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Old Testament - Lesson 1

“This is My Work and Glory”
Taught by Jeff Stone on January 3, 2010

Purpose: To help class members understand that (1) we are children of God, (2) we can resist Satan’s temptations, and (3) God’s work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life.

This being the first lesson of the year, some brief historical points are worth mentioning as an introduction. After the brief history will be the basic summary of the lesson along with the associated scriptures.

Brief History:
Since we are studying The Old Testament, we will, obviously be studying Genesis, but who wrote Genesis, and when did he write it? The answer is, of course, that Moses wrote Genesis, and he wrote it almost 2000 years after it all happened.

So who is Moses? Note that the history below is a summary of work compiled by Cleon Skousen in his book The First 2000 Years:

  • The Egyptians had been using Israelites as slaves for years.
  • After about 300 years, The Israelites became quite numerous.
  • The Pharaoh felt threatened so he placed an order to kill all new-born male Israelites.
  • Moses was born in about 1,570 BC while this order was in place.
  • After Moses was about 3 months old, his mother hid him in a basket and floated it down The Nile River.
  • One of The Pharaoh’s daughters found him and raised him as her own.
  • She had one of the Israelite slaves (it just happened to be Moses’s own mother) nurse him.
  • Moses was raised as one of Pharaoh’s own.
  • One day (at about age 40) while defending a slave, Moses fought and killed an Egyptian slave driver, so, In fear, Moses fled.
  • He eventually met with Jethro’s family, married his daughter Ziporah, and received the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • Moses lived in his new life for about 40 years when he received his calling at age 80.

Lesson One Begins:
This is where our lesson begins, at Moses calling. This lesson covers Moses 1. Here we find that Moses stands in the presence of God. Also, note, that Moses did NOT stand in the presence of God The Father. He stood in the presence of Jehovah who is Jesus Christ, who is The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is The God of The Old Testament. You may notice that Jehovah refers to Himself both in first person and in third person. When in third person, He is quoting God The Father.

One last thing before diving into the lesson . . . Take a quick look at this talk by Richard D. Draper From the February 1997 Ensign. It gives some excellent clarity to the book of Moses. One of the big things to understand is that Moses 1 is a revelation given directly to Joseph Smith.

Here is the talk: The Remarkable Book of Moses.

Lesson Main Points:
Here are the three main points brought out in the lesson. Notice each one is covering an event that Moses experienced. The question we must ask ourselves is how can we apply his experience and lessons to our own life.

  1. God Teaches That Moses is a Son of God.
  2. Satan Confronts Moses; Moses Casts Him Out.
  3. God Appears Again and Teaches of His Work and Glory

God Teaches That Moses is a Son of God (Moses 1:1–11):
There can be no doubt, after reading Moses 1:1–11, that it is critical that we understand that we are children of God; we are literal descendants of The Master of the Universe and creator of the eternities. Like Moses, once we embrace this knowledge, our perspective and outlook on life changes drastically. Think of how knowing you are a child of God could change how you treat your co-workers, family members and neighbors. This is certainly the main point of this lesson. Remember that your rude co-worker, the irritating driver on the road, and the very members of your family are ALL your brothers and sisters. Treat them accordingly.

Dallin H. OaksHere is an excellent quote by Elder Dallin H. Oaks that shows us the value of realizing that we are children of God.

“Consider the power of the idea taught in our beloved song ‘I Am a Child of God.’ . . . Here is the answer to one of life’s great questions, ‘Who am I?’ I am a child of God with a spirit lineage to heavenly parents. That parentage defines our eternal potential.

That powerful idea is a potent antidepressant. It can strengthen each of us to make righteous choices and to seek the best that is within us. Establish in the mind of a . . . person the powerful idea that he or she is a child of God, and you have given self-respect and motivation to move against the problems of life”

(in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 31; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 25).

Satan Confronts Moses; Moses Casts Him Out (Moses 1:12–23):

You’ll notice that in verses 16, 18, 20, and 21, Moses commands Satan to depart. It took four attempts before he finally left. The main points to consider here is first, that Moses repeatedly called upon the knowledge that he is a son of God as ammunition against Satan. Secondly, the fact that it took four attempts to make Satan leaves shows us how persistent the adversary is. Also consider the fact that Moses had just been in the presence of God only a few hours before, and yet Satan believed that he still had a good chance at “converting” Moses. He worked very hard on him. Imagine how much more of a chance he thinks he has with us – people who have not stood in the presence of God. Remember the words of Moses from Moses 13, when we are tempted by Satan:

Who art thou? For behold, I am a son [or daughter] of God… and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?

God Appears Again and Teaches of His Work and Glory (Moses 1:24–42):

In this section, Jehovah reveals to Moses that there are many planets populated with God’s children (Moses 1: 33–35). He is also taught that God’s Work and Glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1: 39). Also, Moses is given the instruction to record the creation as dictated by Jehovah Himself. This is how the original book of Genesis came to be. However, Moses was also told (verses 41 and 42) that the wicked men of the world would corrupt and alter Moses’s writing. However, the book of Moses is the original text as Moses wrote it and as translated by Joseph Smith in 1830.

It is also important that we notice that there is a difference between eternal existence and eternal life. Eternal existence is just that, existing eternally. This is a gift from Jehovah, The Savior to EVERYONE. Eternal life, however, is life with the one who is called “Eternal,” who is our Heavenly Father.

James E. FaustHere’s a quote by Elder James E. Faust that clarifies this difference:

“There is a distinction between immortality, or eternal existence, and eternal life, which is to have a place in the presence of God. Through the grace of Jesus Christ, immortality comes to all . . . , just or unjust, righteous or wicked.

However, eternal life is ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God’ (D&C 14:7). We obtain this great gift, according to the Lord, ‘if you keep my commandments and endure to the end.’ If we so endure, the promise is, ‘you shall have eternal life’ (D&C 14:7)”

(in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 14; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 12).