Display a coat or draw one on the board.
Why might a person carry a coat even though the weather is not cold or wet?
Point out that carrying a coat is a solution to the potential condition of cold or wet weather. (You could adapt this activity by displaying various objects that provide solutions to potential problems.) Write the following headings on the board:
What are some other examples of solutions that can be prepared before a particular condition occurs?
Explain that as students study Moses 4, they will learn about some of the challenging conditions they will experience in life. They will also learn about the solution Heavenly Father prepared in advance to help them overcome these challenges.
Remind students that in our premortal life, before we were born on earth, we learned about Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness and that a savior would be required to carry out this plan. Lucifer, one of Heavenly Father’s spirit children, rebelled against Heavenly Father’s plan. He is commonly known as Satan.
Invite a student to read Moses 4:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Satan demanded of Heavenly Father.
What did Satan demand of Heavenly Father?
Point out Satan’s repetitive use of the words I and me in verse 1. You may want to invite students to mark these words.
What can we learn about Satan from his use of the words I and me in verse 1?
According to verse 2, what did Heavenly Father say about Jesus Christ? (He was chosen from the beginning.)
What was Jesus Christ chosen to do? (After students respond, write the following doctrine on the board under the heading “Solution prepared in advance”: Jesus Christ was chosen in the premortal existence to be the Redeemer of mankind.)
Ask a student to read Moses 4:3–4 aloud. Invite the class to follow along and look for what these verses teach us about Satan.
According to verse 3, what are two things Satan did that caused him to be cast down from heaven?
According to verse 4, how does Satan seek to gain control over us? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following truth: Satan seeks to deceive and blind us so he can lead us captive at his will. Write this truth on the board under “Conditions we experience.”)
Summarize Moses 4:5–11 by explaining that the Lord referred to Satan symbolically as a serpent and taught that Satan “sought to destroy the world” by tempting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (verse 6).
Ask a student to read Moses 3:16–17 aloud. Invite the class to follow along and look for the choice given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
According to Moses 3:17, what would happen if Adam and Eve chose to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
What would happen if Adam and Eve chose not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? (They would remain in the Garden of Eden forever. See 2 Nephi 2:22.)
Remind students that before the Lord explained Adam and Eve’s choices that we read about in Moses 3:16–17, He gave them a commandment of great importance.
What was the first commandment the Lord gave to Adam and Eve? (To have children [see Moses 2:28].)
To help students understand the significance of this commandment, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“To the first man and woman on earth, the Lord said, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply’ (Moses 2:28; see also Gen. 1:28; Abr. 4:28). This commandment was first in sequence and first in importance. It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life” (“The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72).
Why was the commandment to have children so important?
What choice did Adam and Eve need to make in order to obey the Lord’s commandment to have children? (Adam and Eve needed to choose to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. See 2 Nephi 2:22–23.)
Invite a student to read Moses 4:12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Eve and Adam chose to do.
Explain that we call the consequence of Adam and Eve’s choice to partake of the forbidden fruit “the Fall.”
Assign students to work in pairs. Invite them to read Moses 4:13–14, 22–25 together, looking for consequences of the Fall of Adam and Eve. You may want to suggest that students mark in their scriptures the consequences they identify.
What were some of the consequences of the Fall?
What doctrine do we learn from the phrase “thou shalt surely die” in verse 25? (Students may use different words, but they should identify something like the following doctrine: Because of the Fall, all mankind will experience physical death. Write this doctrine on the board under “Conditions we experience.”)
Point out that because our bodies are mortal—or subject to physical death—we experience additional consequences of the Fall before we die, such as physical imperfections and pain. Add physical imperfections and pain to the board under “Conditions we experience.”
What are some other consequences of the Fall that we experience because our bodies are mortal? (Add students’ responses to the board under “Conditions we experience.” These may include injuries, illness, and disease.)
You may want to point out some additional consequences of the Fall. If Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit, they would not have had the opportunity to have children in mortality. Therefore, we would not have been able to come to earth to receive physical bodies, be tested, and prepare for eternal life—frustrating the plan of salvation.
Explain that in the Garden of Eden there was another important tree called the tree of life. Invite a student to read Moses 4:28 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord said would happen if Adam and Eve were to eat the fruit of the tree of life after having eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
What would have happened if Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree of life after partaking of the forbidden fruit? (They would have lived forever in their transgressions, without an opportunity to repent and progress.)
You may want to clarify that if “[Adam and Eve] would have lived forever, … having no space for repentance; … the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated” (Alma 42:5).
Invite a student to read Moses 4:29–31 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord did to prevent Adam and Eve from partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. Ask them to report what they find. You may need to explain that the word cherubim refers to “figures representing heavenly creatures, the exact form being unknown” (Bible Dictionary, “Cherubim”).
Point out that when Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, they were no longer in God’s presence (see Moses 5:4).
What do we call the condition of being separated from God’s presence? (Spiritual death.)
What doctrine about the Fall do we learn from verses 29 and 31? (After students respond, write the following doctrine on the board under “Conditions we experience”: Because of the Fall, all mankind will experience spiritual death.)
To help students understand this doctrine about spiritual death, invite a student to read the following statement by Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Seventy:
“Currently, we are all in the state of spiritual death. We are separated from God. He dwells in heaven; we live on earth. We would like to return to Him” (“The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 73).
You may want to invite students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals one or two ways they have personally experienced the consequences of the Fall. To help them begin, you might suggest they describe the death of a loved one, dealing with sickness, or how it feels to be separated from their Father in Heaven.
You may want to invite one or two students to share with the class what they have written. You may need to explain to students that they should not share experiences that are too personal or private.
What was the solution Heavenly Father prepared in advance to help us overcome physical and spiritual death?
Point to the doctrine you wrote on the board at the beginning of class: Jesus Christ was chosen in the premortal existence to be the Redeemer of mankind. Ask if any students would like to testify of this doctrine and why it is important to them. You may also want to share your feelings about this doctrine.
Explain that in the next lesson students will learn more about Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption prepared through His Son, Jesus Christ.