I normally post my insights as a separate page, but I felt that this insight needed to go out as a post so that everyone could see it.
I started reading from the beginning of the Old Testament about a month ago and I have gained many spiritual insights from reading it, but one of the things that struck me the most was in Genesis 3 verses 16 and 17. The two phrases that suck out to me were “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow” and “cursed is the ground for thy sake.”
I know it may sound strange, but the first thing I thought when I read these words was “that is a blessing and I need to find out how it’s a blessing.” Let me explain, the reason I believed this to be a blessing was those last three words, “for thy sake.” How could something be for our sake if it was a curse?
The word sake is defined as purpose, advantage, good, interest or benefit. So God is saying here, I am doing this for your purpose or your benefit. In 2 Nephi 2:25 it reads, “Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy.” So, if our purpose is to have joy, why would God say I will multiply your sorrows and curse the ground for your sake?
The reason is the same reason that we have trials and hardships- so that we can come unto Christ and be perfected in him. It is my personal belief that we can’t become as close to God as possible if we don’t have trials. Trials make us into better people. We learn things from them that we would not otherwise learn.
Also, in this specific counsel that God gave to Eve, He told (or you might say promised) Eve that He would “greatly multiply [her] sorrow and [her] conception.” Childbirth is probably the closest anyone comes to feeling what Christ may have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. So in saying that he would multiply Eve’s sorrow and conception, God was telling Eve that He would give her a way to have a greater understanding of Christ’s suffering and mission. Because Eve chose to allow man to be, chose to allow the Earth to fulfill its purpose, chose to take of the fruit despite knowing the dire consequences, God told her that He would allow her to have a way to grow closer to Him.
Sounds like a pretty awesome blessing to me.
Now, in saying all this, I don’t think that Eve had this view at the time. She probably thought, like most of us do, that this was a terrible curse, or that it was more than she could bear, or that God had dealt with her too harshly. But later Eve said, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” (Moses 5:11)
It may have taken a while, but eventually Eve understood that God put us here to have joy. Even the sorrows God gives us are so that we can have joy. Because the closer we grow to God and the more we know and understand Him, the more joy we will have. And trials are one of the few ways God can directly remind us of Him and teach us specific things we need to know to become better and to become more like Him.