Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Fall of Adam Part I - Introduction

It's been a long time since I've updated this blog, and I want to do better about writing more regularly, so I'm going to start with something I've wanted to write about since before I started this blog.

The Christian world view the Fall quite differently. To my knowledge, everyone agrees that the Fall is when Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden because they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden by God. The difference among Christians is that there are differing view as to why it has happened.

The Classical Christian belief is that this was a terrible, cosmic mistake. God's plan was for man to live in the Garden forever, and the present world of so much suffering and pain stems from this first sin. Because of this first sin, often called original sin, all mankind are sinners from birth; all people are damned from birth, and will be condemned forever unless they repent and are baptized. This is not what every Christian Church believes; there are many variations and conflicts with this general teaching, but this remains the foundation for the majority of Christian churches' beliefs about the Fall.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs strongly from this traditional belief. We believe that God intended for mankind to leave the Garden, but He allowed Adam and Eve to choose for themselves if they would eat of the forbidden fruit. We believe that children are born innocent into the world, and cannot sin until they reach the age of accountability, and that each person is only responsible for his or her own sins. Lastly, we believe that the challenges inherent in an imperfect world are essential to God's plan for all of His children (all mankind).

Whether or not God intended for mankind to be cast out of the Garden may seem like a trivial difference at first, but it is of tantamount importance. One of the things necessary to have faith in God is to know that there is no greater power than His; if there were, it wouldn't make sense to place all of your faith in someone who can't deliver you. God is all-powerful, and there is no other source of deliverance but Him, through His Son Jesus Christ. His plan wasn't frustrated by Satan tempting Adam and Eve; this was something He foresaw and was part of His plan. We can securely place our faith in God and know that He doesn't miscalculate and that His designs are not defeated, ever. We are in an imperfect world because it is part of the plan of our loving Father in Heaven, not because Satan defeated His first, better plan; this is THE plan.