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Could Christ Have Been the One Who Was Supposed to Give the Fruit to Adam and Eve?

Could Christ Have Been the One Who Was Supposed to Give the Fruit to Adam and Eve?

I went to the temple a few weeks back with the Elders Quorum and I asked a few of my friends to ponder a question before they entered the session. 

The question was this: “Did Eve eat the fruit at the right time?”

I got a few weird looks, but everyone was willing to ponder on that question and look for answers.

The Fall and the Garden of Eden story has always perplexed me.

Why did God give Adam and Eve the command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil if he were going to “punish” them for doing so? Do we really think God would give a command that he really wanted broken?

I could never make sense of it. Something never felt right about my understanding of how things played out.

Some things that I do feel comfortable with are the following facts:

  • Adam and Eve needed to multiple and replenish
  • That could not happen in the garden because their bodies were not in a state to allow that to happen
  • Death needed to be introduced to the world and Adam and Eve needed to leave the garden

Did the Fall need to happen?

Yes, but I don’t believe the fall had to be by transgression. I believe that the fall, the introduction of physical and spiritual death, was introduced in the eating of the fruit alone.

Satan came in as a serpent to deceive Adam and Eve (the serpent being a dual symbol for deity and healing, but also for death and destruction.) “Diverse cultural mythologies highlight the contrasting qualities of serpent-like deities. In some traditions they embody protection, wisdom, and healing. While in others, they signify danger and malevolence.” ¹

Satan, as he always does, tries to provide counterfeits and wants to slide and replace Christ, similar to how he wanted to be the Savior of the world when that was Christ’s foreordained role.

What I don’t feel comfortable with is the idea that Satan came in to the garden as a serpent and “tricked” Eve into partaking of the fruit that God had commanded her not to eat, and that somehow this was the way that God had hoped things would actually happen. When God says not to do something and that he forbids it, I trust Him.

Did God know that Satan would be in the garden? Yes. Did God know that he would tempt Adam and Eve and it was a possibility that he would give the fruit to them? Yes. 

Think of it this way: Does God want you to keep all of the commandments? Yes. Did God give the 10 commandments hoping we would break them? No. God did, however, know that we would not be perfect and provided a plan for our rescue if and when we did disobey. But what if we always did obey? Like Christ did. Would we not be fulfilling God’s plan?

adam and eve

Christ Gives the Fruit

What do I think could have happened? Was there another way? I believe that after Adam and Eve were introduced into the Garden of Eden, they were given time to gain experience and come to a few conclusions. They were first commanded to multiply and replenish, and were then told in Genesis 3:

15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 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.

One interesting thing is that in the Pearl of Great Price Eve actually tells the serpent that God told them not to even touch the fruit.

And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;

But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

I think God wanted Adam and Eve to have time in the garden to gain experience, and if they had eaten the fruit they would have to leave. I think Satan cut that time in the garden short.

Now, even if Christ had been the one to give Adam and Eve the fruit, they would have had to leave.

But follow me here, Christ would have given them the fruit only after the command to not eat of the fruit had been removed – which I think would have happened.

I think God’s command that they avoid eating or touching the fruit was a temporary command. I believe that they would have come to Adam and Eve at the perfect time to give them further instructions. Those further instructions from God might have sounded something like this.

“Adam, Eve, you’ve been in the garden for a while and might have noticed that you aren’t able to fulfill the first commandment that I gave unto you, which is to multiple and replenish the earth. Staying in this beautiful garden will not fulfil the plan. In order for the plan of God to be realized, you will have to leave the garden and multiple and replenish so that man may be. You are no longer forbidden from eating the fruit, and you may make that choice, but when you do, the fruit will bring physical and spiritual death into the world.”

Let’s Simplify This

Let’s look at this very simple.

This is what God said:

“…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.”

This is what Satan said:

“Ye shall not surely die…”

If we look at this at face value, we would see that at this point in time God did not want them eating of the fruit because they would die. Satan did want them eating the fruit and lied and said they would not die.

Summary

Was the fall necessary?

Yes.

What was the fall?

The fall was physical and spiritual death being introduced to the world.

What caused the fall?

Eating the fruit caused the fall, not necessarily the disobeying of God’s command. (In other words, if the command to not eat the fruit had been removed, the fall still would have happened if they ate the fruit because it was the eating of the fruit that initiated the fall.)

Did God want Adam and Eve taking the fruit from Satan?

In my opinion, and I understand it is an opinion, no. But he knew it was a possibility and prepared for that.

What would have been different if Christ had given Adam and Eve the fruit?

There would have been no transgression in the garden of Eden, and potentially some of the curses that came upon Adam and Eve would not have been declared? You can read more about the curses in Genesis 3: 14-19 and Moses 4: 20-25.

