Melanie Stroud

Episode 1 – Genesis 3–4; Moses 4–5 The Fall of Adam and Eve.

This lesson is actually the THIRD lesson in the Come Follow Me manual for the year.  A death in the family caused me to delay the start of the podcast this year.  I’m sorry.

This episode is about the fall of Adam and Eve and the joy of Jesus Christ. 

From the manual:

At first, the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve might seem like a tragedy. Adam and Eve were cast out of the beautiful Garden of Eden. They were thrown into a world where pain, sorrow, and death are ever present (see Genesis 3:16–19). And they were separated from their Heavenly Father. But because of the truths restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the book of Moses, we know that the story of Adam and Eve is actually one of hope—and an essential part of God’s plan for His children.

The Garden of Eden was beautiful. But Adam and Eve needed something more than beautiful surroundings. They needed—and we all need—an opportunity to grow. Leaving the Garden of Eden was the necessary first step toward returning to God and eventually becoming like Him. That meant facing opposition, making mistakes, learning to repent, and trusting the Savior, whose Atonement makes possible progression and “the joy of our redemption” (Moses 5:11). So when you read about the Fall of Adam and Eve, focus not on the seeming tragedy but on the possibilities—not on the paradise Adam and Eve lost but on the glory their choice allows us to receive.

FULL TRANSCRIPT THANKS TO GREG EVANS!!

This is Season 4, Episode 1, Genesis 3-4,  Moses 4-5; the Fall of Adam and Eve. And I’d just like to thank you guys for your patience in this delay. I really appreciate it. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to spend so much time with family during this rough time. And sorry, the first two lessons didn’t get done. But we’re going to start off strong here with lesson 3 of the year.

I’d like to read one review from iTunes, and then we’ll get started. It said, “Your podcast was recommended to me a few months ago. Your weekly podcasts aren’t enough. So I’ve been going back and binging them all. They all have something in them that touched my heart. Every time I listen, I’m laughing and crying and encouraged to do better.”  And I want to just say that, hopefully, this will happen every lesson. Because I think it’s really dumb if we study the gospel, and we don’t let it improve our lives. I think it’s a waste of time. If we listen to the scriptures, or people’s opinions and other podcasts about the scriptures, General Conference, anything – and we don’t put it into action. Because when we put what we hear into action, that is when we gain a testimony of the principles – that is when we change and grow and get a new heart. So as you listen today, and every week going forward, think in your mind, “What am I going to do as a result of this lesson?” And I’m gonna ask every week on Sundays on Instagram, “What did you do this week?” Maybe nobody will answer because you don’t want to say, but I want you to be thinking, “What am I going to do?”

Okay, this lesson has so much good stuff in it. And I feel terrible that I missed the first two weeks because I always like to build upon what we’ve learned. So I may be going back and adding on a little bit from the prior lessons, but not much because I just want to move forward. In the manual, it says “At first the story of the fall of Adam and Eve might seem like a tragedy. Adam and Eve were cast out of the beautiful garden of Eden. They were thrown into a world where pain, sorrow and death are ever present. And they were separated from their Heavenly Father. Because of the truths restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the book of Moses, we know that the story of Adam and Eve is actually one of hope, and an essential part of God’s plan for his children. The Garden of Eden was beautiful, but Adam and Eve needed something more than beautiful surroundings, they needed, and we all need, an opportunity to grow.” And I want to stop right there because I thought that was so beautiful – that life is so much more than beautiful surroundings. 

The lesson refers us to a talk by Dallin H Oaks and in it he said, “Sometimes our needed growth is achieved better by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquility.” So I want you to think about that.  It was so beautiful. The Garden of Eden was beautiful but Adam and Eve needed more than beautiful surroundings.-  And we all do! 

Alright, back to the manual. “They needed, and we all need, an opportunity to grow. The Garden of Eden was the necessary first step toward returning to God and eventually becoming like him. That meant facing opposition, making mistakes, learning to repent and trusting the Savior whose atonement makes possible progression and the joy of our redemption.” So when you read about the Fall of Adam and Eve, focus not on the seeming tragedy, but on the possibilities. Not on the paradise Adam and Eve lost, but on the glory their choice allows us to receive.” I love so much about this lesson. I love talking about the Fall. I love talking about the Creation. I love Cain and Abel. I love that story so much. So this is going to be fun!

Alright, starting in the very beginning, it’s talking about Genesis 3:1-7, Moses 4 and Moses 5: 4-12.   It (the manual) says, “The Fall was a necessary part of God’s plan to redeem his children. Adam and Eve’s fall brought physical and spiritual death into the world. It also brought adversity, sorrow, and sin. These all seemed like reasons to regret the Fall. But the Fall was part of Heavenly Father’s plan to redeem and exalt his children through the sacrifice of the only begotten of the Father. As you study, what truths do you find that help you understand the fall and how Christ’s Atonement overcomes it?”

