The Book of Abraham

“The Book of Abraham,” The Pearl of Great Price: Teacher Manual (2000), 35–47


Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

  • The Lord prepared the way for the Church to acquire a small collection of ancient Egyptian records written on papyrus (see 1 Nephi 13:39).

  • The book of Abraham is the word of God and a powerful witness of the prophetic call of Joseph Smith (see D&C 21:1; 124:125).

  • The book of Abraham contains writings of the Old Testament prophet Abraham, who traveled to Egypt about 2000 B.C. These records tell about the earlier parts of Abraham’s life (see the Introductory Note of the Pearl of Great Price; see also Genesis 11:27–32; 12:1–20; 15:1–7; 17:1–9).

  • From the book of Abraham, Church members in Joseph Smith’s day learned several gospel doctrines and principles not previously known. The book of Abraham also helped clarify truths revealed in other books of scripture (see 1 Nephi 13:39–40).

  • The Prophet Joseph Smith’s explanations of the three facsimiles in the book of Abraham are scripture and should be studied along with the rest of the book. There are no official Church explanations for the Abraham facsimiles besides the Prophet Joseph Smith’s explanations that accompany them.

Suggestions for Teaching

The Prophet Abraham

Review together the information about Abraham in the Bible Dictionary. Invite students to summarize what they learn about the places Abraham lived, the tests he faced, and his current status. You may want to draw a chart of Abraham’s family, using Genesis 16:1–2, 15–16; 21:1–5; 25:19–26; 35:22–26. Invite students to use the lineage declared in their patriarchal blessings to determine where they fit into Abraham’s family.

Records That Have “Fallen into Our Hands”

To help students understand the significance of the book of Abraham and how it came to be, review with them the material under “Who Is Abraham and When Did He Live?”; “How Did the Church Obtain the Book of Abraham?”; “What Did the Prophet Joseph Smith Do with His Translation?”; and “What Is the Significance of the Book of Abraham?” in the student manual (pp. 28–29). You may want to ask questions that students can answer from the student manual material (for example: How did the Prophet feel about receiving these writings?).

Translated from Papyrus

Write a simple sentence on the board and ask for a volunteer to translate it into any foreign language. Then ask for a volunteer to translate a more difficult sentence (such as Abraham 1:2). Discuss some of the challenges involved in translating writings from one language to another. Invite students to look at Abraham Facsimile 1 and “translate” it into a story line, without looking at the explanation below it. Discuss how one might try to “translate” drawings, such as the Egyptian hieroglyphics of the book of Abraham. Read and discuss the material under “How Did the Prophet Translate the Ancient Writings?” in the student manual (p. 28). Testify of the inspired work of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Contributions of the Book of Abraham

Write the following phrases on the board and ask students what they know about these topics:

The Abrahamic covenant

Ham and Egyptus

The Urim and Thummim

The Lord’s time

Planetary times of reckoning

Kolob and Kokaubeam

Spirits in the premortal existence

The first and second estates

Writings that cannot be revealed to the world

The Gods

Planning the Creation of the earth

Tell students that in the book of Abraham they will be studying these and other wonderful doctrines and principles of the gospel.

The Facsimiles

Ask students what they know about Egyptian history, religion, and writings that may relate to the Abraham facsimiles. Point out that the explanations for Facsimile 1, figures 2, 10; Facsimile 2, figures 2, 7; and Facsimile 3, figures 1, 3 demonstrate the link between these drawings and Abraham.

Tell students that the facsimiles may be looked upon symbolically as follows: Facsimile 1 shows that Abraham overcame the tests and trials of earth life; Facsimile 2 shows that Abraham obtained the knowledge that would help him return to God’s presence and become like Him; and Facsimile 3 shows that Abraham entered the presence of God and obtained eternal life.

Abraham 1:1–4 Abraham Sought the Blessings of the Fathers

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

  • Because of the people’s wickedness, Abraham’s life was endangered by his continued residence in the land of Chaldea (see Abraham 1:1; see also Abraham 1:5, 12).

  • In ancient times the Melchizedek Priesthood was passed from father to son. Abraham was a rightful heir of the Melchizedek Priesthood, but because his father was not worthy, Abraham sought the priesthood from other priesthood holders (see Abraham 1:2–4; see also D&C 84:14–16; 86:8–11; 107:40–52).

