Editor's note: Our bi-weekly Friday column, “Found in the footnotes,” explores some of the footnotes from remarks given by General Authorities and General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I recently spent a significant amount of time studying the new proclamation. As I have done so, two lines have really stood out to me: “Two hundred years have now elapsed since this Restoration was initiated by God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ” and “We gladly declare that the promised Restoration goes forward through continuing revelation.”
As these lines have reverberated in my mind during this bicentennial year, I have often thought about how we should celebrate not only the anniversary of the miraculous First Vision two hundred years ago, but also all that came after. After all, the proclamation states the “Restoration was initiated” and “the promised Restoration goes forward.”
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf stressed the importance of the ongoing Restoration in the April 2014 general priesthood session:
Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now.
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Part of the Restoration is the Lord revealing to us “many great and important things” (A of F 1:9). As I look back on the last 200 years of restoration, I am often amazed at the truths the Lord has given us.
One of these truths is found in President Jean B. Bingham’s April 2020 conference talk, “United in Accomplishing God’s Work,” and it isn’t something I have typically included in my list of truths from the Restoration.
President Bingham taught that Adam and Eve “learned to work together and became united in accomplishing the purposes God had for them—and for all of His children. . . . Because they understood that their earthly purpose and eternal goal were identical, they found satisfaction and success in learning to labor in love and righteousness together.”
But with time, President Bingham notes, the adversary became successful in his goal to divide men and women. She said:
A full understanding of the divinely interdependent and yet differing contributions and responsibilities of women and men largely disappeared. Females in many societies became subservient to males rather than side-by-side partners, their activities limited to a narrow scope. Spiritual progress slowed to a trickle during those dark times; indeed, little spiritual light could penetrate minds and hearts steeped in traditions of dominance.
Then the Restoration came, and as it “continued to unfold, men and women began to realize anew the importance and potential of working as partners, authorized and directed in this sacred labor by Him.”
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In the second footnote of her talk, President Bingham shares the following in relation to Moses 5:1–12:
These verses teach of Adam and Eve’s true partnership: they had children together (verse 2); they labored together in providing for themselves and their family (verse 1); they prayed together (verse 4); they obeyed the commandments of God and offered sacrifices together (verse 5); they learned (verses 4, 6–11) and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to their children together (verse 12).
In her book, Eve and Adam, author Melinda Wheelright Brown further explains:
Relying only on the Genesis account tragically discounts Eve’s place in their partnership because these crucial details are completely absent. As Dr. Camille Fronk Olson has observed, “An acceptance and appreciation for the mutual dependence that God designed to exist between man and woman is one of the most important purposes of the scriptural record.”1 The significance of this restored section is apparent from the very first verse: “and Eve . . . did labor with him.” President Marion G. Romney expounded specifically on the powerful implications of this phrase, explaining, “The word with as used here is very significant. It means more than physical labor. It connotes a common purpose, understanding, cooperation, and love.”2 It means they were united.
In footnote 11 of her talk, President Bingham references a 2007 article by Elder Bruce R. Hafen and Sister Marie K. Hafen, “Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners.” Elder Hafen served as a General Authority Seventy from 1996–2010, and is now an Emeritus General Authority. In the article, the couple writes:
The restored gospel teaches the eternal idea that husbands and wives are interdependent with each other. They are equal. They are partners. . . . But equal partnerships are not made in heaven—they are made on earth, one choice at a time, one conversation at a time, one threshold crossing at a time. And getting there is hard work.
Seeing through the world's sometimes misconstrued view on marriage and applying the teachings of interdependency takes work. Applying the teachings of interdependency takes work. In fact, applying many of the restored teachings of the gospel takes work. But the reward is great. President Bingham testified that as “we strive to overcome cultural bias and instead embrace divine patterns and practices” we will feel “greater joy than we have ever experienced.” And that joy is worth the effort.
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Eve and Adam offers a fresh and insightful perspective into the perfect plan of happiness. With clarity and careful thought, it presents a solid case for the necessity of a firm understanding of the honor due to our glorious Mother Eve as well as Father Adam. Simultaneously, Eve and Adam provides an opportunity for deep pondering and reflection on how our mortal experiences, coupled with our Savior's support, can facilitate the progress and learning needed to exalt each of us day by day, one step at a time. Eve's and Adam's story, then, deeply matters to ours. Available now at DeseretBook.com.
- Olson, Camille Fronk. Women of the Old Testament. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 2009.
- Romney, Marion G. In Conference Report, Mexico City Area Conference 1977.