Chronological Scripture Study Series: Cain and Abel

First off, I’m sorry for the delay. I ended up having shoulder surgery last week and typing afterwards was pretty painful.

To pick up our scriptural study we are reading the story of Cain & Abel found in the following scriptures:

Genesis 4

Moses 5

I’m still following the Chronological Scripture Timeline found here.

I’m going to be totally honest with you guys, I had not actually read Genesis 4 before. I was aware of the basics of the story; the sons of Adam and Eve, were Cain and Abel and Cain killed Abel in a field out of jealousy. The end. Well, at least that was the end of my understanding of it.

I started reading Genesis 4 and it really bothered me. Cain and Abel prepared offerings for the Lord and God accepted and favored Abel’s offering but didn’t accept Cain’s. As a parent, and in general as a person who tries to treat people justly, this bugged me. Why? There is no explanation other than it wasn’t pleasing to the Lord. This struck me as extremely arbitrary and cruel. Enough so that I put my scriptures down and walked away for a while.

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Cain and Abel by Robert T. Barrett LDS Media Library

Thankfully, I know there is more to the story. This is one of those times when I am beyond grateful that we have additional scriptures available to help us further understand the Bible. Without the additional knowledge found in The Pearl of Great Price, this is a story of an arbitrary and vengeful God, not the loving Heavenly Father I know we all have. In Moses 5 we learn that the reason God is not pleased with Cain’s offering is because Cain was already in league with Satan at this time and was trying to play both sides for his own gain. Murdering his brother was not his first sin out of greed, just his largest. Without this backstory it seems like Cain was a innocent and faithful man who suddenly snapped, not a greedy and murderous man out only for himself at the expense of all others.

This is one of those times my scripture study has strengthened and cleared my testimony. I know there are eternal and important truths to be found within The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine & Covenants, and the continued words of our Prophets and Apostles in General Conference talks. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and that his ways are always for our benefit, even when we cannot see the full picture.

Next week we will read Moses 6-7 about Enoch.

If you are new to the series you can find the first in the series here.

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