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Old Testament - Lesson 3

Lesson 3 – The Creation
Taught by Jeff Stone on January 17, 2010

The CreationPurpose: To help class members feel gratitude that God created all things for our benefit and that we are created in his image. This lesson was a very short lesson in the number of pages it covered, but a very long lesson in the material it covers. From the reading in this lesson, you’ll notice that there are three accounts of the creation: The Book of Genesis, The Book of Moses, and The Book of Abraham. You’ll find the accounts here: Genesis 1, Genesis 2, Moses 2, Moses 3, Abraham 4 and Abraham 5.

Who Created Earth?
One of the most important things for us to understand about The Creation is who created it. Remember from Lesson 1, that in The Old Testament, The Pearl of Great Price, and many other places in the scriptures, when the title “God” is used, it is often referring to Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ who is the God of The Old Testament. Thus we see that Jesus is the creator of Earth.

This is important because he is our Savior in so many ways:

  • He gave us the place to come and get our body (Earth).
  • He gave us His life to pay for our sins (The Atonement).
  • He will give us the gift of immortality (The Resurrection).
  • He will be our judge and our advocate with The Father.
  • And so many more roles that are all for our benefit.

We also learn that we were created in the image of “The Gods (Abraham 4:26).” The reason this is so important is also pointed out in Lesson 1. We are divine in nature. We are literal descendants of God The Father. That knowledge, alone, should change our attitude, behavior and course of action in life.

We should be grateful for a Father in Heaven and a Savior who cared enough for us to give us this beautiful planet and all the things therein. Take a look around and be grateful for the mountains, the trees, the water, everything around us. That is the purpose of this lesson, to study the creation and gain a greater appreciation for who we are and what we have been given.

Three Accounts of The Creation:
In addition to the main objective, hopefully, covered above, it is also important to understand the difference between the three accounts found in Genesis, Moses and Abraham:

First, let’s look at The Book of Genesis. First of all, Moses is the author of Genesis. However, as prophesied, evil men of the world would remove and alter parts of the writings of Moses. This means that part of The Book of Genesis is missing.

What is The Book of Moses? Although we do not have ALL of the details regarding The Book of Moses, we do know that part of it is an excerpt from the Joseph Smith Translation of The Bible. The portion that covers the creation (Moses 2 & Moses 3) is the original text of the section in Genesis that covers the creation. So essentially, Moses 2 & Moses 3 and Genesis 1 & Genesis 2 are the same thing. The only difference being that Moses is the original unaltered text.

The Book of Abraham, of course, was written by Abraham. However, the difference between this account and the Moses/Genesis account is the way it was written. In The Book of Moses, Moses is told in Moses 2:1 to write the words of Jesus Christ as He dictates them to Moses. In Abraham, however, we see in Abraham 3:12 that Jesus shows Abraham a vision, and this vision continues on through Abraham 4 and Abraham 5. Thus Abraham’s “version” of The Creation is a written account, in Abraham’s own words, of the vision he received as The Lord showed him this marvelous vision.

Joseph Smith“Creation” Defined:
The word “creation” seems to imply that The Earth was “magically” zapped into existence, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s look at a quote from Joseph Smith that helps clarify this:

The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “The word create came from the [Hebrew] word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship.

Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 350–51). From this we can clearly see that the world was “compiled” or organized out of already existing material.

  1. The planes were not created, but they were reshaped or organized from existing material (sheet of paper)
  2. Although the planes themselves where only a few minutes old, the material used to create it was much older

Thus we learn that pieces of the material used to create The Earth are much older than Earth itself, and we learn that The Earth was organized from existing material rather than being created from nothing.