So let’s start here. In Genesis and Moses, we learn more about Satan’s character and also in the temple. And the number one quality, I think, that Satan has – his number one attribute is he’s a big baby. I’ll tell you why. In the lessons we missed in the last two weeks –  talking in Moses 1 – this is one of my favorite scriptures because it teaches us about our relationship with God. And it also teaches us what Satan doesn’t want us to believe about our divinity. So in a quick paraphrase, in the beginning of Moses 1, God comes and speaks to Moses face to face, and he calls him “my son”, “my son”, “my son”, like three or four times he calls him “my son”. And then when God leaves Moses , Moses is tired. He’s been in the presence of God. And starting in verse 18, it says, “And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him saying, Moses, Son of man, worship me.” The very first thing that Satan says, when he comes is –  he calls him “son of man.” He wants to take away that divinity.  He wants to say, “You aren’t a son of God.”  And that’s the first thing he wants to say to all of us. He wants us to believe there is no God, that we’re alone here, and that we are not divine. And that is the one truth that we need to remember at all times, if we’re going to keep Satan behind us. We are daughters and sons of Heavenly Father.  We have a loving God that is concerned about us, that loves us, that’s watching over us, and that we want to return home to! But anyway, after “Son of Man worship me”, this is what Moses replies – he’s so awesome. He says, “And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said, Who art thou, for behold, I am a son of God in the similitude of His only begotten, and where is thy glory that I should worship thee? For behold, I could not look upon God, except for his glory should come upon me. and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man, is it not so? Surely.”

 So he said, “I couldn’t even look at God, it was so bright and amazing. I had to be transfigured in order to talk to God. And here we are just talking face to face, right?” And he continues, “Blessed be the name of my God, for His Spirit has not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me. And I can judge between the end God, for God said unto me, worship God, for him, only shalt thou serve.”  This is something that we need to remember, too, that the Spirit of God has not altogether withdrawn from any one of us. And we have the ability and the capacity to choose between what’s right and wrong, and to know what’s right and wrong, because what is right is light, and what isn’t, does not come with that same glory into our lives. 

So then Moses, after he explains all the reasons why he’s not buying it, he says, “Get thee hence Satan, deceive me not.”  So he tells him –  this is the first time, “Get away from me. You’re nobody!” Then in verse 18, and again, Moses said, “I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him, for his glory has been upon me. Wherefore I can judge between him and thee, depart hence, Satan.” So this is the second time he’s told him to get out of there. And in verse 19, it says, “And now when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying, I am the only begotten, worship me.”  See, he’s a big baby, and he’s having a temper tantrum.  We need to learn how to deal with Satan’s temper tantrums, and how to get rid of him.  Moses has already told him [Satan] to leave twice, and now he’s having a fit. 

When I was going through a divorce, I was having a lot of trouble, especially with self worth, you know, I just felt “You’re nothing.  You can’t do anything.” I just had this constant self talk going on in my mind. But I learned it wasn’t self talk, I had constant “Satan talk” going on in my mind. And one of my friends said,” You know what? When you start feeling that way, put your hand up like a stop sign and just say, “Not today, Satan.” And I literally had to do that. On many occasions, when those thoughts kept coming into my mind, I had to put up my hand and just say, “Not today.  Get away from me. I don’t believe you.”  And sometimes it’s really hard to recognize that self talk. But if something is saying in your head, that you’re not worthy, that you’re not worth it, that you’re no good, that you’re a bad person that nobody will ever love you or care about you – those are not words coming from Jesus Christ. He might prompt you to repent. He might say, “Hey, go talk to somebody about this. Pray to God and work this out.”  But he’s not gonna say, “You’re horrible. You’re dirty. You’re the worst.” Those are the words of Satan. And that’s when you have to put up your hand and just say, “Get away from me. Get away from me. I don’t want to listen to you anymore.”

 In verse 20, it says, “And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly,” His temper tantrums, they’re kind of like a screaming kid at Target. You have the power basically to shut them down. Like you can take your kid and drag him out and put them in the car, but it’s still not fun. And I learned as a mother of five young children, that the best way to end a temper tantrum was to ignore it. Right? Or to call in the big guns – Dad.  I loved in verse 18, when Moses said, “I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him.” The best way I found to deal with temper tantrums was to ignore them. “Okay, you want to lay on the floor and scream. Great. I’ll see you later.” And I just walked out of the aisle. One time we were at Typhoon Lagoon in Florida. And we made the mistake of swimming through the shark exhibit, like one of our first activities. And I put my three year old Liz, who is a delight now, but was a horrible, a horrible two and three year old.  She was so hard. And I put her on my back and we swam across the top of this tank and down below there were like sharks swimming around. And they weren’t killer sharks. They weren’t great whites. They weren’t ones that were gonna eat you. But looking back, okay, a three year old probably doesn’t know that. But she was so mad. And she got out of there and she was just FURIOUS.  And she was screaming and screaming and screaming. And she wouldn’t stop screaming. And so my ex-husband and the kids went off and went to different rides or whatever. I’m like, “Okay, I’ll calm her down.” You know, “I’ve got this.”  And I couldn’t calm her down. And  I was walking all around the park and she was just screaming mad. Like, I can remember it with perfect clarity. Just the look on her face –  the anger, the just anger. So I was doing everything,  like digging my nails under her arm, “You stop that right now.” That wouldn’t do it. “I love you so much here, let me give you some candy. I’ll give you $1,000. Just stop screaming.”  Nothing would work. And I looked like this mother that was beating my child down because she wouldn’t stop. Everybody’s looking. I didn’t know what to do. So finally, finally, in desperation, I said, “Okay, I am not going to deal with this anymore. I don’t know what to do with you. When you decide to stop crying and be nice you can find somebody who works here that looks like that guy with that little tag on, tell him to take you to the office, and I’ll find you there.” And I turned around, and I walked away. And I walked around the corner. Obviously eyes on the prize, I’m watching her. But I was like, I can’t even deal with this anymore. And so I walked away. And guess what? When she realized that I was gone, she looked around, straightened herself up and went running to find me. And it ended. 

