12 February 2010

The False Apron and the Tree of Death and Rebirth

We read in Moses 4:13 that after Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, "the eyes of them both were opened." In other Old Testament instances, this phrase connotes a sudden vision of hidden things. By this change they realize that they "had been naked." The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob equates a "perfect knowledge" of "nakedness" with "guilt" and "uncleanness" while associating the perfect knowledge of the "righteous" with "enjoyment" and "being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness."

Partaking of the fruit of the tree allowed Adam and Eve to begin to experience and distinguish good from evil—the “opposition in all things” described in 2 Nephi 2:11. In demonstration of her new capacity for discernment, Eve immediately “sees through Satan’s disguise of clever hypocrisy, identifies him, and exposes him for what he is.”

Unlike the richly-described, finely-nuanced account of the temptation dialogue, the tightly-coupled chain of verbs that follow it (“took,” “eat,” “gave,” “eat”) “indicate rapid, single-minded action”—nothing more is said, seen, or felt until the moment we are told that the eyes of Adam and Eve are opened. Then, at once, the hurried action restarts (“sewed,” “made”)—all the frantic movements proclaiming loudly, by their silent execution, the anguished undertone of shame and fear—“the physical act... as an expression of an inner state of an alarm.” The desired effect of this economical yet artful mode of narrative construction is to help the perceptive reader understand that the Lord God, Adam and Eve’s benevolent provider, who has been absent from their minds throughout the previous episode, has now reentered their thoughts with painful effect...

Full text

No comments:

Post a Comment