“Moses 3:1–25,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual (2017)
“Moses 3:1–25,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual
God ended His work of creating the heavens and the earth and rested on the seventh day (see Moses 3:2). He blessed and sanctified the seventh day (see Moses 3:3; see also Exodus 20:8–11; Joseph Smith Translation, Mark 2:26–27 [in the Bible appendix]).
To be created “spiritually” appears to have at least two meanings: to be planned in advance, and to be formed as a living being with individual identity and a spirit body (see Moses 3:5–7; see also Moses 3:19; 6:51).
Explain to students that the Lord taught Moses about some of the details of the Creation. Assign groups of students to read and then report to the class what is taught in the verses from Moses 3 cited below. Ask each group to write three questions that can be answered in the verses they study. Invite them to ask their questions, and then invite the class to discuss the answers:
Ask a student to read Moses 3:1–3 aloud. Then ask students to share what they think the word rest means in these verses (see also the commentary under “Moses 3:2–3. What Does It Mean That God ‘Rested’?” in the student manual). How can we apply this meaning to our Sabbath day observance?
Review with students the statements by President Joseph Fielding Smith and by the First Presidency in the commentary under “Moses 3:5. An Interpolation Showing That Everything Was First Created Spiritually” in the student manual. Ask students to suggest how this verse affects their views of chronological age and time. Ask how this verse affects their view of animal and plant life. Ask if they can suggest other implications of Moses 3:5. Help students understand how this verse might enlarge their views of the eternal plan of God (for example, mortal life is but a short segment of our actual life).
God gave man moral agency (the freedom to choose between right and wrong) and instructed him concerning the consequences of his choices in the Garden of Eden (see Moses 3:16–17; see also 2 Nephi 2:14–16).
Invite students to study 2 Nephi 2:22–23 and Moses 3:9–20, making a list of facts these scriptures teach about the Garden of Eden. Ask students what they think it means to “dress” and “keep” the garden. Note that from the beginning, man has been required to provide for himself and his family by “the sweat of his brow” (Moses 5:1). Ask students what they think it would have been like to live in the Garden of Eden. Discuss the blessings and learning opportunities that would have been forfeited in a paradisiacal life in the Garden of Eden.
Ask two students to take turns reading Moses 3:9 and 2 Nephi 2:15–16 aloud. Invite students to share why they think God placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the Garden of Eden. Then invite students to share in their own words why the forbidden fruit was necessary. Discuss opposites and agency. Ask students why they think moral agency, or the freedom to choose, is a part of the plan of salvation (see also 2 Nephi 2:24).
Show students a small ball that is cut in half. Ask them what the use of these halves is. Now show them a whole ball. Ask students how much more functional a complete ball is than a half. Then ask a few students to take turns reading Moses 3:18–23 aloud, and explain to students that one half of the ball represents man, and the other half represents woman. You may also want to display and ask a few students to take turns reading aloud the commentary under “Moses 3:18. A Helpmeet for the Man” in the student manual. Discuss ways that man without woman, or woman without man, is incomplete (see also 1 Corinthians 11:11–12).
Invite a student to read Moses 3:21–23 aloud. Ask students to suggest possible symbolic meanings of Eve being made from Adam’s rib. Review the commentary under “Moses 3:21–23. Adam’s Rib” in the student manual. Discuss examples of how husbands and wives can work side by side.
Ask a student to read Moses 3:24–25 aloud. Invite students to suggest some of the expectations they have for their marriages. Ask students what they think “leave his father and mother” means. (Begin their own family and become independent from their parents.) Explain to them that Heavenly Father sealed Adam and Eve together in eternal marriage, thus instituting marriage on earth (see Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie [1954, 1955], 1:115; 2:71; Ecclesiastes 3:14). Give examples of the great joy that comes from an eternal marriage relationship, when two partners become one (see also Ecclesiastes 4:9–10; Mark 10:6–9).