I had a chance to email a friend about some thoughts about the Gospel tonight, and I wanted to post these thoughts on my blog (it's been about a year since my last post! Yuck!). My thoughts I sent to my friend are as follows:
Our freedom to choose (our moral agency) is perhaps the most precious gift we have from God, and taking that away from another is not at all part of God's plan. in fact, it was Lucifer's plan in the premortal existence to take away our moral agency so that we would be forced to choose only the good. The truth is, though, there is no personal growth without choice, and God's plan is for us to learn and grow. We grow more like God when we use our agency and freedom in righteous ways (in ways God wants us to use them), and we turn away from God when we choose evil, sin, which as the scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon) make perfectly clear, leads to captivity and spiritual death. In the same breath, however, I'm grateful that God has provided a Savior and a path back to him through the Savior's atonement & grace, and through our sincere repentance & obedience to the gospel. Without the gift of Jesus' sacrifice and the gift of repentance, we'd all be lost forever because there's no perfect human being -- we all make mistakes!
You referenced Genesis, and how God spoke to man in the Garden of Eden. That's a fantastic topic -- about the Garden of Eden and the pattern the Lord uses to speak to his children. About the Garden of Eden -- the gospel helps us understand that there could be no real progress in the Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve's bodies weren't capable of having children in the state they were in the Garden of Eden. Satan tricked Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and Adam ate too, which meant they had to leave the Garden of Eden and experience mortality as we know it now -- with sorrows, trials, etc. "The earth shall be cursed for thy sake," was the Lord's explanation to Adam of what life would be like -- that we'll work for our living. However, without experiencing the bad, we wouldn't know the good. I believe Adam and Eve never understood or could never understand pure joy and happiness in the Garden of Eden because they could never experience pain, bitterness, sorrow, and death in their state. Now that they were out of the Garden, they could experience joy and sweetness for the first time in their lives. The most beautiful part to me, too, is that God promised a Savior and provided his Gospel as the path that would lead Adam & Eve and their descendants to happiness and back into God's presence. Adam and Eve taught these things to their Children. It's my opinion that God didn't just leave Adam and Eve to figure everything out themselves, but provided a lot of extra help via heavenly messengers (can you imagine Eve having her first baby and the new parents having no idea what to do, if it weren't for some extra heavenly help?).
I also believe that the Garden of Eden wasn't the last time God spoke to man. He has spoken to many many times through the ages, and a brief perusal of the scriptures will give you many accounts of God speaking to man. You mentioned Moses, who was one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament. There's also the accounts of Abraham, Enoch, Elijah, Hannah and her son Samuel, David, and more that spoke with God and received revelation from Him. Especially don't forget Isaiah, who was privileged to write some of the most beautiful prophesies about the Savior's ministry, the scattering and gathering of Israel, and prophecies relation to the days we live in now. He received these words through revelation, just as Adam did, and in the same pattern God has used and still uses today to speak to us.
In the New Testament, there's many accounts of the Savior himself communing with God the Father, and God the Father's voice being heard by others. For instance, at his baptism by John, the people witnessing the baptism heard God the Father's voice from heaven declaring that Jesus ..."is my beloved son," There's also the account on the mount of transfiguration that Peter, James, and John heard the voice of God the Father testifying Jesus' divinity. There's also the account in the Temple a few days before Jesus' crucifixion, where those hearing Jesus teach heard God the Father's voice bearing record of Jesus' divinity.
The pattern applies to our day. The Lord has again called a prophet to guide His children in our day, just as he did in Moses' day. We can receive from the Lord the direction that is fitting for our time through his oracles, in the same pattern as any other time in history. This to me is proof that God loves all of His children, even us in our day, just as He did in ancient days.
God has also promised the Holy Ghost, which enables each of us to receive personal revelation. This means you and I can be privileged to receive divine revelation for our own matters. Jesus taught this principle abundantly - "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." "And the Holy Ghost whom my Father shall send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance." I'm grateful that the heavens aren't closed, but that God loves his children today just as much as He did in ancient days.