Posts Tagged 'Creation'

1 Chronicles Chapter 29

The book of 1 Chronicles records the history of the people of God from the creation through the rule of King David. As the last chapter in this book, the words of David to his successor and his people are wrapped up. David had been a great leader for the children of Israel, even with his personal flaws and transgressions. He had fought the enemies of the land valiantly. As a result, the land of Israel had finally been made ready for a permanent house of the Lord, which Solomon was to build during his reign. This final chapter begins with the following:

1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.
2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:
5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?

David, speaking to all the Israelites, said that the work given to Solomon was a huge task for a leader who was still young. The Lord has often called those who are young, to perform great tasks for Him. David himself, who had fought Goliath in his youth, had been chosen by God at a young age to become the king of Israel. In youth, people are more humble and teachable, and less hardened by life experiences. In humility, the Lord can bless the weak to become strong, because they rely on Him and have greater faith and trust in the Lord.

David, in his own sincere desire to have the house of the Lord built, had done all that he could to prepare for it. Since he could not build it himself, he had saved all the treasures and supplies, that he could. He had a good amount of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stones, which he had gathered. He had even given a great deal of his own treasures, and dedicated them to the house of the Lord. The Lord had given instruction regarding specific materials to use for specific purposes in the construction of the temple as well as the design of all the tools and vessels. David told the people that the the things he had gathered were for their specific items within the temple, to be crafted by skilled workers. He then called for all who were willing, to consecrate their service to this great work.

6 Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,
7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.

The leaders of the tribes of Israel gave willingly to the construction of the temple. They gathered gold, silver, brass, iron, and precious stones. Jehiel, the Gershonite (possibly mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:8 as leader of the sons of Laadan, who were Levites who served at the temple, though there were others by this name listed), worked to gather and give these treasures to house of the Lord.

The Israelites rejoiced because they willingly gave this offering to the Lord. David rejoiced also for their offerings to the Lord. God does not need men to give him their treasures in order to be able to have a House built to his name, because he could provide a way for these things to be handled without them. However, this is a sacrifice and a consecration of means and time, which God asks of men in order to show commitment to Him. This sacrifice of the Israelites, was much like the tithing that God asks of His people today. All things are His and when we contribute willingly to the building up of His kingdom on Earth, we show that we recognize that we are willing to do our part for Him. This commitment is worthy of rejoicing and having a grateful heart, as it was to the Israelites.

10 Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

David publicly praised the Lord as he dedicated all that had been offered to the Lord. He acknowledged that all things belonged to God, both in heaven and in the earth, and that all things were and are part of the Lord’s kingdom. He also recognized that God rules over all, just as the Savior did in what is known as the Lord’s prayer. Matthew 6:9-10 and 13 record he Savior’s words, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. …For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” These thoughts of both David and Jesus the Christ, are absolute truths related to God, the Father. They are eternal truths that should continue to be recognized today. People today can and should acknowledge God publicly and privately for His divine majesty.

Continuing, David acknowledged the power and might of God, and that God gives to men the ability to be great and strong. David thanked and praised God, adding that they were only able to give so freely of things because they belonged to the Lord and He made it possible. Again, this is an absolute truth and can and should be recognized by people today. All things, both in the earth and made by man, come of God. He has created all of it and it all belongs to Him. We are only here on earth, for a short time, with the permission granted to us to use all that He has created. When we give to the Lord in ways such as tithes and offerings, as the Israelites did, we are returning to the Lord what He has made possible for us to use. In this, we should be continually grateful, as David was.

David humbly recognized that the children of Israel were strangers and travelers as their ancestors had been. This idea again applies to all men. We are all strangers to this life. We were spiritually created first, and lived in Heaven with God. We spend our time in this earthly life, as strangers, needing the prevailing guidance of our Father. That time is ever-changing, short and never standing still, as a shadow changes each moment with the movement of the sun.

As he went on, David spoke of the ways of God to test the hearts of his people, and of His pleasure in finding uprightness in them. David had willingly given his offering out of his own uprightness of heart, or honesty and goodness, and he found joy in seeing the people give willingly as well. He prayed to the Lord, that the people would remember this and prepare their hearts for the Lord. Moreover, he prayed that the Lord would bless his son, Solomon, with a perfect heart. That Solomon would keep the commandments and statutes of God, and do all in his power to build the temple for which David had prepared greatly.

20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.
21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:
22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

The gathered people were told to worship the Lord, which they did through prayer, sacrifices, and burnt offerings. Their worship continued as they feasted with great gladness. Solomon was anointed king by the people, with Zadok as the priest. Solomon took the throne and prospered. Israel became subject to him, including all the leaders who had served under David. Solomon was truly blessed by the Lord, in ways that had not been known to the Israelites before this time.

