Unit 3: Day 2, Moses 5:12–59 (Genesis 4)

    “Unit 3: Day 2, Moses 5:12–59 (Genesis 4)” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 3: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 3: Day 2

    Moses 5:12–59 (Genesis 4)


    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. (Bible text that corresponds to some of the information in this scripture segment is found in Genesis 4. Although Genesis 4 is not specifically covered in this lesson, you should read it as part of your daily scripture study. A comparison of Genesis 4 and Moses 5 will help you understand and appreciate the restoration of important truths through the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.)

    Moses 5:12–15

    Adam and Eve teach their children Heavenly Father’s plan

    List the names of a few people in your life who regularly seek to influence you in a righteous way:

    Has someone you know ever tried to persuade you to do something that is wrong? Some of the influences we encounter prompt us to do good while others entice us toward temptation and sin. As you continue your study of Moses 5, think about the different voices that seek to influence you each day.

    Remember from Moses 5:5–11 that Adam and Eve learned about the plan of salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Read Moses 5:12, looking for what Adam and Eve did after learning more about Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

    Read Moses 5:13–14, looking for who, in addition to their parents, sought to influence the children of Adam and Eve. You may want to mark what happened to those who chose to listen to Satan rather than believe in the words of their parents.

    The words carnal and sensual in verse 13 refer to being preoccupied with worldliness and gratifying physical desires, lusts, and pleasures. Devilish means to be influenced by the devil.

    Notice what the Lord invited all of Adam and Eve’s children to do in verse 14.

    Complete the following principle we learn from verse 14: The Lord calls on us to repent through .

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

    The following statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helps us better understand the principle you identified above. Mark what he said about how we will know if the Holy Ghost is prompting us to repent.

    Elder Neil L. Andersen

    “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).

    Ponder whether you have had thoughts or feelings concerning changes the Lord would like you to make in your life.

    Read Moses 5:15, looking 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.

    Complete the following principle based on what you learned in Moses 5:15: If we believe in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins, we will .

    You may want to mark the words in your scriptures that teach the principles identified in Moses 5:14–15.

    Remember that repentance is a great blessing that allows us to feel the Lord’s forgiveness and love and helps us prepare to return to our Father in Heaven.

    Moses 5:16–33

    Cain conspires with Satan and murders Abel

    Cain and Abel

    The remainder of Moses 5 provides examples of individuals who listened to the Lord and others who did not listen but followed Satan instead and refused to repent of their sins.

    Study Moses 5:16–17, looking for the names of two of Adam and Eve’s sons and how these sons were different from one another. List those differences in the following chart.



    The word hearken means to listen and obey. Read Moses 5:18–21, looking for who Cain hearkened to instead of God.

    In verse 21 the phrase “had not respect” means 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. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained why Cain’s offering was not accepted:

    Prophet Joseph Smith

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

    “God … prepared a sacrifice in the gift of His own Son, who should be sent in due time to prepare a way, or open a door through which man might enter into the Lord’s presence, whence he had been cast out for disobedience. …

    “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, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of atonement instituted after that order; consequently Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 48).

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. Why didn’t the Lord accept Cain’s sacrifice?

      2. Notice 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?

      3. What does this teach us about Satan?

    We learn in Moses 5:22–25 that the Lord warned Cain of 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.

    From what you learn in verse 23, complete the following principle: If we hearken to God’s warnings, then .

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. How do you think the Lord’s warnings demonstrate His love for us?

      2. What warnings has the Lord given us in our day?

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

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal, explain why you think it was a mistake for Cain to respond to the Lord’s warning in the way that he did.

    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. (Satan has been a liar from the beginning and certainly had no intention of fulfilling his promises to Cain.)

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

    Satan encourages us to keep sin secret and hidden from others, but the Lord’s way for dealing with sin is the opposite. The Lord said that those who repent of their sins “will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43).

    young man with bishop
    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. How did Cain respond to Satan’s offer?

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

      3. How does the Lord’s way of dealing with sin differ from Satan’s way? (See D&C 58:42–43.)

    Moses 5:32–34 explains that Cain murdered his brother Abel and that he “gloried in that which he had done” (Moses 5:33). When the Lord asked concerning Abel, Cain disrespectfully answered, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Moses 5:34).

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the following concerning Cain’s question: “Are we our brothers’ keepers? In other words, are we responsible to look after the well-being of our neighbors as we seek to earn our daily bread? The Savior’s Golden Rule says we are. Satan says we are not” (“Brother’s Keeper,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 20).

    The Lord held Cain accountable for his actions (see Moses 5:35–37). 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:

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions based on the principle you identified:

      1. Why is that principle important for us to understand today?

      2. When have you witnessed the truthfulness of that principle?

      3. How can believing that principle affect your actions?

    Read Moses 5:36–41, and note the distinction between the mark and the curse that was placed upon Cain.

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

    Moses 5:42–59

    Wickedness spreads among some of the descendants of Adam and Eve

    In Moses 5:42–54 we learn that some of Cain’s descendants also chose wickedness and would not hearken to the Lord and likewise suffered the consequences of their sins.

    Read Moses 5:55–59, looking for what Heavenly Father has done, and continues to do, to invite His children to repent and prepare to return to Him.

    Remember that every day we encounter voices or influences that prompt us to do good and others that entice us toward temptation and sin. The principles you have identified during this lesson can help you choose to hearken to righteous voices and influences that will bless you. Remember to act on any promptings of the Holy Ghost you may have received.

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied Moses 5:13–59 (also Genesis 4) and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: