophesy was otherwise fulfilled. It does not allude to Jesus- He was from Judah, not Joseph.

    Also regarding your point about America- my response alludes to the fact that America has been the most powerful nation in the history of the world with a standard of living and liberty unequaled ever before. This is not trivial. And President Lee’s statement comes into perspective when you understand and recognize what America really is.

    Not really interested in chasing the rabbit hole that is the faith vs. work argument.

    The fall is interesting enough for me for now.

    fof

  14. NChristine permalink
    August 9, 2010 3:44 am

    Hi FoF,

    You said this:

    While I recognize that their leaving our home will result in them experiencing loneliness, fear, likely poverty, and all the negative things that come with leaving the supportive and stable safety of home, I also recognize that if they do not leave, they will never achieve their full potential.

    Yes — in our current world, “no pain, no gain” is sometimes true. It is not always true. Very often pain in this world has absolutely no good outcome. In fact, ultimately only those who belong to Christ are promised that all their circumstances will work together for good (Romans 8:28). Pain and death and sorrow are in the world because of the sin of man (Romans 5), and they will leave the world with the eradication of sin (per Revelation 20-22). The maxim “no pain, no gain” (ultimately valid only for those who love God and still live in this present evil world) has nothing to do with Eden, for there was no sin there. To posit this as a universal, true-at-all-times principal defies the beginning of Scripture (the original creation) as much as the end of Scripture (the new creation, in which there will be no tears, crying, or pain).

    Secondly, you appear to perceive the “purpose” of the pain as achievement of humanity’s “full potential” — i.e., the devil’s promise that they would “be as gods.” You mention that this whole debate again comes down to the purpose of life. You know, this really doesn’t square with Jesus’ description of real Life — just Satan’s. Jesus summed up life and purpose and desirable eternal destiny when He said this:

    This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent (John 17:3).

    If Jesus is right, then the destiny God wants for people–the eternal life promised repeatedly to those who believe–ultimately boils down to knowing the true God and His Son.

    Now consider the circumstances in the Garden of Eden. Was Jesus’ description of real Life (knowledge of God) hindered by what God had set up there? Not at all. There was such intimate knowledge of God that Adam and Eve “walked with God” in the “cool of the day.” So far from presenting the Garden as a lacking environment, the scriptures present it as the desirable environment that will be restored with the new creation. The book of Revelation makes constant allusions to the Garden of Eden (trees, paradise, close fellowship with God). It is clear that a precious thing was lost and will be restored. And the fellowship with God that was present in the Garden is front and center in the descriptions of the new heaven and earth. We see that for believers in the new creation, there will be a child-parent relationship with God (Revelation 21:7), a bride-husband relationship with the Lamb (21:2), and the tabernacle of God living right amongst men (21:3). It is very clear that something got interrupted in the Garden that God did not want interrupted — namely, close fellowship with Himself. And He went to self-sacrificial lengths to restore this, and it will be restored.

    The LDS version just doesn’t fit with either the general scope or the particulars of Genesis or Revelation.

  15. August 9, 2010 4:49 am

    Martha

    No worries about occasionally straying off-topic. We all do it. Some much more than others. 🙂

    FOF

    Again, I would like to point out that you are taking Lucifer’s position. I don’t think he needs any help in explaining himself. He did a very good job in the Garden. You say:

    Rather, his twisted desires were utilized by the Father to further man’s happiness. Hence the Fathers statement “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” God outsmarted Lucifer. I am not taking Lucifer’s position, I am simply seeing his role in the fall and the necessity for that fall.

    You state here that man is happier since the fall. How can you state this in a world full of misery and grief? We struggle along in a world filled with pollution, war, famine, murder, adultery, robbery, disease, and pain. The only way that you can argue that man is happier since the fall is that he learned how to procreate. Yet you haven’t been able to prove Biblically that he wouldn’t or couldn’t have been able to accomplish this act prior to the Fall. You also state here that God desired man to know good and evil. Where can I find that verse?

    Another question- what would have happened if Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit?

    They would have lived in a state of bliss in the garden. Eve would have had children with Adam but it would have been a painless childbirth. [As Martha pointed out, how could God have multiplied her pain in childbirth if she couldn’t have had children prior to the Fall?]

    I find it interesting that people who say “God could certainly keep His word inerrant” also fail to recognize that, using that same logic, He should have also kept Lucifer from causing the fall. Side topic, but it seems contradictory to me.

    God allowed Lucifer to fall in the first place. He also allowed humans to fall. I don’t believe God created automatons. He allows us to make choices. But God is not the author of divine double-binds. He doesn’t command one thing but secretly desire people to do another. The very first lie told on our planet was by Lucier:

    Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    The full punch of Satan’s lie wasn’t as much in his words as it was in his insinuation. The message was clear: God doesn’t really love you. If God loved you He would let you eat this fruit. He’s holding it back from you because it is really good and will make you know extra special things if you eat it. The LDS church today is teaching that Lucifer was right. That God wanted Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit. I would suggest that a God who can’t be trusted to tell His real desires to our first parents can’t be trusted to reveal anything.

    Stephanie

  16. Martha permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:06 am

    Hey Stephanie, how do you make those cool quote marks? Is it html code? Could you give me some instruction on how to do it? Thanks

  17. faithoffathers permalink
    August 10, 2010 9:23 pm

    NChristine,

    Yes- not all pain produces joy and goodness. The pain we cause ourselves from sin doesn’t necessarily result in joy.

    My point, and I believe it is valid, is that experience and opposition add to our joys, wisdom and understanding. Removing tribulation and difficulty would also remove opportunity for growth. This is a basic principle, and I find it difficult to see how a person can argue against this. But I think the desire to make sense of one’s theology can add to the motivation to do away with such basic concepts.

    Your point about knowing God and Christ as the purpose of life- I agree. Are God and Christ naive? Do they know the difference between good and evil? Before the fall, Adam and eve were naive and didn’t fully comprehend the difference between good and evil.

