Moses Chapter 3 (June-October 1830) The Creation
Moses 3 An account of the final preparation of the physical earth
Moses 3:5 The Spirit Creation. And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.
Moses 3 and Genesis 2 will be considered together in this chapter. These two chapters plus Abraham 5 are likely the accounts of the third creative period, namely the final preparation of the mortal earth. They provide an account of the introduction of modern life forms including man to the earth after millions or perhaps billions of years of preparatory creation-the second creative period.
When did this third creative period begin? When did the Garden of Eden story occur? When were Adam and Eve placed on the earth? How long did they live in the garden prior to the fall? When were they forced out of the garden? We do not know for certain the answers to these questions. The traditional chronology of the Irish Anglican archbishop James Ussher (AD 1581-1656), places the fall of Adam at 4,004 BC. To arrive at that number, Ussher worked back from known dates using the data for births and deaths given for the various patriarchs in the text of the book of Genesis. Unfortunately, these numbers are not consistent among the various manuscripts and versions of the Bible, and we have no way of knowing which, if any, of these that have come down to us are accurate, except as they may occasionally appear in modern scripture (see D&C 107:42-53). One interesting statement by the prophet Nephi, son of Helaman, in the Book of Mormon, seems to indicate that the fall may have occurred considerably earlier than 4,000 BC. Speaking around 20 BC, he states, "There were many before the days of Abraham who were called by the order of God [called to the priesthood]; yea, even after the order of his Son; and this that it should be shown unto the people, a great many thousand years before his coming, that even redemption should come unto them" (Helaman 8:18). Nephi describes the existence on the earth of men as having occurred "a great many thousand years" before the coming to earth of the Mortal Christ. A mere 4,000 years does not seem to qualify as "a great many thousand years."
Also we must not be confused by scientists' claiming to have found fossil evidence here on earth of hominids-manlike creatures-who lived on the earth several millions of years ago. Undoubtedly there were such "men," but these were doubtless high order animals which do not now live upon the earth. These were not the descendants of Adam. It seems clear that we should date the advent of Adam and Eve upon the earth in terms of thousands and not millions of years ago.
From the scientific perspective, the first appearance of fossils of Homo sapiens (human beings) seems to have been about 125,000 years ago. This happened to be at about the temperature maximum of the last interglacial (between ice ages) period. By 18,000 years ago, the last ice age reached its peak, with glaciers covering large areas of northern Europe and North America (Emiliani, Cesare, The Scientific Companion, [New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1988], 195). About 11,600 years ago, there was a rapid warming, and the ice sheets melted, producing catastrophic floods down the Mississippi Valley and other places (Ibid., 617).
verses 1-5 Moses 3 and Genesis 2 actually begin with commentary that seems most likely to refer to the creation period that has just been described by Moses in Moses 2 (Genesis 1)-the spirit creation. These first five verses of Moses 3 and Genesis 2 comment on the state of the newly created spirit earth following the first creative period. The actual account of the third creative period begins in Moses 3:6 and Genesis 2:6.
1 Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
verse 1 "the heaven and the earth were finished" Here the Lord states that the creative process described in Moses 2 (and Genesis 1), the spirit creation, is completed or "finished." Yet he will now continue on in Moses 3 (and Genesis 2) to relate another creation story. This will be the third creative period wherein the final preparations of the earth were made and man and other modern life forms will be introduced to the earth. The reader will note that the creation account in Moses 3 (and Genesis 2) will have a different sequence than the accounts in Moses 2 and Genesis 1. In Moses 2 (and Genesis 1) the order of creation is plants, animals, man and woman. But in here Moses 3 (and Genesis 2) the sequence will be man, plants, animals, woman.
We have discussed previously that the solution to the incompatibility of Moses's two creation stories (in Moses 2 and Moses 3) is simple and is provided by the Lord himself. He will explain in verses 4 and 5 that the account in Moses 2 is the Lord's account of the spirit creation. It will become apparent that the events of Moses 3:6-25 are a description of an entirely different creation, one in which modern physical life forms, including man, were placed on the physical earth. To make certain that Moses would not miss the importance of this fact, the Lord re-emphasizes the fact in verse 7: "All things [that is, all the physical life forms whose arrival on the earth was imminent] were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word."
