Mormon Doctrine about the Fall of Adam
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe that the Fall of Adam was a necessary event in the history of this earth. When Heavenly Father placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth. He also commanded them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but gave them their agency to choose. The Lord had given them two conflicting commandments. The fact that there were two conflicting commandments actually provided them with agency by placing before them a choice. The Lord told them that if they did eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would "die." (Abraham 5:13) As long as Adam and Eve were in the garden, they lived in a paradisaical environment, but it was also static. They didn't age, nor could they bare children. If they partook of the tree, they would become mortal; they would become subject to the "first death," the death of the body. However, they would also become able, in their newly mortal state, to bear children, thereby keeping the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth.
Most of the Christian world believes that eating the "forbidden fruit" was a sinful act and therefore merited a severe punishment—death. The Lord was, however, simply informing Adam and Eve that if they partook of the fruit, they would become mortal. The "curses" the Lord inflicted on Adam and Eve after they partook of the fruit, are actually not curses at all, but an explanation of what mortal life is like—man must live by the sweat of his brow, and women bring forth and rear children with a certain amount of suffering.
The account of the fall of Adam and Eve is more elaborate in the Pearl of Great Price than it is in Genesis.  Implied is the fact that Adam had been commanded to cleave to his wife. When she was beguiled by Satan, and partook of the forbidden fruit, they both knew she would be cast out of the garden. Adam partook to remain with her. The Fall of Adam brought the consequence of death into the world, as a necessary step in the plan of salvation.
Soon after Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, they were taught about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and about the resurrection of all mankind that would be brought about through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They understood that they had made a good choice. Leaving the garden allowed them to have children and to begin progressing as mortal beings who would be tested while living away from the presence of God.
- And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient. (Moses 5: 11)
Mormons discuss the eating of the forbidden fruit as a "transgression," not as a "sin." It was not a sinful act, but a necessary act which Eve and then Adam bravely took upon themselves. Many centuries later, Moses described a vision wherein he saw Adam and Eve rejoicing:
- And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.(Moses 5:10)
A Book of Mormon prophet explained succinctly the reason for the fall, especially as it instituted the free agency of man and established the need for a savior and atonement for mankind:
- And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.
- Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
- And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.
- And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.
- And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.
- And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
- And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
- But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
- Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
- And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
- Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
- And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; (2 Nephi 2:15, 16, 20-28)
Read Boyd K. Packer's description of the Fall, and how the relationship between Adam and Eve establishes the marriage relationship— "For Time and All Eternity," Ensign, November, 1993