“No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the fall and its effects upon all mankind.  And no book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon.”  (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1987, pg. 106)

Fall Defined

(2 Nephi 2:25; Helaman 14:16)

 “Adam’s fall was a step downward, but it was also a step forward–a step in the eternal march of human progress.” (Orson F. Whitney, CR, April 1908, pg. 90)

 “Adam and Eve accepted the call to initiate the plan, and subjected themselves to earth conditions. That was the so-called fall of Adam, an act necessary for the winning of bodies of earth-element by man, and for the fulfillment of divine law.... The ‘fall of Adam’ had made possible the earth experience.” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 73-74)

 “If God had created man mortal, then death, sin, and all the circumstances of mortality would be God’s doing and would be eternal and permanent in their nature; whereas if man brings the Fall upon himself, he is the responsible moral agent, and God is able to rescue and redeem him from his fallen state.  Moreover, Adam and Eve’s having brought about the Fall themselves made them subject to punishment or reward for their actions.  A little reflection upon these matters leads one to conclude that the Fall was accomplished in the very best possible way.”  (Robert J. Matthews, Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, The Man Adam, The Fall of Man, pg. 60)

If he had made them mortal, and subject to pain, there would have been some cause, among intelligent beings, to say that the Lord subjected man, without a cause, to afflictions, sorrows, death and mortality. But he could not do this; it was contrary to the nature of his attributes, contrary to the nature of that infinite goodness which dwells in the bosom of the Father and the Son, to make a being subject to any kind of pain.” (Orson Pratt, JD, 21:289)

NOTE - There is not room for the ‘Fall of Adam’ and the ‘Evolution of Man’. Fall suggests a downward movement, while evolution suggests an upward movement. Cannot be both, but one or the other.

Contradicting Commandments

(Moses 3:15-25)

 “Just why the Lord would say to Adam that he forbade him to partake of the fruit of the tree is not made clear in the Bible account, but in the original as it comes to us in the book of Moses it is made definitely clear.  It is that the Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain as he was in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Improvement Era, April 1962, pg. 231)

 “Now this is the way I interpret that:  The Lord said to Adam, here is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  If you want to stay here, then you cannot eat of that fruit.  If you want to stay here, then I forbid you to eat it.  But you may act for yourself, and you may eat of it if you want to.  And if you eat it, you will die.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Charge to Religious Educators, ‘Fall-Atonement-Resurrection-Sacrament,’, pg. 124)

 “What the real meaning is of the expression forbidden fruit has not been revealed, and it is profitless to speculate. It is sufficient for us to know that Adam and Eve broke the law, which would have permitted them to continue  as immortal beings, or in other words they complied with the law which enabled them to become mortal beings, and this course of conduct is termed eating the forbidden fruit.

“One thing we do know definitely: The forbidden fruit was not sex sin. The view that immoral indulgence on the part of our first parents constituted the forbidden fruit is one of the most evil and wicked heresies in apostate Christendom. Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord himself before the fall, and the command given them to have children was one directing the begetting of children in legal and lawful wedlock.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pg. 289)

 “Did they [Adam and Eve] come out in direct opposition to God and to his government? No. But they transgressed a command of the Lord, and through that transgression sin came into the world. The Lord knew they would do this, and he had designed that they should.” (Brigham Young, Discourse of Brigham Young, pg. 103)

 “Adam did not commit sin in eating the fruits; for God had decreed that he should eat and fall.” (Joseph Smith; Andrew Ehat and Lydon Cook, Words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 63)

 “Adam and Eve therefore did the very thing that the Lord intended them to do...” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answer to Gospel Questions, 4:79-82)

 “No person was foreordained or appointed to sin or to perform a mission of evil. No person is ever predestined to salvation or damnation. Every person has free agency. Cain was promised by the Lord that if he would do well, he would be accepted. Judas had his agency and acted upon it; no pressure was brought to bear on him to cause him to betray the Lord, but he was led by Lucifer. If men were appointed to sin and betray their brethren, then justice could not demand that they be punished for sin and betrayal when they are guilty.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 1:61)

