Mother Eve

Among the biblical characters Joseph F. Smith saw in his vision of the Redemption of the Dead, was “our glorious Mother Eve” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:39).

In the Hebrew Bible, her name appears as Chavvah (חַוָּה), which means “life.” She was given this name because she was “the mother of all living,” or in other words, a giver of life. Although the Bible implies that Adam selected her name, Joseph Smith clarified that her name was actually given by God:

And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many.

Moses 4:26 (See Genesis 3:20.)

Eve is mentioned by name three times in the Book of Mormon. When Lehi searched the brass plates, he found that they contained a record “of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents” (1 Nephi 5:11). Years later, in a sermon to his sons, Lehi described Eve’s trangression and expulsion from the Garden of Eden as necessary prerequisites to her bearing children and bringing joy into the world. (See 2 Nephi 2:17-25.) In multiple subsequent passages, she and Adam are called “our first parents.” (See 2 Nephi 9:9Mosiah 16:3Alma 12:26Alma 42:2, 7Helaman 5:6Helaman 6:26Ether 8:25.)

President Russell M. Nelson has emphasized that Eve initiated the process which enabled all of us to be born:

It was our glorious Mother Eve—with her far-reaching vision of our Heavenly Father’s plan—who initiated what we call ‘‘the Fall.” Her wise and courageous choice and Adam’s supporting decision moved God’s plan of happiness forward.

Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel,” General Conference, October 2018

After they were cast out of the Garden, both Adam and Eve expressed gratitude for the consequences of their decision to partake of the fruit. Here is Adam’s testimony:

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 5:10, italics added

Now consider Eve’s response:

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.

Moses 5:11, italics added

Both statements are sincere expressions of joy and gratitude, but Eve’s includes something lacking in Adam’s: a recognition of the “we,” an awareness that she and Adam were interdependent, “one flesh,” as God had decreed in the Garden (Genesis 2:24).

Today, I will be grateful for Mother Eve. I will remember her as a giver of life, and I will strive to emulate her inclusiveness and her unifying influence.

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