Lesson 12: Moses 5:12–59 (Genesis 4)
    Footnotes

    “Lesson 12: Moses 5:12–59 (Genesis 4)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

    “Lesson 12,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 12

    Moses 5:12–59 (Genesis 4)

    Introduction

    This is the second of two lessons on Moses 5. In Moses 5:12–59 we learn that Adam and Eve taught their children Heavenly Father’s plan. One of their sons, Cain, chose to hearken unto Satan and murdered his brother Abel. Wickedness spread among the descendants of Adam and Eve. (Biblical text that corresponds to some of the information in this scripture block is found in Genesis 4.)

    Suggestions for Teaching

    Moses 5:12–15

    Adam and Eve teach their children Heavenly Father’s plan

    Invite a student to come to the front of the class. Blindfold the student, and invite four other students to each go to a different corner of the room. Ask the students in the corners to try at the same time to get the blindfolded student to come to them by using only their voices. After the blindfolded student has reached one of the four students, ask the blindfolded student why he or she chose to follow that person’s voice. Then ask the class the following question:

    • How is this activity similar to what we experience each day?

    Point out that some voices or influences we encounter prompt us to do good while others entice us toward temptation and sin. Invite students to think about the various voices that seek to influence them each day as they continue their study of Moses 5.

    Ask a student to briefly summarize what Adam and Eve learned in Moses 5:5–11.

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Adam and Eve did after learning more about Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Ask students to report what they find.

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:13–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who, in addition to Adam and Eve, sought to influence the children of Adam and Eve.

    • According to verse 13, who sought to influence the children of Adam and Eve?

    • What did Satan tell them to do?

    • What happened when the children of Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan rather than believe in the words of their parents?

    Explain that carnal and sensual refer to being preoccupied with worldliness and with gratifying physical desires, lusts, and pleasures. Devilish means to be influenced by the devil.

    • According to verse 14, what did the Lord invite all of Adam and Eve’s children to do?

    • What principle can we learn from this verse concerning how the Lord calls on us to repent? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: The Lord calls on us to repent through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Write this principle on the board.)

    • How do you know if the Holy Ghost is prompting you to repent?

    Invite students to silently ponder whether they have had thoughts or feelings concerning changes the Lord would like them to make in their lives.

    Ask a student to read Moses 5:15 aloud. Invite the class to look for what will happen to those who choose to believe in the Lord and repent of their sins and what will happen to those who choose not to believe and repent.

    • What principle can we learn from verse 15 concerning what will happen if we choose to believe in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: If we believe in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins, we will be saved.)

    • What will happen if we choose not to believe in Jesus Christ and do not repent of our sins? (Our spiritual progress will be halted.)

    You may want to suggest that students mark the words in their scriptures that teach the truths identified in Moses 5:15. Share your testimony of repentance being a great blessing that allows us to feel the Lord’s forgiveness and love and that helps us prepare to return to our Father in Heaven.

    Moses 5:16–41

    Cain conspires with Satan and murders Abel

    Explain that the remainder of Moses 5 provides examples of individuals who listened to the Lord and others who did not listen and refused to repent of their sins.

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:16–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the names of two of Adam and Eve’s sons and how these sons were different from one another. Ask students to report what they find.

    Explain that the word hearken means to listen attentively. When we truly hearken to the Lord, we will listen to and obey His commandments. Invite a student to read Moses 5:18–21. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who Cain hearkened to instead of God.

    You may want to explain that in verse 21 the phrase “had not respect” means that the Lord did not accept Cain’s offering. God had commanded Adam and Eve and their children to offer animal sacrifices to prepare them to understand the sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ. Cain rebelled against the command of God (see Moses 5:5) and chose to offer his own type of sacrifice.

    Ask a student to read aloud the following explanations by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

    Prophet Joseph Smith

    “Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.”

    “By faith in this atonement or plan of redemption, Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith; he … could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. … As the sacrifice was instituted for a type by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared, to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 48).

    • Why didn’t the Lord accept Cain’s sacrifice? (Answers might include the following: (1) Cain was following Satan’s counsel, not God’s; (2) Cain loved Satan more than God; (3) Cain had rebelled by making an offering that did not symbolize the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ [he did not use a firstborn, unblemished male lamb].)

    Point out in Moses 5:21 that Satan was pleased when Cain’s offering was rejected and Cain became wroth (or angry).

    • Why do you think Satan was pleased?

    • What does this teach us about Satan?

    To help students gain experience in seeking to understand the content of the scriptures and identifying gospel principles, divide the class into small groups of two to four students. Give each group a copy of the following handout. Ask the students to work together in their groups to study the scriptures and discuss the questions on the handout.

    Handout—Moses 5:22–39

    handout

    Moses 5:22–25 contains the Lord’s warning to Cain concerning the consequences of his choices. Read the Lord’s warning in verse 23. You may want to mark the word if wherever it appears in this verse.

    Based on what you have learned from verse 23, discuss how you might complete the following principle, and write your answer in the space provided:

    If we hearken to the Lord’s warnings, then .

    Discuss the following question:

    • How do the Lord’s warnings demonstrate His love for us?