26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

David had been king in Hebron for 7 years and in Jerusalem for 33 years, making his total reign in Israel, 40 years. He died at a good age for his day, which was about 70 (his rule began when he was 30, according to 2 Samuel 5:4), having been blessed with wealth and honor. There are other accounts of David’s reign, which are not all had in the Bible and are lost writings, but his reign was great and established much for the nation of Israel.

David was a good example to the people of his time, as well as to all the world since that time, to praise God with gratitude. He had been a memorable leader for Israel, serving them and remembering God. He had his shortcomings and was not a perfect man, but he recognized this in himself and ended his days looking to God. As the successful king he was, he could have chosen to withhold his gratitude as many others do. However, David knew from his youth, that his successes and greatness came from the hand of the Lord. As we go through our lives today, it is important for us to remember this as well. We owe so much to God for all He does for us, and we will be blessed and become more, if we humbly look to God with a grateful heart and openly praise Him.

Ponderizing – Week 2 Thoughts

This past week I have been ponderizing the following verse found in John 1:3

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

I chose this verse because I have been thinking about how I should recognize the hand of God in my life more frequently. This verse teaches me that first, the Lord is the creator. Everything that we know to be made, as well as countless things that we are even unaware of, were created by the Lord. The origins of this world were shaped and molded by Him. Everything that lives and grows came from a beginning, which was made by the Lord.

He crafted the land we see around us, the animals, the heavens, and mankind. All of these things are amazing individually, and they make an amazing world for us to live in. I am truly happy, when I am thinking about the wonder of the creations of God. Thinking about the hand that created all that is around me, causes my heart to swell with gratitude. I owe Him all that I have and all that I am. I would not exist in this life without the creator. Life is joy because of all that He has made for us to experience while we are here.

I have enjoyed focusing on this throughout this week. One of my favorite things to look at is the clouds and sun in the sky. How they move, their shapes, and the way the light reflects and shines through clouds in so many ways. It is a beauty that reminds often of my Savior and the love He has for me. God made the sky, the beautiful clouds, the bright sun, and I have eyes to see and appreciate them because of my Father in Heaven.

I’ve thought about all the inventions and innovations that man has created since the beginning of time on this earth. It’s absolutely amazing what mankind has done, but underlying all of it, is inspiration and intellect. Inspiration which comes from God. Intellect which is given by God.

He gave us the first plants which created the first seeds and have continually filled the earth with so much beauty and much of the necessities of life. I really could down the list of creations forever.

Most of all, however, I have great gratitude for the creation of mankind itself. I am in awe of the human body and how it works. I often think about how amazing it is that God created each system with such detail and order. I see it myself, but I especially love looking at my children and watching how they use their bodies throughout the day. I have great joy in watching the way their minds are learning and growing. We are an amazing creation of a loving Father.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

There is indeed a God in heaven, and he created all things. This knowledge brings me great happiness and changes the way I choose to live my life each day. I thank God for the many creations that I enjoy in my life. I thank God for the people in my life. I thank God for my life.

Exodus Chapter 14

The children of Israel were being led through the wilderness by the Lord. Moses was their chosen prophet and had been given them the Lord’s instructions regarding things such as the passover, sanctification of the firstborn, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The journey of the Israelites continues as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.

The Lord knew the heart of Pharaoh, and that he would follow after the Israelites. Because of this, he told Moses to have the Israelites return and stop to camp between Migdol and the Red Sea.

5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
8 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon.

Pharaoh was told that the Israelites had left. Pharaoh hardened his heart towards them and the Egyptians were upset that their servants had been let go. Pharaoh prepared to go after them. He took all the captains and chariots of Egypt to go with him to find the Israelites. They went toward the Israelites and camped by the sea.

10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

When the Israelites saw Pharaoh and his Egyptian army coming for them, they were afraid and prayed to God. The people of Israel feared that Moses had brought them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness. They said that it would have been better for them to stay in bondage to the Egyptians, then to die there in the wilderness.

13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Moses told them that the Lord would be there salvation, so they did not need to fear. This was a lesson in patience for them. If they turned and ran away, or turned back toward Egypt, they would not receive the blessings of the Lord. They needed to have patience and wait on the Lord. Moses assured them that they would not see the Egyptians any more because of the salvation of the Lord.

15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

Moses prayed to God and the Lord said that the Israelites would continue. He told Moses to use his rod over the sea and it would divide for the Israelites to cross the ground on dry land. The Lord told Moses that Pharaoh and the Egyptians would follow after them, but they would be shown that He was the Lord, or shown the power of God.

