Lesson 4: The Fall of Adam and Eve

Reading Preparation:
  • Genesis 3-4
  • Moses 4-5
Lesson Notes:
1. The Fall of Adam and Eve
1.1. Backward vs. Forward
Many in the Christian world view Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil, and their subsequent expulsion from the garden of Eden, as a shameful act which altered the plan of God and left mankind in a miserable state. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view the fall as not only desirable, but a necessary part of God’s plan.
Orson F. Whitney states,
“Adam’s fall was a step downward, but it was also a step forward–a step in the eternal march of human progress.” (Conference Report, April, 1908, 90).
In order to clarify this seeming discrepancy, let us examine more carefully the events as they transpired with the benefit of both the Old Testament and modern revelation.
1.2. Adam Tempted First
The accounts in both Genesis and PGP, Moses state that Satan only approached Eve, further scripture and latter-day revelation confirm that Satan initially approached Adam, only to have his offer rejected.
1 Timothy 2:14
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
James E. Talmage states,
“Eve was fulfilling the foreseen purposes of God by the part she took in the great drama of the fall; yet she did not partake of the forbidden fruit with that object in view, but with intent to act contrary to the divine command, being deceived by the sophistries of Satan, who also, for that matter, furthered the purposes of the Creator by tempting Eve; yet his design was to thwart the Lord’s plan.” (Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1890, [42nd Edition, 1961], 69).
James E. Talmage continues,
“In PGP, Moses 4:6, we read, ‘he [Satan] knew not the mind wherefore he sought to destroy the world.’…”Adam’s part in the great event was essentially different from that of his wife; he was not deceived; on the contrary he deliberately decided to do as Eve desired, that he might carry out the purposes of his Maker with respect to the race of men, whose first patriarch he was ordained to be.” (Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1890, [42nd Edition, 1961], 69-70).
1.3. Satan As a Serpent
Monte S. Nyman states,
“Genesis equates Satan with a serpent in the account of Eve’s temptation. However, as represented in the Book of Moses, Satan tempted Eve through a serpent by putting ‘it into the.heart of serpent’ to question and challenge her (PGP, Moses 4:6)…It would be natural for a serpent to be present in the garden, but Satan would have been an obvious intruder. Having been won over by Satan, the serpent became a willing agent through whom Lucifer could work without being recognized.” (“The Fall of Adam and Eve” in Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2. Edited by Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet. Salt Lake City: Randall Book Co., 1985, 92)
Josiah Quincy, quoting Joseph Smith, states,
“Before the Fall snakes always went about on legs, just like chickens. They were deprived of them, in punishment for their agency in the ruin of man.” (Figures of the Past. Boston, Mass., 1883, 386-387).
Both the Genesis and Moses account suggest that Satan worked through the serpent because the nature of the serpent “was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God had made. (PGP, Moses 4:5; Gen. 3:1). Thus it appears that Satan was able to deceive some of the animals and, therefore, work through the serpent to bring about the fall.
1.4. Satan’s Temptations to Eve
In order to gain Eve’s compliance, after having been rejected by Adam, Satan tries to make the forbidden fruit appear desirable to her. He does this by making her believe that if she partakes of the fruit, it will be a blessing to her, rather than a curse. He promises her that if she would partake, “ye shall not surely die…and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). This is an example of one of Satan’s half truths. The first part, “ye shall not surely die” is in direct contradiction to God’s earlier statement to both herself and Adam.
JST, Genesis 2: 20-22
20 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;
21 Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember I forbid it;
22 For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
There is some truth in his statement to Eve regarding the opportunity to become like a God and to gain a knowledge of good and evil if she were to partake of the fruit.
George Q. Cannon stated,
“Their eyes were opened. They had a knowledge of good and evil just as the Gods have. They became as Gods; for that is one of the features, one of the peculiar attributes of those who attain unto that glory–they understand the difference between good and evil. (Gospel Truth, Vol. 1. Selected, Arranged and Edited by Jerreld L. Newquist. Salt Lake City: Zion’s Book Store, 1957, 16).
It is noteworthy there were three elements of the fruit, following Satan’s temptation, that led Eve to partake.
Genesis 3:6
6 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…
Satan’s appeal to Eve’s appetite, desire for pleasure and wisdom proved to be the turning point in her decision to partake of the fruit. It is striking to me these are some of the same tools Satan uses today in order to tempt us. Our desire to eat that which is pleasing to our taste buds; viewing that which will bring pleasure to our visual senses and our gaining wisdom with only minimum effort still tempt many of us today.
