Abraham Chapter 4

One of the many things revealed to the prophet Abraham, was the plan of salvation. In this chapter, Abraham wrote down what he knew of the creation. This chapter begins:

1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.

This is one of three writings which tell about the creation. The Lord has said that two to three witnesses will establish his gospel. I have a testimony that the scriptural accounts of the creation is true. Our Father in Heaven, as the ultimate creator, directed His Son, Jesus Christ, to create the heavens and the earth. We learn earlier in the Book of Abraham, that other righteous foreordained leaders assisted Him in the physical creation. I believe that when it says “the Gods”, it is referring to God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The creation of the heavens and the earth, were from matter that already existed. It would not make sense to organize them from nothing. I think that you can only organize things which already exist. In this sense, I don’t believe that their was some “big-bang” that made them exist.

2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters.
3 And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light.
4 And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness.
5 And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night.

The spirit of God brooding over the world. The word brooding is the word used for the work of a mother bird. My understanding of this is that the spirit watches over the creations of God, just like a mother bird broods over her eggs or babies after they are hatched. The spirit continues to watch over God’s creations, and we can feel this watchful eye when we feel the guidance and comfort of the spirit. God cannot physically be with us or we would never learn the gospel for ourselves. Instead, the spirit is there to watch over us and to help us to find our way.

God created the light and called it day. It was separated from the darkness, or the night. The footnotes in verse four, say that God saw the light and it was good. I can picture God as an artist who created the light and then stood back to view His work, making sure that it was exactly the way he wanted it. Then He decided that it was good, gave it a name and then moved on to the next step. These verses teach us about the origin of what we know as days and nights. God established that the time from morning until evening was day, and that the time from evening until morning was night. This idea is not a man-made idea. I think it is important for us to recognize this, because there are many references to day and night throughout the scriptures. With this understanding, we may comprehend what is meant and be able to live the gospel more fully.

6 And the Gods also said: Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and it shall divide the waters from the waters.
7 And the Gods ordered the expanse, so that it divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so, even as they ordered.
8 And the Gods called the expanse, Heaven. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and this was the second time that they called night and day.
9 And the Gods ordered, saying: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the earth come up dry; and it was so as they ordered;
10 And the Gods pronounced the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, pronounced they, Great Waters; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed.

The waters of heaven were divided from the waters of the earth. I believe that this is referring to the atmosphere being separate from the water on the earth. Then the waters of the earth were gathered together, and the land was gathered as the earth. I believe that it was at this time that the cycles of water began to work on the earth.

11 And the Gods said: Let us prepare the earth to bring forth grass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed in itself yieldeth its own likeness upon the earth; and it was so, even as they ordered.
12 And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth grass from its own seed, and the herb to bring forth herb from its own seed, yielding seed after his kind; and the earth to bring forth the tree from its own seed, yielding fruit, whose seed could only bring forth the same in itself, after his kind; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed.
13 And it came to pass that they numbered the days; from the evening until the morning they called night; and it came to pass, from the morning until the evening they called day; and it was the third time.

Once the earth was prepared to receive seeds of plants, God created the grass, herbs, and fruit which grow from the ground. This is noted here as the third time, instead of the third day as in other versions of the creation. I think that this is a reminder that our version of time is not the same as God’s. This was probably more like a period of time marked by the light. We don’t know how long the days were at that time, and it is likely that they were a lot longer than we know them to be now.

14 And the Gods organized the lights in the expanse of the heaven, and caused them to divide the day from the night; and organized them to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years;
15 And organized them to be for lights in the expanse of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so.
16 And the Gods organized the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; with the lesser light they set the stars also;
17 And the Gods set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to cause to divide the light from the darkness.
18 And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.
19 And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that it was night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that it was day; and it was the fourth time.

God created the sun, moon, and stars which were set to distinguish the day from the night. It was at this time, that they were organized into their times and seasons as well. There is no coincidence to how the stars come and go. They were placed specifically to serve their own purposes. They truly are a beautiful site to see. Another note here, is that Abraham calls the sun the greater light, which rules the day. In the previous chapters, we have learned that the use of the word greater can mean closer to God. I think that this is true. The sun is the greater light, because it is closer to God, or closer to being a celestial body. It’s power is therefore greater, which is why it can more fully dispel the darkness of the night.

20 And the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life; and the fowl, that they may fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven.
21 And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.
22 And the Gods said: We will bless them, and cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas or great waters; and cause the fowl to multiply in the earth.
23 And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and it was the fifth time.
24 And the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so, as they had said.
25 And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey.

The water and earth were then prepared for the animals of every kind. All things were created to reproduce “after their kind”, meaning that the fish have been fish, and that the monkey did not come from the waters. I don’t know everything about the beliefs of evolution and such, but I do believe that animals were created to be what they are and that one did not come from another. I do understand that within our own species, there are changes to adapt to our environments, but that is as far as it goes for me.

26 And the Gods took counsel among themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness; and we will give them dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.
28 And the Gods said: We will bless them. And the Gods said: We will cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And the Gods said: Behold, we will give them every herb bearing seed that shall come upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which shall have fruit upon it; yea, the fruit of the tree yielding seed to them we will give it; it shall be for their meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, behold, we will give them life, and also we will give to them every green herb for meat, and all these things shall be thus organized.
31 And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and they numbered the sixth time.

In the sixth creation period, man was created. Here is another account, that teaches us that we are created in the image of God. This belief has always made perfect sense to me. I am created like God, and I am able to become like God as well. Mankind was given dominion over all living things on the earth. I know there was great wisdom in man being created last on this earth. It makes logical sense that man was after animals, which would provide food and clothing among other things. Animals and man came after the sun and moon, because they needed to be able to have light to survive. Plants came before the animals, because that is how the animals would have food. The water and earth were separated and prepared in order for the plants to grow and animals to have the proper place to live. The waters were separated so that the cycle – water in the atmosphere giving water to the earth, and the earth giving back its water to the atmosphere – would sustain everything living, and so on. This is just another example that God is a being of order.

I am so grateful to have all the beautiful creations of God around me. I know that all things serve a purpose in the plan of salvation, and that I can be blessed because of the perfection in that plan. I am so grateful to be created after the image of my Father in Heaven. I have a great hope and faith in being able to become like Him someday.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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