I had a question come up in my 16-17 year old Sunday school class that I am having difficulties answering. We where talking about the two forms of death physical and spiritual, when one of my young students me asked about Adam and Eve and the two commandments given them in the Garden of Eden: – “…multiply and replenish the earth…” – “…do not eat of the tree of knowledge…” His question was why would God give Adam and Eve two conflicting commands (i.e. there was noway to keep both of them). I was not able to give him a very good answer and told him I would research it and get back to him. Thus this E-mail is part of my research. If any of you could send me any references or enlighten me we something other than that just thats the way it was, I would appreciate it. Thanks for your help in advance. Regards,
Russ, from New Jersey
Indeed the Lord gave to Adam and Eve conflicting commandments. He did that in order to establish their free agengy by requiring them to choose between two alternatives. Since the two commandments were opposed to one another, they had to decide which to obey, because they could not obey both of them. Thus they were forced to excercise their free agency in choosing between alternatives. Jacob clearly explains this circumstance in 2 Nephi 2:14-16.
. . . And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, . . . 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.