The tree of knowledge of good and evil

I was just pondering the story of Adam and Eve last night and I had what I would call an epiphany.  I don't know whether Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for physically eating a fruit (and I really have no idea why everyone thinks it was an apple), but whether they did or not, I do know that they did taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil--literally or figuratively.  Why did they do that?  Because it was necessary.  There is no other way for us to fill our purpose on this Earth, other than tasting good and evil and then deciding for ourselves which one we want to choose.  I taste my sister's homemade cheesecake and then I taste cheesecake from a store in order to know that I prefer my sister's cheesecake.

So, I think that each one of us, individually, must take of the fruit.  We must learn by our own personal experience (and sometimes that can be made easier and less painful by observing the experiences of others) the difference between right and wrong.  There is no other way.  We must taste the good and the bad and learn to choose the good.  I have experienced much sorrow in my life due to sins I have committed.  Would I take it away, if I were given the chance to go back and change things?  No, because I know that if I did then I would never have learned and therefore I wouldn't have been any better off than I was before.  Would I want my future self to come to me now and warn me of bad decisions I'm about to make?  No, because then my future self wouldn't be wise enough to warn me about it, and I'd rather have the wisdom.

This life is not a walk in the park.  There are difficult times and confusing times.  There are times when we make bad choices--sometimes even knowing beforehand that they are bad--and yet, all of the experiences we are given are a blessing from God.  He loves us so much that He allows us to choose for ourselves.  If He were to always force us to do right, our very purpose of existence would be nullified and the great Plan of Happiness would be undone.

I do not encourage anyone to sin.  I only encourage people to follow God.  Jesus said "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matt 4:10, KJV)  And I will do so as lovingly and compassionately as I can.  But, in doing so, I recognize that it is up to each individual to discover, in whatever way they feel best, what is right and what is wrong.