Garden of Eden

Setting in which humans live in divine presence

Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden holds a pivotal place within Book of Mormon theology as the original setting of humanity, identified as Adam and Eve, before their fall from a state of innocence. The scriptural narrative portrays the Garden a the locus where foundational events unfolded that would set the course for human experience and divine-human relationships. According to the Book of Mormon, the Garden of Eden was the setting where Adam and Eve were placed after their creation, and where they lived in God’s immediate presence. It was here that the couple faced the seminal choice between partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or remaining in their paradisiacal state indefinitely (2 Nephi 2:22-23).

Following their transgression, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden in order to experience mortality and parenthood, thus facilitating God’s plan for their posterity to have a probationary state on Earth (2 Nephi 2:19-20). This account reinforces themes from the biblical narrative regarding the consequences of the Fall, including exposure to the dualities of joy and suffering. The Book of Mormon also clarifies that the Fall was an essential component of God’s plan, allowing for human progression and the eventual need for redemption through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 2:25).

Beyond recounting the narrative of Adam and Eve’s time within the Garden, the Book of Mormon prophesies a future condition where “for the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord” (2 Nephi 8:3), hinting at a restoration of Edenic conditions in a redeemed world. Cherubim and a flaming sword, symbols of divine boundary-keeping, are also cited as means of preventing the couple’s return to the tree of life, thus emphasizing the eternal implications of their choices and the guarded nature of immortality (Alma 12:21; Alma 42:2-3).

While the Book of Mormon generally assumes the historicity of the Garden of Eden, it is invariably presented in the context of an etiology for the human condition from which individuals are tasked with finding their way. The expulsion from Eden sets in motion the human monomyth toward salvation and eternal life, core tenets of the plan of happiness outlined in the Book of Mormon’s teachings.


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