Assuming that the Fall of Humanity wasn’t an unplanned for mistake, but a part of God’s overall plan, why do we need to Fall?
Filed under Atonement, Doctrine, Speculation
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I’m starting to the the Fall = a mini condescension for Adam and Eve (and an even more mini one for all of us…) More of a fall from heaven.
Posted by Geoff J
Well, I think you stated it well in an earlier post. The Fall is essential because there were certain necessary experiences that we could not have if we were still in Father’s presence. No unclean thing can dwell there, yet we needed to be around unclean things in order to be adequately schooled, tested, and tried. We needed mortal bodies, which apparently don’t hold up too well in God’s presence. Adam and Eve needed to have children, which apparently they couldn’t do while still in their immortal state (something I still don’t understand very well). God couldn’t just kick us out of his presence arbitrarily, so we were “set up” so to speak to disobey a command so that we could be cast out into the lone and dreary world, thereby moving us into the next stage of the great plan of happiness.
the Fall = a mini condescension for Adam and Eve (and an even more mini one for all of us…) More of a fall from heaven. Geoff, please explain thyself, for I do not undertand.
Posted by John C.
The Fall makes more sense in an Adam-God context. Adam (the Father of our Spirits) created the world (with the help of his “associates”) as a place for his spirit children to gain mortal bodies and experience. In order to create mortal bodies for his spirit children it was necessary that he and one of his wives Fall from their immortal states. Procreation in an immortal state leads to spirit children, so it was necessary for Adam and Eve to fall to a mortal state in order to create mortal bodies. So Adam and Eve came to the earth and partook of the fruit in the garden until their bodies became “earthy” and they were able to create mortal bodies for their spirit children.
That’s the gist of it, from what I understand. I don’t know what I make of it all yet. But the Fall has never made all that much sense to me under current Church doctrine. However, under an Adam-God lens, the puzzle seems to fit together a little better.
Posted by McKay
The Adam-God theory raises more questions and contradictions than it answers, I’m afraid. The anti-Mormons are the only ones keeping this alive. Adam was NOT the Father of our spirits… he is our brother, sharing a spiritual Father with us. This “theory” is even more bizarre than the notion of the Trinity, and that’s saying something.
The problem with your first response is that it doesn’t really answer the question. Why did God place Adam and Eve as immortals here in the first place? Why not place them here as mortal who inevitably sin like all of us?
I agree that Adam-God as described by McKay simply doesn’t work. However, our scriptures and temple narrative show us a Michael that was 1/3 of the earth construction leadership, or perhaps part of the pre-earth First Presidency. It is no stretch to imagine that Michael was divine in some sense then (just as the pre-earth Jehovah was, though clearly Jehovah was Michael’s superior). If Michael was divine in some way then his time here really was a fall from heaven. He may have done a condescension in much the way Christ did. Further, one could argue that every one of us “falls” from heaven to end up here on earth. We may not have fallen as far as Adam/Michael did though. (That’s what I meant, John)
BTW – Check out the excellent discussion of Adam at Mormons and Evolution when you get a chance.
Actually my first response does answer the question- go back and read it 🙂
But as to your new question, if I may restate it, “Why couldn’t God put us here in an already fallen state? (i.e. mortal bodies destined to age, get sick, and die)”, When God created their physical bodies, they were still in His presence. If he had created fallen mortal bodies in His presence they would have burned up… Mortal bodies cannot stand the conditions of a Celestial sphere, or a Celestial presence. Also, while it may be possible for God to create or organize something that is corrupt or imperfect, I feel that He prefers not to. He deals in perfection, and mortal bodies are certainly not perfect. And he could not have created Adam and Eve in His presence and then ejected them for no reason. Violation of a direct command was necessary. Could He have created them remotely, so that they were out of His presence from the beginning? This seems an odd notion to me, I’m not sure it is possible. What justification would He have had for barring them from his full presence had no disobedience occured?
I have no trouble with the idea that Michael was one of the leading spirits in the premortal life, perhaps second only to Christ. He is known as an “archangel” after all. I DO have trouble with the notion that he was a resurrected being who gave up his exalted status to come down and be mortal again. There is absolutely no scriptural or temple basis for this notion.
Rob said:If he had created fallen mortal bodies in His presence they would have burned up… Mortal bodies cannot stand the conditions of a Celestial sphere, or a Celestial presence.
You mean, for a certain time period, right? Otherwise, how do you explain the experience of Joseph Smith in the grove?
For that matter, how about the people Jesus visited with after His resurrection? Surely He would count as Celestial presence?
My answer to the OP would be that it was simply a matter of time. Adam and Eve may have been immortal, but not perfect. Eventually, they would sin and be cast out. There was only one among us who could come to Earth and not sin – the rest of us… well, we will.
