Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Eve and the Choice Made in Eden"

At the suggestion of Laura, today I purchased a book titled, "Eve and the Choice Made in Eden" by Beverly Campbell. It expounds on the concepts taught about the partaking of the fruit. A choice made by Eve in the garden.

I am still in the process of reading the book but have been excited by several of the thoughts she suggests. She quotes from the prophets and apostles; past and present to help explain the original plan of our Father.

I would like to share some of these suggestions. I do this not solely for the benefit of others but also for my own benefit that I might review them again and feel of the same joy that I've felt as I've read them initially.

At the beginning of the book she quotes from Elder John A. Widtsoe:
"In life all must choose at times. Sometimes, two possibilities are good; neither is evil. Usually, however, one is of greater import than the other. When in doubt, each must choose that which concerns the good of others - the greater law - rather than that which chiefly benefits ourselves - the lesser law. The greater must be chosen whether it be law or thing. That was the choice made in Eden."

As was Eve's choice in the Garden, I think that generally women do choose the greater law, that which benefits others more often than that which benefits ourselves. So often I see mothers; young and old, sisters in the gospel, sisters in families, friends at work or elsewhere, make the choice to serve others rather than self.

My thoughts are drawn to my daughter-in-law (I add the "in-law" for clarification only since I think of her as my own daughter) Jenni who is in her 8th month of pregnancy. She could tell you her exact week but since I came from an older generation where we simply counted months, I'll say her "eighth month". During the labor of her first child, she was pushed to the limits of her ability to endure a very hard and long labor only to be rushed into emergency surgery for a C-section delivery. We were all very thankful to a kind and loving Heavenly Father who protected both her and baby Preston but it still is difficult for Jenni to imagine doing it all over again. Since she has become pregnant with a second child she has wished that she could have a normal birth this time. However, we all know that she will do whatever is necessary to bring this child into this world. A choice for the greater good rather than a choice for herself.

It is not unusual to the conscious observer to find that same quality in many woman's lives!! Perhaps, we inherited it from our mortal mother Eve.

Another passage in Beverly's book caught my attention and my heart. In chapter 4 she labels a subsection, "God's Unique and Special Gift of Discernment" and therein she discusses "the ability to see beyond the literal to the divine essential" as being God's gift to women. "Daily, women must make decisions based on things not seen or even known clearly. Often these decisions require great leaps of faith. Frequently these decisions must be based on what serves the greater good for the greatest number. Often such decisions require women to set aside their own well being in favor of another's.

Again, another daughter comes to mind. My oldest daughter Tessha suffers from some difficult health issues which often put her in her bed for days at a time. She truly does strive to be up and active and involved in life for she loves life, but the situation does not always allow her those wishes. However, she still reaches out in service to others. She is preparing to make a journey by bus over several hundreds of miles to be in Jenni's home and help her prepare for this baby. She prepared herself for this service by giving up the chance to travel with us so that she could "rest up" and be ready to help Jenni once she arrived in Seattle. A another choice for the greater good.

I'm sure we could all add story after story of this concept.

Beverly continues, "The very process of bearing children illustrates this truth dramatically. It is a source of strength and comfort to many women to know that inherent in their divine nature is this innate ability to be in tune with God's purposes." It is "innate" for us to "be in tune with God's purposes". Let me say that again. It is "innate" for us to "be in tune with God's purposes". How majestic! How glorious!

"Even more awe-inspiring is the knowledge that the Lord has such abiding faith in women's judgment and wisdom. By His very actions, He has shown women that He wants them to claim and properly act on this gift. Women are surely beloved of the Lord for Him to have placed them in such a position. As He relies on women to embrace the greater law, to bow to the greater commandment, He affirms their intellect, their integrity and their righteousness."

These are a few of her thoughts to Up Lift My Soul.