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LEHI - Moses 4:13 says: "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." Some people have told me that the meaning to "naked" and "fig leaves" is not literal. Would youn explain that to me?

JOEL - Opinions vary as to whether or not Adam and Eve were actually naked in the literal sense in the Garden of Eden. Most Bible scholars (including LDS) consider the terms "naked" and "fig leaves"; and in fact the entire Adam and Eve story, in a more metaphorical or figurative sense; but full of important symbolic meanings.

The "nakedness" of Adam and Eve suggests that they dwelt in a state of perfect righteousness as well as lacking knowledge of good and evil. They had no cause for shame because they were pure and innocent of any sin.

The effect of the Fall was not simply that the man and woman come to know they were "naked" in the physical sense. The effect is rather that they come to know that they were "naked" in the sense of being "under God's judgement," as in Deuteronomy 28:48:

"Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee."
(See also Ezek 16:39; Ezek 23:29 ).

Because they had transgressed, they had forfeited God's Spirit—which would leave them naked or void of that important gift. The Hebrew word for Atonement (from which we draw our English word) means literally "to cover." Christ's sacrificial atonement covers our sins, our guilt, our nakedness.

Elder James E. Talmage associated figs with the covenant people. Thus, when Adam and Eve chose to be obedient to the will of the Father by provoking the Fall, they became the first of His covenant people. Hence their donning of fig leaves became a symbol of the covenant.
The fig leve apron, which they made themselves and probably inadequate, might also represent the weakness of man's knowledge as compared to the coat of skins later made for them by God representing knowledge coming from God.

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