"and all the host of them" The Hebrew word translated as "host" is saba' which has the root meaning of "army" and the extended meaning of "organized body" of men or other things. The word host, then, refers to the people, and perhaps the plants and animals, that inhabit the heaven and the earth.
2 And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work, and all things which I had made; and I rested on the seventh day from all my work, and all things which I had made were finished, and I, God, saw that they were good;
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
verse 2 We would presume that the Lord speaks here of the "seventh day" of the first creative period, the spirit creation.
"I rested on the seventh day from all my work" It is heartening to learn that God, like the rest of us, can enjoy periods of rest and relaxation.
3 And I, God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it I had rested from all my work which I, God, had created and made.
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
verse 3 "blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it" The Sabbath day is consecrated as a time to rest, spiritually renew, and re-commit ourselves.
We will learn later on in this chapter that the Lord will also "sanctify" the earth, or at least a localized part of the earth, with a paradisiacal state that will become the temporary setting for the first of the Father's spirit children to abide on the earth-Adam and Eve.
4 And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,
Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
verse 4 "these are the generations" Here the Lord refers to the first creative period, the spirit creation of the earth its hosts. The Hebrew word translated as "generations" means literally "begettings", and it refers to a genealogical account of a man and his descendants. Here the word generations is used to refer to the account of the spirit creation of the heaven and earth-the account the readers of the book of Moses have just read in Moses 2.
For clarification of the meaning of this verse, we might add a phrase to this verse and include the rest of the sentence from the following verse: "I say unto you, that these [things about which you have just read] . . . were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew." It seems clear that the Lord is explaining that Moses 2 is the account of the spirit creation of the earth (see also verse 5).
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
verse 5 "I, the Lord God, created all things . . . spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth." See the discussion of Moses 3:5 in the introductory commentary for Moses 2. See particularly the material under the heading, "The First Creative Period: The Spirit Creation of the Earth." Elder Orson Pratt taught that God made the spiritual part of this creation during the six days' work we read of [in Genesis 1]. Before Joseph Smith's inspired revision of Moses's creation account "we used to read the first and second chapters of Genesis which give an account of the Almighty, but did not distinguish between the spiritual work and the temporal work of Christ. Although there are some things in the King James' translation that give us a little distinction between the two creations [one in Genesis 1 and the other in Genesis 2], yet we did not comprehend it. The light shone, in some measure, in darkness, but so dark were our minds, through tradition, that we did not comprehend the light-or the few feeble glimmerings of light, contained in these first and second chapters of the uninspired translation. But our heavenly Father inspired his servant Joseph smith, to translate several chapters more in the Book of Genesis, in December 1830, which gave a more full account, down to the days of the Flood [the book of Moses]" (JD, 21:200).
Elder B. H. Roberts was especially pleased with the contribution to the creation story made by Moses chapters 2 and 3. He wrote: "To learn that the first account of the creation in the Bible [Genesis 1] is of a spiritual creation and the second [Genesis 2] of an actual or natural one, gives some comfort, from the fact that it removes all appearances of inconsistency or contradiction between the two accounts. For since they are descriptions of two different things instead of one thing, there is nothing in the law of consistency requiring the accounts of different events to be alike" (Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, 277).
"for I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth" We have just completed Moses's account of the spirit creation of the earth, the first creation epoch, in Moses 2 and Genesis 1. Moses does not provide us with an account of the second creation epoch which likely took place over millions and even billions of years. This was the preparatory physical creation of the earth and its preparation for the reception of modern life forms. We are now just beginning Moses's account of the third creation epoch which is the account of the final preparation and sanctification of the earth and the introduction of modern life forms including Adam and Eve.
The phrase "I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth" has led some to the mistaken conclusion that it had not rained at all on the physical earth before this time. More likely this phrase refers to the fact that rain is not necessary during the period of spirit creation of the earth. At the conclusion of the spirit creation, as the physical creation was being contemplated, it would have been appropriate, therefore, to suggest that it had not yet rained upon the earth.
Another possible interpretation of this phrase is that following the conclusion of the second creative period and up to this point in the narrative, it had not rained. Of course it had rained as many times as necessary during the preparatory or second creation epoch that had ended not long before. Rain was withheld until the planting of the modern plants and trees was complete. When the rain did fall, it moistened a freshly-seeded soil.
