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Lesson 46 – Exodus 33–40. The Image of God. You are a missionary…. You’ve just told an investigator the boy Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in the woods and they told him to restore the gospel. You will do this a lot (it’s in the first discussion)

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you are a missionary
You are a missionary…
  • You’ve just told an investigator the boy Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in the woods and they told him to restore the gospel.
    • You will do this a lot (it’s in the first discussion)
  • This investigator happens to be well-versed in the Bible and turns to the 2 following scriptures:
    • Exodus 33:20
    • John 1:18
  • Therefore Joseph Smith couldn’t have seen God. How do you respond?
your response
Your response

You will be tempted to do 2 things:

  • Bash (Well, just look at Exodus 33:11)
    • If you try to argue or respond point for point, both parties will simply become more convinced of their own view.
    • The Spirit will simply leave as the tone of the discussion becomes negative.
  • Over-Explain (Joseph Smith translated those verses differently)
    • While there are important reasons and truths to explain, this is probably not the right time.
    • The investigator will simply become confused and have more questions that lead away from the Spirit of the discussion.

So, what do you do?

what is the principle
What is the principle?
  • Let’s start back in Exodus 20
  • What are the first and second of the 10 commandments?
    • No other Gods before me
    • Make no graven image
  • What does breaking these commandments mean?
    • You are putting something between you and God (other gods, false idols, etc)
the golden calf
The Golden Calf
  • Exodus 32:1-6
  • How did they break the 1st and 2nd commandment?
    • They put the gold calf between them and the Lord
  • Do you think they believed God was an actual cow?
    • They needed some sort of physical object to worship.
    • They needed something “seen” rather than spiritual.
  • What is faith?
    • SM! Alma 32:21 – “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (or Hebrews 11:1)
    • More on this later…
exodus 33 11
Exodus 33:11
  • First, let’s memorize it…
  • Why is this a scripture mastery?
    • It shows the true image of God (related SM?)
    • It shows the way by which God will sometimes communicate with His prophets.
  • Where did the Lord speak to Moses “face to face”?
    • The tabernacle (temple)
  • Without this doctrine, what is placed between us and God?
    • Confusion, Mysticism, Uncertainty
the athanasian creed
The Athanasian Creed
  • Christian statement of belief, credited to by Athanasius of Alexandria
  • Widely accepted among Western Christians, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and most Protestant denominations.
the athanasian creed1
The Athanasian Creed

“…And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity….


Exodus 33:9–17

“It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with

him as one man converses with another”

(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345).

Joseph Smith

God Speaks to His Children

again what is faith
Again, what is faith?
  • Hope and belief in things which are not seen, but which are true.
  • Have we seen God?
  • What do we know about Him?
    • We are His children
    • He loves us
    • We are in His image
    • He speaks with us through His prophets and the Spirit of personal revelation
our father
Our Father
  • Why would we ever want to put anything in the way of communicationwith the Lord?
  • Satan uses false idols and confusion to distance ourselves from God.
  • This separation causes spiritual death.
  • When we know God and understand God, we can have faith in Him and trust in His plan for us.
joseph smith
Joseph Smith

“Let us here observe that after any members of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge respecting his character and glory will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until, like Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God and power with him to behold him face to face.”

notebook ideas
Notebook Ideas
  • How does your understanding of God help you have faith and live righteously?
  • How would you describe God to your non-member friends?
  • What is your creed?