And I think sometimes that’s the best way that we can deal with Satan. We don’t rationalize all day, “Oh, well…” and explain to him our choices. We don’t. We just have to get away from the situation. We just have to say, “I’m not interested in you. I have other things to talk to God about. So I’m just not even interested in you.”  And walk away. I’m glad I started this season with an episode of terrible parenting on my part. I don’t know if it was terrible parenting, it got it to stop, but completely ditching a three year old in a theme park may not be the best example. But it’s what finally worked. So I just think,”Ya, I’m not interested in you, Satan.”

But Moses  began to fear and it said, “when he began to fear he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength. And he commanded, saying, Depart from me, Satan.” That’s number three – call on God, (the big guns). Sometimes, as a young mother, my kids wouldn’t listen to me. I say, “Okay, well, when dad gets home, I’ll let him know.” And that a lot of times shut it down. “So guess what Satan?  Okay, I’m just gonna go ahead and go talk to dad about it.” Because he said, “Depart from me, Satan. For this one God only will I worship which is the God of glory. And now Satan began to tremble and the earth shook. And Moses received strength and called upon God saying, In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ.”  So we’ve called in the big guns, we said, “Heavenly Father, you need to help me.” And then we have all the faith in Jesus Christ, that He can take temptation out of our life. He can take sorrow, he can take sin, he can take all of the hard away, because we have two people on our team. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much, and a brother Jesus Christ that was given to us to make things right. And when that happened, it said, “and it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth and he departed hence even from the presence of Moses that he beheld him not.” And M. Russell Ballard said, speaking of Satan and his followers and their battle against us, “It is ruthless and relentless. And the object of the battle is your eternal soul and mine.” And I want to tell you, Satan doesn’t give up easily. So you’re gonna have to keep calling on God. And you’re gonna have to keep saying, “I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the power of Jesus Christ. I know he can kick Satan’s butt” (I mean, “bum” – sorry if kids are listening). 

Alright, but let’s get back to today’s lesson. Going to Moses 4, it’s talking about the pre-existence.   And it says, “Wherefore.. starting in verse 3, “Wherefore because that Satan rebelled against me and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I the LORD God had given him, and also, that I should give unto him my own power, by the power of mine only begotten I caused that he should be cast down”. You know, “My Turn on Earth” taught us all things important. [Singing] “Oh, I have a plan. It’s better for man.  I will force them to live righteously.  No wars, no strife, a wonderful life, and give all the glory to me” [End of singing]

“Give it to me”, you know, this is Satan’s plan. Sometimes I think people think Satan’s plan sounded better. Well, Satan wanted all of us to make it back home. And a lot of times people say, “Well, if we had a loving God, why would there be wars? And why would there be contention? And why would they be murder and all of these things?” And it’s because agency is such an important part of the plan. And one time I was talking with my son, Blake, and he said, “Well, why didn’t we choose Satan’s plan? It was better.  All of us would make it back home. All of us would be happy. Nobody would be hurt or sad.” And I said, “Blake, I’m trying to make you live Satan’s plan right now. I’m trying to force you to go to church and force you to believe the way I do. And none of you like it.” And he’s like, “Oh, yeah”. So sometimes we think it may have been better. But the opportunity we have to choose is one of the biggest gifts that God gave to us. 

Okay, the manual references a talk called “The Great Plan” by President Dallin. H Oaks. And it says, “We saw the end from the beginning (talking about the premortal existence). All of the myriads of mortals who have been born on this earth chose the Father’s plan and fought for it in the heavenly contest that followed. Many also made covenants with the Father concerning what they would do in mortality. In ways that have not been revealed, our actions in the spirit world have influenced our circumstances in mortality.” And I really like this, I think it’s super cool. And I think it means — go read your patriarchal blessings. If you haven’t gotten one yet, prepare to get one. Go talk to your bishop.  Plan to get this because I think it’s a great roadmap to help you understand where you’re headed, what the Lord sees in you, what you covenant to do when you came here, the powers and abilities that you have. I think it’s really important. In verse 4, we’re talking about Satan again. It says, “And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lives, to deceive, and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” This is God speaking. And I think sometimes it must frustrate Heavenly Father so bad because he says, “I’ve given you guidelines to help you avoid Satan’s traps.  Just keep the commandments. I’m telling you all these things, because if you do all these things I’ve asked you to do, you’re not going to fall into all of these temptations and traps because Satan’s goal is to make you miserable. My goal is to give you joy, my goal is to help you find happiness.” 

