Category Archives: Mormon Church Education System

Making the transition from seminary to institute

One of my responsibilities in our stake is to work with the young single adults, our YSA branch presidency, and the Institute Teacher. One of our biggest challenges is in getting the YSA to attend institute.

When you are a youth in the Church, it is generally expected that you will attend seminary. Not everyone goes, but there is definitely that expectation. If you are from an active family and plan on serving a mission (male or female), you are almost definitely going to attend seminary. However, in our area, Institute is just not a big thing. We want it to be, but when there isn’t that “critical mass” of YSA in one area, there just isn’t that momentum.

Anyway, that is just background as to why I’m sharing this article. The Deseret News recently had a nice article about making the transition from seminary to institute.

As an 18-year-old freshman at Utah State University, Bradon Capener registered for classes at the Logan Institute of Religion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he admits he didn’t see the value and rarely attended.

It wasn’t until Capener returned from serving a Mormon mission a few years later and “decided to get involved” that he realized what he had been missing.

It’s a good read…

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 3 (Genesis 12 – 23)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

Here is the next entry in my series from the Old Testament Institute class that I’m teaching. These notes cover Genesis 12 – 23. I have decided not to include any pictures since I’m not sure of copyright issues with them.

To recap… I’m a Stake Institute Teacher. I teach a group of about a dozen YSA in my home on Wednesday evenings. It is a great calling! I decided I would post my notes for the classes. They are just that… notes. They are meant to help me direct the discussion and have references to pictures and quotes. I’ve included the quotes, but not the pictures.


Covenants

Enrichment section B has information about Covenants

  • In order to help His children become like Him, Father in Heaven admonishes them to observe certain gospel principles by means of covenants and ordinances. The entire gospel itself is referred to in scripture as “a new and an everlasting covenant” (D&C 22:1; see also 133:57). That overall covenant includes a series of other covenants that, if observed, will make man like his divine parents. Covenants, covenant making, and covenant keeping thus become the keys to exaltation, or the kind of life God enjoys.
    A covenant is a mutual agreement between two or more persons whereby each contracting party agrees to abide by certain stipulations. Heavenly Father agrees to give to His children all that He enjoys, providing they will keep all of His commandments (see D&C 76:50–60). “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). Broken covenants have no eternal or lasting value. As Joseph Smith said, “It requires two parties to make a covenant, and those two parties must be agreed, or no covenant can be made” (Teachings, p. 14).

Refer to:

  • Deut 7: 9
  • 2 Nephi 6: 12
  • Romans 9: 6

Genesis Chapter 12

v1
Abram told to leave the country
Abram probably received the Melchizedek Priesthood before leaving.
See Abraham 1: 2, 3: 1

v3

First reference to Abrahamic Covenant (I think)
“In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”
Often references to covenant are that the nations will be blessed. I like the reference to families

v4

  • SHOW SLIDE 3 map of travels from student manual (pg 65)

v5
Lot is Abram’s nephew

v8
Went to a mountain (temple) and called upon the name of the Lord

v10-20
Story of Sarai saying that she is Abram’s sister
Did Pharaoh try to marry her?

  • REVIEW notes from manual about why this is or isn’t a lie

Why did Abram speak this way? The Lord told him to do it. See Abraham 2: 22-23
Similar to Nephi killing Laban, sometimes the Lord requires us to do things that might otherwise be wrong. The key is that it needs to be a message direct from the Lord

  • SHOW SLIDE 4 family tree from student manual pg 66

Genesis Chapter 13

v4
Returned to an altar he had used before

v6-7
Must have been a huge group travelling!!

v8-9

  • SHOW SLIDE 5  image of lot and Abraham splitting land

Let there be no strife
Abram was willing to do what it took to have no contention

v12
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom

v18
Abram built another altar

Genesis Chapter 14

According to some things I read, there are several evidences to the age of these records

  • READ note from Amplified Bible
    Some of the places being referenced were using the original names. Moses had to explain what they were to the audience he was writing to
    14: 2 – Bela that is Zoar
    14:3 Valley of Siddim which is the Salt Sea
    14:4 En-mishpat which is Kadesh
    14:15 Hobah which is north of Damascus
    14:17 Valley oi Shaveh which is King’s Valley

v14
Not referring to his blood brother, but his brother in the gospel

v16
The brother translation could be relative or kinsmen
318 servants!

