Therefore, if the purposes of God were destroyed, the whole plan of salvation would become meaningless. Then, as though he has not made his point strongly enough, Lehi starts again and puts it in other words in a similar line of reasoning. Again if that were diagramed it would look as shown on the following page. It is a powerful chain, for if there is any one thing that we can be absolutely certain of, it is our own existence.
Working backwards from that irrefutable evidence, Lehi shows that God exists and therefore has created opposition. If there were not opposition, man could not be exalted because there would be no accountability. This brings up an important question. Here, other scriptures help us understand why this could not be so. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. Moroni — The Prophet Joseph Smith, in the Lectures on Faith , indicated that one of the prerequisites for a man to have faith is to have an understanding of the nature, attributes and perfections of God 3.
From these and other sources Dan Ludlow concluded the following points:. Therefore, the creation of the world and man was done in a perfect, holy and innocent state. To have done otherwise would have been contrary to the nature of God, which sets up an interesting problem. Lehi explains how this was resolved.
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Lehi now turns his attention to the Fall. Note the following points: 1 in verse 15, he indicates that God created our first parents and all things which were created, 2 he set up an opposition from the beginning, even the opposition of the forbidden fruit to the tree of life, 3 in verse 16, he indicates that he gave unto man his agency, 4 if man was to be truly free to act for himself, or in other words, if there are to be truly opposite choices or opposition , he must be enticed by those choices, and 5 since God cannot entice man to make bad choices, Satan was allowed to come to earth to entice men to do evil vv.
This final point is validated in other latter-day revelation. To the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord said:. And it must needs be [note the same language here that Lehi used] that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—wherefore, it came to pass that the devil tempted Adam, and he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment. The positive side of the option given to Adam was clearly enticing in and of itself. The Garden of Eden was a beautiful place in which to live.
Fruits and flowers grew spontaneously. There was no death or sorrow or wickedness. It was a beautiful and enticing place. But how could the opposite be made so enticing that there truly would be opposition in this matter? This is why Satan and his angels are allowed to function. To summarize, Lehi makes five important points as to why the Fall happened and how it helps the Lord fulfill his divine plan of redemption.
In order to make that agency operative, both choices had to be enticing v. God allowed Satan to operate in the Garden and in this world to allow the negative option to be enticing in opposition to the positive one. When Lehi had established the reason for the Fall, he discussed the results of it for us. He pointed out that once the Fall had taken place and men were born into the world under its effects, this life became a state of probation or a time for man to prove themselves.
He indicated that the days of the children of men were prolonged so they might repent and thus begin to bring into operation the plan of redemption 2 Nephi As he did this, Lehi further emphasized the importance of the Fall by pointing out what would have happened had the Fall never taken place see vv. Adam and Eve would have remained in the Garden of Eden. All things which were created would have remained in the state in which they were in prior to the Fall, which was a state of perfection, innocence, with no death, no sorrow, etc.
They would have had no children.
They would have remained in the state of innocence, having no joy for they knew no misery, not being credited for good because they could do no sin. When one examines the conditions that resulted from the Fall, it becomes evident that all of them are necessary for the progression of mankind toward Godhood, for them to prove themselves and to become accountable before God. Therefore, again noting that if there had been no Fall the purposes of God would have been frustrated, Lehi concluded with eloquence and simple profundity:.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. With the fundamental facts laid out and an explanation as to the reason for the Fall, Lehi made his final moving exhortation to Jacob and his other sons see vv. The points come in rapid fire order.
First, men are free according to the flesh and all that is expedient is given unto them. That provides an interesting formula that is so simple yet profoundly true:. As we have already shown, without accountability there could be no sin or punishment. Without accountability, God could not make men gods, for if there were no other choice than to be good, there would be no merit in doing good.
But God set up both conditions required to have accountability. Finally, Lehi noted that the choice is really simple. As King Benjamin pointed out, there are many ways to commit sin that they cannot be numbered see Mosiah It is this:. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil.
Lehi exhorted his sons to follow the will of the Spirit and choose eternal life by: 1 looking to the Mediator, 2 hearkening to his commandments, and 3 being faithful to his words v. The other alternative is to follow the will of the flesh and choose eternal death which gives the spirit of the devil power over us and brings us down to hell where Satan rules v. We began this paper with a quote from Elder James E. Talmage wherein he said it has become common, even among Christians, to heap reproaches upon Adam and Eve for the Fall.
