A question to the LDS / Mormons


#1

How would you explain the Fall in the Garden of Eden? What took place? If there are any Mormons here today I would love to talk about this. It is such an interesting topic. The Christian teaching and the LDS teaching on mankind’s fall present two completely different theological views.

God Bless

Rich

www.catholic-rcia.com


#2

I am not a Mormon, but I have studied the LDS faith in great detail. The question you are asking is one that seems to cause a great deal of confusion. In fact, though I have read many books on LDS theology written by Mormons, I have encountered few in-depth discussion of this topic.

What can be detemined is that Mormons simply do not view the fall of man as a negative event. It was in the plan of Heavenly Father. As you may know if you have some knowledge of LDS teaching, Mormons believe we all preexisted as spirits with God prior to creation. The purpose of our lives here is to have free will, the ability to follow or reject the gospel (as Mormons see it) and therefore become gods ourselves (Heavenly Father went through a similar process at some point in his past). For this to be possible, good and evil had to exist in the world. The Fall accomplished this. Adam was actually the being known as the archangel Michael, and was sent to Earth to begin the human race and open the door for men to make these choices and become gods.


#3

Here are some quotations to perhaps spur the discussion a bit.

An often quoted verse from the Book of Mormon on this topic is 2 Nephi 2:25, which says “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

The Bible Dictionary published by the LDS Church includes the following passage from the article on Adam:

“The aggregate of the scriptures certifies that his transgression in the garden of Eden, although designated as a “fall,” was necessary to the advancement and spiritual progress of humanity on this earth, and Adam rightly should be honored, not denigrated. Adam is the Ancient of Days and is also known as Michael. He is the archangel and will come again to the earth in power and glory as the patriarch of the human family, preparatory to the second coming of Jesus Christ.”


#4

Here are some quotations to perhaps spur the discussion a bit.

An often quoted verse from the Book of Mormon on this topic is 2 Nephi 2:25, which says “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

The Bible Dictionary published by the LDS Church includes the following passage from the article on Adam:

“The aggregate of the scriptures certifies that his transgression in the garden of Eden, although designated as a “fall,” was necessary to the advancement and spiritual progress of humanity on this earth, and Adam rightly should be honored, not denigrated. Adam is the Ancient of Days and is also known as Michael. He is the archangel and will come again to the earth in power and glory as the patriarch of the human family, preparatory to the second coming of Jesus Christ.”


#5

The reason I asked for this discussion is because it intrigues me as one who was taught Mormonism at a very early age. . I am convinced that if we as Catholics along with the LDS can get to the core of the fall we may have an opportunity to bring Christ, God foreword into their lives, our lives as well. In a sense because God said that we would die if mankind ate from the tree in the middle of the garden, and the devil told eve that God did not mean that, it makes God out to be the liar and the devil seems to be telling the truth as far as Mormon theology goes. It really goes a long way as to who is behind their faith, whom is behind our fall as well. Satan knows are earthy desires well and can offer them in a distorted light of Christ. He offers us a ladder that cannot be climbed, but as fallen humans we believe we can climb it daily. He offers the LDS everything that we as humans would desire, in a sense the world as we know it but better. This is comfortable for many. But the question is: is it offered by God? What was offered to our savior in the garden? Really it was everything that we as humans would want. Jesus showed us how to say no to anything that was not offered by His Father. [font=Arial][/font]

As Catholics we see the dark side of mankind clearly as we see this not only in others but in ourselves as well. We have come to face our own sin daily and give thanks for the mercy of God through Christ. It’s the same for Mormons and for Catholics when we choose the lie, to be a god over and beyond our Creator. We all have this in common, to be self serving. But we can thank God for Jesus who can move us beyond ourselves back to the grace of God, in a way back to the Garden. This is where the tools of the Sacraments become living water. Where we receive revelation of these things and then act upon them accordingly. .

The fall was a bad thing, and I believe it happened, happens because we are created by God, but our not, nor could we ever be God. But the wonderful thing is that we can be pulled as created beings into the love of God, to have what Christ has always had if we can see our fallen nature for what it really is and have a burning desire to have a share in His… This is where Trinity becomes so special in the lives of Catholics. Jesus came to do the will of the Father, and this will was to bring us back, His lost sheep to the grace of God. We are called not to do our own will but the will of Christ, to help bring back our lost brothers and sisters to the grace of God as well. Not looking for any rewards here or in heaven for ourselves. Knowing that the only progression we can make can go no further, will not need go any further than to the Cross. The reward will be to journey with others found not because of us, but because of the Spirit of Christ in us. beause of the Cross of Christ we will then know the cost paid of wanting to be our own gods, and we will know His love Cleary for eternity, never to wander again… What we do for ourselves on earth will never determine what we will have gained in heaven. What we do for God will.


