Lesson 13

Moses 6:1–47 (Genesis 5)

“Lesson 13: Moses 6:1–47 (Genesis 5)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)


Introduction

Adam’s righteous posterity kept a book of remembrance, taught the gospel to their families, and invited all men to repent. Enoch, one of Adam’s descendants, was called to preach repentance to the people and was called a seer.

Suggestions for Teaching

Moses 6:1–25

Adam’s posterity keep a book of remembrance and teach their children the gospel

chain

Show students a chain (or draw one on the board). Invite them to imagine that the chain represents their ancestors (including their parents), themselves, and their descendants (including their future children). Explain that because we are linked with our ancestors and descendants, certain traits, traditions, and teachings are often passed on from generation to generation.

  • What have your parents (or ancestors) passed on to you?

  • What do you think are the most useful things you could pass on to your future children?

Invite a student to read aloud the chapter summary for Genesis 5. Ask the class to notice the names that are part of Adam’s “chain” of descendants.

Explain that Genesis 5 does not provide many details about Adam and his posterity. Remind students that as the Prophet Joseph Smith made inspired changes to the Bible, the Lord revealed to him many plain and precious truths that had been lost before the Bible was compiled. Moses 6–7 contains significant details not contained in Genesis 5 about one of Adam’s descendants: the prophet Enoch.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Moses 6:1, 13, 21, 23. Ask the class to follow along and look for what Adam and his righteous descendants passed on to their children.

  • What did Adam and his righteous descendants teach their children?

  • From the example of Adam and his posterity, what can we learn about the responsibility parents have to their children? (Students may use different words, but they should identify something similar to the following doctrine: Parents are responsible to teach their children the ways of God.)

Invite students to consider how their parents or other parents they know have carried out the responsibility to teach their children the ways of God. Ask a few students to share their observations.

Summarize Moses 6:2–3 by explaining that Adam and Eve had a son named Seth. After Abel’s death, Seth was chosen to hold the keys of the priesthood and thus carry the responsibilities of the priesthood to succeeding generations (see D&C 107:40–42).

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Moses 6:4–8. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Adam and his descendants did that would help them teach their children.

  • What kind of record did Adam and his posterity keep? What do you think they wanted their children to remember?

Explain that in our day a book of remembrance can take many forms. It can be a journal, a diary, or anything we use to record inspiring thoughts and events about our lives and the lives of those we know.

  • How might keeping a book of remembrance help you teach your children the ways of God?

Ask students if one of their family members has kept a “book of remembrance” that has encouraged them to follow the ways of God. Invite one or two students to share their experiences.

Invite students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals a goal about what they will do to prepare to teach their children the ways of God.

Summarize Moses 6:9–25 by explaining that Adam and his righteous posterity continued to teach the gospel to their families even when those around them became wicked.

Moses 6:26–47

Enoch is called to preach and begins his ministry

Write the following questions on the board, and invite students to ponder them:

When have you felt like you were not good enough?

When have you felt like you had a weakness that kept you from doing something the Lord had asked you to do?

Inform students that Enoch had such feelings when the Lord called him to cry repentance to his people. Invite students to look for principles that can address these feelings as they study Enoch’s experience in Moses 6.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Moses 6:26–28. Ask the class to follow along and look for phrases that describe Enoch’s people.

  • How did the Lord describe the people Enoch was called to teach?

  • What could it mean that the people’s hearts were hard and their ears were dull of hearing? (They resisted the promptings of the Spirit and did not hearken to the Lord’s counsel.)

  • What do you think it means that “their eyes cannot see afar off” (verse 27)? (One possible answer might be that they do not look beyond the present. You may want to suggest that students mark this phrase.)

Invite a student to read Moses 6:31 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for Enoch’s response to the Lord’s call.

  • What concerns did Enoch express about his ability to fulfill the Lord’s call?

  • How does Enoch’s concern about his weaknesses show that he also could not “see afar off” at this time?

Invite a student to read Moses 6:32–34 aloud, and ask the class to look for promises that the Lord made to Enoch. Invite students to identify phrases that stand out to them and explain why they stand out.

  • According to verse 32, what did the Lord tell Enoch he needed to do in order to receive these promises?

  • What can we learn from these verses about what the Lord will do if we do what He asks despite our weaknesses? (Students may identify a variety of principles, including the following: If we go and do what the Lord commands, He will be with us and help us.)

  • How might this principle help those who feel inadequate or incapable of doing what the Lord has asked of them?

Invite students to think of a time when they have seen (or read about) someone who did what the Lord asked in spite of their weaknesses and received the Lord’s help. Ask a few students to share their thoughts with the class. You may also want to share about a time when you did something the Lord asked and were blessed with His help to accomplish it.

Display a container of clay or thick mud and a container of water. Invite a student to read Moses 6:35–36 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord instructed Enoch to do with these items.

  • What did the Lord instruct Enoch to do?

To help students better understand the context and content of these verses, ask them to describe where clay comes from. If they do not know, explain that clay is a type of soil from the earth.

  • What was the result of Enoch anointing his eyes with clay and then washing the clay from them? (He was able to see with spiritual eyes rather than just his natural eyes.)

  • What do you think the act of Enoch anointing his eyes with clay and then washing them might symbolize?

After students respond, explain that the Lord had Enoch anoint his eyes with clay and then wash them to teach him about his sacred role as a seer. Even though we are not called to be seers as Enoch was, we can still benefit from learning to see things with spiritual eyes.

Invite students to identify a principle we can learn from the Lord’s instructions to Enoch and the blessing that resulted. Students might express a principle similar to the following: By strict obedience and with the Lord’s help, we can see with spiritual eyes.

