Thursday, May 21, 2020

Exploring What Adam and Eve Lost...

The Fulness

I was pondering the beauty of the Garden room in the Idaho Falls temple ( and it got me thinking of the story of Adam and Eve and what it was they lost exactly.

When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit they lost the fulness of the presence of God. Before they ate the fruit, they walked in the cool of the day with Him (Moses 4:14). They had intimacy with God! Once they partook of the fruit, their knowledge shifted and they died spiritually. To die spiritually meant the glory of God's presence was lost to them (Moses 4:29).

“The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one. Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God. And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.” 
— D&C 93:36-39

Joseph Smith declared:
"It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance” (D&C 131:6), and, “. . . Salvation is for a man to be saved from all his enemies; for until a man can triumph over death (spiritual), he is not saved. A knowledge of the priesthood alone will do this . . . Knowledge is the power of salvation. 
— History of the Church 5:402-3

Joseph further noted:

A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world (meaning evil power from another realm), as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. ***Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God***. 
— History of the Church 4:588

Adam and Eve's plight is our plight. We are barred from God's presence. To regain what was lost in the garden, we will need revelation to assist us and give us knowledge of the things of God. The scriptures spell out the path to restoration. Ultimately, rituals found Christian religions are given to pass on specific knowledge of the order and process of how to return to God. Knowledge is the power of salvation and, as Joseph Smith said, evil spirits have more knowledge than most men (and women) on this earth! Hence we need revelation to bring us back into restoration and redemption from the Fall (Ether 3:13).

The ministering of Angels, also known as the Aaronic priesthood, is a prepatory association with heaven. It is a Telestial association. A Terrestrial association is an increase in heavenly association with The Son - even Jesus Christ. And a Celestial association is a restoration to the Father and the fulness that was lost. This restoration will happen to all those who hearken to the Lord's voice over the adversary's voice (Moses 4:4).

We need the Aaronic priesthood, or in other words - we need the ministering of Angels, to assist in our return to the Father. We require the association with Angels to begin the journey back. The ministering of Angels is available to all, both male and female, black or white, bond or free (2 Nephi 26:33) and is not limited to men alone. The story of Adam and Eve shows the eternal pattern of redemption. This post will peel back the layers of ascension and restoration to the Father. 
19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holders the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. 
20 Therefore, in the ordinances (another way of saying it is: therefore, in following the order) thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. 
21 And without the ordinances (or without following the order) thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; 
22 For without this (without this ordinance/specific knowledge of the order or process) no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.                                                     — D&C 84:19-22  
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."  -- John 17:3

The Lord told the prophet Joseph, “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61). Joseph later taught, “It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another” (History of the Church 6:305).

Recovering the presence of God is available to all (D&C 93:1). D&C 93:1 shows the eternal pattern of redemption from the fall (Ether 3:13).

Joseph Smith also noted that “He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things . . . Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.” (D&C 93:28, 31-32)

The Glory of God is Intelligence (D&C 130:19). Man can not be saved in ignorance. 

You are spiritually dead, or ignorant.

You, like Adam and Eve, are "naked" (without knowledge). The only way out of spiritual death is to come out from nakedness and receive a covering from God (Further light and knowledge). Any work for the dead must begin with ourselves. Until we are redeemed from the fall, we are found among the (spiritually) dead.

To come out from death, you must be born again.

In Genesis and the book of Moses, God brings Adam and Eve to a Garden—Eden. He instructs them that of all the trees in the garden they may eat freely, "but of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil they may not eat" because if they do, they will die. Nevertheless, He tells them, they can choose for themselves. Then God leaves (Moses 3).

Is God literally talking about actual trees and not glutting on a particular fresh fruit?

There are more than two trees in the garden that Adam and Eve can partake of. What are the other "trees" offering Adam and Eve? 

Are the trees and fruit symbolic of something spiritual?

Could the "trees" be Noble and Great Ones (Abraham 3: 22-25) and the "fruit" they offer is knowledge?

I believe Adam and Eve are literal beings. I also believe they and their story are layered in symbolism which echo over and over in nearly every symbol or motif in literature, art, and mythology. It is one of the main stories that gets told over and over in so many of the classic works of mankind. For the purposes of this post, I am going to speak to the symbolic side of Adam and Eve for a moment. 

"Adam," in some ways, is a term that symbolizes: 

The spiritual body.