    And Lucifer was telling them truth mixed with lies. He was correct in telling Adam and Eve that eating the fruit would result in their eyes being opened and their knowing good and evil. Was that a lie? No.

    If a person is born in a mansion with everything they could ever need at their disposal- riches, pleasures, and privilidge, without knowing anything different, are they likely to appreciate it? No way.

    Yep- life in the garden was good. They got to walk with God. But they knew nothing else. Knowing life away from God makes life with Him infinitely more wonderful. Knowing pain increases a person’s ability to experience joy and happiness. Do you disagree?

    Stephanie,

    We both have our interpretations. While I cannot offer you a verse that clarifies and supports every detail of what I believe, neither can you. Which verse says that if Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit …….? Much of what you are saying is extrapolated from the verses in Genesis. Your version is certainly not spelled out as clearly as you are portraying.

    I didn’t say that mankind is happier since the fall. I am saying that from an eternal perspective, man has the opportunity for greater joy, happiness, and fulfillment as a result of experiencing this mortal life, with all the painful and difficult things that come with it.

    fof

  18. Martha permalink
    August 12, 2010 2:56 am

    Wow, Stephanie. Great response! I always wondered if the god that the Mormons worshiped wasn’t Satan himself. You explained it very well. After all, it was Satan that said, “you can become like gods.” God the Father didn’t say that. Isn’t that what the LDS religion believes, that they can become gods?

    “And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:” Mark 12:32

    “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” 1 Cor 8:6

    “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephes 4:6

    “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Titus 2:5

    “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19

    “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5

    I think this is pretty plain that if you believe you will become as god, you worship Satan.
    Last week I attended a LDS funeral. This man in a black suit got up and started talking about the meeting God the Father had with Jesus and Lucifer.

    • 4. Heavenly Father called a meeting for all his spirit children. At this meeting he explained his plan for us to become like him. He told us that he wanted us to go to earth to get a physical body. He explained that on earth we would be tested to see if we would keep his commandments.

    • 5. At this meeting Heavenly Father also explained that on earth we would all sin and we would all die. Heavenly Father needed someone to be the Savior, to suffer for our sins, and to die for us so that we could be resurrected.

    • 6. Lucifer wanted Heavenly Father to change his plan. Lucifer said he would save everyone by taking away their freedom to choose, which would have made it impossible for us to make mistakes or be righteous. Lucifer also wanted all the honor (Moses 4:1).

    • 7. Because he loved us (John 15:13), Jesus volunteered to be our Savior. He wanted to follow Heavenly Father’s plan and give the glory to Heavenly Father (Moses 4:2).

    “Lesson 2: Jesus Christ Volunteered to Be Our Savior,” Primary 7: New Testament, 5 taken from lds.org

    I was particularly surprised at the statement Lucifer said he would save everyone by taking away their freedom to choose.

    I thought about the teachings of the LDS religion:

    • You have to go to the ward they tell you at the time they tell you to go. You can’t choose which church or what time to go.

    • You have to pay 10% tithing, you have to produce your tax return to prove it.

    • You have to attend church regularly. They take role and if they don’t see you there, they will call you and ask why you didn’t attend.

    • You can’t have any alcohol, coffee or tea. (but drink all the diet pepsi you want)

    It looks like Satan is fulfilling his plan any way. Through the Mormon church by taking away their freedom to choose. It’s called bondage. It’s called Satan’s lie.

    Please don’t believe it! Please! I pray that God will take the scales off the people of the Mormon religion and open their eyes and their hearts to Jesus Christ. I pray that they will admit that they are sinners and they are in need of a Savior. I pray that they will realize that only through their belief in Jesus Christ will they be made worthy, not through the above mentioned works.

  19. August 12, 2010 3:17 am

    Martha

    Hey Stephanie, how do you make those cool quote marks? Is it html code? Could you give me some instruction on how to do it? Thanks

    It is html code. Here is a link that provides examples of how to do many of the codes (italics, quotations, bold, etc).

    http://www.ncsu.edu/it/edu/html_trng/basic_commands.html

    Stephanie 🙂

  20. NChristine permalink
    August 12, 2010 3:25 am

    Hi FoF,

    Thanks for the response. You appear to be very long on pithy logic and very short on Scripture. As Spencer Tracy said to the Nazi defense lawyer in the famous movie Judgment at Nuremburg, “To be logical is not to be right.” 🙂 I would ask for Scripture to demonstrate any of your implied or stated propositions:

    1. That God had permitted any lack for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that required disobedience to remedy.

    2. That in a paradise designed by God, pain is required for real appreciation of joy. (As I noted before, Revelation 21-22 makes clear connections between the paradise of heaven and the paradise of original Eden. There is not the slightest hint that the original Eden was deficient.)

    3. That God’s will was different than his command. This is the very most important, illogical, unsubstantiated, and (to be frank) blasphemous aspect of this whole viewpoint. It makes mincemeat of any concept of God as truthful, just, holy, and without any “darkness at all” (I John 1:5). Thus, it is at complete variance with the entire Judeo-Christian understanding of God–that is, with the entire scope of the Old and New Testament picture of God.

    I encourage you to re-read the following before you settle so firmly on such a contrary-to-Scripture view: 🙂

    ~ Genesis 1-3
    ~ Ezekiel 28 (which shows what God thinks of the grandiose lie of the serpent)
    ~ Hosea 6:5 (where Israel is portrayed as dealing treacherously against God like “men”–literally, “like Adam”)
    ~ Matthew 4 (where Jesus’ temptation in every way contrasts with Adam’s/Eve’s, showing how God expected and wanted Adam and Eve to respond)
    ~ Romans 5 (which explicitly states that Adam’s act was disobedience, a transgression, sin, an offence, worthy of condemnation, and resulting in death)
    ~ Revelation 21-22 (which shows that God will restore the Eden-like conditions He planned in the first place)

    🙂
    NChristine

  21. August 12, 2010 3:38 am

    FOF

    Which verse says that if Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit …….? Much of what you are saying is extrapolated from the verses in Genesis. Your version is certainly not spelled out as clearly as you are portraying.