v18

  • SHOW SLIDE 6 picture of Abram with Melchizedek

Reference to Melchizedek

  • REVIEW notes from manual about Melchizedek possibly being Shem

v20
Abram paid tithing

Genesis Chapter 15

v1
The Lord was Abram’s shield
In the Armor of God scripture in Ephesians 6: 10-18, you have the shield of faith

v5
Abram has no children, but is promised he will have innumerable descendants

v6
And Abram believed him!
JST adds a vision where Abram sees the Lord and believes

v12
Abram has a vision and experiences great darkness like Joseph Smith

Genesis Chapter 16

v2-3
Abram takes Hagar as another wife

v5
Sarai upset about Hagai

  • SHOW SLIDE 7 artwork of Hagai leaving with Ishmael

v7-12
Angel tells Hagar to name son Ishmael
This is the first recorded instance in the Bible of someone being named before birth
See Gen 17: 19 – Isaac
1 Kings 13: 2 – Josiah
1 Chron 22: 9 – Solomon
Matt 1: 21 – Jesus
Luke 1: 13 – John
Ishmael is generally thought to be the father of the Arab people. According to tradition, the prophet Muhammad came through his son Kedar

Genesis Chapter 17

v1
The Lord visits Abram again

v2
A covenant is made again. Why so often?

v5
Name changes from Abram (high exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude)

v11
Is circumcision the covenant? It was a sign/token. It was stopped later. See Acts 15: 1, 24-29

v15
Sarai’s name becomes Sarah (princess)

v17
Even the Lord has a sense of humour?

v19
Isaac’s name means laughter

Genesis Chapter 18

v1-10

  • SHOW SLIDE 8 artwork of Abraham with 3 men/angels

Visit from 3 men
The first verse is a thought unto itself
The 3 men are generally considered to be angelic visitors. If they ate and cleaned themselves, they must have been resurrected. Others believe that it wasn’t possible for them to be resurrected, so they must have just been men

v14
Is anything too hard for the Lord?

v20-22
Two of the men/angels went to check on Sodom and Gomorrah

v23-32
The Lord would not destroy the city if 10 righteous people could be found
See Alma 10: 22 – the prayers of the righteous save the people

Genesis Chapter 19

v1
Other two men (angels?) arrive at Sodom

v5
The men of the city want to have sex with the men
Is this the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? It was more than this. See Ezekiel 16: 49-50

v8
Lot willing to hand over daughters?!?! JST clarifies this

v14
Lot warns family of impending destruction but they don’t believe him

v15-16
Lot, wife, 2 daughters are saved

  • SHOW SLIDE 9 artwork of Lot and family leaving

v24-25
Sodom, Gomorrah, and other cities are destroyed

  • SHOW SLIDE 10 artwork of the destruction

v17, 26
They were not to look back
Lot’s wife lagged behind and looked back. According to the way the wording is and how it compares to other similar lines, some scholars believed she actually went back.
She may have been literally turned to a pillar of salt or it may have been figurative (the traditional spot is now where part of the Dead Sea is)
Her heart was not where it should have been. See Matthew 6: 20-21 or Luke 21:33-34
Refer to Luke 17: 31-33

v31-38
The remaining two daughters get father drunk on successive nights and had sex with him to preserve their race
Moab (of a father)
Ben-ammi (son of my people)

Genesis Chapter 20

v2
Abraham lies again

v11-12
Abraham explains why he lied

Genesis Chapter 21

v1-3
Isaac is born

v9
Sibling rivalry between Ismael (17) and Isaac (3)

v12-21
Ismael and Hagar leave
They almost die but are saved by the Lord

v17
“God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is”

Genesis Chapter 22

Story of Abraham going to sacrifice Isaac

  • SHOW SLIDE 11 artwork of the sacrifice

v2
Offer him as a burnt offering

v5
We will worship and come again
Did Abraham believe that another way would come, or was he prophesying?

v7
Where is the lamb?

v8
The statement was both faithful (referring to Isaac) and prophetic (referring to Jesus)

v9
No struggle with Isaac
One thing I read said he was around 25. He must have had great faith as well

v11-12
Angel stops the sacrifice

v18
Abrahamic Covenant
Who is the greatest of his seed? Christ. Refer to Galatians 3: 16

Genesis Chapter 23

Sarah dies (127 years old) and is buried

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 2 (Genesis 3 – 11)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

Here is the next entry in my series from the Old Testament Institute class that I’m teaching. These notes cover Genesis 3 – 11. I have decided not to include any pictures since I’m not sure of copyright issues with them.