  • The blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood include some of the greatest gifts God offers to mankind, including authority, happiness, peace, rest, knowledge, and posterity (see Abraham 1:2; see also D&C 84:33–38; 132:20–24, 28–31).

map of Abraham’s travels

Black Sea

Great or Upper Sea (Mediterranean Sea)

Red Sea

Salt Sea (Dead Sea)

Arabian Desert

Plain of Dura

Mt. Ararat?

Caspian Sea

Lower Sea (Persian Gulf)

Kittum (Cyprus)

Nile

Euphrates River

Tigris River

Hittites

Syria

Phoenicia

Canaan

Goshen

Egypt

Midian

Urartu

Horites

Assyria

Mesopotamia

Babylonia

Elam

Haran (Padan-aram)

Ur?

Carchemish

Sidon

Tyre

Megiddo

Damascus

Shechem

Bethel

Jerusalem (Salem)

Hebron

Beersheba

On

Nineveh

Asshur

Babylon

Babel (Shinar)

Shushan (Susa)

Ur?

Miles

Kilometers

0

0

60

100

120

200

240

300

400

Suggestions for Teaching

Abraham 1:1. “In the Land of the Chaldeans”

Invite students to tell about times they or their families have moved, and why. Which student has made the longest move? How many miles (kilometers) was it? Study together Bible map 9 (map 2 in the 1979 edition) at the back of the LDS edition of the King James Bible and have students calculate approximately how many miles (kilometers) Abraham traveled from Ur to Haran to Egypt. (Note: There are two possible sites on the map where Ur may have been located.) Review Abraham 1:1, 5, 12 and discuss why Abraham sought a new home.

Abraham 1:2. Abraham Sought for His Blessings

Discuss what it means to “seek.” Read Abraham 1:2 with your students, and list on the board what Abraham was seeking. Share this quotation from President Spencer W. Kimball:

“Remember that Abraham sought for his appointment to the priesthood. He did not wait for God to come to him; he sought diligently through prayer and obedient living to learn the will of God. …

“As we follow Abraham’s example, we will grow from grace to grace, we will find greater happiness and peace and rest, we will find favor with God and with man. As we follow his example, we will confirm upon ourselves and our families joy and fulfillment in this life and for all eternity” (“The Example of Abraham,” Ensign, June 1975, 7).

Media Suggestion. “‘And My Soul Hungered’”

Book of Mormon Video presentation 8, “‘And My Soul Hungered’” (10:06), depicts a person who is struggling to become better and hungers to be in touch with the Lord (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Abraham 1:3–4. “It Came Down from the Fathers”

Invite a priesthood holder to tell how and from whom he received the priesthood. Read Abraham 1:3–4 and discuss what these verses say about how the priesthood was conferred anciently. Invite students who hold the priesthood to tell how they prepared to be ordained and how they felt when they received the priesthood (or were advanced in the priesthood). Write the following words on the board: authority, happiness, peace, rest, knowledge and explain that they are blessings of the priesthood.

Abraham 1:5–19 and Facsimile 1 Jehovah Saved Abraham

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

Suggestions for Teaching

Media Suggestion. “‘For I Am with Thee’”

Old Testament Symposium 1995 Resource Videocassette presentation 4, “‘For I Am with Thee’” (10:00), portrays Abraham being freed from the altar.

Abraham 1:5–7. They Refused to Hearken to Abraham

Ask students what they would do if their parents set their hearts on evil and worshiped false gods. Review Abraham 1:5–7. Ask: What did Abraham try to do? Compare the courage of Abraham to other people in the scriptures or to people the students know. You may also want to read the commentary for Abraham 1:4–6 in the student manual (p. 30).

Abraham 1:8–15. “I Lifted Up My Voice”

Have students search Abraham 1:8–15 for answers to the following questions: What was customary for the priest of Pharaoh to do? Where did he do it? What kind of offering did he make? Who had been offered before? Why did the priest of Elkenah want to sacrifice Abraham? What did Abraham do as he lay bound on the altar? Who came to be with Abraham? Read and discuss Psalm 50:15; Alma 38:5; and Doctrine and Covenants 3:7–8.