    Comparatively speaking, your rhetorical question is not similar to the one that I asked. I asked, “You also state here that God desired man to know good and evil. Where can I find that verse?” I wasn’t asking what would have happened if Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned because that isn’t what we have been discussing. We’ve been discussing the merits of them choosing to take the forbidden fruit. You’ve postulated that it was necessary for their happiness and progression. I think that these are moot points if God’s explicit command was for them to not eat. James says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (1:13). Paul says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). It is contrary to the nature of God to offer a command in one place while clearly requiring people to break it in order to really be happy. Furthermore, the Bible offers much support for the view that Adam’s sin caused a landslide effect upon all of humanity. Romans 5:12-20 provides the theological implications of his decision. God hates sin–why would He desire Adam to sin?

    I am saying that from an eternal perspective, man has the opportunity for greater joy, happiness, and fulfillment as a result of experiencing this mortal life, with all the painful and difficult things that come with it.

    I would argue that these ideas are speculation. This seems similar to suggesting that someone who dies from cancer at 6 is much happier than someone who goes on to live a rich, full life and dies at 93. I’m not even understanding the comparison of eternal life and constant communion with God offered to Adam and Eve prior to the Fall, and the life on earth as we know it today.

    Stephanie

  22. Martha permalink
    August 12, 2010 4:15 am

    Fof

    “My point, and I believe it is valid, is that experience and opposition add to our joys, wisdom and understanding. Removing tribulation and difficulty would also remove opportunity for growth. This is a basic principle, and I find it difficult to see how a person can argue against this. But I think the desire to make sense of one’s theology can add to the motivation to do away with such basic concepts.”

    Being raised a Mormon, leaving the Mormon religion and subsequently being born again by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (which I give thanks for every day – Praise the Lord for my salvation) gives me some insight as to what you are saying here, FOF. However, my current experience with “getting to walk with God” is full of joy, it is full of happiness, and it is full of growth. I am growing closer to my Father through the Holy Spirit. I can not get any of that growth being in the world. This earth has Satan in it and he is constantly trying to bring us down. Only when we open our hearts to Jesus Christ do we tear the veil down and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Only at that time is pure joy and love and unconditional acceptance experienced. It is not through the suffering of this world, it is through experiencing a personal relationship with God.

    “And Lucifer was telling them truth mixed with lies. He was correct in telling Adam and Eve that eating the fruit would result in their eyes being opened and their knowing good and evil. Was that a lie? No.”

    This is not the lie. The lie was that they would be as gods knowing good and evil. Are we as gods, knowing good and evil? I am nothing like a god and I know the difference between good and evil. It is true that Lucifer was telling them truth mixed with lies. That is what Lucifer did when he brought the LDS doctrine onto this earth. He took the name of Jesus Christ and filled it with lies. He removed the teachings of Jesus Christ brought forth in the Bible and twisted it into lies through the Book of Mormon, D&C and all the other LDS doctrines.

    Jesus said in John 14:6:

    I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    That is what Lucifer did to ”do away with such basic concepts.”

    If you would like to learn the true teachings of Jesus Christ, read the Bible, the true Word of God. In the New Testament, you will learn how to walk with God for all eternity in pure joy, even on this earth. The basic concept is all you have to do is receive the free gift of Jesus Christ into your life and you will live with Him forever. There is pure joy in that assurance.

    Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26

    Read John 16 to learn the true meaning of sorrow and joy. Then rejoice in the love that Jesus Christ will pour out to you even in this dark evil age.

    God bless you all.

  23. faithoffathers permalink
    August 12, 2010 5:18 pm

    Please explain the following statement from God, uttered after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit:

    “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22

    Bottom line- partaking of the fruit resulted in Adam and Eve knowing “good and evil” and becoming “as” God in some respect.

  24. NChristine permalink
    August 13, 2010 5:04 am

    FoF,

    What about this statement by God shows that He actually intended their fall? What about this sentence shows that God actually didn’t mean it when He commanded them not to eat of the tree? What about this statement shows that Adam and Eve actually selected the best choice in choosing to go against God’s explicit word?

    I notice you have not answered any of my questions or addressed any of the scriptures I mentioned. 🙂

    NChristine

  25. faithoffathers permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:21 pm

    Goes both ways.

    Almost none of my questions have been addressed, including my simple one from the last post.

    That verse shows that partaking of the fruit made Adam and Eve more like God.

    fof

  26. NChristine permalink
    August 14, 2010 6:29 pm

    Hi FoF,

    You asked a number of questions, and I guess many of them did not really seem like questions to me. 🙂 However, I will give this a shot. 🙂

    Let me tweak your questions- is there anything to prevent young children from having children in their innocent state? Anything sinful about that?

    You imply that Adam and Eve were child-like and thus did not have intercourse. I would encourage you to re-read Genesis 2:21-24:

    21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
    22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
    24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    Jewish and Christian commentators throughout history have interpreted the “one flesh” idea to refer at least partly to sexual union (including Paul – see I Cor. 6:16). Why does this matter? The “therefore” of verse 24 shows that Moses considers the “one flesh” and “cleaving” of marriage to be based on the creation of woman out of man’s rib. The union of marriage is thus not due to the fall—it is due to the explicit creation of God. Thus, Adam and Eve were not childlike creatures incapable of sexual union. Is there any other legitimate way to take this? I’m happy to be convinced if you can present firm evidence. At the present, it seems quite clear.

    Would you trust a doctor who had sat through classes but not taken any tests through all their training? Would you entrust the safety of your nation to soldiers who had only watched videos on warfare, but had no experience? [etc.]

    You imply that experience of failure is necessary in order for success—that evil is necessary for good. I would again point to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are specifically told that He was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” According to your logic, one is only really tested, tried, and experienced when one has failed. Thus, we ought not to trust Jesus, for He did not fail. I don’t think Jesus would appreciate this logic very much. 🙂 And there is nothing at all in the Genesis text that supports this interpretation of Adam and Eve’s behavior (that their disobedience was a good thing).

