Defending the Faith: How was Eve 'an help meet' for Adam?

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  • mbcello mesa, AZ
    July 15, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    thank you for bringing up the subject of "helpmeet" a term that has bugged me for years. my own pet peeve

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:03 p.m.


    If you actually read the theory it is NOT hard science but, in fact and deed, based on assumption and supposition, and an ability to forcibly fit things into a invented desired story.

    Apparently to some it is easier to believe modern fairy tales about monkeys. Doesn't that strike you as odd?

    If you understand "God", he is just a far superior being who is our caring creator desirous of us to progress. What so odd about that? What is so odd about believing there is someone greater than us?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 27, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    So truth it's easy to believe a dudes tale that he walked and talked with God, but you call hard science assumption and supposition? This doesn't strike you as odd?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    Your comparison is a false one.

    Ancient manuscripts written by different people in different over thousands years,
    to a work of modern fiction by one man who never claimed to be any but what it is.

    Do you even know what a witness is? Even our courts use then because they have validity in determining truth.

    Why you do not demand the same kind of evidence from those come with fantastic monkey stories is odd in deed.

    That is true story telling, no facts, just all supposing, assuming, may haves, might haves, could possible haves.

    The find old bones, and spin wild stories, they invent relationships, make up 'trees of life'

    Even DNA is only possibilities.

    It is built on fairy tales of modern men, by those who give themselves titles and certifications.

    It really takes the same sort if belief and faith as any other.

    Yet you accept it without question.

    Eyewitness who have walked and talked with God and/or Jesus Christ and received revelation over thousands of years or self titled modern men who've made up fantasy stories built wholly on assumption and supposition.

    The choice is easy.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Correction: "Who determines which parts of the Bible are Accurate?"

    Dr. Peterson is a linguist and could have gone deep into the text. He also knows the difference between KJV and NKJV vernacular. Let's get out of that vacation mode and really mine the depths of God's Word... Or atleast the JST. My former professor, Dr. Cleon Skousen, has excellent commentaries on these O.T. passages.

    It is sad to see 'scholars' avoid the deep intellectual anaysis of say a Dr. Nibley. While I disagree with Nibley's conclusions (from my literal, Biblical perspective), I always enjoyed his academic approach. Blathering on about archaic word usage is no excuse for true scholarship. Next time, just sign the writer, Peterson-Lite, until he returns to academia.

    A more meaningful topic would be why LDS continue the unbiblical, non-substantiated/non-manuscript validated tale that Adam and Eve "had" to sin in order to be obedient to procreation. No other viable Bible scholars will concur with that tortured scripture-twist.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    If LDS are going to take this scripture literally, why not all of God's Word? Who determines which parts of the Bible are sccurate and which are not?

    Because a literal translation will never get the First Couple "sinning upward", (Mormon-speak for justifiable sinning). It gets them kicked out and consequential conditions.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:22 a.m.

    Partner, companion, and equal.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    Re. Johnny Triumph: If you try too hard to criticize, your criticism looses some of its validity.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:10 p.m.

    The story is simply figurative so far as the man and women are concerned.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    The roles intended for men and women as partners in a marriage are so neglected that many have decided, ironically, that they prefer the company of a dog, which, while not being "helps meet" for them they are loving, at least, and do not constantly argue about everything.

    I notice that it is not "kosher" for the husband to give directions or for the wife to follow them. That kind of authority can be certainly abused, yet I notice that it was to Abraham that the Lord revealed Sarah's pregnancy, and to Zecharias that He announced that of his wife Elizabeth. To Mary, who was single at the time, Gabriel revealed her honored role first and in person, but afterwards directions for the family came to Joseph, then her husband, in revelatory dreams.

    There is an order in all these things; the Lord does inspire the presiding authority, if worthy, even in a home, even today. The man is called to preside, not just ceremonially, and the wife is called to hearken to the counsel of a worthy husband.

    If she refuses there is not recourse to "compulsory means"; the man can only persuade etc.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    RE: Brent T. Aurora CO,Adam literally from dust.’

    Gen 2:7 Latin Vulgate And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

    1 Corinthians 15:46-47… the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. Natural 1st;Spiritual 2nd,VS pre-existence.

    RE: Craig Clark, language evolves over time. This is where modern translations are helpful. i.e.,
    a poor person enters in filthy clothes, do you pay attention to the one who is finely=(elegantly Greek/lampros ) dressed…(James 2:2,3)
    … a poor man in vile raiment And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing(James 2:2,3) KJV).