19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

The cloud which had led their way, was moved behind the Israelites so that it was between them and the Egyptians. The cloud protected and divided them from the Israelites. It was only darkness to the Egyptian, but on the side of the Israelites, it continued to give them light in the night. Moses did as the Lord had told him, and used the rod to cause the sea to divide. The Lord used the wind to hold the waters back and make dry land. The Israelites walked on the dry ground between the walls of water. I wonder why the has so often used the natural elements of the world, to show His mighty power. I wonder if it is to stir a remembrance in our spirits, that he is the creator of all things and has power over all that we know. I am reminded of His power to cover the earth with water in the time of Noah, and how He calmed the sea during His ministry as well as walked on the water to his disciples. I think of how he carried many over the waters and controlled the winds, such as with Lehi’s family and the family and friends of Jared in the Book of Mormon. It reminds me of the natural disasters brought upon the people at the time of the Savior’s death, which had been foretold long before. No man, without the power and authority of the almighty, could cause these wonders to happen. The Lord was surely with Moses and the Israelites at that time.

23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

The Egyptians followed after them, just as the Lord had said. Their chariots were stopped and then the Egyptians began to see the power of the Lord was with the Israelites, so they began to flee.

26 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

Moses was told to use the power of God, or his priesthood power, to cause the waters to fall upon the Egyptians. Moses did this and the sea returned to normal. The Egyptians were caught in the waters as they fled, and not one of them was left. The Israelites continued on dry land and were delivered again. This caused the Israelites to believe in the Lord and in their prophet, Moses.

In Moses 1:25 we read, “And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.” This promise was fulfilled that day, when Moses parted the sea and then caused it to destroy their enemies. I am sure that knowing the Lord had made this promise of having power over the waters, helped to give Moses the faith to follow what the Lord told him to do in order to save his people.

Faith is a Sunrise

These miracles would not be done without faith on the part of those involved. I can’t imagine what that scene would have looked like to those who were there. They had no way of knowing what would happen to them when they walked into the path between the waters. The Israelites did not know how the Lord would save them, but they had the faith to take steps into the unknown and allow the power of God to work in their lives. We read all throughout the scriptures of amazing wonders and miracles shown to the people, and yet so often those same people are quick to forget what God has done for them. We cannot afford to forget the power of God. When we forget, our faith is weak and easily shaken. It is so important for us to reflect on the tender mercies that God has shown us in our own lives. We must not forget when we have been saved or delivered from our own enemies or from sin. God loves us and He will protect and guide those who choose to have the faith to follow Him and serve Him. I have had many tender mercies in my life, a lot of which have come in just the last couple of years. They have required a lot of faith on my part. They have led me to be where I am and be the person I am today. I am so grateful for them and I hope with all my heart, that I can remember these things and stay strong in the faith. I hope that I too can be delivered and return to the promised land, or rather to return to the presence of my Father in Heaven.

Conference Questions – Our Potential Part 3

(To view the previous posts for this question, start here: Our Potential Part 1)

Part of the role of a father, and especially of God who is our Father in heaven, is to be a creator. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Likewise, in Doctrine and Covenants 76:24 we read, “That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” God is the creator of all things. We need to reflect on the things that we choose to create in this life, to be sure they are good. There are many things, that were first created by God and have since been altered by man for that which is not good. This also means that we cannot idle away the precious time that we have here. The modern prophets have counseled many times for us to be anxiously engaged in good causes and to strive to do the work of the Lord in our daily lives. In addition, we need to do our best to learn about these wonderful creations of God, because as Doctrine and Covenants 132 states (mentioned previously), we have the potential to be a creator for eternity. Our knowledge will bring us closer to understanding how it is that God created the amazing world we have around us. Again we read in John 1:3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” There is nothing, in its most basic elements, that was not created by God. We do have the potential to make wonderful and perfect things of our own worlds without number.

Another attribute of God, is that He is omnipotent, or all-powerful. In Matthew 19:26, we read, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” I think there are many in the world who try to find a problem with the idea of God because of this point of doctrine. Impossible is man’s idea, instilled by Satan to stop us from reaching the potential that we have. The natural man in us, would think that surely God could not do this one thing for us, which we feel would ultimately bring us joy. It is not true. 1 Nephi 7:12 reads, “Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.” We need to believe in God, act in faith, and reflect on the things that He has done for us. In Jeremiah 32:17 we read, “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”. There are many things in this life, that we say we are incapable of doing. Especially those things that the Lord asks of us. This is not so. We have the potential to have all power. The power of God is the priesthood. In Doctrine and Covenants 11:30 we read of the priesthood when it says, “But verily, verily, I say unto you, that as many as receive me, to them will I give power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on my name. Amen. (emphasis added)” We can be given power of God in this life. How do we use the power that has already been given to us? To answer this question, we can look to the power of God as a creator which has been given to all people in the ability to bear children. Do we abuse this power or treat it with the sacred respect that it deserves? I know that the priesthood power, which was given to men in ancient times, has been restored to the earth. This power is there for righteous and worthy men to bear all the power that God gives to mankind. Men who have the authority to use this power of God, should consider how they make use of it. If we can learn to honor and use the priesthood power well, we have the potential to have all the power of God after this life.