  • What do you think it means to see with spiritual eyes?

Ask students to think about why they would want to be able to see life from a spiritual perspective. Invite a few students to share their thoughts with the class.

Ask students to ponder what they could do to be more obedient so they can better see life from a spiritual perspective. Invite them to set a goal to be more obedient so they can see with spiritual eyes.

Point out the word seer in verse 36, and explain that because God gave Enoch power to see things not visible to the natural eye, he was called a seer. You may want to explain that the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been called of God to be prophets, seers, and revelators in our day.

  • What is a seer?

To help students understand the meaning of Enoch’s call as a prophet, seer, and revelator, invite a student to read aloud the following statements by Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder John A. Widtsoe

“A seer is one who sees with spiritual eyes. He perceives the meaning of that which seems obscure to others; therefore he is an interpreter and clarifier of eternal truth. He foresees the future from the past and the present. … In short, he is one who sees, who walks in the Lord’s light with open eyes. …

“… A prophet is a teacher of known truth; a seer is a perceiver of hidden truth; a revelator is a bearer of new truth” (Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham, 3 vols. in 1 [1960], 258).

Invite a student to read Moses 6:37–39 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the people responded to Enoch’s preaching.

  • What phrases describe how the people responded to Enoch?

  • Why do you think some people might be offended by the prophets, seers, and revelators in our day?

Invite a student to read Moses 6:40 aloud, and ask the class to find what Mahijah asked Enoch.

Ask students to imagine that one of their friends or family members asked them similar questions about the prophet today. To help them think about how they might respond, invite a student to read Moses 6:41–43 aloud. Ask the class to look for how Enoch responded. Invite a few students to explain how they would respond to their friends.

Invite a student to read Moses 6:47 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and notice the people’s reaction to Enoch’s words.

  • How does the people’s reaction recorded in verse 47 relate to the Lord’s promises to Enoch described in verses 32–34?

  • What are some teachings and insights from the prophets and apostles of our day that demonstrate that they are true seers?

Conclude by inviting one or two students to share their testimonies of the Lord’s prophets, seers, and revelators. You might consider sharing your testimony as well.

Commentary and Background Information

Moses 6:5. “A book of remembrance”

President Spencer W. Kimball taught:

“Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity” (“Listen to the Prophets,” Ensign, May 1978, 77).

Moses 6:7. How long has the priesthood been on the earth?

The priesthood “is without beginning of days or end of years” (D&C 84:17). From the time of Adam and Eve, the priesthood and the ordinances of the gospel were available as we have them today (see Moses 5:58–59; see also D&C 107:40–42). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

“The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed. …

“The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years [see Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3]. The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam’s authority” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 104).

Moses 6:11–25. Why did some who lived before the Flood live so long?

While we are not entirely sure why many of the Old Testament patriarchs lived such long lives, here are a few possible explanations:

“The question is not completely resolved in scripture, but several possible answers are implied. Some have interpreted 2 Nephi 2:21 as referring to those living before the Flood: ‘The days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh.’ Others have suggested that it was righteousness that increased the length of their lives. Josephus asserted that ‘God afforded [the ancients] a longer time of life on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in astronomical and geometrical discoveries, which would not have afforded the time of foretelling [the periods of the stars] unless they had lived six hundred years’ (Antiquities of the Jews, book 1, chapter 3, paragraph 9).

“President Brigham Young likewise attributed the patriarchs’ longevity to their obedience to the ‘laws of life.’ He urged the early Saints to cease ‘wasting their lives and the lives of their fellow-beings, and the precious time God has given us to improve our minds and bodies … , so that the longevity of the human family may begin to return’ (in Journal of Discourses, 14:89). A passage in the Book of Mormon supports the idea that the Lord will ‘lengthen out’ the days of the righteous (Helaman 7:24).

“Others have suggested that the earth’s environment may have changed radically at the time of the Flood and that this accounts for the decrease in longevity immediately thereafter (see Moses 8:17).

“Among other possible purposes for the prolonged life span of the ancient patriarchs was the Lord’s need to establish truth through his law of witnesses. In Lectures on Faith, we read: ‘It is easily to be seen, not only how the knowledge of God came into the world, but upon what principle it was preserved; that from the time it was first communicated, it was retained in the minds of righteous men, who taught not only their own posterity but the world; so that there was no need of a new revelation to man, after Adam’s creation to Noah, to give them the first idea or notion of the existence of … the true and living God’ (Joseph Smith, compiler [1985], 20).

“All these factors are feasible explanations. They are not mutually exclusive, nor do they exhaust the possibilities” (Thomas R. Valletta, “I Have a Question: The Length of the Lives of the Ancient Patriarchs,” Liahona, Mar. 1998, 45).

Moses 6:26–36. The call of Enoch

We learn more about the prophet Enoch from the book of Moses than we do from the Bible:

“The Bible contains only a few verses about Enoch (see Genesis 5:19–24). The book of Moses greatly increases our understanding of Enoch’s life, ministry, and teachings: Moses 6:26–36 tells of Enoch’s call, verses 37–47 record his words against the works of men, verses 48–68 contain his message of salvation, and Moses 7 is a record of his remarkable visions of God and of future events on this earth. Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam. He was born 620 years after the Fall, was ordained to the priesthood at 25 years of age, and at 430 years old he and his people were taken into heaven without tasting death (see D&C 107:49). An additional quotation from the prophecies of Enoch is found in Jude 1:14–15, and more information on his life is found in Luke 3:37 and Hebrews 11:5” (The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2000], 20).