We began class today with the question we left off with in the Moses 7 discussion. How would you build Zion in your sphere of influence? Many students shared that they would work on being kind and giving in difficult circumstances. I asked them to illustrate a difficult circumstance. Most used a family situation: struggling with siblings being the most cited example.
Being kind to those who are kind is not a test of our discipleship quite like serving those who have hurt us. We had a great discussion along these lines in preparation for the text in Moses 8 and Genesis 6.
The problems faced by the society described in Moses 8 are not unlike our own. Violence (Moses 8:28-30) and violation of the Law of Chastity (Moses 8:15) are common in our time. I used the following quote by John Taylor to demonstrate that the flood was an act of mercy by Heavenly Father, that the world was in a place where unborn children didn’t have a chance.
Is that in accordance with mercy? Yes, it was just to those spirits that had not received their bodies, and it was just and merciful too to those people guilty of the iniquity. Why? Because by taking away their earthly existence he prevented them from entailing their sins upon their posterity and degenerating them, and also prevented them from committing further acts of wickedness. (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 19:158-9)
A practical application of this story in Moses and in the Bible is that Heavenly Father sees the innocence and protection of children as taking priority over the lives of the adults creating these children. For the youth in class I emphasized the importance of children having the opportunity of being born in a family with a mother and father who honor marital vows and will raise their children in love and righteousness. As stated in the Proclamation to the World on the Family, “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” (See: http://bit.ly/aCtSy8 )
We also spent a few minutes examining the dimensions of the ark and looked at the replica made in the Netherlands by Johan Huibers. Images of his replica abound – here is a link to a video that shows the size of his replica: http://on.today.com/oHsFEw
“As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. His people mocked and called him a fool. His preaching fell on deaf ears. His warnings were considered irrational. There was no precedent; never had it been known that a deluge [or flood] could cover the earth. How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual!” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 140–41).