Lesson 11: Moses 5:1–11
    Footnotes

    “Lesson 11: Moses 5:1–11,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

    “Lesson 11,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 11

    Moses 5:1–11

    Introduction

    This is the first of two lessons on Moses 5. Moses 5:1–11 teaches about Adam and Eve’s experiences after the Fall. After offering sacrifice in obedience to God’s commandments, Adam and Eve learned that they could be redeemed and obtain the blessings of eternal life.

    Suggestions for Teaching

    Moses 5:1–4

    Adam and Eve experience the consequences of the Fall

    Invite students to think of a time when they experienced a significant change in their lives, such as moving to a new home or changing schools. Ask one or two students to briefly share the experience they thought of.

    Explain that Adam and Eve experienced significant changes after they were cast out of the Garden of Eden. To help students learn about these changes, copy the following chart on the board or prepare it as a handout. Invite students to complete the “After the Fall” sections of the chart by searching for information in Moses 5:1–4. Depending on the needs of your students, you could ask them to do this activity individually or in pairs, or you could complete the activity as a class.

    Before the Fall:

    Adam and Eve did not need to labor for their food.

    Adam and Eve could not have children.

    Adam and Eve lived in God’s presence and spoke with Him face to face.

    After the Fall:

    (Moses 5:1–4)

    After students have completed the chart, ask them to report what they found. You may want to suggest that students mark the following phrase in verse 4: “they were shut out from his presence.”

    • What feelings do you think Adam and Eve may have experienced after they were shut out from God’s presence? Why?

    • What term do we use to describe the condition of being separated from the presence of God? (Spiritual death.)

    Invite a student to read the following statement aloud. Ask the class to listen for two sources of spiritual death that we each experience.

    “The scriptures teach of two sources of spiritual death. The first source is the Fall, and the second is our own disobedience” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 48).

    • How does the Fall of Adam and Eve cause us to experience spiritual death? (We are born into a fallen world in which we are separated from our Heavenly Father.)

    • How does our own disobedience cause us to experience spiritual death? (When we sin we become spiritually unclean and unworthy to be in our Heavenly Father’s presence.)

    To help students understand how spiritual death relates to their personal choices, write the following incomplete statement on the board: After I sin, I feel … Then invite students to ponder feelings they have had after they knowingly disobeyed a commandment and sinned. Do not ask them to share their feelings with the class.

    After students have had sufficient time to ponder, point out that feelings such as guilt, shame, sorrow, regret, emptiness, and a lack of feeling the Spirit of the Lord can indicate that we have distanced ourselves from Heavenly Father because of our disobedience. Through these feelings we can come to understand in a small degree what it means to be shut out from Heavenly Father’s presence (see D&C 19:20).

    Moses 5:5–8

    Adam and Eve offer sacrifices in obedience to God’s commandments

    Explain that Heavenly Father helped Adam and Eve understand how they could overcome the effects of spiritual death and again enjoy His presence.

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:5 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Heavenly Father commanded Adam and Eve to do after the Fall. Ask students to report what they find.

    • What does it mean to “offer the firstlings of their flocks”? (To sacrifice the firstborn male lambs upon an altar.)

    • How did Adam respond to this commandment?

    lamb

    Display a picture of a lamb, or draw one on the board. Ask students to consider how sacrificing the firstborn male lambs could help Adam and Eve understand Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption and what would be required for them to be able to return to God’s presence.

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened after Adam and Eve had been obedient to the Lord’s commandment for “many days.”

    • What question did the angel ask Adam?

    • What did Adam say to the angel?

    • What principle can we learn from Adam’s response? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following principle: We can choose to obey the Lord’s commandments even if we do not understand the reason for those commandments.)

    • How can our lives be blessed when we obey the Lord’s commandments even if we do not fully understand the reasons for the commandments?

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:7 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the angel taught Adam about the sacrifices he offered.

    • What do you think the word similitude means? (A similarity, comparison, or symbol.)

    • According to verse 7, what did the Lord want Adam and Eve to understand through the sacrifice of the firstlings of their flocks?

    Refer to the picture of the lamb, and ask:

    • In what ways were the sacrifices offered by Adam and Eve similar to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? (Like Jesus Christ, the lambs were firstborn males and were without blemish.)

    To help students further understand why the Lord commanded Adam and Eve to offer animal sacrifices, ask a student to read the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Ask the class to listen for what he said was the purpose of animal sacrifice.

