This afternoon, we had a family from our ward over for dinner. The missionaries were here, too. I have been home teaching this family for several years, and the husband has agreed to take the missionary lessons. After dinner, we retired to the family room for a discussion of the plan of salvation.
During the lesson, I was trying to figure out whether I was one of those helpful members who offers supportive comments and an occasional well-placed testimony or one of those nightmare members who takes over the lesson. If you have to ask yourself that question, chances are that you are saying too much. But can I help it if I have thought a lot about the pre-existence?
Anyway, when we finally reached Adam and Eve, my friend asked the missionaries, “Why couldn’t Adam and Eve have children before eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge?” Our missionaries, who are among the best teaching missionaries I have ever met, immediately turned to 2 Nephi 2:23-23:
And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. 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.
“Ok,” my friend repeated, “but why no children?”
One of the Elders referred to Adam and Eve’s “state of innocence,” implying that they were like little children and thus incapable of intercourse. Hmm. That doesn’t fit very well with my image of them, though I suppose that could be right.
Looking back at the scriptures, I am tempted to rest on one more verse from the foregoing passage: “But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.” I can live with that, but if anyone has a better answer, I would like to hear it.
Why couldn’t Adam and Eve have children while in a “state of innocence”?