"Eve," in some ways, is a term that symbolizes:

The physical body.

The unifying of the spirit (Adam) and body (Eve) comprise:

The Soul.

In all recorded scripture, Lucifer never appeals to Adam (the spirit). He only appeals to Eve (the body) by saying, "...that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise..." and the body (Eve) saw "...that the tree was good...pleasant to the eyes...a tree to be desired..." (Genesis 3).

Later the Lord instructs Eve (the body) to be subject to Adam (spirit) and to allow Adam to"...rule over thee" (Moses 4:22) which is to mean - "in order to return to Me, your body must be subject to your spirit". Then the Lord, "sent them forth" from the Garden of Eden to go and till the earth to help them learn to have dominion over their appetites, desires, passions (beasts of the field Moses 5:1). 

For all who desire, the path to redemption will require a promise, or covenant, with the Lord where you commit to subject the body (Eve) to the spirit (Adam). A commitment that you will do whatever your spirit (Adam) tells you to do as your spirit (Adam) aligns to the will of the Father. (Moses 4:4; Moses 5:8)

The events which transpired around Adam and Eve could easily be dumbed down the be about male dominance and female subjection. About a woman making a mistake and having to pay for it forever. Or, it can even be flipped to be that the woman was wiser than Adam and knew what had to be done and got busy doing it. Setting those mindsets aside...consider that the story of Adam and Eve is YOUR story. A symbol of the unifying of two opposites within each human being. It is choosing to allow the spirit to be in control of the body, rather than the body in control of the spirit. When a person is able to unify these two conflicting opposites - it will awaken the soul which will awaken one's ability to see all Truth which is truly one grand whole.

Remember, back to the Garden when the Lord first introduced Adam to all the Trees? Before the Lord left the garden He tells Adam, "dress it and to keep it" (Genesis 3). 

What does that mean?

Does it mean to play with the animals and make bouquets?

The Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve are literal beings. But in this instance, could "dress this garden" mean that the garden is their mind and the Lord is encouraging them to go to each tree (Higher Estate being Abraham 3: 22-24) and taste of their fruit (acquire knowledge)?

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."— Isaiah 61:3

Lucifer appeals to Eve by assuring her that she won't die but that her "...eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as the gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3). Knowledge can be gained in a classroom, but wisdom can only be gained through that which we experience or suffer. Adam and Eve, like you, have partaken of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Now they, and we, will need to partake of a Tree which brings redemption from the fall. They require fruit from the Tree of Life. (Ether 3:9-28)

What does Nephi teach about the Tree of Life?

7 And behold this thing shall be given unto thee for a sign, that after thou hast beheld the tree which bore the fruit which thy father tasted, thou shalt also behold a man descending out of heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after ye have witnessed him ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God. 
8 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow. 
9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all. 
10 And he said unto me: What desirest thou? 
11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof... 
12 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look! .... 
21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? 
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. 
23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul. 
24 And after he had said these words, he said unto me: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him. 
25 And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God. 
— 1 Nephi 11:7-12, 21-25

The presence of God is what was Lost to Adam and Eve.

This is what they were barred from enjoying.

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3)
You are like Adam and Eve.

You are kept out of God's presence.

This is what was lost. To return to the Father is to return to what was lost. To be restored. This restoration is the fulness of the Gospel. This is the fulness of the Father and the Melchizedek priesthood spoken of in Scripture.

What are the Cherubim that are placed to guard the way to the Tree of Life?

Could they be a particular class of Angels who act as a type of sentinel with distinct assignments whom you must pass? 

Are they Angels who return and report back to the Father of your progress? (Moses 5:6) 

Are they particular Angels who minister to you (Aaronic Priesthood is the ministering of Angels) in your journey to the Father?

In your life you, like Adam and Eve, continually have the opportunity to make a promise to return from your fallen state back to the Father. The promise to return is the story of creation and as old as recorded history and is retold over and over from Pinochio to the Prodigal. Various ancient Christian religions have ordinances, or ceremonies, which impart pieces of eternal knowledge of the order of how to return to the presence of the Father. Ceremonies in any religion are never literal. They are only designed to point the mind to the promise to return from ones fallen state and again in the flesh - see God and receive all that He offers.
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God. (Moses 5)
What is the flaming sword that is placed to guard the way of the Tree of Life?

