Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events
Satan has no glory. His presence brings darkness and his power is limited (see Moses 1:13–15, 21–22; see also 2 Nephi 22:26; Ether 8:26; D&C 101:28; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 208).
Suggestions for Teaching
Caution:Avoid discussions of experiences people have had with Satan or evil spirits. Such discussions often do more harm than good.
Moses 1:12. Who Is Satan?
Read Moses 1:12and ask students what comes to their minds when they hear the name Satan. Explain that Satan, or Lucifer, is a spirit son of God who rebelled against God and sought to destroy the agency of man and God’s plan of eternal happiness. Because of his rebellion he was cast out of the presence of God and sent to the earth without a body of flesh and blood. He and those who rebelled with him will never receive bodies nor become as God is, and are therefore miserable. Have students read the following verses and discuss Satan’s purposes: 2 Nephi 2:18; Doctrine and Covenants 10:20–24; 29:36–37; 76:25–29; Moses 4:1–4. (These scriptures teach that Satan’s purposes are to deceive mankind, destroy the work of God, make war on the Saints of God, and make men miserable.) How was Satan’s attempt to carefully lead Moses away from his ministry like his efforts to turn all people away from God and toward himself?
Moses 1:12. Satan in the Bible and the Pearl of Great Price
Have students read Moses 1:23, 41. Tell them that Moses’ confrontation with and dismissal of Satan in Moses 1:12–22is not found in Genesis. Other passages about Satan that are not found in Genesis include the origin of Satan (see Moses 4:1–4), the temptation of Adam and Eve (see Moses 4:5–12), the temptation of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (see Moses 5:12–13), and Cain’s covenants with Satan (see Moses 5:18–31). Also explain that because there is so little information about Satan in the Old Testament, many people today challenge his reality. In the eight chapters of the book of Moses, however, Satan is referred to more than thirty times. Ask why the reference to Satan is found so few times in the Bible and so many times in the Pearl of Great Price, and discuss why it is important to know that Satan is real (see 2 Nephi 28:19–21).
Moses 1:12. “Moses, Son of Man”
Read Moses 1:4, 6–7, 40and review what God called Moses. Compare this title to what Satan called Moses in verse 12. Remind students that because all men and women are spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of becoming like Him. Also, Moses was a son of God in that he had spiritually been born again and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ; thus he stood in a position to become a joint-heir with Christ (see Moses 6:68; D&C 25:1). In contrast, Satan called Moses “son of man” (Moses 1:12). Ask students what difference it makes for people to think of themselves as sons or daughters of men, rather than sons or daughters of God.
Note:Satan’s use of “son of man” should not be confused with Jesus Christ’s scriptural designation as the “Son of Man” (see Matthew 8:20; 9:6; D&C 45:39; 49:6; Moses 7:24, 27). In Moses 6:57we read of Heavenly Father, “Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ.”
Moses 1:12–24. Differences between God and Satan
Have students read Moses 1:12–24and explain how Moses was able to discern between being with God and being with Satan. What changes occurred in Moses that enabled him to see God? (see v. 14). Your students could also discuss how to apply these principles as they discern between influences of good and evil in their lives today. Ask: How can you apply these principles when selecting the music you listen to, the places you go, or the friends with whom you associate? (see also Moroni 7:11–18).
Moses 1:12–22. Satan Commanded Moses to Worship Him
Invite three students to represent the narrator, Moses, and Satan by reading aloud their words from Moses 1:12–22. Invite students to tell why they think the account of these experiences was preserved for our day.
Moses 1:19. Satan Cried with a Loud Voice
Read Moses 1:19, and then read and discuss the following quotations. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that “the nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes” (in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball,3rd ed. , 132). Elder Wilford Woodruff, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, pointed out that “there never was a prophet in any age of the world but what the devil was continually at his elbow” (in Journal of Discourses,13:163).
Moses 1:12–24. “Depart Hence”
Have students list and discuss what Moses did in Moses 1:12–22to resist Satan’s temptations. Share with students the quotation from Elder Spencer W. Kimball in the commentary for Moses 1:12–22in the student manual (pp. 5–6). Have students read James 4:6–10; Alma 13:27–29; and Helaman 5:12and discuss how the teachings in these verses can help us overcome Satan’s temptations.