They Were Also Living Souls

Feb 18, 2015
1 min read


“And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word…

And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil…

And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.” (Moses 3:7,9,19)


  1. Richard J. Nobbe III

    Sounds good. Am I missing something!?

  2. Richard J. Nobbe III

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking. Does it have to do with the fact that beasts, fowls, and trees are referred to as “souls” like man? Am I supposed to be seeing beasts, fowls, and trees as symbolic?

    • As I studied these verses I saw something that was significant to me, but I didn’t want to add any commentary to allow other people find significance for themselves. What do you think?

  3. Souls — seem to indicate spirit and physical combined. I think plants definitely have a spirit. Animals, yes. Algae, yea. mother earth seems to have a spirit. But not sure what your take was on all this.

    • It would require a whole series of posts to fully think though the things that come to mind but to sum it up, I wonder how we would interact with the various forms of life around us if we realized that they were created as carefully and lovingly as man.

      When I think of how we have industrialized plants and animals, we see mostly abuse on an incredible scale. I believe whole-heartedly that these things are for our use (not ABuse), but it is how we use them, when we use them, why we use them and using them when there is no need that I find most concerning.

      I just find the creation accounts in the Pearl of Great Price offer some amazing theology into creation and intelligence.

      • You sound a lot like Hugh Nibley (whom I love and continue to learn from). When I sold my home of 10 years, on the very day I signed the papers, my wisteria tree in the front yard suddenly burst all of it’s pods, and the seeds went flying. I picked handfuls up and saved them, and to this day I have some of the offspring growing in pots where I live now. That wisteria had never done that. After I moved out my neighbor said the new home owners had pulled that wisteria tree out and thrown it away.

        • I love Hugh Nibley too, he had such an original mind, but I don’t think I could hold a candle to him. That’s a really cool story about your tree. It’s interesting how trees specifically are mentioned in these verses and also from Jacob, where he mentions that the trees would obey them. I don’t know if you’ve ever read Orson Scott Card’s “Speaker for the Dead” but I was wondered if those scriptures kind of inspired him, because the alien race in that book had the ability to speak to trees and they would become anything that they needed like tools, lumber etc.

          Trees are interesting because they gain pretty much all of their mass from the carbon in the air. In a way they are almost made of air, and the Greek and Hebrew words we see used for spirit both mean wind or breath. The trees themselves literally provide us with the air that we breathe. And there were two trees in the garden, the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge. Jesus is compared to a tree of life, and he was crucified on a “tree.”

          Everything is connected. Perhaps if we took time to observe, we’d be a little more respectful. Thank you for that story again, and for sharing your thoughts.

          • Richard J. Nobbe III

            I think of two things right away. One, I think we get some understanding from D&C 88:25 that trees already abide a celestial law. And two, from the garden story and in the temple, do we not symbolically become trees?

          • Yes, I think you’re right. Lot’s of cool stuff to think of there.

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