Could the flaming sword be a barrier that prevents you from returning to God's presence? To pass through will require a broken heart and a contrite spirit which can be found through obedience to the revelation you receive from God and through sacrifice as you seek to do His will (Moses 5: 4-12).

Once you truly have a broken heart and a contrite spirit you will experience a fiery death of your old self, your old name, your old existence.

All who wish to return to the presence of God must pass through this barrier of fire in order to partake of the Tree of Life (Matthew 3:11-12). You must be born again, take a new name (Moroni 4), a new existence. You must be baptized by Fire and the Holy Ghost (Moses 5:9-10). This is to receive ones Calling and Election. This will cause a spiritual and a physical change. Many believe they already received the "Holy Ghost" when they were confirmed after baptism. It is only a very few who will actually receive the Baptism of Fire and Holy Ghost upon being baptized. For most, it comes much later.

Joseph Smith said:

The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence.
— TPJS p. 149-150

This is being Born Again. This is receiving the Baptism of Fire and Holy Ghost. This is your Calling and Election. This is passing the Angels that stand as guardians to the Tree of Life. This is the Cheribum and Flaming sword. All this is in Scripture to find and pray about.

To receive your "calling and election" sounds like it is just one thing, but in reality it is two. Matthew 24:14 and D&C 121:34 clarify this distinction: "Many are called, but few are chosen." Another word for chosen is "elected". Everyone is called to awake and rise up, to seek the face of God (D&C 93:1) and achieve the full measure of our creation ( All are invited to join themselves to the kingdom of God, but only a few are willing to do the work, to seek and find what can ultimately be theirs, to become among the "chosen", to become one of the "elect" or "receive their election".

When we hear and feel the voice of God beckoning us to come to Him (calling), and respond by choosing to walk the path, proving our desire to return to the presence of God by our broken heart and contrite spirit, then--in His own due time--God will send the Holy Ghost upon us and baptize us with fire (election). This is being born again. This is receiving both our "calling" and our "election".

Adam and Eve are told " the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Moses 3)

They ate the fruit. Did they die?

Spiritual death is separation from God. 

How can a person come back from death?

They will need to do as the scripture in Abraham 3 instructs:

"And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;"— Abraham 3:25
When Adam and Eve were expelled they became spiritually dead because they followed after their own will (Alma 42:7). Now their test is to see, when they are cast out, if they will do all things the Lord their God commands them. (To do His Will). 

Their test is your test. 

All will need to experience the fiery death of self and be born again (John 3).

After Adam and Eve partake of the fruit their eyes are opened and they recognize their "nakedness" and so they make a covering for themselves. God returns to the Garden calling for Adam.

What is "nakedness"?
What does the covering represent?
Why would it be a mockery to "make your own" covering?
In what ways are you making your own "covering"?
What sin is God calling you to come out from hiding behind?
Have you discovered your nakedness yet?

A Covering has been made for you. Have you received it?

You are already spiritually dead so being reborn will require that you sacrifice your will and obey God's will, not your own will (Abraham 3:25). Not obeying God is what expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden and is what still keeps you from the presence of the Lord (Moses 4:4). Nevertheless, you can choose for yourself, for it is given unto you (Moses 3).

After partaking of the tree, Adam and Eve are cast out to a Telestial world where good and evil will reside, a world that will be "cursed for their sake." It will contain both good and bad. It will also be the possessor of things that torment and afflict man. "in sorrow shalt thou eat...thorns...and the sweat of thy face..."

Are these things speaking only of the weeds in your yard, or could it also be speaking of a spiritual torment humans suffer in a Telestial glory?

Why must we suffer?

God, The Father, offers the opportunity to suffer so His children can "...taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good" (Moses 6:55).

But the Lord doesn't send Adam and Eve away without instructions. He gives Adam and Eve things which contain the embodiment of the laws that God operates in (

1. Law of Obedience (Moses 4: 23-25) 
2. Law of Sacrifice (Moses 5:6) 
3. Coats of Skin/a Covering/Savior (Moses 4:27; Moses 5: 7-10)

The story of Adam and Eve reveals the sacrificial path to redemption. While in this Telestial world, those who promise to subject their physical body (Eve) to their spirit body (Adam), will begin the journey back. Those who unify body and spirit will awaken their Soul, be born again, and have new ears to hear the voice of the Father calling them home. (Moses 4:22-23) (John 5:19)

Additionally the journey back to the Father will require, like Adam and Eve demonstrated, a life of sacrifice and consecration...a life which offers everything you have, are, and will be, to God (Moses 5:8).