1.5. Consequences of the Transgression of Adam and Eve
Following Satan’s temptation of Eve and Adam partaking of the fruit, God and Christ now return to the garden of Eden. He addresses the transgressions of each of the participants and there punishments.
1.5.1. Serpent
JST, Genesis 3:20
20 …Because thou hast done this, thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life;
No longer would the serpent walk uprightly. Instead he would spend his life crawling, thereby maintaining a position that is beneath all other “beasts of the field.” This scripture takes on increased meaning if the serpent prior had walked uprightly. He also receives a second punishment for his part in the temptation.
JST, Genesis 3:21
21 And I will 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.
Monte S. Nyman states,
“The Lord places enmity between those who become the followers of Satan and the offspring of the woman Eve. This is a natural division between those who exemplify the darkness of the world and those who maintain their inherent light of Christ (John 1:9). Furthermore, the specific offspring of the woman, Christ, will bruise or crush the head of Satan through the atonement (see Romans 16:20). The followers of Satan will have the power to bruise the heel of Eve’s other seed by leading them to sin; this will cause Christ to suffer for those sins and thus be bruised in the head which crushes out the sins of mankind” (“The Fall of Adam and Eve” in Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2. Edited by Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet. Salt Lake City: Randall Book Co., 1985, 95).
Eve’s punishments are twofold:
a. Pain in childbirth
The Lord will greatly multiply the sorrow of woman in bringing forth children. Prior to partaking of the forbidden fruit, Eve had not been able to have children. Following her transgression, she now would be able to bear children, however, she would experience sorrow or pain during the process.
b. “…thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee” (JST, Genesis 3:22).
Spencer W. Kimball states,
“Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord…This is a partnership…’he shall rule over thee.’ I have a question about the word rule. It gives the wrong impression. I would prefer to use the word preside. A righteous husband presides over his wife and family…No woman has ever been asked by the Church authorities to follow her husband into an evil pit. She is to follow him as he follows and obeys the Savior of the world…Mothers have a sacred role. They are partners with God, as well as with their own husbands, first in giving birth to the Lord’s spirit children and then in rearing those children so they will serve the Lord and keep his commandments.” (The Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood” in Ensign, March, 1976, 71-72).
Brigham Young states,
“Mother Eve partook of the forbidden fruit. We should not be here today if she had not; we could never have possessed wisdom and intelligence if she had not done it…We should never blame Mother Eve, not the least. I am thankful to God that I know good from evil, the bitter from the sweet, the things of God from the things not of God,” (Discourse of Brigham Young. Compiled by John A. Widtsoe. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954, 103).
Obstacles to providing for daily bread
1. Ground shall be cursed
George Morris states,
“The Lord set up this earth so we have to labor if we are going to live, which preserves us from the curse of idleness and indolence.” (Conference Report. April, 1958, 39).
2. Thorns also and thistles…sweat of thy face.
Contrary to living in the garden where all was provided, providing for your family was now to be accomplished by the “sweat of thy face” (JST, Genesis 3:25).
2. The Effects of the Fall
2.1. Death is Introduced Into the World.
2.1.1. Physical Death
Contrary to Satan’s statement to Eve that “Ye shall not surely die” (JST, Gen. 3:10), God pronounced from this time forth they would die a physical death.
Joseph Fielding Smith states,
“[T]his transgression [brought] mortality [into the world, and thus] the children of Adam and Eve inherited mortal bodies and became subject to mortal death. Because Adam transgressed the law, the Lord changed the earth to suit the mortal condition and all things on the face of the earth became subject to mortality, as did the earth also. To defeat the power which death had gained it became necessary that an infinite atonement be offered to pay the debt and thereby restore Adam and Eve and all their posterity, and all things, to immortal life through the resurrection” (Man, His Origin and Destiny. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954, 51. numbering omitted).
Joseph Fielding Smith further notes,
“…a physical change came over Adam and Eve, who became mortal, and were thus subject to the ills of the flesh which resulted in their gradual decline to old age, and finally the separation of the spirit from the body.” (Doctrine of Salvation, Vol. 1. Compiled by Bruce R. McConkie. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954, [24th Printing, 1980], 111).
2.1.2. Spiritual Death
The spiritual death involves banishment from the presence of the Lord. No longer would Adam and Eve have the privilege of having God walk and talk with them. Having walked by sight, now they must learn to walk by faith.
