Although they can act for themselves in the Garden, Lehi maintains they can do no good. Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers daily. 2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine a afflictions for thy gain. First, let me address Alma 12, because I think it will illustrate what I am getting at in terms of Lehi’s unnecessary steps in 2 Nephi 2. At least, these thinkers seem to use both depending on the situation. How to Witness to a Mormon/Help for your Mormon friends & loved ones, Church leaders have said that without the vision of Joseph Smith, they'd have nothing so let's take a look at some of the things of Joseph. This is why Pratt argues that Adam and Eve would not be able to have children due to being separated in proximity (Eve being cast out for eating the fruit and Adam remaining in the Garden). I’ll also ignore much of what leads up to this point in 2 Nephi 2, since verse 26 marks a shift from Lehi’s long narrative of the Fall to his relatively short—but nonetheless remarkable—analysis of the atonement. Nephi’s Warning to the Gentiles (2 Nephi 26-30) Whether that is the case here, it’s too early to tell, but it’s a possibility to consider. What does it add to the narrative? .If the trees of life and knowledge are central in the pre-J narrative, the “tree of command” is central for J. . Mortality, our death-bound-ness, gets us sinning. Over the few months we’ve seen several thinkers in the Book of Mormon repeat or rephrase several elements of Lehi’s teachings (Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Samuel, King Benjamin), except, as you put it, “Lehi alone frames all this in terms of opposition.” It wasn’t until we explored many of these passages related to Garden of Eden discourse in the Book of Mormon that this came into relief. By this I mean that StL’s words reflect (in my opinion) the kind of thematic and literary constructions that occur when a reader has absorbed a prior text and is incorporating that text into their own linguistic expression. The Genesis text assumes that man acts for himself. As I mentioned in a previous comment, the Book of Moses contains doctrinal markers that if possessed by Lehi, would mean we should get a much different teaching. What about the traditional Genesis account is he not satisfied with? First of all, I set forth the textual reasons that I believe justify a distinction between atonement and resurrection. I think it’s the best way to make sense of the whole book, when it comes to the “plan of salvation.” And it’s what I see working all the way through 2 Nephi 2. Or in other words, it may be doubtful that Lehi interprets “good and evil” in the way Clark suggests was the intent of J. 4) Whether Adam and Eve together in the Garden in their prelapsarian state could have had children or not is still an unresolved tension. But that doesn’t at all imply that resurrection simply gets rid of sin, that in being resurrected I’m no longer sinless. The fall of Adam initiates a cascade of events-events predicted and planned for in the pre-mortal sphere. So while I’m free to choose to go to the doctor (and presumably get more antibiotics) or try to suffer through it on my own, I don’t know that I am “free” in the fullest sense of the word. The biblical temple and Mormon temples have virtually nothing in common; find out why. ), to be free to act is to be free from death. As a result, it may be that Clark would be more useful in interpreting Genesis, but less useful in interpreting Lehi because Lehi seems to be following a 19th century interpretation of Genesis. We may unintentionally harmonize these two accounts. Only then can we have joy by choosing properly. BOOK OF MORMON MUSIC “Men Are That They Might Have Joy” – J. Marinus Jensen & J.J. Keeler. I would like to point out that each day that Adam and Eve are not eating the forbidden fruit they are being obedient to the commandment not to eat the forbidden fruit! If that is what Samuel is doing he may drawing upon Lehi: and men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil; and the law is given unto men. I’m faced with the evidential reality of my own death, which works all kinds of sinful things in me, but I’m told that my death—what is most mine!—has been removed, such that I’m free not to sin. We’d do well to pay close attention to it, I think…. Lehi states, “they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth,” “If Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. Here again, all men are already oriented towards the resurrection, are they not? 5)  fulness of time vs. fulness of times. Normally, we can look to how later Nephi interpreters take up these ideas and repeat or elaborate them for clues, but we look in vain for anyone else in the text to repeat these steps. Why do Mormons attack the body of Christ if they're Christians? Is it a law of nature, something out of the control of God, or something that he is in charge of? Lehi says, “The Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. Point B-2: In the case of God, it is important to recall Alma’s own personal experience of the atonement as an interruption of his sinning. What the Nephites call the second death, spiritual death, or Jacob calls death of the spirit, being cut off from the presence of God is understood as separation of man from God or righteousness. Point B-3: Drawing on B-2, we then have the Atonement as a graceful, unmerited interruption of entropy. Some scriptures are primary, and others are secondary in importance. Yet, this interpretation has problems that have never been satisfactorily resolved. Given that atonement theory is highly problematic (penal substitutionary theory, etc. 20% of verses in the Book of Mormon contain the phrase "and it came to pass", Almost 4,000 changes to the Book of Mormon and over 7,200 Greek and Latin words found, Book of Mormon Artifacts; Smithsonian & National Geographic says no artifacts found. 