The Bible tells the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-4. Job mentions it once (Job 31:33), and the Apostle Paul discusses it four times in his epistles (Romans 5:12-21, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Timothy 2:11-15). But the Bible never refers to it as “the Fall,” and it’s implications are never explained in detail.
The Book of Mormon adds substantially to our understanding of this doctrine. It is discussed at least 14 times, with three detailed explanations (2 Nephi 2:15-27, Alma 12:20-27, Alma 42:2-14). Here are some of the principles the Book of Mormon teaches us about the Fall:
- The Fall is a fundamental doctrine of the gospel, along with the creation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Alma 18:36, 39, Alma 22:13-14, Mormon 9:12).
- It was an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness (2 Nephi 2:4, 2 Nephi 2:24-26, Alma 42:5-6).
- It was a consequence of an intentional decision made by Adam and Eve to disobey a law of God (2 Nephi 2:16, 19, Mosiah 3:26, Alma 12:23, Alma 22:12, Alma 42:12).
- This decision had the following consequences:
- Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, and life became much more difficult for them (2 Nephi 2:19, Alma 42:2-3).
- They were able to have children (2 Nephi 2:20, 22-23).
- They (and their descendants) became subject to both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death means that we are cut off from the presence of God (2 Nephi 9:6, 10-13, Alma 12:24, Alma 42:6-7, 9, Helaman 14:16).
- Because of the Fall, we are all “in a lost and in a fallen state” (1 Nephi 10:6, 2 Nephi 2:21, Mosiah 16:4, Alma 12:22, Alma 42:9, Alma 42:14). Our natural (or carnal) state is opposed to God’s will, and if we choose to remain in this state, we cannot be saved (Mosiah 3:19, Mosiah 16:3-5, Ether 3:2).
- Jesus Christ redeemed little children from the effects of the Fall (Mosiah 3:11, 16, Moroni 8:8). The rest of us can also be redeemed by Him if we choose to believe in Him and repent of our sins (2 Nephi 2:26-29). This redemption overcomes the effects of the Fall and brings us back into the presence of God (Ether 3:13).
Today, I will be grateful for the role of the Fall of Adam and Eve. I will remember that all things work toward our salvation, and that even events which appear to be in opposition to God’s will may be part of His plan for our happiness. I will be grateful that, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can overcome the effects of the Fall, be reconciled with God, and return to His presence.