Questions and Answers about
1. What was God doing before he created the earth?
"And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them. And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." --Moses 1:33,35,38,39
He was also creating our spirit selfs, and preparing us to go to earth.
2. Why several names for God, Yahweh, Elohim, Jehovah, etc.?
Names have different pronunciations depending on the languages. Yahweh was the name in Hebrew, and Jehovah is an anglicized version of the same name. Both are referring to the Premortal Christ. In Jewish theology the name of God was not to be uttered, so they used only consonant sounds. President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote,
"The "incommunicable name" of Deity has been preserved only in the form of four consonants. Traditionally this name of the Supreme being was not pronounced except with the vowel points of Adonai or Elohim, so that the true pronunciation was lost. The four consonants are variously written IHVH, JHVH, JHWH, YHVH, YHWH. Numerous attempts have been made to represent the supposed original form, as Jahaveh. Jahvah, Jahve, Javeh. Yahve, Yahveh, Yahwe, Yahweh, etc."
Elohim is the name referring to God the Father, distinguishing Him from Yahweh.
3. If God is all knowing and all powerful, he must know everything abut the future. Therefore he both knows and controls the future.
Isn't that a paradox? Therefore, did he not set up Adam & Eve to fail in the first place.
James Talmage, an Apostle and scholar, wrote this on the subject:
"The Fall came not by Chance — It would be unreasonable to suppose that the transgression of Eve and Adam came as a surprise to the Creator. By His infinite foreknowledge, God knew what would be the result of Satan's temptation to Eve, and what Adam would do under the resulting conditions. Further, it is evident that the fall was foreseen to be a means whereby man could be brought into direct experience with both good and evil, so that of his own agency he might elect the one or the other, and thus be prepared by the experiences of a mortal probation for the exaltation provided in the beneficent plan of his creation: It was the purpose of God to place within the reach of the spirits begotten by Him in the heavens the means of individual effort, and the opportunity of winning not merely redemption from death but also salvation and even exaltation, with the powers of eternal progression and increase. Hence it was necessary that the spiritual offspring of God should leave the scenes of their primeval childhood and enter the school of mortal experience, meeting, contending with, and overcoming evil, according to their several degrees of faith and strength. Adam and Eve could never have been the parents of a mortal posterity had they not themselves become mortal; mortality was an essential element in the divine plan respecting the earth and its appointed inhabitants; and, as a means of introducing mortality, the Lord placed before the progenitors of the race a law, knowing what would follow."
4. Why did Yahweh reject Cain's sacrifice of vegetables? Why did Yahweh demand sacrifices in the first place?
Genesis is fairly vague on why Cain's sacrifice was rejected. We find a more detailed account on why in the Book of Moses.
"And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord. And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. Now Satan knew this, and it pleased him. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell." -- (Moses 5:18-21)
Cain only made the sacrifice, not because God commanded him to, but because Satan did and Cain loved Satan more than God. We also find out why God commanded sacrifices in Moses 5:5-8.
"And he God gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord. And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore."
So the sacrifice was supposed to be the first lamb, symbolizing the Firstborn Lamb of God. This is why vegetables weren't acceptable.
5. If God exists, then why is he hiding?
I don't think God is hiding at all, at least He hasn't been hiding from me. And I don't think He has been hiding from the world. I do think the some people just don't want, or are scared, to find Him. Isaiah recorded a prophecy from God about these days saying,
"Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Isaiah 29:14)
What marvelous works He has brought about in our day? The heavens are still open. He has given us latter day prophets, given us new scripture and restored His Priesthood to the Earth. He is answering prayers, performing miracles, and touching the lives of His children all over the earth.
"The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day." (Deuteronomy 29:3-4)
Maybe we need to open our eyes and our hearts a little wider.
6. And just why did God create man? For his own perverse pleasure? To toy with mankind and to test mankind?
To send the believers to heaven to serve Him there and to cast the others into Hell so Satan can have his pleasure with the unbelievers?
Here are some of the reasons God gave for creating man and placing him on Earth:
"For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)
"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:16-17)
"And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God. And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." (Moses 5:10-11)
God wants all of us to find joy, and He gave us the plan the means of attaining it. But since there are rules there are consequences, and when someone breaks the rules the consequences must follow. It is not God's will that anyone should be condemned to Hell, but God is just. And if God makes a rule, He must follow that rule. If he doesn't then God would be a liar, and would cease to be God. Jesus taught us to be perfect, like our Father in Heaven is perfect. In other words, they are training us to be like Themselves, so that we can be Joint Heirs, and be equal in glory to Christ, just like Paul taught. What righteous father wouldn't want his children to attain all that he has?