January 30


Ancient Stories with a Modern Message

By Tresta Neil

Ancient Messages, Called to Learn, Spiritual Growth

Do you attend Church Educational Service (CES) classes? I use to attend them all the time, but since my son’s big hospital visit ten years ago I haven’t been back until this semester and I’ve signed up for three, that’s right three! Two Old Testament and Life of Christ and I can’t get enough, I’m loving every minute. I’m learning new ways to look at the Old and New Testament, mostly how to apply the lesson to our day. I’ve been pleasantly impressed with the quality of lessons we’ve had thus far and how each teacher is uniquely different.

For those of you who don’t and can’t attend I will add a learning experience with you each week.


Eve taught us a great lesson when she ate the fruit. After eating she immediately recognized she had made a mistake and took action to resolve it  by working to get her and Adam out of the garden. Eve taught us how to respond to sin.


Satan lies to us to get us to interrupt or tear down our families. Mortality hinges on family, anything that breaks up the family is of Satan.

Once Eve took the fruit and learned good from evil and understood the consequence, she had to convince Adam. The language and dialog are brilliant. “Do you want to keep all of God’s commandments?” “I’m leaving and you’ll be left alone in the garden.” Adam knew what it was like to be alone and he chose to go with Eve to fulfill the other commandments to have children and become like God.

Have you ever felt like God was keeping something from you? This is Satan’s plan. He implied that God was keeping something from Eve, “don’t you want to know good and evil and become like the gods?” Think of it like sex. God asks us not to have sex until we are married. God asks Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit now, it was for another time. He was not keeping anything from them. He was only saying, “Not yet!” He is establishing the Pattern of Agency and Choice, the process of the Gospel.

The beginning of our exaltation began with Adam and Eve. Adam left his parents and “cleaved” unto Eve, his equal helpmeet and began our human family. Just as we and our children must leave our parents to cleave to our spouse.

The Adamic covenant is the same as the Abrahamic covenant and the same covenant we keep – to multiply and replenish the earth, to have families, to gather in the righteous, etc. Keep the covenant alive!

Ever feel slighted for your efforts? Ever feel like Cain, when God did not accept his offering? Check your heart, with what type of heart did you preform your last sacrifice? Lesson from Cain – Make your sacrifices with a soft, faithful, believing heart.

Why are there so many “begats” in the Old Testament? Why is it important to me, today? Begat means “ordained by…” They were recording their priesthood lineage. Lesson from “begat” – Stick to the covenant line!

Noah was mocked and teased for building the ark. What are we building and being mocked for? In today’s world we look strange when we build our family with God.

Noah took years building an ark in the middle of a continent working on it a little at a time. What simple things are we being asked to do that is like building an ark?

God has asked many to escape the world – Noah with an ark, Nephi with a boat, the Jaredites in barges, the pioneers with handcarts, Moses on foot, etc. God asked them to move from that which was destroying the covenant, not hide from the world. God removed them to purify them, allow them time to grow their testimonies so they could return and be the leaven or salt of the earth. Your testimonies are the salt, pour it on, there is never too much in today’s world.

The Tower of Babel was a symbol of the people trying to find their own way to heaven. We don’t build towers to create our own paths, we build temples of protection, chapels of instruction, homes of refuge and families surrounded by the power of the spirit that withdraws from evil and follows God’s path.

The Tower of Babel was a symbol of the people trying to find their own way to heaven. In what ways are you trying to find your own way to heaven? There are millions of reasons not to go to church and only ONE reason to go ~ to keep the covenant ALIVE! Covenants bind us together.

The Tower of Babel was not finished because God confused the languages. The church speaks the language of the gospel. Go out, gather others, and speak the unified language of the Lord.

Did God confuse their language because they built a tall building? NO! It was because they were turning away from their covenants and making their own path. We each have our own unique way back to God, but is His, the ONE way! Satan has many ways away from God which do you choose?


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