Abraham 1:15–17, 20. “I Have Come Down to Deliver Thee”

Read Abraham 1:15–17, 20 and discuss what the Lord did and said He would do for Abraham. Compare the power of the priest and the power of the Lord. Have students read Alma 14:10–13; 58:10–12; Doctrine and Covenants 24:1 and compare times when the Lord delivers or does not deliver the righteous from physical harm.

Facsimile 1. The Lord Saved Abraham

Have students study Facsimile 1, including the explanations for the twelve figures. Assign them to find verses in chapters 1–3 of Abraham that they can relate to one or more of the twelve explanations. Invite a student to tell in his or her own words the story of what is portrayed in Facsimile 1. Ask students to suggest titles for Facsimile 1.

Abraham 1:16–19. “I Will Lead Thee by My Hand”

Have students list the promises the Lord made to Abraham in Abraham 1:16–19. Tell students that the Lord often leads righteous people away from the wicked (for example, see Genesis 19:15–17; 1 Nephi 2:1–4; 2 Nephi 5:1–7; Omni 1:12–13; Moses 6:15–17).

Abraham 1:18–19. “The Priesthood of Thy Father”

Read Abraham 1:3–4, 18–19. Have students list the names in Abraham’s priesthood “line of authority,” using Doctrine and Covenants 84:14–16. Have students compare the covenant the Lord made with Abraham to the covenant the Lord made with Enoch in Moses 7:50–52(see also Moses 8:19).

Abraham 1:20–31 Pharaoh, King of Egypt

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

  • The pharaoh (king) of Egypt in Abraham’s day was a wicked descendant of Ham, son of Noah, who falsely claimed the right to the patriarchal order of the priesthood of God (see Abraham 1:20–27).

  • Abraham possessed sacred records that showed that he, not the pharaohs, held the right of the priesthood (see Abraham 1:28, 31; see also Abraham 1:3–4).

Suggestions for Teaching

Abraham 1:20–31. A False Claim

Pharaoh

Pharaoh

Abraham

Abraham

Refer students to the illustration on page 32 of the student manual (also shown here), where Pharaoh is portrayed crowned and seated on a throne. Explain that the crown and throne are symbols of Pharaoh’s authority and power as the king of Egypt. Next refer students to Facsimile 3, figure 1 in the book of Abraham, where Abraham is portrayed as crowned and seated on a throne. Note that the explanation states Abraham’s crown represents the priesthood. Assign a few students to study Abraham 1:20–27 and explain in their own words why Pharaoh did not have a legitimate claim to the priesthood. Assign other students to study verses 3–4, 20–31 and explain why Abraham did have a legitimate claim to the priesthood.

Help students understand the eternal importance of divine authority. Assign students to read the scriptures listed under the three topics below, and discuss the aspects of this eternal conflict over claims to God’s authority.

  1. The conflict in premortal life when Lucifer rebelled against Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C 29:36–38; 76:25–33; Moses 4:1–4).

  2. The confrontation on this earth between the church of the devil and the true Church of Jesus Christ (see 1 Nephi 14:7–17).

  3. The Church’s true claims to the rights of the priesthood today (see Joseph Smith—History 1:68–72; D&C 27:12–13; 42:11; 84:33–35; Articles of Faith 1:5).

You may want to read and discuss the material under “Abraham 1:2. What Is ‘the Right Belonging to the Fathers’?”; “Abraham 1:3. Who Conferred the Priesthood upon Abraham?”; “Abraham 1:20–27. A Pharaoh in Egypt”; “Abraham 1:25. ‘The First Government of Egypt … Was after the Manner of the Government of Ham, Which Was Patriarchal’”; “Abraham 1:24–27. The Pharaoh and the Priesthood”; and “Abraham 1:27. What Does It Mean to ‘Fain Claim’ the Right of the Priesthood?” in the student manual (pp. 30, 32–33).

Abraham 1:26. Righteous Imitation

Read Abraham 1:26 and discuss the blessings Pharaoh received and did not receive. Ask: How could he eventually receive the priesthood? (see D&C 138:32–35, 58–59). Why does it take more than righteous behavior to officiate in the priesthood? (see Hebrews 5:4; D&C 42:11; 138:30).

