Elder Nelson teaches that the Fall brought about a physical change – a “mortal creation” – and also introduced the gifts of agency and accountability.
How have agency and accountability been a gift in your life?
1 And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.
2 And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.
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To bring the plan of happiness to fruition, God issued to Adam and Eve the first commandment ever given to mankind. It was a commandment to beget children. A law was explained to them. Should they eat from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” their bodies would change; mortality and eventual death would come upon them. But partaking of that fruit was prerequisite to their parenthood.
While I do not fully understand all the biochemistry involved, I do know that their physical bodies did change; blood began to circulate in their bodies. Adam and Eve thereby became mortal. Happily for us, they could also beget children and fulfill the purposes for which the world was created. Happily for them, “the Lord said unto Adam [and Eve]: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.” We and all mankind are forever blessed because of Eve’s great courage and wisdom. By partaking of the fruit first, she did what needed to be done. Adam was wise enough to do likewise. Accordingly, we could speak of the fall of Adam in terms of a mortal creation, because “Adam fell that men might be.”
Other blessings came to us through the Fall. It activated two closely coupled additional gifts from God, nearly as precious as life itself—agency and accountability. We became “free to choose liberty and eternal life … or to choose captivity and death.” Freedom of choice cannot be exercised without accountability for choices made.
Elder Russell M. Nelson
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