Lesson 12

Moses 4 (Genesis 3)

“Lesson 12: Moses 4 (Genesis 3),” Old Testament Seminary Student Material (2018)

Prepare to Learn

Prepare your mind and heart to be taught by the Holy Ghost. Diligently seek knowledge and understanding through careful study, reflection, and prayer. Then follow the impressions you receive through the Spirit.

Begin your study with prayer.

video icon During our lives, we have the opportunity to make many decisions that will lead us down different paths. Satan seeks to set us on a course that leads us away from our Father in Heaven. In the video “Satan Seeks to Deceive Us” (1:23), President Dallin H. Oaks explains how Satan tries to overthrow us. Although President Oaks is speaking directly to young men, his warning is applicable to all of God’s children.

A Potential Condition

youth holding a coat

Have you ever prepared in advance for difficult conditions? For example, have you ever carried a coat with you even though it was not yet cold or wet outside?

What are some other examples of solutions that can be prepared before a particular condition occurs?

Premortal Life

Council in Heaven

In the premortal life, before we were born on earth, we learned about Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We also learned that because of conditions we would experience on earth, we would require a savior. Lucifer, one of Heavenly Father’s spirit children, unrighteously sought to be this savior and rebelled against Heavenly Father’s plan. Lucifer is commonly called Satan.

Read Moses 4:1–2, looking for differences between Jesus Christ’s statement in verse 2 and Satan’s statement in verse 1.

According to verse 2, what did Heavenly Father say about Jesus Christ?

The Redeemer of Mankind

Jesus Christ

From Moses 4:1–2 we can learn the following doctrinal truth: Jesus Christ was chosen in the premortal existence to be the Redeemer of mankind. This was the solution that Heavenly Father prepared in advance for the difficult conditions we would face in mortality. As you continue studying Moses 4, you will learn about some of these challenging conditions.

The Tactics of Satan

youth studying the scriptures

Read Moses 4:3–4, looking for what these verses teach us about Satan.

Quiz 1

  1. According to verse 3, what did Satan do that caused him to be cast down from heaven? Please select all that apply.

    1. He rebelled against Heavenly Father.

    2. He sought to destroy the agency of all.

    3. He tried to stop the Creation of the earth.

    4. He sought Heavenly Father’s power.

  2. According to verse 4, how does Satan seek to gain control over us?

    1. He deceives and blinds us.

    2. He overwhelms us with fear.

    3. He uses his power to force us to follow him.

Satan’s Attempts to Deceive


From Moses 4:3–4 we can learn that Satan seeks to deceive and blind us so he can lead us captive at his will. Satan’s attempts to deceive us are one of the conditions that we experience in mortality.

In Moses 4:5–11 we read that the Lord taught that Satan “sought to destroy the world” by tempting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (verse 6). Satan did so in the form of a serpent.

Read Moses 3:16–17, looking for the choice given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

A Commandment

President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) summarized the choice presented to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden:

President Joseph Fielding Smith

“The Lord said to Adam, here is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you want to stay here, then you cannot eat of that fruit. If you want to stay here, then I forbid you to eat it. But you may act for yourself, and you may eat of it if you want to. And if you eat it, you will die” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Fall—Atonement—ResurrectionSacrament” [address given at LDS Institute of Religion, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 14, 1961], in Charge to Religious Educators, 2nd ed. [1982], 124).

The Lord also stated, “Thou mayest choose for thyself” (Moses 3:17), indicating that the Fall had to occur as a result of human choice.

If Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would die (see Moses 3:17). If they did not eat the fruit, they would remain unchanged in the Garden of Eden forever and would never have children (see 2 Nephi 2:22–23). However, God had commanded Adam and Eve to have children (see Moses 2:28).

Why was the commandment to have children so important? Consider this statement by President Dallin H. Oaks:

Dallin H. Oaks

“To the first man and woman on earth, the Lord said, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply’ (Moses 2:28; see also Gen. 1:28; Abr. 4:28). This commandment was first in sequence and first in importance. It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life” (Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72).

Eve and Adam’s Choice


In order for Adam and Eve to have children, they needed to choose to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (see 2 Nephi 2:22–23).

Read Moses 4:12, looking for what Eve and Adam chose to do.

The Fall

Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve’s choice to partake of the forbidden fruit resulted in what is known as “the Fall of Adam and Eve” or “the Fall.”

Read Moses 4:13–14, 22–25, looking for conditions that resulted from the Fall of Adam and Eve. You may want to mark these verses in your scriptures.

The Conditions of the Fall

young man thinking

One condition we can learn about from Moses 4:25 is that because of the Fall, all mankind will experience physical death.

writing icon1. In addition to physical death, what are some other conditions we experience because of the Fall? Be sure to include in your answer what you found in Moses 4:13–14, 22–25.

The Tree of Life


In the Garden of Eden, there was another important tree called the tree of life.

Read Moses 4:28, looking for what the Lord said would happen if Adam and Eve were to eat the fruit of the tree of life after having eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The Lord’s Mercy

young woman studying the gospel

If Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of life after partaking of the forbidden fruit, they would have lived forever in their transgression and would not have had an opportunity to repent and progress (see Alma 42:5).

Read Moses 4:29–31, looking for what the Lord did to prevent Adam and Eve from partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. It may help to know that the word cherubim refers to “figures representing heavenly creatures, the exact form being unknown” (Bible Dictionary, “Cherubim”).

Spiritual Death

After Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, they were no longer in God’s presence (see Moses 5:4). The condition of being separated from God’s presence is called spiritual death.

From Moses 4:29, 31 we learn that because of the Fall, all mankind will experience spiritual death.

While serving as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Earl C. Tingey provided the following clarification:

Earl C. Tingey

“Currently, we are all in the state of spiritual death. We are separated from God. He dwells in heaven; we live on earth. We would like to return to Him” (Earl C. Tingey, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 73).

Personal Experiences

youth typing

writing icon2. Please respond to both of the following questions:

  • What are two ways you have personally experienced the conditions of the Fall? These ways might include losing a loved one, dealing with sickness, or being separated from your Father in Heaven. Be sure not to share thoughts or experiences that are too personal or private.

  • What was the solution Heavenly Father prepared in advance to help us overcome physical and spiritual death?

Our Redeemer

Jesus Christ

The following truths were identified in this lesson:

  • Jesus Christ was chosen in the premortal existence to be the Redeemer of mankind.

  • Satan seeks to deceive and blind us so he can lead us captive at his will.

  • Because of the Fall, all mankind will experience physical death.

  • Because of the Fall, all mankind will experience spiritual death.

The title “Redeemer” means that Jesus Christ redeems us from the consequences of the Fall. Heavenly Father loved us enough to provide a Redeemer before the events of the Fall took place.

writing icon3. What does it mean to you to know that Jesus Christ was chosen in the premortal existence to be the Redeemer of mankind? What blessings have you experienced because of what God has put in place to help you overcome the Fall?

Doctrinal Mastery: Review

Isaiah writing

Let’s look at one of the doctrinal mastery passages from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Read Isaiah 5:20, looking for the three pairs of words below.




What did Isaiah teach by using these pairs of opposites?

An Invitation to Remember This Doctrine

young man studying the scriptures

Look in the Doctrinal Mastery Reference Guide for what key phrase of doctrine is taught in Isaiah 5:20.

Think about how you can remember this doctrine when you face situations in which you must discern and choose between good and evil.

Answer Key

Quiz 1: (1) a, b, d; (2) a