    Prophet Joseph Smith

    “Certainly, the shedding of the blood of a beast could be beneficial to no man, except it was done in imitation, or as a type, or explanation of what was to be offered through the gift of God Himself—and this performance done with an eye looking forward in faith on the power of that great Sacrifice for the remission of sins. …

    “… We conclude that whenever the Lord revealed Himself to men in ancient days, and commanded them to offer sacrifice to Him, that it was done that they might look forward in faith to the time of His coming, and rely upon the power of that atonement for a remission of their sins” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 48–49).

    • According to this statement, what was the purpose of animal sacrifice?

    Explain that after the angel taught Adam and Eve about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he gave them additional commandments from the Lord that would help them receive the blessings of the Atonement.

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for additional commandments given to Adam and Eve.

    • According to verse 8, what were Adam and Eve commanded to do “forevermore”?

    To help students understand the commandment to “call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore,” ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

    “Why are they to call upon God? Is this a social visit? Is it a friendly neighborhood chat? No, this is a call for help from the lone and dreary world. This is a call from the brink of despair. … This is a call from the personal prison of a sinful heart. It is a call for the forgiveness of sins” (“I Stand All Amazed,” Ensign, Aug. 1986, 69).

    Moses 5:9–11

    Adam and Eve learn that they can be redeemed and obtain the blessings of eternal life

    Write the following unfinished principle on the board: If we repent and call upon God for forgiveness, then …

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord taught Adam and Eve through the Holy Ghost.

    • From what you learn in verse 9, how would you complete the principle on the board? (After students respond, complete the principle on the board so it conveys the following truth: If we repent and call upon God for forgiveness, then we can be redeemed from our sins.)

    • What does it mean to be redeemed from our sins? (To be delivered or freed from the spiritual consequences and penalties of our sins and to be restored to a state of innocence before God.)

    If possible, invite a male student to read Moses 5:10 aloud and invite a female student to read Moses 5:11 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Adam and Eve reacted to the news that they could be redeemed. You may want to point out that the word transgression in these verses refers to the partaking of the fruit that resulted in the Fall of Adam and Eve.

    • What did Adam and Eve teach about the Fall and the Atonement in these verses? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following doctrine: Without the Fall and the Atonement, we could not obtain the blessings of eternal life. Write this doctrine on the board.)

    • What emotion did Adam and Eve express as they learned about the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

    • Why do you think they would express joy as they learned about the Atonement?

    Remind students of when they previously pondered the feelings they have had after they knowingly disobeyed a commandment and sinned. In contrast to these feelings, invite students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals their feelings about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and why it is important to them. For example, students could complete the following statement: Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can …

    You may want to invite students who feel comfortable doing so to share with the class what they wrote about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and why it is important to them.

    Conclude by sharing your testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and your feelings for the Savior.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Moses 5:11. “Were it not for our transgression”

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

    “The Fall was an essential part of Heavenly Father’s divine plan. Without it no mortal children would have been born to Adam and Eve, and there would have been no human family to experience opposition and growth, moral agency, and the joy of resurrection, redemption, and eternal life” (“The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Mar. 2008, 35).

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained why the act of Adam and Eve is considered a transgression rather than a sin:

    “Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: ‘I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. … This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin … for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!’ [Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 1:114–15].

    “This suggested contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: ‘We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression’ (emphasis added). It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin—inherently wrong—but a transgression—wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall.

    “Modern revelation shows that our first parents understood the necessity of the Fall. Adam declared, ‘Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God’ (Moses 5:10).

    “Note the different perspective and the special wisdom of Eve, who focused on the purpose and effect of the great plan of happiness: ‘Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient’ (v. 11)” (“The Great Plan Of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 73).

    Regarding Adam and Eve’s different perspectives of their transgression, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:

    “Later, ‘Adam blessed God … and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God’ [Moses 5:10; emphasis added]. Adam was thinking about his responsibilities. He was trying to align his performance with the desires of the Lord. Eve said, ‘Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient’ [Moses 5:11; emphasis added]. Eve’s response was characteristic of a woman. She embraced all, wanted to make sure that everyone was considered. One response was not more correct than the other. The two perspectives resulted from the traits inherent in men and women. The Lord intends that we use those differences to fulfill His plan for happiness, personal growth, and development. By counseling together they arrived at a broader, more correct understanding of truth” (“The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74).