To recap… I’m a Stake Institute Teacher. I teach a group of about a dozen YSA in my home on Wednesday evenings. It is a great calling! I decided I would post my notes for the classes. They are just that… notes. They are meant to help me direct the discussion and have references to pictures and quotes. I’ve included the quotes, but not the pictures.


Introduction

  • Before we start, highlight the Enrichment Section A of the student manual which explains who the God of the Old Testament is.

Genesis Chapter 3

  • SHOW picture of LEGO Adam and Eve

v1
Subtle – crafty

v4
Gods (plural)
Satan tells Adam and Eve that they will know Good from Evil – true
Satan tells Adam and Eve that they won’t die – lie
This is the way Satan works… mixes lies with truths to trick people – he’s crafty!

v5
READ
Joseph Fielding Smith quote about Adam’s status before the Fall

“Adam’s status before the fall was:

“1. He was not subject to death.

“2. He was in the presence of God. . . .

“3. He had no posterity.

“4. He was without knowledge of good and evil.

He had knowledge, of course. He could speak. He could converse. There were many things he could be taught and was taught; but under the conditions in which he was living at that time it was impossible for him to visualize or understand the power of good and evil. He did not know what pain was. He did not know what sorrow was; and a thousand other things that have come to us in this life that Adam did not know in the Garden of Eden and could not understand and would not have known had he remained there. That was his status before the fall.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:107–8

Eyes will be open
What do eyes represent – seeing… understanding
Joseph Smith used this phrase in D&C 110: 1 when Jesus as well as other Heavenly visitors came

V6
SHOW
stained glass window picture of Eve giving fruit to Adam
READ
Elder Talmage quote about Adam and Even partaking of the fruit

“Eve was fulfilling the foreseen purposes of God by the part she took in the great drama of the fall; yet she did not partake of the forbidden fruit with that object in view, but with intent to act contrary to the divine command, being deceived by the sophistries of Satan, who also, for that matter, furthered the purposes of the Creator by tempting Eve; yet his design was to thwart the Lord’s plan. We are definitely told that ‘he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world’ [Moses 4:6]. Yet his diabolical effort, far from being the initiatory step toward destruction, contributed to the plan of man’s eternal progression. Adam’s part in the great event was essentially different from that of his wife; he was not deceived; on the contrary he deliberately decided to do as Eve desired, that he might carry out the purposes of his Maker with respect to the race of men, whose first patriarch he was ordained to be.”

James E Talmage, Articles of Faith, pp. 69–70

How much times passed between v6 and v7?
How much times passed between v7 and v8?
I think this is the sort of thing where a lot of misunderstanding comes into play. We assign a timeline to things that just aren’t there in the scriptures. We’ll get to this later, but the entire Tower of Babel story is 9 verses long

v10
God was heard walking. He has a physical body

v13
Beguiled – deceived

v15
Enmity – The state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something
Does Satan have “seed” (posterity)?
Compare head and heel
A snake might nip at the heel, but that same foot/heel it was trying to bite is going to be the thing that crushes it

v16-17
Woman’s and Man’s curse
How is this manifest today?

v19
How did Adam and Eve feel?
See Moses 5: 10-11
Was there death before the Fall? Not as we understand it. This is one reason why many people in the Church have a hard time reconciling evolution and the Creation (evolution implies change through the generations… creatures die)
READ
Joseph Fielding Smith quote about death

“Modern education declares that there never was such a thing as the fall of man, but that conditions have always gone on in the same way as now in this mortal world. Here, say they, death and mutation have always held sway as natural conditions on this earth and everywhere throughout the universe the same laws obtain. It is declared that man has made his ascent to the exalted place he now occupies through countless ages of development which has gradually distinguished him from lower forms of life.

“Such a doctrine of necessity discards the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden, which it looks upon as a myth coming down to us from an early age of foolish ignorance and superstition. Moreover, it is taught that since death was always here, and a natural condition prevailing throughout all space, there could not possibly come a redemption from Adam’s transgression, hence there was no need for a Savior for a fallen world.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:315

v20
The name Eve means “living”
What do we think of Eve?

v22
Who is god speaking to? There is obviously more than one person here (plural)

Genesis Chapter 4

The Book of Moses really helps here. There is a gap here in the bible where we learn:

