Meridian Magazine Old Testament Lesson 15 Homework

It is critical that we teach the creation and the importance of the creation.  We exclaim with the Prophet Jacob, “O how great the plan of our God!” (see 2 Nephi 9: 13)  Yes, there actually is a plan-and the knowledge of that plan gives us comfort in troubled and confusing times.

Importance of Creation

Teaching the creation reminds us that we have been made stewards and that we have responsibility and accountability to our Maker.  All the theories and false teachings of the world, whatever they may be that teach us otherwise, are designed to relieve one of his or her accountability to God.

Jesus Christ was the Creator of this earth (and worlds without number as well) and He said in the pre-earth life: 

“We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell.  And we will prove them herewith [in other words-through the creation of this very earth will come the proving of man], to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.”  (Abraham 3: 24, 25) 

This earth would be created as a testing ground, a proving ground-where man would be separated by a veil of forgetfulness from Heavenly Parents, and where he would have to learn to exercise faith in and hope for things “which are not seen, which are true.”  (see Alma 32:21) 

The creation is the perfect plan for stewardship and accountability.  “For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.”  (D&C 104: 13)

Pattern of the Prophets Conversing with God Face to Face

The prophets throughout the ages have spoken with Jesus Christ face to face.  This lesson brings this out by taking us through Moses’ experience with God.  It is well to see that same pattern throughout the scriptures and also the invitation extended to us as faithful, lay members of the Church.

Moses

31 And behold, the glory ofthe Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. (Moses 1: 31)

11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.  (Exodus 33:11)

Joseph Smith

(Spoke with the Father and the Son)  I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true. (Joseph Smith History 1: 25)

Moroni

39 And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things.  (Ether 12: 39)

Enoch

4 And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations. (Moses 7:4)

Abraham

11 Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord, facetoface, as one man talketh with another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made.  (Abraham 3: 11)

Mahonri Moriancumr (the Brother of Jared)

19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad. [Notice how Moroni accounts that “there were many” who could not be kept within the veil-surely we do not have record of all of them]
 20 And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth his finger he could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of his word which he had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith.
  21 And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil. (Ether 12:19-21)

Isaiah

 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, andI dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, theLordof hosts. (Isaiah 6: 5)

Nephi and Jacob

2 Andnow I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, andI will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.
  3 And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.

A Lay Man:  John Murdock

In 1833, in Kirtland, Ohio, John Murdock described a vision he had of the Savior, Jesus Christ:  “I saw the form of a man, most lovely, the visage of his face was sound and fair as the sun. His hair a bright silver grey, curled in most majestic form, His eyes a keen penetrating blue, and the skin of his neck a most beautiful white and he was covered from the neck to the feet with a loose garment, pure white, whiter than any garment I have ever before seen. His countenance was most penetrating, and yet most lovely.”  (Journal of John Murdock, typescript, p. 12, Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah).

The invitation is throughout the Doctrine and Covenants for us to seek the face of God.  The promise is sure for all who will prepare themselves:

10 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am-not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. (D&C 67: 10)

And again the promise is repeated in Section 93:

 1 Verily, thus saith theLord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.  (D&C 93: 1)

And again here in Section 88 the promise is repeated:

67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
  68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, andthe days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.  (D&C 88: 67, 68)

It is significant that we are invited to the Temple to come back to creation, back to the Garden of Eden, where man spoke with God face to face.  The invitation is clear.

Creation is an Ongoing Process

With the Hubble Telescope and the recently launched Kepler telescope in space, it is interesting to note the great interest in the search for other worlds which may possibly support life.  Kepler’s mission is “A search for habitable planets.”  From NASA’s website we read of very recent discoveries: 

“NASA’s Kepler space telescope, designed to find Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of sun-like stars, has discovered its first five new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system.
“Kepler’s high sensitivity to both small and large planets enabled the discovery of the exoplanets, named Kepler 4b, 5b, 6b, 7b and 8b. The discoveries were announced Monday, Jan. 4, 2010 by the members of the Kepler science team during a news briefing at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington.”
We know through the truths given us in the Restoration that there are other worlds with God’s children upon them.  Enoch said:  “And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations.” (Moses 7:30)

And the Lord told Moses:

But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them. (Moses 1:35)

Hugh Nibley wrote:  “The creation as process is emphasized by the frequent occurrence of the word creation in the plural, usually in proclaiming the greatness and majesty of God-‘millions of earths like this.would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations.’ Such passages clearly imply that creation is an ongoing drama.

