“Unit 2: Day 1, Moses 1,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 2: Day 1,” Old Testament Study Guide
The Lord spoke to Moses face to face and showed him a vision of the earth and its inhabitants. After this vision, Satan appeared and tempted Moses. Calling on the Lord, Moses commanded Satan in the name of Jesus Christ to depart. The Lord then came again to Moses and revealed the purpose of His creations.
If someone asked you to describe yourself, how would you do so?
- In your scripture study journal, write the following: I am … Then write a few sentences that describe who you are.
Ponder the following questions: How might our thoughts about ourselves influence our behavior? In what ways could our perceptions of ourselves not be accurate?
What do you know about Moses and his life? You may already know that Moses was an Israelite (a member of God’s covenant people), or a Hebrew, but he was adopted by a royal Egyptian family (see Exodus 2:5–10; Acts 7:20–21). Eventually he had to flee from Pharaoh and leave those who raised him (see Exodus 2:11–15; Acts 7:23–29).
Considering this background, how do you think Moses might have described himself up to this point in his life?
Moses 1 describes an experience Moses had with God. This experience taught him more about God’s divine nature and that Moses was His son.
Before you study Moses’s experience, it may help you to know 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 to the King James Version of the Bible. For example, in Moses 1 the Lord revealed experiences from Moses’s life that, because of the wickedness of the world, are not found in the book of Genesis (see Moses 1:23). It may also help you to know that in Moses 1, Jesus Christ is speaking on behalf of Heavenly Father. The authority to speak on behalf of Heavenly Father is referred to as divine investiture of authority (see the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Father and the Son,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 17–18).
Read Moses 1:1–6, looking for what Moses learned about God and about himself.
What did Moses learn about God?
What did Moses learn about himself?
Think about how it may have affected Moses to learn that he was a son of God.
What doctrine can you learn from these verses about yourself? I am .
- Answer the following two questions in your scripture study journal:
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?
Ponder how knowing that we are all children of Heavenly Father can influence how you view others. How can remembering that you are a child of Heavenly Father help you make better choices each day?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught this doctrine when he said:
“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]; LDS.org).
- Refer to the description you wrote about yourself at the beginning of this lesson. In your scripture study journal, write one or two more sentences expressing what the knowledge that you are a child of God means to you and explaining how remembering this truth can help you.
Read Moses 1:7–8, looking for what the Lord showed to Moses. Ponder what it would be like if you had experienced this vision.
Moses needed to be transfigured in order to stand in the physical presence of God. Transfiguration is a temporary change in appearance and nature that must take place so that a mortal can endure the physical presence and glory of heavenly beings (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Transfiguration”; scriptures.lds.org). Read Moses 1:9–11, looking for what Moses learned about himself after the presence of God left him. Although Moses learned that in comparison to God, man is nothing, ponder what evidence you have seen that we are of great importance to Heavenly Father.
Read Moses 1:12. As you read, look for what happened after Moses’s spiritual experience.
Notice that Satan called Moses “son of man.” Why do you think Satan wanted Moses to think of himself as a son of man rather than as a son of God? Can you think of ways Satan and others try to tempt us to think of ourselves as something other than sons or daughters of God?
Read Moses 1:13–15, looking for Moses’s response to Satan’s attempt to deceive him. Notice that Moses used his previous spiritual experience with God to detect Satan’s deception. From this example, we can learn the following principle: We can resist Satan’s deceptions as we remember our previous spiritual experiences and have faith in them. You may want to write this principle in your scriptures.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught how we can demonstrate faith during difficult experiences: “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).
Think about what it means to demonstrate integrity toward the truth you already know.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained:
“It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true [see Hebrews 11:1; Alma 32:21].
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ” (“Come, Join with Us,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 23).
Review Moses 1:15, looking for how Moses was able to discern, or judge, between God and Satan.
- Write a principle in your scripture study journal about what Moses’s experience teaches us about how we can discern between good and evil. Also, write an answer to the following question: When has the Spirit of the Lord helped you discern between good and evil?
Read Moses 1:16–18, looking for what commandments the Lord gave Moses.
To call upon God means to pray to Him. Read Moses 1:19–22 to see how Moses was blessed as he obeyed the commandment to call upon God. (As you read, you may want to mark in your scriptures each time Moses calls upon God.)
Notice that in verse 20, Moses received strength when he called upon God. What did this strength allow Moses to do?
Based on what you learned in verses 20–21, complete the following principle: When we are faithful and call upon God, we will receive .
- Look back through the doctrines and principles you have identified in Moses 1 so far. Think about the events, activities, and discussions you will be involved in and the choices you will make during the remainder of this week. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
During this week, when 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?
After casting out Satan, Moses again prayed and conversed with the Lord. During this second experience with the Lord, Moses learned who Heavenly Father had appointed to create the worlds and the purpose of His creations. Read Moses 1:39, looking for God’s purpose in creating the earth and its inhabitants. (Moses 1:39 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)
From this verse we learn that Heavenly Father’s purpose is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man. Immortality is the condition of living forever as a resurrected being, and eternal life is becoming like God and living forever as families in God’s presence. You may want to write these definitions in your scriptures next to verse 39.
There are 25 scripture mastery passages in the Old Testament. A list of the scripture mastery references is located in the introductory materials of this manual and on your seminary bookmark. You are encouraged to master each of them during this course. To master a scripture passage means to be able to locate it, understand its background and meaning, apply it in your life, and memorize it. Each of the 25 scripture mastery passages will help you explain basic doctrines of the gospel to others.
- Repeat Moses 1:39 aloud or in your mind until you have it memorized. Then recite it to a family member or a friend. Have the person sign your scripture study journal, indicating that you have memorized Moses 1:39.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Moses 1 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: