Lesson 8: Moses 2 (Genesis 1; Abraham 4)
    Footnotes

    “Lesson 8: Moses 2 (Genesis 1; Abraham 4)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

    “Lesson 8,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 8

    Moses 2 (Genesis 1; Abraham 4)

    Introduction

    In Moses 2 we learn that Jesus Christ, under the direction of the Father, created the earth and all living things upon it. We also learn that God created Adam and Eve in His image, united them in marriage, and commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth.

    Suggestions for Teaching

    Moses 2:1–25

    Under the direction of the Father, Jesus Christ creates the earth and all living things upon it except mankind

    Display an object that someone made for you (perhaps as a gift). Share with the class your feelings about the object and the person who made it. Then ask:

    • When has someone made something for you? What feelings do you have for the person who made it?

    Ask a student to read Moses 2:1 aloud. Invite the class to follow along and identify who created the earth. (You may want to remind students that Moses 2 is Joseph Smith’s translation of Genesis 1.)

    • What doctrine do we learn from verse 1 concerning who created the earth? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following doctrine: Jesus Christ created the earth under the direction of Heavenly Father.)

    • Some people suggest that the Creation of the earth and all life upon it occurred by chance. Why do you think it is important for us to know that Jesus Christ created the earth?

    Invite a student to read Moses 2:2–5 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Jesus Christ did at the beginning of the Creation. Ask students to report what they find.

    • In verse 5, how does the Lord refer to this period of creation? (The first day.)

    To help students understand the meaning of the term day as used in this chapter, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

    Elder Russell M. Nelson

    “The physical Creation itself was staged through ordered periods of time. In Genesis and Moses, those periods are called days. But in the book of Abraham, each period is referred to as a time. Whether termed a day, a time, or an age, each phase was a period between two identifiable events—a division of eternity” (“The Creation,” Ensign, May 2000, 85).

    Copy the following chart on the board. Divide the class into five groups, and assign each group to study one of the creative periods from day 2 through day 6. Ask them to identify what the Lord accomplished during that period.

    Day 1

    Moses 2:2–5

    Divided the light from the darkness

    Day 2

    Moses 2:6–8

    Day 3

    Moses 2:9–13

    Day 4

    Moses 2:14–19

    Day 5

    Moses 2:20–23

    Day 6

    Moses 2:24–31

    After students have had time to study their assigned verses, ask one person from each group to explain to the class the verses they studied and write what they discovered on the chart. (You may need to help students understand that the word firmament refers to the atmosphere around the earth.)

    After the chart is complete, point out that the scriptures do not contain all the details of the process of the Creation; rather, they testify that the Lord purposefully carried out the Creation of the earth and all life upon it. You may want to invite a student to read the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson:

    Elder Russell M. Nelson

    “The entire Creation was planned by God. …

    “I testify that the earth and all life upon it are of divine origin. The Creation did not happen by chance. … The Creation itself testifies of a Creator” (“The Creation,” 84–85).

    • What are some examples that show how the Creation testifies of the Creator?

    • What feelings do you have for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as you consider Their creations?

    Moses 2:26–31

    God creates both man and woman in His own image

    Invite three students to each read one of the following scenarios aloud. (Consider copying the scenarios on separate pieces of paper and having the students draw them randomly from a container.)

    1. A missionary is teaching a person who wants to know what God looks like.

    2. A young woman has been told that gender is a matter of chance. She has begun to question if gender matters and whether it should influence any of her choices in life.

    3. A young man does not like his body. He struggles with feelings of low self-worth because of his physical appearance.

    Invite students to turn to Genesis 1:26–27. Explain that these verses, which teach what the Lord did on the sixth day after creating all forms of animal life, correspond to Moses 2:26–27. (Genesis 1:26–27, rather than Moses 2:26–27, is designated as a scripture mastery passage so students will be prepared as missionaries to help others locate this passage in their Bibles.)

    Invite a student to read Genesis 1:26–27 aloud, and ask the class to follow along and consider how these verses relate to the scenarios.

    • What doctrine concerning our creation is taught in Genesis 1:26–27? (Students should identify the following doctrine: We have been created in the image of God. Consider writing this doctrine on the board.)

    Invite a student to read the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson:

    President Thomas S. Monson

    “God our Father has ears with which to hear our prayers. He has eyes with which to see our actions. He has a mouth with which to speak to us. He has a heart with which to feel compassion and love. He is real. He is living. We are his children, made in his image. We look like him, and he looks like us” (“I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” Ensign, Apr. 1990, 6).

