What is sin? In Mormonism, sin and the fall of Adam are a necessity of life so that mankind can be properly tested in this life. Mormons teach that Adam had the choice of two commandments. 1. Be fruitful and multiply (requiring him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) or 2. Not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and so not have children and continue as holy in the garden. Their reasoning is that one would not know joy without knowing sorrow, thus the fall was a necessity, and even a “good thing” (basically the same as the Asian philosophy of Ying/Yang). They could not answer, why in Heaven we will be without sin and yet joyous, no longer knowing sorrow or pain and those former things would not come to mind (Rev. 21:4). They adamantly hold that Adam in the garden would not have known joy or children if he continued in his estate of innocence. Still they could not answer that such an estate in the presence of God Almighty would be one of love, joy and peace, as like heaven to come. As to children, they seem to miss that the command to be fruitful and multiply precedes the fall, thus Adam could have known the joy of children without having fallen.
If sin is now a part of the fallen nature of mankind (the nature produces individual acts of sin) upon what basis can a sinful creature produce any good works that would merit one level of heaven over or below another? In other words if within their system, if Christ earned everyone salvation, but the level you attain to is in accordance with your works, It stands to reason that because all works are technically filthy rags, everyone would only attain to the lowest heaven at best. There was agreement that Christ atones for all sin, but they didn’t understand that they then hold men in a system of works/merits to attain better heavenly levels (a legal double jeopardy = your innocent by Christ to get in, but your works are held against you in order of ranking mankind). I reasoned if Christ did atone for all sin universally, then all men stand perfect before God as there would be nothing to judge them for (no works period). They maintain that men would answer for their “efforts and strivings” to live a Christ like life. There was no answer about how the falling short of this daily, in every action, is either always covered by Christ, or something of merit for one and demerit for another. I tried to explain that only those who are believers in Christ have their sins (all of them) atoned for. The resurrection is an event for all to partake in, but only believers are counted as righteous and just on that day, and only because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.