Monday, January 27, 2014

The Creation was Eternal

In the beginning, God created an eternal, deathless, paradisiacal world. There was no mortality until the Fall of Adam, at which time "the earth itself became subject to death [and] a change was wrought over the whole face of the creation, which up to that time had not been subject to death." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 20.)

When apostles and prophets speak of a "fallen world," it is an acknowledgement that the Creation was eternal.

Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve: "Jesus Christ, whom we also know as Jehovah, was the executive of the Father, Elohim, in the work of creation.... Jesus Christ, being the Creator, is consistently called the Father of heaven and earth … and since His creations are of eternal quality He is very properly called the Eternal Father of heaven and earth." (Ensign, Apr. 2002.)

Joseph Fielding Smith: "All life, having been created by our Eternal Father, must be eternal, as he is eternal.

"If all life is eternal, then it must have been subject to a fall.

"If all life fell because of Adam's fall, then all life is entitled to a resurrection, through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

"If life was produced, or can be produced, spontaneously without the power of God, but in a natural state, then such life would not be entitled to a redemption, or restoration, since it never had anything to which it could be restored." (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:144.)


David A. Bednar: "We presently live in a fallen world." (Ensign, May 2013.)

Jeffrey R. Holland: "It is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again." (Ensign, Nov. 2013.)

Joseph Fielding Smith: "It is a fallen world. It has been a fallen world since Adam was driven from the Garden of Eden." (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:308.)

Joseph Fielding Smith: “Modern education declares that there never was such a thing as the fall of man, but that conditions have always gone on in the same way as now in this mortal world. Here, say they, death and mutation have always held sway as natural conditions on this earth and everywhere throughout the universe the same laws obtain. It is declared that man has made his ascent to the exalted place he now occupies through countless ages of development which has gradually distinguished him from lower forms of life.

“Such a doctrine of necessity discards the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden, which it looks upon as a myth coming down to us from an early age of foolish ignorance and superstition. Moreover, it is taught that since death was always here, and a natural condition prevailing throughout all space, there could not possibly come a redemption from Adam’s transgression, hence there was no need for a Savior for a fallen world.” (Old Testament: Student Manual, Genesis—2 Samuel, Third edition, 2003, 42.)

David A. Bednar: "We live in a fallen world. The very elements out of which our bodies were created are by nature fallen and ever subject to the pull of sin, corruption, and death. Thus, the Fall of Adam and its consequences affect us most directly through our physical bodies." (Ensign, Sep. 2001.)

David A. Bednar: "It is not just that the Son of God brought light into a darkened and fallen world; He is the Light (see 3 Ne. 11:11)." (New Era, Oct. 2005.)

Jeffrey R. Holland: “A life without problems or limitations or challenges—life without ‘opposition in all things,’ as Lehi phrased it—would paradoxically but in very fact be less rewarding and less ennobling than one which confronts—even frequently confronts—difficulty and disappointment and sorrow. As beloved Eve said, were it not for the difficulties faced in a fallen world, neither she nor Adam nor any of the rest of us ever would have known “the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.’” (Ensign, Nov. 1996.)

James E. Talmage: "The Garden Room ... ceiling and walls are embellished with oil paintings—the former to represent clouds and sky, with sun and moon and star; the latter showing landscape scenes of rare beauty. There are sylvan grottoes and mossy dells, lakelets and brooks, waterfalls and rivulets, trees, vines and flowers, insects, birds and beasts, in short, the earth beautiful,—as it was before the Fall. It may be called the Garden of Eden Room, for in every part and appurtenance it speaks of sweet content and blessed repose. There is no suggestion of disturbance, enmity or hostility; the beasts are at peace and the birds live in amity....

"The World Room.... From Eden man has been driven out to meet contention, to struggle with difficulties, to live by strife and sweat. This chamber may well be known as the room of the fallen world, or more briefly, the World Room." (The House of the Lord, 157-158.)


Anonymous Stanton S said...

Thanks for the post, Gary.

What of the other planets in our solar system? From all the quotes, it makes it sound as though everything is created perfect, and then because Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the earth and its inhabitants became fallen. But they have nothing to do with the other planets. Is Mars a perfect and eternal sphere, not having been subject to the fall? And what if we find traces of life on the planet? What would you make of that?

1/30/2014 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Re: "What of the other planets in our solar system?"

At the time when Moses received his vision of the creation, he asked God "by what thou madest them." (Moses 1:30.) And God answered, "only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you." (Moses 1:35.)

To which Moses responded, "Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content." (Moses 1:36.)

I believe the response Moses gave was adequate, then and now.

1/30/2014 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Stanton S said...

I agree that Moses didn't need to see a vision of the history of the other planets, and nor do we. However, I believe that this doesn't negate our ability/responsibility to inquire about the things around us. What we learn from other planets can teach us a great deal about our own. If the means of creation were different, who wouldn't want to know? On the other hand, if it were the same "eternal" creation, is it a non-fallen or post-fallen sphere?

2/02/2014 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

The following is from the March 1997 issue of the Ensign magazine:

"According to President Brigham Young,... before the Fall of Adam, the earth was near the very throne of God. But when the Fall occurred, the earth literally fell or moved from the physical presence of God to its present position in our solar system. When all the effects of the Fall of Adam are finally overcome, the earth will literally move back into the presence of God. Here are President Young’s words: ' When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven.... But when man fell, the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this planetary system.... This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified it will return again unto the presence of the Father, and it will dwell there, and these intelligent beings that I am looking at, if they live worthy of it, will dwell upon this earth.' " (Andrew Skinner, Ensign, March 1997.)

2/03/2014 07:46:00 PM  

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