In reading the book of Moses and Genesis, the description of the creation seems to indicate that the beasts of the field were created at the same time as Man and Woman. There are teachings that indicate Adam and Eve were created separately on the sixth day. Can you help with this inconsistency?
The scriptures relate the accounts of two separate creations. The first, as revealed in the Book of Abraham, Chapter 4, was a spiritual creation, which preceded the physical creation. An analogy of the spiritual creation would be the process in creating a large office building. The building is created first on paper by the architect. In the architect’s plans and drawings every detail of the building exists–the dimensions of the building and every detail in it; the materials of which it is made, the colors with which it will be painted, the design and location of all the services; water, with all the pipes completely specified, including the material of which they will be constructed, the size, dimensions and locations of all the pipes, and every other detail of all the plumbing in the building. The electrical services will be designed and displayed in equal detail; the same for the heating and air conditioning, as well was all the details of the surrounding grounds. And yet, no physical building will exist. From the account in Abraham 4, we read—
First, the earth is created.
And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is, the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. Abr. 4:1
And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light Abr. 4:3
And the Gods ordered the expanse, so that it divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so even as they ordered. Abr. 4:7
And the Gods ordered, saying: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the earth come up dry, and it was so as they ordered. Abr 4:9
All the above is in the past tense—“They organized and formed” “it was so even as they ordered.”
Beginning with Abr. 4:11 the Gods speak of what they plan to do—
“Let us prepare the earth to bring forth grass,” “the Gods organized the earth to bring forth grass,”
The earth was prepared for planting, but the planting had not yet taken place.
Next, the Gods caused day and night to occur.
And the Gods organized the lights in the expanse of the heaven, and caused them to divide the day from the night. Abr: 4:14
After this they prepared the earth for animal life.
And the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life; and the fowl, that they may fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven. Abr. 4:20
And the Gods prepared the waters, Abr. 4:21
And the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things, and beast of the earth after their kind, Abr 4:24
And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; Abr 4:25
The Abrahamic narrative next reports the plans of the Gods to put man on the earth.
Let us go down and form man in our image Abr 4:26
So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them. Abr. 4:27
And the Gods said, we will bless them . . We will cause them to be fruitful and multiply . . . we will give them every herb bearing seed . . . and also we will give them every green herb for meat, and all these things shall be thus organized. Abr 4:28-30
All the above reports planned for future action, as confirmed in Abr. 5:5
for the Gods had not caused it to rain upon the earth when they counseled to do them, and had not formed a man to till the ground.
After organizing the earth with its dry land, sea, air and moisture, and then preparing it for plant and animal life, and for the advent of Adam, Adam was brought to the earth.
And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground. Abr. 5:7
Next, the Gods caused vegetation to grow on the earth.
And the Gods planted a garden, eastward in Eden. . . And out of the ground made the Gods to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Abr 5:8-9
Next, the Gods brought the animals to the earth.
And out of the ground the Gods formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air. Abr. 5:20
Thus, the Gods first created the earth, then planned its development. The plan proceeded from the advent of plants to animals and finally to man. However, in the actual process of populating the earth after its creation, Adam came first, then vegetation was introduced and finally the animal kingdom was brought forth.
How long was Adam here before the fall? That is not known, but it is stated that when Adam received the instruction concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil, time as we know it was not yet being measured.
Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning. Abr. 5:13
We learn much additional information about the creation process from the words of the modern day prophets. The Prophet Brigham Young specifically states that Adam was born on another earth and was the chief operator in the development of this world. He records—
“Though we have it in history that our Father Adam was made of the dust of this earth and that he knew nothing about his God previous to being made here, yet it is not so; and when we learn the truth we shall see and understand that he helped to make this world and was the chief manager in that operation.
“He was the person who brought the animals and the seeds from other planets to this world and brought a wife with him and stayed here. You may read and believe what you please as to what is found written in the Bible. Adam was made from the dust of an earth, but not from the dust of this earth. He was made as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle.”
The planning of this earth and its actual creation were carried out in chiastic order. In the planning stage, plants and animals were created first, followed by the advent of Adam and Eve. In the actual work of creation, Adam came first and was instrumental in the succeeding advent of plants and animals.
The creation account in Moses relates that
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;
Thus the Book of Moses account is the account of its physical creation, with Adam coming first. The continuation of this verse confirms that it is referring to the physical creation by making reference to a prior spiritual creation, as the verse continues—
nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word. (Moses 3:7).
The biblical account in Genesis 1, and the first part of Chapter 2 speaks of the spiritual creation, ending with Gen. 2:4-5
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground (Gen 2:4-5).
Genesis 2:6-7 begin the account of the physical creation, with man as the first of the creation process—
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
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 (Gen 2:6-7).
Following the advent of Adam and Eve, the Bible gives a sketchy account of the physical creation, mentioning the plants but not the animals.