Moses 1

Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2003), 21–22


We do not know exactly when Moses received the revelation recorded in Moses 1, but clues in the verses help place it after his experience with the burning bush (see Moses 1:17; see also Exodus 3:1–22; 4:1–17) and before he returned to Egypt to help deliver the children of Israel from bondage (see Moses 1:25–26). Furthermore, we learn that Moses wrote the book of Genesis as a result of the revelations we read about in Moses 1 (see Moses 1:40–41). This chapter is insightful for many reasons, but especially because it tells us how and why Moses received the first few chapters of Genesis (see Moses 1:30).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Suggestions for Teaching

video icon Old Testament Video presentation 3, “God’s Work and Glory” (9:10), can be used in teaching Moses 1 (see Old Testament Video Guide for teaching suggestions). Old Testament Symposium 1995 Resource Videocassette presentation 1, “For Mine Own Purpose” (1:30) can also be used in teaching Moses 1. Introduce the video by telling students that it is a dramatization of Moses’ experience with the Lord. Ask them to look for the answers the Lord gave to Moses’ questions and why those answers are important.

Moses 1:1–22. Knowing we are children of God can give us self-respect and motivation to face the problems of life (see Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1995, 31; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 25). (25–30 minutes)

Write Who am I? on the board. (You may have discussed the answer to that question while studying Abraham 3.) Ask students how the way people answer that question can affect the way they live their lives.

Write Man is nothing on the board and ask students questions like the following:

  • How do you feel about that statement?

  • Is it a possible answer to the question Who am I?

  • Why would anyone feel that man is nothing?

Have students read Moses 1:9–11 and look for clues to explain why Moses said that “man is nothing.”

Have students read Moses 1:1–11 and, as a class, list what those verses teach about God. Ask students how the list compares to any mortal being. Ask: Could this be why Moses said “man is nothing”?

Help students understand who is speaking in Moses 1. Tell them that the “Lord God” who spoke with Moses in Moses 1 was the premortal Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah, even though

He called Moses “my son” (v. 4). This is an example of “divine investiture of authority,” which allows Jesus Christ to speak on behalf of Heavenly Father as if He were Heavenly Father (see Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions [1957–66], 13–21).

When Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden, he was removed from the presence of Heavenly Father. Since then, Jesus Christ stands between us and Heavenly Father as our Advocate and Mediator. Elder James E. Talmage, an Apostle, wrote:

“A general consideration of scriptural evidence leads to the conclusion that God the Eternal Father has manifested Himself to earthly prophets or revelators on very few occasions, and then principally to attest the divine authority of His Son, Jesus Christ” (Jesus the Christ [1970], 39).

Have students look again at Moses 1:1–11 and highlight what Moses learned about himself. Ask:

  • How should we feel about being called a son or daughter of God?

  • What does our relationship to Jesus Christ show us about our potential?

To illustrate our potential, bring the seed of a large tree to class.

As you show it, ask students what they think it can become. Tell students what kind of tree the seed came from. Ask:

  • What is this seed’s potential?

  • How do you know?

  • Although it may seem small and insignificant right now, because of its potential, it has a worth that cannot be measured at present. How might this seed compare to Moses’ statement in verse 11?

  • How is the seed like all of us?

Read Moses 1:12–22 with your students and help them understand how important it is to know who we are and what we can become. Point out the effect this knowledge had in Moses’ experience with Satan. Consider asking some of the following questions:

  • What did Satan call Moses?

  • How did Moses respond?

  • How persistent was Satan?

  • How did Moses’ knowledge of God help him to overcome Satan?

Invite students to share a principle they learned from studying these experiences of Moses.

Moses 1:1–28. When we have the Spirit of the Lord with us, we are better able to discern good from evil and make wise choices. (20–25 minutes)

If possible, darken the classroom so that there is only a small amount of light. Show students two objects that look alike but are different colors (like a dark blue sock and a black sock) and have them describe any difference they can see between the two objects. Turn the lights on and ask them to try again. Have them read Moses 1:1–18 and tell how the activity can be compared to what happened to Moses. Ask: What do we learn about why we need to have the Spirit and spiritual experiences more often?

Have students read Moses 1:1, 5–9, 24–28 and list what Moses saw and learned. Have them read verses 11, 14–15 and look for what allowed Moses to see and learn all that he did. Ask students how this experience could enable him to make better judgments between good and evil.

As a class, make a list of what we can do to invite the Holy Ghost into our lives so that we can receive the blessings of personal revelation and greater discernment. Encourage students to use the Topical Guide (“Holy Ghost, gifts of,” p. 213) and Bible Dictionary (“revelation,” p. 762) to find some answers in the scriptures. The list might include studying the scriptures (see Helaman 3:29), repenting (see Alma 26:21–22), trusting the Spirit’s promptings to lead a good life (see D&C 11:12–14), putting the Lord first in our lives (see D&C 88:67–68), and taking the sacrament worthily and keeping its covenants (see 3 Nephi 18:1–7).

Ask students to think of times they have followed the Lord’s instructions and received the Spirit in their lives. Invite a few who would like to share their experiences with the class to do so.

Moses 1:24–40. It is comforting to know that God’s work and glory is to help us become like Him. (15–20 minutes)

Ask students if they know what they want to do for a living. Invite them to explain why they would want to do that particular work. Read Moses 1:6 and find out about the work Moses was called to do. Ask:

  • How would you feel if you knew the Lord had a work for you to do? Does He?

  • Read Moses 1:24–26 and look for the work Moses was called to do. What work do you feel the Lord has for you?

  • How will you know what your work is?

  • What do you think is the work of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?

  • Read Moses 1:27–29 and find out what Moses saw of the works of God. If you saw what Moses did, what questions might you have?

Have students read verse 30 and find and mark the two questions Moses asked. Have them read verses 31–40 and find how the Lord answered them.

Write immortality and eternal life on the board and ask students what each term means and how they are different. The following words of President Joseph Fielding Smith can help students understand the difference between immortality and eternal life:

“Immortality and eternal life are two separate things, one distinct from the other. Every man shall receive immortality, whether he be good, bad, or indifferent, for the resurrection from the dead shall come to all.

“Eternal life is something in addition. None shall receive eternal life save it be those who keep the commandments of the Lord and are entitled thus to enter into his presence. … That is eternal life, to dwell in the presence of the Father and receive exaltation from him” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:4–5).

Read Moses 1:39; 2 Nephi 26:23–24 and ask students the following questions:

  • How can knowing God’s work and purpose make a difference in our lives?

  • What does knowing that Jesus Christ created this earth and suffered and died for the sins of mankind teach about His commitment to us?

  • How does it help us trust Him and believe that He has our best interests in mind?

Invite students to share their feelings about trusting the Lord.

scripture mastery icon Moses 1:39 (Scripture Mastery). The purpose of God’s works and creations is to help His children receive immortality and eternal life. (15–20 minutes)

Write the text of Moses 1:39 on the board and help students memorize the verse. One method is to have them repeat it aloud as a class. After students repeat the verse several times, erase a few words and have them repeat the verse again. Continue this process until the entire verse is erased and the class is able to recite it from memory.

Tell students that quoting a scripture is not nearly as important as understanding what the scripture means and how it applies to our lives. Ask them why this principle is true and encourage them to look beyond memorizing the words and to gain a deeper understanding of Moses 1:39. As an example, ask:

  • What do the bread and water in the sacrament represent?

  • How do these emblems of the sacrament help us understand how Jesus Christ helps to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life?

  • What does the Lord expect us to do to help Him bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of others? (For examples, discuss how missionary work and eternal marriage are important in accomplishing Heavenly Father’s work.)