To help us understand that the Fall was a necessary part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us.
Three “divine events—the three pillars of eternity” are the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement.
(Elder Bruce R. McConkie: A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, , 81)
4. Three Pillars of God's Plan (0:49)
What were the results of the Fall for Adam and Eve—and for us?
a. Adam and Eve could have children, which allowed us to come to earth and receive mortal bodies (Moses 5:11).
b. We experience physical death (Moses 4:25).
c. We experience spiritual death (Moses 4:25).
d. We are partakers of misery and woe (Moses 6:48).
e. We are capable of sinning (Moses 6:49, 55).
f. The ground is cursed, causing us to need to work (Moses 4:23-25).
g. We can learn to recognize good and evil (Moses 4:28; 6:55-56).
h. We can have joy in mortality (Moses 5:10).
i. We can know the joy of our redemption (Moses 5:11).
j. We can obtain eternal life (Moses 5:11).
How can a correct understanding of the Fall help us during mortality?
Why is it important to understand that God foresaw the Fall and that it was necessary to His plan of salvation?
• Moses 4:6. “Satan … knew not the mind of God, [and] he sought to destroy the world.”
What does the story of the Fall teach us about Satan’s ability to frustrate God’s purposes? (See D&C 3:1-2.)
We “cannot overcome death [physical or spiritual] by ourselves. For that reason, Heavenly Father sent his Only Begotten Son to redeem us from death through his atoning sacrifice (Alma 22:14).” (Lesson Manual)
• Moses 5:10-15. Notice that the prophets often teach the Atonement when they teach about the Fall.
Why is it important to teach the Atonement along with the Fall? †4. President Ezra Taft Benson
• 2 Nephi 9:8-10. Jacob saw the need for Christ’s Atonement and rejoiced.
• Read and discuss Moses 5:1–9, 12.
In what ways were the lives of Adam and Eve like our lives today?
From these scriptures, what can we learn about the purposes of our mortal lives?
• Review the account in Moses 5:5–9. What commandment did the Lord give to Adam?
Why did Adam offer sacrifices even though he did not know the reason? †9. Joseph Smith
Why should we obey the Lord’s commandments even when we don’t understand all the reasons for them?
How have you been blessed for keeping a commandment you did not completely understand?
• See Moses 5:7–9. What was the purpose of the sacrifices that Adam offered? †10. Alfred Edersheim
“They were a similitude, or likeness, of the sacrifice that Heavenly Father would make of his Only Begotten Son. Offering such sacrifices was a reminder to Adam and his posterity that all mortals can be redeemed from the Fall through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” (Lesson Manual)
How can we express our gratitude for the Fall and the Atonement?
Next Week: L5: “If Thou Doest Well, Thou Shalt Be Accepted”; See L5 Class Member Study Guide.
(You can download a free LDS Institute Manual at: Old Testament Manual: Religion 301 and 302.)
†1. Ted L. Gibbons: “So far as we know, only one thing in the garden was forbidden to Adam and his wife. Lucifer took Eve’s attention to that one thing. There were 876 trees (more or less) in the garden and they could eat of any or all of them, except that one, and the devil focused Eve’s attention exactly there. As he always will. One of his ways to get into our hearts and minds is to point out the things we cannot do. Are there any movies you should not go to? Are there words you should not say? Are there things you should not do? When Eve responded by indicating the forbidden tree and the consequences of touching or eating therefrom,
“ ‘the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ (Moses 4:10-11).
“His accusation that God’s intent is to keep Adam and Eve blind (he doesn’t want your eyes opened) and captive (ye shall be as gods) is most interesting given the content of Moses 4:4. ‘And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.’