    Just out of curiosity- how would you answer the question “what is the purpose of life?”

    I answered this previously by alluding to John 17 – “That they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Once again, the fall of Eden interfered with and interrupted this fellowship, and it will be someday restored for the redeemed (Revelation 21-22).

    Tell me- how has this blessing and prophecy been fulfilled? Remember, this is just before Jacob’s death and after Joseph had saved his father’s house from famine and after Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt.

    This question was to Martha, but I will answer it also anyway. 🙂 This prophecy was fulfilled in two ways—neither of them through America. Primarily, it was fulfilled in that Joseph’s sons received a double inheritance in Israel: they got two tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh). In fact, not only did Joseph have a double portion in terms of number of tribes, but those tribes became very populous relative to the other tribes. In fact, Ephraim became so dominant in Israel that “Ephraim” is used as representative of all ten northern tribes in several places in the prophets’ writings (e.g., Isaiah 7, Hosea 5). Secondarily, the blessing on Joseph foreshadowed Joseph as a type of the life of Jesus (who sprang from Judah, as you noted). The martyr Stephen uses Joseph as well as Moses to show examples of men chosen by God to save His people but rejected by their brethren—like Jesus was (Acts 7:9-14, 35). The elements of Joseph’s life that are like Christ are numerous (rejected by brothers, falsely accused, sold for money, sent to Egypt, unrecognized by his brothers, but bringing salvation to Egypt and known world—even taking a Gentile bride). The blessing on Joseph has thus already been amply fulfilled—both in reality (Ephraim and Manasseh) and in type.

    Think about that- Adam and Eve didn’t know they were naked. Explain that. Why is that significant?

    This is significant because Adam and Eve did not experience shame. And why should they? They were the only ones in the garden (besides their Creator) and they were man and wife. There was no wrong in being naked! It was only after sin entered into the world (real wrongdoing) that they could feel shame. In that sense, it is similar to children (as you imply) – not because Adam and Eve were ignorant but because they were innocent. There’s a big difference. We have already been explicitly “clued in” in 2:24 that Adam and Eve had a physical relationship from Eve’s creation, so that is not the issue with the shame.

    Another question- what would have happened if Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit?

    I don’t know! That isn’t what happened. Romans 5 strongly implies that had Adam not partaken of the fruit, death would not have entered into the world (at least not then). On the other hand, Romans 5:12 may imply that Adam’s sin was imputed to others precisely because they sinned, as well. Thus, had Adam not sinned, someone else may have. But this is all just speculation and has absolutely nothing to do with the topic – whether or not God really wanted Adam and Eve to disobey His command.

    Could God not come up with more effective and efficient ways of glorifying Himself? Honestly. Why would the fall be necessary for that? Couldn’t He create a situation that would avoid all that?

    You know, I don’t think this is really any of our business. 🙂 What God does is what God does. The whole book of Job shows that we don’t, and won’t while on earth, understand all the cosmic reasons for what God allows. What is our business is to take Him seriously, to obey Him, and to listen to Him. Adam and Eve did not do that, and we as sinners do not, either. God is certainly exalted by showing grace to sinners (Romans 5:20-21), but that does not mean He wants us to sin. As Paul said strongly, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2).

    Did God not want their eyes to be opened? Did He not want them to understand good from evil?

    Again, I really don’t know. All I know is that God gave a command: “Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Can we say that His command was not really good? That He didn’t mean what He said? That what was best for Eve did not lie in obedience to the very command of God? To say that He meant the opposite is to defy His revelation of Himself. He said His word is truth (John 17:17) and that His word never changes (Isaiah 40). When Jesus was in the wilderness, Satan constantly tried to get Him, too, to doubt God’s plan for Him or to take a shortcut (disobedience to God’s Word) to obtain God’s promises. Unlike Adam and Eve, Jesus refuted the lies, stuck to God’s commands, and did not sin.

    Are God and Christ naive? Do they know the difference between good and evil?Please explain the following statement from God, uttered after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit:
    “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22

    This is similar to your above question – implying that God actually wanted Adam and Eve to disobey Him. That He wanted them to be “as gods.” Commentators disagree on what God meant in 3:22. Many consider it a statement of great irony – in other words, that God is saying that yes, Adam and Eve now knew “good and evil”…because they had lost good and gained evil. Whatever is meant, is there any clue that God actually wanted in some way for them to partake of the fruit and disobey His command? There is nothing to imply this! In fact, the life of Jesus clearly refutes the idea that one must disobey God’s Word in order to “know good and evil” (at least know the difference). Jesus, the great I AM Himself, “knew no sin” (II Cor. 5:21). And He was not just “as gods/God.” He is God! This refutes the idea that one must disobey God in order to “know good and evil.” No matter what interpretation one takes of these words, there is nothing in them to imply that God did not mean what He said.

    And that is the whole issue.

    Hoping you will dig into the scripture passages I listed above. 🙂 I trust we both want our views to rest upon the authority of Scripture. Please consider them before settling on your opinion!

    NChristine

  27. August 14, 2010 7:02 pm

    FoF,

    Far from confirming the truth of the serpents claims, Gen 3:22 is recognized as an ironical reproof. God says, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (KJV ) or better “Behold, the man has become like one of us…” (NASB95). The irony is that Adam was already created in the likeness of God, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen 1:26) by God Himself, and instead of finding himself in some elevated position Adam finds himself on the receiving end of God’s righteous judgment.

    The structure of the passage shows that any concept of a declarative commendation of God’s pleasure, that Adam had by his own choosing and making become “like God”, is missing. First “behold” marks emphasis, second the claim of the serpent is repeated and, third judgment is declared. I am afraid that any other interpretation of this passage must confront Adam’s “perverse appetite for illicit knowledge”1 resulted ultimately in exactly what the serpent claimed would not happen, judgment and death. There is no indication of God’s pleasure with Adam’s sinful defiance. Adam was in fact driven from the garden, no longer in the presence of God, deprived of the tree of life, etc.