What Do You Think?

When we posed this question on social media, we got responses all over the map. From, “You are crazy,” to “That’s interesting, I’m going to ponder on it more.”

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts. I will be sure to respond so I can clarify any things that might have been unclear in the article.

The bottom line with all of this is that we are here on earth now. Satan did give the fruit to Adam and Eve. Christ is the Savior of the world and he overcame the effects of the fall, which was physical and spiritual death entering the word. God’s plans won’t be frustrated. 

Michael

Thursday 16th of May 2024

I think that is a very interesting point I work in the temple and quite often have been in the endowment session it would've different if Jesus would have been the one to give the fruit and if would have not been a broken commandment.

Mel

Sunday 5th of May 2024

Ok here’s a question then to follow this line of thinking. We know Adam and Eve were given the fruit “as was done on other worlds”. Does the logic then follow that the Savior gave the fruit to the Eves on those other worlds and that our world was unique because our Eve on our world ate of the fruit from Satan?

Ben Arkell

Wednesday 15th of May 2024

Mel, great question, and I think you might be on to something. I've heard people also say Elohim was the one who was supposed to give the fruit. Satan definitely wanted to insert himself into God's plan anywhere he could.

Trevor

Friday 10th of May 2024

@Mel, great question, that's what I would ask too.

Benicio Vidal

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

I strongly agree what you wrote in this article. Also in my opinion, it’s all our Heavenly Father’s plan for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to save us and to give us the great opportunity to be back to our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. I know there’s the Holy Ghost who is also sent from God above to be our companion, our guide and our protector. I know I am not perfect, that’s why I need our Godhead to be always upon me and all of us and forgive us all our sins.

Ben Arkell

Wednesday 15th of May 2024

Thank you for reading the article and sharing your comment.

Cody

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

This is a view that I hold as valid. On my mission there were many people who had some very, very interesting theories about the story of Adam and Eve. We had a visit from a church authority during a mission conference (he was probably an area 70) and during lunch we could pose questions. So I asked some variation of the opinion so many people gave me about their understanding of Adam and Eve and then I added my own question of why, if they had to eat the fruit to obey all the commandments, did they transgress. He answered with another question.

(None of this is verbatim) We are still commanded to multiply and replenish the earth, but we are commanded not to do so until after we are married. Before marriage, sex is a sin. After marriage, sex is a God-given gift. Now we know that Adam and Eve were husband and wife from the beginning, so that was not the issue. But he looked at me and he said something like: maybe it was a matter of order of events. Maybe they were supposed to wait until a time that they were completely unaware of to eat the fruit.

I would further like to add this: as a woman, I can tell you that our bodies were made to have children. The older I get, the more I feel the need for children. I am sure that Eve spent a great deal of time pondering on the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. When Satan came, she did say no. And then he posed some arguments that hit her at her core. In Genesis 3:6 it says that she saw that the fruit would make her wise. I believe she wanted that wisdom to know what to do to have children and obey the commandments of God. I also believe that she possibly forgot that she could ask God directly and get an answer. She was in a high-pressure situation, forgot that she had God and her husband to turn to, and gave in to the pressure. In trying to obey God’s commandments without all the details, she transgressed. I don’t believe she was trying to be disobedient, because in Genesis 3:13 she promptly confesses and explains what happened. I believe that it is possible that there was another option, that there was a proper order to be had in the eating of the fruit. Eve simply did what every single one of us has done and did the best with what she understood while forgetting to ask God for help in understanding more.

Ben Arkell

Wednesday 15th of May 2024

I love your comment and love how you beautifully explained the situation Eve was in. Thank you so much for thoughtfully addressing this.

Trevor

Friday 10th of May 2024

@Cody, thankyou very good observation.

Tara Lofley

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

My thought is, the spiritual death is because of the sin. Logic wise, if it theoretically wasn't a sin to eat the fruit anymore, then there would have only been a mortal change and no sin. No spiritual death. Until they actually did sin, of course. I think things happened the way they were supposed to. Satan was the fall guy, or mediator, in the way that he was designed to be.

Ben Arkell

Wednesday 15th of May 2024

Tara, thanks for the comment. My logic is that the act of eating the fruit would have brought physical death, and because there was physical death, Adam and Eve would not have been allowed to stay in the presence of God because of their mortal bodies, thus leading to them being escorted out of the garden, which would be the spiritual death (separation from God)

When God said to not eat the fruit at the time, I think he meant it.

Mel

Sunday 5th of May 2024

@Tara Lofley, spiritual death is separation from God. Leaving the garden in that case fulfills the spiritual death. Not necessarily the sin that happened through transgression. We can’t return to God once we leave His presence unless there is a Savior to bring us back and pay the price we are unable to pay alone to return.