By Tom Kimball
Tom Kimball is an English student at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio where he also works as a staff volunteer at the Kirtland Temple.
Set in the heart of the garden was a thorn of sorts. A tree. A slash of red and blue in an ocean of greens and browns.
The tree was terrible, and beautiful. It caught the eye, and it didn’t let go. Everything around it was soft, centered, and perfect; but the tree was harsh, vibrant, and fantastic.
Eve was beginning to understand that this tree wasn’t going away, and no matter what she did or how far she walked, it would forever call her back until she was standing again in front of the weaving branches and twisting trunk.
A dove alit in her hand. It was beautiful, white, and warm.
“What will happen?” asked Eve.
“Everything,” said the dove.
“Why would I want that?” she said.
“You won’t. You’ll feel such suffering, you’ll wish you’d never even seen me. But you will experience such joy, you’ll forget I ever existed.”
“Why do I have to choose?” asked Eve.
“Because you are brave. And Adam is loyal. He dares not imagine even a single day without you.”
Then the dove spread her soft wings and lifted into the air.
“Adam,” said Eve. “I have to go, and I can never come back. But I want you with me. I can’t promise we will always be happy, I can’t promise I won’t betray you, or hurt you, or even love you all the time.”
Taking a breath, Eve locked eyes with a stunned Adam and said, “But I want to love you, and I want to be with you.”
So Adam picked up a rock and smashed flat the head of the serpent that had been whispering in his ear for so long.
And then there was everything.
Hurt, sorrow, and despair; pleasure, love, and joy—all in the lives of Mother Eve and Father Adam.