    RE: laVerl , we are always depending on someone else's thinking? True,

    The term right hand of God is an anthropomorphism. We know God is Spirit, John 4:24,God is everywhere, Ps. 139:7-10, Jer. 23:24. "Hebrew Idiom." That being a figure of speech much like, "he's my right hand man."

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    It took years of study for me to learn not to get too married to any particular interpretation of a Bible account, especially one like the Garden of Eden story. It has a long obscure history going back in Near Eastern mythologies that predated Christianity and Judaism by several centuries. We know what the story of Adam and Ever means to us today. We’ll never know for sure what it meant to its earliest originators and those who kept passing it on from generation to generation.

  • laVerl 09 St Johns, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    "If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things" Art of F 13 To me this is the genius of a "living Church".
    D&C 58:26-28 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
    Learning to use the spirit of discernment while thinking for ourselves is the way to exaltation. This is why we are counseled to meditate upon the scriptures.
    How can we wisely rule a kingdom if we are always depending on someone else's thinking?
    The Spirit tells me this discussion of "help meet" has been very enlightening and useful to my personal growth.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Johnny Triumph, in my university writing class he would have received an A. And, my only comment would have been, "Finally!"

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    The imprecise use of language often annoys me but popular usage undeniably does plays a role in how language evolves over time. There are likely very few words or expressions in current syntax that still carry their original meaning or intent.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Tyler D-

    The Lord of the Ring books don't claim to be the truth or tell one how to gain everlasting life. You can't compare them to the Bible or the BOM.

    Here is why the Bible/BOM, and by extension Christ, should be taken seriously:

    * They record that a real person, Christ, was born of a mortal woman and an immortal father (God). No other person on the face of the planet claims that.

    * They record that Christ himself was killed, yet he rose himself from the dead and showed himself to thousands of witnesses. No one else on the face of the planet has done that.

    * Christ rose other people from the dead, healed the sick, performed many other miracles consistently. His disciplines did likewise then, and these miracles continue in our days.

    * The risen Christ has showed himself to modern day witnesses (Josepth Smith, Lorenzo Snow, to name a few)

    In short, if Christ lives, his gospel is true. All these claims can be verified through the Holy Ghost. It is not circular -- you can know for yourself. You have to exercise faith, and then knowledge eventually comes. This is the promise.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:09 p.m.

    @1.96 Standard Deviations – “Enlightens mind, fills us with joy, opens eyes:”

    @the truth – “No circular reasoning.”

    Thanks for the efforts guys, but I remain unconvinced.

    First, sacred books that “witness” to the truth of other sacred books within their own tradition is perfect example of circular reasoning. Are you convinced of the “truth” of The Return of the King because the events in it bear witness to and were even foretold in The Fellowship of the Ring?

    And again quoting these sacred books only proves the point that it’s all circular. While they were nice quotes, similar stuff can be found in almost any religious tradition, so again (assuming you’re still interested) we’re back to the questions I asked in my last comment.

    And we haven’t even touched on all the inconsistencies, barbarism, moral relativism and other problems found in these sacred books, but I guess that will have to be another discussion.

    Reached comment limit…

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    There are two more paragraphs that clarify the relationship of Adam and Eve and the word "help meet." Too long for inclusion here. Ensign, Jan. 1994 (I Have A Question)

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:59 p.m.

    @the truth

    Holy books cannot be witnesses to the truth. Truth can only be demonstrated with the scientific method. It would be like saying that The Sorcerers Stone and The Chamber of Secrets are proof of the truth that Harry Potter saved the world from Voldemort.

    The story of Adam and Eve was written by stone age residents of the middle east who knew nothing of biology and evolution. It was their attempt to try and explain the natural world and to maintain the power status quo over women. All in all I prefer the story of Harry Potter to the stories in the BOM or Bible.

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    What does it mean when the Lord said he would create for Adam “an help meet for him”? (Gen. 2:18.)

    David Rolph Seely, assistant professor of ancient scripture, Brigham Young University. The Lord, after creating Adam, saw that he was alone in the garden, and declared, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen. 2:18.) As indicated in a footnote to Genesis 2:18 in the LDS edition of the Bible (note 18b), the Hebrew term for the phrase “help meet for him” (‘ezer kenegdo) literally means “a helper suited to, worthy of, or corresponding to him.” The King James translators rendered this phrase “help meet”—the word meet in sixteenth-century English meaning “fitting” or “proper.” It might be clearer if there were a comma after “help”—“I will make him an help, meet for him.”

