Does the story of the Creation have anything to do with our liberty and freedom? Adam and Eve’s experience in the Garden of Eden are inseparably connected to understanding of these principles, as the Fall of Adam sets up the eternal need for the Atonement of Christ.
We have all read the Creation story in Genesis and the Pearl of Great Price more times than we can probably count, but has the depth and reality of the story ever really came alive? Eve and the Choice Made in Eden, written by Beverly Campbell, offers a beautiful depth, and feminine view to the reality of the Fall of Adam in a way that brings the story alive and resolves many seeming contradictions.
For thousands of years, the Creation narrative has been told and retold in largely the same manner. From a the orthodox Christian perspective (1) God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, (2) God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and, in his sleep, took from him a rib and made Eve, (3) Eve was then tricked into eating of the forbidden fruit by the serpent causing original sin, and (4) Adam and Eve were both kicked out of the Garden of Eden as they were cursed to work by the sweat of their brow for their food. Eve received a type of double consequence, as she would toil in pain during childbirth. The LDS view does vary slightly from this narrative, in that the “fall” was not a part of original sin, but it was a form of necessary transgression. That said, otherwise, the events are basically told the same.
Throughout the years this story is told in a manner that places Eve as the basic villain of Eden — the reason for expulsion from paradise. But is this true? Is this a correct narrative? Is Eve to blame for our temporal condition in the “lone and dreary world”? Was she just cruelly tricked by a wiser and more cunning adversary into stumbling into God’s eternal plan, or was there a conscious decision made with knowledge of something more?
We do not typically get far enough in Sunday School classes to really answer these often asked and difficult questions, but these are the very types of questions that Campbell address in her book. In a new and exciting way, she offers a compelling narrative to the positive purpose of the Creation story, as she explores old words in new terms, such as: transgression as movement, beguiled as trauma, and “cast out” as “sent forth.” Other questions that she addresses are
Was there another way whereby human beings might enter mortality if Eve had not partaken of the “forbidden fruit”?
What is the purpose of agency in the Creation narrative?
Did Eve and her daughters aid in the work of Creation?
What does the name Eve mean? Did Adam name Eve?
Did Heavenly Father give conflicting or ambiguous commandments in the Garden of Eden?
Was “thou mayest choose for thyself” an ambiguous commandment or the chance to obey a greater law?
Was the commandment not to partake absolute or was it time centered?
Was Eve created from Adam’s rib?
Were Adam and Eve joined in eternal marriage in the Garden of Eden?
Where and when were knowledge and moral agency given to Adam and Eve?
The list goes on…
Consider your own copy Eve and the Choice Made in Eden for your own liberty library.