    1. John Calvin. Commentary on Genesis – Volume 1 (85).

  28. Martha permalink
    August 17, 2010 3:01 am

    Dear Fof,

    It was an easy search on LDS.org to find a statement that Mormon faith believes that they can become “even as He is”.

    You said:

    Bottom line- partaking of the fruit resulted in Adam and Eve knowing “good and evil” and becoming “as” God in some respect.

    Did Adam and Eve become gods when they partook of the fruit. I think not. Just because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit does not give you the capability to become gods as is stated in the following quote from LDS.org.

    Alexander B. Morrison

    If, as the scriptures teach, we are imbued with divinity, with infinite power and capacity to grow and progress, eventually to become as God Himself, our lives are innately important and meaningful. In other words, before the Fall—before Adam and Eve became mortal—there was no opportunity for God’s children to grow and progress toward their ultimate destiny of transformation to become even as He is.

    Gospel Library > Magazines > Ensign > December 1998

    Do you think you are worthy enough, FOF, to become as God?

    A gentle reminder again, that Satan is the one who said they would become as God.

    Gen. 3:22 does not say they have become as gods knowing good and evil. Only Satan said that.

    And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then our eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

    “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22

    The conclusion results that if you believe you will become as God, you must be following Satan.

    See my reply of August 12 with Holy Bible scripture that states that there is only ONE true God.

    Please know FOF that I am praying for you. I pray that God will remove the scales from your eyes so that you will see the only one true God, the Almighty Father, the creator of us all and Jesus Christ His son whom He gave as a pure sacrifice for our sins on the cross. Jesus who had to come to the earth a perfect human in order to reverse the effects of Adam and Eve’s partaking of the fruit.

  29. faithoffathers permalink
    August 18, 2010 3:40 pm

    Martha,

    I will provide this verse again:

    “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22

    That is God who said that.

    And notice my actual words when I said “Bottom line- partaking of the fruit resulted in Adam and Eve knowing ‘good and evil’ and becoming ‘as’ God IN SOME RESPECT.”

    The phrase “in some respect” suggests a limited manner. In other words, in some limited way, Adam and Eve become more like God after partaking of the forbidden fruit. There is no other reasonable conclusion from the words uttered by God Himself.

    So to answer your question- no Adam and Eve did not become gods in the garden. And I never said anything close to that.

    While the fall was an essential step in the long process of becoming like the Father, the fall itself didn’t result in anybody becoming a god.

    fof

  30. Martha permalink
    August 21, 2010 9:04 pm

    Hi Fof,

    Sorry for the delay in answering your post. I would just like to repeat a previous question that you did not answer:

    Do you think you are worthy enough, FOF, to become as God?

    Isn’t it true that the Mormon religion teaches that you can become a God?

  31. faithoffathers permalink
    August 22, 2010 4:30 pm

    Martha,

    Seems like a random question. What in the world does it have to do with this thread?

    fof

  32. Martha permalink
    August 23, 2010 3:20 am

    Hi Fof,

    Thanks for the question. For the answer please see my post of August 17th. In particular the quote from the Ensign. I would say that pretty much links the question with the thread.

    I humbly ask again, Fof, is it true that the Mormon religion states that you can become a god? I would also like to know if you believe you can become worthy enough to become a god?

    God bless,

  33. faithoffathers permalink
    August 23, 2010 5:17 pm

    Martha,

    I don’t see the point of this tangent. But fine.

    I believe that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all who follow Him and accept His gospel will have the opportunity to become joint heirs with Christ- to become like God in desires, thought, and action. He will always be my God and will always be my superior and Father. But I believe we are literally His children.

    I believe He has the love, power, and capacity to enable us to become like Him.

    fof

  34. August 23, 2010 6:31 pm

    FoF

    I know that this is way off topic an I apologize but I have always though you are taking the joint-heir promise a little out of it’s historical context and how it would have been understood by Jews or gentiles in the Roman empire. It seems anachronistic to understand an inheritance would be shared equally, that the second or third born would assume the same position of power in the family. I think this also ignores the role of adoption in our becoming the Children of God and to assume than an adopted child and the only begotten would have an equal shares of any inheritance especially a royal inheritance isn’t really found in Romans 8 or its historical context.

  35. Martha permalink
    August 24, 2010 1:44 pm

    Thanks for y0ur post, FOF. I believe this is a natural thread that results from discussing the Fall. The whole creation and fall of man points to the differences between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity. It comes down to the Mormon belief that they can become a god.

    to become like God in desires, thought, and action.

    If I understand the Mormon teachings, if you are married for all eternity in the Mormon temple you can procreate your own spirit children thus becoming like God in desires, thought and action. That through those spirit children you can have your own earth and become a god. The cycle continues over and over.

    In an article talking about the teaching of Joseph Smith by William E. Berrett, “Joseph Smith — Five Qualities of Leadership,” New Era, June 1977, 41 taken from LDS.org

    He elevated man to a new position as the literal son of God and a god in embryo, who not only lived before appearing in the flesh but will live again after death and can, as a possibility, become a god.

    Here’s a good one taken from LDS.org. Dealing Successfully with Change by David S. King, Ensign 1981, February

    One of President Brown’s most famous similes was this: Just as an oak tree is involved in an acorn, so an acorn may become an oak tree; by the same token, just as godhood is involved in us, so we may become a god. He made it clear, however, that not all acorns would become oaks, but only those that broke out of their tough shells and reached for the sky. Likewise, we could never achieve godhood unless we set our sights on something nobler than the foothills of mediocrity and started reaching our hands up to God.

    Let me just end with a quote from the Bible:

    Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

    The only way you can become a god as Joseph Smith says is if you follow Satan. That is the only conclusion one can take from scripture. That is Satan’s lie.

    Once again, FOF, please know that I am praying for you. I pray that God will remove the scales from your eyes. That you will know that if you open your heart to God, he will come in and you will be adopted into His kingdom. Not to inherit the Kingdom and become your own god, but to live with God for all eternity in joy, and praise of Him the only true King.