But the lesson manual asked, “What truths do you find that help you understand the Fall and how Christ’s Atonement overcomes it?” So let’s go to Genesis 3.  Starting in verse 1, it says, “Now the serpent (and we know that this is the devil) was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” And I, again, I’m telling you that in order to understand the Fall better, we have to better understand Satan. So if we go to Moses 4, and we’re kind of jumping back and forth because both of these books tell the same story. The cool part about Moses is that God is telling the story to Moses. And in Genesis, I don’t know that we exactly know who’s writing it down. It’s good, but I just think there’s a little bit more information in Moses. In Moses 4 it says, “He sought to  beguile (talking about Satan)  Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, Wherefore he sought to destroy the world.” And I think this is important because when we talk about the Fall, we say, “God knew we were gonna fall, and so he provided the Savior.” But I don’t think Satan knew the mind of God, because I think Satan came down and he DID want to be able to influence us. He DID want to mess things up. But I don’t think he realized that what he started paved the way for the Savior, and that Adam and Eve experiencing this trial was actually going to bring them closer to Christ. He may have just sat outside the Garden of Eden and thrown rocks at them forever if he would have realized the mind of God. But I think he was just being a big baby. And he was just trying to get them in trouble. Because Satan did not understand that, even if he wins, even if he tempts us and tries us, that it’s not a permanent win because of Jesus. Jesus fixes it. And I think it’s important to read some of the synonyms of “subtle”, because it said he is the most subtle, and this is Satan — He’s complex, insidious, precise, shrewd, skillful, sly, crafty, designing, devious, scheming, and wily. This is how he pulled a third of the hosts of heaven away. And Heavenly Father knew that when he kicked Satan out that Satan was going to be here to tempt us. And He knew that he’s clever, and wily and crafty and designing. And so He knew that he would trick us.  He knew it. And this brings me so much comfort, because He didn’t place Adam and Eve in the garden and say, “Stay here forever, be happy, and this is going to be so great.” And then Satan came and frustrated his plan. He said, “I know Satan is complex, insidious, precise, shrewd, skillful, sly, and that he is going to trick my kids. And because I know this, I’m going to give them Jesus so that Jesus can make it better.” Isn’t that cool? Adam and Eve didn’t let him down. They weren’t these horrible people that made this horrible choice. They were like us. Heavenly Father knows we’re gonna mess up. It’s part of the plan. He said, “You messed up. There are some consequences. And I’m going to give you Jesus so that we can come back and all party one day. He’ll pay the price for this mistake.” So, all you have to do is say, “I’m sorry.” It’s beautiful. 

Okay, but when Satan comes to Eve, and this is something that I never recognized before, but the wording in Genesis 1-3, I think, is really important. So, continuing in 1, he said, “Yea, hath God said you shall not eat of every tree in the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die.” And here, I think — why do you think God commanded them to not even touch the tree? Because then they would be tempted to eat it. I think it’s like me.  If I even bring Nutty Bars into the house, like, “They’re for the kids, I’m not going to eat them.”  I’m going to eat them, because they’re in my house. So I think part of the reason he said, “Don’t even touch it”, is because when we touch sin, when we get close to it, when we examine it, then sometimes we can’t stop. And so it says, “Don’t even touch it.”  And then Satan says, “You shall not surely die. Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her husband, which was with her, and he did eat.”

Sometimes, you know, you read these things about Eve being so wise and she did this for all of us. And that may be true. (But) part of it was that Satan made it look desirable. And one of the things that’s interesting to me is that she didn’t even care about that tree before he came. I mean, this was the Garden of Eden. She probably had, you know, an apple tree here, and a pear tree, and an orange tree, and all of the trees. And she didn’t even care about that tree because he comes (and) he’s like, “Can you eat all of them?” And she’s like, “Yeah, look at all these trees. I mean, that one way over there in the middle I can’t eat, but I’m not really interested in that because I have all of these other things.” And I think that’s what Satan does to us. “Yeah, but what about that one?” Maybe the girl at work, or that website you shouldn’t be looking at, or maybe that house you can’t afford, because he tries to make things look more desirable. Remember that what you have in front of you – you know what, this house is good. This man I’m with is good. This life I have is good. Because when Satan comes, he’s gonna constantly tell you, “But that’s better.” So remember, that’s another one of his snares. And Satan said to her, “You won’t die.” And then when she took the fruit, guess what, she didn’t die. So I think Satan probably said, “See, see, you did it.” But, by eating the fruit, it made it so they WOULD die in the future. That was true. I think sometimes that’s another trick of Satan because sometimes the results of our actions may not be seen or heard for a long time. But, remember, he’s still a liar because they took of the fruit and that made them mortal, and they did die. Then they had the capacity to die.  We have to remember that what God tells us is always true, and what Satan tells us is not always true. 

