“And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” -Genesis 2:9
In the Garden of Eden it is said there were two very important trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit of the tree of good and evil is a representative of the impulsive or reflexive submission to God’s law vs the endowment of moral autonomy (Genesis 3:22). It is the ability to choose and discern good from evil autonomously. By contrast, the the tree of life represents God’s love through Christ.
The Fruit of That Tree
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding… She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” -Proverbs 1:13, 18
Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil allows us our free will. It gives us the ability to choose for ourselves. The fruit of the tree of life represents the steps we take in accepting God’s love and the atonement. Things like baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, being endowment, etc.
Lehi’s desire was to share the fruit of the tree of life (1 Nephi 2:50-53 RAV, 8:11-12 OPV). This expresses Lehi’s desire to share the knowledge of God’s love and saving Grace through Christ’s atonement. In this we eat of the tree with God’s blessing. And, with that Grace we are moved to partake in God’s saving ordinances (Jacob 3:8 RAV, 4:7 OPV, James 2:17-18).
Can We Eat of the Fruit Now?
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” -Proverbs 11:30
My answer to this question, “can we eat the fruit now,” is an unequivocal yes! The fruit is available to us today and through the atonement. By eating of the fruit of the Spirit we, in the flesh, eat of the fruit in the saving ordinances. In our continued faith we can partake of the fruit of that tree. And, no matter where we each are in our journey and faith, the fruit is always available to each of us who have a desire to partake.
Without eating from the tree of knowledge we can never partake of the tree of life. When God gives us the fruit of these trees we should partake in righteousness. By doing so we may receive all the Father has through the Son, which is to say we become who we’ve always been; who we truly are.
“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations… Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” -Revelation 22:2, 14