Tag Archives: Adam and Eve

Equal Partners (rough draft)

(A rough draft of a section of a paper I might do on the Book of Moses)

Following the creation of Adam and Eve (in Moses chapter 2), God gives them these two  commandments:

“And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them:

  • Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and
  • subdue [the earth], and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Moses 2:28)

Notice that these two commandments are given to “them,” that is, to Adam and Eve together.

These two commandments will have to wait to be fulfilled until after Adam and Eve have left the garden; or, at least, no mention of their fulfillment comes until Moses 5. Between the giving of these commandments and the fulfilling of these commandments comes the Fall, which will have a dramatic effect upon both commandments and their relationship to each other.

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Dividing from…

I just came across this note from a lesson a while back:

In Genesis, the creation story is presented as this dividing from that over and over again.

And then, woman divided from man!

And then, Sabbath divided from week!

Adam and Eve — first parents

I am looking through the scriptures for references to parents this morning. I know that’s only kind of a successful way to see what the scriptures might teach me about mothering. But, I did have this question come into my mind: What’s the purpose, or benefit, of describing Adam and Eve as “our first parents” rather than “the first people on earth?”

For example, when Alma is teaching his son in Alma chapter 42, he says,

“For behold, after the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground, from whence they were taken…”

And Antionah in Alma 12,

“…lest our first parents should enter and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever?”

And 2 Nephi 2:15

“And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air…”

So seriously, why would they refer to Adam and Eve as the first parents, even “our” first parents, rather than other terms like first man and woman or first people, and so on?

Maybe it’s a Book of Mormon thing:

Mosiah 16:3

“yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents…”

Helaman 16,

“but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit—”

2 Nephi 9:9,

“like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents…”

1 Nephi 5:11

“and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents…”

Ether 8,

“even that same liar who beguiled our first parents…”

Yep, that’s a Book of Mormon thing. Interesting.

They also refer to Lehi & Sariah as their first parents from Jerusalem, and when learning about the Jaredites, the first parents who came from the tower.

There’s also a bit of debate about how parents’ actions affect children. Lehi asks God that if Laman & Lemuel don’t teach their children about the gospel, that future sins of the kids will be answered on the heads of the parents (2 Nephi 4). Later missionaries to the Lamanites say that the state of the Lamanites is because of the tradition of their fathers (for example, their hatred towards the Nephites). But, of course, they can learn and change and repent. Ideally, this notion would mean that the Lamanites were innocent, while also being in a fallen, God-less state. One of the Nephites-turned-Lamanites argues that this attitude implies that these descendants are guilty, and this is wrong because no child is guilty because of the works of a parent (Alma 30).

So back to my original question, what effect does it have to refer to Adam and Eve as our first parents? Is it because of this question of guilt and tradition? Is it because that is simply how they thought about humanity? They also refer to the first people to leave the tower as parents and the first people to leave Jerusalem as parents. Should this teach us something about how they saw their ancestry — of a male and female, not just of a male? Yet, later accounts of lineage don’t focus on mothers at all (“pure descendant of Nephi,” for example). What can we learn from this language?


They called on his name

I’ve noted in the past how important it is to me that in the Book of Moses, both Adam and Eve call upon the name of the Lord. They worship together, they work together, they teach together, and they mourn together. Once there is a child and a grandchild (in total, 3 generations) which believe the Lord, then these three men call on the name of the Lord together, and a priesthood is born (this is my reading of these events in the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price — see 6:4).

But there are other places, of course, where people call on the name of the Lord, or thank God by sacrifice and offering. Individuals do, all of Israel does, etc. But there are a few other interesting scriptures that I want to highlight.

In Alma 12, Alma has just been describing the Garden of Eden story. Then just a few verses later, he is explaining that God had a plan for men to return to him, and “sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory. And they began from that time forth to call on his name.” If we follow this Moses story, then this might mean men as in a group of men who begin to establish a priesthood, or it might mean “men” as in “humans,” and we might be talking about Adam and Eve.

Genesis has a similar verse in 4:26.

I’m sure there are more (that I want to find and think about!) but the last one I want to mention today is Sariah and Lehi. Even though 1 Nephi 5 is sometimes held up as a time where women are shown as weak and complaining — I have a different reaction to the chapter. She strongly shares her concerns, Lehi or the Lord doesn’t repremand her, and when her children return she knows “of a surety” that God is speaking to Lehi. This is the story of how Sariah gains her unshaken faith. Really, it’s a moment between her and God more than anything else.

But that’s a tangent. What I really want to point out is what happens after they are all reunited, after she feels comfort and knows of a surety. It says, “and it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly, and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel.” Note that they (Lehi and Sariah) did rejoice, offer sacrifice and offerings, and gave thanks to God. There is a sense in which they are playing out the Adam and Eve story, pre-3-generation priesthood creation. 🙂

(Also, Nephi mentions right away that Adam and Eve are on the plates.)

Warning – for anyone actually reading these, I may possibly rework this post at any point. 🙂  Or, I might possibly totally forget I had posted this.)


Eve, Adam, and the Priesthood

Moses 5:4 says: “Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord.”

Moses 6:4, 7 says: “And then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord … Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.”

I think there is a lot going on here in these three simple verses. What Adam and Eve do (call on the name of the Lord together), is later referred to as “Priesthood” when a group of men do it.

What do we make of that?

Here are some ideas:

1) Here, way back in the book of  Moses, in taking about the first man and woman, I think I see the same situation I’ve wondered about recently: women can do Priesthood-like things without an ordination to the Priesthood (i.e., temple endowment, missions, leadership callings)

2) What Adam and Eve do comes first, and Priesthood comes second.

3) The Priesthood seems to be a matter of generations, while Eve-Adam version isn’t?

4) From #3, could we say that the Priesthood is vertical (multi-generational) while the Eve-Adam version is horizontal (immediate, temporal, lateral)?

5) D&C 128 links Priesthood unmistakably to uniting generations.

6) Why today do we have a presidency consisting of 3 men of any generation or family, whereas with Adam, he needed 3 generations? What could we learn about the priesthood from that?

7) Did that change with Abraham? Are we all considered Abraham’s seed, and so any three men will do?

8) Did Abraham’s covenant change anything for women? Do we still operation with the Eve-Adam version?

9) What about women not married? Eve of course was, so I don’t see what we can learn directly there. However, it’s incredibly important to remember that women, married or not, can receive temple endowments, serve missions, and serve in leadership without Priesthood ordination. (Note that when we had a “Priesthood ban” for black member, they could not receive endowments or sealings. The situation for women is actually quite different.)

10) What other things should I note from these 3 verses?