Abraham 1:28, 31. “Records of the Fathers”

Have students list documents in society today that can be used to verify or prove something (such as birth certificates, medical records, passports, wills, and so forth; you may want to show students any such documents that you may have). Read Abraham 1:28, 31 and discuss the value of these records that showed Abraham’s right to the priesthood. Ask: What other important information was contained in these records? Ask students what records or documents they have that could provide evidence of their gospel blessings (such as records of baptism or ordination to the priesthood, missionary calls, temple recommends, and so forth). How could these records or documents be of benefit to their posterity?

Abraham 2:1–13 The Abrahamic Covenant

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

map of Abraham’s travels

Suggestions for Teaching

Media Suggestion. “The Abrahamic Covenant”

Consider showing the first few minutes of Old Testament Video presentation 9, “The Abrahamic Covenant” (10:05), which deals with the meaning and power of covenants (see Old Testament Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Abraham 2. Overview

Ask students what they think they would do if a prolonged food shortage occurred in their area. You may want to have students search Abraham 1:29–2:21 and mark the word famine. Have students explain how each famine in these verses influenced Abraham and his family (see also Alma 32:13–16; Helaman 12:3–5). Invite students to tell about adversity or other circumstances in their lives or in the lives of others that have helped them remember the Lord.

Abraham 2:6–8, 12–20. “And the Lord Appeared”

Have students tell about the two appearances of the Lord to Abraham, in Abraham 2:6–8, 12–20. Invite students to tell what gospel doctrines and principles they learn from these experiences of Abraham (for example, Abraham 2:6 teaches about the Lord’s desire for us to take the gospel message to others).

Abraham 2:6, 9–11. Promise of the Abrahamic Covenant

Consider dividing the class into four small groups of students and discussing the promised blessings in the Abrahamic covenant (land, posterity, priesthood and the gospel, and salvation or eternal life; see also the commentary for Abraham 2:6, 9–11 in the student manual, pp. 33–34). Have each group discover answers to the following questions and share their findings with the class:

  • When and how were each of these promised blessings restored to the Church in the dispensation of the fulness of times?

  • What can each of these promised blessings mean to me personally? What can I do to qualify for them?

Abraham 2:9–11. The Abrahamic Covenant

Assign students to study Abraham 2:9–11 and list the principles these verses teach about faithful members of the Church (see also the commentary for Abraham 2:10 in the student manual, p. 34). Ask students which items on the list are blessings the Lord has promised them, and which are responsibilities He has given them. Invite students to tell about blessings they have received that are on the list. Ask: How have you fulfilled the responsibilities we listed?

Abraham 2:12–14. “Now I Have Found Thee”

Have students read Abraham 1:2, 4, 15; 2:3–6, 12 and discuss phrases that show Abraham sought the Lord “earnestly.” What does a person do who is earnestly seeking the Lord? Compare Abraham’s thoughts and actions in Abraham 2:13–14 to the thoughts and actions of today’s righteous Church members.

Abraham 2:14–25 Abraham Continued His Journey

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

Suggestions for Teaching

Abraham 2:14–15. Abraham Taught the Gospel

Have students read Abraham 2:4, 15 and compare the people Abraham took with him when he left Ur to the people he took with him when he left Haran. How had Abraham already begun to bless the families of the earth, as the Lord prophesied in verse 11? Invite students to tell about some of their experiences of helping people by sharing the gospel with them.

Abraham 2:15–20. From Haran to Canaan

Have students read Abraham 2:15–20 and list what happened (including what Abraham did) as Abraham’s group traveled from Haran to Canaan. Ask students how this journey can be compared to our journey through life. For example, what are some ways the Lord has led, protected, and blessed us? How is the Lord a “covering” and a “rock” in our lives? (see also Isaiah 4:5–6; Helaman 5:12).

Abraham 2:21–25. “Let Her Say … She Is Thy Sister”

Have students compare Abraham 2:21–25 with the biblical account in Genesis 12:10–13. Ask: What important clarification does the account in the book of Abraham add? You may want to read and discuss the commentary for Abraham 2:24–25 in the student manual (p. 35). Read Genesis 12:14–20 with students to learn what happened to Sarai, Pharaoh, and Abraham.

