Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Spiritual Creation

Every day (OK- about 5 days a week)- I take my kids to the gym. near the gym the local hospital has been building a large new wing. It started off as a whole, then we saw a frame, and little by little - day by day- my girls would say, "look at the building!- is it done, Mom?"- "nope- not done yet-"- and week by week would see it change, - walls- roof, paint... "Look at the building! is it done, Mom?" "Nope, not done yet."
There is a lot involved in the construction- it all started with a hospital board, no doubt explaining to an architectural firm, what they needed- it then became a plan on paper- probably years prior to it becoming a reality.
The Lord's method of creating was not all that different- he too, started with a plan- a "spiritual creation"- prior to the actual physical creation.
In Genesis chapter 2, verse 5 we learn that the plants were created before they were in the physically in the earth.

The book of Moses is even more clear, in chapter 3, 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. • • •

In Moses chapter 6, verse 51- it says: I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.

The Doctrine and Covenants, section 29- verses 31 and 32- For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal—

First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work.

In the Sunday School class that I attended on Sunday, the instructor indicated that perhaps Genesis 1 was referring to the spiritual creation, and Genesis 2 was telling of the physical creation- I had never thought that was the case- and did a little research- this is what I found:

Complicating the issue further for some Latter-day Saints is the idea that Genesis 1 may not be an account of Creation by another author but may, in fact, be an account of another creation, Genesis 1 being, in their minds, the account of the spiritual creation and Genesis 2 of the physical creation. But a close reading of the scriptures indicates otherwise. [Gen. 1; Gen. 2]
If Genesis 1 is an account of the spiritual creation, then Genesis 1:26–27 would be the account of the creation of the first man in the spirit—“the first-born of every creature,” the premortal Jesus. [Gen. 1:26–27] (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.) The Moses account, however, shows that this cannot be so:
“And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image. …
“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him.” (Moses 2:26–27.)
Since Jehovah was there when the man referred to in Genesis 1:26–27 was formed, the spiritual creation obviously had already occurred. [Gen. 1:26–27] The object of their creative intent could only have been Adam, the first earthly man. Thus, the creation being described in Genesis 1 is the physical and not the spiritual creation.
The conclusion is that the Bible offers no account of the sequential process by which all things were spiritually created, although it does offer a reference to the spiritual creation in Genesis 2:5. [Gen. 2:5]
Joseph Fielding Smith said: “The account of the creation of the earth as given in Genesis, and the Book of Moses, and as given in the temple, is the Creation of the physical earth, and of physical animals and plants. … There is no account of the Creation of man or other forms of life when they were created as spirits.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., comp. Bruce R. McConkie, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56, 1:75.) Keith Meservy, “Four Accounts of the Creation,” Ensign, Jan 1986, 50

In the most recent conference, Elder Bednar used the spiritual creation, as a lesson that we can from:

The patterns used by God in creating the earth are
instructive in helping us understand how to make prayer meaningful. In the third
chapter of the book of Moses we learn that all things were created spiritually
before they were naturally upon the earth.

Meaningful morning prayer is an important element in
the spiritual creation of each day—and precedes the temporal creation or the
actual execution of the day.

I loved the idea- the analogy- of the spiritual creation of my day.

1 comment:

Michal said...

thanks for clarifying this. i need to send a link to mandy, as the sunday school lesson was a bit confusing.

i loved what elder bednar said about morning prayer as a type of spiritual creation. i definitely find that my day goes much better when it begins with a meaningful, sincere, not falling-back-to-sleep kind of prayer!