Though Biblical commentaries often derive the name “Eden” from the Sumerian edinu (i.e., “a plain”), an alternative meaning, based on an Aramaic-Akkadian bilingual description, is “luxuriance” or “abundance”—more specifically referring to an abundance of life-enriching water. The idea of luxuriance brings to mind the prominent place-name “Bountiful” in the Book of Mormon—in fact, one proposed region for the Old World Bountiful was reputed to have been a place of such great plenty that its inhabitants were denounced by Islamic Hud traditions for their “attempt to create an earthly replica of Paradise...read more
Western art typically portrays Adam and Eve as naked in the Garden of Eden, and dressed in “coats of skin” after the Fall. However, the Eastern Orthodox tradition depicts the sequence of their change of clothing in reverse manner. How can that be? The Eastern Church remembers the accounts that portray Adam as a King and Priest in Eden, so naturally he is shown there in regal robes. Moreover, Orthodox readers interpret the “skins” that the couple wore after their expulsion from the Garden as being their own now-fully human flesh. Gary Anderson interprets this symbolism to mean that “Adam has exchanged an angelic constitution for a mortal one”—in Latter-day Saint parlance, they have lost their terrestrial glory and are now in a telestial state....read more
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
In the poignant sculpture by Delaplanche pictured here, the vacant, tearless eyes and agonized posture of the solitary slumped figure bespeak the depth of Eve’s utter hopelessness immediately after her transgression. While scripture describes the results of transgression differently for Adam than for Eve, the ultimate effect of these consequences is essentially the same: a mortal life replete with the opposing experiences of good and evil, pleasure and pain....read more
We read in Moses 4:13 that after Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” The ending of the verse implicitly signals to the reader that the making of the aprons is the culminating event in the story. However, Emily Mahan observes that the Old English manuscript shown above punctuates the verse differently, with three dots in triangle form, highlighting the importance of the opening of the eyes of Adam and Eve: “and the eyes of them both were opened .·.”...read more
In Essay #60, an overview was given of the proposals put forth in the council of heaven for the salvation of mankind. In the present essay, we attempt to attempt to answer related questions in more detail....read more
After a rapid sweep across the vast panorama of the Creation and the Garden of Eden in Moses 2-3, the scope narrows and the narrative slows to a more measured pace in Moses 4—and with good reason, for it is at this point that the purpose of Creation begins to unfold. John Henry Newman summed up a lesson from the combined accounts of the Creation and the Fall...read more