Enos

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THE BOOK OF ENOS

You've done an awesome job, Enos!
A voice tells Enos that he has been saved by Jesus--Enos prophesies about the evil Lamanites--He expects God to receive him with pleasure when he dies.

LDS.org Cartoon Version - Chapter 11: Enos


Guess what words the Book of Enos starts with.

I'll give you a hint. It's he same phrase that the previous two books of the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi and Jacob) started with, and it is used (by my count anyway) 1424 times in the Book of Mormon.

That's right. It came to pass.

(1) I, Enos
So now we know that the little book of Enos was written by Enos ("I, Enos") in the language of his father, Jacob.

As I'm sure you'll recall, at the end of the last book (the Book of Jacob) Jacob ("I, Jacob") "began to be old" and gave his plates to his son Enos, before bidding us all "adieu."

Now you might get the impression from Jacob's use of the word "adieu" that Jacob spoke French, but he didn't. He spoke good, old-fashioned Reformed Egyptian like all other native Americans in 500 BCE. He just threw in the word "adieu" (which originated in late 14th century Europe) to impress you.

But back to the story (translated by Joseph Smith into 17th century English from the Reformed Egyptian).

(3-18) There came a voice unto me, saying: Enos....
One day Enos went out to hunt beasts in the forest when a voice in his head started talking to him. Enos has a long conversation with the voice, which tells him that he is forgiven through his faith in Jesus, who wouldn't be born for another 500 years. And whatever he asks "in the name of Christ," he will receive. God also "covenanted" with Enos, saying he'd preserve his plates with the Lamanites.

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man -- for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord -- and blessed be the name of my God for it --
2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.
3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?
8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
9 Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.
10 And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments. I have given unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I curse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their transgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.
11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.
12 And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.
13 And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him -- that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation --
14 For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.
15 Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.
16 And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time.
17 And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.
18 And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine. (19-20) The Lamanites ... were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness ... And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
After the voice in his head quieted down, Enos prophesied to the Nephites about the evil, wild, ferocious, bloodthirsty, and filthy Lamanites (Native Americans).

(20) Their skill was in ... the cimeter.
Enos tells us a remarkable fact about the Lamanites. They were especially skilled in using the cimeter. And they only ate raw meat.
[A Cimeter (or scimitar) is a curved sword with the sharp edge on the convex side. This type of sword did not exist at the time Enos was supposedly written (ca. 500 BCE). Indeed there is no evidence that swords of any kind existed in pre-Columbian America.]

(21) The people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.
The Nephites, on the other hand, were civilized people. They cooked their food and grew "all manner of grain" and had "all manner of cattle ... and also many horses." (Cattle, horses, and European grains were absent in pre-Columbian North America.)

(22) There were exceedingly many prophets among us.
It wasn't easy for Enos, though, to prophesy among the Nephites because there were exceedingly many other Nephite prophets. But he did his best, speaking with exceeding harshness.

Luckily he had read his dad's book so he knew how to talk with "exceedingly great plainness of speech," as you've no doubt already noticed.

19 And now it came to pass that I, Enos, went about among the people of Nephi, prophesying of things to come, and testifying of the things which I had heard and seen.
20 And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God. But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
21 And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.
22 And there were exceedingly many prophets among us. And the people were a stiffnecked people, hard to understand.
23 And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things -- stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. And after this manner do I write concerning them.
24 And I saw wars between the Nephites and Lamanites in the course of my days.
25 And it came to pass that I began to be old, and an hundred and seventy and nine years had passed away from the time that our father Lehi. Lehi left Jerusalem.
26 And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world. (27) Nephi ends his little booklet with this:
I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me....
Which reminds me of this verse from "You and me (but mostly me)" from my all-time favorite musical. (The Book of Mormon).

I've always had the hope,
That on the day I go to heaven.
Heavenly Father will shake my hand and say,
"You've done an awesome job, Kevin!"

27 And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen.

And it came to pass (1, 9, 12, 19, 21, 25)

Exceedingly [22, 23(2)]

(1) in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

(8) Thy faith hath made thee whole. -- Matthew 9:22

(15) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. -- Matthew 21:22

(27a) This mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53

(27b) Come, ye blessed of my Father. Matthew 25:34

(27c) In my Father's house are many mansions ... I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2






Dwindling in Unbelief
Glenn Beck explains how Native Americans became the blood-thirsty savages called "Lamanites" in the Book of Mormon (Enos 20)
Did God curse Mitt Romney by darkening his skin? (20)
You've done an awesome job, Enos!

The Annotated Book of Mormon
Enos 1