2 Nephi 2:23 states

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

Often, it is said that Adam and Eve could not of had children, based on this verse. But the verse says would, not could.

Are there any other verses or latter day saint doctrine explaining whether or not they could have children?


In Doctrines of Salvation, 1:108, Joseph Fielding Smith stated:

Things were not changing as we find them changing in this mortal existence, for mortality had not come. Today we are living in a world of change because we are living under a very different condition from those which prevailed in the beginning and before the Fall of man.

Sometimes we focus too much on a single word, such as would vs. could. I presume what you're asking is, was there anything physiologically stopping Adam and Eve from conceiving children?

Taking Pres. Smith at his word, the answer is "yes." The time of the Garden of Eden was static. Nothing grew, nothing died, nothing changed. The moment you allow (e.g.) a child to be born you have something changing and that change must somehow stop when they become, what, 20 years old? 30 years old? But, worse than that, you need to start dealing with the concept of (e.g.) dead skin flaking away from a growing child's body. (Not to mention the changes to a woman's body when conception occurs, or the change of conception itself.)

Except nothing changed.

Therefore, no, Adam and Eve could not have physiologically conceived children in the Garden. The physiological change that occured to them as a consequence of the Fall was necessary for conception.

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    So God was just joking with them when he told them to make babies a fill up the earth? – Kris Oct 17 '18 at 20:48
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    Hello @Kris. That's an interesting question. Even if A&E could physiologically conceive children in the garden - they were innocent and had neither the knowledge to do it nor the inclination until after they ate the fruit and gained knowledge. What's the practical difference? From an LDS perspective there isn't an issue. Our Father knew His own plan and and knew A&E had all the time in the world to fulfill His open-ended command. Indeed, we believe that once A&E gained knowledge and realized the hows and whys, they knew they had to complete the Fall to fulfill the commandment. – JBH Oct 17 '18 at 20:59
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    Interesting I find the idea that God intended them to fall out of harmony with the Bible and the referenced quotation did not spell that out . Is there a more direct statement from a LDS source? – Kris Oct 17 '18 at 21:06
  • @Kris, 1 Cor 15:22, the Atonment would have been unecessary had the Fall be avoidable; 2 Ne 2:25, Adam fell that men might be; Moses 6:48, Because that Adam fell, we are; and from the Church's website: "The Fall is an integral part of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation (see 2 Nephi 2:15–16; 9:6)..." – JBH Oct 17 '18 at 22:11

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