Eve, knowledge, and free agency

We were discussing 2 Nephi 2 in Gospel Doctrine class today. Naturally, part of the discussion revolved around Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

It started with the instructor asking if the freedom to choose existed in the Garden of Eden. Surprisingly, I heard a lot of vocal yeses. I did hear some nos, but they were definitely fewer. I brought up the fact that no one forced Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good of evil; they chose to eat it. As a result, the freedom to choose must have existed.

One class member stated Adam and Eve were innocent, thus not knowing fully the consequences of their decisions. Someone else responded to that saying they may have been innocent, but they were not stupid.

This same person suggested that Eve consciously decided to eat the fruit in order to fulfil the commandment they had to have the children. Of course, he said it in a way that made it seem that women are always more spiritual than men (emphasizing that Adam was not thinking about children as much), and the instructor responded, “Isn’t that typical?”

Typical indeed. That sort of sexism really gets my blood going.

Anyhow, I pointed out that every source we have regarding the discussuion between Satan and Eve was about Eve gaining knowledge. Never once did they discuss the idea to have children. Even 2 Ne. 2:18 supports this:

Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

In fact, it wasn’t even until after she had eaten the fruit that she even raises the topic of children. Presumably, this means she didn’t even consider such long term issues until after gaining more knowledge.