“The idea of creation,” Dr. Nibley continues, “as an ongoing process involving many participants was, of course, offensive to the doctors with their monistic obsession.  ‘It is a constant concern of the Midrash,’ writes E. Hahn. ‘why God needed six days and ten words for the creation when a single gesture would have sufficed.’  And so they effectively silenced the old teaching of creation as a process.” (Nibley, Hugh. Enoch the Prophet, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley: Volume 2, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1986, pp. 236-37.)

We Are to Be Creative

Creation is what God does.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf talked of the importance of creation in God’s eternal plan and in the plan of happiness for our own lives:

“Let me first pose a question: What do you suppose is the greatest kind of happiness possible? For me, the answer to this question is, God’s happiness.

“This leads to another question: What is our Heavenly Father’s happiness?

“This may be impossible to answer because His ways are not our ways. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [God’s] ways higher than [our] ways, and [His] thoughts [higher] than [our] thoughts.’

“Though we cannot understand ‘the meaning of all things,’ we do “know that [God] loveth his children” because He has said, ‘Behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.’

“Heavenly Father is able to accomplish these two great goals-the immortality and eternal life of man-because He is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate.

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

“Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

“Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty.”  (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 117-20)

Jesus Christ is the Creator

It is important for us to understand the Jesus Christ, who was the great Jehovah in the pre-mortal realms and in the Old Testament, was and is the creator of this earth and of worlds without number. 

John the Beloved understood this doctrine: 

  1 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  2 The same was in the beginning with God.
  3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  (John 1: 1-3)

Joseph Smith understood this true doctrine:

23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father-
  24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God. (D&C 76: 23, 24)

Moses understood this doctrine:
33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.  (Moses 1: 33)
Paul the Apostle understood this doctrine:
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. (Hebrews 1: 2)

And, of course, we need to understand this doctrine as well.

No wonder “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (see Job 38: 7), because this great Jehovah, the creator of worlds without number, the Firstborn of the Father of Lights, was chosen to carry out the Father’s Plan of Salvation.  We were so joyful because we could give our full confidence and faith to the great Jehovah-the One and only One who truly could carry out the Father’s plan successfully.
Male and Female Created in the Likeness of God

Adam and Eve were created in the likeness of their Heavenly Parents.   

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
  27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The First Presidency made this doctrine very clear in 1909:

“The Father of Jesus is our Father also. Jesus Himself taught this truth, when He instructed His disciples how to pray: “Our Father which art in heaven,” etc. Jesus, however, is the firstborn among all the sons of God the first begotten in the spirit, and the only begotten in the flesh. He is our elder brother, and we, like Him, are in the image of God. All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.”  (The Origin of Man by The First Presidency of the Church, Improvement Era, November 1909)

And this doctrine was iterated again in The Family:  A Proclamation to the World:

“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 the doctrines of this lesson, including that of creation, the invitation to seek the face of God, the fact that Jesus Christ-Jehovah-is the creator of this earth and countless other worlds and that male and female were created in the likeness of Heavenly Parents-are all critical for us to understand and to teach.

Introduction I spend a lot of time on the computer, and I do just fine until I have to figure out how the computer was put together and what makes it work. The truth is, I can't tell a hard drive from a happy meal. When I have to install stuff or hook up stuff or figure out stuff, I find myself in serious distress. But there are those for whom the whole process is simple. Fortunately, two of them belong to my family. I don't use my brain to make computers work; I use it to remember the numbers of people who know how to make computers work.

With regard to the creation, I suspect this is also true. We are most assuredly incapable of understanding the process by which this earth came into being. Even with the accumulated intellect of the brightest minds on the planet working on the problem, mankind is still light years away from making a world or understanding precisely how God made this one.

Just determining the time involved in producing this testing center has proved an insurmountable obstacle. People cannot agree on the production schedule, the producer, or even the purpose of the whole thing. On the matter of the age of the earth, for example, Brigham Young taught:

