Our Dual Nature- 2 Nephi 2:11

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

COMMENTARY

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things
Life without contrast would be meaningless. If there were not two separate states then one would not require any action to reach the desired state, they would already be there. If there were two separate states, but no medium of resistance between them, then one would not require any effort to reach the desired state, they would transition freely.
Doing good would be meaningless, if good was the only option. Doing good would also meaningless, if evil existed, but there was no temptation to perform it. We call someone’s actions good because of how they overcome the opposition to do that good.

Having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility
Adam and Eve may have had the perfect paradise in Eden, but could they possibly have realized such? Could they be grateful for health and comfort having never experienced sickness or pain? Could they be happy having never felt sorrowful? Was giving birth to children even an option when there wasn’t a possibility for death at the other end of the spectrum?
God does want us to be innocent, but can we say He wants us to be ignorant?
In the Garden of Eden everything was clean, but it meant nothing because filthiness wasn’t an option. Again, if all God wanted was cleanliness, all He had to do was not plant a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But He did, and through that filthiness entered the world, and now being restored to cleanliness requires a difficult path of repentance on our part and the sacrifice of God’s Son. Wouldn’t this suggest that the difficult path was His intention for us? That the value is in the struggle?

Our Dual Nature- Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17; 3:6-7, 22

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened.
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.

COMMENTARY

And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow…the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
I personally cannot accept the notion that the Fall of mankind was somehow an accident, or in any way contrary to God’s plan for us. If God did not want Adam and Eve to ever leave the Garden of Eden the solution would be simple: just don’t plant the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the first place!
But God did plant it. And I think that’s an important detail as well. God planted it. It was not a tree created by Satan, its fruit was the creation of the ultimate source of good in the universe.
However God did not stop with planting this tree either, He also planted the idea. By calling it out directly and placing a stipulation that whoever eats of it will become mortal, He is laying the law for Adam and Eve’s eventual fall.

A tree to be desired to make one wise
And the eyes of them both were opened
The man is become as one of us, to know good and evil

Did Adam and Eve bring mortality, sickness, and sorrow upon the human race through their decision? Yes. But there was a blessing mingled with that curse: Adam and Eve and all their posterity gained understanding, the ability to discern between right and wrong. And as we will see in later passages this study, this knowledge was something God always intended for us to obtain.


I’m going to go ahead and give my own opinions right now. This is my personal reasoning, and you are free to disagree with it. But to me this sequence is confusing so long as I view it as God making a commandment, and them breaking it. What makes more sense to me is God giving them a choice, and them deciding which path they wish to follow.
Could it be that God was saying to them: “This tree will give you knowledge of good and evil, a truly wonderful gift. But to be able to comprehend evil would make you susceptible to it as well. As such you would not be able to stay in this pristine and sterile garden. You would have to leave, and you would have to die. You can stay here in perfection but never have knowledge, or you can persevere through anguish to find true joy. The choice is yours.”
Could it be that God was proud of their choice, even as His own rules required banishing them to this world? Personally, I think so.