Lesson 6: Moses 1:1–23

“Lesson 6: Moses 1:1–23,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

“Lesson 6,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 6

Moses 1:1–23


The Lord spoke with Moses face to face and showed him a vision of the earth and its inhabitants. Moses then had an encounter with Satan. This lesson discusses Moses 1:1–23. The rest of Moses 1 will be discussed in the next lesson.

Suggestions for Teaching

Moses 1:1–11

God speaks to Moses face to face, and Moses sees the glory of God

Before class, write the following on the board: I am …

Ask students to write a sentence or two in their class notebooks or scripture study journals describing who they are. Then invite them to turn to a classmate and share what they wrote. Ask a few students to share with the class what they wrote.

  • How might our thoughts about ourselves influence our behavior?

Hold up a picture of Moses (see The Ten Commandments, Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 14; see also, and ask students what they know about Moses and his life. You may need to explain that Moses was an Israelite (a member of God’s covenant people) by birth but that he was adopted by a royal Egyptian family. Eventually he had to flee from Egypt and leave those who raised him.

  • Considering this background, how might Moses have described himself up to this point in his life?

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Moses 1:1–6. Ask the class to follow along and look for what Moses learned about God and about himself. Before students begin reading, you may want to remind them that the book of Moses was received as part of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament. The Joseph Smith Translation includes inspired revisions and restored truths. For example, in Moses 1 the Lord revealed experiences from Moses’s life that are not found in the book of Exodus because of the wickedness of the world (see Moses 1:23). You may also want to explain that in Moses 1, Jesus Christ speaks on behalf of Heavenly Father. The authority to speak on behalf of Heavenly Father is referred to as divine investiture of authority.

  • What did Moses learn about God?

  • What did Moses learn about himself that can help us understand who we are? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following doctrine: We are children of Heavenly Father. You may want to write this doctrine on the board.)

  • How do you think knowing that he was a son of God might have affected Moses?

To help students understand and feel the importance of the doctrine that they are Heavenly Father’s children, ask the following questions:

  • What does it mean to you to know that you are a child of Heavenly Father?

  • What experiences have helped you to know that you are a child of Heavenly Father?

  • How can this knowledge affect the way you view yourself? How can it affect the way you view others?

  • How might remembering that we are Heavenly Father’s children help us to make better choices each day?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:

Uchtdorf, Dieter F.

“You are something divine—more beautiful and glorious than you can possibly imagine. This knowledge changes everything. It changes your present. It can change your future. And it can change the world. …

“Because of the revealed word of a merciful God, … you have felt the eternal glory of that divine spirit within you. You are no ordinary beings, my beloved young friends all around the world. You are glorious and eternal. …

“It is my prayer and blessing that when you look at your reflection, you will be able to see beyond imperfections and self-doubts and recognize who you truly are: glorious sons and daughters of the Almighty God” (“The Reflection in the Water” [Church Educational System fireside for young adults, Nov. 1, 2009];

Ask students to look at the descriptions of themselves that they wrote at the beginning of class. Invite them to write one or two more sentences explaining what it means to them to know that they are children of God and how remembering this truth can help them.

Ask a student to read Moses 1:7–8 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord showed to Moses. Ask students to report what they find.

Then ask a student to read Moses 1:9–11 aloud while the class follows along and looks for what Moses noticed after the presence of God left him.

To help students understand verse 11, you many need to explain that Moses needed to be transfigured in order to stand as a mortal in the presence of God. Transfiguration is a temporary change in appearance and nature that must take place so a mortal can endure the physical presence and glory of heavenly beings (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Transfiguration”;

  • What did Moses learn about himself after the presence of God had withdrawn from him?

  • Although Moses learned that in comparison to God, man is nothing, what evidence do we have that we are of great importance to our Father in Heaven?

Moses 1:12–23

Satan tempts Moses to worship him

You may want to write the following question on the board and invite students to write responses as you discuss Moses 1:12–23:

  • How did Moses resist Satan?

Invite a student to read Moses 1:12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for what happened after Moses’s spiritual experience.

  • What did Satan call Moses?

  • Why do you think Satan wanted Moses to think about his earthly parentage rather than his heavenly parentage? (Satan did not want Moses to think of himself as a son of God and does not want us to believe that we are children of God.)

  • In what ways do Satan and others try to tempt us to think of ourselves as something other than sons or daughters of God?

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Moses 1:13–15, and ask the class to look for Moses’s response to Satan’s attempt to deceive him. Ask students to report what they find.

  • How did Moses use his previous spiritual experience with God to detect Satan’s deception?

