In one of the Mormon Garden of Eden narratives, the commandment specifying the prohibition of eating from the Tree of Knowledge is as follows (Moses 3:16-17):
16 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat,
17 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.
Since the Tree of Life is not specifically included in the prohibition, commentators have speculated as to whether Adam and Eve may have eaten from it to prolong their lives so long as they remained in the Garden. For example, Trent Stephens, an LDS scholar of evolution, argues that Adam and Eve were inherently mortal at the time they were created but remained immortal so long as they were in the Garden because they had continual access to the Tree of Life. If they had hair and skin like ours, he reasons, then their bodies must have contained dead cells, and to a biologist, there is little difference between cell death and organismal death.
Death, then, means being expelled from the Garden and having no access to the Tree of Life.
Stephens, Trent D. 2003. Evolution and Latter-day Saint theology: The tree of life and DNA. In 2003 FAIR Conference. http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2003_Evolution_and_Latter-day_Saint_Theology.html.
From “A Mormon Reading of Satan and the Tree of Life” by Ronan James Head and Jeffrey Bradshaw, to be presented at the upcoming EMSA conference.