Mother Eve

We recommend an excellent article entitled "The Two Trees" by V.H. Cassler for further insight on Eve's role (and women in general) in the Plan of Salvation, which can be found here on our blog, here at FAIR, or here at Mormon Scholars for a less "talky" version of the presentation.


Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall.
--Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Genesis 3: 16 states that Adam is to “rule over” Eve, but this doesn’t make Adam a dictator. . . over in “rule over” uses the Hebrew bet, which means ruling with, not ruling over. The concept of interdependent, equal partners is well-grounded in the doctrine of the restored gospel. Eve was Adam’s “help meet” (Genesis 2:18). The original Hebrew for meet means that Eve was adequate for, or equal to, Adam. She wasn’t his servant or his subordinate.
--Elder Bruce C. Hafen

Dr. Nehama Aschenasy, a Hebrew scholar, said that in Hebrew the word which is translated as “beguiled” in the Bible does not mean “tricked” or “deceived” as we commonly think. Rather, it is a rare verb which indicates an intense multilevel experience, evoking great emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual trauma.  She said that it is likely that this intense multi-level experience, this “beguiling” by the serpent, was the catalyst that caused Eve to ponder and evaluate what her role and purpose in the Garden really was. 
-- Beverly Campbell, Mother Eve: Mentor for Today’s Woman: A Heritage of Honor

The incorrect idea in Christian history that wives should be dependent began with the false premise that the fall of Adam and Eve was a tragic mistake and that Eve was the primary culprit. Thus women's traditional submission to men was considered a fair punishment for Eve's sin. Thankfully, the Restoration clarifies Eve's -- and Adam's -- choice as essential to the eternal progression of God's children. We honor rather than condemn what they did, and we see Adam and Eve as equal partners.
--Elder Bruce C. Hafen, “Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners.”


President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) said: “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. … This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin … for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!
--Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 1:114–15.


Adam and Eve’s transgression was not really a wrongful act of “sin” as we usually use that term. While their choice violated the command against partaking of the fruit, that same choice was necessary to enable their obedience to the command to have children. Their “transgression” was thus a painful but correct, even eternally glorious, choice.
--Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Elder Bruce C. Hafen, The Liahona 1997


This suggested contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: ‘We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression’ (emphasis added). It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin—inherently wrong—but a transgression—wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall.
--Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72


[Eve’s] act, whatever its nature, was formally a transgression, but eternally a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life.
--Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72

Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good. Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth.
--President Gordon B. Hinckley

Lehi taught us that if Adam and Eve had remained in Eden, they would have remained not in a state of true happiness, but “in a state of innocence”—having no children, no misery, no sin— and no joy. (2 Ne. 2:23; italics added.)
--Sister Marie Hafen

Eve--a daughter of God, one of the spirit offspring of the Almighty Elohim-- was among the noble and great in the preexistence. She ranked in spiritual stature, in faith and devotion, in conformity to eternal law with Michael.
--Elder Bruce R. McConkie

You must not misunderstand what the Lord meant when Adam was told he was to have a help meet. A help meet is a companion suited to or equal to us. We walk side by side with a helpmeet, not one before or behind the other. A helpmeet results in an absolute equal partnership between a husband and a wife. Eve was to be equal to Adam as a husband and wife are to be equal to each other.
--Elder Earl C. Tingey
(we would also add that in the scriptures, the words are not "helpmeet" like one phrase, but actually indicate that Eve was a help meet for him, which is clarified by the original Hebrew words that indicate she was a God-like power equal to Adam)

Eve’s supreme gift to mankind, the opportunity of life on this earth, resulted from her choice to become mortal.
--Beverly Campbell, Encyclopedia of Mormonism

We cannot doubt that the greatest of all female spirits was the one chosen and foreordained to be the “mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh” (1 Nephi 11:18). Nor can we do other than suppose that Eve was by her side, rejoicing in her own foreordination to be the first woman, the mother of men, the consort, companion, and friend of mighty Michael.
--Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Christ and Mary, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, and a host of mighty men and equally glorious women comprised that group of “the noble and great ones,” to whom the Lord Jesus said: “We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell” (Abraham 3:22-24). This we know: Christ, under the Father, is the Creator; Michael his companion and associate, presided over much of the creative work; and with them as Abraham saw, were many of the noble and great ones. Can we do other than conclude that Mary and Eve and Sarah and myriads of our faithful sisters were numbered among them? Certainly these sisters labored as diligently then, and fought as valiantly in the war in heaven, as did the brethren, even as they in like manner stand firm today, in mortality, in the cause of truth and righteousness.
--“Eve and the Fall,” in Spencer W. Kimball and others, Woman (1979), 59.