So, after they partook of the fruit, God comes and says, “What did you do?” And I think, in the Creation, it’s the biggest game of hot potato I’ve ever seen. And I think we learned an important lesson from this hot potato. In Moses 4 starting in 18, it says, “And the man said, the woman thou gavest me and commanded that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree, and I did eat. And God said unto the woman, what is this thing which thou has done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” So,when God says, “What happened”, Adam blames it on Eve, and Eve blames it on Satan. “And then God says unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field. And upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust thou shalt eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity (and I didn’t ever know what this word meant until recently. But emnity is a deep seated dislike, or ill will. We don’t like him. He is going to put a hatred between us. Yeah, we know Satan hates us. But in your heart, you hate Satan, too) I’m going to put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed, and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” So, who got in trouble the most? Satan did, because God understands that Satan tricks us.  There are still consequences for us, but in that hot potato game, He watched the hot potato go to Satan, and then He gave the biggest curse to Satan. And He said, “Guess what, your kids, they’re going to have power to crush Satan’s head.  Satan, you’re going to have power to bruise his heal.” So we have way more power over Satan than he has over us. And part of that power comes from Jesus Christ because we have access to Jesus Christ who has all power over Satan. But in verse 28, it says, “And I, the Lord God said unto mine only begotten, Behold, the man has become as one of us to know good and evil.” And, I think it’s interesting too, that this story starts out the whole Old Testament — God talking to Christ and saying, “Us”. Obviously, they’re two separate people. But he says, “You know what, I’ve got to kick them out.” And maybe he didn’t want to. Maybe the Garden of Eden, he’s like,  this beautiful place I’m going to give you.  It’s like we feel towards babies when they’re born to us. We make this little nursery. We try to make everything so nice. We place them in the bed by us so if they even cry for a second, we can wake up and give them their pacifier. And, we just want them to be safe, and we want everything to be perfect for them. And I think that’s probably how Heavenly Father was when he sent these first kids of his to Earth. I think He wanted them to be able to pet the jaguar, and to be able to wander around and not even have to worry about what clothes they’re gonna wear. And He gave them all these fruits — just eat all of this. At the beginning, He made everything perfect for them. But He also knew, like, we know that our kids are going to have to cry it out once in a while so they eventually learn how to sleep through the night. And our kids are going to have to fall when they’re learning how to walk, or they’ll never learn how to walk. And God knew that that day was coming. He knew that it would be better for us to fall and stumble and have trials. But he gave us that agency because He knew that that was what was best for us. So when Adam and Eve did this, when they disobeyed Him and ate this fruit, Satan got in trouble for tricking them, but they also were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, because in verse 30 it says, “For as I the LORD God liveth, even so my words cannot return void. For as they go forth out of my mouth, they must be fulfilled.” So, He said, “There is a punishment, and the punishment is (that) you’re gonna get kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and you’re gonna die. And you’re gonna have to work really hard, and till the earth, and there’s not going to be everything just there waiting for you. And if you’re going to have kids, it’s going to hurt a lot. And it’s going to be hard. Life’s going to be hard. But, I’m going to send you Jesus for when life’s hard. And right now you don’t understand how important and how big this is, and what a sacrifice it was for me to send Him, my perfect son, and what a sacrifice it is for Him to have agreed and to take on all your pain and all your sorrow so that all you have to do is repent. But, I’m going to do this for you so that you can have agency and you can be tempted and tried. But, you also have the power to crush Satan. He cannot crush you. You have the power. And here’s the biggest tool — it’s your brother, Jesus Christ. Don’t forget about Him.“ 

