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Savior & the Serpent: Unlocking the Doctrine of the Fall

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  156 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Perhaps no doctrine has been more misunderstood, and no historical event more misinterpreted, than the Fall of Adam and Eve. Many Christians assume it was an evil, unnecessary act. Even among Latter-day Saints, there are competing views and questions about what happened in Eden: Why did God give Adam and Eve conflicting commandments in the Garden? How much of the story is ...more
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published December 31st 2005 by Deseret Book Co
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Jan 02, 2015 Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, temple-stuff
I perhaps unfairly have given this book only three stars because I read Gaskill's The Truth About Eden: Understanding the Fall and Our Temple Experience first. Savior and the Serpent, published in 2005, seems to have been incorporated into the later book, which was published in 2013. So it was like reading the same book twice.

That being said, I highly recommend anything by Gaskill. I enjoy his faithful point of view and he has given me many new things to ponder re the temple experience and my o
Feb 11, 2014 Kristy rated it really liked it
This book is one of those that made me ponder and think more deeply about all that is entailed in the doctrine of the fall. I started reading it out of a desire to better teach the doctrine of the fall in a gospel doctrine class but I ended up realizing you can't teach a lot of this in a Sunday School class because it is far too deep and far to difficult to ensure everyone in the class is at the same spiritual maturity and readiness to learn such concepts. Many of these things are concepts and r ...more
Nov 12, 2007 Margaret rated it really liked it
The book reviews each verse of scripture, from different books, on the fall of Adam and Eve. The first chapter first explains the situation in the Garden of Eden, and the next compares you and I as Adam and Eve. I wasn't able to finish this book before it had to go back to the library, but I do plan on purchasing it. It isn't doctorine, but it gives you something to think about and ponder about and to make the situation of Adam and Eve much more personal. This is exactly what I was looking for t ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Bryany rated it it was amazing
I can not express just how valuable the information is in this book. It has really opened my eyes on the plan of salvation, the fall, and the importance of oppostion in our growth and development. It has opened my eyes in a new way and has give me much to ponder on.
Feb 24, 2009 Shane rated it really liked it
Really good summary of the doctrine of the Fall.
Mekisha Hecht
Dec 02, 2008 Mekisha Hecht rated it it was amazing
Great for better understanding the Fall of Adam and Eve.
Jun 07, 2010 Cort rated it it was ok
It's tough sledding, this book.

There are some valuable insight. In several passages, Gaskill notes that Scripture's purpose is not to serve as an historical text, but a means of bringing people to Christ. Much is written in metaphor, and efforts to fix it to historical events only confuse and distract. So Adam and Eve are an inspired metaphor for mankind's journey through morality, and we can learn from their story.

Fair enough. Then, out of the blue, he drops offhanded, literalist comments, lik
Sep 14, 2007 Bethany rated it really liked it
Shelves: ldsreligion
This is the second book I've read by Alonzo Gaskill. I find his writing style easy to read and rich in information. The Savior & the Serpent is about the fall of Adam and Eve and attempts to decipher the difference between the literal and symbolic happenings. He covers the whole story pulling from all known accounts and expertly cross referencing whilst highlighting the important parts and mentioning things I'd never thought of before. It is very well researched and Mr. Gaskill is quick to p ...more
Gaskill taught my World Religions class at BYU, and it was downright awesome. This book, while still good, doesn't capture the man's sense of humor (which coincided well with my own) or cover material that was as new and eye-opening to me as what we discussed in class. In all fairness, this is a slightly different target audience and the material is naturally more familiar to members of the church.

All of that being said, this is a good discussion of the Fall of Adam and Eve, with an emphasis on
Jul 05, 2009 Spencer rated it it was ok
A friend recommended this to me but I was quite disappointed. I suppose this book is a good summary of the latter-day saint doctrine of the fall - but to me it is too cursory to take the reader anywhere enlightening.

To read a book full of selected quotes from mostly general authorities and a few scholars, sometimes taken slightly out of context, with the author's own conclusions linking them together can be beneficial for those who are not willing to put the time or effort into searching out th
Martha Smith
Nov 16, 2011 Martha Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book explains the scenes in the Garden of Eden and their symbolism. Gaskill gives us insight into the books of Moses, Abraham, temple symbolism, and other scriptures. In the process, he masterfully shows us how thoroughly the Adam and Eve story applies to each of us. This book is worth reading, one that thinking Latter-day Saints need to engage. I recommend it!
Dec 01, 2007 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Alonzo was my neighbor when we lived in Utah. He is SUCH an amazing person, he is so full of knowledge and his way of explaining things are clear. I have learned so much from reading this book, I also recomend his other book: The Lost language of Symbolism.


and a great father/husband/neighbor/friend!

