For a variety of reasons, including having been heavily involved in BYU’s London Study Abroad program, I’ve been without the time to generate study questions for the Sunday School Lessons. As a result, I’ve not posted any for some months. I’m back and expect now to post on a regular basis.
Verses 1-2: Of what significance are mountains in scripture? For example, why do revelations so often occur on mountains? Why is it important that we know Moses spoke with God face to face? What does it mean to say “the glory of God was upon Moses”? What is his glory? What does verse 5 tell us about what we read here? How about verse 39? Do D&C 29:36 or 88:19 help us understand these verses?
Verse 3: Why does the Father tell Moses his name? He has many names, why does he here use this particular name, Endless?
Verses 4-5: In what sense or senses are the works of God without end? In what sense or senses are his words without end?
Verse 6: Why does the Father tell Moses that Moses is in the similitude of the Only Begotten? In what way or ways is he in that similitude? Why does the Father say that the Only Begotten “is and shall be the Savior” (italics added)? The Father says that the Only Begotten is and will be the Savior because he is full of grace and truth. Can you explain that? What does it mean to be full of grace and truth? Why does being full of them make one the Savior? Why does the Father add “but there is no God beside me” immediately after telling Moses of the Savior? What does it mean to say that all things are present? What does it mean for something to be present? The last clause of the verse says that Fatherâ€™s knowledge makes all things present to him. To say that knowledge is what makes things present is an unusual way to speak. What do you make of that. Does it suggest anything about how things are present before God?
Verse 7: What is the “one thing” that the Father shows Moses? Why does he explain what he shows Moses by saying, “For thou art in the world”?
Verse 8: The word “end” can mean “final point” and it can also mean “purpose.” Which meaning do you think is used here when the scripture says that Moses beheld the ends of the world?
Verse 9: What does it mean to say that Moses was left to himself?
Verse 10: Can you explain what Moses means when, having had this vision of the ends of the world and all the children of men, he says, “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed”?
Verse 11: Does this verse help answer the question about verse 10?
Verse 12: Why do you think Satan addresses Moses as “son of man”? Under the circumstances, why does Satan even try to get Moses to worship him? After all, Moses has just seen a vision of the Father.
Verses 13-14: Why does Moses say “I am a son of God”? How is this related to what he learned in verse 10? When Moses asks “Where is thy glory?” what is he asking about? In other words, what is missing in his encounter with Satan?
Verses 15-16: How does the fact that Moses is in the similitude of the Only Begotten help Moses deal with Satan in this encounter?
Verses 17-18: Why does Moses tell Satan that he has other things to ask of God? What standard does Moses use to distinguish between Satan and the Father? Can we apply the same standard if we have not had Mosesâ€™s experience?
Verse 19: Compare Moses 4:1 and Moses 5:13. What do we learn here about Satanâ€™s methods?
Verses 20-22: Why did Moses begin to fear? Why is it important to Moses that the Father is “the God of glory”? What does “glory” mean here? How many times does Moses have to command Satan to depart? Why so many? How does Moses last command to Satan differ from the other two? What does that teach us?
Verse 23: Why would this record be withheld from humanity because of their wickedness? Notice that this gives an additional explanation for why the Bible doesnâ€™t contain some things that are revealed in the Joseph Smith revision.
Verses 24-25: First Moses was filled with the Holy Ghost. Then he called upon God. Then he beheld Godâ€™s glory again. Is that order of events significant? What does it mean to say that Moses was chosen by God? What might it have meant to Moses? What does it mean to us? Why is the blessing that he will be stronger than many waters important to Moses?
Verse 26: What does the promise that God will be with Moses mean? Why are the two clauses of this verse connected by the word “for”? What does that connective tell us?
Verses 27-29: In verse 24 Moses lifted up his eyes to heaven. Now he turns them toward the earth. What does this detail tell us? How does it help us understand the story we are reading? What does it mean to say that there wasnâ€™t a particle of the earth that Moses did not behold? Why is “spirit” uncapitalized at the end of verse 27 and capitalized in verse 28? Presumably the two phrases refer to different things. To what might each refer?
Verse 30: When Moses asks “Why these things are so,” what is he asking? Why does Moses ask about what God has made them rather than how he has made them?
Verse 31: When the Father says, “For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me,” which of Mosesâ€™s questions is he answering? How would you put his answer in your own words? To what does the word “it” refer in “it remaineth in me”? to “wisdom” or to something else?
Verses 32-33: Why does the Father describe the Only Begotten as “the power of my word”? Notice that the phrase is not capitalized, so it isnâ€™t another name for the Only Begotten. It is a description of him. How is Christ the power of Godâ€™s word? In both verse 31 and in verse 33, the Father says that he created the worlds for his own purposes. What do you think that means? Why does he tell us that he did so?
Verse 34: The name “Adam” is Hebrew for “man.” It is probably from a root meaning “red” (â€˜dm), and since the word for “earth, ground” is adama (which may also have â€˜dm as its root), many believe that Adamâ€™s name is a play on words: Adam :: human being :: earth. In some places (for example, Genesis 1:26-28) the word refers to human beings in general. In other places (such as in Genesis 5:3-5) it refers specifically to an individual. In each case, however, the writer probably intends us to remember each of the meanings: the person Adam, made from the dust of the earth, represents all human beings. The word play of the Hebrew cannot be translated, but it is important to understanding the story. Given that word play, why does this verse end with the phrase “which is many”?
Verse 35: Why does the Father tell Moses about other worlds? According to a common Jewish understanding of the story of Creation, the purpose of that story is to teach us that the world and everything in it was created by the word and will of God rather than by some other being or by chance. How might this verse fit into such an understanding of the creation story?
Verse 36: Why does Moses ask the Father to be merciful to him? How would an answer to his question be an act of mercy? Why does Moses feel compelled to ask this question? Why is it important to him?
Verses 37-38: This is essentially a repetition of verse 4. Why was that repetition necessary?
Verse 39: Given what was said in verses 37-38, why does this verse begin with “for behold”? In other words, how does this verse explain what was said in those verses? Does this verse equate the work and the glory of the Father?
Verse 40-41: Can we infer from these verses and the first part of verse 35 that the creation of this earth might have been different from the creation of other worlds? Why or why not? What do these verses tell us about the origin of the account that Moses writes? In what ways have people taken words from the Bible? We usually compare Brigham Young to Moses, but here the Father compares Joseph Smith to Moses? How was Joseph Smith like Moses?
Verse 42: Why is the name of the mountain kept secret? What does the commandment not to show these things to any but believers mean to us?