So, the manual asks, “How did the Fall affect Adam and Eve? How does it affect me? Why did Adam and Eve offer sacrifices? What did those sacrifices symbolize? What can I learn from the angel’s words in these verses? Why were Adam and Eve glad after their fall? What do I learn from this account about God’s plan to redeem me through Jesus Christ.” So, if we go now to Moses 5, starting in verse 4, it says, “And Adam, and Eve his wife, called upon the name of the Lord. And they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden speaking unto them, and they saw Him not for they were shut out from his presence.” And that’s us. We know He’s there. We can hear Him. We just can’t see Him anymore. “And he gave unto them commandments that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks for an offering unto the LORD. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.” And it probably seemed pretty weird –“Okay, the first sheep that you have, kill it, sacrifice it.” But, he did it. And I think sometimes we’re not going to have all the answers, but we know we can trust that voice over there coming from the Garden of Eden. We know that that is the man who has been sent to save us. So we can trust that voice. And who has that voice to us in these days? It’s Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, their inspired words, the feelings that we get as we read the scriptures and as we pray and we seek for guidance.  But it’s also from the prophet and the anointed leaders of the church. They are also the mouthpiece of God. They also tell us what we can do so we don’t have to be confused or scared. And in verse 6, it says, “And after many days, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam saying, Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him, I know not save the Lord commanded me.” I think this is a cool answer. And some of you are like, “No, not blind obedience. That’s not right.” Okay, that isn’t. But God commanded him, and Adam knew God’s voice, so he trusted that what He would tell him to do was correct. And when we trust who speaks for God, we can more easily follow like that. “I don’t know why I’ve been asked to do this. I don’t know why I should only wear one set of earrings, or why I shouldn’t have sex before I’m married, but I trust the voice that’s telling me, because I know he wants what’s best for me.” “And then the angel spake, saying:  this is a similitude of the sacrifice of the only begotten of the Father, which is full of grace, and truth. Therefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shall repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore. And in that day, the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son saying, I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth, and forever. That as thou hast fallen, thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.” And this is so interesting to me, because when did the Holy Ghost fall on Adam? After he did what he was asked to do, after he offered sacrifices not knowing quite why. He didn’t need the Holy Ghost when he was in God’s presence because he was in God’s presence. And I think it’s like the Day of Pentecost in the New Testament, when they, all of a sudden aren’t in Jesus’s presence anymore. And, so the Holy Ghost comes to confirm truth. We aren’t left alone. We can’t see Them. But the Holy Ghost is going to come and confirm truth to us. It’s such a great gift. And in verse 10, it says, “And in that day (so when he got the Holy Ghost), Adam blessed God and was filled and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying, 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.” So Adam thanks God for what he learns at that moment. “I’m grateful for this hard thing that happened to me, because now I know what joy looks like.  In the Garden, it was all joy, so I didn’t know it was joy. And, I know I’ll be resurrected. Again in the flesh, I shall see God. And Eve’s answer is so delightful. In verse 11, it says, “And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad saying, Were it not for our transgression, we never should have had seed (so, if we wouldn’t have done that, we would have never been able to have kids, and never should have known good and evil, which they also learned), and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” The thing that touches me so much about Eve’s answer is when she says, “We would have never known the joy of our redemption.  We would have never known how awesome it is that God gave us Jesus Christ, to redeem us. We would have never known how cool it is. I listened to Satan, and I ate the fruit. And because of Jesus Christ, I don’t have to pay for that mistake eternally. I don’t have to pay for that choice. I’m forgiven. And it’s beautiful. And that brings me joy.”

Maybe in your life, you’ve just gotten kicked out of Eden. Maybe your life has been going along like a song, and you just got results from a nasty scan, or your marriage just fell apart, or you just lost a child, or somehow you’ve gotten kicked out of your easy. And I’m not saying everybody’s life is easy to a point. It may have been difficult since the day you were born. But at some point, I think we figuratively get kicked out of Eden. And we have a choice then to do what God asks and keep going even though we don’t know what the future looks like. But we have to trust that God gave us the tools to get through our life, the tool, the tool is Jesus Christ. And in verse 12, “And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” And I think this is so important — we can’t get mad at God, we have to try to understand, we have to be doers. And then we get the Holy Ghost that confirms truth. And we get Jesus. And we have to testify of this to all our kids. Adam and Eve didn’t sit, after they are kicked out of the garden, and tell their kids 100 times a day, “Well, your mom ate the fruit so we don’t get to live in that great place anymore. We don’t get to live in there, over there. There was this place that was so amazing. And we don’t get to be there anymore because we made some bad choices. Waaah, waaah.” They taught their kids the joy of redemption. This is what we should be teaching our kids from the time they are tiny. Like I’ve said before, if I could change all the things, I would be way more concerned about my kids knowing Jesus. He is the man that loves you, that wants you to succeed. He is the man that just blessed you when you were scared. Heavenly Father gave us the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus’s love, to bring Heavenly Father’s love to you. This is the thing that we need to emphasize with our kids so that, when things get hard, they know where to turn. They don’t get mad, they don’t get bitter. They don’t say, “Oh, well this church doesn’t let me have fun and do what I want. I’m out.” They say. ” I made a mistake. And, my dad reminded me that all I had to do is repent. All I have to do is say I’m sorry, and we’re good.” Again, don’t be bitter. Don’t be sitting outside of Eden, talking about Eden all the time, worrying about Eden all the time. Go forward and talk about Jesus all the time. It’s going to make all the difference. 

In the lesson it says, “Because of the Book of Mormon and other Latter Day revelations, we have a unique perspective on the Fall”. And they give a lot of resources, a lot of scriptures to read. So go read through those scriptures with your family this week. That’s a great way to study more. Talk about the Fall because a lot of religions believe that was this big terrible thing and that we were all punished forever because they did that thing. And what we say is, “Isn’t it great that God gave us agency and let us be tempted and let us fall, and then gave us Jesus so that nobody has to pay the price for what Adam and Eve did”. I don’t even have to pay the price for what I did. I just have to be sorry. I just have to fix what I can fix. And then let the merits of Jesus Christ fix the rest. It’s beautiful. 