“We would do well to focus our attention on the things we can do: ‘of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat …’ (Moses 3:16) rather than centering our attention on the things that are forbidden.” (Ted L. Gibbons, OT Lesson #4)
†2. Hugh Nibley: “There is no patriarchy or matriarchy in the Garden; the two supervise each other. Adam is given no arbitrary power; Eve is to heed him only insofar as he obeys their Father and who decides that? She must keep check on him as much as he does on her. It is, if you will, a system of checks and balances in which each party is as distinct and independent in its sphere as are the departments of government under the Constitution and just as dependent on each other.” (Hugh Nibley, “Patriarchy and Matriarchy,” Old Testament and Related Studies, page 92f. In Julie M. Smith OT L#4)
†3. Elder Boyd K. Packer: “I can remember President McKay in his advanced years, on an occasion when he stood in the temple among the Brethren and quoted the temple ceremony at great length. Just quoted it, and explained it. Then finally he stopped, clasped his large hands together, and stood silent for a little while. Then he said, ‘Brethren, I think I am finally beginning to understand.’ (Boyd K. Packer, Things of the Soul, page 217. In Julie M. Smith OT L#4)
†4. President Ezra Taft Benson: “The plan of redemption must start with the account of the fall of Adam. In the words of Moroni, ‘By Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, … and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man’ (Mormon 9:12).
“Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ.
“No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind” (“The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 85).
†5. President Harold B. Lee: “Next to life itself, free agency is God’s greatest gift to mankind, providing thereby the greatest opportunity for the children of God to advance in this second estate of mortality.” (Stand Ye In Holy Places, 235)
†6. President Spencer W. Kimball: “If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be a calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, than all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
“Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
“If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.
“If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, 97)
1. Bruce R. McConkie, “The Three Pillars of Eternity,” BYU Speeches, February 17, 1981; accessed 1/21/14.
2. Russell M. Nelson, “The Atonement,” Ensign, Oct. 1996.
†7. Elder Sterling W. Sill: “In denying our own responsibility, we frequently blame Satan for much of the misery that we are bringing upon ourselves. Satan has no power over us except as we give it to him. And temptations without imply desires within; and rather than say, ‘How powerfully the devil tempts,’ we might say, ‘How strongly I am inclined.’ God never forces us to do right, and Satan has no power to force us to do wrong. As someone has said, ‘God always votes for us and Satan always votes against us, and then we are asked to vote to break the tie’ It is how we vote that gives our lives their significance.” (Conference Report, April 1970, 29)
†8. President Gordon B. Hinckley: [Note: This is an example of the power of the Atonement to lift us up when we believe in Christ.]
“… Permit me to read you a few lines from a letter sent to a bishop.
“It has been almost two years since I desperately called you asking for help. At that time I was ready to kill myself. I had no one else to turn to—no money, no job, no friends. My house had been taken, and I had no place to live. The Church was my last hope.
“As you know, I had left the Church at the age of 17 and had broken just about every rule and commandment that there was in my search for happiness and fulfillment. Instead of happiness, my life was filled with misery, anguish, and despair. There was no hope or future for me. I even pleaded with God to let me die, to take me out of my misery. Not even He wanted me. I felt that He had rejected me, too.
“That’s when I turned to you and the Church. …
“You listened with understanding, you counseled, you guided, you helped.
“I learned that as I lived the gospel and repented, I had no more fear. I was filled with an inner peace. The clouds of anguish and despair were gone. Because of the Atonement, my weaknesses and sins were forgiven through Jesus Christ and His love for me.
“He has blessed and strengthened me. He has opened pathways for me, given me direction, and kept me from harm. I have found that as I overcame each obstacle, my business began to grow, enabling my family to benefit and making me feel as though I had accomplished something.” (“The Shepherds of Israel,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 60)
†9. Joseph Smith: “Whatever God requires is right, … although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 256).
†10. Alfred Edersheim “Properly understood, the Scripture is all full of Christ, and all intended to point to Christ as our only Saviour. It is not only the law, which is a schoolmaster unto Christ, nor the types, which are shadows of Christ, nor yet the prophecies, which are predictions of Christ. Even where persons are not, events may be types. If any one failed to see in Isaac or in Joseph a personal type of Christ, he could not deny that the offering up of Isaac, or the selling of Joseph, and his making provision for the sustenance of his brethren, are typical of events in the history of our Lord. And so indeed every event points to Christ, even as He is alike the beginning, the centre, and the end of all history—‘the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.’ One thing follows from this: only that reading or study of the Scriptures can be sufficient or profitable through which we learn to know Christ—and that as ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life’ to us. And for this purpose we ought constantly to ask the aid and teaching of the Holy Spirit.” (Old Testament Bible History, 2-3)
[Note: Each animal sacrifice made in compliance with the Law of Moses was a foretelling of the infinite sacrifice of Christ to come. After Christ came, these animal sacrifices were done away.]