    Read Moses 5:26, looking for how Cain responded to the Lord’s warning. Then discuss the following question:

    • Why do you think it was a mistake for Cain to respond to the Lord’s warning in this way?

    After rejecting the Lord’s warning, Cain continued to listen to Satan. Read Moses 5:29–31, looking for what Satan offered Cain and how Cain responded to this offer.

    You may want to mark the following phrases in your scriptures: “that thy father may not know it” (Moses 5:29) and “all these things were done in secret” (Moses 5:30).

    Discuss the following questions:

    • What did Satan offer Cain?

    • How did Cain respond to Satan’s offer?

    • Why do you think Satan’s promise to keep Cain’s sins secret appealed to Cain?

    • How does the Lord’s way of dealing with sin in Doctrine and Covenants 58:43 differ from Satan’s way in Moses 5:30?

    Moses 5:32–37 explains that Cain murdered his brother Abel and that the Lord held Cain accountable for his actions. Read Moses 5:38–39, looking for Cain’s response to the Lord.

    In your scriptures, you may want to mark the following phrase in Cain’s response in verse 39: “these things are not hid from the Lord.”

    In the following space, write a principle we can learn from Moses 5:39 about the consequences of hearkening to Satan’s temptations: .

    After students have had sufficient time to complete the instructions on the handout, invite them to tell the class how they completed the principle learned from Moses 5:23. Write their responses on the board. As students report the principles they identified, emphasize the following: If we hearken to the Lord’s warnings, then we will be accepted by Him. If we hearken to the Lord’s warnings, then we can avoid sin and the consequences of sin.

    Invite students to state a principle they identified from Moses 5:39, and write their responses on the board. As students report the principles they identified, emphasize the following: If we hearken to Satan’s temptations, our sins will be known by the Lord. If we hearken to Satan’s temptations, we will eventually receive the consequences of our sins.

    To help students better understand these principles and feel their truth and importance, ask questions such as the following:

    • Why are these principles important for us today?

    • When have you witnessed the truthfulness of one of these principles? (Caution students not to share anything that may be too personal or inappropriate.)

    • How can believing these principles influence our actions?

    Moses 5:42–59

    Wickedness spreads among the descendants of Adam and Eve

    Summarize Moses 5:42–54 by explaining that some of Cain’s descendants also chose wickedness and would not hearken to the Lord. They likewise suffered the consequences of their sins. (Do not speculate about the mark or curse placed upon Cain or upon some of his descendants.)

    Invite a student to read Moses 5:55–59 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Heavenly Father has done, and continues to do, to invite His children to repent and prepare to return to Him.

    Remind students that every day we encounter voices or influences that prompt us to do good and others that entice us toward temptation and sin. Share your testimony that the principles students identified during this lesson can help them choose to hearken to righteous voices and influences that will bless them. Invite students to apply what they have learned and to act on any promptings of the Holy Ghost they may have received during the lesson.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Moses 5:13. “Believe it not”

    Satan commanded Adam and Eve’s children to not believe that they were children of God. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

    “No greater ideal has been revealed than the supernal truth that we are the children of God, and we differ, by virtue of our creation, from all other living things. (See Moses 6:8–10, 22, 59.)

    “No idea has been more destructive of happiness; no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, only advanced animals, compelled to yield to every carnal urge” (“Our Moral Environment,” Ensign, May 1992, 67).

    Moses 5:14. The Holy Ghost will prompt us to repent

    Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that the Holy Ghost will prompt us to repent:

    “There are many degrees of personal worthiness and righteousness. Yet repentance is a blessing to all of us. We each need to feel the Savior’s arms of mercy through the forgiveness of our sins. …

    “Some … may need ‘a mighty change [of] heart’ [Alma 5:12] to confront serious sins. The help of a priesthood leader might be necessary. For most, repenting is quiet and quite private, daily seeking the Lord’s help to make needed changes. …

    “How do we decide where our repentance should be focused? … We feel the changes we need to make. The Lord tells us in our mind and in our heart” (“Repent … That I May Heal You,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 40–41).

    Moses 5:23. “And thou [Cain] shalt rule over him [Satan]”

    The Lord’s statement in Moses 5:23 indicating that Cain would rule over Satan must be understood in the context of the plan of salvation. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

    “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. …

    “… When [spirits] have come into this world and received tabernacles, then died and again have risen … , they will have an ascendency over the spirits who have received no bodies, or kept not their first estate, like the devil” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 211–12).

    Thus Cain, despite his sins and great wickedness (see Moses 5:31), will ultimately rule over (or have greater power than) Satan because Cain kept his first estate in the premortal existence and received a physical body in accordance with Heavenly Father’s plan.

    Moses 5:36–41. The distinction between the mark and the curse upon Cain

    The mark set upon Cain was not the same thing as the curse that he received. Cain was cursed as a result of his wickedness. The curse included being “shut out from the presence of the Lord” (Moses 5:41; see Moses 5:36–39, 41). The mark was a token or reminder of the curse, used to distinguish him as the one who had been cursed by the Lord. The mark was placed upon Cain so that no one finding him would kill him (see Moses 5:39–40).