[I plan on posting the notes for my Gospel Doctrine lessons this year; I’ll put my initials in the title so that there won’t be any confusion in the sidebar or archives with my lessons and Jim’s.]
Intro to the OT
(1) Ask: How does the Old Testament differ from our other scriptures?
â€“looks forward instead of backward to Christ
â€“note that even within the OT, we have many different times, cultures, locations, types of government, genres, etc.
â€“big point: always look for Christ when you readâ€“types, shadows, symbols, etc.
(2) Convey delight at teaching the Old Testament. An analogy: An archealogist of the future would be bored silly and frustrated trying to read straight through a 21st century phone book. But if that archaelogist were to understand the conventions of its genre, she would realize that she had a great treasure of information about our culture. Similarly, if we can learn a few things about the OT texts, we can have a treasure of information about the gospel.
Intro to the Book of Moses
(1) Note that this is part of the JST:
â€œI will say, however, that amid all the trials and tribulations we had to wade through, the Lord who well knew our infantile and delicate situation, vouchsafed for us a supply of strength, and granted us “line upon line of knowledge â€” here a little and there a little,” of which the following [the book of Moses] was a precious morselâ€? (Joseph Smith, HC, vol.1:98).
As we read, think about how what is taught here would be a â€˜supply of strengthâ€™ to persecuted Saints.
(2) Internal evidence indicates that Moses 1 is after the burning bush (1:17) and before leaving Egypt (1:26).
(1) Background: Moses sees God â€˜face to faceâ€™ (v2).
(2) Read v3-8.
–v5: you canâ€™t even SEE everything God has done and be mortalâ€”what are the implications of this for our lives?
–other thoughts on this passage?
(3) Read v9-10.
–I donâ€™t think v9 is the result of sin; have you had this experience?
(4) Read v12-23 (quickly!); we shouldnâ€™t be surprised that such a clear guide to repelling Satan was lost from the record (see v23).
–If you consider this a â€˜play book,â€™ what do you learn about fighting Satan? (Satan shows up when Moses is weak; v18â€”we need to help others have spiritual experiences so they can recognize the counterfeit; note that v4 is paraphrased in v13 (and v6 in v16)â€”the Lord provided Moses exactly what he would need; in what ways have you taken basic, abstract doctrine and directly applied it to your challenges?; Satan doesnâ€™t leave until the 4th requestâ€”when it is made in the name of Jesus Christ:President Hugh B. Brown: “I say to each and every one present, you will be equal to any temptation that may come to you provided you meet it with firmness when it first appears. I repeat, no man goes to hell in a single jump. Be careful with the first appearance of evil.” (Abundant Life, p73))
–What does the emotional outburst in v22 teach us?
–How would you describe Satan based on this passage?
–What do you learn from Mosesâ€™ fear in v20? What do you think caused itâ€”and note how he pulled out of it?
(5) Read v25: fulfilled at least four ways: plague on the Nile (Ex 7:20), parting of Red Seas (Ex 14:21), heal poisonous waters (Ex 15:25), water from a rock (Numbers 20:8-11). Note that this promise of power comes after he has been tested.
(6) Summary: v26-29: Moses sees all the earth and all the people on it
(7) Read v30: Moses asks WHY and HOW these things were made.
–Ask: Scan v31-41, looking for the answers to Mosesâ€™ questions.
–Do v31 (â€˜for mine own purposeâ€™) and v39 (â€˜work and gloryâ€™) agree?
–How: v32: “…by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son”
(8) Moses 1:39 is the most-quoted of all scriptures that have come to us through Joseph Smith. I have no idea what it means. Does â€˜gloryâ€™ mean the same here as in v2 and v31? What does ‘glory’ mean? What does â€˜workâ€™ mean in this context? In what ways is this answer different from God saying, â€œbecause it is my jobâ€??
Moses 1: The Big Picture
(1) How would we perceive the OT differently if it began with Moses 1?
(2) Structure of this chapter: vision, temptation, bigger vision. (What) do we learn from this?
Elder Holland: â€œBut Moses’ message to you today is, “Don’t let your guard down.” Don’t assume that a great revelation, some marvelous illuminating moment, or the opening of an inspired path is the end of it. Remember, it isn’t over until it’s over. What happened to Moses next, after his revelatory moment, would be ludicrous if it were not so dangerous and so absolutely true to form. In an effort to continue his opposition, in his unfailing effort to get his licks in later if not sooner, Lucifer appeared and shouted in equal portions of anger and petulance after God had revealed himself to the prophet, I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul was trying to encourage new members who had just joined the Church, who undoubtedly had had spiritual experiences and had received the pure light of testimony, only to discover that not only had their troubles not ended, but that some of them had only begun. (Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence, BYU Devotional, 1999)
(3) There is a paradox between â€˜man is nothingâ€™ (v10) and â€˜man is Godâ€™s gloryâ€™ (v39) in this chapter. How can we elucidate that?