the fall
Week 03 is scheduled for study Jan. 10-16, 2022. Why is the Fall necessary for our salvation? How does a man righteously “rule over” his wife? This week’s lessons have some great questions and answers.

Day 1

As you study Genesis 3-4 and Moses 4-5, consider what the Lord is trying to teach you. Record these truths and your spiritual impressions, and reflect on them throughout the week.

Genesis 3:1-7; Moses 4; 5:4-12 – The Fall was a necessary part of God’s plan to redeem His children.

The Fall of Adam and Eve was the first part of the redemptive efforts of God to exalt His children. Many don’t see a connection between the Fall and the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Yet the two events are part of the same process. The Savior’s atoning sacrifice is the second half of God’s redemptive efforts to save and exalt His children. Without the Fall no atonement could have been made, for the Fall made an Atonement necessary. The Fall was a necessary precursor to the Savior’s efforts to give us forgiveness for sin. We sometimes forget that without the Fall of Adam and Eve, there would be no mortality for the rest of us. We are only here because they chose to keep the first commandment they were given, which was to multiply and replenish the earth. I highly recommend you read the following article I wrote a number of years back on this very subject.

I also highly recommend you spend the time reading the manual for today’s lesson, answer all the questions, and read the suggested talks. No amount of information on this crucial subject can be too much information.

Day 2

As you study Genesis 3-4 and Moses 4-5, consider what the Lord is trying to teach you. Record these truths and your spiritual impressions, and reflect on them throughout the week.

Genesis 3:16; Moses 4:22 – What does it mean that Adam was to “rule over” Eve?

When Moses took the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was a physical representation of a spiritual principle. The Israelites were so steeped in the culture and beliefs of the pagan Egyptians they had a difficult time exercising faith in Moses and the God he was trying to teach them about. After all, the Egyptian gods were easy to believe in – you give lip service to them, and the priests did all the work of the actual worshiping. The God of Israel wasn’t so easy to please.

For forty years Moses struggled with the Israelites, until that original generation died off. The new generation, the ones born in the wilderness of their afflictions grew up primarily knowing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They had been properly trained in the new law God gave Moses on Sinai. Sometimes, we are spiritually like that first generation as well.

When I was a lad, men ruled the roost, so to speak. The wife worked at home, not away from home. She was expected to obey her husband. He was expected, in return, to be a good provider for her and the family she gave him. The rules were pretty simple. But we live in the last days, and nothing stays the same for long in the last days. The whole world is shifting and changing on a regular basis. God expects us to change as well. Our job, as Latter-day Saints, is to prepare ourselves and the world for the second coming of Christ. This time he is returning as Lord of Lords, the ruler of heaven and earth. No more of this babe in the manger business. His days of humility and subjection to the whims of men are over. He is now King of kings, and expects his people to become worthy of living with the city of Enoch.

This means that we can no longer live the way our ancestors did. We must look for higher, holier ways of living our daily lives. One of those changes expected of us came when President Russell M. Nelson did away with Home/Visiting Teaching and gave us ministering instead. Many of us, suffering from “original generation syndrome” (I made that term up) are like the original generation of Israelites who left Egypt, and were still married to their customs and thinking. We will eventually die out and our children will live the laws given them more like they are intended to be lived. The older I get the more I realize how like those original Israelites me and my forefathers were. They/we have been good people, but still not yet living up to the Lord’s expectations.

As a note of hope here, remember that there were a couple of Israelites who were faithful and were allowed into the Promised land, but only a couple. So there are those who are living up to the Lord’s expectations, but still far too many of us who are struggling to change our upbringing and live life the way we are supposed to. This brings us to today’s topic. Yes, this was all just a prelude to today’s discussion. ūüôā

A husband “rules” over his family in the same way a Bishop “rules” over the ward he has been called to serve. All he does is for their benefit, because he is answerable to the Lord for all that happens during the time he presides over the ward. Husbands and wives are truly equal to each other. Each has different responsibilities, but neither one is better than the other. But the husband, by virtue of his priesthood responsibilities, must answer to the Lord for the care and keeping of the family he and his wife preside over. Only a fool (and there are many of us out there) would think that the husband has the right to exclude his partner in the decision making processes of their marriage and in the raising of their family.

Unfortunately, those raised in past decades, still have the teachings of the world engrained in their heads and hearts that the husband is the head of the household, and the wife is answerable to him and his desires. As wrong as this is, this is what many of us were taught growing up. It takes a lot of devotion to the Lord and studying of His word to learn to see past that mistaken notion, and give the woman in the home the proper respect she is due.

In case you haven’t noticed it yet, this is the age of powerful women. They have been given prominent positions of influence within the Church, and are prophesied to play a large role in the salvation and progress of the Church in the last days. The Brethren are trying to lead the way in teaching us that the men don’t rule anything like we were taught when we were young. To rule is more correctly thought of as to preside, and one who presides can only do so righteously through demonstrating equal respect and through supporting those over whom he presides. Not doing so only results in the man shooting himself in the foot, and earning himself the Lord’s displeasure. It is true that a man should expect respect and deference from his wife. It is just as true that a wife should expect respect and deference from her husband. In a marriage nothing is one sided.