But Elder Talmage concluded just the opposite,.
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Our first parents are entitled to our deepest gratitude for their legacy to posterity-the means of winning title to glory, exaltation, and eternal lives. From Father Adam we have inherited all the ills to which flesh is heir; but such are necessarily incident to a knowledge of good and evil, by the proper use of which knowledge man may become even as the Gods. Fallows, Samuel. Chicago: Howard-Serverance , —6. Romney, Marion G. Talmage, James E. Articles of Faith. Contact Us! Send us a message and we'll get back to you right away. By Gerald N. Lund Gerald N. Lund One of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted doctrines in all of Christianity is the doctrine of the fall of Adam.
Talmage said, It has become a common practice with mankind to heap reproaches upon the progenitors of the family, and to picture the supposedly blessed state in which we would be living but for the fall; whereas our first parents are entitled to our deepest gratitude for their legacy to posterity-the means of winning title to glory, exaltation and eternal lives.
In more detail, the outline of these four points is as follows: I. The Spirit is the same yesterday, today and forever v. The way is prepared from the fall of man. Salvation is free. By the law is no flesh justified.
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By the temporal law men are cut off. By the spiritual law they perish and become miserable forever. The Messiah: 1. Is full of grace and truth v. Offers himself as a sacrifice for sin. Unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. This is so because he: a. Laid down his life according to flesh. Took it up again by the power of the Spirit. Brought to pass resurrection. Be judged of him.
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Receive punishment or happiness v. There must be opposition in all things v. There could be no righteousness or wickedness, etc. All things would be a compound in one.
There would be no death, no life, no mental functions. There would be no purpose in the creation v. If that were true, then: 1. The purposes of God would be destroyed vv. It would prove there is no creation and that we do not exist. To bring about his eternal purposes, he: 1. God became a man! This first step of God becoming a man is known as incarnation. This step is truly amazing.
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The infinite, eternal God of the universe became a man of flesh and blood , Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a human life limited by time and space and experienced all kinds of human suffering. Yet He was the only man in all of human history who was without sin. During His thirty-three and a half years on the earth, He fully expressed God in every aspect of His living. We can see His wonderful humanity, the way He lived, and the words of grace and truth He spoke when we read the four Gospels.
Through incarnation, Christ put on a physical body of flesh and blood, making it possible for Him to die for us. His perfect, unblemished life qualified Him to accomplish redemption for us on the cross. Jesus Christ came to die for our sins. Ephesians tells us:. Jesus Christ rose from the dead and defeated death itself! In 1 Corinthians we read these extraordinary words:. This is tremendously important.
Jesus both preached and upheld the new spirit of the law with absolute, perfect love for God. He did not abolish the old Jewish covenant but rather fulfilled it and correctly interpreted the Jewish law as only the Messiah could. The Jewish circumcision eventually gave way to Baptism by grace and the sacrifice of animals gave way to the perfect offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Christ fulfilled the Passover banquet of the lamb through the ultimate sacrifice of himself, the paschal lamb, for the life of the world.
Jesus also fulfilled and perfected the Jewish laws of ritual cleansing, "Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. Christ teaches that sin is not breaking rules and rituals, but the rejection of the perfect divine love of God himself.
Only Jesus Christ could have perfectly explained, fulfilled and lived according to the Law.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father John Those who feared and hated him had him crucified for false charges of inciting discord among the Jews and uttering what seemed to the Jewish leaders to be blasphemous words, "Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM John Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?
John " Christ reveals to the Jews that he not only is the human messiah but also God himself, for "I and the Father are one John Because Jesus Christ was both true God and true Man, he served as the divine and human sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of mankind.
His perfect fulfillment of the law, the agony of his Passion, and his death on the cross, paid once and for all for the sins of man. Only the perfect, willing and loving sacrifice of the Son of God could atone for sin and bridge the gap between man and God. Christ did not die for a predestined elect.
Church Tradition preaches in unity with Holy Scripture, "he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey them. The justice of God demands that no human being can be predestined to hell.
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