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    No circular reasoning.

    1.96 Standard Deviations was using the BOM as a second witness to the truth.

    How many witnesses do you need? You now have the old testament prophets, the new testament prophets and apostles, the BOM prophets, and Pearl of great price books, and modern revelation to modern prophets (the D&C).

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    Tyler D:

    I have little space to respond, but here are a few examples how the power of the Holy Ghost is manifested (but not limited to) in spiritual or fact/knowledge matters:

    * Invites good actions and to believe in Christ:

    Moroni 7:16 - "[...] for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."

    * Enlightens mind, fills us with joy, opens eyes:

    Doctrine & Covenants - 11:13 -"[...] I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;"

    - 76:12 - "By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God."

    Another thing is God establishes truth through multiple witnesses. God is consistent and uses a pattern:

    2 Corinthians 13:1 - "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

    * God calls prophets:

    Amos 3:7 - "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    The Book of Mormon doesn't need to testify of the truthfulness of the bible, it is partially copied from passages from a bible.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    Language evolves. If helpmeet has become one word, and we know what it means either from regular use or from studying its roots as this article does, same difference.

    I don't know anyone who uses the word "literally" in the context he says -- doing so is ignorant. But the word does get used too much (in a more correct context).

    Now if we get an article clarifying that God did not make Adam literally from dust like a molding clay project and didn't literally rip out a rib from Adam's rib cage as the foundation for yet another clay project... that would be helpful.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:34 p.m.


    "Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."

    Opposites attract. I think they bring out the best in each other. Anyway, I've never been able to make sense of why God wouldn't want Adam and Eve to know good from evil.

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    "I, too, am peeved by the common misuse of 'literally' as an intensifier."

    How do you feel about the phrase: 'ya know?'

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    'Help meet' or 'helpmate' only means that someone is in charge. And it appears to be the male, and for sure not the female. Keep that in mind.

  • tlar22 St.George, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    This dude either has WAY too much time on his hands, is super irritable, or is a bible scholar. I mean LITERALLY, who writes a column about this?

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    Rebecka and Isaac, another example of a help meet. See Genesis chapter 24

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    @1.96 Standard Deviations – “Knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (and all spiritual truths in general) comes by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

    Everything in your 2nd comment is still circular reasoning with the exception of your quote above (and related points), which for me raises additional questions.

    How is that power manifested to us (be specific – what body sensations, thoughts, etc.)?

    If people of other faiths say they have had these same or even more sublime experiences (e.g., many Hindu spiritual texts describe profound states of “heavenly bliss”), would you accept those as confirmation of whatever religious truth claims they would make?

    Is it your contention that knowledge of facts can be acquired through “the power of the Holy Ghost” or is it only spiritual truths? Since the Bible and the BoM are making (historical) fact claims I’m guessing you think both, but this is a bit of a gray area for me.

    Obviously I am a skeptic/agnostic, but these questions are meant respectfully…

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    RE: Tyler D, The creation of Adam and Eve.

    n historical fact Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and He said,” from the beginning[Genesis]of the creation God made them male and female”(Mark 10:6 KJV)

    Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved= (G. sozo)through *childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety(1 Tim 2:14-15 NIV).

    To the woman he said, "I will make your pains in *childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children…(Genesis 3:16 NIV)

    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people(inherited), because all sinned.( Romans 5:12 NIV)

    death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. (Roman5:14NIV)…

    … in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1Cor 15:22 KJV)

  • Tracy Hall Jr Provo Canyon, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    "Or this one, presumably recorded from a conversation in the spirit world: 'I literally died from embarrassment'.”

    In the spirit world, people sit around bragging about how they died, until the One who has all the bragging rights drops by and smiles.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Tyler D:

    There is no infinite circular reasoning involved. Knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (and all spiritual truths in general) comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. Knowing the Book of Mormon is true also means, by extension, many other things are true.

    For example, knowing the Book of Mormon is true will also mean, by extension, that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Then, knowing Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world means Adam and Eve really existed since Christ is the savior of the effects of the fall of Adam and Eve.

    This is how I know the Bible is true -- I know by extension. I have had a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and its words, and the Book of Mormon testifies of the truthfulness of the Bible.