Abraham 2. Abraham and Sarai Obeyed the Lord

Ask students to find each of the commandments the Lord gave to Abraham and Sarai in Abraham 2, and how they responded to them. Ask students which verse or verses in Abraham 2 help explain Abraham’s obedience. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Whatever God requires is right” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 256). He also taught, “I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it ” (History of the Church, 2:170). Invite students to think about how they have applied these principles in their own lives.

Abraham 3:1–17 The Lord Showed Abraham the Stars

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

Suggestions for Teaching

Abraham 3. Overview

Ask if any students like to “stargaze,” or if they have ever looked through a telescope at the stars and other planets. If any answer “yes,” invite them to share their feelings about the vastness of the universe. Then carefully read Abraham 3:1–17 with students and make a list of what Abraham learned about the stars, planets, and so forth. You may want to refer to the commentary for Abraham 3:1–17 in the student manual (pp. 36–37) for help teaching these verses. Read Abraham 3:18–23 together and make a list of what Abraham learned about the Lord and the premortal spirit children of Heavenly Father. (You may want to refer to the commentary for these verses in the student manual, p. 37.) Share with students this quotation about Abraham 3:1–23:

“At first glance, it may appear that Abraham is dealing with two separate ideas, each deserving a chapter of its own. A more careful reading, however, reveals that the second part of the chapter is a deliberate restatement of the first. Each principle describing the relationship of one star or planet to another proves to be equally descriptive of the nature and relationship of pre-earth spirits one to another. The revelation on planets ends in the eighteenth verse where the revelation on pre-earth spirits begins. The two parts of the revelation are welded at that point with the words ‘as, also,’ which is simply to say what is true of the stars is ‘also’ true of the spirits” (Joseph F. McConkie, “The Heavens Testify of Christ,” in Studies in Scripture: Volume Two, the Pearl of Great Price, ed. Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson [1985], 239–40).

Review the two lists you made and help students compare what they learned about stars and planets to what they learned about premortal spirits. Have students search Doctrine and Covenants 138:38–57 and find where they are mentioned “among the noble and great ones.”

Abraham 3:1–2. The Urim and Thummim

Read Abraham 3:1–2 and review with students what the Urim and Thummim is by using the explanation under “Abraham 3:1. What Is the Urim and Thummim?” in the student manual (p. 36; see also Bible Dictionary, “seer”; “Urim and Thummim”).

Abraham 3:2–4, 18. “If You Could Hie to Kolob”

Sing together “If You Could Hie to Kolob” (Hymns, no. 284). Then have students compare the words of this hymn to Abraham 3:2–4, 18(see also Moses 1:2–5, 8, 31–33; D&C 132:20, 29–32).

Abraham 3:2–9, 16–17 and Facsimile 2, Figures 1–2, 5. Kolob and Christ

Invite students to find and explain ways that the description of Kolob in Abraham 3:2–9, 16–17 and in the explanations for Facsimile 2, figures 1–2, 5 are like Jesus Christ. Ask: How do these examples help us understand the Savior?

Abraham 3:11–15. “Go into Egypt”

Ask students where they think some of the more challenging missionary assignments in today’s world might be, and why. Remind students of what happened in Abraham 1:12–20, and ask them why it would have been difficult for Abraham to go preach the gospel in Egypt. How could what Abraham saw and learned in Abraham 3:1–14 have helped him find the courage to go to Egypt?

Abraham 3:18–28 The Lord Taught Abraham about the Premortal Existence

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

  • Each person on earth has a dual nature and is composed of a mortal, physical body born to earthly parents and of an eternal spirit created by our Heavenly Father in the premortal life. Our spirits were organized to receive knowledge and intelligence (see Abraham 3:18–19, 21; see also Hebrews 12:9; D&C 88:15; 93:29–38; Moses 3:7; Abraham 5:7).

  • Each spirit child of Heavenly Father differs in intelligence. Jesus Christ is more intelligent than all of Heavenly Father’s spirit children, and His wisdom excels them all. As an individual acquires more light and intelligence they may in time become more like Heavenly Father (see Abraham 3:18–21; see also D&C 88:41; 93:36–37).