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

  36. Martha permalink
    August 24, 2010 1:48 pm

    Sorry I forgot to put the scripture for the Bible scripture about there is only one God and there was no God before and there will never be another God. He is God and no other.

    It was Isaiah 43:10-11

    God bless,

    Martha

  37. faithoffathers permalink
    August 24, 2010 9:55 pm

    Martha,

    I don’t really understand why the jump from the fall to this typical ploy used by EVs to bate LDS into this line of reasoning.

    I have heard so many EV preachers explain how to “minister” to mormons in this way. This is supposed to demonstrate quickly that the LDS doctrine is false and not Biblical.

    The reality is that this method is very superficial and doesn’t really take much into consideration but a few selected Bible verses.

    While I appreciate your effort and concern, that conversation is miles deeper than most realize. It is certainly beyond the scope of this thread, which is supposed to be about the fall.

    Gundeck,

    I recognize the limitations of any analogy or comparison. I also recognize that I will never be equal with Christ and would never seek such a thing. And I don’t think the issue of adoption changes the conversation- those who are adopted through Christ can become “joint heirs.”

    The bottom line is that Romans 8, Paul calls the followers of Christ “joint heirs with Christ” in the context of calling us the “offspring of God.” We can disagree all day, but I think the concept which I am advocating is certainly a reasonable one given the text.

    Thanks for the response.

    fof

  38. August 24, 2010 11:59 pm

    FoF,

    Yes, Romans 8 does call the adopted children of God are heirs with Christ, but I am not sure where the followers of Christ are called the offspring of God in this context.

  39. faithoffathers permalink
    August 25, 2010 5:24 pm

    Gundeck,

    Sorry- Romans 8 refers to us and the “children of God.” The statement about being “offspring” is in Acts 17.

    But still, it doesn’t change much. What does it mean to be a child of God? Merely to be His creation? Why does He not also refer to the animals and His other creations as His “children?”

    If the concept of “heir” in this passage is not the one I am advocating, to what is it referring? The concept of an heir at that time was not unlike it is today. An heir is a person that inherits something of value from another, typically a parent. The fact that children within a family may receive different inheritences doesn’t make them different species from the parent. Nor does it mean that none of them will become like the parent in full.

    And those that receive the greatest inheritence receive “all that the [parent] has.”

  40. August 26, 2010 3:19 am

    FoF,

    You have asked a couple of excellent questions.

    First we have to acknowledge that there are passages that refer to a general relationship of God as the creator of all humankind (Ecc 12:7; Mal 2:10(?); Acts 17:25-29; Heb 12:9). In this respect there is an anological universal Father child relationship with all of humanity.

    Drilling this down a bit, from the Old Testament, Israel was more specifically addresses as the children and sons of God (Deut 14:1; Isa 1:2; Hos 1:10) as a way of designating their being the chosen people of God.

    In the New Testament this unique relationship has a clear Soteriological nature and is applied to all believers of Jesus Christ including Gentiles (John 1:12; 11:52; Rom 9:9; Gal 3:26).

    Context is the only way for us to determine the various ways that humanity is referred to as the children of God in the Bible (1) universal creator/creature relationship, (2) Israel as the chosen people and nation, (3) believers of Jesus Christ. We also see that this paternal relationship is one of God’s choosing, (1) His decision to create, (2) His choice of Israel as His people, (3) His adoption of those in Christ.

    Inheritance in first century Rome was significantly different than we have today. Property and decision making power for the multi-generational family unit was passed to the next head of household not distributed in portions. Historically adoption could bring a son into a household lacking in male heirs or move a child into a better family position. Membership in a Roman family offered a certain amount of security and status even if it did not promise a material inheritance or assumption as head of household.

    The future inheritance for those in Christ does not come at the death of the Father. We have to be careful how far we carry this analogy. Christ is the only begotten Son and will receive the glory but Paul shows that there is both a present and an eschatological significance to being declared a child of God. Paul uses a number of contrasting comparisons that show the present nature of adoption as a son of God. Most obvious is son/slave and spirit/flesh but we also see assurance/fear. The inheritance of God’s children is also spelled out in contrasting comparisons in Roman 8:18-25 sufferings/glory, futility/hope, freedom/bondage, pains/redemption.

  41. Martha permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:37 pm

    Hi Fof,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m sorry I wasn’t aware I was using a “typical ploy” or “trying to bate you”.

    When I was growing up as a Mormon, I always wondered how my dad or my brother could actually think they could ever be worthy of becoming a god. Being a woman, I was never encouraged that I could become a god.

    Thankfully, as I read the Bible, God took the scales off my eyes and I began to see that man could never attain godhood. The idea that a Mormon thinks he can inherit the kingdom or become an heir is of such abhorrent disrespect to the God that I love. To think that you can become equal to the God of the universe, the creator of all, the same yesterday, now and forever, the God of love and grace, the all-knowing God who knows the hairs on my head, the thoughts in my mind, the longing in my heart to be with Him, is so totally blasphemous to me I want to cry for the Mormon people.

    Being raised in the Mormon religion and subsequently being born again by my Lord Jesus helps me to understand the total ridiculousness of the belief the Mormon’s have that they can attain godhood or be a “joint-heir” with God. I have come to the shocking truth that the god the Mormons worship is in reality Satan, as pointed out in the Genesis scripture discussion above. What is so blasphemous is that they do it in the name of Jesus Christ! It’s the warped teaching of the Fall that the early Mormon church thought up, that could only have come from Satan himself. Bible scripture contradicts the Mormon doctrine which is pointed out over and over again in this blog. Specifically the discussion you just had with gundek. By the way, thank you gundek, God bless you.

    Please know, Fof, that I am praying for you daily as with all my family and those I know who are lost in the Mormon religion. I pray that God will remove the scales from their eyes as He did mine so that they can see the true God and creator. That they would open their hearts to Jesus and know Him as their true Lord and Savior. You see, Fof, God is not the God of condemnation. He is not the God that says you have to do this and that to attain salvation. He is the God of love and grace, he does not judge by appearances but by what is in your heart. If you open that heart to Him he will come inside and have a personal relationship with you. You will be assured at that moment that you will live with Him forever, because you already are!! You see, Fof, when you open your heart to Jesus and call Him your Lord, at that moment you become His joint-heir and inherit the kingdom of God. If you don’t accept the teachings of Jesus and put Him in His proper place of God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, you will not be in His presence for all eternity. It’s your choice, Fof. It’s that simple.

