In the Beginning…
When I was a junior in high school performing with the Sanger High School Concert Choir, our music director, Mr. Norman Wiens, lead us in singing a musical interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, aptly titled “The Creation.” It was an amazing composition, rock cantata, written by David Bobrowitz and Steven Porter. As I recall the performance time was more than ten minutes and included our four part choir, piano, bass guitar and drums. My friend Tim Robinson performed solo the opening words in his beautiful high tenor tone, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Others joined in at appropriate intervals and soon the sixty plus member choir was in full harmony telling the story of that miraculous week of the earth’s creation.
The music started off slow and dramatic, surging at intervals, and like great roaring tides peaking with seven piece drums solos and accompaniment by my friend Darl Larsen, ebbing and flowing as the days of the creative period were described very closely to the original Genesis text. It was a symphony of sound uniquely crafted in the 70s, a revival of the senses that helped me to understand more fully the true rhapsody and great miracle of God’s creative handiwork.
In hearing the creation story throughout my life prior to that time in choir, I always saw it as a series of God commanding something, and then it just being. With “The Creation” however, I more fully understood and could see more the peace of darkness and lack of form, and then great upheaval as light pierced the darkness, lands separated and mountain peaks ascended, great rivers, seas and oceans formed, and life burst forth with immeasurable energy, making Earth home to God’s creations, and most importantly, His sons and daughters. I can hardly speak of it now without my heart swelling to burst with perhaps the tiniest trace of that godly power.
I am reminded of a painting by Walter Rane, “Jehovah Creates the Earth,” that illustrates God’s benevolent and all powerful hand in the creation of our earthly home. I am grateful for this gift of life organized in Heaven and bestowed by the hands of a loving Father, turning “without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2), “empty and desolate” (Abraham 4:2), into beauty, life and home.
I have no perfect knowledge of how the creative process took place, but I do know that God our Father provided the plan, and Jehovah, our Savior, carried it out. The Son of God created the world that He would one day save, not by some random “big bang,” but as part of the great plan of happiness engineered for our salvation before the world was. As Elder D. Todd Christofferson has said, “Whatever the details of the creation process, we know that it was not accidental but that it was directed by God the Father and implemented by Jesus Christ” (General Conference, April 2015).
Earth was created as part of this vast and perfect plan for the salvation of man, that the sons and daughters of God would have place to receive bodies and to learn to become more like Father in Heaven. With this creation, and from the dust of the earth, the body of man, Adam, was formed in God’s own image, in the very pattern after Adam’s spirit body which was begotten by our Heavenly Parents. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).
From the rib of Adam was formed Eve, also in the image of our Heavenly Parents and from her spirit body, and the makings of God’s great family on earth were in place. “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’” (Genesis 2:22-24).
Earth was created as part of this vast and perfect plan for the salvation of man, that the sons and daughters of God would have place to receive bodies and to learn to become more like Father in Heaven.
In that sacred place, on God’s creation called Earth, Adam and Eve were married, even by the voice of God, that His children could fill the earth, under His divine authority. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth’” (Genesis 1:27-28). As President Russell M. Nelson has taught, “Adam and Eve were joined together in marriage for time and for all eternity by the power of [the] everlasting priesthood” (General Conference, October 1987). I am eternally grateful to follow the example of our fore-bearers and be blessed in holy matrimony with Monica, my dearest love.
Unto the woman and man who would become mother and father to all those sons and daughters of God born upon the earth, God gave another gift. Following the six creative periods, referred to in scripture as “days,” on the seventh day He rested and declared a day of rest. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3).
The seventh day was given to Adam and Eve, and all their posterity, as a day to worship and to rest. As the Lord Jesus Christ taught, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The sabbath should be a day of delight, a day when we rest from those things of which we become weary during our week, to worship and to serve that we might draw closer to He who created us all. The sabbath is a day we dedicate to our Creator.
In the final musical verse of “The Creation,” as solemnly as the composition begins, the words are these — “And the Lord looked around and saw that it was good. The evening came, the morning passed, the seventh day.” May we all become witnesses of the miracle of creation that is our God’s great work. May we as sons and daughters of God do all that we can to fill the earth and help it fulfill the greatest measure of its creation as home to God’s children. May we on His Sabbath Day rest, revere, honor and give thanks for the life we share on His bountiful gift to us all. Let us see His hand in everything that is the earth and go forth in gratitude for these great blessings. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.