I know that a great many of the scientific men of the world philosophize upon this, that and the other thing. Geologists will tell us the earth has stood so many millions of years. Why? Because the Valley of Western Colorado, here, could not have washed out without taking such a length of time. What do they know about it? Nothing in comparison. They also reason about the age of the world by the marvelous specimens of petrification that are sometimes discovered. Now we can show them plenty of places where there are trees, perfect stone, running into the solid rock, and perhaps the rock is forty, fifty, or a hundred feet above the tree. Yet it is a perfect tree. There is the bark, there is the heart, and there is the outer-coating between the heart and the bark, all perfect rock. How long did it take to make this tree into rock? We do not know. I can tell them, simply this -- when the Lord Almighty brings forth the power of his chemistry he can combine the elements and make a tree into rock in one night or one day, if he chooses, or he can let it lie until it pulverizes and blows to the four winds, without petrifying, just as he pleases. He brings together these elements as he sees proper, for he is the greatest chemist there is. He knows more about chemistry and about the formation of the earth and about dividing the earth, and more about the mountains, valleys, rocks, hills, plains, and the sands than all the scientific men that we have. This we can say of a truth. Well, if it takes a million years to make a perfect rock of one kind of a tree, say a cedar tree, how long would it take to make a perfect rock of a cottonwood tree? Let the chemists tell this, if they can, but they can not tell it. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol.15, p.125-127, August 11, 1872)

To understand this idea, determine the time it took Christ to make wine at the wedding feast at Cana. Good wine is a product of good ingredients and age. But the six waterpots of wine Christ made were created in an instant. Your friendly neighborhood chemist, however, if charged to determine the age of the liquid, would certainly have arrived at an age of several years, for the governor of the feast said it was "good wine"(John 2:10).

The message is clear enough. President Young's meaning is that we will not discover the mysteries of the matter until the Lord wants us to discover them. Until then, we must be satisfied (and we must rejoice) in what the Lord has taught us.

A word on intelligent design might be in order here. I have watched and listened with you to the bitter dialog and the emotional outbursts in courts and classrooms over this matter. I am not surprised that so many are so opposed to the concept of a creator -- a being of surpassing intelligence -- who could and did oversee the creation of this world and a billion others. Isaiah asked this question: "WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" (Isaiah 53:1) He seemed to know what we now know. Very few can see the arm of the Lord at work. Not many notice his fingerprints in the beauty of the firmament nor his shadow in the sunsets. But one day everyone will see and know, and for now, we ought to defend true principles and bring souls to Christ in whatever ways we can, all the while having faith in the fact that God's works do not fail. As we read in D&C 76:3: "is purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand."

THE WORD ON THE CREATION This lesson will not follow the outline in the Teacher's Manual for Gospel Doctrine lessons. If you are teaching, that is the place you must go for direction. The thoughts below are my thoughts, and are only intended to give background and additional insights. My hope is that your understanding of the creation will be enhanced by a reflection on the meaning of the UPPER-CASE words below:

1. HEREWITH: We must begin here, for this word gives the critical insight into the purpose of this earth. God, in his explanation to Abraham, told him that one "like unto God" had said to others,

We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them . . . (Abr. 3:24,25)

The word herewith as employed here means with this earth. Thus the earth was created as a testing center -- a place where we could be proved and tested. Elder Robert E. Wells said,

One of the principal purposes of this life is to find out if the Lord can trust us . . . We are destined to be tried, tested, and proven during our sojourn on earth to see if we are trustworthy.

The Prophet Joseph Smith indicated that to attain the highest blessing of this life, we will first be tested and proved thoroughly until the Lord is certain that he can trust us in all things, regardless of the personal hazard or sacrifice involved. (Robert E. Wells, "The C's of Spirituality," Ensign, Nov. 1978, 24)

2. BEGINNING: Where exactly does our account of the work of God begin? In the beginning of what? we might ask. Only a divine, eternal being could see it all.

I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease. Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth. (Moses 1:4,5)

The Lord said to Moses:

But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them. (Moses 1:35)

Why give only an account of this earth? Why not the whole picture?

And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. (Moses 1:37)

That was good enough for Moses.

And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content. (Moses 1:36)

3. CREATED: You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing, and they will answer, "Doesn't the Bible say he created the world?" And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing. Now, the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos - chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time He had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning and can have no end. (Joseph Smith Jr., "The King Follett Sermon," Ensign, Apr. 1971, 17)

In a comparable but less dramatic illustration, I might say that my wife created a wonderful meal yesterday. No one would infer from that statement that she grew the rutabagas or eggplant, or refined the sugar or bottled the soy sauce and froze the peas.

The work itself was supervised by the Savior. (Abr. 4:1) Moses recorded,

And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. (Moses 1:32,33)

For a further insight on this matter, consider the entries in the Topical Guide under Jesus Christ, Creator.