    I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

    God bless

  42. faithoffathers permalink
    August 26, 2010 6:32 pm

    Gundeck,

    Thanks for the well thought out response. It is an interesting topic.

    A couple of points about LDS theology, which you already probabaly know.

    First, we do recognize multiple ways in which humanity is considered “children of God.”

    The first way, of course, is in the sense that our spirits were form/organized by Heavenly Father eons ago. This applies to all people on this earth.

    The other way we are to be considered “children of God”- as you too recognize- is through being born again through the atonement of Jesus Christ. This conversion process makes us children of Christ, with Him becoming Father of our salvation.

    So our spirits have had two “births”- the first under the operation of the Father, the second under the operation of the Son.

    This concept does fit the general idea you are getting from the biblical text- that being the idea of a general sense of “children” for all of humanity, and an additional sense for those who accept Christ.

    But the concept of an “heir” still creates problems for the doctrine that we are not literally children of God. When has there ever been an heir or joint-heir who received something from another species or with another species? I don’t mean to be facetious.

    I understand you believe the adoption phraseology suggests that we are accepted into God’s family not as members of the same species- hence your point about heirs being given place in families other than their own. But my point, again, is that the heir was always from the human family- never from a lower form or creature.

    In saying that, I do not suggest we are equal with God. Of course we are not, but I believe we are His literal children.

    Sorry for being so long-winded on this.

    Marhta,

    I have heard countless preachers instruct people on how to “minister” to LDS and to demonstrate to them that their doctrine is false. It typically starts with a question like the one you asked, followed by a quick alogrithm of Biblical verses with the result being that- presto- it is proven that there is only one God or God was never a man, etc. etc. Maybe your motive behind your question was nothing like that. If so, didn’t mean to offend you.

    And I have never even suggested that I believe I can ever become equal with God. That idea has no place in my soul.

    And by the way, the idea that we can inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and become heirs is as biblical as any other doctrine or concept. (See Matt 25:34, 1 Cor 6:9, Gal 5:21, Rev 21:7, Rom 8:17, Gal 4:7, James 2:5).

    I am sorry and amazed that you believe Satan is the God of my religion. Really don’t know what to say to that except that you are wrong and very mislead. Everything good in my life has come as a result of reading the Book of Mormon many years ago and my conversion to Christ through the restored gospel.

    fof

  43. August 26, 2010 10:01 pm

    FoF,

    I wasn’t exactly brief in my response.

    I don’t think that we can use the term heir to assume that our nature is the same as God’s, or as you put it that we are the same species. To take any anology used in scripture in a univocal manner misses the fact that the created and finite is by necessity different from uncreated and infinite. Paul points to the eternal power and divine nature of God in the beginning of Romans (1:20), he does not claim that we will become the same by our adoption.

    Adoption and inheritance are human analogies used to express redemptive and eschatological promises from the divine to humanity. In Roman law these were binding legal declarations. In the gospel they are sovereign and binding promises.

  44. Martha permalink
    August 30, 2010 2:53 am

    Fof,

    Sorry, I’m new at this blogging thing and didn’t realize I was following some subscribed pastor teaching. I was just speaking from my heart and from the Bible. You see I was raised a Mormon and I did not get anything out of reading the Book of Mormon. In fact, my life was raised with judgement and condemnation from my parents beliefs in the Mormon religion. I removed myself after the ex-communication of my brother. But, praise the Lord, He came for me and adopted me into His family. I’ve been studing the Bible ever since and what I find is not condemnation, but Love. I don’t find law, but the grace of a loving God. I am presently assured of my salvation and my eternal existance in the presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I do not have to do anything more. The good things I do are because I love my Savior with all my heart. I know Him and He knows me. I obey Him out of Love not to gain worthiness.

    It breaks my heart to know that my family and friends have accepted that they will be in the terrestial kingdom away from the presense of God. Because they are not perfect enough to dwell in the celestial kingdom as Gods. What a horrible burden I use to bare, my unworthiness. It has taken me years to shake that burden. But again, I praise the Lord, for my salvation and the removing of that burden to be replaced with God’s grace.

    I know I’m going to live in the presence of the one and true God for all eternity. Do you, FOF? Have you accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Can you say “Jesus is my Lord” above and beyond anything else. Can you acknowledge that you are a sinner and never will be worthy of the presence of God. That the only way you can be in that presence is because of the great sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.

    God bless, and know that I am praying for you.

    — Martha

  45. olsenjim permalink
    August 31, 2010 3:18 am

    Martha,

    Yes- I have accepted Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior. He is my Lord aboe and beyond anything else. I acknowledge that I am a sinner and never will be worthy of the presence of God on my own. The only way is through the great sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.

    Thanks for praying for me. I need all the help I can get.

    Sorry your experience in your family was so harsh. My experience with the church is one of warmth, forgiveness, peace, acceptence, and love.

    Sorry you got nothing out of reading the Book of Mormon. That book changed my life- everything that is good in my life can be traced back to reading that book. It has brought incredible peace in my life and convinced me of my need for Jesus Christ.

    fof

  46. August 31, 2010 9:08 pm

    Hey olsenjim / faithoffathers (fof) / david / royalton / djb,

    My head is swimming!! Why all the aliases?

    Will the real blogger please step forward? 🙂

    Stephanie

  47. faithoffathers permalink
    September 1, 2010 6:29 am

    Stephanie,

    Sorry about that- I wrote my reply on a computer which another person had not logged out of.

    fof

  48. Martha permalink
    September 2, 2010 2:49 pm

    I know I’m going to live in the presence of the one and true God for all eternity. Do you, FOF?

