Sunday School Lesson 3: The Fall of Adam and Eve

I teach the 12-13 year old sunday school class. We have a large group of tweens in our ward and I consider it a blessing to spend an hour with them each week.
Here is the text for the lesson I am preparing to teach tomorow at church:
The Fall of Adam and Eve
Note to the teacher
The decision of Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit was not a sin, as it is sometimes considered by other Christian churches. It was a transgression—an act that was formally prohibited but not inherently wrong (see Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 98; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 73). The Fall was necessary for us to progress toward exaltation. We have to experience mortality to become like our Father in Heaven, and Adam and Eve fulfilled their mission to make this possible. Help class members appreciate that the Fall of Adam and Eve enabled each of us to receive a body and come to earth to gain experience in choosing between good and evil.
Suggested Lesson Development
The Callings of Adam and Eve
• Imagine you were given the opportunity to live in a world where sickness, sorrow, sin, pain, and death were unknown. Would you like to live in such a world?
Point out that when Adam and Eve were first placed on the earth, they lived in such a world. In the Garden of Eden there was no sorrow, pain, or death. However, Adam and Eve made a choice they knew would require them to leave the Garden of Eden. (Display the picture of Adam and Eve leaving the garden.) This lesson will discuss why they made that choice and how their choice has affected all of us.
Explain that Adam and Eve were chosen in the premortal life for a special mission.
What was their mission?
Why were they chosen to do this?
Help class members realize that Adam and Eve were chosen to be the first people on earth because of their faithfulness. They were among the “noble and great” of our Heavenly Father’s children (see Abraham 3:22). Adam (then known by the name of Michael) helped create the world and was one of those who led the righteous spirits to victory in the war against the rebellious Lucifer.
The Fall
Scripture discussion
• What commandments did God give Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Have class members read Genesis 1:28 (or Moses 2:28) and Genesis 2:16–17 (or Moses 3:16–17) to discover two commandments given to Adam and Eve by Heavenly Father: to multiply and replenish (fill) the earth and to refrain from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Explain that Adam and Eve could not keep both these commandments. If they chose to eat the fruit, they would be cast out of the Garden of Eden. But if they did not eat the fruit and remained in the garden, they would not be able to have children (to “multiply and replenish the earth”). Because the Garden of Eden was a place of innocence, while Adam and Eve lived there they could not change or progress in any way, including having children (see 2 Nephi 2:22–23).
Read or have a class member read the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“To bring the plan of happiness to fruition [fulfillment], God issued to Adam and Eve the first commandment ever given to mankind. It was a commandment to beget children. A law was explained to them. Should they eat from ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ (Genesis 2:17), their bodies would change; mortality and eventual death would come upon them. But partaking of that fruit was prerequisite to their parenthood” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 46; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 34).
Scripture discussion
• What happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Have class members tell what they know about the Fall. Then have a class member read Moses 4:6–12 aloud (you may want to have class members take turns reading one verse each).
• What did Satan say would happen if Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? (See Moses 4:10–11.) Why did he tell Eve this? (See Moses 4:6; emphasize that Satan did not know that eating the fruit was a necessary part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve.)
• Which part of Satan’s argument was true? (See Moses 4:11.) Which part was not true? (See Moses 4:10.) What are some ways Satan combines truth and lies today to persuade us to do what he wants?
• Why did Eve and then Adam eat the fruit?
Help class members understand that Adam and Eve acted with understanding and used freedom of choice. They realized that if they did not eat the fruit, they would not be able to have children and they would not be able to learn to make righteous decisions. They wisely chose to eat the fruit.
Chalkboard discussion
• What are the effects of the Fall on Adam and Eve’s descendants, including us?
Label two columns on the chalkboard: Before the Fall and After the Fall. Have class members develop a list of conditions before the Fall and a list of conditions after the Fall. Following is an example with some suggestions:
No mortal experience
Mortal experience
No testing or probation
Testing and probation
No mortal body
Mortal body
Limited choices
Unlimited choices
No work
No judgment
No sin or opposition
Sin and opposition
No repentance needed
No joy or pain
Joy and pain
No need for a Savior
The Savior and his Atonement
No opportunity for exaltation
Opportunity for exaltation
Scripture discussion
Have class members read 2 Nephi 2:22–25. Suggest that class members mark verse 25 (remind class members not to mark in library copies or borrowed copies of the scriptures).
• What would have happened to Adam and Eve if they had not eaten of the forbidden fruit? (They would have remained in the Garden of Eden without progressing; they would have known no joy because they knew no misery; they would have had no children. Also, God’s plan of salvation would have been frustrated.)
• What would have happened to us if Adam and Eve had not eaten the fruit? (Because they would not have had children, we would not have had the opportunity to be born on this earth.)
Have class members look at 2 Nephi 2:25 again.
• How is the Fall of Adam and Eve essential to your eternal joy? (The Fall enabled us to be born on earth, where we can learn and progress toward exaltation and eternal joy.)
Testify that Adam and Eve made a deliberate choice to partake of the forbidden fruit. Their choice did not come from a desire to disobey the Lord, but from a desire to gain wisdom. Because of this choice, we have the opportunity to come to earth and learn, as Adam and Eve did, how to choose good over evil. Express your gratitude for Adam and Eve and the choice they made.
Encourage class members to follow Adam and Eve’s example and choose good over evil.

Jenny Hatch

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