From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Campbell, Beverly
Eve, first woman of earthly creation, companion of Adam, and mother and matriarch of the human race, is honored by Latter-day Saints as one of the most important, righteous, and heroic of all the human family. Eve's supreme gift to mankind, the opportunity of life on this earth, resulted from her choice to become mortal.
Eve, Adam, Abraham, and others were among the noble and great ones involved with the creation of the earth (Abr. 3:22-24; cf. McConkie, p. 59). God foreordained her and named her Eve, "the Mother of All Living"; in the Garden of Eden Adam called her Eve, reflecting that calling (Moses 4:26). She was created spiritually and physically in the same manner as was Adam (MD, p. 242). God called their name Adam, and "in the image of his own body, male and female, created he them" (Moses 6:9).
Eve and Adam faced a dilemma as they sought to obey God's commandments. They could not keep the primary commandment to have children as long as they remained nonmortals in the Garden (2 Ne. 2:22-23). The instruction not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, however, was uniquely modified with the words "nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself" (Moses 3:16-17), and becoming mortal was expressly stated as the consequence.
Satan was present to tempt Adam and Eve, much as he would try to thwart others in their divine missions: "And he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world" (Moses 4:6; cf. Matt. 4:3-11; Moses 1:12-22; JS-H 1:15-16). Eve faced the choice between selfish ease and unselfishly facing tribulation and death (Widtsoe, p. 193). As befit her calling, she realized that there was no other way and deliberately chose mortal life so as to further the purpose of God and bring children into the world.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly affirms that in partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Eve along with Adam acted in a manner pleasing to God and in accord with his ordained plan (see Fall of Adam). Brigham Young explained: "The Lord knew they would do this and he had designed that they should" (JD 10:103). "We should never blame Mother Eve, not the least" (JD 13:145). Adam and Eve "accepted a great challenge . They chose wisely in accordance with the heavenly law of love for others" (Widtsoe, p. 194). Afterward, in one of the earliest recorded statements in scripture, Eve recounted the Plan of Salvation as she expounded on the joy prepared for humankind in eternity: "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient" (Moses 5:10-11).
Loving parents in heaven prepared Eve and Adam for their roles in mortality. After the Fall, God gave Adam and Eve the law of sacrifice so that they could obtain forgiveness of sins committed in mortality (Moses 5:5). He placed enmity (an abhorrence of evil) between Eve's seed and Satan and his followers (Moses 4:21). God granted to Eve the powers of motherhood, disclosing the difficult labor of childbirth. The Hebrew word rendered "sorrow" (Gen. 3:16-17) does not connote "sadness," but "labor," or "sweat," or "pain."
Adam and Eve were husband and wife. While in the Garden, God sealed them in eternal marriage (Gen. 2:22-24). God instructed Eve, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen. 3:16). President Spencer W. Kimball explained that the Hebrew word translated as "rule" would better be understood as ""preside' because that's what he does" (Ensign [Mar. 1976]:72), and the husband presides only in righteousness (see Family: Teachings About the Family). Correlatively, God introduced Eve to Adam in terms that are rendered into English by the phrase "an help meet for him"; these words mean "to be strong, to help, rescue, or save" and "to meet, to correspond to, to be equal," thus indicating that Eve was to be a strong, saving partner in righteousness (Gen. 2:18).
The Lord himself made coats of skins and clothed Adam and Eve (Moses 4:27). Eve bore unto Adam sons and daughters. She worked with Adam. They prayed to the Lord and heard his voice (Moses 5:4-5). They made "all things known" to their children and taught them to read, write, and to keep records of family remembrance (Moses 5:12;6:5-6).
Eve is a "joint-participant with Adam in all his ministry, [and] will inherit jointly with him all the blessings appertaining to his high state of exaltation" (MD, p. 242). President Joseph F. Smith saw her in vision in 1918: among the great and mighty ones in the celestial congregation of the righteous, he beheld "our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages and worshipped the true and living God" (D&C 138:39).
The fall of Eve and Adam is profoundly significant: they opened the way of mortality for all humankind, and they subjected themselves to death in order to make continued progression toward eternal life possible. Mother Eve bestowed upon her daughters and sons a heritage of honor, for she acted with wisdom, love, and unselfish sacrifice.
McConkie, Bruce R. "Eve and the Fall." In Woman, pp. 57-68. Salt Lake City, 1979.
Nibley, Hugh W. "Patriarchy and Matriarchy." CWHN 1:87-114.
Smith, Joseph Fielding. "Was the Fall of Adam Necessary?" Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 4, pp. 79-83. Salt Lake City, 1963.
Widtsoe, John A. "Was the "Fall' Inevitable?" Evidences and Reconciliations, pp. 192-95. Salt Lake City, 1987.