#6

How would you explain the Fall in the Garden of Eden? snip
]

I have often wondered about, if there was even a Garden of Eden? I know that makes me a heathen at best. It makes no sense to set two beings up to fail, knowing they will fail, then condemning an entire group of people for their failing. I dont get it, I know this is a moral failing on my part but I really dont.


#7

I don’t think it’s a moral failing briand. I think there’s a lot to learn from the Adam & Eve story. It teaches us a lot about the nature of man- it doesn’t need to be literal to have value.


#8

OK Rich, as you know, I have a particular interest in this sort of thing so do you mind if I run through the argument with you in a little more detail?

[quote=rich123456]because God said that we would die if mankind ate from the tree in the middle of the garden, and the devil told eve that God did not mean that, it makes God out to be the liar
[/quote]

The exact text is, when questioned by the snake, Eve answers 'We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.” So in my estimation, God (as recounted by Eve) threatens pain of death as a punishment. I would like to better understand how LDS view this passage and the differences between Catholic & LDS beliefs in this respect.

[quote=rich123456]and the devil seems to be telling the truth as far as Mormon theology goes. It really goes a long way as to who is behind their faith, whom is behind our fall as well.
[/quote]

Are you saying that they have been supernaturally inspired in doctrine by the devil?[font=Arial][size=2]

Satan knows are earthy desires well and can offer them in a distorted light of Christ. He offers us a ladder that cannot be climbed, but as fallen humans we believe we can climb it daily. [/size][/font]OK, you mean a ladder of ‘godhood’?[font=Arial][size=2]

He offers the LDS everything that we as humans would desire, in a sense the world as we know it but better. This is comfortable for many. But the question is: is it offered by God? What was offered to our savior in the garden? Really it was everything that we as humans would want. Jesus showed us how to say no to anything that was not offered by His Father. [/size][/font]
Isn’t a lot of Mormon scripture made up like this? I mean, they seem to draw inference from stuff that just isn’t there? Like God lives on a planet near the star at the centre of creation called Kolob. It seems so far fetched and if it was true, and Abraham was so familiar with it, why is there no other reference to it anywhere in the Bible? I can find no evidence in the words of Jesus for what the LDS church claim of him!
[font=Arial][size=2]

[/font] The fall was a bad thing, and I believe it happened, happens because we are created by God, but our not, nor could we ever be God. …beause of the Cross of Christ we will then know the cost paid of wanting to be our own gods, and we will know His love Cleary for eternity, never to wander again… What we do for ourselves on earth will never determine what we will have gained in heaven. What we do for God will.[/size] So, we are part of God’s divine (and somewhat mysterous) plan. Is it enough for us to know that we desire to be with him for all eternity, and that we must listen to his plan for us as revealed through the Holy Spirit?
What is the crux of your argument here Rich? The fact that LDS believe they will become gods? Is it that this long term plan is not palletable? Or simply, that our only plan should be concerned with doing God’s will, and attemoting, through that action, to be closer to him?


#9

My mormon friend has frequently told me that Lucifer was right, that Jesus plan of salvation was chosen, but that Lucifer was actually right. Says this whenever she gets stumped… and does not explain it further.


#10

She’s probably referring to the LDS belief that Lucifer and his followers wanted salvation to come automatically to all who passed through mortality, without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication.

scriptures.lds.org/bdw/wrnhvn


#11

OK Rich, as you know, I have a particular interest in this sort of thing so do you mind if I run through the argument with you in a little more detail?

Not at all. I think we really need to have agood grasp on this if we are to have an opportunity for Christ to bring him forth to the LDS.

This helps me to talk and learn more about this, I think it is a crucial place to go with them. And it has so many twists and turns that are good. It helps us to better understand our own faith.

Why Christ had to do what he did for us. To bring us out of ourselves. Because being into ourselves is the “fall”

Here is a site as to the LDS perspective on the fall.

jefflindsay.com/adam.shtml#not_deceived

%between% As always it is very lengthy and has so many twists and turns. It tires you out. The simplest way to put it is that they teach that the devil was not lying, that in the end they really can become a God etc, etc…and this is a good thing. It really is that simple. For us the fall takes place in every human being when we choose our own glory over Gods or think that we can attain Glory apart from God. The devil offers us this path in a distorted light of Christ… Christ offers us the true path that offers us life through Christ, to be engrafted upon Christ, upon life itself. Our Goal here is not to become a God, but to search out our Creator through Christ so that we can be found by Him. Hope that makes sense. It seems so simple and yet it is so huge. The difference is really black and white.

