(Detail from Masaccio’s fresco The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden [Cacciata dei progenitori dall’Eden], ca. 1425, Florence, Italy, public domain, copied from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsion_from_the_Garden_of_Eden, [accessed Feb. 20, 2021].)
The purpose of life is happiness. The Book of Mormon declares, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). The New Testament explains, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). In order for us to be truly happy—to have a fulness of joy—we must understand the fall of Adam and the atonement of Jesus Christ.
The second Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” (The Pearl of Great Price, The Articles of Faith 1:2.)
Study the following chapters from the Church manual Gospel Principles, which is available free online in electronic form or in hard copy for members at the Church’s online store and for anyone else here (the chapters listed below all have links to the online version) :
Chapter 2: Our Heavenly Family
Chapter 6: The Fall of Adam and Eve
In the Book of Mormon, the brother of Jared says that “because of the fall our natures have become evil continually” (Ether 3:2). In Mosiah 3:19, we read, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
Ponder what you can do to put off the natural being within you and become a saint. As you begin to succeed, note how peaceful you start to feel with each success. In one of those peaceful moments, pray to ask Heavenly Father what you should do next to be better. Then listen quietly to see what promptings you receive and follow them.