Why was Cherubim and a Flaming Sword in front of the Tree of life?
B/M, Alma 42:5-6
5 For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.
6 But behold, it was appointed unto man to die–therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of life they should be cut off from the face of the earth–and man became lost forever, yea, they became fallen man.
B/M, Alma 12:26
26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.
Old Testament Institute Student Manual states,
“Each of us is a spirit child of God. This earth was organized as a place for us to continue our learning and progression. Adam and Eve opened the door to mortality for us and for all of God’s children who earned the right to come here. In the pre-mortal life we shouted for joy at the possibility of experiencing mortality (Job 38:7). But once we come here great things are expected of us. Mortality is a proving ground. The Fall did not open to us the door to Eden; it opened the door to a knowledge of both good and evil. The experience of mortality is a great blessing for each of us. (Old Testament Institute Student Manual: Genesis-2 Samuel. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1980, [Second Edition, Revised, 1981], 43).
3. Life Outside the Garden
3.1. Adam and Eve Labor Together
PGP, Moses 5:1
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 did labor with him.
No longer was their daily food provided for them, but now they would have to gain it by their own efforts. This process would require effort on the part of Adam as well as his wife.
3.2. Adam and Eve Have Children
PGP, Moses 5:2-3
2 And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.
3 And from that time forth the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.
Outside the garden, Adam and Eve were now able to have children as were their children. The way is now prepared for you and I to come to the earth, an experience which previously had not been possible.
The addition in Moses clears up a problem raised by the Genesis account. In Genesis 4:1-2 it appears that Cain and Abel are the first of Adam’s children, yet, a few verses later, (Genesis 4:17), talks about Cain’s wife. The Moses account makes it clear that many children were born before Cain and, therefore, for Cain to find himself a wife would not have been a problem.
3.3. Adam and Eve No Longer See God
PGP, Moses 5:4-5
4 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.
5 And he gave unto them commandments, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
While Adam and Eve could no longer see God, He did continue to communicate with them. He gave them counsel and direction and they were obedient to his voice.
PGP, Moses 5:9
9 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.
It is important to understand that while Adam and Eve received this insight by the voice of the Holy Ghost, through the process of “divine investiture of authority” the information was delivered “as if” the Lord himself was speaking.
Both Adam and Eve rejoice to hear this message from the Lord.
PGP, Moses 5:10-11
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filed and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed by 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.
11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
Having heard the voice of the Lord which confirmed the blessing of redemption, not only for themselves but “for as many as will” brought great joy to them. Because a redeemer would be provided, they had the opportunity of being in God’s presence again. As Eve stated, they could now have children and through their obedience have the blessing of gaining eternal life.
3.4. They Are to Worship God and Offer an Animal Sacrifice
Adam and his family receive instructions they are to worship God and to offer an animal sacrifice.
PGP, Moses 5:5
5 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.
To worship God was understandable to Adam and Eve. They had a personal relationship with Him as He was their father and they were his children. They, therefore, honored him and were obedient to his words.
Why offer animal sacrifice?
God had directed them to offer sacrifice and they wanted to be obedient to Him. Therefore, they were obedient without knowing why the sacrifice was necessary.
PGP, Moses 5:6-7
6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why doest thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
In response to the angel’s inquiry, regarding Adam’s animal sacrifice, he responded that he did not know but was being obedient anyway (a great insight into the faith of Adam). This is a important lesson for each of us to learn. There will be times in our lives when we will be asked to “act in faith-not knowing why,” in order to be obedient to the direction of our leaders. Can we be obedient even when we don’t fully understand why we are being asked to fulfill this commandment? Or must we have a rational explanation for all God asks us to do, before we are willing to be obedient?
PGP, Moses 5:7-9
7 …This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace ad truth.
8 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
9 And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.
The faith of Adam and Eve is rewarded with a visitation of an angel who taught him that the animal sacrifices they were commanded to offer were in the similitude of the future atoning sacrifice of the Savior. From then on, they were to repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore. They also received the blessing of the Holy Ghost to both enlighten and strengthen their faith. Because of their obedience, they were then given further insight and understanding. The blessing came after a trial of their faith and obedience, not before, and so it is often with us.
3.5. Adam and Eve Are Taught the Plan of Salvation
PGP, Moses 5:9
9 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.
What a blessing for Adam and Eve! They learn their rejection from the garden of Eden had brought a multitude of blessing into their lives as well as their children. Their transgression would be resolved by the atonement of the “Only Begotten of the Father.” It would be sufficiently inclusive to include all of their children, including us!
