Lesson 3: The Creation

Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 9–11


Purpose

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

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study the following scriptures from the Pearl of Great Price:

    1. a.

      Moses 1:27–42. Moses sees a vision of God’s creations and is commanded to write an account of the creation of the earth.

    2. b.

      Moses 2:1–25; 3:1–14. Moses learns that God is the creator of all things.

    3. c.

      Moses 2:26–31; 3:7, 15–25. Moses learns that men and women are created in God’s image.

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Abraham 4–5; Genesis 1–2.

  3. 3.

    If you use the second attention activity, bring modeling clay or chalk.

  4. 4.

    If the following audiovisual materials are available, you may want to use some of them as part of the lesson:

    1. a.

      “In the Image of God,” a three-minute segment from Old Testament Video Presentations (53224).

    2. b.

      A brief excerpt from “The Creation,” part 1 of the Beginnings/Abraham videocassette (53150).

    3. c.

      The picture Creation—Living Creatures (62483; Gospel Art Picture Kit 100).

Suggested Lesson Development

Attention Activity

You may want to use one of the following activities (or one of your own) to begin the lesson. Select the activity that would be most appropriate for the class.

  1. 1.

    Ask class members to consider how much information they would give if they were trying to answer one of the following questions for a preschool child: How does an airplane stay in the air? How does a television set work? How do plants grow? Most of us would consider the understanding of a preschool child and give only general concepts, leaving the details until a child becomes more mature.

    • How are these examples like the Lord’s revelations about the Creation? (The Lord has revealed only that portion of eternal truth that our mortal minds can understand and that we need to know to gain salvation.)

    This lesson will discuss the truths the Lord has revealed about the Creation.

  2. 2.

    Ask a class member to volunteer to make or draw a small animal using modeling clay or chalk (allow only one or two minutes). Then discuss the fact that while we can create a model of a living thing, only God can create life. This lesson will discuss the great miracle of God’s creation of the earth and everything that lives on it.

Scripture Discussion and Application

As you teach the following scripture passages, discuss how they apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

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

Teach and discuss Moses 1:27–42.

  • Who wrote the account of the Creation in Genesis? (See Moses 1:40; 2:1.) Why did Moses write this account? (See Moses 1:40–41.) What can we learn from Moses 1:27–39 about God’s power? What can we learn about God’s love for his children?

  • How do the accounts of the Creation found in Genesis, Moses, and Abraham differ from each other? (Abraham and Moses saw in vision the organizing of this earth and then recorded their visions. Each included slightly different details. The account in Genesis was originally written by Moses, but some of the fulness of his account was lost. This fulness is restored in the book of Moses.)

2. Moses learns that God created all things.

Teach and discuss 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. The purpose of the Creation is to provide a place where Heavenly Father’s spirit children can come to obtain a physical body and be tested or proven to see if they will obey him when they are away from his presence. Those who are faithful will receive eternal life. You may want to point out 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.)

  • In what ways does earth life prepare us for eternal life? (Answers may include: We receive physical bodies, learn to use our agency, gain knowledge, have families, receive ordinances, and make covenants.)

  • What did God say about the results of the Creation? (See Moses 2:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31; 3:2. Eight times in the brief account of the Creation, God declared that his work was good.) 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.)

    The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “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).

  • How does the account of the Creation affect your feelings toward Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? 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?

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

Teach and discuss Moses 2:26–31; 3:7, 15–25.

  • In whose image are we created? (See Moses 2:26–27.)

    The First Presidency said: “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).

  • How can the knowledge that we are created in the image of God bless our lives? How should it affect our relationships with other people?

  • What do Enoch’s words in Moses 7:30 teach about God’s individual care for each of us? What do they teach us about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

  • What do you think the Lord meant when he told us to have dominion over his creations on this earth? (See Moses 2:26. We need to respect the earth and care for God’s creations.) How can we better fulfill our responsibility to have dominion over the creations?

Conclusion

Bear testimony of the truth of the principles you have taught. Invite class members to share their feelings about the Creation.

Additional Teaching Idea

The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use it as part of the lesson.

Length of the Creation

The length of time required for the Creation is not known. The term day in the scriptural account of the Creation does not represent a 24-hour period. The Hebrew word yom can be translated as “day,” “time,” or “period.” The Apostle Peter said that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8; see also Abraham 3:4).