    Knowing the Book of Mormon is true solves many problems when trying to know if other things are true -- This can be done through extension or that its use facilitates getting a burning witness from the Holy Ghost about other things.

  • Wonderpus Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    By the looks of Adam and Eve's quaffed hair. I think the artist who painted it was using a, shaved, Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett as models. Do people really believe the first humans to walk the earth had milky white skin, perfect hair and shaved bodies?

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    "With respect to the image selected to accompany the online version of the column-- who knew that Eve was a Breck girl?"

    Actually, when Adam and Eve were walking in the Garden, they were both naked. The image selected for the article did not do justice to actuality.

    @Craig Clark:
    "If we take Genesis itself literally, it informs us that God created the woman as an afterthought to keep Adam from being lonely."

    That was the situation in the Garden. And Eve blew it when she ate the apple causing them to both be tossed out on their derrieres.

    "But when the serpent came along, Eve showed Adam that she had a mind of her own and wasn’t afraid to exercise her free will."

    The lesson there is that women cannot be trusted with decision-making roles.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 22, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    @1.96 Standard Deviations – “The creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis is literal. That is, Adam and Eve are not part of a figurative allegory or myth. They really did exist. How do we know this? The Book of Mormon answers in Mormon 9:12:”

    Many people argue for the truth of the Bible (and other religions do precisely the same thing regarding their sacred books) in this manner, but this is a fallacy of circular reasoning.

    In its most basic form it looks like this:

    “The Bible is the word of God. Well how do you know that? Because it says so in the Bible. And how do you know the Bible is true? Because the Bible is the word of God.”

    And around and around and around…

    Would this same logic convince you that the Quran was the “perfect word of the Creator” (which is what you will find in the book)? If not, why not?

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    Paul's use of 'meet' (Acts 26:20) doesn't help shed light on what 'meet' is supposed to convey.

    Both Paul and God, who used the word in Acts and Genesis, apparently didn't have a Webster's Dictionary, which defines 'meet' as a verb meaning 'come upon,' 'encounter.'

    Sorry, but the article didn't help either, in understanding 'meet' in Genesis or Acts.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    I appreciate the insight into those terms "help" and "meet". I never looked at it that way before. Thanks!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Aug. 22, 2013 12:00 p.m.


    Why look to a reporter, who is part of the media, to provide insight and possible counsel and wisdom that is already provided to us from leaders and scripture. I do not look to the media for my direction in life, what about you?


  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    I've literally always wondered about what the phrase "helpmeet" meant.

    OK Let's start over.

    I appreciate the clarification. I read a book many years ago that "translated" some of the King James English to make it understandable to modern audiences. It took many obscure phrases that sometimes made no sense at all and provided the meaning that was originally intended. One of those had to do with "putting new wine into old bottles."

    I've never heard of an old wine bottle breaking just because you put new wine into it. (Yes, I actually did it. Don't try it, its hard to pour wine into a glass bottle - regardless of whether its new or old - and its even harder to get the stains out of the carpet.)

    As it turns out, the word "bottle" actually meant wineskin. The idea was that a wineskin that had no wine in it quickly dried out and cracked open. Now that phrase made sense.

    I think many of your readers would enjoy more insights like this! I'll put in a good word for you with the editors.

  • Wonderpus Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    That painting cracks me up. I love it. Adam and Eve were so contemporary back then: Keen fashion sense, and so well groomed.I like the Human Genome Project version.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:42 a.m.


    The creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis is literal. That is, Adam and Eve are not part of a figurative allegory or myth. They really did exist. How do we know this? The Book of Mormon answers in Mormon 9:12:

    "Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man."

    Since Jesus Christ came into the world, performed the atonement and resurrection, we have a surety that Adam and Eve existed. They are real people.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    Interesting that he would cite the New International Version of the Bible as a source in explaining the term, all that version is is a new interpretation by man of Biblical texts. Man is fallible, how in the world can this version be any more reliable than any other? Other than that he provides no insight into the use of the word or any correlation to why locals use the term presently. If this were a university assignment it would receive a very poor grade!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    @Lagomorph – “Having broached "literally" and segued into Genesis, one wonders if Dr. Peterson subscribes to a literal belief in Genesis (and a literal Adam and Eve) or whether he sees it as a figurative allegory or myth.”

