In part one, the idea of creation from nothing was discussed. It was clear, after carefully examining the Word of God, that even if the first chapters of Genesis are to be taken literally, the Bible does not support the first myth of creationism – the Earth was not created from nothing. The second part of this myth centers around the idea that death entered the world only after Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of good and evil.
Myth two: Humanity rebelled against God. God removed some of His sustaining power, cursing mankind, which led to death and suffering in the world.
It should be made clear, up front, that the goal here is not to say that Adam and Eve were not real people. In fact, modern revelation tells us that they were living breathing people. Joseph Smith confirmed the existence of Adam, seeing him in a vision (D&C 137: 5), and we also know he is Michael – the Archangel (D&C 27:11). The question isn’t did they exist, they are the parents of our salvation in that they were the first humans God made contact with. After a time, mankind was finally ready physically to become spiritual beings also – His creation was fulfilled to the point that man could grasp the concept of God the Eternal Father. And this was good (Genesis 1: 31).
So then, to find the true meaning of the Word of God we must look to the Biblical text in the allegory for clues to tell us what really happened to historical Adam and Eve – and the answers are there for us to find.
The thought that physical death did not exist until after the fall is an interesting idea, but is not supported by scientific facts. How can these two ideas be at odds and God still be a real, honest God? Maybe the creation myth is missing the Bible’s full story. Lets first take a look at the terms “life” and “death” as they apply here.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul… And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2: 7, 16-17
In the Bible, there is a dual nature when talking about life. We can be alive physically (a body given a spirit) and alive in Christ (the Lord breathing the breath of Salvation/the Holy Ghost/Spiritual life). The breath of life – a spirit obtaining a body – makes us alive physically and the breath of the Lord (gaining the gift of the Holy Ghost) that makes us alive spiritually. So what life was breathed into Adam?
It is easy to say that Adam was not really formed from the dust, that this must be an allegory, as science proves that man has been around for much longer than 6,000 year or so. Also, if God created everything to mate and create life after it’s own kind (Genesis 1: 24-25), it seems illogical that he would have Adam create Eve asexually, then command him to marry his own daughter.
When viewed as a historical document, the Bible is found lacking. In Genesis, chapter 1, on day six, God first creates all the land animals the creates man – men and women – after His divine image. It is made clear before He is to create then that both men and women would be created. Yet in Chapter 2, God creates Adam then Eve as an after thought. How did God know he was going to create both, then realize Adam needed a wife? The answer is clear – He didn’t.
When talking about creating Adam and Eve, God is teaching us a lesson. Adam was made of things from this planet. Humans evolved from single cell organisms. They created after their own kind, and their kind evolved and grew into mankind. God chose to reveal Himself to Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden.
God knew Adam shouldn’t be alone in the garden – the text never says he is alone on the Earth. God revealed Himself to Eve, they are now the first man and woman we know of to know God. But her “creation” wasn’t from a rib, that is in the story to teach us. In fact, the “creation” of Eve is a perfect telling of why man and woman are equal in they eyes of God.
“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.” ― David O. McKay
This makes perfect logical and spiritual sense. However, logic is irrelevant in mythology. It would seem that Creationists tend to believe that scientists are either wrong, tricked by the Devil or are out right lying to fool people into thinking there is no God. They appear to ignore the fact that the point of science is to learn by observation, not to “prove” there is no god.
God, in his infinite wisdom, knew that mankind would not always look at the Bible for spiritual guidance alone. He knew that at some point, some would look past His intent with this allegory and try to use His Word as a literal scientific text. So, He added details to remind us not to take the Genesis story too literally. And he reminds us with the one thing every moral knows is coming – death.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat… Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden” – Genesis 3: 6, 23
If the immortal life that the Lord God breathed into Adam, and Adam passed onto Eve, then why did they not die the day they ate of the fruit? God cannot lie, so there must be more to this than mortal death. Their “death” from eating the fruit is clear – it was spiritual. This is why they were cast out, not killed outright.
This is perfectly explained by Paul in his epistle to the Romans when he pointed out that by one man was spiritual enter into the world and by one man can it be removed (Romans 5: 12-21). We are all born to seek the Lord out, spiritually dead. But we find God when we are born again to Christ.
Some would say that this cannot be true, that it is not an allegory, yet spiritual death, not physical death, proves either Creationism wrong or God a liar. If God lies, which He cannot, then Creationism can be true. However, knowing that God is a God of truth, it becomes clear that Creationism missed the point the Bible is making, that spiritual death had entered the world.
It is clear that the story of Adam and Eve is the story of us all. We are all born innocent, but at some point learn to tell good from evil. At this point the grace Christ provides for us is removed until we willingly turn our lives over to Him for our salvation – just as Adam and Eve had to do. It is not that they were the first parents of the human race, but rather the first parents God revealed Himself to and thus the parents of our salvation, as through them was the Gospel taught anciently to the human race.
Note: The ideas presented here on Creationism are a generic construct based on a wide variety of Protestant Creationist views. The point here is not to critique all Creationist theories, but rather to point out the lack of Biblical evidence for the model. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not take a side on this issue. This article does not reflect the ideas, teachings or doctrines of any Church or religion. This is an attempt by the author to find the Biblical truth (or lack there of) of the idea of Creationism for the author. It is shared here for those looking for the path of Biblical truth over theological rhetoric.