In class we examined the creation account from the perspective of the youth. Young people may not be creating worlds, but they certainly can use the Lord as an example of how to accomplish wonderful things in their personal lives. I asked the students this question, “What is the Lord trying to teach you from this account about how you can create a successful life?”
By looking at the text of Genesis 1-2 from this perspective we were able to see relevance in the text as it relates to the lives of the students.
How does the Lord describe the Restoration? We viewed passages in the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord describes the Restoration as a ” great and marvelous work.” (D&C 6:1) By seeing as the Lord sees, we can learn to have His values – things are good, people are very good, and the work of sealing families together for time and all eternity is great and marvelous.
Genesis 1 gives an account of the creation, then chapter 2:5 can be very confusing when read at first. The corresponding verse in Moses tells us that the initial creation account is a spiritual creation and that the Lord then created all things physically after they were created spiritually. (see Moses 3:5)
This idea, that the Lord created all things spiritually first, helped us to examine how this applies in creating a successful life. What things or goals must we do spiritually before first? What can we liken this to?
At first I had to prime the pump to get their minds going in this direction. At the start this can be a very difficult question. We talked about college – you don’t just “get” into college. It requires great preparation and effort. You must plan, work in high school to acquire the necessary learning to qualify yourself, etc.
What about writing a term paper? Our students related with this as they all are in the space of having to write. A writer needs to have an idea of where he is heading, have an outline, and do some groundwork before the paper is begun. And so it goes.
We applied this to marriage, our professions, dating, sports, etc. When we pay the price spiritually, whether that is the planning aspect, mental effort, meditation or prayer – we are then ready to physically accomplish our goals. Every day should begin with spiritual preparation as we discuss with our Heavenly Father our plans for the day prior to actually facing the world and doing the physical work.
We then summarized the creation account with several other salient points:
1. To be successful you need to work. It doesn’t say it in the text, but we can assume that the Lord worked hard, and he worked smart. The text does imply that he worked “six days” (Genesis 1:31 and 2:1-3).
2. Success also has a rest component. We need to give ourselves a break and spend some time worshiping God on the Sabbath day.
3. Spiritual should precede physical creation. When we create things spiritually first, we are following the Lord’s pattern.