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Adam and Eve in the Lone and Dreary World

Adam Eve Altar MormonWhen Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, the earth fell, and all things thereon became mortal and corruptible.  Physical death and spiritual death (separation from God) were introduced.  But the Lord did not leave Adam and Eve comfortless.  Line upon line, Adam was taught the Plan of Salvation and gospel truth until he became the great prophet Mormons call “the Ancient of Days,” into whose hands were committed all the keys and authority of all dispensations of time, which he will turn over to Christ when He comes to reign on earth.

In the Pearl of Great Price, we learn some valuable things about Adam and Eve as they began the family of man.

#1.  Cain and Abel were not their first children.

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, his wife, did labor with him.

And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.  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. 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 (Moses 5:1-4).
Mormons believe that all prophets, including and beginning with Adam, have understood and taught the Plan of Salvation and the atonement and mission of Jesus Christ.
#2.  Adam was taught the Law of Sacrifice as a type of the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
 

“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.

“And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
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.
“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.
“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” (Moses 5:5-9).
#3. As Adam and Eve began to understand the Plan of Salvation, they began to rejoice.
 
“And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be 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.
“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.
“And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.”
#4.  Adam and Eve taught their sons and daughters according to the revelations they received.  Satan went about in the land, tempting their children.
 
“And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.
“And the Lord God called upon men by the Holy Ghost everywhere and commanded them that they should repent; And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved; and as many as believed not and repented not, should be damned; and the words went forth out of the mouth of God in a firm decree; wherefore they must be fulfilled.
“And Adam and Eve, his wife, ceased not to call upon God. And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain, and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord; wherefore he may not reject his words. But behold, Cain hearkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?
And she again conceived and bare his brother Abel. And Abel hearkened unto the voice of the Lord. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”
#5. Cain becamed a Son of Perdition because he knew the Lord, yet he chose to follow Satan, and he committed murder.
 
Cain Slays Abel by Gustav Dore

Cain Slays Abel by Gustav Dore

“And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord.  And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 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;  But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. Now Satan knew this, and it pleased him. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

“And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?  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 it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him;  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.
“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.  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.  And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren.  And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers’ daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.  And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if 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.
“And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret.  And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.  And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him.  And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.  And the Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said: I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?
“And the Lord said: What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground” (Moses 18-35).

The Prophet Joseph Smithsaid, “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 of 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 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, 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, p. 58).

Some friends of other faiths have seen artwork in Mormon visitors’ centers depicting Adam and Eve offering sheaves from their harvest on the altar, and they have claimed that this proves that they were offering a sacrifice to Satan.  This is untrue.  As harvests progressed, the Lord required a first portion of the increase of His children, as is exemplified in the law of tithing.  An acceptable sacrifice is whatever the Lord requires.  In the case of Cain and Abel, the Lord required an animal sacrifice.

These scriptures show that Cain made covenants with Satan before he murdered his brother.  Mormons call these Satanic covenants “secret combinations.”  They are essentially the foundation of secret brotherhoods, wherein people can murder to get gain, and assume that their associates are sworn to secrecy.  Groups appear in the Book of Mormon history who were taught these secret combinations by Satan himself.  During one period they were called “Gadianton Robbers,” after Gadianton, one of their leaders.  They committed acts of rapine and violence and sought to overthrow those governments who guaranteed the freedom of the people.  In the end, it was these groups who destroyed the Nephites, who had once lived for about 200 years in an almost utopian state according to the gospel of Christ.  The Book of Mormon, therefore, is the record of a fallen people, speaking to us today to warn us of these same dangers:

“And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites. And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.
“And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.
“Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
“Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combinationwhich shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
“For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
“Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved” (Ether 8:20-26).
The fifth chapter of Moses ends by explaining the fight between good and evil among Adam and Eve’s offspring.  It also reiterates that Adam taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to his children, and that the righteous looked forward to the day of His coming:
“And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.  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; 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.
“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.
“And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world, until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.
Go to Enoch.
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