Lesson Flow: • How the Pearl of Great Price came to be. • It’s an exclusive club. You have to be a dispensation head to get in (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, & Joseph Smith). This is perhaps the best place in scripture to see dispensations, apostasy, and restoration in action. • Moses 1-8 came as Joseph worked on the JST of Gen. 1-6. • Today let’s do some Moses 1.
The Story of the Pearl of Great Price
The Origin of the Pearl of Great Price The Pearl of Great Price was originally published in England as a pamphlet by Elder Franklin D. Richards (Apostle and President of the British Mission) to make available to eager British saints a few publications from Joseph Smith which were becoming hard to get. These few publications were considered by the faithful to be gospel “pearls.” Elder Franklin D. Richards
Timeline of the Pearl of Great Price 1850. More than half of Church membership is in England. The bulk of church materials is printed in Liverpool, England.
LDS Membership in 1850 Worldwide: 57,278 Great Britain : 30,747 Utah Territory : 11,380 S.L. County : 6,157
Timeline of the Pearl of Great Price 1850. More than half of Church membership is in England. The bulk of church materials is printed in Liverpool, England. 1850. Newly ordained Apostle Franklin D. Richards is called to preside over the British mission. 1851. Elder Franklin D. Richards publishes what he called a Pearl of Great Price, which included much of the current material.
Previously Published Parts of the Book of Moses The Book of Abraham JST of Matthew 24
Part I. Moses 6:43-Moses 7:69 Part II. Moses 1-5:16, 19-40; 8:13-30 Part III. The Book of Abraham (1-5) Part IV. Joseph Smith—Matthew Part V. D&C 77 Part VI. D&C 87 Part VII. Joseph Smith—History Part VIII. Many snippets from the D&C on administering the Church. Part IX. The Articles of Faith Part X. “Oh Say, What is Truth” (Hymn #272)
Excerpt From the Original Preface “[I]t is presumed, that true believers in the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith, will appreciate this little collection of precious truths as a Pearl of Great Pricethat will increase their ability to maintain and to defend the holy faith by becoming possessors of it.” Elder Franklin D. Richards
Timeline of the Pearl of Great Price 1850. More than half of Church membership is in England. The bulk of church materials is printed in Liverpool, England. 1850. Newly ordained Apostle Franklin D. Richards is called to preside over the British mission. 1851. Elder Franklin D. Richards publishes what he call a Pearl of Great Price, including much of the current material. 1878. The first American edition of the Pearl of Great Price was printed in Salt Lake City, under the direction of Elder Orson Pratt. In this edition he revamped the Book of Moses material by placing the JST of Genesis 1-8 gotten from the 1867 edition of the RLDS church’s Bible. He also added D&C 132.
How Did it Become Scripture? 1880. Solemn Assembly held in October (to sustain John Taylor as president) the Pearl of Great Price was sustained as scripture and added to the canon of the Church. 1890. Elder Franklin D. Richards reads the Articles of Faith in October General Conference, following which they were presented for a sustaining vote (to clear up confusion on their status). 1902. U of U professor James E. Talmage is appointed to revise the Pearl of Great Price. He divided it into chapter and verse and added cross-references. It was again sustained at October Conference. 1921. Elder Talmage revises it again into two columns.
Summary All books of scripture are compilations of earlier sources. The Pearl of Great Price is just the most recent of these compilations.
“One may also read in the Old Testament and the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. Such a review of ancient scripture is even more enlightening after one is familiar with the temple endowment. Those books underscore the antiquity of temple work.” Russell M. Nelson Quorum of the Twelve (Ensign, May 2001, 32)
Moses 1 Vs. 26 Vs. 17
Moses 1 The Dignity, Divinity, and Destiny of Man
“This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf First Presidency (“You Matter to Him,” Ensign, Nov. 2011)
“No idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God, only advanced animals, compelled to yield to every carnal urge.” Boyd K. Packer Quorum of the Twelve (Ensign, May 1992, 66)
“Those who believe that our bodies are nothing more than the result of evolutionary chance will feel no accountability to God or anyone else for what they do with or to their body.” D. Todd Christofferson Quorum of the Twelve (Ensign, Nov. 2010)
God’s Work and Glory D&C 132
“What was the design of the Almighty in making man? It was to exalt him to be as God.” Joseph Smith (The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 247; 27 Aug. 1843)
What Kind of a Being is God? D&C 130:1, 22
The King Follett Discourse 7 April 1844
“Godhimself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!… If you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man. Joseph Smith (History of the Church 6:305-6)
“It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that … he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. Joseph Smith (History of the Church 6:305-6)
“It is necessary we should understand the character… of God and how he came to be so.” Joseph Smith (History of the Church 6:305-6)
“The Father is a glorified, perfected, resurrected, exalted man who worked out his salvation by obedience to the same laws he has given to us so that we may do the same.” Bruce R. McConkie Quorum of the Twelve (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 64) What laws has He given to us?
Eternal Life God’s Life—Godhood D&C 131:1-4
“Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will nothaveany children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue [worthily] will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory.” Joseph Smith (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.300)
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”
“All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.” (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund, Messages of the First Presidency, 4:203)
God made man in His own image and certainly He made woman in the image of His wife-partner. You [women] are daughters of God. You are precious. You are made in the image of our heavenly Mother. Spencer W. Kimball President (Teachings of SWK, p. 25)
“The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself…. The intelligence of spirits had not beginning, neither will it have an end.” Joseph Smith (H of C, 6:302-317) Intelligence
“God is our father. He loves us. He and our Mother in Heaven value us beyond any measure. They gave our eternal intelligences spirit form, just as our earthly mothers and fathers have given us mortal bodies.” ~President Spencer W. Kimball (My Beloved Sisters, p.25) Spirit Body Intelligence
Spirit + Mortal Body Spirit Body Intelligence
Immortality Achieved Spirit + Resurrected Body Spirit + Mortal Body Spirit Body Intelligence
ETERNAL LIFE (God’s Life) Exalted MarriageGodhood We become Heavenly Parents for other intelligences. Spirit + Mortal Body Spirit Body Intelligence
“This plan of salvation is family centered. It leads to eternal life, and eternal life is the name of the kind of life which God, our Father, lives. This plan of salvation is designed to enable us to create eternal family units of our own which are patterned after the family of our Eternal Father.” Joseph Fielding Smith President ("Sealing Power and Salvation," BYU, 1971)
“Eternal life is the name of the kind of life [God] lives. Those who so obtain become like him and are as he is. They live in the family unit and bear spirit children of their own; they have all power, all might, and all dominion. They know all things. He ordained and established the plan of salvation to enable them to advance and progress and become like him…. The plan of salvation is the same on all worlds and in all ages.” Bruce R. McConkie Quorum of the Twelve (The Millennial Messiah, p. 37)