Alright, the last section says, “God will accept my sacrifices if I offer them with a willing and obedient heart. Adam and Eve learned that animal sacrifices were symbolic of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and they made this known unto their sons and their daughters. As you study Moses 5, consider the difference of attitudes of the two of their sons, Cain and Abel towards these sacrifices. Why did the Lord accept Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s?” Okay, starting in verse 16 of chapter 5, “And Adam and Eve, his wife, ceased not to call upon God. And Adam knew his wife, and she conceived and bear Cain and said, I’ve gotten a man from the Lord. Wherefore he may not reject His words. But behold, Cain hearkened not, saying, Who is the Lord that I should know him?” The very first child born to Adam and Eve rebelled and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”. So, moms and dads, give yourself a break, Adam and Eve’s first kid, rebelled. Laman, and Lemuel were Lehi’s children, the prophet; they rebelled. This isn’t all on you; this is on agency. But then in 17, it says, “And she again conceived and bear his brother, Abel. And Abel hearkened unto the voice of the Lord. And Abel was a keeper of sheep. But Cain was a tiller of the ground”. This is such an important story. I fell in love with this story last summer. I went and spoke about this story in Ogden to a group of youth. I think there’s so much we can learn from the story of Cain and Abel. And this podcast has gone a little bit long because we had to talk about the last two that we missed. So, I apologize. Hopefully, this year, I’m going to only pick one section or two. And these are actually going to be shorter, not longer. But this one may go a little long, because I had to try to get in three weeks’ worth of stuff. So, Abel was put in charge of this sheep, and Cain was put in charge of the ground. So, Cain was a farmer, and Abel was the shepherd, the sheep keeper. “And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him saying, Make an offering unto the LORD”. So, we don’t know exactly what it means that he loved Satan more than God, but we’ll just say he listened to Satan more than God. And, Satan told him to make an offering unto the LORD, because that’s what they’ve been told to do. Their parents had taught them for all the time that they had to offer the firstling of the flock. So, Satan said, “Yeah, you need to make an offering.” And in the process of time, “It came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground as an offering unto the LORD”. In my mind, what Satan convinced Cain to do was to bring a potato. I like to say “potato”, because that’s the first thing I think, the crop that he’s growing of the ground, the fruit of the ground; it’s a potato. And Satan said, “Hey, why should you bring a sheep? You’re the tiller of the ground; Bring a potato”. And it made sense, because Satan is wily and cunning and sly and subtle, right? So, he says, “Yeah, your parents say that God said, ‘You need to bring a sheep’, but you’re in charge of the ground. So just bring the potato.” So, it made sense to Cain. So, they bring their offerings. Maybe also, deep down, Cain didn’t want to go ask Abel for sheep, maybe wanted to do it all himself. There are a lot of reasons; we don’t know. But one thing we know, Satan was in charge of Cain, and he was tempting him. And Satan was the one that said, “Bring an offering”. And he brought something from the ground. That was Satan’s idea. And in verse 20, it says, “And Abel, he also brought up the firstling of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering, but unto Cain and his offering, He had not respect. Now Satan knew this and it pleased him. And Cain was very rough, and his countenance fell”. Satan knew that this was not the offering that God wanted, and it pleased him, because he knew it was gonna cause a problem. Satan wants to cause problems. He does not want us to be happy, and he had this in mind. So when Cain was mad and his countenance fell, that was Satan’s plan. And this is the beauty of this story. It says, “And the LORD said unto Cain, why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?” Why are you mad? Well, Cain’s probably, like, “Because I just brought this offering and you didn’t like it”. But God says, “There’s no reason to be mad or upset or embarrassed. Satan tricked you. Satan tricks you. That’s all. Who cares?” And this is so cool. God says to Cain, “If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted”. He just says, “Make it right. Why are you sad?” He doesn’t say, “Yeah, you should be sad. You should be really embarrassed. You brought the wrong thing”. God says, “Why art thou wroth? Why hast thy countenance fallen? I don’t care that Satan tricked you. Just make it right. If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted”. It’s this whole story. It’s the whole plan. It’s the Garden of Eden all over again. You did wrong. Just make it right. God offers Cain some very sound advice for our life. He said, “If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted.” He’s saying, “Repent, bring me a sheep. It’s all gonna be good”. But then He says, “If thou doest not well, sin lies at the door. And Satan desireth to have thee. And, except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire”. What does this mean for us? It means when we sin, when we get tricked by Satan… That’s what happened. Cain didn’t come up with this plan on his own. Satan tricked him. And when he brought the wrong offering, when he messed up, God wasn’t mad at him. God said, “Just make it right.” That is what we have to do. He says, “Because, if you don’t make it right, then I have no choice but to hand you back into the influence of this person that wants to make you miserable. Because, when you don’t keep the commandments and you don’t feel sorry for them, the Holy Ghost has to leave. And when that happens, Satan has so much more influence on you. And He says, “Sin lies at the door, and Satan wants you.” But I want all of you to remember, and this is what God wants all of us to remember from this story, Satan’s only goal is to make us miserable. And God’s only goal is for us to find happiness and joy. When we make a mistake, I want you to think, “Satan tricked me. He told me, ‘Whatever sin happened, that it was going to be great for me.’ And God says, ‘Yeah, you got tricked. Let’s just make it right, because if you don’t, then it’s going to get worse.'” And if we read the story, further on, it says, “And Cain was wroth and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel his brother, who walked in holiness before the Lord”. So, he was probably jealous. “How come Cain gets all this glory? How come he gets to be the keeper of the sheep?” And he walked off mad. Now, next week, we’re going to talk more about what happened, because Cain, things didn’t work out nice for Cain. Because in the moment of choice, he chose to be mad instead of to be penitent and to repent. 