 “He then observed that Satan was generally blamed for the evils which we did, but if he was the cause of all our wickedness, men could not be condemned. The devil could not compel mankind to do evil; all was voluntary. Those who resisted the Spirit of God, would be liable to be led into temptation, and then the association of heaven would be withdrawn from those who refused to be made partakers of such great glory. God would not exert any compulsory means, and the devil could not; and such ideas as were entertained [on these subjects] by many were absurd.”  (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 187)

Figurative or Literal

 “Virtually every tenet of our faith represents a departure from the theological position of historical or traditional Christianity. What we declare to be literal, they declare to be figurative; what we declare to be figurative, they declare to be literal. Thus we share a common vocabulary while holding to an entirely different set of meanings.” (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions, pg. 199)

Helpmeet - Moses 2:26-28; Moses 3 18-20, 24

 “The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)–that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters. For a man to operate independent of or without regard to the feelings and counsel of his wife in governing the family is to exercise unrighteous dominion.” (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, November 1994, pg. 51)

“The Lord, after creating Adam, saw that he was alone in the garden, and declared, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.’ (Gen. 2:18) As indicated in a footnote to Genesis 2:18 in the LDS edition of the Bible (note 18b), the Hebrew term for the phrase ‘help meet for him’ (‘ezer kenegdo) literally means ‘a helper suited to, worthy of, or corresponding to him.’ The King James translators rendered this phrase ‘help meet’–the word meet in sixteenth‑century English meaning ‘fitting’ or ‘proper.’ It might be clearer if there were a comma after ‘help’–’I will make him an help, meet for him.’

“The American Heritage Dictionary further explains: ‘In the 17th century the two words help and meet in this passage were mistaken for one word, applying to Eve, and thus helpmeet came to mean a wife. Then in the 18th century, in a misguided attempt to make sense of the word, the spelling helpmate was introduced.’” (Second college edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982, pg. 604)

“Thus the original meaning of the phrase has been obscured. Genesis says God created man; ‘male and female created he them.’ (Gen. 1:27) President Spencer W. Kimball taught that the term man in the story of the Creation refers to ‘a complete man, which is husband and wife.’ (Ensign, March 1976, pg. 71) The detailed description of the creation of Adam and Eve describes their relationship as ‘corresponding to each other’ and prescribes the ideal of unity between a man and woman. The significance of this phrase ‘help meet’ is that the woman is a creation who is a fitting and proper companion for Adam because she is like him and corresponds to him. This concept is further solidified by the description of the creation of woman as being formed from the rib of Adam–a rib being a metaphor for a person corresponding to Adam. Modern prophets have taught that the creation of woman from the rib of the man is to be taken figuratively. (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, March 1976, pg. 71) The proper role of the man and woman is clarified in the scriptural injunction that they should leave their parents and ‘cleave’ unto each other, and become ‘one flesh.’ (Gen. 2:24) The oneness of the man and the woman, as described by these two phrases, refers to more than just the act of procreation. They are to each leave their parents who have cared and provided for them both physically and spiritually; and now, ‘corresponding to each other,’ are to help, care for, and nurture each other.” (David Rolph Seely, Ensign, ‘I Have a Question’, January 1994, pg. 54)

 “In the beginning after the earth was prepared, God brought man and woman together in the garden and the first wedding occurred.”  (Marian D. Hanks, Ensign, November 1984, pg. 36)

 “‘Let us make man [not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife] in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.’ (Moses 2:26) What a beautiful partnership! Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord. Such a marriage extends beyond the grave. All peoples should call for this kind of marriage.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, March 1976, Pg. 71)

NOTE - ‘Adam’ (Moses 1:34) [Heb.] First man (Abraham 1:3) or many which pertains to his posterity (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 167). ‘Eve’ Moses 4:26) [Heb.] Mother of all living or many which pertains to her posterity (D&C 132:24)

She also takes upon her the name of Adam (Moses 6:9) as a symbol of becoming one with her husband. In the position and pattern representing all mankind, Adam and Eve are not their mortal names but titles or their ‘new name’, and after the fall received another name. (William Clayton Journals, An Intimate Chronicle, pg. 238-239; John Taylor, JD, 19:78-79)

Rib - Moses 3:21-24

 “And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. [The story of the rib, of course, is figurative.]” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, March 1976, Pg. 71)

Naked - Moses 3:25; Moses 4:13; 16-17; 2 Nephi 9:14; Revelation 16:15

‘Naked’ [Heb.] awroom = helpless, innocent, or without possessions

Serpent - Moses 4:5-19; Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 2 Nephi 9:9; Alma 33:19-22; Helaman 8:14-15

A Sign in the Heavens.

