“…The original Hebrew word for ‘created,’ as found in [Genesis 1:1], does not actually mean ‘to make’ as we often assume it does. It means ‘to organize.'”
Very interesting, I had never heard this before.
I’m also interested to learn from that Wikipedia article about Genesis 1:1 that the Hebrew word “Elohim” is closer to the English word “god” than the English word “God.” This translation fits in better with the God-was-an-ancient-astronaut theory that’s become popular lately, what with those Ancient Aliens-type shows on TV and all.
Kind of makes me wonder about who Adam and Eve were too. Why doesn’t God want us to learn deeper truths? Is He afraid that if we find out the truth we won’t respect him the way he wants us to? If we find him out he won’t be able to control us anymore? It’s these kinds of shady wordings that make me wonder if he’s just trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
You know, I can’t read Hebrew (yet…), but you’d think that in the couple-thousand pages of The Bible we’d find some other passages to explain what was happening during the first couple pages. Someone could have at least tried to tie it in to the big Bible-thumping topics of death, Hell, or maybe even Jesus Himself, maybe?
Yes, knowing a bit of Hebrew can be very enlightening. There’s a lot more to learn as one considers upon all of the implications that the word “Elohim” brings to our interpretation of the creation, but it would take several more letters to properly introduce the subject. It is an important one though, so I will be sure to bring it back up if we get away from that topic in our future discourse. Suffice it to say for now that you are straddling some deep truths, one of which is the fact that it is not only more similar to the English “god” rather than “God,” but that it is actually plural, therefore meaning “gods.”
“I saw a humorous meme recently that depicted God as a cartoonish caricature with the caption: ‘Create the entire universe out of nothing; need Adam’s rib to make one more thing.’ That made me wonder, how can God get away with that one?”
I want to return to this idea of Eve being created from Adam’s rib. In my last letter to you I explained that God does not create from nothing but organizes from preexisting matter. So what are the implications with the creation of Eve? How did God make an entire person from a rib?
But before I continue, I want to be sure of one thing: your kids were delivered by a stork like mine, right?
When we as parents tell our children that they were delivered by a stork, what we are really doing is speaking to a child about a subject that we cannot fully explain without a much deeper conversation that would get their little minds focused on a subject far outside what we want them to be focused on, right? Likewise, when God explained to Moses, the author of Genesis, how the world was created, He explained it in terms the mind of man could comprehend—for now. If Jesus Christ taught in parables to reach multiple levels of comprehension at once, would we not expect the premortal Jehovah to also so teach?
Was the world created in six days, as we know them, or were there six generally-divisible periods that Moses used the word “day” to describe? The geologic record, so far as it is interpreted correctly, seems to indicate the latter.
Were the heavens and the earth created at the same time, the “beginning,” or have the “heavens” been around a lot longer than the earth? The cosmic record, so far as it is interpreted correctly, seems to indicate the latter.
God knows the answers to such questions as these, and He also considers them to matter less to us, His children, than the clearer fact that He was at the head of it all.
It’s not that God doesn’t “want us to learn the deeper truths”—He desires to share with us greater truth and light on the subject—but He must wait until we are prepared. The fact that the Hebrew version of the creation makes bare some of the deeper truths by virtue of the language itself should be evidence enough that God is not arbitrarily “pulling the wool over our eyes.” The same goes for the creation of Adam and Eve: there is a deeper understanding (that, frankly, is slightly clearer in the original Hebrew), but, like the truth behind the stork that delivered you and me, it is meant for spiritually matured minds.
Most of Christianity looks down upon Adam, and especially Eve, for committing the first sin, the “original sin,” and believes that life wouldn’t be so hard for the rest of us if it wasn’t for their introduced of sin into the world. This is an old sectarian notion and is false. In all actuality, this couldn’t be further from the truth: “Adam fell that men might be” (2 Nephi 2:25, emphasis added).