  • They are driven out
  • They have children
  • God taught them
  • They offered sacrifices
  • An angel tells them why they offer sacrifices

v2
Cain was a farmer
Abel was a shepherd

v3-5
SHOW
artwork of Cain and Abel’s offerings
Cain’s offering was rejected
It came from the ground, and the ground was cursed
Abel’s offering was accepted
It was in similitude of the Only Begotten

v5
The Lord hadn’t rejected Cain. He was still speaking with Cain

v7
READ TOGETHER
How does sin lie at the door?

v8
SHOW
artwork of Cain killing Abel
Cain kills Abel
Moses 5: 29-31 adds in information about Satan conspiring with Cain

v9
Am I my brother’s keeper?

v14
“those hast driven me out…” – Cain is blaming God

v15
Could Cain die? Yes
Do we know what the curse/mark was? No
One thing I read suggested there was a physical feature (size perhaps) that made him look different and people left him alone

Genesis Chapter 5

Adam lived to be 930
Seth 912
Enos 905
Cainan 910
Mahalaleel 895
Jared 962
Enoch 365 – translated, see Moses 7: 69
Methuselah 969 – not taken up with Enoch so righteous patriarchal/priesthood line could continue (see Moses 8:2); died the year of the flood
Lamech 777
Noah 950

Genesis Chapter 6

v2
Sons of God married the daughters of men
What does this mean?
READ
President Kimball quote about marrying people of different faiths

“Paul told the Corinthians, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together. . . .’ Perhaps Paul wanted them to see that religious differences are fundamental differences. Religious differences imply wider areas of conflict. Church loyalties and family loyalties clash. Children’s lives are often frustrated. The nonmember may be equally brilliant, well trained and attractive, and he or she may have the most pleasing personality, but without a common faith, trouble lies ahead for the marriage. There are some exceptions but the rule is a harsh and unhappy one.

“There is no bias nor prejudice in this doctrine. It is a matter of following a certain program to reach a definite goal.”

Spencer W Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 240

v3
My Spirit shall not always strive with man

v4
Giants?

v5
Thoughts of hearts were evil continually
Compare to King Benjamin’s people who had a desire to do good continually (see Mosiah 5: 2)

v6
It repented the Lord?
Regret, sorry
Joseph Smith said it should be translated “It repented Noah that God made man”

v8-9
First reference to Noah. Was he perfect?
Who is Noah?
Gabriel spoke to Zacharias/Elizabeth about John the Baptist being born as well as Mary about Jesus being born
He delivered keys to Joseph Smith as an Elias (a forerunner)

v14
Make an ark
The word which ark is translated from is only in the bible one other time. That is in Exodus 2: 3 (an ark of bulrushes). Means box or chest

  • Made of gopher/cypress wood
  • Had rooms
  • Covered with pitch (bitumen), in Genesis 11: 3 the same word was translated as slime
  • 300 cubits long x 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high
  • 450ft x 75 ft x 45 ft

v17
A flood is coming

v18
God covenants with Noah

v19
Bring 2 of every kind

v21
Food storage

Genesis Chapter 7

v2
Why bring more of the clean animals? For food and sacrifices

v4
Will rain for 40 days/nights

v7
Only 8 people were righteous?
READ
quote from Elder McConkie about translated beings

“During the first 2200 or so years of the earth’s history—that is, from the fall of Adam to the ministry of Melchizedek—it was a not uncommon occurrence for faithful members of the Church to be translated and taken into the heavenly realms without tasting death. Since that time there have been occasional special instances of translation, instances in which a special work of the ministry required it.

“. . . Methuselah, the son of Enoch, was not translated [with Enoch’s city], ‘that the covenants of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to Enoch; for he truly covenanted with Enoch that Noah should be of the fruit of his loins.’ (Moses 8:2.) But during the nearly 700 years from the translation of Enoch to the flood of Noah, it would appear that nearly all of the faithful members of the Church were translated, for ‘the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.’ (Moses 7:27.)”

Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 804

v12
Rained for 36 hours in parts of Louisiana and some parts were several feet under water

v22
Everything not in the ark is dead

v24
After raining, it took 110 days for the waters to recede

Genesis Chapter 8

v4
Where is Mount Ararat? one book said in modern-day Armenia
SHOW
map of the Old World

v8-11
Dove didn’t come back once there was dry land to live

v18
On ark for 1 year and 10 days

v20
What is the first thing that Noah did? Offered a sacrifice

Genesis Chapter 9

v6
First instance of what would become the Law of Moses

v11-17
No more killer floods
The rainbow is a sign of this promise
SHOW
picture of rainbow from Pen Centre

v20
Husbandman – someone who runs a vineyard

v21
Noah got drunk?!

v25
Why was Canaan cursed?
Noah was upset that Ham hadn’t covered him up?
Was Noah cursing Canaan or was it a prophecy?