“This night, about twelve o'clock, the pilot and officers of the steamer William Penn, on the Ohio river, between Aurora and the rising sun, Indiana, observed a great light in the sky, in the form of a serpent. It turned to a livid, bright red, deep and awful, and remained stationary among the stars for two or three minutes, and then in a gradual manner formed a distinct roman G: in about a minute and a half, it turned into a distinct O, and afterwards changed to a plain D, when it turned into an oblong shape, and gradually disappeared.” (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:309)

Trees - Moses 3:9, 17; Moses 4:9; 2 Nephi 2:15; 1 Nephi 8; Revelation 22

“As to the Fall itself we are told that the Lord planted ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil’ in the midst of the garden. (Moses 3:9)  To Adam and Eve the command came:  ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose fro thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’(Moses 3:16-17)

Again the account is speaking figuratively.  What is meant by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that our first parents complied with whatever laws were involved so that their bodies would change from their state of paradisiacal immortality to a state of natural mortality.”  (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Christ and the Creation, June 1982, pg. 15)

 “As to the fall, the scriptures set forth that there were in the Garden of Eden two trees. One was the tree of life, which figuratively refers to eternal life; the other was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which figuratively refers to how and why and in what manner mortality and all that appertains to it came into being.”  (Bruce R. McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pg. 86)

“It was Eve who first transgressed the limits of Eden in order to initiate the conditions of mortality. Her act, whatever its nature, was formally a transgression but eternally a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life. Adam showed his wisdom by doing the same.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1993, pg. 73)


Death Enters the World

(Moses 3:17; Moses 4:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 2 Nephi 2:22)

“When the Lord spoke to Adam, after having placed him in the Garden of Eden, concerning the forbidden fruit, saying–’In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die!’  We cannot suppose that the day there referred to meant a day of twenty-four hours.  It could not have meant that, for history informs us that Adam lived almost one thousand years from the time of the Fall; but before the day of a thousand years had wholly passed away his death did take place.”  (Brigham Young, JD, 16:317)

 “So Adam and Eve partook. Eating of that forbidden fruit subdued the power of the spirit and created blood in their bodies. No blood was in their bodies before the Fall. The blood became the life of the body. And the blood was not only the life thereof, but it had in it the seeds of death.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, CR, April 1967, pg. 122)

Adam [and, by extension, all of the animal creation] had no blood in his veins before the fall.  Blood is the life of the mortal body.  After Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, blood became the life-giving fluid in Adam’s body, and was inherited by his posterity.  Blood was not only the life of the mortal body, but also contained in it the seeds of death which bring the mortal body to its end.  Previously the life force in Adam’s body, which is likewise the sustaining power in every immortal body, was the spirit.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Man:  His Origin and Destiny, pg. 362, 376-377; Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:100-101)

Transgression or Sin

(Article of Faith #2)

 “This suggested contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: ‘We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression’. It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin–inherently wrong–but a transgression–wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1993, pg. 73)

 “The powerful Lucifer has his day. He whispers into every man’s ears. Some reject his enticing offers, others yield. Satan whispers, ‘This is no sin. You are no transgressor. I am no devil. There is no evil one. There is no black. All is white’.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, CR, October 1967, pg. 30)

Fall of Adam

(Genesis 3;2 Nephi 2:22-24;Alma 12:29-31;Alma 42:2-12;Moses 3-4)

Conceived in Sin

(Moses 6:53-55)