    I just wanted to ask this again, Fof. Because that is one of the main differences between Christianity and Mormonism. I know right now I will be in the presence of God for all eternity. I know because I already am.

    Also, I believe the Bible to be God breathed and correct. Either you believe in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. There are too many contradictions to believe both. As stated in my post of August 8th.

    I’ll leave the discussion on excommunication to another blog. Maybe Jessica can start one?

    I’ll keep praying for you and for all the Mormon people as a whole.

  49. faithoffathers permalink
    September 2, 2010 3:16 pm

    Martha,

    I HOPE I will live with Heavenly Father after this life. I have faith that if I follow the Savior I will be so blessed.

    To be honest, I have always found the EV emphasis on knowing that you are saved a bit hokey. No offense. It is just another thing that adds to the fairy-tale-like nature of the EV theology- it simply makes no sense to me in the face of so many other things.

    I would also say that not all non-LDS Christians share your view on this matter. The issue of whether a person can “fall from grace” has been debated for centuries.

    Although I disagree with you whether you are in the presence of God now, I would agree that when a person feels the Holy Ghost, they are feeling the presence of diety. And in my opinion, that is the best indicator as to whether a person would receive eternal life if they were to die.

    There are many ways to interpret any given passage in the Bible as well as the Bible as a whole. The Book of Mormon is perfectly consistent with what I believe is the correct interpretation of the Bible. In fact, that is one reason God caused it to come forth- to clarify and confirm the testimony that is found in the Bible.

    Thanks for your prayers.

    fof

  50. September 3, 2010 3:40 am

    FOF,

    Although I disagree with you whether you are in the presence of God now, I would agree that when a person feels the Holy Ghost, they are feeling the presence of diety.

    I must admit I find this position troublesome, for it not only denies the idea of an omni-present God, but it also seems to defy the clear teaching of John that we HAVE eternal life once we come to Christ. Eternal Life is to know God and Christ, and contrary to LDS teaching, this is not something one receives in the afterlife. It is a gift of God given in THIS LIFE to those who come to Christ. There are countless scriptures that make this very clear.

    Just to cite a few.

    And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. Jn 17:3

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life… Jn 3:36

    Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Jn 5:24.

    Darrell

  51. Martha permalink
    September 3, 2010 3:54 am

    John 10:26-30

    26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

    27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

    30I and my Father are one.

    ..

    John 6:56

    56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    It’s because I read and study the Bible, FOF. It’s because I believe in Him the one and only true God and whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. I hear His voice and he dwelleth in me. Praise the Lord for my current salvation!!

    God bless,

  52. Martha permalink
    September 3, 2010 4:05 am

    Hey, FOF, how about we continue this conversation on Jessica’s new blog about Dwelling in the Holiest through the blood of Jesus.

    See you there!!

  53. JRSG permalink
    September 2, 2013 9:20 am

    Martha said on August 12, 2010: • You have to go to the ward they tell you at the time they tell you to go. You can’t choose which church or what time to go.

    • You have to pay 10% tithing, you have to produce your tax return to prove it.

    • You have to attend church regularly. They take role and if they don’t see you there, they will call you and ask why you didn’t attend.

    Where did you go to church?! We have been attending a ward out of our ward boundary and there has been no problem. As a matter of fact no one from our home ward ever checked in on us. No one came to us to find out what was going on. That is truly sad. Yes, it is preferable if we went to the ward we are assigned to, and there is a reason for that – church records. But the church does recognize that people need to go to a different ward for personal reasons, like we do. We are just now going back to our home ward because there have been some positive changes and some of the people who caused problems for us are no longer there. I told the new Bishop why we were attending elsewhere and also told him that if we had problems again with certain people we would go back to the other ward.
    Unfortunately some LDS members do not practice true Christianity, just like any other Christian of any other religion. I have had non LDS Christians treat me really badly too, so it is not just LDS that can be jerks. People are people, and unfortunately some who profess to be Christian do not keep Christ in their heart and do not practice true Christianity regardless of the beliefs they profess. Like some EV’s on other sites.

    I have never had to produce a tax return to prove that I paid 10% tithing. Never. No one should have to do that. What a LDS member pays is between them and God. It is our duty to be honest with God. Could things be done better in the LDS religion? Yes. The same goes for any religion. God has to use and work with imperfect people. Some learn and some do not and some rise to the occasion and do the right thing and some do not.

    Whenever we miss church, for what ever reason, no one calls to ask why we were not there. And there is no roll taking. Where did that come from?! In Sacrament a person is assigned to count the people in the chapel; but they are not taking “roll”. They do not have a list of names of the members and check to see who is there and who is not, like attendance. And in the other classes there is no roll taking. Where are you getting this from?? Wow. If we miss more than one Sunday then someone calls to make sure every thing is alright with us. That is all. Not to find out why were not there. The way you say it you make it sound bad.

    I feel badly for you because it sounds like you had some bad experiences in your LDS ward and that is not the way it should be. Me and my family had bad experiences in our ward. I fought back. And those bad LDS members will answer for what they did. Like I said, jerks are in all religions. I told the Bishop that we could no longer stomach some people in our home ward and needed a break and needed to be around LDS members who really believed in Christ and practiced Christian principals.
    When I was 12 years old until I graduated high school and even when I came home to visit, there was a lady who worked with my mother who was Southern Baptist, and she hated Mormons. I was an easy target because I was a kid ( how adult and Christian of her!) and religion was not on my mind all the time. She was horrible to me when no one was around to witness what she did to me. Talk about abuse. My mother did not believe me for the longest time. That is another issue. I did not have the greatest family or home life. My parents were inactive. I was treated like the ugly step child. Anyway, sorry about your experiences. I truly believe that some people are not meant to be LDS, for what ever reason. It has been my experience that people who are bitter, or mad, or feel betrayed by and at the church, from their perspective ( believe me I have had a lot of experience with this) lash out and say things that are not necessarily true because it is the easy thing to do and makes them feel good and puts the other person or religions in a bad light. I have been dealing with this very thing for the last 7 years.
    Peace. JRSG (Sorry for such a long reply)

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