  • In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father chose His noble and great spirit children to become rulers in His work on earth (see Abraham 3:22–23; see also Romans 8:29; Alma 13:3; D&C 138:55–56).

  • Noble and great spirit children of Heavenly Father helped Jesus Christ create the earth (see Abraham 3:24).

  • One purpose of life is to be tested, to prove whether we will do whatever the Lord commands us (see Abraham 3:25; see also Mosiah 23:21–22; D&C 98:14).

  • The spirit children of Heavenly Father who “kept their first estate” (were obedient to God in the premortal life) have received additional opportunities by coming to earth as mortal beings, with bodies of flesh and bones. Those who were not obedient in their first estate will not receive such opportunities. Those who keep their second estate, accepting and obeying the gospel in mortality (or in the postmortal spirit world), will receive eternal glory from God (see Abraham 3:26; see also Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:7; D&C 29:36–38; 76:69–74; 138:32–35).

  • In the premortal life, Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to implement the plan of salvation. The rebellious Lucifer was not chosen and was cast out of heaven, along with his followers (see Abraham 3:27–28; see also 1 Peter 1:19–20; Ether 3:14; D&C 76:25–29; Moses 4:1–4).

Suggestions for Teaching

Abraham 3:18–22. “One Shall Be More Intelligent than the Other”

Show a picture or illustration of a clear sky at night depicting many astronomical orbs and stars differing in brightness and glory. Invite students to read Abraham 3:16–18 and discuss what we learn in these verses concerning the differences in the heavenly orbs and about the differences between the spirit children of Heavenly Father.

To help students understand that the “intelligences” in Abraham 3:22–23 refer to spirit children of Heavenly Father, read and discuss the following statement from the First Presidency—Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, and Charles W. Penrose: “God showed unto Abraham ‘the intelligences that were organized before the world was’; and by ‘intelligences’ we are to understand personal ‘spirits’ (Abraham 3:22, 23); nevertheless, we are expressly told that ‘Intelligence’ that is, ‘the light of truth was not created or made, neither indeed can be’ (Doc. & Cov. 93:29)” (“The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition from the First Presidency and the Twelve,” in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [1965–75], 5:26).

Refer students to the statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith in the student manual under the heading “Abraham 3:18–19. What Does It Mean to Be ‘More Intelligent’?” (p. 37). Ask how one spirit can be more intelligent than another.

Invite students to read Abraham 3:19, 21. Ask what it means to be “more intelligent than they all.” Remind students that in Abraham 3 astronomical orbs are compared to each other as to their “greatness.” Have students read Abraham 3:16; then ask which is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam (stars) shown to Abraham. Next invite students to review Abraham 3:3–4, 9, 16 looking for phrases that describe Kolob that might also figuratively describe the greatness of Jesus Christ.

Read and discuss Doctrine and Covenants 93:36–40; 130:18–19. Ask:

  • How can any of Heavenly Father’s children attain more intelligence?

  • Why is it important to increase in intelligence?

Caution: As already noted, the intelligences mentioned in Abraham 3:22–23 refer to spirits. Inasmuch as questions arise concerning the nature and origin of “intelligence,” it is imperative for the gospel teacher to consider the following statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Some of our writers have endeavored to explain what an intelligence is, but to do so is futile, for we have never been given any insight into this matter beyond what the Lord has fragmentarily revealed. We know, however, that there is something called intelligence which always existed. It is the real eternal part of man, which was not created nor made. This intelligence combined with the spirit constitutes a spiritual identity or individual” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 4:127).

Refer to Doctrine and Covenants 93:29–38 and the material in the student manual under the heading “Abraham 3:18–19. Our Spirits Are Eternal” (p. 37) for more information on the nature of intelligence.

Abraham 3:22–23. “The Noble and Great Ones”

Read Abraham 3:22–23 and ask students what they think their generation in the Church is expected to accomplish for the Lord, in the world and in the Church. Share the following quotation from President Gordon B. Hinckley: “This is the time when the God of heaven has moved in fulfillment of His ancient promise that He would usher in the fulness of the gospel in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. … You’re not just here by chance. You are here under the design of God” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 720). Invite students to share their thoughts and feelings about being among the noble and great spirits who were preserved to come to earth in the last days.

