About 2,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the prophet Abraham saw God. (See Genesis 17:1, Abraham 3:11.) Several hundred years later, Moses also spoke with God “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11, Moses 1:2, 31).
Through modern revelation, we have learned more about what Abraham and Moses learned when they stood in the presence of God. In both cases, they saw the vastness of God’s creations. (See Abraham 3:12, Moses 1:33.) In both cases, they learned that God created this world for our benefit. (See Abraham 3:24-25, Moses 1:39.) And in both cases, the context they received from the visions helped them better understood their own value and purpose within God’s majestic plan. (See Abraham 3:22-23, Moses 1:6, 12-13.)
Here are some lessons I’ve learned from these two visions, together with relevant blog posts:
1. God always keeps His promises. (Abraham 3:17)
Abraham learned that “There is nothing that the Lord…shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it” (Abraham 3:17). That firmness of mind is an attribute He wants to help us develop as well. That is one of the reasons He gives us covenants—so that we can practice keeping promises to earn His trust.
2. We received callings before we were born. (Abraham 3:22-23)
God revealed to Abraham that, before the world was created, He selected people to fulfill important assignments on earth. We were not only chosen to fulfill those assignments; we were trained. Those opportunities become available to us as we exercise faith and humble ourselves before Him.
3. Trials reveal our true greatness. (Abraham 3:25)
Our separation from God gives us an opportunity to demonstrate how we will behave when we are unsupervised. We don’t demonstrate our faithfulness during the easy times but during the more difficult times, when it would be so much easier to abandon ship and give up.
- That They Might Repent While in the Flesh – 2 Nephi 2:21
- He Trieth Their Patience – Mosiah 23:21
- In the Furnace of Affliction – 1 Nephi 20:10
4. The Savior is full of grace and truth. (Moses 1:6, 32)
Many years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Moses learned about two apparently contradictory attributes of the Savior: He loves us and is willing to help us in spite of our imperfections (grace), and He always acts in accordance with eternal verities (truth). Grace is valuable because it is costly. God will not override universal laws, so He paid an infinite price to save us.
- He Is Full of Grace and Truth – 2 Nephi 2:6
- What Does It Mean That the Savior Is “Full of Grace and Truth?”
5. We progress faster and contribute more when we recognize our divine heritage and potential. (Moses 1:13, 16)
God emphasized to Moses that He was created “in the similitude of [His] Only Begotten” (Moses 1:6). Moses subsequently resisted temptation by twice reaffirming this truth. Each of us needs a sense of individual worth which impels us to be as good as we can be.
6. God’s work is to save us. (Moses 1:39)
God revealed to Moses that His work and His glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life” of His daughters and His sons. Jesus glorified His Father by atoning for our sins, an essential element of that work. We can participate in that work by trusting Him, making covenants with Him, and being willing to change.