(Coming tomorrow: Conference Questions – Our Potential Part 4)

To view other questions in this series, go here: Conference Questions

Do We Delight in Giving Service and Doing Good Works?

As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of one of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.
Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
Delight in service and good works.

To delight is to take great pleasure, satisfaction, or joy in something. I truly delight in several things in my life such as crossing off items on my todo list each day, making a new meal and my family enjoying it, studying the scriptures and understanding something new, hearing about something good my daughters have done, and so on. These things bring my great happiness. As disciples of Jesus Christ, and people who strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is nothing better then the joy that comes from doing what is right and good. This is not some new notion for modern times. The prophets of old wrote about this several times in the scriptures. In Psalms 40:8 we read, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” When we delight in the will of God, which is service and good works, we have a love for his commandments. This concept of delighting in service and good works, causes me to think about what it is I do and create with the time that I have been blessed with. In Isaiah 55:2 it says, “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (emphasis added)” We should feel completely satisfied by the good that we do and seek for in this life.

I’ve thought a lot about the things that I create in my life. We are creating something every day and often times we are creating multiple things each day. I believe that even when we feel like we are doing nothing, we are creating something we should not want to create. When I choose not to do what I should be doing, I create something that Satan can use against me, such as a bad habit. We really should avoid this kind of creating, because it leads to sins of all types. We will not find true delight in sinning. In 2 Nephi 9:49 we read, “Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness; and I will praise the holy name of my God.” Rather that creating things that support Satan and his cause, we should be creating the things that support God and his cause. We really should find delight in serving others and doing works that are good.

Our duty as covenanted saints and disciples of Christ, is to give all that we can to the service of God. In Romans 12:1 we read, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” When we delight in these things, we willingly give of our bodies to the service of the Lord. In Ephesians 6 we read the following:

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

We need to serve others, not as if we are serving them, but as if we are serving God. Know that God will bless accordingly, no matter who you are in this life. I think we should ask ourselves how God would serve this person or group? After all, “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17) If we think about doing a service for God, because we are indeed serving him when we serve others, then the effort to accomplish that service will bring the delight that comes from trying harder to accomplish something, as well as a knowledge that we are making our Father in Heaven proud of or happy with the things we do.

When we serve with God in mind and seeking for delight, I think we are more inclined to do more than would ever be expected of us. In Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 we read, “Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.” When we give our all and don’t stop at only serving a portion of what is needed, our joy will be full at that last day when we stand before God.

Our example of good works and service will bring others closer to God. In Matthew 5:16 we read, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Others will be able to recognize where the light within us comes from us, when we strive to do good works. Our influence is great. In Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 we read, “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” Great things come from every small good work we do. There is no greater satisfaction or delight that we can have, then in bringing others to God. In Doctrine and Covenants 18:15 we read, “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” And also in Mosiah 5:15 we read, “Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.” I know that when we do service and good works, others will see our light and we will seal the covenants we have made with the Lord. He will give us our salvation and eternal life, and this should give us something amazing to delight in, both in this life and in the kingdom of God.

I feel that I have a lot to improve upon in my choices every day, to get to where the Lord wants me to be with this. I think that if I can change my perspective to choose more of things that I can delight in, which would also be a service to my Father in Heaven, then I will be on the right track. I am grateful for the divine attributes of womanhood, which help me to be more mindful of the needs of others, especially if I am living worthy of the guidance of the spirit. I have had so much delight in the service and good works that I have done in my life and I look forward to improving and filling my life with even more.

The Creation

This is the fifth chapter of the Gospel Principles manual for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To view the entire lesson, go here: The Creation

God’s Plan for Us – Why did we need to come to the earth?

This question is one I have reflected on quite a bit lately. It is the purpose of our life. We came so that we can learn, grow and progress. We came so that we could become like our Father in Heaven. We came so that we could gain a body and experiences we could not have in the immortal state of heaven. We came so that we could have salvation and exaltation in eternity. God said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)” To read more of my thoughts on this, go here: What is the Purpose of Our Lives?.

Why do you think we shouted for joy when we learned of the plan of salvation?

In the scriptures we can read of when Job asked God how the earth was created. In Job 38:7 he asked, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” In the counsel in heaven, the hosts of heaven shouted for joy at the presentation of the plan of salvation. I think that we understood that we could go no further in the eternities without this amazing opportunity. I think we rejoiced in the ideas of what would come as a reward for living a good life. I think we rejoiced to know that we could prove ourselves to our Father in Heaven.

