Having thus discussed man's life before living here upon this earth, we come to the subject of where could a place be whereby we could be tested. In the Book of Abraham, the Lord Jesus said unto His glorified Father, in agreement to the divine plan our Father gave, “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.” (Abraham 3:24-25; italics added) We learn that in order for to us to prove ourselves worthy to our Father, there must be a place for man to be tried and tested, which is why all things have been created.
Before we discuss the things which happened on each period of time of creation, it is necessary to clear up two beliefs which are clearly explained by modern revelation. First, where did the matter for all things which are created come from? Did the Creation occur ex nihilo as our Protestant friends believe? Let us hear what Joseph Smith taught in perhaps the most powerful sermon delivered by mortals in this dispensation. Said he, “Now I ask all who hear me why the learned men who are preaching salvation say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing.... The word create came from the word baurau; it does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize, the same as a man would organize materials to 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 that can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized but not destroyed.” (King Follett Sermon) Thus, rather than create out of nothing, our God follows the laws which He ordained and which has been discovered by science which state that matter cannot be created or destroyed. It gives more meaning to the scriptures which state:
“For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.
And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.
Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;
Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.
Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.
Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;
And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.
And behold, also, if he say unto the waters of the great deep—Be thou dried up—it is done.
Behold, if he say unto this mountain—Be thou raised up, and come over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up—behold it is done.” (Helaman 12:8-17)
Indeed, how powerful is our God! That even the dust would obey His very word!
A second thing about the Creation is the amount of time it took. In the Genesis account, we read that each act of creation took a “day”. However, does it truly mean a day as we as men measure time or does it mean something different. We read that “time [is] only measured unto men” (Alma 40:8), so God's concept of time is much different than we as mortals understand. In the inspired account of Abraham, Abraham sees that the period of time called in Genesis called “day” is referred to as a “time”. (See Abraham 4 and compare to Genesis 1) So we learn that however long it took God to create a particular thing is referred to as a day. How long the actual period of time was is not revealed to man at this time.
Having thus explored these two essential facts, we now can proceed to understand the Creation in a way perhaps not thought of before. In that grand counsel, after Satan was cast out for rebelling against the Plan of Salvation, the divine work of creation began. From the divine record in Moses, we read that God created all things “by the word of my power... wh[o] is mine Only Begotten Son” (Moses 1:32). So God the Father and Jesus Christ began the divine work of creation. During the first period of divine work, they divided the light from darkness, and they saw that the elements obeyed. And they called their divine labors the first day and it was pleasing unto God. The events of the second period were that God divided the waters of the sea from the firmament of the heavens. These things were also pleasing unto Him. The third period of creation saw our Father and our Savior divide the earth from the waters and to cause the dry ground to bring forth plants of every kind. And God saw that all these things were pleasing unto Him. During the fourth period of creation, the lights in the Heavens were created. The Sun was made to denote to man the time of daylight and it is the greater light to rule the day. The lesser lights are the moon and stars and they denote the night and rule the night. These things were also pleasing unto God. The fifth period of creation, all of the animals, the fishes, birds, insects and all things which are living upon the earth were created and commanded to multiply and fill the earth. And all of these things were pleasing unto God the Father and the Christ.
On the sixth period of creation, the crowning event of creation occurred. The first man, Adam, known as Michael in pre-existence, was formed and created in the image and likeness of Heavenly Father and Eve in the image and likeness. This is the crowning knowledge that we have: man is formed in God's image! Truly, no more powerful testimony of man's origin can exist than the words of God to Moses: “And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. 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 2:27-28)
After these acts, the Lord rested on this seventh day from the wondrous works of creation and has commanded us to rest from our labors on the seventh day. I know that God has created all things for our benefit and to bear witness that there is a merciful God. I know that the creation occurred in the way that the scriptures attest. May God grant that we might be more grateful for the things which God has created for us is my plea. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.