3.6. Eve Rejoices
PGP, Moses 5:11
11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had see, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
Eve rejoices in the news she and Adam have received through the Holy Ghost. They are not rejected by the Father, but instead have, through the exercise of their agency, been instruments in His hands in bringing into effect the plan that had been put in place from the beginning. They could return again to be with the Father through their obedience to his plan.
3.7. Satan Comes Amongst Them
Satan seeks to tempt Adam and Eve and their children.
PGP, Moses 5:12
12 And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them saying: Believe it not; and they [some] believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And man began from that time forth to be carnal sensual, and devilish.
It is important to understand it was necessary Adam and Eve be influenced by Satan. Without opposition in all things, there could be no real choice. This was yet another reason for Adam and Eve to be banned from the garden. Without the influence of Satan in their lives there would be no way for them to show to God their determination to be obedient to his commandments. While Adam and Eve were diligent in teaching their children the gospel, Satan also began to influence their children and sought to persuade them to reject their teachings. He was successful in having some of them follow him.
4. Cain and Able
4.1. Cain Rejects Teachings of Parents
In spite of their efforts to counsel their children in righteousness, Cain chose not to follow the teachings of his parents.
PGP, Moses 5:16, 18
16 But behold, Cain hearkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?
18 And Cain loved Satan more than God…
It is important to understand that Cain made his decision to listen to Satan, even before he and his brother had offered sacrifices.
4.2. Able and Cain Offer an Offering to the Lord
PGP, Moses 5:19-21
19 And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
20 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering;
21 But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. Now Satan knew this, and it pleased him….
Why was Abel’s offering accepted while Cain’s offering rejected by the Lord? Why is Satan pleased? The sacrifice to be offered was to be the “firstling of the flock.” Abel’s offering was received as he was obedient to the Lord’s command. Cain’s offering was of the fruit of the field and thereby Cain was demonstrating his disobedience to the Lord’s commandments.
Satan knew in advance the type of offering which Cain offered reflected an attitude of disobedience and, therefore, would be unacceptable to the Lord. Cain’s reaction to the Lord’s reprimand would be hurt and anger.
Joseph Smith states,
“By faith in this atonement or plan of redemption, Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. It must be by the shedding the blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man; for this was the plan of redemption; and without the shedding of blood was no remission; and as the sacrifice was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared; to offer a sacrifice contrary to that [Cain’s offering was not a blood sacrifice as directed by the Lord], no faith could be exercised, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of atonement instituted after that order; consequently Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. But Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God Himself testifying of his gifts. Certainly, the shedding of the blood of a beast could be beneficial to no man, except it was done in imitation, or as a type, or explanation of what was to be offered through the gift of God himself; and this performance done with an eye looking forward in faith on the power of that great Sacrifice for a remission of sins.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976, 58).
4.3. Cain Not Rejected, But Rejects the Lord
PGP, Moses 5: 22-23
22 And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?
23 If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee: and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and if shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him.
Even after Cain had offered his unacceptable offering, the Lord did not reject Cain. However, he did give him a special warning regarding the dangers of his choices. It was only after Cain rejected the Lord’s counsel that his rebellion became total. PGP, Moses records that “Cain was wroth, and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord” (PGP, Moses 5:26).
4.4. Cain Listens to Satan, Rises Up and Kills Able
Compare the two scriptural accounts:
Genesis 4:7-8 PGP, Moses 5:23-26, 28-29, 31-33
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, thou shalt rule over him.
23 If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shall hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him;
24 For from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.
25 And it shall be said in time to come—That these abominations were had from Cain; for he rejected the greater counsel which was had from God; and this is a cursing which I will put upon thee, except thou repent.
26 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.
28 And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers’ daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.
29 And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and it thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear by the living God, that they tell it not; for it they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
32 And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that which they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him.
33 And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.
We learn three additional truths from the PGP, Moses account: (1) The Lord specifically warned Cain that if he did not repent, he would rule over Satan (PGP, Moses 5:23); (2) Cain did not immediately go into the field and kill Abel. After rejecting the Lord, Cain began to communicate directly with Satan, who now suggested the means whereby he could kill Abel (PGP, Moses 5:28-31); and, (3) Cain had no remorse regarding his murder of his brother declaring “I am free,” and that he will be given Abel’s flocks.