Carrying Out the Creation – What are the purposes of the Creation?

As part of the plan, the earth had to be created physically for us to inhabit. All living things on the earth had to be created as well. Jesus, under the direction of Heavenly Father, created the earth and all that grew and lived on it. In Moses 1:33 we read, “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.” I believe also, that many souls had the opportunity to serve in the creation, under the direction of the Savior. This earth was created in most simple terms, for the use of man.

However, there is so much more to the purpose of the creation than purely giving us a place to live in our mortal bodies. An even greater purpose of the creation, is to give us knowledge and wisdom. That may seem an odd thing to say, but I believe it is true. Everything we ever do, in our entire existence, has to do with creating. Understanding the creation of the earth and all things on it, helps us to learn of our own potential. In Doctrine and Covenants 132:20 we read of our potential, “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” We are working towards being able to create our own worlds, as gods in heaven. As we learn of the creation, we learn that order, work and rest are eternal principles that must be applied in all areas of our lives. When we take the time to learn about the creation, we learn to see the eternal value of all things. We can be more grateful and love with a greater love.

The earth was created to teach us how to properly take care of our own. In Doctrine and Covenants 104:13 we read, “For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.” This is part of what we will be judged on when we return to Him someday. The creation teaches us the responsibility and divine traits of caring and nurturing that we need to strive towards.

The creation teaches us that the principle of delegation is also an eternal principle. God delegated to His Son, and the creation was the result. We can see that as parents we need to allow our own children the opportunity to create so that they can reach their own potential. We learn that allowing others to help us, gives everyone the opportunity to grow. These are just a few of the reasons that the earth was created.

God’s Creations Show His Love – How do God’s creations show that He loves us?

God’s creations are for man. In Doctrine and Covenants 59:20 we read, “And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.” We learn in the scriptures that mankind has been given dominion over all of God’s other creations on earth. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have 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. (Genesis 1:26)” In a way, God has given all his creations to us as gifts. They are all for our good, and ultimately for our joy. In 2 Nephi 2:25 we read, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” Even those things that are annoyances to us now, are for our learning and growth, which will lead to an even greater joy in heaven.

What are some things you appreciate about God’s creations?

One of the things that I appreciate most about God’s creations is beauty. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reads, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time . . .”. There is so much beauty in the way things have been made, as well as in the appearance of those things. I think that the way the human body works, with so many little parts working perfectly with other parts, is a beauty that cannot be duplicated by man. I think that the world in its different seasons, has beauties that are magnificent and inspiring. I saw a huge rainbow over my home this weekend and it was beautiful and amazing to see. I also appreciate the individuality of everything, even when things seem similar. The individuality makes me feel a personal love from God that is touching. I appreciate how things have been created to have relationships with others. The trees having need for us to live, and our need for the trees, is one relationship that amazes me often. The way the water cycle works to replenish the earth is incredible. There are purposes to things that we don’t even recognize yet, I am sure of it.

I am so grateful for the creations of my Father in Heaven. I am honored to be among such beautiful things each and every day. I hope that as I grow, I can become a better creator, and that someday I will be worthy of creating worlds as well.

How Do We Know We Are Spiritually Born of God?

As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

The declaration begins “we are beloved spirit daughters of God”. As I reflect on that line, I wonder how I know that I am spiritually born of God. I think there are two ways to look answer this question. First, I believe that we are literal children of God. I believe that he is the Father of our spirits because he created us spiritually before we were physically created on this earth. In Acts 17:28 we read, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” To take that even further, God created our first father, Adam, both spiritually in heaven and physically on the earth. All of us our the descendants of Adam, who was created in all ways by the hand of God. In the Bible Dictionary it says, “Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account of God as the literal father of the human family; as a being who is concerned for the welfare of mankind, and a Personage who hears and answers prayers.” I have a testimony of the truth in this latter-day revelation, and therefore I feel strongly that we must be children of God (See Bible Dictionary, God). Also in the Bible Dictionary we read, “Every person is literally a son or a daughter of God, having been born as a spirit to Heavenly Parents previous to being born to mortal parents on the earth (cf. Heb. 12:9). Thus each one of us is a dual being: an immortal spirit body, clothed with a body of flesh and bone. (See Bible Dictionary, Spirit)”

We are taught throughout the scriptures that mankind are children of God, born spiritually. The scriptures are written for all mankind, not just those who believe in them, and therefore they apply to all of us. In Malachi 2:10 we read, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? . . .”. Ephesians 4:6 reads, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Psalms 82:6 says, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” In 1 Nephi 17:36 we read, “Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.” Doctrine and Covenants 84:83 reads, “For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.” Moses 3:5 reads, “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;”. And again in Moses 6:51 we read, “And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.”

