Let’s talk about Adam and Eve. So, God created Adam first because he was the most important. Then God realized Adam would need an assistant, so he created Eve expressly for this purpose. He made her from Adam’s rib because she was kind of an afterthought and He was out of other materials. God told Adam and Eve not to eat a certain fruit but Eve was naughty and disobeyed God. Then she peer-pressured Adam into sinning as well. They were both kicked out of their garden for this bad behavior but since Eve started the whole thing, she was cursed with some extra punishments, including having Adam rule over her forever after. Like Eve, modern wives are also expected to let their husbands rule over them.
In a few weeks, we will start studying the book of Genesis in Sunday School. I have never had a Sunday School lesson about Eve and Adam that was quite as bad as my opening paragraph to this post. However, it is not uncommon for something to be said during an Eve and Adam discussion that hurts my feminist ears.
This time around, I am prepared. I have collected a list of less obnoxious, and sometimes even empowering, ways to interpret the Eve and Adam story.
I do not presume to know if any of these interpretations are correct. I almost don’t care. Frankly, I am incredulous about the value of using a story about two specific cave people to regulate all modern male/female relationships. Yet, some of these less obnoxious interpretations do demonstrate that the Eve and Adam story can be interpreted with insight relevant to modern life. At the least, a classroom comment about any of these less obnoxious ideas could be used to derail an Adam and Eve discussion headed in an ugly direction.
|Less Obnoxious Interpretation||Further Reading|
|The creation story describes a progression to increasingly more complex organisms. Eve was created last because the female human body is the most complex organism.||Daughters of God by Gordon B.Hinckley|
|An helpmeet is an equal.||Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners by Bruce C. Hafen Helpmate Vs. Help Meet by Frank PelletThe Curse of Eve by Zenaida|
|The creation of Eve from Adam’s rib is a symbol of men and women walking side by side as equal partners.||Lessons from Eve by Russell M. Nelson|
|God gave Adam and Eve two conflicting commandments in order to allow them to make their own choice. Eve was the first to recognize that leaving the garden, raising a family and learning to distinguish good from evil was more important than avoiding the fruit.||Moses 5:112 Nephi 2:22-25What It Means to Be a Daughter of God by James E. FaustThe Great Plan of Happiness by Dallin H.Oaks|
|Adam was commanded to rule with Eve, together as partners, rather than rule over her.||Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners by Bruce C. HafenEqual Partnership in Marriage by Valerie Hudson and Richard Miller|
|The curse of Eve is a description of some of the natural consequences of life in a fallen world; it is not proscriptive of how women should be treated.||Issues in Contemporary Mormon Feminism by Lynn Matthews AndersonThe Curse of Eve by Zenaida|