Genesis 6–10; Moses 8

Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2003), 37–39


Introduction

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote that “from Adam to Noah, like rolling crashes of thunder, each louder than the one before, evil and carnality and wickedness increased until ‘every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually’ [Moses 8:22]” (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [1982], 359). At the time of Noah the earth was “filled with violence” and “all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth” (Moses 8:28–29). In an act of mercy for the earth and for future generations, God told Noah: “The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth” (v. 30). Elder John A. Widtsoe, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, taught: “Latter-day Saints look upon the earth as a living organism, one which is gloriously filling ‘the measure of its creation.’ They look upon the flood as a baptism of the earth, symbolizing a cleansing of the impurities of the past, and the beginning of a new life” (Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham, 3 vols. in 1 [1960], 127).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Suggestions for Teaching

Genesis 6–9. Help students develop a better understanding of the story of the Flood. (20–25 minutes)

Divide students into groups of two to four people. Assign each group a different part of Genesis 6–9 to read, and have them make up a short quiz of ten questions. Have the groups exchange and complete the quizzes and discuss what they learned about the Flood.

Noah's ark

Genesis 6–9; Moses 8. The Flood was an expression of God’s justice and love. (30–35 minutes)

Throughout your discussion of the Flood, remind students that Heavenly Father is a loving father and that His punishment of the wicked is for their eternal blessing. Read 2 Nephi 26:23–24 and discuss how everything the Lord does is for the benefit of all of His children. Discuss questions like the following:

  • If all mankind are God’s children, why would He destroy so many with a flood?

  • How was the Flood an act of love by our Heavenly Father?

  • How did it benefit the earth?

List on the board the following ways the Flood was a blessing:

  • It brought judgment upon the wicked.

  • It helped spare a righteous remnant of people through whom God could reestablish His covenant.

  • It protected God’s unborn spirit children, who would have been born without hope of being taught righteousness and truth from wicked parents.

  • It brought the wicked into the spirit world where they could eventually be taught the gospel.

Have students search Genesis 6 and Moses 8 for verses that support those purposes, and list the references under the appropriate category. Explain how the Flood shows God’s perfect justice and mercy. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said that God intervened “when corruption had reached an agency-destroying point that spirits could not, in justice, be sent here” (We Will Prove Them Herewith [1982], 58; see also “The Flood Was an Act of Love” in Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel, pp. 55–56).

The scriptural account of the Flood uses language similar to that used to describe the Creation. Read Genesis 7:10, 14; 8:17, 20–21; 9:1, 3 and ask students how these verses are similar to verses about the Creation. What additional insights do the similarities between these two accounts provide regarding the purpose of the Flood? The Flood, like baptism, represented a new beginning for the earth.

Write in the headings to the following chart on the board and fill it in as you discuss the similarities between the Flood and the Creation:

Adam’s Beginning
(Genesis 1)

Event or Description

Noah’s New Beginning
(Genesis 8–9)

1:2

The Spirit of God moved upon the waters.

8:1

1:6–7

The waters were divided.

8:2–3

1:9–10

The dry land appeared.

8:5

1:24–25

Animals were sent forth to multiply upon the earth.

8:17

1:28–30

Mankind was commanded to multiply and replenish the earth and have dominion over it.

9:1–3

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:41 with students and have them identify how the Lord compared the days of Noah and the days before the Second Coming. We know that the earth will be cleansed again as part of the Second Coming—this time by fire (see D&C 5:19). We, also, must be baptized by water and by fire, which is the Holy Ghost (see John 3:5; 2 Nephi 31:13).

Testify that we can be cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost (see 2 Nephi 31:17). Ask students how we can receive this cleansing power if we have already been baptized and confirmed. Read Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79 and encourage students to do what is required to allow the Lord’s cleansing power into their lives.

Genesis 6:1–4; Moses 8:13–15. Marrying out of the covenant was part of the wickedness in the days of Noah. (10–15 minutes)

Have students read Moses 8:13–14 and ask:

  • Who were the “sons of God”?

  • How were they different from the “sons of men”?

Read portions of the commentary for Genesis 6:1–2, 21 in Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel (pp. 53–54) that help illustrate that they became the sons of God because of the covenant they made with Him. Read Moses 8:15 and ask:

  • What is meant by “the daughters … have sold themselves”?

  • Why do some people marry outside the covenant?

  • What are the blessings of marrying worthy members of the Church?

Have a student read the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball:

“Any of you would go around the world for the sealing ordinance if you knew its importance, if you realized how great it is. No distance, no shortage of funds, no situation would ever keep you from being married in the holy temple of the Lord” (“The Importance of Celestial Marriage,” Ensign, Oct. 1979, 4–5).

Ask students what they think about what President Kimball said and what situations can affect our choice to marry in the covenant. Reaffirm to them the incomparable value of marrying in the covenant and that anything less could have eternal consequences.

Genesis 6–7. Noah was an example of someone with extraordinary faith in God. His example can inspire us to be more faithful. (15–20 minutes)

Sing “Nephi’s Courage” as a class (Children’s Songbook, 120). Ask students how they think the principle taught in this song applies to Noah.

Read what the Lord told Noah to do in Genesis 6:14–21. To help illustrate how large the ark was, take students outside and show them an area you prepared before class that is the approximate size of the ark. Use forty-five centimeters or eighteen inches for a cubit measurement and follow the directions given in Genesis 6:15. If taking students outside is not convenient, compare the size of the ark to familiar objects (see chart in Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel, p. 55; see also its commentary for Genesis 6:14–16, p. 54).

