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Lesson 3:   The Creation   (See L3 Class Member Study Guide)

Purpose:

To help us feel gratitude that God created all things for our benefit and that we are created in his image.

1. Moses sees a vision of God’s creations.

Moses 1:27-42.

What can we learn from Moses 1:27-29, 32-35, 37-38 about God’s power?†1. John Lamb

What can we learn about God’s love for His children?

• Moses 1:40; and 2:1.

How do the accounts of the Creation found in Genesis, Moses, and Abraham differ from each other?

2. Moses learns that God created all things.

• Read Moses 2:1–25; 3:1–14.


Who created the earth? (See Moses 1:32; 2:1; see also John 1:1–3, 14; Hebrews 1:1–2; Mosiah 3:8; D&C 14:9.)

Why is it important for us to know who the Creator is?


What has God revealed about the purpose of the Creation?

(See Moses 1:39; Abraham 3:24–25; see also 1 Nephi 17:36; 2 Nephi 2:11–15.

Note that “although an account of the Creation is included in the book of Genesis, the purposes and importance of the Creation are explained only in latter-day revelation.” (Lesson Manual)

In what ways does earth life prepare us for eternal life?


• Read Moses 2:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31; 3:2. “Eight times, … God declared that his work was good.” (Lesson Manual)

Which of God’s creations are especially beautiful to you?

Why would we be benefited by noticing the beauties of creation more carefully each day?


Was the earth created out of nothing? (See Abraham 3:24; 4:1.)

†2. Joseph Smith  †3. Joseph Smith  †4. Elder Bruce R. McConkie

†5. Kent P. Jackson & Robert P. Millett  †6. Elder Mark E. Peterson  †7. Joseph Smith


How do the creations “bear record” of God? (See Moses 6:63; Alma 30:44.)

How can we show gratitude for the gift of the Creation?

†8. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

3. Moses learns that men and women are created in God’s image.

• Read Moses 2:26–31; 3:7, 15–25. “And I, the Lord, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam … and I took one of his ribs … and the rib … made I a woman, and brought her unto the man … Therefore shall a man … cleave unto his wife’.

†9. President Spencer W. Kimball  †10. Hugh Nibley  †11. James M. Harper

†12. Elder James E. Faust  †13. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


• Read Moses 2:26–27. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … ”.  †14. The First Presidency

How can the knowledge that we are created in the image of God bless our lives?

How should it affect our relationship with other people?†15. Whittaker Chambers


• Read Moses 7:30. Millions of “earths like this … not a beginning to … thy creations …and yet thou art there”.

What does this scripture teach us about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?


• Read Moses 2:26. “Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, … and over all the earth”.

What do you think the Lord meant when He told us to have dominion over His creations on this earth?

 “We need to respect the earth and care for God’s creations.” (Lesson Manual)

How can we better fulfill our responsibility to have dominion over His creations?

Next Week: L4: “Because of My Transgression My Eyes Are Opened”; See L4 Class Member Study Guide.

(You can download a free LDS Institute Manual at: Old Testament Manual: Religion 301 and 302.)

†1. John Lamb: “Probably the most recent and dramatic improvement in our view of the real scope of the universe results from the launching and subsequent fixing of the Hubble space telescope. Now we look out at a tiny patch of sky that before looked like a black, empty spot and find it is full—not of individual stars but of galaxies, each of which has hundreds of billions of individual stars in it.

 “So what is the answer to our question? How many stars are there? Well, brace yourselves, because the answer is truly awe-inspiring. Again, depending on whom you ask, you’ll get an answer something like this: There are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and there are about 100 billion galaxies in the known universe.

 “Now that answer merits some serious pondering. Unfortunately we’ve become rather glib about using big numbers nowadays. With national debts in the trillions and gigabytes in our computers, these numbers roll easily off the tongue. But what do they mean?

 “...

 “This whole idea about the scale of the known universe is so fun to contemplate, let’s look at it again from another perspective. You are the captain of the starship Enterprise, and you have set out to explore the universe, to go where no man (in the case of James T. Kirk) or no one (in the case of Jean-Luc Picard) has gone before. You wish to identify all the inhabited solar systems in the universe, and so you set out. But you have an important advantage over these other captains. You have a new super-charged Enterprise that can ignore all the effects of relativity and acceleration and get from one star to another in one second. You then have one second to explore that solar system and move on to the next. You begin your exploration the second you are born (you are a very precocious child!), and you continue it nonstop for your 100-year life span. You don’t stop for lunch or to sleep or to open your Christmas presents. How many stars will you have visited at the end of your journey? It turns out only about 1.5 billion. How discouraging! You worked really hard, but you’ve only managed to visit around 1 percent of the stars in our own galaxy, let alone in any of the other 100 billion galaxies out there. So how long would it take to visit all the stars at this rate? Oh, about 100 trillion years.” (“Witnesses in Stars and Stones,” BYU Devotional, on Address given January 15, 2002.) at speeches.byu.edu., accessed 1/7/14.

†2. Joseph Smith: “The word create came from the [Hebrew] word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 350–51).

†3. Joseph Smith: “In the translation, ‘without form and void’ it should read, ‘empty and desolate.’” (The Words of Joseph Smith, 60. See also Abraham 4:2.)

†4. Elder Bruce R. McConkie: “What is a day? It is a specified time period; it is an age, an eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes…. There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the ‘six days’ involved in the Creation was of the same duration” (“Christ and the Creation,” Ensign, June 1982, 11).”

†5. Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millett: “Perhaps the most powerful message that is contained in the Genesis creation account is that the Creation was a deliberate act of God. The scriptures leave no room for the idea that the existence of life on Earth is accidental. While we may not know the details, we can be assured that God was in control of his creative process.” (Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3: Genesis to 2 Samuel [Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985], 28)

†6. Elder Mark E. Peterson: “The special creation of this earth was a vital part of the plan of salvation. It had a particular purpose. It was no afterthought. Neither was it an accident of any proportion, nor a spontaneous development of any kind.

