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My life before the coming of the angel had been full of frustration and a feeling of being caught and held by heavy responsibilities. I had never gotten rid of the guilt of my act which had separated Adam and myself from God. But suddenly now my life had been changed in a very subtle way. The responsibilities had not left me. The times of frustration had not ceased. But now I could face each day with a new sense of purpose. My children and my husband whom I had already loved became very special to me. I now lived with the knowledge that indeed I could see God and be with him again. I now knew that there were other beings who shared the company of God and that someday I too could share it. Being the man that he was I had no doubt that Adam would have this too. I knew his love for the Lord. Now my fierce desire was that my children would share it also.
I believe that I now was becoming a more patient mother. I had five children already, and another was coming. They each had been a miracle to me. Now they were even more of a miracle. Adam had seen that the world would be filled with many families. I must teach each child to know and love the Lord. I must tell them every day, before they walked, before they crawled. I recounted to my children the story of the garden many times. And around the fire at night, Adam told the children of his experience when the angel had visited us. It was as if we celebrated these experiences with our children and with each other.
We continued to work. We continued the sacrifice. It had new meaning to us now that we understood its symbolism. I continued to care for children, and I bore another son. Then in swift succession I bore two daughters. Hephzibah and Merab helped me. As the little boys grew they went with their father to help him and to learn to work.
One morning we were eating and preparing for the day. Adam spoke to me. "Eve, I feel a great need to be alone today."
"Why, is something the matter? Do you have a problem which is bothering you?"
"No, I don't know why I am feeling this way. It is as if I am being called."
"Called? You are not going to leave us are you?" I felt a moment's unreasonable panic.
"No", Adam's laugh was lighthearted. "I am not going to leave you. I wouldn't ever want to do such a thing. I will be gone for the day. If I am not back tonight, don't worry about me. I'll be back."
He finished eating and turned to Nethanel and Beninu. "Nethanel, Beninu, I want you to stay here with your mother today. I have something I have to do today. You stay and protect your mother and the little ones."
"Where are you going? Can't we go too?" asked Nethanel.
"No, I have to go alone. I will be back soon."
Adam headed off with an easy stride. I looked at the faces of Nethanel and Beninu. I could see that it was a great blow to them to be left behind with the smaller children. I turned back to see Adam. What was it he had to do? I knew that at least he would not neglect the flocks. If anything happened to destroy our flocks it could mean disaster.
I wistfully wondered what it would be like to be able to go off by myself the way Adam was doing. I would not want to go far, perhaps only to our ledge where we made the sacrifice. Perhaps I would arrange it sometime.
"Well, Nethanel and Beninu, I know you are disappointed to not be able to go with your father, but while he is gone I really do need you to keep us safe. You must be the men today."
Their chests puffed up with pride. "We know you need us, Mother. We'll look after everything here, won't we, Beninu?" Nethanel boasted.
"Yes, but I hope Father is not gone too long," said Beninu.
I ruffled the hair on both of them with affection and we began our chores for the day.
As the day progressed into evening I began to watch for Adam's return. He had told me not to worry if he didn't come back. I knew that he could take care of himself, and I didn't feel that the children and I were threatened in any way, but I missed him. Always he had been with us at evening time. It didn't seem natural to have him gone.
I prepared our evening meal. The children missed their father also. We each kept watching the path expecting him to come at any time. Finally we said our evening prayer. I put each of the children to bed and then sat by the fire feeling very lonely. At last I decided I must go to bed also.
Just as I had given up on Adam coming home for the night he came up the path. I ran to greet him and threw my arms around his neck.
"Adam, I thought you would never come home. We have missed you. I was about to go to bed without you."
"I came as quickly as I could. Are you too tired to sit up and talk for a while? I have had a wonderful experience today and need to tell you about it."
I was always eager to hear Adam's experiences. I wondered why only Adam had them. "No. I'm not too tired."
We went to sit by the fire and sat together leaning against a rock. Adam sat quietly, I knew from experience that he was gathering his thoughts. I waited patiently.
"I let out the flocks this morning and led them to the river to drink. Then I let them eat by the banks of the river. I had a feeling of expectancy. As the sun was about halfway to its highest point I heard God's voice. He began to talk to me, telling me some things that I already knew. He said that he was God and had created the world."
"'I am God. I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh. If you will, turn to me, and listen to my voice, and believe, and repent of all your transgressions. And be baptized in water, in the name of my Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, whose name is Jesus Christ. His name is the only name which shall be given under heaven, by which salvation shall come to the children of men; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in the name of the Only Begotten. Whatever you ask shall be given to you.'"
"And then I asked the Lord, 'Why must we repent and be baptized?' I had never heard of being baptized and did not know what it meant."
"And then the Lord said to me, 'I have forgiven you your transgression in the garden of Eden. My Only Begotten has atoned for your sin, and that sin cannot be held against your little children. They are whole from the foundation of the world."
"'But your children are conceived in a world in which there is sin. When they grow up sin will begin to form in their hearts. They will taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good. They will be given the ability to know good from evil, they will choose which they will follow.'"
