Monday, March 15, 2010


This will be a little disjointed as there are two points I want to make about Eve. One goes along nicely with what Julia said about agency, and the other is about love (surprise, surprise).

First, my favorite quote from the book: "Satan wishes to blur our knowledge of the absolutes of good and evil. The power inherent in that knowledge makes us like God. It is our choice of good over evil which makes us godlike. If the adversary is able to diminish or erase our sensitivities in this regard, his chances of keeping us from becoming as God are significantly enhanced . . .." pgs. 39-41.

This is a very provocative quote. It is essentially saying that there is no "gray" and that we are dulling our spiritual sensitivities when we try to create and/or justify gray areas. That means that homosexual marriage is wrong--no matter how difficult it is to explain it to a homosexual friend. It means that the curse put on the Lamanites that made their skin dark really did happen, no matter how awkward it is to explain to a non-white friend. It means that we really should attend all of our classes no matter how much fun we have chatting with our friends in the hall during Sunday School.

It means that if we are spiritually in tune, we always know the correct thing to do. It doesn't mean we will always do it, but we will always know what we should do. Especially since: "Discernment, the ability to see beyond the literal to the divine essential, has ever been God's gift to women." pg. 41 There is a lot of justifying in most of our lives. It bears thinking of that when we choose to justify a wrong choice, or label something as too insignificant to really matter, we are crippling ourselves in our efforts to become like our Father in heaven. We are also undermining our spiritual gift of discernment. It is better to openly acknowledge to ourselves that what we are doing is wrong but we are not yet willing to change our behavior. At least that would be honest and not spiritual self-delusion. Better yet, of course, would be to change the behavior. Always easier to say than do!!!

Another of my favorite quotes is this one: "She [Eve] had a long history of being taught in the premortal existence as well as in Eden. She had developed wisdom, judgment, and evaluative powers, having received spiritual guidance and sacred ordinances. She was in a unique position to draw on knowledge and light. Eve likely did not have a total picture of all that was meant for humankind upon entry into mortality, any more than we know when we begin a new phase of life what it will bring. But, as we have learned, Eve was sufficiently prepared for a proper exercise of agency." pg. 75

That last line is a doozy. If Eve was sufficiently prepared for a proper exercise of agency, we have been sufficiently prepared. We were taught in the premortal existence. We have developed/are developing wisdom, judgment, and evaluative powers as we grow in experience. We have received spiritual guidance from the scriptures, from the prophets, from other church leaders, and from blessings like our Patriarchal blessing. We have made covenants and been taught by ordinances. We, as daughters in the dispensation of the fullness of times, are in a unique position to draw on knowledge and light. We do not have a perfect knowledge of what is to come, but we have been "sufficiently prepared for a proper exercise of agency." Combine that with the previous quote, and we get a sense that we are not going to be able to talk ourselves out of poor behavior with a winsome smile and pretty words.

On a different note, I liked that the author included this quote: "They [Adam and Eve] chose wisely, in accord with the heavenly law of love for others." pg. 38 Adam and Eve truly did put us ahead of themselves. They could have lived in innocent comfort for eternity. But they didn't. It is a great example of love. It is also a mortal example of love. Adam and Eve, like the people living in the city of Enoch, act as examples of how loving and Christ-like we can become despite our mortality. They were subject to opposition but they chose to love each other with a Christ-like love. With compassion, empathy, and generosity. And so can we. That is one of the greatest lessons of Eve.

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