My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. The Old Testament is the oldest book of canonized scripture, and the Pearl of Great Price is the most recent one. The books of Moses and Abraham cover the same time period and material found in first part of Genesis, but they both add more information.
The book of Moses is the first part
of Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible. The book of Abraham was
revealed to Joseph Smith while he was working with Egyptian papyri. The two
books provide more information about Moses and Abraham as well as other
prophets that is not found in the Bible. For more information about the book of Moses can be found here. More information
about the book of Abraham can be found here.
Moses 1 starts with an explanation
that Moses was “caught up into an exceedingly high mountain” (Moses 1:1), and the
next verse states that Moses “saw God face to face, and he talked with him”
(Moses 1:2). This vision took place after God spoke to Moses at the burning
bush but prior to the time when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and
through the Red Sea.
The Personage who spoke to Moses was
Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament as well as the premortal Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is one with Heavenly Father, and He sometimes speaks as if He were
God the Father (see Moses 1:6). Christ’s vested authority to speak for and on
behalf of the Father is known as divine investiture (see also Doctrine and Covenants
29:1, 42, 46). President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972) wrote the following explanation.
All revelation since the fall has come
through Jesus Christ, who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament…. He is the God
of Israel, the Holy One of Israel; the one who led that nation out of Egyptian
bondage, and who gave and fulfilled the Law of Moses. The Father has never
dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he has never appeared
except to introduce and bear record of the Son (Doctrines of Salvation, comp.
Bruce R. McConkie , 1:27). For examples of the Father bearing record of
the Son, see Matthew 3:16-17; 17:5; John 12:28; 3 Nephi 11:6-7; Joseph
Smith-History 1:17 (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual ).
After Moses spoke with God (Moses
1:1-11), he was left in a weakened physical condition, and Satan appeared,
claiming to be the Only Begotten and ordering Moses to worship him. Moses
became afraid and saw “the bitterness of hell” (Moses 1:20). However, he called
upon God and received enough strength to command Satan, “In the name of the
Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan” (Moses 1:20-21). Satan was not happy, but
he departed. Moses bore record that this information was not available to the
children of men “because of wickedness” (Moses 1:23). After Satan departed, God
appeared once again to Moses.
24 And it came to pass that when Satan had
departed from the presence of Moses, that Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven,
being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the
25 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
26 And lo, I am with thee, even unto the
end of thy days; for thou shalt deliver my people form bondage, even Israel my
chosen (Moses 1:24-26).
Moses then saw the earth – every particle
– by the Spirit of God as well as the inhabitants (Moses 1:27-28). He beheld
many lands – all of which were called earth – and the inhabitants of them.
Moses spoke to God face to face and asked Him how He made all the earths, and
God told him: “For mine own purpose have I made these things…. And by the word
of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full
of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created … for mine own
purpose … and by the Son” (Moses 1:30-33). He explained that He created “Adam,
which is many” (Moses 1:34).
God did not teach Moses about the
many other earths, but He gave him “an account of this earth, and the
inhabitants thereof” (Moses 1:35). He explained that he created many worlds,
which had passed away and many that now stand, “but all things are numbered
unto me, for they are mine and I know them” (Moses 1:35). Moses asked God to
teach him about this earth, and this is what God told him.
37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses,
saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but
they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.
38 And as one earth shall pass away, and
the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my
works, neither to my words.
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory
– to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:37-39).
God told Moses to “write the things
which I shall speak. And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my
words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write,
behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again
among the children of men – among as many as shall believe” (Moses 1:40-41).
God’s words were taken from the book
that Moses wrote, but they were restored to mankind through another prophet,
even the Prophet Joseph Smith. As to God’s work – the bringing to pass “the immorality
and eternal life of man,” three latter-day Apostles explained the meaning of
Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915-85) of
the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “Immortality is to live forever in the
resurrected state with body and spirit inseparably connected” (Mormon
Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 376). This means that every child of
God who came to earth and obtained a mortal body will eventually be resurrected
and obtain an immortal physical body (see 1 Corinthians 15:22).
President Joseph Fielding Smith
taught, “Eternal life is to have the kind of life that God has. All those who
become servants will have immortality, but they who become sons and daughters
of God will have the additional gift of eternal life, which is the greatest
gift of God” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie ,
President Spencer W. Kimball
(1895-1985) taught that “eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest
heaven” (“An Eternal Hope in Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 72). The quotes
from the three Apostles are from the Pearl of Great Price Student Manual .
If God’s work is “to bring to pass
the immortality and eternal life of man,” then our work should also be to help
our brothers and sisters here on earth to know about God and His plan for the
happiness of all His children. Those of us who know His plan have the
responsibility to share the knowledge with those who have not heard of it. This
is the reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends out
My husband, my two sons, and three sons by
marriage all served in the mission field. My oldest grandson returned from a
mission earlier this year, and my oldest granddaughter is currently on a
mission in Norway to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in that
nation. I hope and pray that many of my grandchildren will serve missions. This
is the reason I am so diligent about writing essays for this blog. I want to do
my part to share this message as far as possible. I may even have an
opportunity in the future to serve in the mission field. Only God knows what
the future holds.