Day 3

As you study Genesis 3-4 and Moses 4-5, consider what the Lord is trying to teach you. Record these truths and your spiritual impressions, and reflect on them throughout the week.

Moses5:4-9, 16-26 – God will accept my sacrifices if I offer them with a willing and obedient heart.

I consider this title for today’s lesson to be a tricky statement. Let’s talk about Cain’s offering, so I can explain why I approach this title with caution.

The Lord commanded that sacrifices to Him be made from the firstlings of their flocks. Because the animals sacrificed represented the atoning sacrifice that their Savior would make in the meridian of time, they had to be animals that fit the description given by God. Satan set up Cain by telling him to make an offering to God. That should have been Cain’s first red flag. Since when does Satan ever tell us to do anything good? The reason Satan wanted Cain to make an offering to God was because Cain was told that the first fruits of the ground were as good as the first fruits of the flock. Satan convinced Cain that an offering, as defined by Cain, was as good as anything his brother Abel had to offer. Even in doing something “good” Satan was spitting in the face of God.

So when Cain brought his offering, God only honored Abel’s offering, and not Cain’s. Here is the full story. Afterwards I’ll give my explanation for how I feel about the title of the lesson.

18 And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord.

19 And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

20 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering;

21 But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. Now Satan knew this, and it pleased him. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

22 And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?

23 If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him;

24 For from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.

The Lord did not have respect for Cain’s offering, because Cain, under the influence of Satan, redefined God’s law, but expected it to be honored, just like the offering made by his righteous brother, who offered the sacrifice required by God, and in the way God required. This is like those who feel that God should honor the money they choose to give to a charitable cause, instead of paying their tithe to the Lord’s servant. They are offended when the Lord doesn’t honor their version of the tithe. They are ignoring the fact that the Lord has always been very clear that it is only a tithe if it is given to his ordained and authorized servants. We are not allowed to change the rules and expect God to be happy with it.

The Lord told Cain that his offerings would be perfectly acceptable, IF he would make them the way the Lord had commanded them to be made. He also warned Cain that if he persisted in his current behavior that Satan would have claim on his soul. Unfortunately, “Cain loved Satan more than God.” So Cain resented God for not accepting his redefined version of this priesthood ordinance, and from that time onward he followed only Satan.

The title of today’s lesson is God will accept my sacrifices if I offer them with a willing and obedient heart.¬†This is true, but only with the understanding that offering sacrifices to the Lord must be done in His way, not ours. This is where the obedient heart comes in. As long as we are willing to obey Him and do as He has commanded us, He will always accept our sacrifices, for we cannot offer Him anything that is amiss when we are keeping His commandments.

FHE/Personal Study

Moses 5:5-9 – Adam and Christ

I hope you still have your scriptures open to Moses 5, because you need them to be. ūüėČ

I have heard many today claim that they will not do anything the prophet says to do until the Lord reveals it to them, personally. But sometimes the Lord expects us to just be obedient, whether He has personally explained the requirement to us or not. It is a matter of faith. Remember that faith doesn’t require knowledge, but belief followed by action.

Adam was commanded to make sacrifices, specific sacrifices. After being escorted from the Garden for his disobedience, Adam was determined to always be obedient. So he offered sacrifices, as he was commanded to do, for a long time before the Lord sent an angel to ask him why he was doing it. His answer is simple and to the point – “I know not, save the Lord commanded me.” How long are we willing to do what the Lord or His prophet tells us to do without knowing why we are supposed to do it? Let’s face it, we live in a very exacting world – show me, or tell me why, or don’t expect any cooperation from me. Sometimes we have to be willing to live outside of the societal norms in order to keep God’s commandments.

How many mothers even make an effort to be at home to greet the children when they return home from school? What used to be the norm, and is still recommended by the prophet, is now dismissed as impossible. Yet I have personally spoken with dozens of young married men who expect their wife to work to maintain or improve their standard of living. In each of those conversations I never heard any thought being given to try to make sacrifices so that the mother in the home could be there at the crossroads of their children’s lives.

Admittedly it is difficult, and often impossible for just one bread winner to be in the home. But sometimes accommodations can be made and sacrifices made to give the children a mother more often than they currently have her. I’m not telling anyone you are not allowed to work to support your family. My point here is that when the Lord tells us to do something, whether easy or difficult, He doesn’t always tell us how we are to do what He asks or explain fully why it is so important that we do it. The encouragement from the prophets for mothers to try to be home with the children when the children are home is just one example of how difficult these instances can be.

Adam worked all year long to feed, care for, and raise his flocks, only to turn around and slaughter them when the Lord said to kill them. Adam was willing to obey, even though he had no rational explanation. But he trusted God. He could have argued, as Cain did, that perhaps the first fruits of the ground might be just as good. Fortunately, Adam did as he was commanded, understanding the practice or not. He was certainly glad he had once the angel explained why it was necessary to do it the way he had been instructed to do it.

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OT03-2022 – The Fall of Adam and Eve

Week 03