“Home-Study Lesson: Moses 1–4 (Unit 2)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Unit 2,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
After Moses beheld the earth and its inhabitants in vision, he asked God about the purpose of His creations. As students study the Lord’s answers to this question, they can learn about the purpose of life and their understanding and feelings of God’s love for them can increase.
Show students a small container of sand and a small container of water. Ask a student to come to the front of the class and put his or her finger into the container of water and then dip the moistened finger into the container of sand. (If possible, you could have all of the students dip a moistened finger into the container of sand.) Then ask the student to begin counting the grains of sand on his or her finger. (It should be difficult for the student to count them all). After the student has counted for a while, point to the container of sand and ask:
How many grains of sand do you think are in this container?
How many grains of sand do you think are on a seashore?
Ask a student to read Moses 1:27–29 aloud, and invite the class to follow along and look for what the Lord showed Moses that relates to the sand.
How many of Heavenly Father’s children did Moses behold?
What questions might you ask if you had seen this vision?
Invite a student to read Moses 1:30 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for two questions Moses asked the Lord.
What were the two questions Moses asked the Lord? (Write them on the board: Why were the earth and its inhabitants created? By what power were they created?)
Explain that Moses’s question about the purpose of creation is similar to those asked by many people today. Invite a student to read the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency. Ask the class to listen for why it is important that we discover the answers to these kinds of questions.
“Discovering who we really are is part of this great adventure called life. Mankind’s greatest minds have wrestled endlessly with these questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? What happens after we die? And how does all this fit together—how does it make sense?
“Once we begin to understand the answers to these questions—not with the mind only, but with the heart and the soul—we will begin to understand who we are, and we will feel like the wanderer who is finally finding home. … Everything finally makes sense” (“The Reflection in the Water” [Church Educational System fireside for young adults, Nov. 1, 2009]; LDS.org).
Why would it be important for Heavenly Father’s children to understand the purposes of the earth and our lives here?
Invite a student to read Moses 1:31–33 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s answer to Moses’s second question.
What doctrine do we learn from verses 32–33 concerning who created the earth and “worlds without number”? (After students respond, invite them to write the following doctrine in their scriptures next to verse 33: Under the direction of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created worlds without number.)
Ask several students to take turns reading verses from Moses 1:34–38 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for additional details the Lord gave to Moses about the creation of this and other worlds. Ask students to report what they find. To ensure they understand the content of these verses, you may want to ask questions like the following:
How many worlds did the Lord say had been created “by the Son” (Moses 1:33)? (To help students try to comprehend the meaning of “innumerable” [Moses 1:35], you may want to review the activity with the sand in the container.)
According to verse 35, which of these worlds did the Lord say He was going to teach Moses more about?
Direct students’ attention to the first question Moses asked the Lord, which you wrote on the board. Explain that an answer to this question can be found in Moses 1:39. Before students read this verse, explain that Moses 1:39 is a scripture mastery passage. Also explain that throughout the year, students will focus on 25 scripture mastery passages. These passages will help them understand and explain basic doctrines of the gospel. (For more information on scripture mastery and the Basic Doctrines, see the appendix in this manual). The 25 scripture mastery references are listed on the back of the seminary bookmark for the Old Testament. (You may want to invite your students to look at these scripture mastery references on their bookmarks.)
Invite a student to read Moses 1:39 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for God’s purpose in creating the worlds and their inhabitants.
What is Heavenly Father’s purpose in creating the worlds and their inhabitants? (Students should identify the following doctrine: Heavenly Father’s purpose is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man.)
To help students understand this doctrine, ask the following questions:
What is immortality? (The condition of living forever in a resurrected state.)
What is eternal life? (Becoming like God and living forever as families in His presence.)
How can it influence our lives now to know that Heavenly Father’s purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life?
If hymnbooks are available, invite students to sing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” (Hymns, no. 86) together as a class. Invite them to consider, as they sing, how the words of the hymn relate to what they have learned in Moses 1. Following the singing of the hymn, ask students to write a few sentences in their notebooks or on a piece of paper about their feelings of gratitude for what Heavenly Father has created and done to bring to pass their immortality and eternal life. You may want to invite a few students to share what they wrote.
Ask students if they have ever wondered what happened after Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden. How was Satan able to influence Adam and Eve’s children to be carnal, sensual, and devilish? How did Enoch respond to his calling to be a prophet? What happened to the people of Enoch, and where are they today? Tell students that in the next lesson they will learn about our first parents and what occurred during generations that followed their leaving the Garden of Eden.