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HENRY - Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden so would that not be considered a sin?
JOEL - What Adam did could not really be called a sin but only a transgression of a commandment. "We believe that we will be punished for our own sins and not for Adam's transgression." (A of F 2)
Adam disobeyed a commandment of God but you can't really call it a sin because he did not know the difference between right or wrong yet. The ability to choose between right and wrong is a requirement for someone to willfully and intentionally commit sin.
Elder Richard G. Scott differentiates the two words:
"Broken law from sin or transgression causes anguish of mind and heart from an offended conscience. Knowing that all of His spirit children save His Only Begotten, Jesus Christ, would unintentionally (transgression) or intentionally (sin) violate His laws, our Eternal Father provided a means to correct the consequences of such acts. (Elder Richard G. Scott, Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind)
If Adam and Eve did not know right from wrong, how could they know that it was wrong to do disobey God in the way they did. To me that makes them unaccountable for the transgression. They were deceived by Satan and were convinced by him to transgress the law.
President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972) said:
"I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!" (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954-56), 1:114-15.)
From the Church website:
Even though Adam and Eve had not sinned, because of their transgression they had to face certain consequences, two of which were spiritual death and physical death. Physical death came to Adam and Eve at the end of their earthly lives, but spiritual death occurred as they were cast out of the Garden of Eden, being cut off from the presence of God (see Alma 42:9 ).(Church website, Fulness of the Gospel: The Fall of Adam and Eve )
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