    My thoughts exactly! The irony was rich…

    I liked the picture too… reminded me of many of the fantasy renderings we see in New Age circles (unless that Tiger was thinking, “hmmm, they’re not moving very fast… I’ve got plenty of time”).

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    The Hebrew literally means something like "helper facing," where "facing" means "corresponding to" or "appropriate."

  • noellecampbell ,
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    What a wonderful explanation! I concur!

    www dot noellecampbell dot com

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    Actually the Hebrew words are "ezer neged," meaning "a helper in the presence of." Doesn't say anything about suitability. "Neged" means "in front of, before, in the presence of."

  • Bernard GUi Puyallup, WA
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    "An help meet" always seemed really odd to me until I read the verse in a Spanish bible: una ayuda adecuada.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Brother Petersen,
    I just wanted to clarify something. The Bible doesn't say that Adam wasn't a help meet for the tortoises etc. It simply says that the tortoise etc. weren't helps meet for Adam. You said it was plain that he wasn't appropriate for them. It may be plain to you (and me), but it isn't literally isn't scriptural.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    A little punctuation helps to clarify meaning, instead of help meet, read help, meet. Meet, as in suited to the needs or fitting requirements, describes the kind of help.

    And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help, meet for him.

    Adam is also a help, meet for Eve.

    And together, as husband and wife, are able to return and meet Father in Heaven.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    In today’s world, it’s no longer kosher (excuse the metaphor) to see women as subservient to men. That’s how we have popularly (and ‘literally’) understood the term helpmeet. If we take Genesis itself literally, it informs us that God created the woman as an afterthought to keep Adam from being lonely. But when the serpent came along, Eve showed Adam that she had a mind of her own and wasn’t afraid to exercise her free will.

    The Genesis account of the Garden of Eden has parallels in Sumerian history. The story has been reworked and hung on down through the centuries. While it’s not taken as literally as it once was, it continues to fascinate us.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    I, too, am peeved by he common misuse of "literally" as an intensifier. With any luck, some transgressor will have absorbed the lesson and will avoid future offenses.

    Having broached "literally" and segued into Genesis, one wonders if Dr. Peterson subscribes to a literal belief in Genesis (and a literal Adam and Eve) or whether he sees it as a figurative allegory or myth. Anyone care to enlighten?

    With respect to the image selected to accompany the online version of the column-- who knew that Eve was a Breck girl? Would people's feelings about the story be different if the Adam and Eve pictured resembled something closer to what the archeological evidence suggests, say a couple of Kalahari bush people?

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    After studying Latin and Spanish and using both to help with my English use of words, it is amazing how word usage evolves from one country to another and not just in English. It is good to have this column with intellectual thought that can provoke brain usage.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Language does have a tendency to evolve over time (and devolves as well) so it's occasionally nice to have a primer to help remind us of quirky verbiage from the past.

    I had often wondered about the term "help meet". I vaguely understood its intention, but the words themselves were an odd combination. Thank you, Dr. Petersen, for the clarification. From now on I shall read that verse as:

    "And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a suitable companion for him."

    While it may not be as stiff-upper-lipped as "help meet", it is by far much more comprehensible.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    I am a help meet (fit, worthy) for my husband. He is a help meet (fit, worthy) for me. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and we recognize and accept them. We are two strong, successful people who live together in an equal and loving partnership. Neither of us "rules" over the other or is in any way subordinate to the other, either in our life or our family. There is no "husband is the head of the household" for us -- we are co-equal managers and governors of our family partnership, which partnership is the head of our family.

    That is the system which we have created and supported in 44 years of marriage, and it works well for us. Of course, not every couple operates the way we do. Each partnership has to work the way best for the people who its members. In every case, though, the people should realize that each is a help meet (fit, worthy) for the other and treat the other with consideration and respect and, most importantly, one should not subject the other to unrighteous dominion. Live with love, and enjoy the "trip" through life.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Adam balances out Eve too. I know I am better for having an Adam in my life. I am sure my emotions would run away with me more than they do. I am calmed and steadied by him. And I know we are better parents for having two distinct visions of parenting, like our eyes have slightly different perspectives to see depth.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    Eve balances out Adam making him a better more caring person. I love my Eve!! She provides entertainment, happiness and delicious meals on the days it is her turn to cook. I change the diapers, give the baby her medicine and support my Eve in whatever way I can. We are extensions of each other.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    I have enjoyed Dr. Peterson's writings for years. He is always interesting and enlightening.