…or so says Bible scholar Jack Sasson (Bible Review Summer 2005). Here’s the gist (and with no attempt to find a Mormon hermeneutic):
In Genesis 2, Lord God (Yahweh Elohim) shapes a creature, Earthling (Adam, shaped out of the earth, adamah). As a mate for Earthling, he then fashions Woman from one of Earthling’s ribs. She is not yet named; as Woman she has not yet developed the function that her later name will imply.
Lord God has created a garden for his creatures, “with the Tree of Life in the centre of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad” (2:9). Only the Tree of Life is said to be in the “centre of the garden.”
Lord God then tells Earthling that he may not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad: “you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat it, you shall die” (2:17).
After being tempted by the serpent, Woman replies, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about the fruit of the tree in the centre of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die’” (3:2-3). Note that Woman misquotes Lord God. She says they are not allowed to eat the fruit of the tree in the centre of the Garden (= the Tree of Life), nor are they to even touch it.
Woman (to whom the commandment was never directly given) has identified the wrong tree! Noting this, the serpent reassures her: “You are not going to die” (Gen 3:4). Earthling and Woman then eat the fruit of the tree in the centre of the garden — the Tree of Life. They have broken no divine injunction, but are now divine beings, being immortal. Gods wear clothes, so Earthling and Woman make loincloths to separate themseleves from the animals.
Lord God is now faced with a problem: Earthling and Woman are now immortal. The Woman is to bear children and becomes Eve, the mother of all the living. Earthling is cursed to die. Human immortality is channelled from the soma to the germ plasm, immortality through procreation. Humans cannot again eat from the Tree of Life, so it is cut off from them. Lord God fashions coats of skins for Earthling and Eve to forever remind them of their proximity to animal life, the life of mortality.
Such is the rabbit hole of the Old Testament. Wanna take the blue pill or the red pill?