Our modern prophets and apostles have also shared there own witness to the knowledge that we are all children of God. In The Family:A Proclamation to the World they write, “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.” I believe we were part of the spiritual family of Heavenly Father, just as surely as we are a part of a physical family here.

Even the Savior himself, taught us that He was not alone in being a child of God. In the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew, we read the following in 5:48:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Then later we can read the Lord’s Prayer in 6:9, where he teaches us the proper way to pray. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” The Savior did not single Himself out in this. God is our Father in Heaven, because He is the Father of our spirits.

I have experienced sweet moments of confirmation in this fact. I know that I am a child of God and that He loves me, personally, as His daughter. I know this because the spirit, or the Holy Ghost, as born witness to me of these things. In Romans 8:16-17 we read the following:

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

One of my favorite songs as a child, which remains a favorite even now, is “I Am a Child of God”.

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
(Chorus)

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows to late.
(Chorus)

I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I’ll live with hime once more.
(Chorus)

I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.
(Chorus)

Chorus:
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

When I sing it with my daughters today, I feel the spirit testify to me that what it teaches is true. I know that I am a spiritual daughter of God.

The second answer to this question, has to do with the choices we make in this life. All of mankind are the literal sons and daughters of God, but the scriptures teach us of becoming children of God, or being born of God, in this life. In The Guide to the Scriptures under “Born Again, Born of God” we read the following:

“To have the Spirit of the Lord cause a mighty change in a person’s heart so that he has no more desire to do evil, but rather desires to seek the things of God.” – Whosoever is born of God does not continue in sin, JST, 1 Jn. 3:9

We are born of God when we seek after Him, have a change of heart, repent of our wrongs, and live according to His will for us. In the October 1999 session of General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, James E. Faust said the following:

To be a daughter of God means that you are the offspring of Deity, literal descendants of a Divine Father, inheriting godly attributes and potential. To be a daughter of God also means that you have been born again, changed from a “carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness.”

In Mosiah 27:25-26 we read the following:

25 And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
26 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

Our natural state is that which was brought about by the fall of Adam. We tend to think of our immediate wants and desires, which seem more often then not, to be selfish and lean towards immediate satisfaction. The natural man is not able to become like God or dwell in heaven with him. The nature of God is eternal righteousness and happiness. To be that kind of person, we have to be willing to work harder to make better choices and change our wills to be like His. We should want this because we have the ability to become like Him. Not only do we have that ability, but it is exactly what He wants for us.

President Gordon B. Hinckey said the following in the October 1991 session of conference (LDS):

I wish to affirm also at the outset . . ., that you are very precious, each of you, regardless of your circumstances. You occupy a high and sacred place in the eternal plan of God, our Father in Heaven. You are His daughters, precious to Him, loved by Him, and very important to Him. His grand design cannot succeed without you.

God’s work is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). His grand design is fulfilled when we choose to become born of him in this life, and receive the gifts of immortality and eternal life as our reward after this life. We cannot be born of God in this life, unless we follow his commandments and make and keep sacred covenants with him. When we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost we are spiritually born of God. In Alma 36:23-24 we read the following related verses:

23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Baptism

I have been baptized and received the gift of the Spirit. I know that through this act I was and have since become a spiritual daughter of God in the sense that although I was spiritually born of him before this life, I naturally have been separated from him in this life. Through receiving His gift of the spirit in my life, I have the ability to return as part of his spiritual family after this life, if I will remain true and faithful to his commandments. I am so grateful for this knowledge and for the gospel in my life. I don’t know what kind of person I would have chosen to be without the influence of the gospel. I believe that knowing I am a daughter of God has given me the reason for living a good life and being a good person. I want to live worthy of the spirit, so that I can return to live with God again someday.

Genesis Chapter 2

In the first chapter of Genesis it teaches about the first 6 periods of creation. Chapter 2 begins:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The seventh period of the creation, was a day of rest for the Lord. This was a time when God reflected on the creations that he had made. The footnote for the word made in verse 2, also says “done”. The things that we do in our daily lives are the things which we make. These things are our own personal creations, such as creating habits, relationships, as well as physical things. We should reflect on the things that we do, make, or create during our own weeks as we honor the day sanctified by the Lord.

Another footnote in verse 2, is for the word rested, which says “stopped”. God established the sabbath, as the day of rest from labor. In other words it is a day to stop or take a break from our normal work and activities. I believe that there is wisdom in setting a specific time for rest. I think that our bodies and minds need time to re-energize. The sabbath has been set-apart from the other days of the week, and we should treat it as a day unlike the typical days of our week. It is a gift from God, which we should respect and use the way that He intended. I don’t think that this means that we should spend the day sleeping and doing nothing else, but I think that it means we need to remove ourselves from the everyday business, hustle and bustle of life. I think that in doing this our minds are better able to focus on things of a more spiritual nature.

