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And the redeemed will be sharers in [Jesus'] joy, as they behold, among the blessed, those who have been won to Christ through their prayers, their labors, and their loving sacrifice. Hvn 49.

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The Glorious Tree of Life

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden.... And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8, 9.

    Man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His mind was capable of comprehending divine things. His affections were pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. He was holy and happy in bearing the image of God and in perfect obedience to His will. As man came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance bore the ruddy tint of health, and glowed with the light of life and joy....

    Everything that God had made was the perfection of beauty, and nothing seemed wanting that could contribute to the happiness of the holy pair; yet the Creator gave them still another token of His love, by preparing a garden especially for their home. In this garden were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit.... In the midst of the garden stood the tree of life, surpassing in glory all other trees. Its fruit appeared like apples of gold and silver, and had the power to perpetuate life....

    The tree of knowledge, which stood near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents. While permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death....

    They were visited by angels, and were granted communion with their Maker, with no obscuring veil between. They were full of the vigor imparted by the tree of life, and their intellectual power was but little less than that of the angels.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 45-50.

    [Our first parents] were to enjoy communion with God and with holy angels; but ... their loyalty must be tested.... Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he [man] was to have access to the tree of life.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 48, 49.

    In order to possess an endless existence, man must continue to partake of the tree of life. Deprived of this, his vitality would gradually diminish until life should become extinct.... He [Satan] hoped that they would eat of the tree of life.... But after man’s fall, holy angels were immediately commissioned to guard the tree of life.... None of the family of Adam were permitted to pass that barrier to partake of the life-giving fruit; hence there is not an immortal sinner.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 60.

From Reflecting Christ - Page 136

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