    Ask a student to read scenario 1 again for the class.

    • If you were the missionary in scenario 1, how might you use Genesis 1:26–27 and the statement from President Monson to teach someone about God?

    Ask a student to read scenario 2 again for the class. Then invite a student to read aloud the following statement from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”:

    “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129).

    • How would you use Genesis 1:26–27 and the statement from the family proclamation to help the young woman in scenario 2?

    • Why is it important to know that your gender is not a matter of chance or a temporary condition but is part of your eternal identity and purpose?

    Ask a student to read scenario 3 again for the class. Then invite a student to read the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson:

    Elder Russell M. Nelson

    “Think of [God’s] gift to you of your own physical body. The many amazing attributes of your body attest to your own ‘divine nature’ [2 Peter 1:4]” (“Thanks Be to God,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 78).

    • How would you use Genesis 1:26–27 and the statement from Elder Nelson to help the young man in scenario 3?

    • Why do you think it is important to remember that your physical body is a gift from God?

    Invite one or two students to share why knowing that they are created in the image of God is important to them.

    Invite a student to read Moses 2:28 aloud, and ask the class to look for what Heavenly Father did after He created the physical bodies of Adam and Eve. Ask them to report what they find. (He blessed them and gave them a commandment.) You may want to explain that the Lord performed the marriage ceremony for Adam and Eve, and they entered into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

    Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball:

    President Spencer W. Kimball

    “The Lord [brought] together Adam and Eve, his first male and first female on this earth, and perform[ed] a holy marriage ceremony to make them husband and wife. They were quite different in their makeup, with different roles to play. Hardly had he performed the ceremony than he said to them: ‘Multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion’ (Gen. 1:28)” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 192).

    • According to verse 28, what was the first commandment God gave to Adam and Eve as husband and wife? (You may need to explain that to multiply and replenish the earth means to have children. Students should identify the following truth: God has commanded those who are married as husband and wife to have children. You may want to suggest that students write this truth in their scriptures near verse 28.)

    Invite students to scan Moses 2:10, 12, 18, 21, 25 to see what God said after each of the first five periods of the Creation was complete. Then ask a student to read Moses 2:31 aloud, and invite the class to look for what God said after He completed the Creation.

    • Why do you think the phrase “very good” was given at this point in the Creation? (God had now finished the Creation, including the physical creation of Adam and Eve.)

    Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson (you may want to provide copies of this statement to the students):

    Elder Russell M. Nelson

    “Grand as it is, planet Earth is part of something even grander—that great plan of God. Simply summarized, the earth was created that families might be” (“The Creation,” 85).

    Conclude by testifying of the truths you have discussed today.

    scripture mastery icon
    Scripture Mastery—Genesis 1:26–27

    Invite students to write a brief talk based on Genesis 1:26–27. To help them prepare, you may want to suggest that they answer the following questions in their talks: What does it mean that I am created in the image of God? How can this truth affect my feelings about myself and others? How can it influence my daily actions?

    Consider inviting some students to share their talks as part of future class devotionals.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Moses 2:2. “The earth was without form”

    The materials of which the earth was formed existed before the Creation of the earth. The scriptures teach that the elements are eternal (see D&C 93:33). The Creation consisted of organizing these materials to form the earth (see Abraham 4:1). President Brigham Young taught:

    “God brought forth material out of which he formed this little terra firma upon which we roam. How long had this material been in existence? Forever and forever, in some shape, in some condition” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 100).

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

    “This earth was organized or formed out of other planets which were broke up and remodeled and made into the one on which we live. The elements are eternal. …

    “… In the translation ‘without form and void’ it should read ‘empty and desolate.’ The word ‘created’ should be formed or organized” (“Discourse, 5 January 1841, as Reported by William Clayton,” josephsmithpapers.org; spelling and punctuation standardized).

    Moses 2:5. How long was a day of creation?

    President Brigham Young said the following about the length of the Creation:

    “The creation occupied certain periods of time. We are not authorized to say what the duration of these days was” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 100).

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that a day “is a specified time period; it is an age, an eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each day, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes. …

    “There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the ‘six days’ involved in the Creation was of the same duration” (“Christ and the Creation,” Ensign, June 1982, 11).

    Moses 2:28. “Multiply, and replenish the earth”

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that the commandment to have children is vital to God’s plan of happiness:

    “Maleness and femaleness, marriage, and the bearing and nurturing of children are all essential to the great plan of happiness. …

    “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” (“The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72).