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Come, Follow Me (January 10-16, 2022)

By Eric Johnson
This is one in a series of reviews of the weekly lessons found in the Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To link to all of the 2022 teachings, click here. Bold face type in this article comes from the Church’s curriculum. (Note: Not every sentence is being reviewed.)

January 10-16 (Genesis 3-4; Moses 4-5)

The Fall of Adam and Eve

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.

Mormonism distorts the biblical teaching concerning the Fall by suggesting that Adam and Eve’s disobedience was a positive step for people to grow and attain exaltation, which is godhood. Second Nephi 2:25 in the Book of Mormon teaches that “Adam fell that men might be.” Instead of being called for what it is, Adam’s sin is called a transgression. Yet what Adam and Eve did (called sin) should not be minimized as something that could be considered a positive step.

According to the Bible, sin is synonymous with transgression (1 John 3:4). Sin permeates all of humanity, from the youngest to the oldest; it is an innate part of a human being’s nature. King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 9:3, “The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live.” Psalm 14:2-3 says, “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek after God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Just as a dog acts like a dog, so too, a sinner acts like a sinner. Upon faith in the true Jesus, a person is transformed into a new creation in Christ and is given the power to overcome sin (Romans 6:14).

To learn more about what Mormonism teaches on this topic, click this link on Crash Course Mormonism.

To learn more about the Fall, click here.

Genesis 3:1-7; Moses 4; 5:4-12

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 seem 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” (Moses 5:7). As you study Genesis 3:1–7Moses 45:4–12, what truths do you find that help you understand the Fall and how Christ’s Atonement overcomes it? Questions like these might help:

  • How did the Fall affect Adam and Eve? How does it affect me?

The biblical answer is that sin condemns all people to death, both physical and spiritual (Romans 3:23). While it is true that the consequences of the Fall for those who believe have been conquered by Jesus, this does not mean Adam’s sin should be celebrated or glorified. Many consequences came as a result.

For instance, Romans 5:14 states, “Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.” Verse 18 says that “as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” Fortunately, Christians have a Savior who forgives sin.  Verse 19 states, “For by the one man’s disobedience the man were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Adam represented all humans, so his sin condemned all people; Jesus fixed the problem through what He did on the cross. The idea that sin came through Adam and life came through Christ (Rom. 5:12) is called federal headship.

In other words, what Jesus did on the cross conquered sin for all who believe. But, for those who don’t believe, Romans 6:23a says that the wages of sin is death. This is certainly not good news for anyone.

  • Why did Adam and Eve offer sacrifices? What did those sacrifices symbolize? What can I learn from the angel’s words in these verses?

While much of Moses 4 in the Pearl of Great Price can be traced to the original account in Genesis (i.e., Joseph Smith plagiarized the Bible and made changes he decided were correct with no documentation), Moses 5:4-12 has been completely made up by Joseph Smith. As mentioned in an earlier review, there is no original source (except Genesis) to justify what is written in the Book of Moses. Unless a person accepts Joseph Smith as a true prophet of God–and Christians do not–this material cannot be considered trustworthy. Among other things, it says:

  • God spoke to Adam and Eve after the Fall and “shut [them] out from his presence”
  • An angel appeared to Adam and asked him why he was offering animal sacrifices; Adam says he did not know why.
  • The angel describes the “sacrifice of the Holy Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth” as to why animal sacrifices were needed. This wording is certainly plagiarized from the Gospel of John (1:14). Of course, Jesus was the “lamb of God” and the Book of Hebrews certainly teaches that Jesus fulfilled sacrifices according to the Old Testament. Yet the Bible never records Adam as being told anything about the “only Begotten” in Genesis.
  • Adam is told to do this “in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore” (v. 8).
  • “…the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam” and he was told, “I am the Only Begotten of the Father” (v. 9).
  • Adam was filled with the Holy Ghost and “began to prophesy”–yet this is a New Testament concept staring with Pentecost (Acts 2) and is not theologically related to the Old Testament.
  • The idea that children would not have been born without Adam’s “transgression” is described in verse 11, even though the Bible never says anything like this.

The passage in Moses 5 sounds like it was written by someone who lived after the time of the New Testament, not before. There is no indication of any of these things in the biblical account.

  • 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?

The Bible never indicates that Adam and Eve were “glad.” It’s another detail made up by Joseph Smith.

Because of the Book of Mormon and other latter-day revelations, we have a unique perspective on the Fall. For example, consider what the prophet Lehi taught his family about Adam and Eve in 2 Nephi 2:15–27. How do Lehi’s teachings clarify what happened in the Garden of Eden and help us understand why it was important?

Unlike the books of the Bible, there was just one original source (the supposed Gold Plates) and those are not available. Why should a Christian accept the Book of Mormon? It is rejected as scripture by Christians. See 10 reasons why the Book of Mormon is rejected as scripture by Christians

See Genesis 3:16; Moses 4:22

What does it mean that Adam was to “rule over” Eve?

This passage of scripture has sometimes been misunderstood to mean that a husband is justified in treating his wife unkindly. In our day, the Lord’s prophets have taught that while a husband should preside in the home in righteousness, he should see his wife as an equal partner (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” [ChurchofJesusChrist.org]). Elder Dale G. Renlund and Sister Ruth Lybbert Renlund explained that a righteous husband “will seek to minister; he will acknowledge error and seek forgiveness; he will be quick to offer praise; he will be considerate of family members’ preferences; he will feel the great weight of responsibility to provide ‘the necessities of life and protection’ for his family; he will treat his wife with the utmost respect and deference. … He will bless his family” (The Melchizedek Priesthood: Understanding the Doctrine, Living the Principles [2018], 23).

The Bible teaches that a wife should submit to her husband. But we agree, this does not mean that a woman is considered less than a man or that this concept makes it right for a husband to mistreat or abuse his wife. Ephesians 5:28 says, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Moses 5:4-9, 16-26

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” (Moses 5:12). 

Again, there is no indication that Adam and Eve were ever told about Jesus and His future sacrifice.

As you study Moses 5:4–9, 16–26, consider the different attitudes of two of their sons, Cain and Abel, toward these sacrifices. Why did the Lord accept Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s?

For a biblical answer to this question, click here.

Summary

For the third week in a row, the authors of this LDS Church-produced series have decided to place most of their focus on the Pearl of Great Price rather than the account found in the Bible (Genesis). Without the ability to ascertain the veracity of what was written in the books of Moses as well as the Book of Mormon, the Christian is not impressed with this “evidence” and remains adamant that no doctrine should emanate from anything written in these books by an imaginative “prophet.” For the most part, nothing written in this chapter coincides with the Bible and should be considered mere conjecture, not biblical truth. Since this series is supposed to be about the Old Testament, I remain disappointed.

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