Last week there were several interesting posts in the bloggernacle about Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, and the Fall. Mormons have not only the Genesis account, but the Pearl of Great Price and the temple, and it is interesting to see how we harmonize the various versions. I don’t have a background in ancient scripture and I go to the temple more to find peace of mind that doctrinal insight, so I have nothing to add to the discussion. But I am interested to see that we LDS people want to believe strongly that the Fall wasn’t really a fall but a jump, or whatever you call it when you fall upwards. I think this has led us to believe simultaneously in two different versions of the Fall.
The first version is our official doctrine. We believe that all mortals are children of God but with a fallen nature which leads us to sin. The second version holds that since Eve made a wise choice, she didn’t really fall, therefore females aren’t subject to the Fall, at least in the same way that men are. Consider this statement made by Elder Packer in October, 1993:
“The woman, by her very nature, is also co-creator with God and the primary nurturer of the children. Virtues and attributes upon which perfection and exaltation depend come naturally to a woman…”
I have tentatively concluded that modern latter-day saints believe in two Falls. Men get the real deal. They fell, and became carnal, sensual, and devilish. Men are scum and everybody knows it, including men themselves. Women, on the other hand, get something we can call Fall-lite. They became mortal, to be sure, but their natures didn’t really change, and they didn’t really become prone to sin. Instead, women are given a few quirks and peccadilloes, just to keep them humble. Their major trial in life will not be their own sins, but figuring out how deal with all the deadweight, non-presiding presiders who litter the landscape around them.
What do you think? Do you believe in one fall or two? If you only believe in one, please tell me how you reconcile your belief with statements such as the one by Elder Packer.