Article of Faith #2: We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
While reading these scriptures through the lens of the second Article of Faith, some things really hit me differently.
Normally this passage in Nephi amazes me that a prophet of God would think himself a “wretched man.” This time I felt the words he spoke sounded like deeply fervent prayer. It seemed to me as though he was pleading with the Lord to save him from his weaknesses and praising Him for all the goodness He has bestowed upon him.
Keeping the commandments was the thing that stood out to me in Moses. Adam and Eve had been kicked out of the Garden but still looked to the Lord for guidance. When they received commandments, they obeyed and taught their children.
Something was also cleared up for me regarding the offerings of Cain and Abel. Cain was a gardener. Abel kept sheep. Cain gave the Lord some of what he produced with his labors. So did Abel. I always wondered why the Lord was so unhappy with Cain’s gift. Then it hit me. It wasn’t because he didn’t like the gift. It was because what they were giving the Lord was the “offering” of worship. God had commanded them to “offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord” for their worship. God was unhappy with Cain because he basically made a mockery of a sacred ritual.
Because we are going to be punished for our own sins, we need to do as Nephi and look to the Lord and pray fervently. We also need to do as Adam and Eve and obey the commandments.
2 Nephi 4:16-35