Moses 7:1-12 “I Beheld the Heavens Open”
Enoch received the priesthood at age 25, being ordained by Adam (see D&C 107:48). In this chapter, Enoch’s powerful ministry continues, and the account offers a treasure of history, doctrine, prophecy, and visionary experiences. In verses 1, 10-13 Enoch continued his invitations to the people to be baptized, become born again of the Spirit, and become one in Christ (see also Moses 6:64-68). This invitation is accompanied by Enoch’s warning, noting that “many have believed not, and have perished in their sins” (verse 1).
Enoch, being “clothed upon with glory” (“transfigured”; verse 3; see also Moses 1:11), saw and spoke with the Lord, who showed Enoch a vision of the world “for the space of many generations” (verse 4). Enoch then prophesied battles in which the people of Canaan would destroy the people of Shum, after which the people of Canaan would be cursed:
- Their land would be barren forever, unfruitful, and suffer “much heat” (verses 7-8).
- A “blackness” would come upon the children of Canaan, and they would be despised among all people (verse 8). Note that it does not say that the “blackness” pertained to their skin color nor to any other physical feature; it may simply mean that they would be without the light of the gospel. Also, the statement in verse 22, “the seed of Cain were black,” may or may not refer to skin color.
Moses 7:12-21 Zion
Being blessed to overcome his initial reluctance (see Moses 6:26-34), Enoch continued his mighty ministry:
- Find the things Enoch did, and the opposition he faced, in verses 13-15. Compare “the word of Enoch” in verse 13 to what Enoch said about himself in Moses 6:31.
- What things did Enoch and the Lord’s people do in verses 16-19 which led them to being “taken up into heaven” (as stated in verses 21, 69; see also 4 Nephi 1:2-3, 15-16; D&C 97:21). What can you do to better build a Zion-like atmosphere in your home and community?
- Note how the Lord blesses or curses people and their lands, depending on their behavior; His motivation is to help them learn obedience (verses 7-10, 15, 17, 20).
President Spencer W. Kimball taught what we must do in our day to help build Zion: “Eliminate individual tendency to selfishness that snares the soul, shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind…. Cooperate completely and work in harmony one with the other…. Lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord…. Learn our duty and execute it fully…. Consecrate our time, talents, and means as called upon by our file leaders and as prompted by the whisperings of the Spirit” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 363).
Moses 7:23-27 Enoch’s Visions
The Lord showed Enoch “all the nations of the earth” and “generation upon generation,” and he saw the power of Satan “upon all the face of the earth [which] veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness.” Enoch also saw that the wickedness among God’s children caused Satan and his angels to laugh and rejoice (see also 3 Nephi 9:2; Moses 5:21).
In contrast, Enoch saw that the Lord’s reaction to all this was to send angels to bear testimony, resulting in many receiving the Holy Ghost and then being “caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion” (verse 27). Apparently this means that after the city of Zion had been taken up into heaven (“translated”; verse 21), others who became righteous were also taken up to join Zion (except Enoch’s son Methuselah, who remained on earth to carry on Enoch’s posterity; see Moses 8:1).
Moses 7:28-41 Enoch Inquires of God
When was the last time you cried because of someone you love? Among the most poignant episodes of all our scriptures are those movingly described in verses 28-67. Carefully read and ponder the following:
- In verse 28, how did God respond to the wickedness of His children? How did Enoch react to this?
- How did Enoch explain his question? (verses 29-31).
- Note in verse 31, four of the qualities of God’s “habitation” or home in heaven: peace, justice, truth, and mercy. This is a pattern we can look for in God’s house on earth—the temple—and a pattern we can strive for in our own homes.
- How would you summarize the Lord’s extensive answer (verses 32-40) to Enoch’s question (verse 28)?
- What did the Lord say would happen to His children who would not choose Him to be their Father? (verses 38-39; but see also D&C 76:73; D&C 138:5-11, 29-37).
