Understanding the Scriptures
|Host (v. 1)||Great number of things|
|Sanctified (v. 3)||Made holy and sacred|
|Generations (v. 4)||Beginnings|
|Spiritually, spiritual (vv. 5, 7, 9)||Eternal, not subject to death|
|Naturally (vv. 5, 9)||Mortal, will eventually die|
|Till (v. 5)||Plow, to dig up|
|Flesh (vv. 5, 7)||Mortal life|
|Sphere (v. 9)||Condition|
|Compasseth (v. 11)||Goes around|
|Dress (v. 15)||Take care of|
|Freely eat (v. 16)||Eat without any consequences|
|Meet (vv. 18, 20)||Exactly right, perfectly matched, proper, fitting|
|Stead (v. 21)||Place|
|Cleave unto (v. 24)||Be closest to and stay with|
Moses 3:4–9—Spiritual Creation
At the time described in Moses 3:5, all things were “spiritual,” meaning they could not die. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Adam’s body was created from the dust of the earth, but at that time it was a spiritual earth. …
“… What is a spiritual body? It is one that is quickened by spirit and not by blood. …
“… The forbidden fruit had the power to create blood and change his nature and mortality took the place of immortality” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:76–77).
In other words, in the account we have of the Creation, we read that Adam and Eve had physical bodies, but they were “spiritual” physical bodies. When they fell, a change took place (as described in Moses 4), and all things became “natural,” meaning Adam and Eve were subject to death. Adam and Eve then had “natural” physical bodies (see also 2 Nephi 2:22). You may want to highlight the words spiritual and natural in your scriptures and write their definitions in the margin of your scriptures.
Moses 3:15–17—The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
The Lord gave Adam and Eve agency in the Garden of Eden. Agency, or the ability to make choices and be accountable for them, is necessary for everyone who desires to become like God. Consequently, Adam and Eve needed to exercise their agency and partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil so they could progress to become like Heavenly Father. Partaking of the fruit of that tree not only helped Adam and Eve progress but made it possible for the rest of Heavenly Father’s children to come to earth and to exercise their own agency (see 2 Nephi 2:22–27).
Some people have wondered why, since the Fall was necessary for eternal progression, God did not just place Adam and Eve in a fallen condition to begin with. But if Heavenly Father caused men to become mortal then He would ultimately be responsible for all the pain, sin, and sorrow that would come to man because of mortal life. Adam had to have the freedom to choose to eat the fruit and fall. Because of agency, man became responsible for his own destiny. Of course, Heavenly Father’s plan also includes the means by which He can redeem all of His children from this fallen state, but they must again exercise their agency and choose to accept the plan. Because God gave Adam and Eve the gift of agency, and because Adam and Eve exercised their agency, we can make righteous decisions based on gospel principles and ultimately become like God.
Moses 3:20–24 (Genesis 2:20–24)—The Creation of Woman
In speaking to the women of the Church, President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
“You are an absolutely essential part of [Heavenly Father’s] plan.
“Without you the plan could not function. Without you the entire program would be frustrated. … When the process of creation occurred, Jehovah, the Creator, under instruction from His Father, first divided the light from the darkness, and then separated the land from the waters. There followed the creation of plant life, followed by the creation of animal life. Then came the creation of man, and culminating that act of divinity came the crowning act, the creation of woman” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 90; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 67).
Studying the Scriptures
Choose Important Words
Choose what you think are the four words in Moses 3:2–3 that help us best understand and appreciate the importance of the Sabbath day, and explain how they increase our understanding.
Say It in Your Own Words
What commandment did Adam receive in Moses 3:15–17?
What did God say would be the consequences of breaking this commandment?
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