273.3: The Fall of Humanity (OT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4, Study Notes)

January 18, 2018


“Because of My Transgression My Eyes Are Opened”


This portion of the episode discusses the Adam and Eve narrative in historical and literary context, proposes theories of the Fall across the belief spectrum, and brings in insights from psychology to the question of human nature and improvement.


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Class Member Reading:Moses 4; 5:1-15; 6:48-62; 2 Nephi 2:22–23; 9:6-10; Genesis 3:16–23

Additional Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20–22; 2 Nephi 2:5–30; Helaman 14:15–18; D&C 19:15–19; 29:34–44; Articles of Faith 1:2; “Fall of Adam,” Bible Dictionary

Other Reading: Genesis 2; 3


Heidi and Justin continue the discussion.


You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF)

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF)



Lesson Part 2

0:00 Overview

1:07 Genesis 2-3 (JPS)

3:53 1st Tim 2

Study Notes

7:06 Adam and Eve Historical and Literary Perspective

12:30 Different Interpretations of the Fall

16:58 Science and Philosophy of Human Nature

Discussion Part 2

31:41 Biblical Narratives

43:57 Flaming Sword and Cherubim

Discussion Part 3

47:35 Adam and Eve Down the Rabbit Hole: Eden in a Bubble

56:31 Adam and Eve Down the Rabbit Hole: Great Leap Forward

1:04:12 Adam and Eve Down the Rabbit Hole: Born Fallen

1:11:58 Adam and Eve Down the Rabbit Hole: Symbolic Fall and Atonement

1:16:03 All Interpretations are (equally) Sacred



The Fall

Human Nature, Morality, and Free Will



Thanks to William Newman for content editing and James Estrada for audio editing, and to to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.

3 Responses to “273.3: The Fall of Humanity (OT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4, Study Notes)”

  1. Carl Gordon Pyper Says:

    “Co-saviors”? Seems presumptuous. “Team” is mundane but a better fit. I prefer “partners.” Team mates and partners have to work together, “in sync” to accomplish a common mission … by direction of a leader.

    Concerning the relationship of husbands and wives, I like to use ballroom dancing as good illustration. Except for basic initial instruction, the gentleman is always the leader … the lady follows … and SHOWS. It is the lady who makes the most dynamic and beautiful moves on promptings from the gentleman. This is a totally mental/spiritual process during which words need not be spoken. Neither of the two is coerced by the other (unless the lady asserts herself to pull her partner away from a couple he is about to back in to). They flow perfectly together. Impossible to have one without the other; and in sync.

    Same thing for musical ensembles … for ensembles to work, all musicians must be capable of playing the music and follow the leader (in small ensembles often unnoticed by the audience).

    Also consider a high-church altar team in which the celebrant (priest or bishop) is the “designated leader.” The deacon, lay Eucharistic minister, acolytes, lectors, and homilists work according to static instruction and dynamic spirit from the celebrant. But such a service cannot work unless all are of one accord. An accomplished young priest of note is so “at home” with himself and deacons that, often, it’s one of the deacons who gives the homily. He maximizes participation of all others, standing by “in reserve” until the part that must be performed by a priest or bishop comes to the fore; at which time he is closely assisted by deacon and lay Eucharistic minister. As the service is executed, as subtly directed, the people in the nave are enjoy the benefit.

    Jesus, let us not discount, set the example of Christian leadership. He knew the service ritual. He knew the scriptures. He knew how to remonstrate, argue, and censor. He exerted himself physically when necessary but did not lay angry hands on his disciples. He demonstrated incisive kindness. He was friendly, available, and ministerial. And he took the hits when it was His time to take the hits. Jesus set the example of how men should be men and treat our wives and children who depend on us for leadership.


  2. Carl Gordon Pyper Says:

    You cited 3(?) women of status in the early church; including one apostle. This was too much of a quick skim-over statement on a subject of importance that begs details. Do you provide such details; perhaps in your notes?


  3. Carl Gordon Pyper Says:

    Mirron-in-the-room; sense of being accountable to others; I’ll VALIDATE that.

    “God is watching,” however, is a concept I despise; a control tool abundantly/shamelessly utilized among Mormons (which I do not believe is your intention to validate). It sets G-d up with a checklist, a fly swatter, and a bag of candy … judgemental and controlling, whose love for us is conditioned upon our compliance with every big or little “Gospel” “commandment” (as per “The General Authorities”) from obeying the Word of Wisdom, to attendance at meetings, to fornication/adultery. Such control is, of course, the devil’s work.

    In my recovery, I have discovered G-d to, in fact, be my Father Creator who is ALWAYS present (versus “watching”) and ALWAYS pulling for me. As there is nothing that my own children could do or be that would keep me from unconditionally loving, and pulling for, each one of them … so I have come to sense my Father’s unconditional regard for me. As I desire my children’s maturity into responsible, healthy, and productive adulthood, so do I sense my Father’s desire for me. The question of “foul-up” then, is not one of failing a “checklist” but of one’s willingness to own personal responsibility for a given “foul-up,” and ask for help to get back up and continue moving forward.


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