  • What does Moses’s response teach us about what we can do when Satan tries to deceive us? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: We can resist Satan’s deceptions as we remember our previous spiritual experiences and have faith in them.)

To help students understand how our previous spiritual experiences can strengthen us, invite a student to read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Holland, Jeffrey R.

“In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. … When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. … The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know” (“Lord, I Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 93–94).

  • What do you think it means to demonstrate integrity toward the truth you already know?

To help students identify another principle in this account, ask them to review verse 15 and find how Moses was able to discern between God and Satan.

  • What does Moses’s experience teach us about discerning between good and evil? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: When we have the Spirit with us, we are better able to discern between good and evil.)

  • When has the Spirit of the Lord helped you discern between good and evil?

Invite a student to read Moses 1:16–18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify the commandments the Lord gave Moses. Ask students to report what they find. You may need to explain that to call upon God means to pray to Him.

Ask students to read Moses 1:19–22 silently to see how Moses was blessed as he obeyed the commandment to call upon God in the name of the Son. (You may want to suggest that students mark in their scriptures each time Moses calls upon God.)

  • According to verse 20, what did Moses receive when he called upon God? What did this strength from God allow Moses to do?

Ask students what principles we can learn from these verses. You could have students write the principles on the board. Ask a few students to share the principles they identified with the class. Students may use different words, but they should identify a principle similar to the following: When we are faithful and call upon God, we will receive strength to overcome Satan’s influence.

  • How can calling upon God in the name of the Son help you to recognize and resist Satan’s temptations? (See Alma 37:33.)

Ask students to review the doctrines and principles they identified in Moses 1. Then ask them to think about the events, activities, and discussions they will be involved in and the choices they will make during the remainder of the day. Display the following questions on the board, and ask students to write their answers in their class notebooks or on a piece of paper that they can carry with them to remind them of their choice to improve:

When today might you need to remember and act on one of the principles or doctrines you learned in Moses 1?

How can remembering and acting on this principle or doctrine benefit you?

Consider concluding the lesson by sharing your testimony about the principles you have discussed today.

Commentary and Background Information

Moses 1:1–6. Heavenly Father authorized Jesus Christ to speak on His behalf

In 1916, the First Presidency published a doctrinal exposition titled “The Father and the Son,” which was republished in the April 2002 Ensign. In this document they described how and why Jesus Christ is called the Father in scripture and how He often speaks in the name of our Heavenly Father, in the first person, as though He was the Father:

“In all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. … The Father placed His name upon the Son; and Jesus Christ spoke and ministered in and through the Father’s name; and so far as power, authority, and godship are concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father” (“The Father and the Son,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 17).

President Joseph Fielding Smith further described the role of Jesus Christ in giving revelation to mankind and in speaking as the Father:

“All revelation since the fall has come through Jesus Christ, who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. In all of the scriptures, where God is mentioned and where he has appeared, it was Jehovah who talked with Abraham, with Noah, Enoch, Moses and all the prophets. … The Father has never dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he has never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the Son. …

“In giving revelations our Savior speaks at times for himself; at other times for the Father, and in the Father’s name, as though he were the Father, and yet it is Jesus Christ, our Redeemer who gives the message” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:27–28).

Note that Joseph Smith—History 1:17–20 is an example of the Father appearing so He could “introduce and bear record of the Son.” In addition, when Jesus Christ was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven and bore record of the Son (see Matthew 3:13–17).

Moses 1:6. “Mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior”

One of Jesus Christ’s titles is the Only Begotten Son of God. God is the Father of the spirits of all mankind, but Jesus Christ is the only person who was born into the world as the literal Son of God in the flesh. Because Jesus Christ was born of a mortal mother, He was able to experience mortality, including death. Because He was born of an immortal Father, He had power over death (see John 10:17–18). This power allowed Jesus Christ to accomplish His divine mission for all mankind.

Moses 1:13. “For behold, I am a son of God”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the importance of defining ourselves as sons and daughters of God:

“Be careful how you characterize yourself. Don’t characterize or define yourself by some temporary quality. The only single quality that should characterize us is that we are a son or daughter of God. That fact transcends all other characteristics, including race, occupation, physical characteristics, honors, or even religious affiliation. …

“We have our agency, and we can choose any characteristic to define us. But we need to know that when we choose to define ourselves or to present ourselves by some characteristic that is temporary or trivial in eternal terms, we de-emphasize what is most important about us and we overemphasize what is relatively unimportant. This can lead us down the wrong path and hinder our eternal progress” (“How to Define Yourself,” New Era, June 2013, 48).