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

We were all created spiritually before physically. We had an existence in the pre-mortal world. In addition, every living thing was created spiritually before being organized physically on the earth. When I read verse 5, it causes me to reflect on nature and how I feel a witness of God through the plants and weather. I think that there is definitely a spiritual presence in nature that can be felt and appreciated when we take the time to notice it.

8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam, the first man, was created and put into the garden of Eden where God caused that plants and other beautiful things should grow. In the garden, was the tree of life, or the tree of immortality. We learn from Lehi’s Vision in 1 Nephi, that this life is a representation of the love of God (see 1 Nephi 8 and 11). There was also the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden to mankind because it would bring mortality and death into the world. I believe that in the pre-mortal garden state, Adam was allowed to freely eat of the tree of life, which probably sustained him in his immortality. The tree of knowledge, however would prevent him from being worthy to partake of the tree of life without the blessings of the Savior’s atonement.

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

It is the pattern and design of God for everyone to have a help-meet in this life. It does not always work out that way, and that may have to do with the trials that we each have chosen to face in this life, but it is known to God that a man is made better with a woman by his side, and vice versa. God created Eve, the first woman, to be the wife and companion of Adam. She was created to be loved and to love him. She was created to be protected by him and for him to have constant support in life. God also established eternal marriage at this time. It was eternal because in the Garden all things were eternal. God taught Adam and Eve that men would leave their paternal families and create their own eternal families with their wife. This should be the patter of marriage for us today, and it is the only type of marriage that is sanctified and recognized by God. I am grateful for the beautiful and perfect creations of God in my own life. I know that there is wisdom in these creations. I am grateful to know that God loved mankind so much that he would create a paradise that we all can hope for someday.

Genesis Chapter 1

The book of Genesis is an account of the beginnings of the world. It is a book written by Moses. I believe that there were portions of this record that were altered over time. Therefore, I rely on the book of Moses and Abraham, found in The Pearl of Great Price, to clarify the truths in this book. Genesis opens as follows:

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

The creation of the world as we know it, started when God, through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, organized the heaven and earth. This creation was not the beginning of all things, but the beginning of time and this earth as we know them. We learn this when we study the book of Moses. In Moses 1 we read the following:

33 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.
34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.
35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

The worlds that have been created, go on in number for eternity. The creation began with light and darkness – day and night. The book of Genesis continues:

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The creation continues with the atmosphere and waters of the earth and atmosphere being separated. The atmosphere was necessary first, so that all living things could be sustained by the air and moisture it provides.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Next, God gathered the water on the earth, and created the land which produced grass, herbs, trees, fruit and all other plants. Plants came before animals and man because they are necessary to sustain us.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In the fourth period of time, God created the stars, sun and moon to give light to the earth.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Next, the animals were created physically on the earth, and each was patterned after it’s species in the animal kingdom. They came before man, I believe, to have the time to be a plentiful resource for man. Man would immediately have the need of what animals are able to provide for them.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have 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 God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and 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 God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for 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, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Finally, God created man to rule over all things that were living on the earth. We, mankind, have been created in the image of God. God has a being that we are patterned after, which means that he is not in some mysterious and unknown form. He made us like Him, because we are His children. I think that man was created last in part because the world needed to be established to provide the necessities of our lives. I think also that knowing we were created last helps us to realize that we are dependent on all of God’s creations and this can be a very humbling understanding.

I love that as He created all things, he looked them over and saw that they were good. I have written before of how I feel about this. It makes me think about reflecting on my own creations and pondering on whether they are indeed good or if they need some kind of shaping or alterations. Knowing that God saw all his creations and saw that they were good, helps me to appreciate them even more. I am learning to see my own creations as good and find an appreciation for them rather than see every little thing as a possible flaw. I am so glad that we have the opportunity to be creators in our own lives. When God was finished with the creating periods, and was reflecting on all that He had created, he saw that all things were very good. I hope that someday when I reflect on the product of my own acts throughout my life, that I will be able to say that they are very good as well.

I know that there was complete wisdom in the way this world was created. This gospel explanation of the creation makes complete sense to my soul, where any other theory does not. I am so grateful to the Lord for his creations and for the beauty of the world around me. I am so glad that he is a being of order because it gives me a foundation that I can stand on and trust in completely. I believe that God works in an orderly manner, because he is ruled by laws just as we are. There are laws of nature, space, and so on, that must be in place or all the purposes of eternity would be lost. We have laws to follow and a proper order to things. When I follow these laws and the order in my own life, I can feel safe and secure in the things I do. Finally, I know that all of God’s creations serve a purpose in the greater plan of salvation. I know that ultimately all of these things are designed to give us the means to be live on this earth, to create families, and to be able to work towards our goal of eternal life with our families.

