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Lesson 5 Class Preparation Material: The Fall of Adam and Eve and the Gift of Agency
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“Lesson 5 Class Preparation Material: The Fall of Adam and Eve and the Gift of Agency,” Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon Teacher Material (2021)

“Lesson 5 Class Preparation Material,” Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon Teacher Material

Lesson 5 Class Preparation Material

The Fall of Adam and Eve and the Gift of Agency

Leaving the Garden of Eden

In this unit you will have the opportunity to consider how Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption makes it possible for His children to be saved from sin and death. As you study this lesson, consider how the Fall of Adam and Eve, the gift of agency, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ are essential to Heavenly Father’s plan to redeem you and help you become more like Him. President Ezra Taft Benson taught that “no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine [of the Fall and our need for Christ] nearly as well as the Book of Mormon” (“The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 85).

Section 1

Why is the Fall of Adam and Eve essential to my progression?

The phrase “the Fall” refers to the conditions and consequences of mortality that came to Adam and Eve and their descendants because Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Shortly before his death, Lehi taught his son Jacob about the Fall and how it affected humankind. (See 2 Nephi 2.)

Read the Scriptures Icon

Study in Preparation for Class

Read 2 Nephi 2:19–25, and consider marking the truths that teach us why the Fall of Adam and Eve is a necessary part of Heavenly Father’s plan. You might also watch the Book of Mormon video “Lehi Teaches How We Might Have Joy (2 Nephi 2:16–28)” (3:08).

Adam and Eve

Notice in 2 Nephi 2:22 that if Adam and Eve had not chosen to transgress, they would have forever “remained in the same state in which they were after they were created.” They would not have progressed or experienced sickness or death. This would have frustrated Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder Bruce C. Hafen taught:

Hafen, Bruce C.

The Fall was not a disaster. It wasn’t a mistake or an accident. It was a deliberate part of the plan of salvation. We are God’s spirit “offspring” [see Acts 17:28], sent to earth “innocent” [see Doctrine and Covenants 93:38] of Adam’s transgression. Yet our Father’s plan subjects us to temptation and misery in this fallen world as the price to comprehend authentic joy. Without tasting the bitter, we actually cannot understand the sweet [see Doctrine and Covenants 29:39]. We require mortality’s discipline and refinement as the “next step in [our] development” toward becoming like our Father. (“The Atonement: All for All,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 97)

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained some of the effects of the Fall:

Jeffrey R. Holland

Physical death brought the separation of the spirit from the body, and spiritual death brought the estrangement of both the spirit and the body from God. As a result of the Fall, all persons born into mortality would suffer these two kinds of death. But we must remember the Fall was an essential part of Heavenly Father’s divine plan. Without it no mortal children would have been born to Adam and Eve, and there would have been no human family to experience opposition and growth, moral agency, and the joy of resurrection, redemption, and eternal life [see 2 Nephi 2:22–27; Moses 5:11] . (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon (1997), 207)

Symbols

Ponder in Preparation for Class

Consider how the effects of the Fall are an essential part of God’s plan for His children. How does the Fall provide you the opportunity to progress spiritually and experience joy?

Section 2

How can the proper use of agency bless my life?

In connection with his teachings on the Fall, Lehi discussed how freedom of choice is essential to our progression in the plan of redemption. He identified that the following conditions are necessary to make agency possible. (Study the accompanying scripture passages, and consider marking words and phrases that teach about these conditions of agency.)

Consider how it would affect your ability to choose and progress if any one of these conditions was missing from Heavenly Father’s plan.

President Thomas S. Monson spoke about the different kinds of choices we make in this life:

Monson, Thomas S.

Scarcely an hour of the day goes by but what we are called upon to make choices of one sort or another. Some are trivial, some more far-reaching. Some will make no difference in the eternal scheme of things, and others will make all the difference. (“The Three Rs of Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 67)

Remember that Heavenly Father provides guidance to help us make our choices, especially the most important ones. Think about how that guidance has come to you in the past.

Symbols

Ponder in Preparation for Class

Think about choices you have made recently. How are these choices impacting your progression?

Section 3

How can the Atonement of Jesus Christ bring me true freedom?

After teaching about the necessity of the Fall and agency in the plan of redemption, Lehi taught his children that the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides freedom for God’s children to make eternally significant choices.

Divine Redeemer
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Study in Preparation for Class

Read 2 Nephi 2:26–28, and consider the choice you have available to you because of the Savior’s redeeming sacrifice.

Commenting on the relationship between the Fall, agency, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Elder Hafen taught:

Hafen, Bruce C.

Adam and Eve learned constantly from their often harsh experience. … Yet because of the Atonement [of Jesus Christ], they could learn from their experience without being condemned by it. Christ’s sacrifice didn’t just erase their choices and return them to an Eden of innocence. That would be a story with no plot and no character growth. His plan is developmental—line upon line, step by step, grace for grace.

So if you have problems in your life, don’t assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life’s purpose. As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger [see Ether 12:27]. (“The Atonement: All for All,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 97)

Adam & Eve : Similitude
Write

Record Your Thoughts

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “Had agency come to man without the Atonement [of Jesus Christ], it would have been a fatal gift” (“Atonement, Agency, Accountability,” Ensign, May 1988, 71). In what ways has the Atonement of Jesus Christ allowed you to learn from your choices? What is something you could learn from a sin you have committed or a mistake you have made?