If you’ve come to know the devil and his tactics in your life (and we all have by virtue of being on earth), I will open your eyes to the fact that he hasn’t changed his ways in the five- or six-thousand years since the day he tempted Eve: the devil will tell nine truths to get someone to accept one lie. “What!” the world will exclaim, “the devil tell a truth?” Yes, if that’s what he must do tell a lie—one more lie than God would ever give. In Genesis 3:4-5 we get to hear Satan do just that:
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
The one lie here was that neither Eve nor Adam should “surely die;” the rest was true. Let me give you some context: Adam and Eve were created in the Garden in a state of innocence and, well, we’ll call it ignorant bliss—like someone who eats only ramen noodles every day, it’s not until they taste filet mignon that they realize just how good something can taste; conversely, it’s not until they taste dirt and crab grass that they realize just how good ramen noodles can taste. In other words, we cannot know the sweet until we taste the bitter. God designed the mortal experience that we each go through (not just Adam and Eve) to be the bitter, that we might become like Him (and “the gods,” as the devil mentioned [think Elohim here]), “knowing good and evil.”
That’s what this life is about: we are on to the next stage of becoming like our Father in Heaven, the father of our spirits. Adam and Eve didn’t make a mistake, they made a decision.
Note, for instance, in the next verse, Genesis 3:6, it doesn’t say that Eve “fell for the serpent” or “was deceived in that moment” or something, but that she “saw” that what the serpent said was mostly true, meaning that she logically analyzed her situation and made her own decision. In our doctrine, we praise Eve for making the decision that would allow us the opportunity to not only know the sweet, but to receive a physical body at all. There is an even deeper layer of symbolism we could delve into with respect to this decision, particularly pertaining to why Adam and Eve could not create children before it, but suffice it to say that, like them, it is crucial that we are introduced to a fallen world—something far different than the Garden of Eden—to take that next step towards becoming like our Father in Heaven (recall the council in Heaven).
However, the fall of Adam truly brought sickness and death and sin into the world, which could truly be considered as a step away from God, but without it—without opposition—we could not be tested to progress in an eternal sense. You wouldn’t take a test with the a copy of the answer key open on every student’s desk (at least, that wouldn’t be much of a test), and likewise we cannot be tested within the confines of the Garden of Eden—a place where God Himself could come and walk about; life is a closed-book test, and we are separated from God by the very nature of this sinful world.
So, if a fall away from God was needed to get the test started, and we have Adam and Eve to thank for that, how do we un-fall if we pass the test? How can Adam’s decision be praiseworthy when all we’ve got to show for it now is death, disease, and sin?
Actually, this—the nature of our current fallen state and all—was known from the “beginning.” In the council of “the gods” before the world was (the afore mentioned council in Heaven), a plan was presented whereby we could return to God’s presence—with Adam and Eve too—despite all of our unworthy, mortal baggage. The central figure of that plan is none other than Jesus Christ, our savior and redeemer.
Christ was chosen in the premortal council in Heaven to be the “Atoning One,” the person who could bring us back “At-one” (atone) with God—the only one who had the power to swallow up our death, disease, and sin. For that reuniting with and inheriting of the Father and His glory to be complete, it was known far in advance that we would need bodies of flesh and bone (like the Father has) and no uncleanliness (like the Father is). Adam and Eve then came to get the process started whereby we could do just that, and in so doing they become archetypes of the journey we are all taking:
- They forgot all, and we have forgotten all;
- They came to a fallen world to know good from evil, and we come to a fallen world to know good from evil;
- They gained bodies of flesh and blood (which blood is signified in scripture as a symbol of “corruption”), and we now have bodies of flesh and blood;
- They will be resurrected to immortality and bodies of flesh and bone (without blood, or a body of “incorruption,” like the father), and we too shall be resurrected to the same;
- They had their sins remitted through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we too may so choose to become clean and thus enabled to enter into the Father’s presence.
“…You’d think that in the couple-thousand pages of The Bible we’d find some other passages to explain what was happening during the first couple pages. Someone could have at least tried to tie it in to the big Bible-thumping topics of death, Hell, or maybe even Jesus Himself, maybe?”
Maybe with the context I have laid, these words of Paul, found in 1 Corinthians 15:45-54, will perhaps make more sense to you than they have in the past:
“The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy: the second man [Jesus Christ] is the Lord from heaven….
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
With this doctrinal foundation laid, we can talk in a little more depth about what really happened during the creation.