For more about the creation story as found in Moses, see my previous posts from The Pearl of Great Price.

Abraham Chapter 5

Abraham has given an account of the six creation periods (see previous post on Chapter 4). His account continues:

1 And thus we will finish the heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of them.
2 And the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled.
3 And the Gods concluded upon the seventh time, because that on the seventh time they would rest from all their works which they (the Gods) counseled among themselves to form; and sanctified it. And thus were their decisions at the time that they counseled among themselves to form the heavens and the earth.

In the seventh period of the creation, God rested from his labors. At this point, all the hosts of heaven were created. The footnote for seventh, references the sabbath. Likewise, we have six periods, or days, to do our labors, and on the seventh day, the sabbath, we should rest. I think that I learn from this, that the sabbath is an eternal principle of the gospel. I think that in heaven, we will continue having six periods or days of labor, and then the sabbath to rest and worship our God.

It sounds like the order of the creation had been planned in the council in heaven, before the creation began. This is a wise pattern to follow in our own creating. We should start something with a plan. Things may not always work out the way we think it will, but starting with a plan and trying our best to follow that plan, is a wise way to accomplish the things that we set out to do.

4 And the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were formed in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens,
5 According to all that which they had said concerning every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Gods had not caused it to rain upon the earth when they counseled to do them, and had not formed a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

I think this is another teaching that all things were created spiritually before physically on this earth. The council in heaven, made plans and all things were created spiritually, then when the earth was physically prepared for all living things, they were created upon the earth.

7 And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
8 And the Gods planted a garden, eastward in Eden, and there they put the man, whose spirit they had put into the body which they had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Gods to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life, also, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 There was a river running out of Eden, to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.
11 And the Gods took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it.
12 And the Gods commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat,
13 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning.

Adam, the first man, was created by God. Our bodies alone, do us no good, because they are purely “the dust of the ground”. I think that this means that they are made from the elements of the world. Our spirits alone, cannot progress. We were created spiritually in heaven before we came to this earth, but we were halted in our progression without the experience of gaining a body. The living soul, which is when the spirit, or breath of life, is placed into a physical body, is the next step in our eternal progression. I love something that my study manual points out. We are made up of “mortal flesh and an immortal spirit”. I think that this is why we are capable of becoming like our immortal Father in Heaven. There is immortality in all of us, but our mortal bodies hold us back. Once, we are resurrected into an immortal body, we will be able to become just as our Father in Heaven is.

There was a garden created for Adam, with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam was there to take care of the garden and then he was given the commandment not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam was taught that the consequences of eating the fruit, would mean death. This part of Adam’s existence, was I think, still part of the pre-mortal existence. Abraham teaches here that time in the garden of eden was still like time on Kolob. I think that this is why the early generations of the old testament, lived for such a long time. As Adam transgressed, all things on the earth experienced a separation from God’s presence. This means that we had to physically be removed further from the time of Kolob as well. The earliest people on the earth, lived life closer to the time of Kolob, which was somewhere around 1,000 years for 1 year on Kolob. As time went on, and men were further separated from God, the lifespan has been reduced to what we know to be common today. The more evil there is in the world, the shorter we make our own lives.

14 And the Gods said: Let us make an help meet for the man, for it is not good that the man should be alone, therefore we will form an help meet for him.
15 And the Gods caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and they took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;
16 And of the rib which the Gods had taken from man, formed they a woman, and brought her unto the man.
17 And Adam said: This was bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; now she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man;
18 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.
19 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Woman was made to help man, to be his partner, and to help him not to be alone in this life. They were created from one flesh, and are to remain one in marriage. The footnote for the word cleave, references marriage and that marriage is ordained by God. In order to truly remain or become one in marriage, we must be married by the celestial law, which is only available through the sealing powers in the temple. I believe that Adam and Eve were married and sealed for eternity, by God. Because Adam and Eve did not have the knowledge of what was good and what was evil, they were not ashamed of their own nakedness.

20 And out of the ground the Gods formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.
21 And Adam gave names to all cattle, to the fowl of the air, to every beast of the field; and for Adam, there was found an help meet for him.

All the animals were created by God, but Adam was given the privilege of naming them. This was part of the establishment of the dominion that man has over all the animals of the world. Adam was truly the Lord of the earth, and we as his descendants, rule over all living things of the earth. We are given the same charge to take care of all the earth, but all human life is greater than other life. This greater is in the same sense that we are closer to Kolob and have the power to govern these things.

I am grateful for the words of Abraham. I have found a greater strength in my testimony of the creation, of the nature of God and our spirits. I know that this knowledge will help me to live a better and more complete life.


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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