Step by step Satan engineered Cain’s downfall, as he will ours if we turn from the Lord. It is Satan’s desire that each of us reach the point where as is recorded in PGP, Moses 5:31, “he gloried in his wickedness”. It was at this point that he murders his brother!
5. Cain Leaves the Area Where Adam and Eve Live
5.1. Curses of Cain
1. Fugitive and vagabond (Genesis 4:12; PGP, Moses 5:37).
Cain is driven out “from the face of the Lord” [PGP, Moses 5:39), not “from the face of the earth” as recorded in Genesis 4:14.
2. Mark upon Cain (Black skin – denial of priesthood) (Genesis 4:15; PGP, Moses 5:40).
PGP, Moses 7:22
22 And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.
Brigham Young states,
“…the Lord put a mark upon him which is…black skin.” (Journal of Discourse, Vol. 7. London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1860, [8th Reprint, 1974], 290).
Joseph Fielding Smith notes,
“The scriptures do not say that Cain was made black, but we read that his descendants were (PGP, Moses 7:22). We may well suppose that Cain was also black and that this was the mark the Lord placed upon him” (Answers to Gospel Questions 2. Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1958, 175).
3. Shut out from the presence of the Lord (Genesis 4:16; PGP, Moses 5:41).
Cain interest was not truly with receiving Abels’ flocks. He was, however, concerned about Abel’s birthright that contained the blessings of the priesthood. The Priesthood birthright is the right of the oldest worthy male in the Priesthood. As Adam and Eve had other children it would have been necessary that all the previous sons of Adam would have had to been unworthy to receive this blessing and apparently this was the case for when Eve gave birth to Cain she said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord; wherefore he may not reject my words. (Genesis 4:1; Moses 5:16).
Joseph Fielding Smith states,
“Cain slew his brother Abel in order to obtain all the rights of the priesthood to descend through his lineage.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 2. Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1958, 188).
John Lund states,
“Not only did Cain want to stop Abel from having children and passing on this birthright of the Priesthood, but he also wanted to destroy the birthright itself. Since Cain was Perdition and an enemy to God it was very possible that he hoped the killing of Abel would prevent the Redeemer from coming to earth and making His atoning sacrifice. Without the Atonement all who come to this earth would not only become subject to Satan, but to Cain who will rule over Satan in the eternities. History records that Cain’s plan was foiled when Seth received the birthright of the Priesthood. (The Church and the Negro. Private Printing, 1967, 1958, 26-27; see also Moses 6:3; D&C 107:42).
6. Cain, Satan’s Leader on Earth – Secret Organizations
PGP, Moses 5:49-51
49 For Lamech having entered into a covenant with Satan, after the manner of Cain, wherein he became Master Mahan, master that great secret which was administered unto Cain by Satan; and Irad, the son of Enoch [a grandson of Cain], having known their secret, began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam;
50 Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, be he slew him for the oath’s sake.
51 For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.
Lemech, being angry, slew him [Irad], not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him “for the oath’s sake” (vs. 50). And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of man (vs. 55).
7. God Sends Angels to Teach Principles
Moses 5:56-58
56 And God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made;
57 For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world.
58 And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.
As long as there are God’s children upon the earth he will continue to send his messengers in order to bring as many as will unto repentance. His desire is to save as many as are willing to obey his commandments.
8. Conclusions
Daniel H. Ludlow states,
“A careful analysis of the changes and additions in the Joseph Smith Translation reveals that these deletions are exactly the type of information Satan would want to have deleted from the scriptural account: (1) The knowledge that he is the devil and that he seeks to have all men become evil; (2) The knowledge that the gospel has been on the earth from the beginning, made efficacious through the foreordaining of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer; and (3) The realization that the Holy Ghost is available to any person who is worthy and seek after his guidance.” (A Companion to Your Study of the Old Testament. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co.,1981, 116).
We have learned through the Bible and additional scriptures important truths that serve to increase our understanding of the Fall of Adam and Eve and the blessing that came to them and to us as a result of their partaking of the forbidden fruit. In spite of Satan’s part in attempting to prevent Heavenly Father’s plan from succeeding, we now understand that he failed. The plan of our Heavenly Father included a Savior who would redeem Adam and Eve from their transgressions and would make it possible for you and I to be born upon this earth. His atonement also provided us, if we choose, the opportunity to return to Our Father’s presence. It is true that life is not a garden of Eden, but through our trials and adversities we demonstrate our commitment to be faithful to his commandments. Today, we walk by faith, so that tomorrow we may see Him once again.