Genesis Chapter 10

More genealogy

v9
Nimrod was a bad man

v25
Peleg – How was the earth divided (physical/political)?

Genesis Chapter 11

v1
One language

v4
SHOW
picture of the Tower of Babel
Note: the whole Tower of Babel story only takes 9 verses
See Book of Ether

v7
The confusion of the language didn’t happen all at once
Jared saw this happening and asked his brother to intervene

v26
First mention of Abram/Abraham

v29
Abram marries Sarai

More on Elder Holland’s CES Devotional address

A couple of weeks ago I posted my notes from Elder Holland’s CES Devotional address. As you will probably recall, it was a great talk!

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, but the part that I’ve thought about many times in the last two weeks was regarding how we deal with people who appear to be living their lives contrary to gospel standards. He told a story about a 3o-something woman who “had a couple of tattoos, a variety of ear and nose rings, spiky hair reflecting all the colors now available in snow cones, a skirt that was too high, and a blouse that was too low.” He said he had several thoughts go through his mind and then said this:

However one would respond to that young woman, the rule forever is that it has to reflect our religious beliefs and our gospel commitments. Therefore, how we respond in any situation has to make things better, not worse. We can’t act or react in such a way that we are guilty of a greater offense than, in this case, she is. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have opinions, that we don’t have standards, that we somehow completely disregard divinely mandated “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” in life. But it does mean we have to live those standards and defend those “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” in a righteous way to the best of our ability, the way the Savior lived and defended them. And He always did what should have been done to make the situation better—from teaching the truth, to forgiving sinners, to cleansing the temple. It is no small gift to know how to do such things in the right way!

I couldn’t agree more. Whether reaching out to family members, young adults, youth, or anyone, we have to make things better, not worse. It is so easy to point out problems, but what are the solutions? Are we strengthening people with our interactions, or hurting them? This part of Elder Holland’s talk has definitely led me to think about how I interact with people. I hope to be better.

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 1 (Introduction, Genesis 1-2)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

As I’ve mentioned before, my current calling is to be a Stake Institute Teacher. It is a very rewarding calling. I love meeting with the YSA and I love teaching, so it seems like a perfect calling.

Previously we have studied the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon, The Gospel and the Productive Life and Scripture Study – The Power of the Word. This school year, the overwhelming choice was to study the Old Testament.

I’ve decided that I will post my notes each week. Let me first say that I am not an expert on Old Testament language, geography, or anything else. In fact, I probably haven’t studied the Old Testament since I was a missionary. However, I love the gospel and I do prepare for my lessons, so they seem to go ok.

The notes that I share are just that… notes. If the students are interested in a specific scripture, we’ll spend more time talking about it. If they aren’t interested in something, we may go through it quickly.


Introduction

The Old Testament is read by many different religions. It can be viewed and interpreted in many different ways. Like all scripture, it is meant to help us grow closer to Christ. It is ok to have a view of the Old Testament that might not be the same as someone else, as long as it helps you grow closer to Christ. We also must accept that some people will have less orthodox views that us.

NOTE: The manual is rather old, so some quotes are “old school”

Read:

  • 2 Timothy 3: 15-17
  • 1 Nephi 17: 17-43
  • John 5: 39

Whenever ancient scriptures talk about scriptures, it is the Old Testament they are referring to.

It is sacred scripture

If it was important to them, is it still important for us now?

If it is important for us now, why is it so difficult to study?

  • Language
  • Genealogy
  • Parts have been fulfilled
  • Seems irrelevant

So what is there for us?

Think for a moment about yourself. Does your motivation to study the scriptures come from a desire to learn more about God and His dealings with His children? Are you seeking to draw power from the scriptures in order to perfect your life by coming  to Christ? Paul and Nephi have said that, like all other scriptures, the Old Testament will help you accomplish these goals. Do you want to learn more of God and those who were faithful to Him? Then search the stories of the prophets and patriarchs. Would you be inspired by examples of men and women who overcame their weaknesses and went on to perfection? Read of Joseph and Abraham and Sarah and Job and dozens of others. Would you like to find principles of daily living that bring you closer to God? They are there in abundance. Would you like to better know Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth as our Redeemer? Then turn to the Old Testament, for, like the other scriptures, it is a  witness of His divinity, His love, and His mercy.