 “This being ‘conceived in sin’, as I understand it, is only that they are in the midst of sin. They come into the world where sin is prevalent, and it will enter into their hearts, but it will lead them ‘to taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.’“ (George Q. Morris  CR, April 1958, pg. 38)


(D&C 116:1)

Adam-ondi-Ahman = The Valley of God Where Adam Dwelt (Parley P. Pratt, JD 18:343)

 “Brigham Young stated, ‘Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson [County] Missouri.’ (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, vol. 5, 15 Mar. 1857, Archives Division, Church Historical Dept., SLC) Heber C. Kimball said: ‘From the Lord, Joseph learned that Adam had dwelt on the land of America, and that the Garden of Eden was located where Jackson County now is.’ (Andrew Jenson, Historical Record, 7:439; Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, pg. 219) Other early leaders have given the same information.” (Bruce A. Van Orden, Ensign, ‘I Have a Question,’, January 1994, pg. 55)

Pattern For All Falls

(Moses 4:12-14; D&C 29:34-35)

Temptations of the Flesh

 “I should like to say to you, my brethren and sisters, that all the assaults that the enemy of our souls will make to capture us will be through the flesh, because it is made up of the unredeemed earth, and he has power over the elements of the earth.  The approach he makes to us will be through the lusts, the appetites, the ambitions of the flesh.  All the help that comes to us from the Lord to aid us in this struggle will come to us through the spirit that dwells within this mortal body.  So these two mighty forces are operating upon us through these two channels.

“How is the battle going with you?  How is it going with men and women in the world?  That is a very important question.  The greatest conflict that any man or woman will ever have, I care not how numerous their enemies may be, will be the battle that is had with self.” (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness, pg. 178-179)

 “In the first place the spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth. If the spirit yields to the body, the devil then has power to overcome both the body and spirit of that man, and he loses both.” (Brigham Young, JD, 2:255-256)

5 Verbs of Action

‘saw’, ‘pleasant’, ‘desired’, ‘took’, ‘eat’, ‘gave’ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -            Colossians 2:21-22


Eve - Moses 4:12                                 Cain - Moses 5                                    Lehi - 1 Nephi 11

David - 2 Samuel 11                 World - Romans 1


NOTE - Temptation occurs greatest when one is ‘alone’ and in the ‘cool of the day’



1.      Walk and talk in the presence of God (Moses 4:14)

2.      No growth or progression (2 Nephi 2:22; Moses 3:95:11)

3.      No death (2 Nephi 2:22)

4.      No posterity (2 Nephi 2:23)

5.      State of innocence/no knowledge of good and evil/no righteousness nor sin (2 Nephi 2:23; Moses 5:11)

6.      No joy (2 Nephi 2:23; Moses 5:11)

7.      No pain or sorrow (2 Nephi 2:23)

8.      Limited agency (Moses 3:17;Alma 12:30-31)



1.      Cut off from the presence of God [Spiritual Death] (Helaman 14:16)

2.      Exposed to a telestial state, but through growth and progression, a Celestial state would be made possible (Alma 42:2-13)

3.      Subject to physical death (I Corinthians 15:21-22)

4.      Could have posterity/potentially for eternity Moses 5:11)

5.      Have a knowledge of good and evil/capacity for righteousness and sin (Alma 12:31-32)

6.      Experience true joy (D&C 101:36)

7.      Experience pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:4)

8.      Agency (Helaman 14:30-31)



A.     “The Scriptures inform us that, prior to his transgression in Eden, Adam held direct and personal communion with God; and that one of the immediate consequences of his fall, which was brought about through disobedience, was his forfeiture of that exalted association. He was shut out from the presence of God, and though he heard the Divine Voice he no longer was permitted to behold the Presence of the Lord. This banishment was to the man spiritual death; and its infliction brought into effect the predicted penalty, that in the day of his sin he would surely die” (Moses 3:17).” (James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism, pg. 51-52)


B.      “We find, then, Adam's status before the fall was:

1.  He was not subject to death.

2.  He was in the presence of God. He saw him just as you see your father: was in his presence, and learned his language. . .

3.  He had no posterity.

4.  He was without knowledge of good and evil.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 1:107-08)



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