1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my a firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. Sternberg discusses the importance of the Narrator’s Reticence and Omissions. The reason I mention this is because Pratt’s approach is an implicit agreement with the early critics that (without this liminal understanding) the text would make God the author of sin. Lehi seems to say that two things happened as a result of partaking the forbidden fruit: 1) they became as God being able to discern good from evil (but they could act for themselves before this) and 2) they were cut off and lost. How to make sense of this? Alma 12 contains no trace of Lehi’s ontology of opposites as a necessary stage for agency to occur. For my part, I do not see this in the text. Still (and I think I’ve gone back and forth on this one) given the context and close proximity to these other elements in verse 31, I’m thinking that perhaps he is essentially restating himself in verse 31. Leave a Comment », Romans 6:23; “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”. Here we get an interesting twist that people are their own judges, or that there really isn’t a “judgment” at all. Leave a Comment », While organizing my endless list of quotes I came across our entry on Witchcraft which got me to thinking…. I sense that looking at these texts together will tell us something different than looking at the text in Lehi on its own without reference to the Book of Moses. Again it’s interesting that it isn’t an individual (God) who acts on them, but another force, “the law” that does the acting (although Alma 42:26 intimates that it is God who is the controlling force). It seems to me that the result of partaking of the fruit that Lehi most emphasizes concerns posterity. Ultimately, some questions may yield very little fruit, but others could be significant. Now, of course Samuel teaches that the Son of God comes to redeem (Helman 13:6; 14:2, 11-19). I think that’s an integral part of the Genesis account. Man takes upon himself the responsibility of trying apart from God to determine whether something is good for himself or not. This is a very long build up to what I think is an important punch line. . (2 Nephi 2:25) Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. Government—checks and balances Mosiah 29 I am not sure that “Lehi is playing the role of patriarch-philosopher, grafting into the Genesis account a philosophical system of ontological, ethical and existential opposites.”. My point here is to explore the possibility that Samuel might not have been selectively quoting Lehi as his ancestor, but rather that Samuel has accepted the entire Nephite canon. Posted in Mormon Dilemmas, tagged 2 Nephi 2:25, Book of Mormon, Doctrines of Salvation 1:114, evil and good coexist, false gospel, false prophet Joseph Smith, Isaiah 5:20, Witchcraft, yin yang on 05/28/2014| It is interesting that we don’t have any specification of who is affixing this punishment. Jody Livingston. But the Messiah’s triumph over death gives us the best of both worlds: we continue in the tension of opposition, but we do so free—if we desire—from death. Orson Pratt, for example, argues that Adam and Eve were able to have children in the Garden because God gave the commandment to Adam and Eve before the fall and not after the fall. Not sure why, but I feel compelled to keep asking why that is the case. 27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. (2 Nephi 2:25),” KnoWhy 28 (February 8, 2016). “and the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time” — A few things have already been said about how this should be interpreted, and I concur. If we give ourselves to the truth of the preached word, we become oriented to the resurrection, and we begin to act in a non-sinful way. So with that caveat aside, I’d like to pursue a little bit more the idea that “Lehi is not so much focused “on the content of knowledge but on man’s moral autonomy.” Regarding some of your statements: -I think your point about the “forbidden fruit” vs “tree of knowledge” is significant. The judgment is either eternal death or eternal life. I think what complicates this discussion for me is that the Nephites have a bifurcated notion of death: the first death (temporal death) and the second death (spiritual death). . Now, it isn’t that this is novel in the history of Eden interpretations. This time around, the thematic emphasis on law and punishment that you develop caused me to pause and ask myself questions of framing. Lehi never refers to Genesis 3:7, 22. For example, we don’t get the following: [W]herefore, [the serpent] said: “Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, [missing: their eyes were opened (Genesis 3:7) and they became like the Gods knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:22) and] they were driven out from the garden of Eden to till the earth. These are all courtroom metaphors. Astrology, witchcraft, Satanism, Masonry, Universalism,'s all there in one package called Mormonism. At this point, then, we have a kind of fundamental choice. Hence, when interpreted through a Hebrew lens, the pattern featured in 2 Nephi 2:25 appears to reflect the poem presented in Genesis 1:27. That trumps death and frees us all from the power of sin. Wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”. I think Samuel is following Alma here, rather than Lehi, who doesn’t use the language of restoration. 25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”, Posted in Mormon Dilemmas, tagged 2 Cor 11:3-4, 2 Nephi 2:25, Adam and Eve didn't sin, bible, fall of man, false doctrines of Mormonism, false prophet Joseph Smith, Jesus, Moses 5:10-11, original sin, sin is not transgression on 12/16/2013| We, as hearers of the word, are caught between the reality of death, which we can see working in us in all sorts of ways, and the word of the resurrection, which we can’t see at all. This juxtaposition has made me wonder if the phrase in 2 Nephi 2 actually refers to the Second Coming. If what I’ve said about the preceding line isn’t amiss, then we might render this line as follows: “and because death has been conquered they have become free forever.” How is death what enslaves us? 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