In the grand scope of things, I think we humans really are quite inquisitive. We have gotten where we are in modern times by asking a lot of questions and exploring and researching until we get the answers. We have traveled 250 thousand miles through space and have walked on the Moon. We have cured diseases that killed thousands just a century ago and have made progress towards many advancements which will improve our life even more. We have really come a long way in a relatively short period of time which has only increased exponentially in the past century or so. However, one of the biggest questions which leads many people to religion is the question of "why are we here?"
The Mormons have an interesting answer to this question, which in many ways is similar to that of other Christian philosophies. It's to be tested. Not only that, but the Mormons believe that we are here to learn the difference between Good and Evil. Many a time while I was a member of the Church (anytime a Mormon refers to "the Church" he is referring to the Mormon Church, as for a Mormon there is only one, true church) I would give a talk during a baptism and would explain that this Earth is a great laboratory, where we can learn to distinguish Good from Evil. For, since there was no Evil in the preexistence where we lived with God, how could we know the difference. (As an aside, I will not go into the ability of humans to learn abstract things without having to experience them ourselves. For instance, I don't have to be eaten, or partially eaten by a lion to understand that I really have no desire to experience such an outcome.) So, no Evil where we were, so we had to come to a place where we could get a little Evil on us so we would know the difference.
Of course, like many things in my life, this led me to a new conundrum. (Yes, it is possible that I think too much, but that will be addressed in a future blog.) What about the tree of knowledge? God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and gave them some commandments. First, take care of the garden. God did not take all that time and energy making a fantastic paradise to live in for Adam and Eve to wreck the place. I mean, who wants the Master of the Universe to complain about how he has never seen a more disgusting pig sty in his whole life, and why are your clothes all over the floor? Oh, wait, sorry, no clothes yet, but you get the picture. They were supposed to keep the place nice, so the neighbors wouldn't complain about the property values going down. (This was most probably a gated community, as there were dinosaurs and cavemen outside the Garden, so you'd want the Covenants to be pretty strict.) They were also supposed to be fruitful and multiply. Now, there is a lot of argument about the ability for Adam and Eve to be able to do this. I don't see what the problem is. You put two naked adults together, without any television or other electronics to distract the guy, and sooner or later stuff will happen. I mean, it's not rocket science. Tab A, Slot B, and viola. Lastly, they were told not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
So, pretty simple. But the question is, do you mean to tell me that there is a fruit out there that will give me the knowledge of Good and Evil? Just eat some fruit and one of the main reasons for being here is done? And why would God then forbid them to eat of it? And more importantly, if they can't have it, why put the damn tree in the garden anyway? I mean, I don't put a bowl of rat poison on the table at dinner time and then tell my kids not to eat it, for in the day that they do they will surely die. What's the point of that? Here's my plan with the fruit. You need people to have the knowledge, so you start feeding them the fruit of that tree as soon as they start eating solids. Then all your creations have what they need to succeed and then you can test them when they know the answers. When have you taken a test in school without learning the material first?
It was pointed out to me that the whole tree thing may be a metaphor. The fruit wasn't what gave them knowledge of Good and Evil, it was the act of disobeying God. Huh. Interesting. So, God could have just picked out a random fruit tree, say apple, and then told them that the apple tree was forbidden because it was the Tree of Knowledge and presto, it is because that is now the forbidden tree. I like to think that the kumquat is the forbidden fruit. I just like to say Kumquat. Kumquat. It has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? The kumquat was forbidden and the serpent (probably a carryover of dinojesus. You mess with my stuff, I mess with yours. See the February blog for more details.) talks Eve into eating some. It was delicious to the taste and very desirable. That is the reason why all females from then on out had no power in the church or ability to gainsay the men. It was obvious from the first that they couldn't be trusted and would pay too much attention to serpents and other snake like things.
Still. Sounds like a pretty messed up plan from the get go. I just can't see why you would start your whole creation out in such a shoddy manner. I mean, you're God. Make kumquats have the ability to give knowledge and let people decide for themselves. Why does everything have to be so obscure? Its bad enough that your gospel was taken from the earth for 1700 years or so and had to be restored. And now, even after the fact, there are 13 million members of the "true church" out of over 7 billion people on the earth, and your baptism rate isn't even coming close to keeping up with population growth. You also have the problem that the majority of people on the earth aren't even Christian. And that is after 2000 years of trying to convert everybody. The whole plan needs a major project manager. Or, knowledge giving kumquats.