The Third Creative Epoch: The Placement on the Earth of Modern Life Forms
6 But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Genesis 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
verse 6 "there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground" The Hebrew word translated in the KJV as "mist" is 'ed, which refers to a freshwater stream or fountain. The word occurs only here and in Job 36:27. The Septuagint (Greek version) has pege-"spring or well." A better rendering here might be "fresh water welled up and watered the entire surface of the ground."
7 And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
verse 7 "God, formed man from the dust of the ground" Joseph Smith taught that this verse refers to the creation of the physical bodies of both Adam and Eve (Words, 203; see also Moses 6:8-9). The "dust of the ground" means simply that the physical body of man was formed from the elements found in the earth, as clarified by Moses 6:59. From this verse's brief description, one may mistakenly assume that Adam's creation simply consisted of molding a manlike form from the dust of the earth and placing Adam's spirit into it. The physical (and paradisiacal) bodies of Adam and Eve were born to celestial parents. President Joseph F. Smith taught that "Adam, our earthly parent, was . . . born of woman, the same as Jesus and you and I" (Deseret News, December 27, 1913, section III, 7). Just who was it that fathered the physical immortal bodies of Adam and Eve? There is abundant evidence that it was the Father himself (see especially Moses 6:10-22 and the commentary for these verses).
"and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" The placing of man's preexistent spirit into this physical body produces a living being, a "soul." The Abrahamic account is more detailed: the Gods "took his spirit (that is, the man's spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." The official definition of the "soul" is the combination of the body and the spirit (D&C 88:15-16). "Breath of life" in Genesis corresponds to the Hebrew nismat hayyim which means "breath" and refers to the observed fact that living things breathe. When a living thing stops breathing, it is dead.
"the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also" If there had already been a host of preparatory life forms (animals and even "pre-adamite" manlike creatures) on the earth before Adam was placed in the garden, how could Adam become "the first flesh upon the earth"? This statement actually presents two problems since Moses says that Adam was not only the "first flesh" on the earth, but that he was the "first man also." Let us consider these two problems one at a time.
1. Concerning the fact that Adam is called the "first flesh," certainly mortal flesh had inhabited the earth in the form of animals for millions of years, some of whom were the man-like animals that pre-dated Adam by millions of years. Joseph Fielding Smith taught that the word "flesh" refers specifically to the mortal bodies of Adam and Eve and their mortal offspring (see Doctrines of Salvation 1:72-91). This is confirmed by a careful study of the word "flesh" wherever it occurs in Moses's creation story. Flesh, then, refers not only to mortal flesh, but the mortal flesh of the family of Adam.
2. What of the statement that Adam was "the first man" on earth? "First man" is actually a title of honor. Brigham Young taught that every earth-like planet has an Adam, or "first man" When Moses saw a countless multitude of inhabited planets, the Lord said: "The first man of all men [on each world] have I called Adam, which is many" (Moses 1:34). Therefore, when the archangel Michael had entered mortality, he was given the title "Adam," or "first man of all men" on this earth. He was the first of God's spirit children to inhabit the earth. Any pre-Adamite hominids that may have lived in earth fail to qualify as "the first man."
In summary then, on our planet, Adam was both the "first flesh" (first mortal man of God's spirit children after Adam's fall) and the "first man" (title of honor by being the first). But, certainly, preparatory life forms, including man-like creatures, had preceded him.
8 And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there I put the man whom I had formed.
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
verse 8 "a garden eastward in Eden" It would seem there are two possible explanations for the immortal, paradisiacal condition that existed in the Garden of Eden. First, it is possible that the Lord removed all of the early life forms from the entire earth and then sanctified the entire earth (converted it to a paradisiacal state) in anticipation of the third creation epoch. Thus, it might have been that all plant and animal life forms on the earth, including of course, Adam and Eve, were immortal at the time of the Eden story. The other possibility is that the rest of the world was mortal (as it had been for millions or even billions of years) and only in the Garden of Eden did an immortal, paradisiacal condition prevail.
"there I put the man whom I had formed" Adam was placed in the garden.
9 And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
verse 9 "And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally . . . and it became also a living soul" Plants consist of an immortal spirit plant which is placed into a physical mortal body. This combination of spirit and body produce a soul. Thus every plant has a soul. And every plant lives in its own kingdom and can hear, understand, and obey (D&C 88:36-38).
