LDS Sunday School OT Lessons #3

16 January

old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual-35570000The Creation

This next lesson in the Old Testament centers on what Mormons are taught about the Creation of the universe in the Book of Moses and Abraham.

Again we find ourselves in this next lesson with Moses and his description of the vision he had of the creation of the universe in Moses 1:27-42. And then Moses 2:1-25 we see a reiteration of the creation account found in Genesis 1.

During the lesson the class members are asked:

“Was the earth created out of nothing?”

They’re directed to Abraham 1:24 and 4:1 to find the answer:

“And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;” (Abraham 1:24)

“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.”(Abraham 4:1)

According to Mormon thought it seems that they don’t believe God is powerful enough to create something out of nothing, in fact they don’t believe there’s any way that could happen, at least not when their god is the one doing the creating.

Their leaders have stated that God needed “matter unorganized” to form the earth, universe and our spirits. Yes you read that right, they believe our spirits are made of eternal matter that God organized into spiritual bodies before we were born.

In regard to the power God has for creating things Joseph Smith said:

“All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself.”(TPJS, pg.345)

This quote coincides with Doctrine and Covenants 131:7–8:

“There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.”

Brigham Young also taught God was unable to create something out of nothing:

“God never did make a world out of nothing; He never will, He never can! [Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, pg. 248, 25 Sep 1870].

Thankfully we have God’s own word to tell us how He single handedly created the universe, the earth and us.

Genesis one makes no mention of God seeing “matter unorganized” floating around and then deciding to create something from it. In fact he didn’t have to lift a finger to do anything, all He to do was utter the words and when He surveyed His creation He saw that it was good.

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psa. 33:6

“Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all.” Neh. 9:6

In Genesis 2:7 we learn that God originally created man from the dust of the earth, and then breathed into him his spirit.

“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.”

In conclusion, I can’t help but be a little baffled by the way Mormons tend to twist the means of some words to suite their agenda. Take for instance Joseph Smith’s definition of create:

“The word create came from the [Hebrew] word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 350–51).

I don’t know what dictionary Joseph Smith was using when he made this quote but “create” doesn’t mean to organize.

From Strong’s Concordance we see the Hebrew word for create and it’s meaning.

baòraò, baw-raw’

A primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood),

select, feed (as formative processes):—choose, create (creator), cut down,

dispatch, do, make (fat).

It’s sad Mormons everywhere are taught such a distorted view of the Creation as though it were true. What I find really heartbreaking is that the only way for them to make their doctrine, their view of God, and the Creation plausible is to deny the first few books of Genesis. God placed His account of how He created the world there for a reason, and Mormons have been taught to brush it aside as if it didn’t exist.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes melissa@lifeafer.org

References:

Old Testament, Lesson 3: http://www.lds.org/manual/old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-3-the-creation?lang=eng

Book of Moses – http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses?lang=eng

Book of Abraham – http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr?lang=eng

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