- God helped open Enoch’s heart and eyes, and Enoch became more god-like. After coming to understand why God wept, how did Enoch react? (verse 41). What experiences have you had that have opened your eyes and your heart? Does your heart swell and your bowels yearn over unrighteousness among the Lord’s children?
Moses 7:42-47 Another Concern and Question
The next issue that Enoch takes to the Lord is that of the deaths of all God’s children on earth (except Noah’s family) during the Flood. Whereas Enoch initially wondered how God could be so distressed over the poor choices of some few of His innumerable children upon unnumbered creations (in verses 28-31), this time Enoch’s reaction shows that he had learned much from the Lord’s answer (found in verses 32-33, 36-37).
Again in vision, Enoch sees Noah (who would be Enoch’s great-grandson), who builds an ark which the Lord “smiled upon” and held “in his own hand,” while the floods destroyed the wicked (verses 42-43). Once again, Enoch is deeply touched and is moved upon to declare, “I will refuse to be comforted,” yet the Lord invites him, “Lift up your heart, and be glad” (verse 44).
What can comfort Enoch? Read verses 45-47. How can these verses lift Enoch—and us—from refusing to be comforted to a rejoicing soul? This is the good news of the gospel (see also Moroni 9:25-26; D&C 76:40-42).
But this answer of the Lord prompted an additional question from Enoch: “When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?” (verse 45). The Lord’s answer is, “in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance” (verse 46; see also 2 Nephi 10:3-5).
Moses 7:48-53 Another Perplexing Issue
As Enoch’s visions continue, he sees the earth and hears her say: “Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children” (verse 48). The earth then asks a question that becomes Enoch’s next concern: “When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me?” (verse 48). Again, Enoch weeps (verse 49).
Find in verses 49-50 the two questions that Enoch asks God. What plea did Enoch make of Him? How did the Lord reply in verses 51-52? The Lord climactically added: “I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall” (verse 53). Our Savior Jesus Christ is a Rock as “broad as eternity”—large enough to safely accommodate all of us, if we are willing to “come in at the gate” and “climb up” by Him. Enoch learned from God that we can be among those who “come forth with songs of everlasting joy” (verse 53).
Moses 7:54-67 One More Matter of Great Consequence
Enoch’s visions and learning have led him from one thought burden to another, and now comes his fifth question of concern, which grows from the compassion Enoch gained toward the earth and its suffering (in verses 48-49). In verse 54, Enoch asked God, “When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh [His mortal life], shall the earth rest?” We know that the answer to Enoch’s question is “no,” but the Lord’s reply to Enoch provides us a remarkable store of prophecies regarding His work in the last days:
- After seeing the crucifixion of the Savior—which caused the earth to groan—Enoch saw in vision the righteous of the spirit world coming forth in resurrection and being “crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man” (verses 55-57).
- But this did not provide Enoch with an answer regarding when the earth would rest, so he wept again and asked the question again, along with an additional query: “Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?” (verses 58-59). The Lord’s answer is emphatic: “As I live, even so will I come in the last days” (verse 60).
- Read verses 60-67 and make two lists of the things Enoch saw in our day: 1) Events and conditions inspired by Satan; and 2) Things the Lord will do. What things on these lists are already occurring? What things are yet to occur?
- Note that the Lord prophesied “great tribulations” (verses 61, 66), but added, “but my people will I preserve” (verse 61; see also 1 Nephi 22:16-17, 19; D&C 59:2).
- In verse 64 Enoch received the answer to his last question. After Enoch’s city of Zion returns and joins the latter-day Zion (or New Jerusalem), then “for the space of a thousand years [the Millennium] the earth shall rest.”
- Finally, Enoch became fully satisfied as he saw “the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption.” Thus, Enoch “received a fulness of joy” (verse 67). For Enoch and for us, Moses 7 provides many things that can cause us to weep, to inquire, and to feel joy.