Now, that’s the end of the lesson. The lesson had a couple of references to “sacrifice” and I want to just read a few of these. And it says, “What kind of sacrifices does the Lord ask of you? Is there anything in these verses that changes the way you think about those sacrifices?” And, I just want to read a few scriptures that are listed. The first one is Omni 1:26. It says, “And now my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of His salvation and the power of His redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and prayer and endure to the end. And as the Lord liveth, ye will be saved”. What is Omni telling us that we should offer because we no longer offer the firstlings of our flocks; we no longer make animal sacrifices? So, what is the Lord asking us to sacrifice here? Your whole soul. And that’s going to be hard to do; So continue in fasting and praying, because through Jesus Christ and His salvation that He’s offering, you will be able to offer your whole souls. In third Nephi 9, verse 20, it says, “And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost?”  Is he saying, “Come to me with perfection?” No. He’s saying, “When you bring me the potato, just offer me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Just be sorry. And I will baptize you with fire and the Holy Ghost. I will bring all the love back to you. I will bring all my spirit into your life. Just repent. I just want you to be happy”. In Doctrine & Covenants 97:8, it says, “Verily I say unto you, all among them, who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits are contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice, yea, every sacrifice which I the LORD shall command, they are accepted of me.” When you go to the temple, you promise to sacrifice a lot, a lot more than we do. And I think now is the time to refocus our commitments. Where are we going to put our time and energy this new year? What is going to be most important? What are we going to sacrifice?  Our time? Our talents? Our energy? Our focus? 

I love President Nelson and the challenge he gave us for the new year. I don’t know if you guys saw it on social media, but I will read it. There is a darling picture of him looking up at the sky in a red hat. And he says this: “I’m sure many of you are setting aside time today to write down your resolutions for the coming year. May I make a few suggestions? First, resolve to strengthen your spiritual foundation. This may involve setting a specific time and place to study the scriptures, praying more often, making temple worship a bigger priority, and letting God prevail in all aspects of your life. Second, resolve to be kind to others. When the Savior Jesus Christ visited the Americas, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, one of the first things he taught was the need to eliminate contention in our lives. So please be compassionate, be understanding, be slow to judge and be quick to forgive. Third, resolve to be resolute. The Lord loves effort. The Lord loves consistency. The Lord loves steadfastness. While we surely will come up short from time to time, our persistent efforts to hear Him and follow the inspiration He gives us will help us to wax strong in the Spirit. May God bless you, my dear friends, and may this be a wonderful year of purpose and possibilities for all of us.” 

What are you going to do as a result of this lesson? Are you going to repent? Are you going to make a commitment that when you mess up, you’re just going to remember how beautiful Jesus Christ is and turn to him and be better and not justify. Are you going to make a commitment to read the Book of Mormon every single day this year so that you can feel Christ’s love more and more in your life? Are you going to make a commitment to turn with kindness to every situation, to run ahead and open the door for every mom you see with a stroller that’s having a hard time getting through a door? To pick up something someone drops? To add that extra compliment to the lady that’s having a bad day? When you feel something good about someone, say it! Are you going to commit to forgive more easily and not judge as much? Steadfastness brings blessings. Read the Book of Mormon every day, if only for a minute. Show the Lord that you’re interested in being steadfast in keeping the commandments so that his spirit can be with you. Let’s repent quickly, and realize God never expected us to be perfect. If he did, there wouldn’t have been a need for the Savior and the Savior was planned from the beginning. 

I love Heavenly Father. I love Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for this gospel. I’m grateful for this podcast that sometimes looms heavy over me. I’m so grateful for it. Because when I sit down to testify about the things that I know, and the things that I love, my life changes, and I become softer. And I feel the Lord’s love more in my life. And I’m so grateful for those things. And I’m grateful for the love of Jesus Christ in how he saves us every day. Have a great week, and SHINE ON!

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2 thoughts on “Episode 1 – Genesis 3–4; Moses 4–5 The Fall of Adam and Eve.”

    1. Melanie Wellman

      You click on the link at the top of this page. Or search, “Come Follow Me for Us” on whatever platform you use to listen to podcasts – Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, itunes, etc.

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