The Doctrine of Original Sin - Historical Development
Paul's view that Adam's
fall introduced sin and death (Rom. 5:12) led Augustine (fifth century CE) to
develop the doctrine of original sin: that Adam's fall perverted all humanity
and that its effects were passed by hereditary transmission from generation to
generation. The belief that Adam, as a corporate personality was responsible for
the sins of humanity was never adopted by Judaism and was resisted by Christian
thinkers such as Pelagius and Julian of Eclanum (fifth century CE), but
Augustine's interpretation of the Fall became the accepted doctrine of Catholic
Christianity. (The Oxford
Illustrated Companion to the Bible, edited by
Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan [New York: Tess Press, 2008], 89)
(The Oxford Illustrated Companion to the Bible, edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan [New York: Tess Press, 2008], 89)
Original Sin - The Catholic
The Cause of Physical Death
James E. Talmage
Here let me say that therein consisted the fall -- the eating of things unfit, the taking into the body of the things that made of that body a thing of earth: and I take this occasion to raise my voice against the false interpretation of scripture, which has been adopted by certain people, and is current in their minds, and is referred to in a hushed and half-secret way, that the fall of man consisted in some offense against the laws of chastity and virtue. Such a doctrine is an abomination. What right have we to turn the scriptures from their proper sense and meaning? What right have we to declare that God meant not what He said? The fall was a natural process, resulting through the incorporation into the bodies of our first parents of the things that came from food unfit, through the violation of the command of God regarding what they should eat. (Conference Report, Oct 1913)
The man and the woman
had now become mortal; through indulgence in food unsuited to their nature
and condition and against which they had been specifically warned, and
as the inevitable result of their disobeying the divine law and commandment,
they became liable to the physical ailments and bodily frailties to which
mankind has since been the natural heir. Those bodies, which before the
fall had been perfect in form and function, were now subjects for eventual
dissolution or death. (Jesus the Christ, p18)
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Latter-day Prophets Teach Obedience
Every son and daughter of God is expected to obey with a willing heart every word which the Lord has spoken, and which he will in the future speak to us. It is expected that we hearken to the revelations of his will, and adhere to them, cleave to them with all our might; for this is salvation, and any thing short of this clips the salvation and the glory of the Saints.
(Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 220)
Joseph Fielding Smith
I have been asked the question, what evidence we have that there is a life after death. One rather prominent educator has recently declared that we have no evidence whatever of a life after death, because no one has ever returned. I dispute that statement and declare that it not true.
The best evidence that we have or that we may receive of eternal life, of the resurrection or restoration of the spirit and body after death, is that which comes to us through obedience to the gospel and the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord. There is no greater evidence than this.
The Savior said: "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
That is a key that unlocks the door to knowledge of our eternal existence. If men will follow that instruction, they will know the truth, and they will realize that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world; that he arose from the dead and on the third day after his resurrection appeared to his disciples. Not only that, but that the graves were opened, as the scriptures say, "And many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy, city, and appeared unto many."
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 294)
Howard W. Hunter
Obedience is often referred to as the first law of heaven. It is a requirement and therefore a principle of the gospel for which all persons will be held accountable. Like other principles of the gospel, we will not be compelled, however, to be obedient against our will. The basic principle of free agency gives us the election to obey or disobey.
(Howard W. Hunter, The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 21)
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