3. The Creation
Accounts of the Creation in the scriptures are designed to introduce God and to tell us who we are in relationship to him.
"The Creation: An Introduction to Our Relationship to God," Michael A. Goodman, Religious Educator.
Teaching and learning about the Creation should be an awe-inspiring and spiritually edifying experience. It easily devolves, however, into much less. If we don't follow the Lord's pattern for sharing the Creation as found in the scriptures, we risk missing the powerful influence that learning of the Creation can have in the lives of our students.
"Ex Nihilo: The Development of the Doctrines of God and Creation in Early Christianity," Keith E. Norman, BYU Studies Vol. 17, no. 3
Joseph Smith's reaffirmation of Deity as the loving, personal Father of the scriptures stands in conspicuous contrast to the confusion and obscurity of traditional and modern theologies.
"The Latter-day Saint Reimaging of 'the Breath of Life' (Genesis 2:7)," Dana M. Pike, BYU Studies Vol. 56, No. 2 ($1.29; free to subscribers)
Many Latter-day Saints have come to transform the traditional biblical meaning of the phrase "the breath of life" into a new, Restoration-oriented use that refers to the embodiment of the first human's premortal spirit and, by extension, the embodiment of all other people's spirits. However, the phrase "the breath of life" as found in Genesis seems to best be understood as a figurative designation for a divinely originating animating "breath" or life-force that enlivens all human and animal flesh, and is something beyond mere respiration. Such a divine breath/spirit is also referenced elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, especially in poetic passages. It is no surprise that this is not depicted as or in association with the embodying of premortal spirits, since that doctrine is so rarely and so obtusely evident in the Hebrew Bible as it has come down to us. Reimaging the phrase diminishes consideration of the life-generating and life-sustaining power of God manifest in humans.