"'I give you this commandment, that you teach your children, that all men everywhere must repent, or they cannot inherit the kingdom of God. No unclean thing can dwell there, no unclean thing can dwell in my presence. Man of Holiness is my name. And the name of my Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.'"
"'I therefore give you this commandment, to teach these things freely to your children. Tell them that by transgression came the fall, which fall brings death.'"
"'Each person is born into the world in water and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so from dust they become a living soul.'"
"'Even so you must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven. You must be born of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of my Only Begotten, that you may be cleansed from all sin; and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory.'"
"'For, by the water you keep the commandment; by the Spirit you are justified; and by the blood you are sanctified.'"
"'By doing these things the truth of all things will be in you, that you may know the truth..'"
"'This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of my Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.'"
"'All things are created to bear record of me. All things which are in the heavens above, and all things which are on the earth, and in the earth, and beneath the earth bear record of me.'"
"Then, Eve, I cried to God. Suddenly I was caught up from the earth. I was not afraid. I was carried to the river and put under the water. Then I was brought up out of the water. As I stood on the bank, the Spirit of God flooded through my body, so that I could now understand all God's words."
"Then I heard another voice, 'You are baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost; this is the record of the Father and the Son, from this time and forever. And you, Adam, are after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity. Behold, you are one in me, a son of God; and in this manner may all become my sons. Amen.'"
I had listened spellbound as Adam related these things to me. He was finally quiet. I could sense that he was very affected by the experiences he had had.
The fire was dying down, for we had been so absorbed that we had not stirred or tended it. I was suddenly very tired and I knew that Adam was also.
"Adam", I said gently, "I don't understand all you have told me, but I am willing to learn. Perhaps we should go to bed now and get some rest for tomorrow."
"Yes, I am very tired. I will tell you more later. When you are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost you will understand much more. It is the Holy Ghost which really teaches the truth. I can only tell you in feeble words. Your understanding will come. Let's go to bed now."
We went into the cave. I lay close to Adam and was very glad to have him with me.
Sleep came to me slowly. As I listened to Adam's even breathing I also listened to the thoughts that were swirling in my mind. He had told me so many things. Some of them were already familiar to me, for the Lord had already taught us many things. I remembered how we had struggled after our expulsion from the garden. Then God had taught us in order that we might live.
Suddenly I remembered the blood. I remembered that God had told us that it was life and that we must pour it on the ground when we killed for meat. I also remembered my regular issue of blood and that it was essential to the babies which I carried in my body. I knew that each time I had given birth to a child it had come with a rush of water and a pouring of blood. These two elements were a part of each child's birth into this world. God had now told Adam that we must be born again with water and blood. How would this happen?
I was finally so tired that my mind began to go into oblivion. I would have Adam explain these things to me as soon as possible.
The days following were busy ones. Adam had to catch up on chores which he had neglected on the day of his experience. Any time with the Lord would of course take precedence over chores, but of course the work must still be done.
When we were relaxing at our evening meal I said to Adam, "Adam, I need to be baptized, don't I? I would like it to be soon."
"I am glad you have spoken of it. It is a decision which you had to make yourself."
"I don't totally understand what it means but if that is what the Lord wants us to do I will do it."
"You have always trusted God, Eve. I believe that since you have the faith to follow God's wishes, that after you are baptized you will understand, One of the gifts that God gives with baptism is the guiding of the Holy Ghost."
"What is the Holy Ghost?" I asked.
"I know what the Holy Ghost is, for I have experienced it. All I can tell you is that it is the power of God which comes to those who obey God and teaches them the truth. It is the record of the Father and the Son."
"I will just have to be baptized and receive it myself and then I will know."
"Yes, you must receive it and then you will know. Would you like to be baptized tomorrow?"
"Yes. But who will baptize me? You were baptized by the Spirit of the Lord."
"I will baptize you. I have been given authority after the Order of the Only Begotten to do it."
Adam looked very relaxed and content. But by now my thoughts were swirling in confusion. I did not understand all this talk of authority and the Only Begotten and the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. I wanted very much to understand.
"Don't look so worried, you will understand soon."
I moved to sit close to Adam and he put his arm around me tenderly. "I do want to understand. I envy you, Adam. God has shown you many wonderful things. Why hasn't he shown me?"
"I don't know, Eve. I believe that God has given me the task of teaching the rest of you. And besides, you speak of the wonderful things which God has shown me, don't you realize that you are one of the most wonderful things God has given me? Don't you understand, Eve, that to me you are wonderful? God has given you another task, you bear our children and take care of them. You are part of God's plan. I saw the families of the earth. There will be many. Each person will have the opportunity to enter into the Kingdom of God if they choose to love and obey him."
I rested against Adam. I looked at our eight children. I knew I would have many more, but I could not envision a world full of people. I could not feel myself such an important part of God's plan. Adam simply loved me and told me these things to make me feel better. I felt small and somehow dispirited.
I didn't sleep well that night.
I awoke before anyone else. I had had a fitful night. I stepped outside the cave and drank in the peacefulness of early morning. It was wonderful to have this time alone. I slipped down to the river and washed and carried water up for the morning. When I arrived back at the cave the others were beginning to stir.