Abraham 3:24–25. “We Will Prove Them”

Ask students how they feel about quizzes, exams, and tests. Write on the board: Life is a test! Read Abraham 3:24–25 and ask students to tell about the ways Abraham and Sarai were tested in Abraham 1–3. What did the Lord command Abraham and Sarai to do? How did they respond to each command?

Abraham 3:26. Keeping Our First and Second Estates

Ask various students to explain Abraham 3:26 in their own words. Invite a student to explain, as if he or she were teaching a person who is not a member of the Church, how the plan of salvation makes it possible for us to become like Heavenly Father, having “glory added upon [our] heads for ever and ever.”

Abraham 3:27. “Here Am I, Send Me”

Read Abraham 3:27 and ask students what Jesus volunteered to do. Invite students to ponder Jesus Christ’s willingness to fulfill the Father’s plan and become our Savior. Referring to Jesus’ statement, “Here am I, send me,” Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “It was one of those special moments when a few words are preferred to many. Never has one individual offered, in so few words, to do so much for so many as did Jesus when He meekly proffered Himself as ransom for all of us” (Plain and Precious Things [1983], 53). Ask how we can follow the Savior’s example of obedience to Heavenly Father and unselfish service to others.

Facsimiles 2–3 Abraham Taught the Egyptians

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

Suggestions for Teaching

Facsimiles 2 and 3. Abraham Taught the Egyptians

Read Abraham 3:15. Assign students to study Facsimiles 2 and 3, including the explanations of the facsimiles, and have them make a list of what Abraham taught the Egyptians. Ask: How did the Egyptians respond to the teachings of Abraham? (see Facsimile 3, figure 1). Ask students why they think the Egyptians had so much respect for Abraham and the truths he taught.

Facsimile 2. A Hypocephalus

Review with students the information under “Facsimile 2. General Information” in the student manual (p. 39). Discuss what a hypocephalus is, and how and why it was used by the ancient Egyptians. You may want to make an overhead transparency of Facsimile 2 so you can point to the figures and their numbers as you discuss them with students. Use the explanations for the figures, along with the material in the student manual that pertains to Facsimile 2, figures 1–8 (pp. 39–40), to encourage students to think about these figures and try to understand their importance.

Facsimiles 1, 2, and 3. Review

Divide students into three groups and assign each group to study one of the facsimiles and make a list of gospel principles and doctrines that can be derived from it. Give each group a time limit, such as five minutes, and then have a representative from each group read their list to the class. Point out to students that even though we cannot understand everything in the Abraham facsimiles, there is much we can learn and understand from them.

facsimile 2

Facsimile 2

hypocephali1 hypocephali2 hypocephali3

Hypocephali

Abraham 4–5 Abraham’s Vision of the Creation of the Earth

Media Suggestion. “The Creation”

Old Testament Video presentation 5, “The Creation” (6:47), can be used to show the importance of the Creation and the plan of salvation (see Old Testament Video Guide for teaching suggestions; you may have already shown this presentation when teaching Moses 2).

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

Suggestions for Teaching

Abraham 4:1. The Gods and the Creation

Ask students what they would say if someone who was not a member of the Church asked them if we believed in only one God. How does Abraham 3:22–24; 4:1 help answer this question?

Abraham 4:1–25. Preparing the Earth for Mankind

Have students find and mark the verbs in Abraham 4:1–25 that describe what actions the Gods performed as They prepared the earth to be inhabited by man. (Went, organized, formed, divided, caused, called, ordered, pronounced, and so forth.) Then have students tell what these verses teach about the process of the Creation. Invite students to describe the things that help them appreciate the glory and beauty of the heavens and the earth. Invite students to explain how the Creation of the earth is an evidence of the love Heavenly Father has for His children.

Abraham 5:21. The End of the Book of Abraham

Tell students that Abraham 5:21 was the last verse of the book of Abraham that the Prophet Joseph Smith published before his death (although we know that the book of Abraham contained much more). Abraham’s vision of the Creation of the heavens and the earth would fit into the text of the Old Testament in Genesis chapter 12. Have students write in their Bibles, next to Genesis 12:10: See Abraham 3–5. Then have students write next to Genesis 11:31: See Abraham 1–2.