4. LIGHT/LIGHTS: On the first day God said, "Let there be light." On the fourth day he said, "Let there be lights." (Moses 2:3,14) Abraham tells us that on the first day the Gods said, "Let there be light" but on the fourth day the Gods "organized the lights in the expanse of heaven . . ." (Abr. 4:14 ). I have wondered about this from time to time. Often my reflections take me back to D&C 88:6-13. Perhaps that first light is the light of Christ - the light and truth of intelligence (see D&C 93:30,36)

5. DAY: This is the word that has caused at least some of the difficulty in preparing a timeline for the creation. The word as used here has been interpreted in three different ways: (1) 24 hours; (2) 1000 years, based on the explanation of figure 1 of Facsimile #2 in Abraham, and on Abraham 5:13; (3) an unspecified length of time. As is indicated by the quote from Brigham Young in the introduction, God can do about what he wants in the time he wants. But it might be interesting to note in your scriptures that the word translated "day" in Genesis 1:5 (Moses 2:5) is the same word that was translated "season" in Genesis 40:4 and "process of time" in Judges 11:4. If the word day means "an unspecified length of time" most of the arguments against biblical creationism disappear.

6. OBEYED: The pattern of the creation seems to follow basic laws of genetics. The phrase "after his kind" in Moses 2:11,12 and Genesis 1:11,12 suggest an uninterrupted continuation of species. But in addition to that observation, Abraham tells us this:

And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth grass from its own seed, and the herb to bring forth herb from its own seed, yielding seed after his kind; and the earth to bring forth the tree from its own seed, yielding fruit, whose seed could only bring forth the same in itself, after his kind; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. (Abr. 4:11,12)

The Gods created plant life to yield "after his kind" and they saw that "they were obeyed."

6. MULTIPLY AND REPLENISH: We live in a world where family sizes steadily decrease in the more advanced countries. Fear of over-population has been a continuing concern for decades. In D&C 104:17,18, the Lord tells us that the Lord at the time of the creation ensured that there would be enough for all of his children. Any father who could certainly would. God said that:

The earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves. Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment. (D&C 104:17-18)

The problems come from distribution, not availability.

7. COMMANDMENTS: Actually there were at least three of them given to our first parents. The two we speak of most are:

1. And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Moses 2:28)

2. And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Moses 3:16,17)

The third is found in Moses 4:

3. And the man said: The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat. (Moses 4:18)

God's command that Adam and Eve should stay together may help us understand Adam's decision to eat the forbidden fruit with his wife.

8. LIVING SOUL: We are told in the text that men, animals, and trees all became living souls (see Moses 3:7,9,19). Moses 6:59 may explain the process by which this happened to Adam and Eve:

Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying: That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul . . . (Moses 6:58,59)

The following from Brigham Young is interesting:

Here let me state to all philosophers of every class upon the earth, When you tell me that father Adam was made as we make adobies from the earth, you tell me what I deem an idle tale. When you tell me that the beasts of the field were produced in that manner, you are speaking idle worlds devoid of meaning. There is no such thing in all the eternities where the Gods dwell. Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. (Journal of Discourses, Vol.7, p.285 - p.286, October 9, 1859)

Conclusion Many years ago as a part of a Master's Program at Arizona State University, I prepared a sound and slide presentation on the Creation. The images showed a young girl hearing the voice of the Father as he recounted the creative periods and showed her his works on each of the "days" of creation. I took hundreds and hundreds of slides for the three-screen, three projector display and found recordings of appropriate music to accompany the images. I still remember the first time I sat and watched the show by myself when it was finished.

I was stunned by the beauty and the variety of the creative splendor of God's handiwork. I had photos of frogs as large as house cats, and others small enough to hide behind golf balls. My first photo of a spider web, perfect in symmetry and bedecked with matching pearls of dew, touched me deeply. I rejoiced over pictures of clouds and sunsets and mountains and marshlands. I was astounded at the sizes and colors and shapes and varieties of fish. I laughed at warthogs and monkeys and delighted in the luminous diversity of butterflies and hummingbirds, and the artistic genius of flowers. Well, you get the message. When slide shows were still popular, I showed the presentation a hundred times to groups all over the United States, and people always approached me at the end to tell me how good it was. My response never varied. Anyone can learn to point and focus a camera and snap a shutter. I took pictures of snakes and salamanders. But God made snakes and salamanders, and sunsets. What I had made was an exercise in photographic expertise. What God had done was an exercise in Godhood. And I came to know in the course of making that presentation what I still know. The thing God said when he reviewed his creation was true:

"BEHOLD, ALL THINGS WHICH I HAD MADE WERE VERY GOOD."

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