She labored beside her companion. Adam held the priesthood. Eve served in matriarchal partnership with the patriarchal priesthood. So today, each wife may join with her husband as a partner unified in purpose. Scriptures state clearly, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11). “They twain shall be one flesh” (Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:8; D&C 49:16). Marvelously, it takes a man and a woman to make a man or a woman. Without union of the sexes, neither can we exist, nor can we become perfect. Ordinary and imperfect people can build each other through their wholeness together. The complete contribution of one partner to the other is essential to exaltation. This is so “that the earth might answer the end of its creation” (D&C 49:16). So labor and love in partnership. Honor your companion. Any sense of competition for place or position is not appropriate for either partner, especially when enlightened by scriptural understanding.
--Elder Russell M. Nelson, Lessons From Eve, October 1987 

Our understanding of the fall comes into true focus when we ponder these words from the book of the generations of Adam: “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created and became living souls in the land upon the footstool of God” (Moses 6:8-9. Italics added). Thus the name of Adam and Eve as a united partnership is Adam. They, the two of them together, are named Adam. This is more than the man Adam as a son of God or the woman Eve as a daughter of the same Holy Being. Adam and Eve taken together are named Adam, and the fall of Adam is the fall of them both, for they are one.
--Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Eve became God’s final creation, the grand summation of all of the marvelous work that had gone before. Notwithstanding this preeminence given the creation of woman, she has so frequently through the ages been relegated to a secondary position. She has been put down. She has been denigrated. She has been enslaved. She has been abused.
--President Gordon B. Hinckley

Eve was “the mother of all living” (Moses 4:26). God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage because “it was not good that the man should be alone” (Moses 3:18; see also 1 Corinthians 11:11). She shared Adam’s responsibility and will also share his eternal blessings.
--Chapter 6: The Fall of Adam and Eve, Gospel Principles, (2009)

The first woman to live on this earth (Gen. 2:21–25; 3:20). She was Adam’s wife. In Hebrew the name means “life” and implies that Eve was the first mother on earth (Moses 4:26). She and Adam, the first man, will share eternal glory for their role in making possible the eternal progress of all mankind.

Adam and Eve "accepted a great challenge…. They chose wisely in accordance with the heavenly law of love for others"
--Widtsoe, p. 194


Genesis 3:16: "Unto the awoman he said, I will greatly bmultiply thy csorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth dchildren"... 'The Hebrew word rendered "sorrow" (Gen. 3:16-17) does not connote "sadness," but "labor," or "sweat," or "pain."'
--Beverly Campbell, author of Eve and the Choice Made in Eden

When Eve was created—when her body was made by God—Adam exclaimed, “Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man” (Moses 3:23).
From the rib of Adam, Eve was formed (see Gen. 2:22; Moses 3:22; Abr. 5:16). Interesting to me is the fact that animals fashioned by our Creator, such as dogs and cats, have thirteen pairs of ribs, but the human being has one less with only twelve. I presume another bone could have been used, but the rib, coming as it does from the side, seems to denote partnership. The rib signifies neither dominion nor subservience, but a lateral relationship as partners, to work and to live, side by side.
--Elder Russell M. Nelson, Lessons From Eve, October 1987

The Lord gave Adam and Eve commandments in the Garden of Eden, two of which were to multiply and replenish the earth (see Gen. 1:28) and to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (see Gen. 2:17). These two commandments were designed to place Adam and Eve in a position where they had to make a choice. President Smith taught: “The Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain as he was in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so.” Faced with this dilemma, Adam and Eve chose death—both physical and spiritual—which opened the door for themselves and their posterity to gain knowledge and experience and to participate in the Father’s plan of happiness leading to eternal life.


She partook of that fruit for one good reason, and that was to open the door to bring you and me and everyone else into this world, for Adam and Eve could have remained in the Garden of Eden; they could have been there to this day, if Eve hadn’t done something.
--President Joseph Fielding Smith, In Conference Report, October 1967, 121

We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Eve. In the Garden of Eden, she and Adam were instructed not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, they were also reminded, “Thou mayest choose for thyself.”The choice was really between a continuation of their comfortable existence in Eden, where they would never progress, or a momentous exit into mortality with its opposites: pain, trials, and physical death in contrast to joy, growth, and the potential for eternal life. In contemplating this choice, we are told, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, … and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.” And thus began their earthly probation and parenthood.
--President James E. Faust, "What It Means to Be a Daughter of God," (September 25, 1999)
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