One thing that often confuses people in Gospel Doctrine class when we start studying the Creation is the fact that Genesis, Moses, and Abraham all have two accounts of the event. Let’s see if we can clear things up a bit . . .
Moses 3:5-9 is the key to understanding the accounts. The Lord explains to Moses that all things were created spiritually before they were naturally created on the earth. If we take that information and compare it to the two accounts in Abraham, we see that the “spiritual creation” was actually the planning / organizing step, and the “physical creation” (natural) was the execution of those plans.
But that’s not all . . . Genesis 2:4, Moses 3:4, and Abraham 5:4 all describe “generations of the heavens and the earth.” In light of Moses 1:35, 37-40, it seems that “generations” most likely means PATTERN, and although the planning / organizing / spiritual creation in Heaven happened once, the second (physical) creation happens again and again whenever God creates a new earth for another group of His children to dwell on. We are not the only planet that has been populated by the human race.
Let’s compare the accounts given:
- Moses 3:5-9 – The Lord explains to Moses the differences between the spiritual creation and the natural creation
- All three accounts (Genesis, Moses, Abraham) are divided into two chapters. The first chapter describes the “spiritual creation” as defined in Moses, and refers to the first-Creation in Heaven. The second chapter describes the “natural creation” (physical creation) of the Earth.
Hereafter I will refer to each as first-Creation and second-Creation.
- Compare a first-Creation event (Moses 2:20,21 – Waters bring forth life abundantly, including every living creature that moveth, and the fowls) to the similar second-Creation event (Moses 3:19 – Ground brings forth beasts and fowl). Is it possible that both science and traditional Christianity are both right? Did God use processes of evolution to bring life from the waters the first time, and then He placed those already existing beasts, fowls, etc. on the Earth when this world was created?
- Another evidence that these two creations were different events is that in Moses 3:7 we are told “…man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also…” That did not happen in the first-Creation account, as the sea life, fowls, and beasts were all created before man. But in the second-Creation account, it is a true statement.
- Abraham 5:13 gives some insight into what the creative periods were. Abraham refers to Kolob’s time, which was defined in Abraham 3:4 as being 1000 years. If this is the case, and the Lord promised that “in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die,” the Lord surely told the truth. In the other books, the word is “day” rather than “time.” Sure enough, Adam lived to the ripe old age of 930 years old in Earth years . . . seventy years short of a full Kolob day. He certainly DID die in the day that he ate of the fruit. It is my opinion that the time/day of the creative periods was not on Earth’s time, but on Kolob’s time. That is where the earth was before The Fall.
Column “H” in the chart is a combined timeline that makes more sense if you are teaching the doctrine of the creation. It logically flows that you would have a formed Earth first, then water and land, then lights in the heavens, then plants which depend on those lights, then fishes / fowls / beasts that depend on those plants, and then last of all mankind.
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