The second part of the Plan of Salvation
is Birth, which involves the Creation and the Fall of Adam and Eve. In this article you will learn that God gave our first parents two commandments, as well as their agency; Partaking of the forbidden fruit was a necessary part of the Plan of Salvation; and that we will be punished for our own sins and not for the transgression of Adam and Eve.
Before we were born we lived in the Premortal Existence
with our Heavenly Father who presented a plan to create a world where we could be born and tested. Under the direction of our Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ created the earth and placed plant and animal life upon it. Through Latter-day revelation we have additional insights about the creation which can be found in Moses 2
and Abraham 4
Creation of Adam and Eve:
As Latter-day Saints we believe that man's existence on earth began in the Garden of Eden with the creation of Adam and Eve, who were created in the image of God and Jesus Christ:
"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" (Moses 2:27
Our Father in Heaven gave Adam and Eve two commandments as follows:
- "And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Moses 2:28.)
- "And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat,
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Moses 3:16-17.)
Agency of Man:
One of the greatest gifts from our Heavenly Father is our agency, or the right to choose. To be able to choose we must have choices, or opposition, as taught in the Book of Mormon
"To bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents... it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.
"Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other" (2 Nephi 2:15-16
The fall is when Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, causing mortality to come upon them, meaning they became subject to sin and death. When Adam and Eve fell, the entire creation fell with them: "Adam’s fall brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind" ("Fall of Adam
," Bible Dictionary.)
is the separation of the body and the spirit, but spiritual death
is the separation of man from God.
The Fall Was Necessary:
The fall was a necessary step in our Heavenly Father's plan. The effects of the fall, such as temptation, sin, and physical death are an essential part of our eternal progression.
"If Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created....
"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 2:22-23
The Fall Was Part of the Plan:
The fall of Adam and Eve was not a surprise to our Heavenly Father as a Savior had been chosen during our Premortal Existence
- before Adam and Eve were created. Jesus Christ would later be born on the earth, he would live a perfect life, and He would atone for all our sins
We believe that, "...all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
"Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:24-25
Punished for Our Own Sins:
We do not believe in original sin. The Second Article of Faith
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression." Our agency would be violated and the balance of justice and mercy would be unequal if we were punished for the sins of others, including that of Adam and Eve. This true principle was taught in Deuteronomy, the Fifth Book of Moses:
"The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin" (Deut 24:16
Each of us who kept our First Estate (see "Premortal Existence
") will enter into this existence through temporal birth. Immediately after Adam and Eve partook of the fruit they did not die. God lengthened the life of man so that he could have time to repent. Because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit (and fell) we will each gain a body to house our spirits. We are also given a time to experience life, repent, and turn unto God that we may return to his presence after we die.
"And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents" (2 Nephi 2:21
Continue reading to learn about the next part of the Plan of Salvation, "Mortality
Don't forget to sign up for the Plan of Salvation E-Course