We ate breakfast, and Adam and the boys went to release the flocks. Adam promised that they would be back soon. I did my most necessary chores and Hephzibah and Merab helped me. Adam was soon back again.
"Children," Adam began, "We are going to go to a special place in the river. There is a quiet pool along the river. Your mother is going to do something very important today. The Lord has told us that this is something we each must do if we wish to live with him again."
"But, Father, I have never lived with God," objected Nethanel.
"Oh, Nethanel, my son, I am sorry. It is hard sometimes to remember that you have never seen God, so of course you cannot remember him," Adam apologized. "I can see that the task which God has given me will be a great one," I heard him say softly to himself.
My heart went to Adam at that moment. I went to his rescue. "Nethanel, do you remember the stories of the garden? Do you remember seeing the angel at the sacrifice?"
"Yes, Mother. I believe the stories. But you have seen God, I will never be able to see him like you have," his eyes began to fill with tears. I realized suddenly that for all his maturity he was still a child.
Adam walked over to him and laid his hand on his head. "Nethanel, you are a good son, and an honest one. God has made a way for us all to see him again. Do you believe that?"
"Yes, Father," he sobbed as he turned and held onto his father like a frightened child. "I want to see God too."
"I believe that you are ready to be baptized too, if you would like to be," offered Adam. "I thought I would wait to ask you, but I believe that you are ready."
"I can be baptized with Mother?"
"Yes, if you are ready."
"Yes, I am ready," Nethanel seemed suddenly content.
"Then we will all go now." Adam picked up one of the children and we followed.
The pool was not far. With our little procession we could not go far. It was a beautiful place with trees sighing in the breeze and casting their shadows over part of the pool.
"Your mother will be baptized first." Adam went into the water and beckoned me to follow him. My chest was thumping, what would it be like? I walked into the water to him. He encircled me in his arms, with my side to him. Then he raised one arm as he kept the other gently at my back. I looked quickly at his face. I knew that I could trust Adam in anything.
"Eve, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen."
He then gently laid me under the water. My eyes were open and the sun was shining into the water, creating ripples of light. I became suspended in time. In wonder I saw the face of a man. He was in agony and his eyes looked into mine. Dried blood was encrusted on his forehead and fresh blood poured from his body. Some of the blood poured onto me and where it was I did not feel dirty as the touch of blood usually caused me to feel, but felt clean. I knew that he must be dying. Somehow, it was the familiar face of the Lord, and yet different. How had he gotten here? How was it that he was dying?
Adam lifted me up out of the water. I had not even felt the need for breath, I must have only been under the water for an instant. I looked at Adam in bewilderment. He smiled at me and released me.
When I had rejoined the children and taken the baby from Hephzibah Adam beckoned to Nethanel. Nethanel eagerly went to join his father in the water.
I watched closely as Adam repeated the simple ceremony with Nethanel. I saw that Nethanel was only lowered momentarily into the water and immediately brought up again. What did Nethanel experience? His face was shining with happiness as he came up out of the water.
Father and son walked out of the pool together. I believed the bond between them would only get stronger as time passed. I was glad for them.
We walked leisurely back to the cave. As we walked I decided I would savor the images I had seen in the water. I would tell Adam later, but for now they were mine.
That evening we all went to the ledge to make another sacrifice. After the sacrifice Nethanel and I would be baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost. Adam had said that we must be baptized by water, by blood, and by the Spirit. Nethanel and I had been laid under the water. I myself had been touched by blood in the images which I had seen. I knew that the blood was cleansing, but I did not understand how this was so.
The sacrifice of the lamb touched me as it always did. With quiet fascination we all watched the flames ascend. In the twilight they seemed even more beautiful.
When the flames died Adam called Nethanel to him. He placed his hands on Nethanel's head as Nethanel sat on a rock.
"Nethanel, I baptize you with fire and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost bears record of the Father and the Son. As you obey and worship the Father, who is our God, the Holy Ghost will teach you what is right. It will teach you the words of eternal life, that if you will you may enjoy eternal life in the world to come; even immortal glory. Amen."
Nethanel then came to me and put his arms around me and clung for just a moment as the young child that he was. I smoothed his hair. He was my first-born and I loved him very much.
Then when Nethanel released me I walked to Adam and sat on the same rock as Nethanel had. The prayer he said for me as his hands were on my head was very similar. I closed my eyes. I could feel Adam's hands on my head. It seemed that some kind of power flowed from his hands into my head and down through my whole body. It was warm and comforting like sitting by the fire on a cool evening. This was like fire, but with its healing qualities. I was aware that the prayer was over. Adam withdrew his hands but the warmth and power were still there. I looked at the altar. The flames were gone and the wood and the lamb had been reduced to hot coals. In some strange way I sensed that the death of the lamb was the death of the one I had seen earlier in the day under the water. But there was no sorrow, only quiet peace and joy.
Follow along in the scriptures (links to Center Place Library)
Inspired Version of the Bible
Genesis Chapter 6:52-71
forward to chapter 10
Copyright 1991 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights Reserved
Last revised: September 9, 2001