How does one go about doing this?

To better understand the Law of Sacrifice, please read Joseph Smith's Lectures on Faith section 6. The book Lectures on Faith (formerly the "Covenants" portion of the Doctrine and Covenants) can be found: HERE.

If Adam and Eve choose to obey the revelation they receive from the Lord and, if they offer their all in sacrifice to His will, then they will find themselves piercing the barrier of the Cherubim and Flaming sword where the true reception of the Aaronic Priesthood, or in other words - the ministering of Angels, is realized. 

Consider the reception of the Aaronic Priesthood (meaning the ministering of Angels) in Moses 5:
4 And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord , and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence. 
5 And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord. 
6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam (the Angel is a messenger sent from God with a specific mission. Adam and Eve are not yet ready for the presence of the Lord but were obedient enough to receive the ministering of Angels), saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. 
7 And then the angel spake, saying (the Angel "ministers" or in other words - delivers knowledge from the throne of God): This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth. 
8 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore. (The Angel is giving Adam and Eve the key to redemption: Consecrate yourself and all that you have and all things in His name.) 
9 And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam (notice the Holy Ghost that fell upon Adam is about to speak in first person...), which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will (The Holy Ghost that fell upon Adam is what is promised in the sacrament prayer..."...that they may always have His Spirit to be with them..." (Moroni 4&5). 
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled (this "filled" is a new spirit - a spirit that allows Adam to prophesy), and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God (KNOWLEDGE). 
11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient. (Eve also prophecies and imparts revelation) 
12 And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.
Any time a person is ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood they are given an invitation. Like all ordinances, it is an invitation only and is not the real thing. It is an invitation to seek the real thing. The Aaronic priesthood is the ministering of Angels who prepare you to receive the Melchizedek priesthood, or in other words, they prepare you to receive the presence of the Father. These are the Cherubim that guard the way of the Tree of Life. 

When Adam and Eve leave the presence of God they work to prove faithful to Him (sacrifice their will and obey God's will) in order to regain that which was lost to them (His presence). This same pattern is available to us—if we prove we are faithful to God alone, He will send heavenly messengers, or Angels, to us. They will help to prepare us for further Light which grows brighter and brighter until the perfect day (D&C 50:24).

Moroni 7: 22-37 
"For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing...otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.... 
Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing... 
...have miracles ceased? 
Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men....For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness... 
...And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. 
...and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. 
...has the day of miracles ceased? 
...Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? 
...Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

When you live in Sacrifice and Obedience it reveals to the heavens you are ready to take a new name - His name, to be upon you. Angels will come to minister to you. Consider what happened to King Benjamin in Mosiah 3:2-4

2 And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake; and I awoke, and behold he stood before me. (King Benjamin never says he was asleep. Only that he was told to awake) 
3 And he said unto me: Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee (This is the second time King Benjamin was told to 'awake'); for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy. 
4 For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.
Verse 4 shows the same pattern Adam and Eve received after they left the Garden of Eden (Moses 5:6). King Benjamin cried out in mighty prayer (like Adam and Eve when they prayed Moses 5:4). The Lord heard King Benjamin's prayers, judged of his righteousness and sent an Angel from the Throne to deliver a message (Mosiah 3:23). King Benjamin's life was the sign the Lord needed of his righteousness. He had a broken heart and contrite spirit (he lived the law of obedience and sacrifice to the Lord) which leads to righteousness.

Then the Angel says that because the Lord judged of King Benjamin's righteousness, the Lord sent this Angel to declare light and knowledge to King Benjamin which King Benjamin would then declare to others for their benefit.

This is the pattern. The order. First Aaronic priesthood (Angels) followed by the a return to the Father (Melchizedek).

The Lord calls for chosen vessels (Moroni 7) to awake (Mosiah 3:2) and arise. When anyone lives and obey's the law of obedience and sacrifice (broken heart and a contrite spirit) then they draw the gaze of heaven.

Moses 7: 
1 And it came to pass that Enoch continued his speech, saying: Behold, our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed and become the sons of God, and many have believed not...

Psalm 25: 4-5 
Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths...Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my Salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 

Show Me The Way