Ask students:

  • What do you think Noah’s neighbors might have thought of him, considering the size of the ark and the likelihood that they were not near any large bodies of water?

  • What has the Lord asked of us through His prophets?

  • What makes us, as Church members, peculiar (strange or ridiculed) to the rest of the world?

Share your own experience or invite students to tell about a difficult assignment they were able to accomplish with the Lord’s help.

Genesis 6–9; Moses 8. Just as the ark provided safety for Noah’s family, there are places today where we can find peace and protection from the wickedness of the world. (25–30 minutes)

Have students imagine that a person came to their school and announced that within a week a natural disaster would destroy their city. Ask:

  • What would you think about the person?

  • What would it take for you to believe him?

  • Where would you go for safety?

Have students read Moses 8:16–24. Ask:

  • How did the people of Noah’s day respond to a similar warning?

  • Why might the people have responded the way they did?

  • What could have convinced them to heed Noah’s warning?

Read Genesis 7:4–6, 11–12, 19–24 and look for what happened to those who did not hearken to Noah. Read Genesis 7:1–3, 7–10, 13–18; 8:13–18 and contrast those consequences with what happened to those who obeyed the prophet. As a class, explore the following questions:

Help students understand that there are places today where covenant people can go for protection from the wickedness of the world and the prophesied destructions of the last days. Before class, draw a picture of an ark and cut it into six pieces. On the back of each piece write the scripture references for one of the six groups listed below. Divide students into six groups and ask each group to study the references on their puzzle piece and prepare to share what they learn about where we can find safety and protection. As each group presents its findings, have the students put the pieces together and build a modern ark.

Group 1:Doctrine and Covenants 1:13–18; 20:25–27 (Following prophets)

Group 2:Psalm 127:3–5; Proverbs 1:8; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:11 (Parents and families)

Group 3:Doctrine and Covenants 109:20–26; 132:19–20 (Temples)

Group 4:Doctrine and Covenants 82:14–15; 101:17–25; 115:6; Moses 7:17–21 (Stakes of Zion)

Group 5:1 Nephi 8:21–30; 15:23–24; Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38 (Scripture study)

Group 6:Luke 21:36; 3 Nephi 18:15–19; Doctrine and Covenants 10:5; Joseph Smith—History 1:15–17 (Prayer)

After the ark puzzle is assembled, read Genesis 6:14 and explain that Noah needed to seal the seams and holes in the ark. Tell students that after we do all we can to remain spiritually safe—follow the prophet, listen to parents, attend the temple, gather in stakes, study the scriptures, and pray—the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to either escape or endure the destruction that will come upon the wicked. Read Mosiah 5:15 and encourage students to apply the Atonement in their lives in order to stay “afloat” during these latter days (see Genesis 7:17).

weekly icon Genesis 6–9; Moses 8. Like Noah, we can find the grace of God during a time of wickedness. (35–40 minutes)

We live in a day when wickedness covers the earth. Eventually, as it was cleansed by water, the earth will be cleansed by fire, which will take place at the Savior’s Second Coming (see D&C 5:19). Noah’s salvation came by obeying the Lord’s commandments and building an ark that allowed him and his family to survive God’s judgments. Like Noah and his family, we need to repent and be obedient to the Lord in order to be saved from wickedness. Have students discuss what the Lord asks us to do today that could be compared to building an ark, allowing us to rise above the wickedness of the world and be saved from the judgments of God. List their ideas on the board.

Divide the class into two groups. Have one group read Genesis 6:1–7:10 and the other Moses 8. Ask them to look for what Noah did that shows us how to be saved from the wickedness of the world. Add the principles they find to the list on the board. Emphasize the following points:

  • Noah was different from other people in his day. Have students read Genesis 6:1–13 and find words or phrases that describe the extent of the people’s wickedness. Discuss the meaning of the “sons of God” marrying the “daughters of men” (see Genesis 6:2; see also the commentary for Genesis 6:1–2, 21 in Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel, pp. 53–54).

  • Read Genesis 6:8 and ask students what grace is (see Bible Dictionary, “grace,” p. 697). Have them read Moses 8:13, 23–27 and identify how Noah obtained grace from the Lord. You may want to have students do activity A for Genesis 6; Moses 8 in their student study guides (p. 19) and share what they discover.

  • Making and keeping gospel covenants is critical to our salvation. Discuss with students the importance of obedience and covenants in gaining help and power from the Lord. (You may want to include the teaching suggestion for Genesis 6–7 with this part of the lesson.) Ask: What blessings did Noah and his family receive because of their obedience? What can we do to prepare for the cleansing of the earth at the Second Coming? What can we be certain of about covenants the Lord makes? (He will always honor His part.)

Ask students:

  • Where and how do you face rejection, ridicule, and scorn in your lives?

  • Do you sometimes feel surrounded by evil influences?

  • What might Noah’s ark represent for us today?

  • Where can we find refuge from the seeming flood of wickedness around us?

  • How can our homes, wards, and stakes be like the ark to us?

  • What can we do to help maintain these places as safe havens?

Help students understand how the temple is also like an ark for worthy members in our day and how important it is to prepare to go to the temple.

Noah also served as an example to us after the Flood. Have students read Genesis 8:20–22 and identify what Noah did first when he left the ark. We should continually thank the Lord for providing a way to save us from wickedness and to help us find joy and hope in this life and eternal life in the world to come.