“In the day you eat, you shall surely die…” is the warning of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. If we are to take the scriptures literally, than Eve would have died upon her consuming the fruit first, and would have never had the chance to give it to Adam. But that did not happen, so either God lied, or there’s more to that passage than a simplified “literal” interpretation. Likewise, our 183yr old condemnation must not be overlooked just because the church we belong to has “financially” broad shoulders, thus dismissing the idea that we are actually in condemnation. The effects of God’s penalty is not God’s doing, rather the result of God stepping back, to give you agency to determine the master you will serve.
God’s Warning: The warning is well known to all who’ve read the Bible, or heard the story of Adam & Eve, “In the day that you partake, you shall surely die…” Two parts of this warning stands out, and ought to be considered, to properly see our current condition of the 183yr old condemnation:
- The timing of the action (“In the day that you partake…”)
- The timing of the penalty (“you shall surely die…”)
This was not an immediate consequence, but a warning that once you partake, that will begin the process of a certain death. Looking into the Hebrew, we learn that “in the day…” was not a 24 hour period, as we think today. A common mistake people make is to interpret in modern terms rather than understanding the author’s intent and context. Instead, “the day” represented a time period when Adam and Eve chose. Thus we can substitute the word “when” you partake… instead of “In the day that you partake…” and the author’s intent would remain unaltered, and intact.
If “In the day that you partake…” is to be understood as “When you partake…,” then “surely dying…” was also conditional to occur after the partaking, but does not require it to mean “immediately after partaking.” The Hebrew language supports that this is not an immediate reaction, that when Eve partakes, and chokes and dies on the spot. A better translation would be: doomed to die, or sentenced to death. That does not imply that the sentence was carried out just yet.
Understanding the timing of the action of Adam & Eve, and the timing of the penalty, provides great insight to the correct attributes of God. God is merciful, but cannot rob justice. The mercy we have been given is the agency to act. However, when we choose to act out of alignment, we are left to reap the rewards of our actions. No one overeats in one meal sitting, and expects to find themselves obese at the end of the meal. But, everyone understands that constant overeating, meal after meal, will eventually lead to obesity. Thus it is with the condemnation that the saints have been under for 183 years.
God’s Warning to Us: The condemnation I’m referring to has been addressed many times before, but never connected to the warning God gives to Adam & Eve. Perhaps understanding the timing of Adam & Eve’s action, as it relates to the timing of their penalty, would convince you not to take the warning of your condemnation so lightly.
“54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—”
The timing of the penalty was not immediate here, as it was not immediate when Adam & Eve partook of the fruit. The condemnation will remain, until we either repent (preferable), or suffer the consequences of God naturally withdrawing, having tried to gather you like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but ye would not. We must seek the words of Christ, not only to say, but to do according to that which has been written.
In this scripture, we were instructed to do that which has been written. But every Sunday we teach our primary children that a living prophet is better than a dead prophet, and then we sing “Follow the Prophet,” to make the message clear. The message is “There is no need to study the words of Christ if it contradicts the counsel of the current prophet.” And the idea that studying the current conference report has greater value than studying the scriptures, where people died and were killed to bring it forth, seems crazy to me.
In the end, it will be you who must make the final decision, which master you will serve. And the answer to that question will teeter on your choice to seek to know the mind and will of God, by knowing the words of Christ, or not! No man can serve two masters, so all men are destined to choose their master. The elect will choose Christ, while everyone else will not. That is the prophesy!
Conclusion: I am recommending that we do as Adam was advised, “…Awake, and arise!” I have consistently recommended that we knock on heaven’s doors, by studying the words of Christ. You can know who is studying the words of Christ by the quality and quantity of their questions. D&C was the result of scripture study, that led to asking questions and getting revelation. So, naturally, …knocking leads to asking. And asking leads to seeking. Those who seek Christ through the implementation of this process, will find what they are seeking for, …Christ. But failure to partake of the treasures in the heavens, will result in certain condemnation and death. Such a death will make itself evident, not immediately, but eventually.
Avoid the work of death. Seek light by the hungering and thirsting after righteousness. the warning of Adam is upon all who partake of that fruit. So is the condemnation. But the choice was not Adam’s to make for you. You are required to “Choose ye this day whom you will serve.” No man can serve two masters. Either he will love the one and hate the other, or he will cling to the one and despise the other. No man can serve two masters! Choose wisely!