“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will we to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Elliot.
I was really drawn to the reading by Bruce C Hafen, Covenant Hearts. Within this reading is the poem by Sister Romney, Lamentation.
I have thought about this idea of Adam and Eve and what we learn from them regarding our lives – marriage, our relationship to God, and our deep motivations (why we do things; what is it in our human nature that drives us). It has always been one of my beliefs that the story of Adam and Eve, whether you take it literally, as metaphor, or as both it was a reflection of how God created us to be.
One of the lessons that I learned so long ago was the lesson with the fruit in the garden. After Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, Heavenly Father came to visit them. He had promised that visit, so the only surprise to Adam and Eve was that they now realized that they were “naked” or exposed or transparent. When Adam and Eve heard God’s voice they hid. Why did they hide? The scriptures say it was because they were naked and they were afraid. But where or when did God say he was coming to judge them or chastise them? Never, He did not. Yet Adam and Eve hid. When questioned they started blaming each other and other things around them (the woman, the snake, etc). This first lesson from Adam and Eve is a powerful one. It really sets up a pattern for our human interactions and relationship with God. How do we choose to see this relationship?
When we start to consider how we choose to interact with God it is easy to understand why a poem (which reflects I believe many peoples hearts) like Lamentation. If there is any irony in the Gospel it is in the fact that often we have to “lose” something to “gain” something greater. I have not lost any children, because I have none, but I cannot even imagine what thoughts ran through Eve’s mind and what feelings ran through her heart that day she found out she lost both of her sons?
To me one of the wrestles with God is to come to a place where we can understand the loses and look forward to the “gains” (or blessings) that God promises. It was easy to put my heart and my thoughts with Eve on this journey. In the questions for consideration it was asked, “How is marriage and family life similar to the experiences of Adam and Eve?” The question really is, HOW IS IT NOT?
After my initial post for class, I received a few questions from a fellow student and wanted to address them here.
One is what is your view on relationships?
I have always had some what of an up and down view of relationships. I think that relationships are good and I tend to idealize them. When I struggle with my own personal relationships I tend to have more of a negative view of relationships. I can see the pattern and I am hopefully able to course correct before I get too far down on myself and the idea of relationships.
How does incorporating Heavenly Father in our relationships change a relationship?
I love this question for a few reasons. The most important thing that happens when we incorporate Heavenly Father into our relationships is that we start to change from the inside out. The gift to be changed from the inside out is something we couldn’t do without Heavenly Father’s help. Heavenly Father asks us to look at ourselves first and then ask Him where we need to improve. This way of change is so important because one thing we cannot change is if our spouse or family member changes. If they never change (the way we want them to) then at least we have changed and we are better for that.
How did Adam and Eves relationship change in the garden and out of the garden?
In the garden Adam and Eve were free from the trials and hardships of living a mortal life. They were in a perfect state, not knowing good from evil. They did not have any reason not to love each other. When Adam and Eve left the garden they were removed from God’s presence. In that they were exposed to life as we know it know. They, like us are expected to learn about life and love and how to rely on Heavenly Father in those pursuits. In this they would know good from evil and joy from sorrow. Heavenly Father knew that this would be the best plan for us so we could become like Him. We have been taught that marriage is the ideal proving ground for us to learn to love like the Savior and your Father in Heaven.