When Adam and Eve were created, they were placed in the Garden of Eden. They had physical bodies but they were not yet mortal and were not subject to death, nor were they able to have children. They were given two commandments. The Lord said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Moses 2:28). The other was forbidding them to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Lord warned, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Moses 3:17).
But Satan, wanting to hinder the Plan of Salvation, tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit, assuring her that she, together with Adam, will not die but will have knowledge of all things and become like God. Eve partook of the fruit and gave some to Adam also, and he ate.
Because they had partaken of the forbidden fruit, they became mortal and subject to physical death, suffering and pain. They also suffered spiritual death by being cast out from Heavenly Father’s presence.
Before their transgression, Adam and Eve did not have to choose between good and evil because they knew nothing of such things. However, eating the fruit was a clear indication of their choice of physical and spiritual death. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught, “The Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain as he was in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so” (Answers to Gospel Questions 4:81).
The choice of Adam and Eve brought to pass a great blessing— through becoming mortal they were able to carry out the Lord’s other commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth and create physical bodies for His spirit children to come to Earth and gain knowledge and experience. The prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon explained,
If Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. …
And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
Some people may think that Adam and Eve’s transgression is the reason why we are in our mortal state and experiencing all kinds of mortal difficulties and suffering. But the truth is, the Fall (a term used by the Church referring to Adam and Eve’s transgression) was a necessary step for us to progress and become like our Heavenly Father.
With these truths revealed, may we look at Adam and Eve’s transgression as an event that we must all be thankful for.