“Are you saying that they have been supernaturally inspired in doctrine by the devil?”

Absolutely, some are innocent to this and others are not. They see their good works and assume that this transcends all arguments against their faith. I was told by my own sister that if she found out that it was the devil she was following she would still follow because of all the good work that she does, that others do. I myself once gave a homeless man a coat on a cold rainy day. Before I was Catholic I believed that it was I who gave this coat to this poor man. Now I know that I was a tool, my ego had me on a string. But Christ used it for a good. It is so different now. I am in complete awe as to Christ and His works through us. Therefore I cannot do works and take the credit. I try, and it is hard to do His will and then back off. It seems that all of us at times want everyone to know how great we are. It is so much more fulfilling, to know where this good comes. To be given the opportunity to choose Christ always over and beyond ourselves and what Satan offers us. If we know God and still choose our own Glory, well……It is only human. In this we need to understand our faith better and cry out more for the Mercy of God, Christ and the Cross.

I love studying the Saints as they help us all keep our feet to the fire,

Continued…next post


#12

OK, you mean a ladder of ‘godhood’?

Yes, if we think good works will get us to heaven, they will not. If we we know where good works come from and act on Christ, he will, and has already supplied us with a ladder. It is made of wood and he died upon it to bring us home.

“Isn’t a lot of Mormon scripture made up like this? I mean, they seem to draw inference from stuff that just isn’t there? Like God lives on a planet near the star at the centre of creation called [font=Arial][/font]. It seems so far fetched and if it was true, and Abraham was so familiar with it, why is there no other reference to it anywhere in the Bible? I can find no evidence in the words of Jesus for what the LDS church claim of him!” [/font]

You are right. Even though The Book of Mormon is more Christian at first glance as it speaks of Trinity in the orthodox sense . Then strays tremendously away from Christianity as you get more into other LDS Doctrine outside the book of Mormon. It is used to appear Christian, as another testimony of Christ. It seems to appear in the light of Christ but it is not. The official LDS website appears very Christian to those who visit it. It simply is not honest in it’s appearance. Again it is in a distorted light of Christ.

It is easy to think of heaven in LDS terms. It really is just like here but only better. It takes the focus off of what Christ showed us in the dessert. It makes what the devil offered Christ in the dessert a good thing.

To have success, wealth, food, a kingdom of your very own, your own planet. All the while God needs to be our focus, not what we will receive in this distorted light. It is all very misleading and very Sad.

Continued next post -


#13

“So, we are part of God’s divine (and somewhat mysterous) plan. Is it enough for us to know that we desire to be with him for all eternity, and that we must listen to his plan for us as revealed through the Holy Spirit?”

Yes! I believe that this is the plan. That the Trinity cannot be contained because how can true love, God be contained. This relationship of love we call trinity, our God we call Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We were created by God because this love is to be shared with His creation. Where Creation realizes that out of nothing it was given something very special and can come to realize it. What an awesome gift, to be swept up by God out of nothing because love cannot be contained. What a Miracle!

“What is the crux of your argument here Rich? The fact that LDS believe they will become gods?”

Is it that this long term plan is not palletable?

Oh yes, apart from Gods will it is tremendously palletable! Almost overpowering. To gain the whole world! To have your own world?

“Or simply, that our only plan should be concerned with doing God’s will, and attempting, through that action, to be closer to him?”

You already know this well.

Yes!! Yes!! Apart from Gods life giving breath we will be fooled into a death apart from Him. I believe this strongly. I have loved ones, through Christ that need to understand this before it is to late for them. God doe not loose us, but I am convinced that through choice we can loose God. In the end who will we follow? What Voice will we here?

To the LDS – Will it be our families voice, that which we desire and sometimes worship here?

Or God voice, that which we desire in heaven? I believe are families will be found only in Him.

There will be choices to be made. Both will look very appealing. To my LDS friends I would think about the lessons Christ taught us as he walked through the dessert.

www.catholic-rcia.com


#14

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in *Genesis *3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265

**II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS **

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”.267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably *rejected *God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.271

393 It is the *irrevocable *character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God. 395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275


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