"it was spiritual in the day that I created it" Apparently this phrase does not refer to the tree in its spirit state. The Lord has explained in D&C 29:34: "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created." Something that is "spiritual" in this context is not just temporal but has eternal implications. In this case many of the trees were in the garden not just because they were "pleasant to the sight of man," but because they were sources of food and sustenance for Adam and Eve and the animal life in the garden. Not only does the tree have a crucial role in the happenings of mortality, but, like all other plants, animals, and humans here in mortality, the tree is also on trial here and may be eternally fulfilled by being resurrected with a celestial body and living forever in the celestial kingdom.
"it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it" All things, including man, would remain in the paradisiacal state in which God placed them, unless and until something changed. That "something" was the fall of Adam and Eve.
"pleasant to the sight and good for food" God created the various forms of plant life not only for food but also to appeal to our esthetic sense of beauty.
"the tree of life" The fruit of the tree of life, when ingested, had the power to restore immortality to a mortal body, which is why the fallen Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden-so they could not partake of the fruit of this tree.
"the tree of knowledge of good and evil" It is not clear whether the story of this tree is literal or figurative. If it is literal, then an immortal being's ingesting the fruit of this tree resulted in a state of mortality and a cessation of the immortal state. But perhaps it is only a figurative story as Elder Bruce R. McConkie has implied: "What is meant by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that our first parents complied with whatever laws were involved so that their bodies would change from their state of paradisiacal immortality to a state of natural mortality" ("Christ and the Creation," Ensign, June 1982, 15).
verses 10-14 In these verses Moses describes a river that the Lord caused to pass through Eden in order to water the garden. He also describes four tributaries that fed it. Modern revelation tells us that the Garden of Eden was located in present-day Missouri and is the place where Adam in the last days, will come and meet with his righteous posterity (see D&C 116; 117:8). The four rivers converging to form the river that ran through Eden bore names that were later applied to rivers in the eastern hemisphere. Parenthetically, it is interesting to note that the Abrahamic account omits the details about the names of the four rivers that come together to make the river that flows through Eden (Abraham 5:10).
Dr. Eric N. Skousen (Earth In the Beginning, 197-200) has suggested a modern-day counterpart for the river system that was found "eastward in Eden." Before him the same system of rivers had been suggested by Dr. Milton R. Hunter (Pearl of Great Price Commentary, 108). In the scriptures the major river is unnamed, but this river is fed by four major "heads" or tributaries that are named (see Moses 3:11-14). Both Brothers Hunter and Skousen suggest that the main river, which is unnamed, is the lower Mississippi. Its four major tributaries, from west to east, are:
1. The Missouri River. This is the "Pison" that "compasseth the whole land of Havilah" in which God had created great deposits of gold. "Pison" is Hebrew for an "unknown river." "Havilah" is Hebrew for an "unknown land." Furthermore the gold of Havilah "was good, and there was bdellium and the onyx stone" (Moses 3:11-12). Bdellium is a fragrant but bitter-tasting gum resin used in medicines and perfumes. "Onyx stone" is a type of agate gemstone consisting of thin alternating layers. In fact, the largest gold mining operation in North America, the Homestake Mine in South Dakota, is located in the Missouri River drainage basin.
It is this river that runs directly through the site once occupied by the Garden of Eden.
2. The upper Mississippi River. This river originates in an enormously widespread feeder system of streams. It corresponds to the "Euphrates" which means "dispersion." As with all other rivers in the Eastern Hemisphere, the Euphrates, which flows into the Persian Gulf, cannot be the original river out of Eden but was named after that earlier river (Euphrates or "dispersion").
3. Illinois River. This is the "Hiddekel" and it "goeth toward the east of Assyria" (Moses 3:14). In Hebrew the "Hiddekel" is the Tigris River. Here again, the Tigris in Mesopotamia cannot be the original one near Eden.
4. Ohio River. This is the "Gihon" which encompasseth (runs out of) the whole of Ethiopia" (Moses 3:11-12). "Gihon" is Hebrew for "a bursting forth." A spring of water near Jerusalem had the same name. Ethiopia (the same as the biblical Cush) is nowhere near the river system in the Mesopotamia, as ancient Ethiopia is thought to be south of Egypt in the area of present-day Sudan.
