“Moses 1:12–23,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual (2017)
“Moses 1:12–23,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual
Satan has no glory. His presence brings darkness and his power is limited (see Moses 1:13–15, 21–22; see also 1 Nephi 22:26; Ether 8:26; D&C 101:28; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 213–14).
Caution: Avoid discussions of experiences people have had with Satan or evil spirits. Such discussions often do more harm than good.
Invite a student to read Moses 1:12 aloud, and then ask students what comes to their minds when they hear the name Satan. Explain that Satan, or Lucifer, is a spirit son of God who rebelled against God and sought to destroy the agency of man and God’s plan of eternal happiness. Because of his rebellion he was cast out of the presence of God and sent to the earth without a body of flesh and blood. He and those who rebelled with him will never receive bodies nor become as God is, and are therefore miserable. Invite several students to take turns reading aloud the following verses and then discuss Satan’s purposes: 2 Nephi 2:18; Doctrine and Covenants 10:20–24; 29:36–37; 76:25–29; Moses 4:1–4. (These scriptures teach that Satan’s purposes are to deceive mankind, destroy the work of God, make war on the Saints of God, and make men miserable.) How was Satan’s attempt to carefully lead Moses away from his ministry like his efforts to turn all people away from God and toward himself?
Ask a student to read Moses 1:23, 41 aloud. Explain that Moses’s confrontation with and dismissal of Satan in Moses 1:12–22 is not found in Genesis. Other passages about Satan that are not found in Genesis include the origin of Satan (see Moses 4:1–4), the temptation of Adam and Eve (see Moses 4:5–12), the temptation of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (see Moses 5:12–13), and Cain’s covenants with Satan (see Moses 5:18–31). Also explain that because there is so little information about Satan in the Old Testament, many people today challenge his reality. In the eight chapters of the book of Moses, however, Satan is referred to more than thirty times. Ask why the reference to Satan is found so few times in the Bible and so many times in the Pearl of Great Price, and discuss why it is important to know that Satan is real (see 2 Nephi 28:19–21).
Invite a few students to take turns reading Moses 1:4, 6–7, 40 aloud, and then review what God called Moses. Compare this title to what Satan called Moses in verse 12. Remind students that because all men and women are spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of becoming like Him. Also, Moses was a son of God in that he had spiritually been born again and had become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ; thus he stood in a position to become a joint-heir with Christ (see Moses 6:68; D&C 25:1). In contrast, Satan called Moses “son of man” (Moses 1:12). Ask students what difference it makes for people to think of themselves as sons or daughters of men, rather than sons or daughters of God.
Note: Satan’s use of “son of man” should not be confused with Jesus Christ’s scriptural designation as the “Son of Man” (see Matthew 8:20; 9:6; D&C 45:39; 49:6; Moses 7:24, 27). In Moses 6:57 we read of Heavenly Father, “Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ.”
Ask several students to take turns reading Moses 1:12–24 aloud. Invite students to share how Moses was able to discern between being with God and being with Satan. What changes occurred in Moses that enabled him to see God (see verse 14)? Your students could also discuss how to apply these principles as they discern between influences of good and evil in their lives today. How can you apply these principles when selecting the music you listen to, the places you go, or the friends with whom you associate (see also Moroni 7:11–18)?
Invite three students to represent the narrator, Moses, and Satan by reading aloud their words from Moses 1:12–22. Invite students to share why they think the account of these experiences was preserved for our day.
Ask a student to read Moses 1:19 aloud. Display the following statements by the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–44) and President Wilford Woodruff (1807–98). Ask two students to take turns reading them aloud, and then discuss the statements as a class:
“The nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes” (Joseph Smith, in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 3rd ed. , 132).
“There never was a prophet in any age of the world but what the devil was continually at his elbow” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham , 238).
Invite students to list and discuss what Moses did in Moses 1:12–22 to resist Satan’s temptations. Display and ask a few students to take turns reading aloud the statement by President Spencer W. Kimball in the commentary under “Moses 1:12–22. Satan’s Temptations” in the student manual. Then ask a few students to take turns reading James 4:6–10; Alma 13:27–29; and Helaman 5:12 aloud, and discuss how the teachings in these verses can help us overcome Satan’s temptations.