Be Fruitful and Multiply
The first commandment given to Adam and Eve given in the Garden was to ‘be fruitful’ and to ‘multiply, and replenish the earth. (Gen 1:28, Moses 2:28)’ Understanding how they would accomplish this is no mystery, and that commandment is still in force today (See Proclamation). Adam and Eve were married by God, and He ‘called their name Adam.’ (Moses 6:9)
Denver Snuffer addressed chastity on his blog where he wrote the following, “1this will be a footnote¹When they were expelled from the Garden, Adam “knew his wife” which is a euphemism. The word “know” or “knew” is a reference made throughout the Old and New Testaments to sexual intercourse. As a consequence of this Eve became pregnant. (Gen. 4:1)”
I agree with Denver that “know” or “knew” has become a euphemism, but I think there is more to the word as it relates to ²covenants. “To Know” suggests a special relationship between the two parties. I know Denver understands this, but his audience at the time was a group of young men.
The Hebrew word ³yada translates “to know” or yadah “to revere or worship with extended hands”. It is a very intimate relationship, not just a sexual one. In other words, “to know” someone suggests an intimate covenant relationship.
Another occurrence of this covenantal knowledge is later on in chapter five when it states, “For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.” (Moses 5:51) Leaning only upon the euphemism would suggest that is a reference to homosexuality. Many have interpreted this verse in this manner, however I believe it only informs the reader that they had covenant agreements and they were intimate or familiar (familial) exchanges taking place.2this will be a footnote #2
How Knoweth a Man
In Isaiah we also find, “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” (Isaiah 1:3) When a person purchases an animal there is an agreement made. The animal now belongs to the owner, the owner now cares for the animal under their stewardship. The animal provides for the owner in some form or another, while the owner feeds, shelters, and cares for the animal. The “ass [knows] his master’s crib” because they are now raised and taken care of in the “master’s” home, place, or crib.
Would a farmer ever consider taking another farmers ox to labor for himself? No. What if the neighbors donkey wandered onto his property, would the farmer keep him and feed him along with his own animals? No. A farmer will not take that which is not his own. He would be required to make agreements before borrowing or purchasing an animal. A wandering animal can take food from the animals already in care, and pose other dangers to the animals, the farmer would be obligated to protect the animals he already owns. A wandering animal does not know the intentions of the farmer, nor can the farmer trust the animal that he does not intimately know.
This is how “the ox knoweth his owner” because their is an agreement in place, a covenant that protects, and blesses both parties. “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.” (Mosiah 5:13–14)
Now that we’ve established the phrase “to know” intimates a covenant relationship, let’s look at what such covenants can produce. How do these relationships bear fruit?
Multiplication and Division
When a seed is planted the ground must be divided. As the seed germinates it swells. Once it enlarges, it divides the shell. The seed sprouts and begins to multiply. the earth again divides. The roots shoot downward dividing the earth even more. The plant multiplies. Branches form. The plant becomes fertile. Bees and other insects help pollinate the plant. Fruit begins to grow. After many days of water, nutrients, and sunlight the fruit is ready. Each of these steps along the path are necessary to arriving at the desired result. Fruit.
In our family giant sunflowers have been our favorite plant in the garden. It’s quite amazing to think that a single tiny seed can produce so much. A single seed will produce well over 1,000 seeds. If all 1,000+ seeds were planted the following year they could produce over 1,000,000 seeds. What a testimony of our Our Father’s plan!
There are those plants that do not produce however. If there is a lack of sunlight, or water, or nutrition among a variety of other factors, a plant will not bear fruit. (Matt 13:3–23) How frustrating it can be when you put so much effort into a plant only to see your labors are fruitless. (2 Ne 15:4)(Jacob 5:41,47,49) What good is a tree that does not bear fruit? (Matt 3:10)(Alma 5:52). It is sad to think we have labored in vain. (1 Ne 21:4)
So it will be if we do not connect to the True Vine. We will not know Him. (Matt 7:21–23) We will be barren, fruitless trees. (Matt 7:15–20) What good are we? What will He say to us? Does this knowledge imply a relationship? (Mosiah 5:13)
The Fruit of the Womb
Adam and Eve were in a covenant relationship, the fruit of his loins, and the fruit of her womb were displayed by the child(ren) she bore. (Moses 5:2) The symbols are all around us. When a man and a woman are married, they consummate the marriage. The man divides the woman. Blood is exchanged. A covenant is cut. A seed divides the egg. They become one. The cells multiply. New life begins. The fruit grows. A mother labors. The child divides the woman. A covenant is cut. Blood is exchanged. Her labor bears fruit.
The man divides the woman.
Blood is exchanged.
A covenant is cut.
A seed divides the egg.
They become one.
The cells multiply.
New life begins.
The fruit grows.
A mother labors.
The child divides the woman.
A covenant is cut.
Blood is exchanged.
Her labor bears fruit.
Our Heavenly Father desires Fruit. (Jacob 5:8) He desires “Sons.” (Moses 6:68) He sent His Son to Labor in the vineyard. (Jacob 5:16) There are others who will work with Him. (Jacob 5:71–72) We must connect to the True Vine. (John 15:1)(Alma 16:17)(1 Ne 15:15–16)
So how do we connect to the True Vine? How do we make intimate covenant relationships with Him? Our salvation depends upon connecting to Him. I do not want to be hewn down and cast off into the fire! (Matt 7:19) We must be born again. (Alma 5:35) A covenant must happen, or a cutting, or a grafting in. (Alma 16:17)(1 Nephi 15:16)(1 Nephi 10:14)
We must bring forth fruit meet for repentance. (Alma 13:13) We must work, works of righteousness. We must be born again.
Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire— For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn. (Alma 5:34–36)
And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off. (Mosiah 27:25–27)
Our rebirth, when complete, will result in us being redeemed. We will be fruit worth laying up against the season. We will be worth preservation. We will be a son or daughter. Like a newborn child receives the name of his father, we too will receive a new name from our new Father. (Mosiah 5:7–15)
And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. (Mosiah 5:7–8)
This process of rebirth has three parts or phases in order to be complete. One cannot “enter into the Lord’s rest” without completing the journey back to Him.
“Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time. Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying: That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified 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 ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;” (Moses 6:57–60)
The birth process requires water, spirit, and blood in order to be complete. You cannot be truly born of God without the entire process occurring. I will cover these topics in greater depth and link them here later on. Topics will include the Born Again Process, the Tree of Life, and many other topics related to covenants.
Covenant Relationships Bear Fruit
Any time we enter a covenant, it will bear fruit, whether it be good fruit or wild fruit depends upon who we make that covenant with. The idea that these relationships bear fruit comes from intimacy, any relationship we enter will eventually bear fruit. The earth is a testimony of this miracle. Each of us exist because of covenant relationships bearing fruit.
Our responsibility is to seek Him. “4Our Lord is a Man of covenants. Our Lord enters into covenants on a regular basis. To know Him is to covenant with Him.” He desires to make covenants with us. If we hear His voice, accept His offer, enter in and stay true, we will bear fruit, we will be fruit. He is our Lord, and Master of the vineyard. Come unto Him. (Moroni 10:32–33)
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)