This falls into my own theory of predestination: our lives have a defined conclusion – only we don’t know what it is, (and can’t know). Heavenly Father knows, though. And He knew that Adam and Eve would be cast out. I’m not sure they knew that, though.
I think that when mortals are about to enter the presence of the Father, they must be “transfigured” or temporarily changed to be able to withstand the experience. There are several documentations of this in Scripture. As to the resurrected Lord appearing to his disciples (and Mary) several times, you are correct, there is no scriptural evidence of transfiguration. So perhap it only applies to visits from the Father. Or perhaps they were transfigured without knowing it. Joseph Smith recorded an impression of his body being full of light, I believe, this might correspond to the transfiguration.
There is absolutely no scriptural or temple basis for this notion.
Ha! This is a classic line considering all the unsupported stuff you are pulling out in this thread, Rob.
“If mortals burn up in God’s presence except when He doesn’t want them to” (So why did Adam and Eve have to be immortal again?). “God doesn’t like to make imperfect things” (Except everything on this planet, right?) “He could not have created Adam and Eve in His presence and then ejected them for no reason.” (Is that a personal revelation of yours?)
At least the idea of a pre-resurrected Adam has all sorts of apostles and prophets that are on record as believing it. I get the impression that your alternatives are yours alone.
In Rob’s defense, he is giving what I would consider to be the “common” understanding. I don’t think that he is pulling his arguments out of thin air. For instance, I have the impression that Elder McConkie argued that God wouldn’t create imperfect things (I’ll have to check my copy of Mormon Doctrine to make sure of that, though). I actually don’t think that I agree on that point, but it is something that a lot of people belief and therefore should not be easily dismissed.
Geoff, regarding answering the original question, you have answered how but not why? Why did Adam have to come down and be mortal?
Why did Adam have to come down and be mortal?
Oh, well others may have different opinions, but I believe it was for the same reason we and Jesus came here — to progress and become more like our Heavenly Father.
“The Adam-God theory raises more questions and contradictions than it answers, I’m afraid. ”
That has not been my experience. I stumbled on a text-book length book that has pretty much every quote from the early brethren on the Adam-God subject organized by topic. After reading the book, I thought the Adam-God doctrine resolved several issues regarding the fall quite nicely.
Part of the problem in understanding the teachings of the early brethren on the Adam-God stuff, is that most members today think of Jehovah and Elohim as proper nouns—names of certain individuals. But the early brethren used those terms as titles. When you take that approach, things start to come together a lot better.
“The anti-Mormons are the only ones keeping this alive.“
I disagree. Here’s my guess: I think there are many faithful members of the Church who have the studied the issue enough to know that Brigham Young (and other early brethren) wasn’t misquoted and that he taught the Adam-God doctrine as doctrine and not as a theory, and these members might be “closet” believers of the Adam-God doctrine. But because it is a “hard” doctrine and Church members had a hard time with it even back when it was taught openly over the pulpit, the doctrine was “repealed,” (i.e. the Church stopped teaching it and now takes the position on Adam that is closer to traditional Protestantism). Again, I admit that is only a guess based on hearing stories about so and so through the grapevine.
“Adam was NOT the Father of our spirits… he is our brother, sharing a spiritual Father with us.“
NOT according to Brigham Young and other early Church leaders.
Maybe you have seen this quote before, but I include this here because I think it answers the questions regarding the Fall…if you look at things through and Adam-God lens. The quote is taken from the journals of L. John Nuttall (secretary to Brigham Young and other Church leaders) and is a first draft of the lecture at the veil that used to be a part of the temple ceremony until the turn of the century.(For a full explanation of the quote, see Unpublished Revelations .)
“Well he [Adam] was made of the dust of the earth but not of this earth. he was made just the same way you and I are made but on another earth. Adam was an immortal being when he came. on this earth he had lived on an earth similar to ours he had received the Priesthood and the Keys thereof. and had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned with glory immortality and eternal lives and was numbered with the Gods for such he became through his faithfulness. and had begotten all the spirit that was to come to this earth. and Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world. and when this earth was organized by Elohim. Jehovah & Michael who is Adam our common Father. Adam & Eve had the privilege to continue the work of Progression. consequently came to this earth and commenced the great work of forming tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in….Father Adam’s oldest son (Jesus the Saviour) who is the heir of the family is Father Adams first begotten in the spirit World. who according to the flesh is the only begotten as it is written.“
According to Brigham Young and many of the early brethren, Adam came to this earth and Fell to provide mortal bodies for his spirit children.
“This “theory” is even more bizarre than the notion of the Trinity, and that’s saying something.“
What really is bizarre is that members can so easily dismiss a doctrine that was taught over the pulpit by a prophet for over 25 years—a doctrine that the early Church leaders thought was so important that they included it explicitly in the temple ceremony.
“Why did Adam have to come down and be mortal?“
See quote from Nuttall journals above.