Discuss “facts” about Old Testament

  • 66 books in current bible
  • 39 books in Old Testament
  • 27 books in New Testament
  • 4 categories of books
    1. Law – Genesis through Deuteronomy
      • Also Pentateuch or Torah
      • 5 books of Moses
      • Believed by Jews, Christians, Muslims
    2. History – Joshua through Esther
      • Most books contain history
      • This section deal almost entirely with history
    3. Poetry or Writings – Job through The Song of Solomon
      • Almost 1/3 of the Old Testament is poetry
    4. Prophecy – Isaiah through Malachi
      • The prophets spoke for Jehovah

What is the purpose of the Old Testament?

  • To help us see how God led/protected His people

Who was the God of the Old Testament?

  • Jehovah

Almost everything in the Old Testament bears witness of Christ

  • He speaks
  • His prophets speak and testify of Him
  • Even if there is a question of literalness, you still learn about Christ

Genesis Chapters 1 and 2

There are 3 accounts of the creation

  • Genesis 1-2
  • Moses 1-3
  • Abraham 4-5

The story of the creation has inspired people from the beginning of civilization

GO OVER THE DAYS OF THE CREATION AND WHAT WAS CREATED WHEN

Who created the Earth?

Abraham records that in the midst of “many of the noble and great” premortal spirits was one “like unto God,” who said to them, “We will go down . . . And We will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell” (Abraham 3:22, 24; emphasis added). This passage suggests that others besides Adam may have assisted in the Creation.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

“It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why  not Joseph Smith,and those who were appointed to  be rulers before the earth was formed? [Abraham 3:2–4.]”

Doctrines of Salvation,1:74–75

At what point was “man” and woman” created?

  • Genesis 1: 27 – male and female were created
  • Genesis 2: 19 – woman was created from man
  • Was this before or after the 7th day?
  • Genesis 2: 23-24 is the marriage of Adam and Eve

How as the Earth created?

  • We don’t know

The Garden of Eden

  • Meaning of Eden is not certain, but it might mean “delight” or “fruitful, well-watered”
  • Was Eden a place, and a garden was there? Was all of Eden a garden?

Definitions

  • Beginning
    • President Brigham Young explained:
      “When was there a beginning? There never was one; if there was, there will be an end; but there never was a beginning, and hence there will never be an end; that looks like eternity. When we talk about the beginning of eternity, it is rather simple conversation, and goes far beyond the capacity of man.”
      Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 47
    • When was the Earth created?
    • How long did it take?
    • A day is
      • 24 hours
      • 1000 years
      • An unspecified length of time
    • The church has no official stance on how long it took
  • Create
    • Formed, prepared, fashioned
  • Dominion
    • Rule
    • Authority
    • How should we treat what we have dominion over?
  • Replenish
    • How can you replenish if it wasn’t there?
    • Proper translation is “to fill”
    • Some people would say that the Earth is full. God has not said that yet
  • Man
    • Genesis 1: 27
    • God create man, male and female he created
    • A complete man is male and female person together
    • “‘And I, God said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man [not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife] in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.’ (Moses 2:26.) What a beautiful partnership! Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord. Such a marriage extends beyond the grave. All peoples should call for this kind of marriage….
      “This is a partnership. Then when they had created them in the image of God, to them was given the eternal command, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it’ (Gen. 1:28), and as they completed this magnificent creation, they looked it over and pronounced it ‘good, very good’—something that isn’t to be improved upon by our modern intellectuals; the male to till the ground, support the family, to give proper leadership; the woman to cooperate, to bear the children, and to rear and teach them. It was ‘good, very good.’
      “And that’s the way the Lord organized it. This wasn’t an experiment. He knew what he was doing.”
      Spencer W. Kimball, “Speaking Today,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, p. 71
  • Evolution
    • Must remember role of Adam
    • There was a Fall and we needed a Savior
    • Theories change; policies change
    • Doctrine is eternal

Seminary and Institute sub-domains at LDS.org

The LDS Media Talk blog recently posted about some excellent Flash-based scripture mastery pages. I assumed this would be on the LDS-CES.org site. I As I followed the link, I found that it had its own Seminary.LDS.org sub-domain. Not only is there information about scripture mastery, but there are links to the manuals, scriptures, and even some of the songs.

I naturally tried Institute.LDS.org, and sure enough, it exists as well with comparable information for the YSA crowd.

I’ve added both of these to the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page…