 “It was the result of deliberate, advance planning and purposeful creation. The Divine Architect devised it. The Almighty Creator made it and assigned to it a particular mission.” (“Creator and Savior,” Ensign, May 1983, 63)

†7. Joseph Smith: “I once asked a learned Jew, ‘If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?’ He replied, ‘That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible.’ … The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods.” (1844; History of the Church, 6:475-476)

Recommended Reading:

 1. Elder Russell M. Nelson, “The Creation,” Ensign, April 2000.

 2. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, ”Christ and the Creation,” Ensign, June 1982, 11.

†8. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul... Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter... Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it... The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come... Trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.” (“Happiness, Your Heritage,” Ensign, Nov. 2008.)

†9. President Spencer W. Kimball: “The story of the rib, of course, is figurative” (“The Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 71).

†10. Hugh Nibley: “The rib in Arabic … is the expression for anything as close to you as a thing can possibly be.” (in Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, In God’s Image and Likeness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses.)

†11. James M. Harper: “It is all too common in modern times for husbands and wives to place various people or activities—work, recreation, extended family, even Church service—above their marital bond. This is not necessarily a conscious decision. However, the covenant made by Adam and Eve to leave parents and be one teaches us that successful couples will be careful to place each other first.” (“ ‘A Man … Shall Cleave unto His Wife’: Marriage and Family Advice from the Old Testament,” Ensign, Jan. 1990, 28-29)

†12. Elder James E. Faust “The most sacred, intimate, and blessed relationship of life is between husband and wife. I do not love anybody like I love my wife. My mother has father, and my children have their companions, but Ruth is me. Our wives become part of us, and they become like our own flesh—and as Paul counseled, we should love them as such. (See Eph. 5:28-33.) The simple truth is that it is not good for man to be alone. The greatest sustaining influence in my mature life has been the constant supporting, unqualified, unreserved love I have felt for my wife. The sacred relationship with my wife has been the supreme benediction of my life. I just can’t imagine what my life would have been like without having had that blessing.

 “Without our wives we would never be privileged to be fathers and grandfathers, and enjoy all the blessings that that entails. This relation has to come first in all of our relationships with other people. It is the glue that brings together all of the parts of the jigsaw puzzle of eternal joy and fulfillment and happiness.

 “One of the greatest blessings of having a good wife is that she can be the source of the most basic of all human needs—love.” (“Brethren, Love Your Wives,” Ensign, July 1981, 35)

†13. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Human intimacy is reserved for a married couple because it is the ultimate symbol of total union, a totality and a union ordained and defined by God. From the Garden of Eden onward, marriage was intended to mean the complete merger of a man and a woman—their hearts, hopes, lives, love, family, future, everything. Adam said of Eve that she was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, and that they were to be ‘one flesh’ in their life together [see Genesis 2:23-24]. This is a union of such completeness that we use the word seal to convey its eternal promise. The Prophet Joseph Smith once said we perhaps could render such a sacred bond as being ‘welded’ [see D&C 128:18] one to another.

 “But such a total union, such an unyielding commitment between a man and a woman, can only come with the proximity and permanence afforded in a marriage covenant, with solemn promises and the pledge of all they possess—their very hearts and minds, all their days and all their dreams” (“Personal Purity,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76).

†14. The First Presidency: “All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.” (“The Origin of Man,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 78. “The Origin of Man,” reprinted in the Ensign, Feb. 2002.)

Further Recommended Reading:

 1. John Lamb, “Witnesses in Stars and Stones,” BYU Devotional, at speeches.byu.edu.

 2. The First Presidency, “The Origin of Man,” Ensign, Feb. 2002.

 3. Elder Russell M. Nelson, “The Magnificence of Man,” Ensign, Jan. 1988.

 4. Nancy Jensen.

 5. Lenet H. Read.

Recommended Media:


 1. Video: The Creation (5:17)

†15. Whittaker Chambers lost his faith in any God because his family and the world were in chaos, the whole world being at war. But after having a baby daughter, he described what changed his life. “I was sitting … watching her eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life. I liked to watch her even when she smeared porridge on her face or dropped it meditatively on the floor. My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear – those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: ‘No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature. They could have been created only by immense design.’ The thought was involuntary and unwanted. I crowded it out of my mind. But I never wholly forgot it or the occasion… If I had completed it, I should have had to say: Design presupposes God. I did not then know that, at that moment, the finger of God was first laid upon my forehead.” (Witness, 16; in Lenet H. Read.)


 [Note: Whittaker Chambers was an American Communist; a spy for the Soviets who abandoned his atheistic Communist faith for a new faith in God and Christ. For further reading about Whitaker Chambers see:

 1. Whittaker Chambers at Wikipedia; accessed 1/11/14.

 2. Richard M. Reinsch, “Two Faiths: The Witness of Whittaker Chambers,” at Acton Institute: Religion & Liberty; accessed 1/11/14.]

Scriptures:


 D&C 93 “29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence ... was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

 “33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal.


 D&C 131:7 “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure”.


 D&C 88 “11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; 12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—” (See verse 7) “15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.

 “36 All kingdoms have a law given; 37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. 41 He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him.”.


 Abraham 3 “18 Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.

 “19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.”


 Abraham 2:8 “I know the end from the beginning.”


 Abraham 3 “22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones:

 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

 24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell”.


 Abraham 4 “1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.

 “2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate”.

 “5 And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until the morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night.

 “8 And the Gods called the expanse, Heaven. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and this was the second time that they called night and day.”


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