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Friday, April 07, 2006 

The hour is always darkest...

Alonzo Gaskill, a professor at BYU, recently wrote a book about the Fall. I agree with his central thesis, even though there is a lot in the book I disagree with. The central thesis is this: the chief reason that we have the Adam and Eve narrative in the scriptures is to tell us things about ourselves, not about Adam and Eve.

Prof. Gaskill suggests that Adam and Eve are meant to symbolize us, our struggles with sin and our interaction with each other. There is some good thought in that. We all fall, like Adam and Eve did. Sometimes it is even our own fault.

The result of Adam and Eve's fall, and our own, is an estrangement from God. Our sins, our choices separate us from God. We have no means to return.

Adam and Eve were then told to turn to sacrifice, a reminder of the way back. Sacrifice is itself an act of faith. Faith transforms wanton destruction into a purgatory act of devotion. Out intent is as important as our acts (if not moreso).

We learn, in scripture, that Adam and Eve came to rejoice in the Fall, because it turned them to Christ. Though they fell from Eden, they were perfected in Christ's grace.

From this, we are meant to learn that falling is necessary, as is the request of sacrifice at times when we least feel like we can afford it. If these circumstances, derived from the life of Adam and Eve, are universal, then so must be the conclusion. If, fallen, shamed, and humbled by our choices, we turn to God, we will be remade in His image. We will follow the example of Adam and Eve into eternity and worlds without number.

I blogged on this earlier at:

http://ethesis.blogspot.com/2006/03/figurative-story-is-sometimes-more.html

First of all, I don't want worlds without number. I want a quiet eternity.

But I take this to mean that life changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. If you stick out the bad times, good times will come.

But me, I ain't bein' no God. I am resting for eternity, resting, I tell you.

That's funny, Anne.

Your post uncovers a lot of meaning, John.

Well put. I would have to agree with that main idea as well. It sounds like an interesting book. What parts did you not agree with?

You know...when I think about it. I am prepared to believe that the entire story was figurative, that there was no "Adam and Eve" STORY the way the Bible tells it. Maybe it was Joe and Beth...or Jake and Marjorie whoever...through (semi-)regular temple attemdence, I have enjoyed learning more about me through the "allegory" of Adam and Eve.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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