Every Thursday morning I leave the house early to head over to the temple. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about relationships. A couple weeks back I had a small thought that I needed to "learn more about Eve". Last Thursday morning, I met up with Derek and he mentioned to me a personal thought he had regarding Adam and Eve, as he related his thoughts to me I had the distinct feeling to read a book that was once recommended to me nearly two and half to three years ago, "Eve And The Choice Made In Eden".
Days later, in a separate conversation with one of my closest friends, Chelsea discussed the value of vulnerability and "like Adam and Eve, we too must stand naked in front of God, admitting our weakness regardless our embarrassment". Again the thought came to me that I needed to read that Eve book.
Every Thursday evening after work I drive 45min up to Bountiful to see my children. Often and after spending time with my kiddos, I like to stop over at my aunt's house grab a few bites to eat and check in on the cousins. Leaving to head home, my hand twisting the door knob, my Aunt called out from the kitchen "Hugh, before you leave I bought you a book. I was in the temple a few days ago and had the strongest impression that I needed to get you this book. So, here ya go."
Yap, it was the book: "Eve and The Choice Made In Eden".
Typically, I read at least two books a month. I am on the last two chapters of Bonhoeffer's biography, I'm half way through the Book of Mormon, and a few chapters into my 5th read of Jesus The Christ, and half way through Alonzo Gaskill's book "Remember: Sacred Truths We Must Never Forget." I've decided to shelf these and put my priority and full attention into this Eve book. I finished it in less than 48hrs. It's worth the read.
The easiest way I can share my thoughts, are probably to transfer some of my journal entries on this book.
Journal Entry, July, 26th 2015
"...As we understand Eve, I believe men will respect women more easily. I feel sick to think back on how deeply I loved a girl whom I wanted with all my heart to be my Eve and how poorly I prioritized her influence and presence in my life. The nausea may never leave my soul.
Tonight; I go to the Temple. I'm excited bc I've got some questions from my readings. I'm really digging into Eves story and experience. They showed one of the OLD videos tonight!! What?? Ok, well there are no coincidences, so what am I to learn from Eve? There's a reason. I believe the reason is in Eve's question.
The old video feels dry with no emotion. The new ones are emotional. The emotion changes the interpretation of the performance.
In previous study, I've felt the way Eve asks her question leads the listener to be influenced that Eve may not be interested in following all of Gods commandments whereas Adam comes off as Captain Obedient.
The Eve book I'm reading begins by helping the reader realize that our pop culture presents Eve in a way that drives the current degradations of women. To think erroneously of Eve is to think erroneously of all women.
Misunderstanding Eve causes one to misunderstand the entire story. And it's a love story!
Remember the Count of Monte Cristo- It's only when Mercedes has a chance to explain the predicament she was in immediately after Edmond was taken to the Chateau d'ifthat you fully understand her intentions and her heart; Edmond, now the Count of Monte Cristo begins to soften his heart. The issue all along appears to be Mercedes when in fact it's both of their challenge, equally weighted to their shoulders, that they must carry together. Mercedes is the one, throughout the story, that is true and faithful. She is the one who approaches Edmond, as Eve did Adam.
Eve figured out the predicament. She solved for X and she understood the riddle; and it was about family not self- she was right, and she knew it would mean change. Hard, life changing change. Eve is courageous. Adam, like most men, was perfectly content with himself. Gardening in Eden, petting lions and riding rhinos, enjoying his ideal environment - an epic man cave, literally built by God, here in Eden Adam truly is 'the man'.
Is Eve's question completely unrelated to her own levels of obedience? Her question seems to put Adam's level of obedience into question, and in Eden her question would be more a proposition than a condemnation- she is the embodiment of perfection; perfectly loving, soft spoken and naturally empathetic. Empathy bridges all separations.
In that moment, as history would actually show it, it may not have been a question at all, but suredly it would not have been a 30-sec discussion either, but in the cliff note version taught in the temple, and with baby boomer stoicism it is presented to appeal to their reasoning & processing.
Today, in a world with little to no verbal expression we trade our heartfelt words with emojis and YouTube music videos to tell others how we are feeling. A renewed focus on our first parent's emotions, tells me how Adam & Eve may have actually felt.
This helps me; especially, as I search for depth in a shallow world.
The incredible part about Adam is that he stepped out of his man cave to follow one specific commandment- I discovered it a few weeks ago (unexpectedly). The choice Eve makes is to be with her children. The choice Adam makes is to be with his wife. Above all else, Adam chose Eve; that is loyalty, fierce loyalty.
When SEALs come home from battle the doctors work with them for a few sessions to gauge any existing level of PTS/D that may be present. Doctors teach, remind & instruct regarding the sacrifices their spouses have made. Doctors remind SEALs when the wheels touch the Tarmac they need to greet their wives first, then the children. When soldiers experience the effects post traumatic stresses from war's hardest moments, they often default to the innocence of their children with a feeling and confidence to protect and a sweetness they can fully trust.
The principle is to always choose Eve. Always.
From Adams perspective his world has just been rocked by Eves proposition for children (sigh... Women) and with her agency she partakes.
Adam is now faced with a incredible challenge to remain inside physical paradise (garden) with emotional loneliness or remain emotionally secure with Eve- God's greatest gift to Adam. Adam chose a dreary world of loneliness in exchange of always being able to hold his Eve tightly; nightly.
It's an incredible love story."