Enos 1:1-8 “My Soul Hungered”
Perhaps some youth or others in our day are like Enos, not yet taking the gospel seriously. But because they have been raised “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (verse 1), they may yet come to a point where they go before God and “wrestle” for a remission of sins (verse 2). Parents everywhere can hold on to hope that their Enos-like children may yet come to a point where their souls hunger, as they remember their parents’ teachings of “eternal life, and the joy of the saints” which sink deep into their hearts (verses 3-4).
In these verses, when the Lord tells Enos, “thy sins are forgiven thee,” Enos seems surprised and amazed and he asks, “Lord, how is it done?” (verses 5-7). The Lord’s reply is a lesson to all of His children everywhere: “Because of thy faith in Christ … wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole” (verse 8). Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ always has been and always will be the first principle of the gospel (see Articles of Faith 1:4), and as we build on our faith and “go to,” it will lead to all other blessings, but none greater than the sweet miracle of forgiveness.
Enos 1:2-18 Mighty Prayer
In verses 2 and 4 Enos used the following terms to describe his prayers: Wrestle, hungered, kneeled down, cried, mighty prayer, supplication, all the day long, raise my voice. Continue searching in verses 5-18 for other words and phrases that pertain to his prayers and the results of his prayers. Ask yourself, “Are my prayers ever like this?” Consider how you may improve your personal prayers.
Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon 1:12-18 “Stirring Them Up Continually”
During the 300 years covered in these four short books of scripture, the Nephites were often in danger of “going down speedily to destruction” (Enos 1:23), as evidenced by the following:
- “…the people were a stiffnecked people, hard to understand” (Enos 1:22).
- “…exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions … continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God … stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord … [using] exceedingly great plainness of speech” (Enos 1:23).
- “…it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks” (Jarom 1:3).
- “…the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi…[that] they should be destroyed” (Jarom 1:10).
- “…the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence, … by so doing, they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land” (Jarom 1:11-12).
- “…they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance” (Jarom 1:12).
- “…we had many seasons of serious war and bloodshed … [and] the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed … the Lord did visit them in great judgment” (Omni 1:3, 5, 7).
- “…they were admonished continually by the word of God” (Omni 1:13).
- “…there had been false Christs … and false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people” (Words of Mormon 1:15-16).
- “…there having been much contention and many dissensions” (Words of Mormon 1:16).
- “…King Benjamin [and other holy men] did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people” (Words of Mormon 1:17).
How does our day compare to the Nephites in these chapters? What are we hearing from our own prophets and other inspired leaders? What kind of language do our living prophets and apostles use to teach, counsel, warn, and prophesy? How closely do we listen and follow, repenting when needed?
Enos 1:26-27 Calling and Election
Enos knew he was going to die and stated plainly, “I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest … [and] see his face with pleasure” (verse 27). How did Enos have such assurance of his eternal reward? This is the doctrine of “calling and election.” The following is from the July 1976 Ensign:
“The knowledge that one will become exalted with the privileges of continuing on to eternal life can be certain in this life. This is what making one’s calling and election sure is all about…. The following scripture gives the definition: ‘The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.’ (D&C 131:5).
“As expressed by Elder Bruce R. McConkie: ‘To have one’s calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world’… (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Bookcraft, 1973, 3:330–31.)…
“The Prophet Joseph said: ‘After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure.’… He may then have the privilege of receiving the Second Comforter. This Comforter is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face.’… (See Teachings, pp. 150–51.)
“The assurance of being accepted of the Lord was also known to many of the Nephites: Enos (see Enos 1:27), Alma the Elder (see Mosiah 26:20), the Three Nephites (see 3 Ne. 28:4-11), and others (see 3 Ne. 28:1-3). The promise of becoming a member of the church of the Firstborn is also made to Latter-day Saints. (See D&C 76:50-60.)… Joseph Smith himself was told by the Lord that he had been sealed unto exaltation and that the Lord had prepared a throne for him ‘in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.’ (D&C 132:49.)”
Omni A Little History
We cannot fully know the spiritual state of Omni, Amaron, Chemish, and Abinadom (see verses 1-11), but we are eternally grateful for their faithfulness as custodians of the sacred plates. Amaleki, the final contributor to the book of Omni, explained the Book of Mormon’s third separation of the righteous from among the wicked. First was Lehi’s departure from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2); then Nephi and his followers left the land of first inheritance (2 Nephi 5); and now Mosiah and his followers depart from the land of Nephi (Omni 1:12-14). Then the people of Mosiah encountered the people of Zarahemla, who had come independently from Jerusalem about the same time as Lehi. In turn, these people (sometimes called the Mulekites) had encountered the last remnant of the Jaredites (who had come centuries earlier; verses 15-22).
Omni 1:25-27 “I Would That Ye Should Come Unto Christ”
Amaleki records one of scripture’s many powerful, straight-forward invitations, “exhorting all men to come unto God” (verse 25), followed by: “I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption” (verse 26). How do we do this? Amaleki continues, “Offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end” (verse 26). Let us ponder what it means to each of us to offer our “whole soul” to God.
Words of Mormon Many Records
The Book of Mormon, as we have it today, is a composite taken from numerous records which were kept and abridged by many prophets across many centuries. The complication of which portions came from which plates and were recorded by which prophets and when and where—along with the fact that all mentions of these logistical technicalities are perfectly consistent and harmonious throughout the Book of Mormon—is one of the many internal textual testimonies that the Book of Mormon was not written by the Prophet Joseph Smith, but rather an inspired translation of ancient records. The abundance of such evidence is a confirming addition to the more important witness—that of the Holy Ghost—of the truthfulness and value of the Book of Mormon.