Gospel Doctrine OT C3 -- The Creation
How much information you would give if you were trying to answer one of the following questions for a preschool child:
How does an airplane stay in the air?
How does a television set work?
How do plants grow?
Where do babies come from?
You might even have to dummy down the answers for me, a grown woman. For a preschool child, we would only give the basic, fundamental answer and general concepts, leaving details until the child is more mature.
So let’s talk about questions: (“In the Beginning: A Latter-Day Perspective, Ensign, Jan 1998)
The six basic questions often asked about the Creation are when, how, where, what, why, and who. The first three of these—when, how, and where—are left obscure by the Lord in all the accounts we have of the Creation. He gave us only this point of reference concerning when the Creation took place: “in the beginning” (Gen. 1:1). We look with genuine interest at the work of persons who attempt to determine the age of the earth, but the answer may escape us all until the Savior reveals all things concerning this earth after the Second Coming (see D&C 101:32–34). In describing how the Creation was accomplished, he told us that he spoke and it was done (see, for example, Moses 2:3, 5–6, 9). As to where the Creation took place, we only have statements by early leaders that it was in the presence of God. 12
The overall answer to the last three questions—who, what, why—is that our Father in Heaven created all things for his own eternal purposes (see 2 Ne. 2:14–15). We know from both latter-day revelation and the Bible that God did not act alone. Speaking to Moses, he said: “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:33).
Keep that in mind as we discuss the creation of the world.
The Creation account is recorded by Moses found in Moses and Genesis. Abraham also records his vision of the creation.
Moses asks the question and gets the preschool answer.
Moses 1:30-31 – Moses asks how and why did God make all of His creations.
ANSWER: For a purpose and in wisdom. Repeats in v33. This is not the only world He has created. (This is not His first rodeo). Created for a purpose.
What do we know about God’s purpose? Moses 1:9 and Abraham 3:24-25. ALSO Moses 1:31, Isaiah 45:17-18, 2 Nephi 2:11-15.
How is it comforting to know there is a purpose and a plan? Is there a pattern to be learned from there? (D&C 52:14, God declares that he will “give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived.”)
Who created the earth?
Joseph Fielding Smith said, “It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted Him. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith and those who were appointed to be rulers before the earth was formed? (Doctrine of Salvation, 1:74-75)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said that a day in the creation accounts “is a specified time period, it is an age, an eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each day, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes…There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the six days involved in the creation was of the same duration.” (Christ and the Creation, Ensign, June 1982).
Identify periods of creation: Moses2:1-31
Day 1- separate light and dark
Day 2- divide water and land
Day 3- plants created after their kind (Moses 2:11-12)
Day 4- sun, moon and stars
Day 5- animals created after their kind (Moses 2:25)
Day 6- Adam and Eve
Pattern of Creation? (D&C 52:14, God declares that he will “give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived.”)
All planned out, with the purpose of gaining a body, eternal life
Organize and divide elements
Order: Planet, then plants, then animals, then the crowning creation, Adam
Look back on what you’ve done and see that it is good (Moses 2:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31)
There was purpose in creating all of God’s creation, not just man.
In what ways do you see purpose in ALL of His creations?
How do His creations bear record of God?
How do God’s creation influence you? (Moses 6:63, Alma 30:44)
God created Man and Woman Moses 2:26-27
The Family: A Proclamation to the World: “All human beings- male and female- are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose.”
What traits did you inherit from your parents?
What do you want to emulate?
How does that apply to being created in God’s image?
EXTRA QUOTES FOR POTENTIAL QUESTIONS:__________________
In 1909, the First Presidency stated: “It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of man, the word of the Lord declares that Adam was the first man of all men, and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race.” (The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov, 1909.)
Ted L. Gibbons (LDS Living Magazine, Jan 2013)
On the matter of the age of the earth, for example, Brigham Young taught:
I know that a great many of the scientific men of the world philosophize upon this, that and the other thing. Geologists will tell us the earth has stood so many millions of years. Why? Because the Valley of Western Colorado, here, could not have washed out without taking such a length of time. What do they know about it? Nothing in comparison. They also reason about the age of the world by the marvelous specimens of petrification that are sometimes discovered. Now we can show them plenty of places where there are trees, perfect stone, running into the solid rock, and perhaps the rock is forty, fifty, or a hundred feet above the tree. Yet it is a perfect tree. There is the bark, there is the heart, and there is the outer-coating between the heart and the bark, all perfect rock. How long did it take to make this tree into rock? We do not know. I can tell them, simply this--when the Lord Almighty brings forth the power of his chemistry he can combine the elements and make a tree into rock in one night or one day, if he chooses, or he can let it lie until it pulverises and blows to the four winds, without petrifying, just as he pleases. He brings together these elements as he sees proper, for he is the greatest chemist there is. He knows more about chemistry and about the formation of the earth and about dividing the earth, and more about the mountains, valleys, rocks, hills, plains, and the sands than all the scientific men that we have. This we can say of a truth. Well, if it takes a million years to make a perfect rock of one kind of a tree, say a cedar tree, how long would it take to make a perfect rock of a cottonwood tree? Let the chemists tell this, if they can, but they can not tell it. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol.15, p.125-127, August 11, 1872)
To understand this idea, compute the time it took Christ to make wine at the wedding feast at Cana. Good wine is a product of good ingredients and age. But the six water pots of wine Christ made were created in an instant. Your friendly neighborhood chemist, however, if charged to determine the age of the liquid, would certainly have arrived at an age of several years, for the governor of the feast said it was “good wine.” (John 2:10)
The message is clear enough. President Young’s meaning is that we will not discover the mysteries of the matter until the Lord wants us to discover them. Until then, we must be satisfied (and we must rejoice) in what the Lord has taught us.