How did the names Assyria, Ethiopia, and the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers get to be located in the Middle East and in Africa? Brigham Young explained:
The Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the floating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth: the earth was divided, and there he set up his kingdom (JD, 8:195).
This means that the original location of the ancient Edenic rivers and the territories called "Havilah," "Assyria," and "Ethiopia" were in North America. Noah and his family were taken by the ark almost halfway around the hemisphere. Undoubtedly, they named the newly settled territories in and around Mesopotamia and in northern Africa after those they had known back in their former place of habitation on the American continent.
10 And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
Genesis 2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
verse 10 "[the river] was parted, and became into four heads" The idea here is that four different rivers came together to form the river that flowed through Eden rather than that river splitting into four separate rivers. The latter normally does not happen.
11 And I, the Lord God, called the name of the first Pison, and it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where I, the Lord God, created much gold;
Genesis 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land was good, and there was bdellium and the onyx stone.
Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river was called Gihon; the same that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
Genesis 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river was Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river was the Euphrates.
Genesis 2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
15 And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
verse 15 "to dress it, and to keep it" Paradise is not a place of idle rest and relaxation but a place where meaningful and necessary work is done.
16 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat,
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
verse 17 "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it" This is the second of the two commandments given to Adam and Eve while in the garden-the first being to bear children (Moses 2:28). It is vital for the reader, at this point in our study of the Pearl of Great Price, to review Understanding Eden-The Fall in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 2, chapter 1. Please do so before continuing.
"in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Adam is told that he will "die" if he partakes of the forbidden fruit, suggesting that he will continue to live forever if he refuses to eat the forbidden fruit. Just what kind of death is being spoken of here? Spiritual? Physical? One may well argue that both spiritual and physical death were brought into the world by Adam and Eve's transgression in the garden. Both of these turn out to be temporary consequences that befall each man.
Adam's physical death did occur within a "day" his transgression. He died at 930 years of age which is within a "day" of the Lord's time (1,000 years).
There is no indication by either Moses or Abraham that everything else-Eve, the plant and animal life, and the earth itself-were immortal at the time. However, we learn from the prophet Lehi that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, the processes of death and decay for all living things had been completely suspended. Lehi explained that until Adam fell: "All things which were created . . . remained in the same state in which they were after they were created" (2 Nephi 2:22). In fact, if Adam had not undergone the fall, "all things must have remained forever, and had no end" (2 Nephi 2:22).
Just when did these conditions of immortality begin to prevail among the earth's life forms? Joseph Smith revealed that after the completion of the earth's second creative epoch in which the earth had been prepared for modern life, the earth and all on it were "sanctified." That is, all things were brought into a state where the processes of death and decay were temporarily suspended. Referring simultaneously to this sanctification and to the Millennium, he said: "We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth [again], and complete the salvation of man" (D&C 77:12). At first glance, the Lord's reference to sanctification here seems to be a reference to the sanctification or blessing of the seventh day as a sabbath or day of rest and not to a sanctification of the earth at all. However, in the case of the physical creation, not only was the seventh day set aside as a day of worship, but the earth and everything on it were sanctified. The process of sanctifying the earth has consisted of two parts-sanctification of the earth itself, and sanctification of the inhabitants of the earth:
Just as the earth was sanctified during its creation, so will it be sanctified in the Millennium. As Brigham Young explained, after God had "formed and organized it as it was in the beginning," God then made the earth "perfect, pure, and holy" (JD, 2:300). That is, it was sanctified. And during the Millennium, the earth will be just like it was "when the Lord finished the earth and pronounced everything to be 'very good,'" that is, it will return to the perfect, pure and holy state that prevailed when it was first sanctified (JD, 19:4). Unlike the paradisiacal state of the Millennium in which some death and minimal decay will be present (D&C 101:29-31; D&C 63:51; Isaiah 65:20), the earth's first paradisiacal state was perfect in which nothing died or decayed (2 Nephi 2:22-23). Joseph Smith referred to the millennial state of the earth when he said, "the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory" (Article of Faith 10).
Just as the last remnants of preparatory flesh were removed from the earth before its first sanctification, so will the earth's wicked inhabitants be removed when the earth is brought into a paradisiacal state and sanctified in preparation for the Millennial reign of the Lord. Now we can understand why the Gods interrupted their planning council in Kolob (Abraham 4:26) at the end of the sixth time (Abraham 4:27) and came to the earth. This change in venue was to remove any preparatory life that remained and to sanctify the earth in preparation for the modern life forms that were to shortly arrive.
