The expulsion from the Garden of Eden was eloquently described in John Milton’s Paradise Lost:
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide;
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way. (Milton, Paradise Lost 343
No longer would Adam and Eve enjoy the physical companionship of God, but were separated from Him, suffering a spiritual death. How wrenching that must have been. But it is important to remember, that although Adam and Eve had to now toil by the sweat of their brows, every other method of communication with heaven remained open, as it does today, just not face-to-face any longer.
To be shut out from the presence of God was not to lose all communication with him; that would defeat the plan of salvation. Rather, it was to be cast out from his physical presence leaving all other forms of communication open. (Tad R. Callister, The Infinite Atonement, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 36)
The Fall, which was required in order for the plan of salvation to move forward, was a painful time for Adam and Eve. No longer did they simply partake of the fruits and vegetables which spontaneously grew in the garden, no longer were they free of noxious weeds, no longer was life carefree and seamless. They no longer had the companionship of Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ. Life, as they knew it, was now over and mankind’s mortal journey in this world began.
Now they faced an uncharted and unfriendly world. Shelter had to be built. Food had to be found, grown, harvested and prepared. All manner of living, every aspect of eking a living out of this uncharted world was undertaken. And through it all, they never stopped praying or following the commandments they’d been given in the Garden of Eden. Tad R. Callister points out in The Infinite Atonement, that Adam and Eve could not blame God for their mortal travails. Two commandments had been given, one time centered and one not. The Lord clearly outlined the consequences of the time centered commandment, “for in the day thou doest eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shouldst surely die. And, as God promised, Adam lived to be six months shy of 1,000 mortal years.
Because of the Fall, Adam and Eve gave birth to a civilization which culminates in what we have today. Because of the Fall, each of us was given the physical body we’d earned in heaven. Because of the Fall, we are able to learn, grow and progress in mortality that we might avail ourselves of the eternal reward with awaits. Because of the Fall, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into this world and suffered all the pains of the Atonement and then broke the bands of death upon His resurrection. Because of the Fall, Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety in 1830. Because of the Fall we can be what our Father in Heaven always intended for us to be.
So many people, from Adam and Eve on down, have sacrificed, even their very lives, so that you can hold the truth in your heart today and know of your divine heritage. With that knowledge you have two choices to make, to walk that straight and narrow path back to our Savior and eternal salvation, even eternal and great happiness; or you can choose to walk into the darkness and extinguish that divine spark within you, choosing sorrow and permanent separation from our Savior and our Heavenly Father.
Will you turn to Him? Will you acknowledge the sacrifices of Adam and Eve? Will you acknowledge what Jesus Christ suffered so that you gain “immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39)?” Will you take that scarred hand which is outstretched toward you and fulfill the full measure of your creation, in other words, and I quote the Marines here, to be all that you were meant to be, eternally?
We still have the ability to communicate with our Father in Heaven today. The only way you will fully understand who God intends you to be and what He intends for you to do on this earth is through the power of prayer. Although regular face-to-face communication with God was lost with the expulsion, prayer remained. And with prayer, we have a two-way communication channel with Heavenly Father.
Oh yes, the Fall brought about mankind and in so doing enabled us to reach our full potential as sons and daughters of God. Do we vilify Adam and Eve for making that decision, or do we offer them eternal heartfelt love and abounding gratitude for giving us this chance? Oh we thank them, we honor them . . . because of them, we’re here. What will you do with this incredible chance we call life?