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Come, Follow Me — Old Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 2, January 3-January 9
Genesis 1-2; Moses 2-3; Abraham 4-5 — “In the Beginning God Created the Heaven and the Earth”

Genesis 1; Moses 2; Abraham 4 The Creation

The book of Genesis (which means “the beginning”) was written under inspiration from God by the prophet Moses, centuries after the events it chronicles. Genesis recounts the Creation and the Fall, plus parts of the lives and ministries of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and Joseph.

Among the greatest of all blessings and miracles in our lives are the blessings of God’s creations. We do not know when, where, nor how Our Father in Heaven—through Jesus Christ and others—carried out the Creation, but we do know the most important facts, including who did it, along with some of what They did, and much of why They did it. Perhaps the most important things to know about the Creation are found in the Lord’s stated purposes: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39); and “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; And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:24-25).

Note the following, drawing from the books of Genesis, Moses, and Abraham:

  • The earth was not created out of nothing; rather, a plan was made to use existing, unorganized materials to “organize” and “form” the earth (see Abraham 4:1).
  • It is likely wrong to assume that each “day” of creation was one-thousand years (as we reckon time). The term used in Abraham is simply “time” (Abraham 4:8, 13, 19, 23, 31) and we are not given any further information; the creation events are simply given in unknown periods or stages.
  • In the Creation, the Gods “ordered” the elements (Abraham 4:7, 9, 11, 18) and then monitored until They verified that the elements had “obeyed” (Abraham 4:10, 12, 18, 21, 25; see also “and it was so” in Moses 2:6-7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 26, 30; see also D&C 29:30, 36).
  • In the creation of plant, animal, and human life, the Lord declared that things were capable of re-producing “after their kind” (see Genesis 1:11-12, 21-22, 24-25, 28; Moses 2:11-12, 21-22, 24-25, 28; Abraham 4:11-12, 21-22, 24-25, 28).
  • The Gods pronounced the results of the various stages of creation as “good” (Genesis 1:7, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, Moses 2:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25); and when all was completed—including man and woman—They declared it all to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31; Moses 2:31).

We can outline the Creation as follows:

  • Planning: the Gods determined what to do (Moses 3, chapter heading and verse 5; Abraham 4, chapter heading and verses 21, 26, 31; Abraham 5, chapter heading and verses 1, 3, 5; the Abraham account may also be considered a “spiritual creation” or plan, which preceded the actual physical creation).
  • Preface: darkness, no form, empty; then God’s Spirit begins to “move” or “brood” (Genesis 1:2; Moses 2:2; Abraham 4:1-2).
  • Day One: heaven, earth, light (Genesis 1:1-5; Moses 2:3-5; Abraham 4:3-5).
  • Day Two: firmament or expanse (sky and atmosphere), and waters (Genesis 1:6-8; Moses 2:6-8; Abraham 4:6-8).
  • Day Three: dry land, seas, plants, trees (Genesis 1:9-13; Moses 2:9-13; Abraham 4:9-13; note that Moses 3:9, 19 state that the trees and animals became “living souls”; presumably meaning they also—like mankind—possess both a spirit and a physical body).
  • Day Four: sun, moon, stars, seasons (Genesis 1:14-19; Moses 2:14-19; Abraham 4:14-19).
  • Day Five: fish, fowls (Genesis 1:20-23; Moses 2:20-23; Abraham 4:20-23).
  • Day Six: animals, man, woman (Genesis 1:24-31; Moses 2:24-31; Abraham 4:24-31).
  • Day Seven: finish, rest, bless and sanctify the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3; Moses 5:1-3; Abraham 5:1-3).

What logic or practicality do you see in the order of creation?

The word “sabbath” means “rest.” What does it mean to you to honor the Sabbath?

Additional points:

  • It appears clear in the Biblical creation account that there is more than one God; that mortal man’s appearance is like unto God’s; and that there is a female Goddess (Mother in Heaven) whose likeness and image were the pattern for creating woman: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27; see also Moses 2:26-27; Abraham 4:26-27).
  • The Lord commanded the animals to “be fruitful and multiply,” and that their diet would consist of plants (Geneses 1:22, 30; Moses 2:22, 30; Abraham 4:22, 30).

Read and ponder Alma 30:44; Helaman 8:24; Moses 6:63. For you, in what ways do God’s creations “witness” and “bear record” of Him?

What false ideas do we avoid because we know that God created the earth and mankind?

To the man and the woman, God commanded:

  • to have “dominion” (sovereignty, stewardship, management) over all the animals and over the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28; Moses 2:26, 28; Abraham 4:26, 28); we must conclude that this also means that we are to have “dominion” over ourselves (see D&C 49:19-21; 59:16-20; 104:13-18);
  • to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28; Moses 2:28; Abraham 4:28);
  • to “subdue” the earth (temper, control, discipline it; Genesis 1:28; Moses 2:28; Abraham 4:28);
  • to eat of plants and trees for their diet (Genesis 1:29; 2:16; Moses 2:29; 3:16; Abraham 4:29; 5:12);
  • to “dress” and “keep” the garden (to till it—according to the Hebrew—and otherwise take care of it; Genesis 2:15; Moses 3:15; Abraham 5:11; note that the Lord gave this instruction before the Fall and thus before Adam was told “in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread”—Genesis 3:19; Moses 4:25).

Note that the chapter heading for Genesis 2 states that “Adam and Eve were married by the Lord.” What do you learn from Genesis 2:18, 21-24 about the relationship between a husband and wife? (see also D&C 42:22).

In addition to the Creation accounts in Genesis, Moses, and Abraham, Brother Keith Meservy taught of the fourth Creation account, which is portrayed in the temple endowment ceremony. He wrote: “Using the power of drama and group participation, this account teaches … the various steps involved in the Creation, the sequence of events, and the roles of those involved…. It is in the temple account of the Creation that we learn that Adam is Michael, who helped Jehovah in the Creation…. In one sense, the harmony of the four accounts of the Creation could be compared to the harmony of the four gospels of the New Testament. They complement one another. Details from one embellish those of the others, ultimately giving us a fuller picture, a broader understanding, and a deeper appreciation” (Ensign, January 1986).

Perhaps there is a way you can think of to follow the Lord’s creation pattern by improving your “planning” and “order” in some aspect of your life.

Genesis 2; Moses 3; Abraham 5 In the Garden

  • As Adam’s spirit entered his body, he became a “living soul” (no longer pre-mortal; nor yet is he mortal, which will come with the Fall; perhaps we can say that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were “amortal,” meaning they did not age and were not yet subject to death; see Genesis 2:7; Moses 3:7; Abraham 5:7).
  • The tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (which may be called “the tree of death”) are apparently both placed “in the midst” of the Garden, where temptation often is—right before us (see Genesis 2:9; Moses 3:9; Abraham 5:9; see also 2 Nephi 2:15-16).
  • The Lord commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17; Moses 3:17; Abraham 5:13), then later created Eve and commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 2:21-24; Moses 3:21-24; Abraham 5:14-18; these two commands come into play later, in regards to the Fall; see 2 Nephi 2:22-23).
  • The statement that Eve was created from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2:22; Moses 3:22; Abraham 5:16) is not literal, but figurative.
  • Adam and Eve “were both naked … and were not ashamed” (they were innocent, yet also ignorant; Genesis 2:25; Moses 3:25; Abraham 5:19).

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