A careful study of Lehi's statement about conditions in the Garden of Eden (2 Nephi 2:22-23) reveals that he does not say that there was no death on the earth at any time before the fall, only that beginning when Adam and Even arrived in the Garden of Eden, then all things would "continue forever." Again, we are reminded of the possibility that the post creation sanctification of the earth may not have applied to the entire earth, but rather to a localized area of the earth-just to Eden.
18 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
verse 18 "it was not good that the man should be alone" A person's eternal potential can be realized only within the bonds of eternal marriage (see D&C 131:1-4).
"I will make an help meet for him" The Hebrew for "help meet" is ezer k'negdo, which literally means "a help corresponding to him," one that is "equal to and adequate for him." Adam needed a mate who was complementary to him, who would make him complete.
19 And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.
Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
verse 19 In Abraham 5, a chapter that describes the same creative period as Moses 3 (the final preparatory creation), the creation of Adam and the figurative story of the creation of Eve both predate the introduction of animals and birds into the garden. Here in Moses's account Adam is created, then the animals and birds are placed on the earth, and then Eve is placed in the garden. It is likely that Abraham's account contains a more temporally accurate order of creation. Perhaps Adam (and Eve) were intended to play a role in the placement of modern animals and birds on the earth (this is in the same spirit as Adam's role in naming of the animals-see verse 20).
"out of the ground . . . formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air" Like man, the spirits of all living things are provided a body composed of physical, mortal elements that make up the earth.
The location of this statement about the creation of the animals and birds in Moses 3 is not to be taken as meaning that the animals were actually created at this time-after the creation of Adam but before the creation of Eve. We know they were actually born in the spirit during the first creative period. The "creation" here simply means that they, like Adam and Eve, were placed on the earth at this time as part of the work of creation during the third creative period.
"commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them" This emphasizes the preeminence of man in the world. Adam had dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:28; Moses 2:28; Abraham 4:28) and thus had the right to give them names.
"they were also living souls" Animals also were living souls-the combination of eternal spirits and mortal bodies. Please recall also that the spirits of all of the animal species were "created" during the first creative period-the spirit creation-by being born to celestial resurrected animals of the same species. This principle applies to each and every species of plant, insect, bird and animal. The Father directed that they be "created" by their corresponding celestial, resurrected beings living in his presence.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
verse 20 "as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him" As mentioned in the commentary for verse 19, this verse is probably anachronistic-that is out of proper temporal sequence. It seems likely that in this third period of creation, both Adam and Eve were placed on the earth and then the animals and birds were brought here.
verses 21-23 This account of the "creation" of Eve is, of course, purely figurative. Adam and Eve were both literal, physical children of God the Father. President Spencer Kimball emphasized that this account of the creation of Eve is intended to be figurative ("The Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood," Ensign, March 1976).
21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof;
Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said: This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man
verse 23 "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" Again, this does not mean that Eve's physical body was derived in any way from Adam's body but rather that the bodies of Adam and Eve derive from a common source-they are genetically related. They at least had a common Father (God the Father) and perhaps a common mother who gave birth to their paradisiacal bodies. This interpretation is supported by the account of ancient Jacob's initial meeting with his uncle Laban. When Laban learned that Jacob was his sister's son, he said, "Surely thou art my bone and my flesh" (Genesis 29:14).
"she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" There is a play on words here. In Hebrew "man" is 'is, and "woman" is 'isah-the same word but with the addition of a feminine ending. The word for woman is derived from the word for man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.
Genesis 2:.24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
verse 24 "shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife" Marriage is to be a decisive alteration of the earlier family relationship. A new household is set up, and one's spouse has priority over any earlier familial relationships. One of the primary purposes of mortality is to form an eternal companionship in the bonds of celestial marriage. Adam and Eve were the first on this earth to be sealed together for eternity.
"they shall be one flesh" This can be understood both literally and figuratively. Figuratively, it refers to the unity that should be an integral part of the marriage relationship. Literally, it is a reference to sexual relations between husband and wife, in which the two become "one flesh."
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
verse 25 Adam and Eve before the fall were in a state of childlike innocence, and they felt no shame or embarrassment when they were both naked.