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The Fall

The Book of Mormon and the endowment ceremony teach us that the Fall was a perilous but essential step forward for humanity. Living in a world where there is death and the possibility of evil is necessary if we are to experience growth and the joy that comes from embracing the good (2 Ne. 2:22-25; Moses 5:11). The story of Adam and Eve leaving Eden is the story of all our Heavenly Parents' children leaving home to make their own way in the world. Here each of us has opportunities to learn from experience and to develop into his or her unique potential as a child of God. In this sense, living in a fallen world means having the independence to choose how we will live and who we will be.

At the same time, the doctrine of the Fall reflects awareness of the terrible realities that are part of life: disease, death, disaster, cruelty, and gratuitous suffering. Loss and pain are inevitable conditions of our mortal existence. Because our world is fallen, oppressive powers reign with blood and horror. The entire creation groans, waiting for redemption (Rom. 8:22-23). In this sense, the Fall refers to forces that confine us or make us suffer, forces from which God wills to deliver us (Alma 12:26-32). Christ's power enables us to work against the Fall: to resist destructive powers; to liberate people in physical or spiritual subjection; to be instruments of healing, light, and hope; and to make life more abundant (John 10:10). We help to make real now the promised day of redemption, when God will wipe away all tears (Rev. 21:3-4).

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Rulon S. Wells: It was necessary that the fall should take place . . . But it meant an opportunity of development, of education, of growth of those qualities that are divine, to make us like our Maker, that we might become like him in very deed
Conference Report, April 1926,.76-77

James E. Talmage: It was necessary that the spiritual offspring of God should leave the scenes of their primeval childhood and enter the school of mortal experience, meeting, contending with, and overcoming evil.
Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984), 62

Ardeth Greene Kapp: One of the biggest obstacles to acquiring and maintaining hope is that we must deal with the reality of mortality. While struggling with that distance between where we are and where we desire to be . . . , we so often fall short. Our hope can be shattered until we begin to understand that life is a journey, and our progress comes as we learn to understand the very purpose of life, including the need for suffering, setbacks, trials, and tests.

The Joy of the Journey (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 36

Chieko N. Okazaki: I think of the immense sorrow that attends any death. I wonder at the strength and courage of our Heavenly Parents, sending us to experience mortality, and of all the deaths they have suffered through with us in our own suffering.

Sanctuary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 148-149

Janet Lee: With all my heart, if I could change the course of these past ten years as our whole family has experienced the pain of Rex's cancer, I would do so. And yet, I would never want to give up the growth: the understanding, the insights, the compassion, or the increased love for each other and for our Savior. Without the Fall, we would remain as children, without spiritual maturity, without knowledge, without realizing our ultimate potential . . .

"Pieces of Peace," Every Good Thing: Talks from the 1997 BYU Women’s Conference
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998), 9-10

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