Moses 3:4-4:32

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Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Moses > Chapters 3-4 / Verses 3:4-4:32
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Relationship to Moses. The relationship of Chapters 3-4 to the rest of Moses is discussed at Moses.


Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 3-4 include:

Moses 3:4-4:32 is the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 2:3-3:24. This page is not intended, however, to address Genesis. It is intended only to address the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis. It is therefore suggested that readers consult the page that does address Genesis 2:3-3:24 before viewing this page. Contributors are likewise asked to respect this distinction. The idea is that a reader should be able to find content about an original passage from Genesis on the wiki page addressing that passage.

Verses 3:4-4:32 are the Joseph Smith Translation account of the Fall. The relationship of this account to the rest of the book of Moses is discussed at Moses, and its relationship to the rest of Genesis is discussed at Genesis.

This account can be outlined as follows:

a. Adam placed in Garden, commanded not to eat tree of knowledge (3:4-17)
b. Lord says not good to be alone, Eve, unaware naked (3:18-25)
c. serpent induces Eve to transgress by eating fruit(4:1-11) (4:1-4 new content)
d. Adam & Eve eat and discover nakedness (4:12-13)
c. where art thou? Adam & Eve admit eating fruit (4:14-19)
b. Lord pronounces curses, ground cursed for man’s sake, coats (4:20-27)
a. Adam and Eve know good from evil, driven from Garden, prevented from eating of tree of life (4:28-32)


This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Moses 3:20: Meet. "Meet" means proper, or fitting.
  • Moses 3:20: Woman. "Woman" The English word "woman" does not, in fact, have a meaning of one being taken out of man. See Related links for a proper etymology.
Throughout this chapter, all the trees, animals, and even Adam himself are brought forth out of the earth/ground/dust. There are two exceptions. One (perhaps) is that the tree of life was planted, rather than brought forth. The second, more striking exception is Eve: perhaps excepting the tree of life, she is the only living thing not brought forth out of the earth. She comes out of man, already a living thing.
  • Moses 4:1-4: Two plans and agency. The 1828 Webster's defines "agency" (verse 3) as "the quality of moving or of exerting power; the state of being in action; action; operation; instrumentality; as, the agency of providence in the natural world."
The first four verses of this chapter describe a time when there are competing plans for the redemption of humankind. Verse 3, by indicating the Satan had rebelled, suggests that the plan as originally envisioned by the Lord God involved human agency, and that Satan's plan would destroy that, although little else is stated about the plans here. It is also suggested here that Satan was attempting to change the Lord God's plan about what approach to take; in other words, the plan adopted wasn't developed by the Beloved Son but had been the Lord God's beforehand.
This section specifies three differences between the plans: 1) In Satan's plan, all people would be redeemed, and "one soul shall not be lost." The implication here is that under the Lord God's plan some souls would indeed be lost. 2) In Satan's plan, full credit for human redemption would belong to Satan. But in the original plan, the one supported by the Beloved Son, glory would belong to the Lord God. 3) In Satan's plan, he would be seen as the son of the Lord God, apparently replacing the Beloved Son in that role.
It is interesting to note that even though Satan was "cast down," a term not defined here, Satan still retained agency, if agency is understood to mean "quality of moving or of exerting power" (1828 Webster's). Verse 4 indicates he retained a great deal of power, although it was limited to influencing only those who "would not hearken unto" the voice of the Lord God.
  • Moses 4:32: The Lord's voice. This note is of the same form as Moses 1:42 excepting that the voice here is clearly the Lord's.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Moses 3:9: And it became also a living soul. In what sense is "it" ("every tree") a living soul? (See also: verse 7 and Abr 5:7.)
  • Moses 3:9. What is the meaning of the sentence "For it was spiritual in the day that I created it, for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it"? What does it mean to say it remained in the sphere in which God created it? And what does this have to do with being spiritual?
  • Moses 4:6. It would seem that Satan is aware of many things regarding the Lord's plan. What does it mean that he did not know the mind of God?
  • Moses 4:6. Did he not know, then, that he was acting in accordance with the plan in tempting Eve?
  • Moses 4:6. Does this fact have any application for us today?
  • Moses 4:23. The Lord said that he should curse the ground for Adam's sake? How was this curse of benefit to Adam? What ill effects might have resulted had the Lord not cursed the ground?
  • Moses 4:25. Why does this verse mention the sweat of the face as opposed to simply sweat, or perhaps the sweat of one's back, etc.?
  • Moses 4:25. What application does this verse have for us today? (Does it tell us what type of work we should do (physical versus less physical)? Does it tell us how to give or receive gifts from others? Can it be used to guide welfare systems in their formation or administration? Does it suggest how we should teach our children to work? Does it tell how we can use other's thoughts and inventions?)
  • Moses 4:32. If the Lord is speaking here, then is he also the voice of the narrator in chapter 1?
  • Moses 4:32. Who is the Lord speaking to here? (Joseph, the saints, both, or some other entity?)


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  • Moses 4:6. James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 69 -- Talmage suggests that Satan did not realize that God's plan required the Fall to occur.
  • Moses 4:25. J. Reuben Clark, "Private Ownership under the United Order and the Gaurantees of the Constitution", Improvement Era, Nov. 1942 (Address given in the October General Conference of the same year.)


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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