(he also teaches a BYU currently previously it was at Stanford)
Jun 27, 2012 Brittany rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting, informative look at the Fall. It really delved into it, but it was easy to understand. It looked at it in a few different ways, which was also really cool. Most of this was familiar to me because I actually took a Book of Mormon class from Brother Gaskill and we spent an entire class period talking about the Fall, but I really enjoyed reading this book.
Eliza Mansuetto Uribe
Dec 14, 2009 Eliza Mansuetto Uribe rated it did not like it
It some good insights. Nothing I haven't really heard before. It was written in circles and kind of contradicted itself throughout the book. It read kind of like this..."It was a sin to partake of the fruit, wait, no it was a transgression, but still kind of a sin if you want to look at it that way." There were some great quotes from prophets that I did like and enjoy.
Aug 11, 2008 Jody rated it it was amazing
Every member should read this eye opening book. If you feel you would more fully like to understand the creation and how it applies to you, this book will open your mind to the symbols and reality of what is in plain sight for our learning. My understanding of the gospel has been greatly aided because of this book.
Aug 18, 2013 Jenifer rated it it was ok
I usually only read books that I get at least two solid recommendations from trusted friends. I put this one on my list because of an extremely well-written review that I can't even find any more. Crazy! Just a little serious for me right now. It was alright. The creation story dissected. I skimmed some.
Debie W
Jun 24, 2008 Debie W rated it really liked it
I learned so much about the the role of the Serpent in the Garden in Eden. The author writes so clearly and supports his points using scripture. The fall is such an important part of my faith and this book helped me to get a better understanding. I would highly recommend this easy to read, informative book, you will have your faith changed for the better.
Luke Tielemans
May 14, 2016 Luke Tielemans rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books I have read. This explains a very interesting take on the Fall. It breaks down each phrase or line of scripture, and explains not only the meaning, as well as application to us. If you want to further understand the Fall - one of the three pillars of Eternity - you should most definitely read this book.
Aug 04, 2008 Kathleen rated it really liked it
So much of scripture is symbolic. Why not the story of the fall? It is an interesting thing to approach the whole story of Adam and Eve and ask what personal meaning is in it for me. Much of what Br. Gaskil says I have heard before. But he sheds light on many aspects of the meaning of the fall that I had not considered. Always wonderful food for thought.
Feb 01, 2008 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Very good book about the fall of Adam and Eve and how we can apply their story to our own lives. Gaskill quotes general authorities throughout his explanations and has a very clear writing style. This book gave me a whole new perspective on the fall!
Dec 27, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it
A very in depth telling of the Adam, Eve, Garden, etc story. I found the book very insightful, but a bit overwhelming as the author includes so many possible meanings of every aspect of the story that I was left wondering which ideas are the right ones.
May 26, 2012 Kimball rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious, college
Pennell let me borrow this book. I still haven't given it back. Really good book that talks about the Fall and all the questions and concerns that people wonder about it. If you're an Endowed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it will be of greater worth to you.
Lizzie Jones
Jul 12, 2015 Lizzie Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best doctrinal explanations of the Fall that I've ever read. This is a doctrine that I've had a hard time understanding for years and this book really opened my eyes to the meaning and significance behind this particular aspect of LDS theology. Highly recommend.
Oct 08, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it
A very insightful book about the Fall. Helped me gain a better understanding of a sometimes hard topic. If you've ever listened to Alonzo Gaskill lecture, well he reads like he lectures, so hang on.
Apr 10, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
This book was full of insights and ideas about the significance of the Fall of Adam and Eve and how relevant their experience is to our experience on the earth. I love books that help me see familiar things in a new light. This book was definitely one of those.
Kara Thompson
Feb 02, 2008 Kara Thompson rated it really liked it
This book offers great insight into the many meanings of the Fall and its applicability in our lives today. Although I am only reading about a page a day (due to law school reading taking over my life) I am fascinated with the depth of applicability and insight offered.
Dec 04, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
I love seeing the scriptures in a new light, and this book definitely did that for me. It reminded me again how important the story of the Fall really is.
Jun 02, 2008 Carrie rated it it was amazing
This offers very interesting insight into the doctrine of the Fall. It is a book that I could benefit from reading more than once.
Sep 06, 2010 Rick rated it it was ok
My brother really liked this; for some reason it just didn't catch my interest. I skimmed through parts of it.
Jul 26, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
The author gives great insight into the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Adam. Anyone who wants to understand the symbolism of these more fully should really read this book.
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