Chapter 7: The Creation

Doctrines of the Gospel Teacher Manual, (2011), 19–23


Introduction

  1. What is the meaning of the word create? Many Bible readers think it means “to form out of nothing” (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “create”). Did God create the world out of nothing? Discuss the Prophet Joseph Smith’s definition of create in Supporting Statements B on page 16 of the student manual (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 350–52).

  2. It is fruitless for us to speculate on how God created, or organized, the world, when he did it, or how long it took him to do it. The Lord has not revealed this information, but he has promised to reveal the details of the Creation during the Millennium (see D&C 101:32–34; 2 Nephi 27:7, 10). Although we do not yet understand how the Creation occurred, the Lord has revealed to us why he created the earth (see 1 Nephi 17:36; Moses 1:39).

  3. In discussing the process of the Creation, use Chalkboards 1–4 at the end of the chapter to help the students comprehend the beauty, variety, and wonder of the earth our Father in Heaven created.

Ideas for Teaching

  1. A.

    All things were created spiritually before they were created physically.

    1. Use Chalkboard 1 to teach the students that all things were created spiritually before they were created physically.

    2. When discussing the spirit creation, point out that we know only that a spirit creation occurred. The scriptures do not reveal when or how things were created spiritually. Knowledge of the process itself is not important to us at this time. What is important to us is the revealed truth that we are the offspring of God and that all living things existed first as spirit beings. Read Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s statement about the spirit creation in Supporting Statements A on page 16 of the student manual (see The Millennial Messiah, pp. 642–43).

  2. B.

    The physical creation took place according to the plan of God.

    1. Discuss Chalkboard 2. Point out that a council of gods made the plans for the Creation (see Abraham 4–5). The Prophet Joseph Smith described that council in his statement in Supporting Statements B on page 16 of the student manual (see Teachings, p. 349).

    2. Who actually created this earth? The scriptures—particularly the New Testament—plainly teach that Jesus Christ, or Jehovah, created this earth under the direction of the Father (see Doctrinal Outline B 2 on p. 16 of the student manual).

    3. Adam, who was known as Michael in the premortal existence, helped Jehovah create this earth. Others may also have helped with the Creation, as discussed by President Joseph Fielding Smith in Supporting Statements B on pages 16–17 of the student manual (see Doctrines of Salvation, 1:74–77).

    4. Use Chalkboard 3 to show that the account in Moses and Genesis describes a spiritual-physical creation.

    5. Ask the students what occurred in each of the six creative periods. List their answers on the chalkboard.

      Point out that all three scriptural accounts of the Creation—those in Genesis, Moses, and Abraham—correspond. No scientific discovery disputes the process of the creation as outlined in the scriptures.

    6. On the seventh day of the Creation, Jehovah rested from his labors. He beheld his labors of creation and noted how beautiful they were; he sanctified that day. Read in Doctrine and Covenants 59:16–21 the Savior’s description of the earth that he made for us. Notice the phrases “to please the eye and to gladden the heart” (v. 18) and “it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man” (v. 20). The Lord expects us to confess his hand in all things and keep his commandments (see v. 21).

  3. C.

    We were given a unique role among God’s creations.

    1. Refer to Chalkboard 4, which explains that the Fall caused all living things to become mortal.

    2. God created all living things, but only mankind was created in the image of God. The scriptures confirm that we were created in God’s image. Read and discuss those scriptures listed in Doctrinal Outline C 1 on page 16 of the student manual.

      Read in Supporting Statements C on page 17 of the student manual the statement given by the First Presidency in 1909 called the “Origin of Man” (see Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund, in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:205–6). Knowing that each of us is literally a son or a daughter of a loving Father in Heaven gives us a sense of brotherhood and self-worth.

    3. Before God created Eve, he told Jehovah, “It [is] not good that the man should be alone” (Moses 3:18). Why is it not good for us to be alone? Why is it so important that there be both men and women?

    4. Write on the chalkboard the words help meet. The Lord used these words to describe Eve when he said, “I will make an help meet for him” (Moses 3:18; emphasis added). What does meet mean as used in this phrase? (Compatible, equal, proper, suitable.)

    5. What two commandments did God give in Moses 2:28? Men and women were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth (to have children) and to have dominion over all other creations on the earth. Discuss the responsibilities we have, collectively and individually, to care properly for the resources the Lord has given us.

Conclusion

Challenge the students to read and ponder the scriptural accounts of the Creation and to pray for an understanding of the Creation. We should recognize that we are children of God, that we are all brothers and sisters, that a loving God created this earth and all things on it for our benefit and growth, and that we are expected to use the creations of God profitably and thank him continually for all he has done.