Friday, May 8, 2015

Moses 3:17 -- On Choosing for Ourselves

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
Moses 3:17

The fact that we have several scriptural versions of the creation story is interesting.  I think that it means that God wants us to know where we came from. :)  In this version in Moses (compare to Abraham 5:13 and Genesis 2:17), it mentions that God specifically told Adam and Eve that they could choose for themselves.  He just explains the consequences of the choice.
God knew that the fall had to happen in order for his plan to go forward.  We had to know good from evil in order to progress and learn all we needed to learn, so God was planning a redemption from the fall before it even happened.  So, if he knew it needed to happen, and had already planned a way to overcome it, why did he forbid it?
I think that this is something that happens to all of us in our lives, actually.  God knows that we are going to make some bad choices, and that from those choices we are going to learn some important things, and he has a plan already in place to allow us to overcome our poor choices.  So, why does he tell us not to make bad choices?  I think the answers are the same.  Even though he can see ahead and knows that we will learn a lot, and has planned for our recovery, the choices we make are still going to cause us pain, and he wants us to find ways to learn that don't require so much self-torture.
In Adam and Eve's case, in order to go to the next level of learning, they had to make the choice.  And when they did, he was ready.  He taught them the gospel, explaining that despite death, he had a plan.  They would be redeemed from physical death and be resurrected, and that they could also be redeemed from spiritual death depending on their choices.  He taught them how to repent and apply the atonement in their lives, even though from an earthly perspective, it hadn't happened yet.
Of course, this doesn't mean that we should make bad choices lightly.  We kid ourselves into thinking that we will make bad choices and then turn around, but it is amazingly hard to repent of something you walked into with your eyes fully open like that, as well as the fact that making bad choices lowers our resistance and makes it easier to make more of them, and continue on a bad path.
Today, as we choose for ourselves, let's remember to apply the atonement in our own lives.  Let's repent and reach for God's plan, which is always in place to save us from ourselves. :)

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