Lesson 14: Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon
We will concentrate on Enos 1-18 and several verses in Omni.
As you read through Enos, notice what an accomplished writer he is. Though the scriptures are filled with good writing, few scriptural writers write as well as he.
Verses 1-2: This sentence is odd. It begins with a thought, “I Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man,” then it moves to an example of his father’s justice (namely that he taught Enos his language and he taught him “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”), then it takes up the theme of the rest of the book, Enos’s wrestle before the Lord and its results. The first part begins the sentence as if Enos intended to tell us something about what he did because he knew his father was just, then he seems to get side-tracked. Can you explain what is going on here? Why does Enos mention that his father taught him his language? Surely all parents teach their children their language. What point is Enos making? What does it mean that Enos’s father taught him in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”? What does “nurture” mean? What would the Lord’s nurture be? How would one teach it to someone? What does “admonition” mean? Is it perhaps being used here as a synonym for “nurture”? The same phrase appears in Ephesians 6:4, where it means something like “discipline and instruction.” Does it have the same meaning here? In verse two, why does Enos describe his experience as a wrestle with God. Does he perhaps have Jacob’s wrestle with the Lord (or one of his messengers) in mind (cf. Genesis 32:24-26)?
Verse 3: Can you think of specific things in Jacob’s teaching to which Enos may be referring when he writes about the words he had often heard his father speak? What does “eternal life” mean in this context? The phrase is used eighty-eight times in scripture, but it is never use in the Old Testament. On the other hand, on a percentage basis it occurs twice as often in the New Testament as in the Book of Mormon (though the Book of Mormon uses are almost all before Christ’s coming?Old Testament times), and about twice as often in the Doctrine and Covenants as in the New Testament. What do you make of those differences in usage? Though the words “joy” and “saints” are frequently referred to in scripture, this is the only place where the phrase, “the joy of the saints,” occurs. What do you think it means?
Verses 4-5: What does Enos mean when he says his soul hungered? What caused his soul to hunger? For what did it hunger? What is supplication? What has it to do with his hunger of soul?
Verse 6: Enos says here that his guilt was swept away, but he didn’t mention guilt before. Instead he talked about remembering what he had heard about eternal life and the joy of the saints? Why does guilt come up here?
Verses 7-8: Enos asks “How?” and the Lord replies “Because.” How can “because” answer a why question? What does it mean to “go to”? (Compare Genesis 11:7.) What is the Lord commanding Enos? What does it mean to be whole? When the Lord says that Enos has “never before” before seen or heard Christ, does that suggest that he now has?
Verse 9: What do we learn from Enos’s reaction to receiving forgiveness? To whom do his thoughts turn?
Verse 10: How is the Lord’s promise an answer to Enos’s prayer? This is the same promise that has been given all along. How is it an answer to his concerns for their welfare?
Verse 11: In verse 4, he prayed for his own soul; in verse 9, he prayed for his family (presumably the Nephites); now he prays for the Lamanites. Is a series of steps or a progression of some kind? Why does he call the Lamanites “my brethren”?
Verses 12-13: Notice the difference between what happens in response to his concern for the Lamanites and what happened in response to his concern for the Nephites. When he asked about the Nephites, the original promise was repeated to him. When he asks about the Lamanites, the Lord tells him he can have whatever he desires for them. Why the difference? Why does the Lord grant Enos “according to [his] desires” in this case? Why does Enos imagine the possibility about which he is concerned?that the Nephites will be destroyed and the Lamanites not? What do you think might motivate that particular concern?
Verse 14: How does his description of the Lamanites compare with his description of them as his brethren? What do we see about Enos in these things? What might the Lamanites have meant when they threatened to destroy the traditions of the Nephites’ fathers? What specific fathers would they have had in mind at this date?
Verses 13-18: Notice that Enos (as are also Jarom and Omni after him) is quite concerned that the records be preserved? Why? Why is it important that their concern be recorded in the Book of Mormon? What does it mean to us?
Why do Omni, Amaron, Chemish, and Abinadom write so little on the plates? And, why would Omni confess of his wickedness in the plates? Why mention it?
Verse 11: What does this verse tell us about the Nephite people at the time of Abinadom?
Verses 12-22: What do these verses show us about the Book of Mormon and Book of Mormon peoples?
Verse 25: Ameleki exhorts us to believe in four things: in prophesying and revelations, in the ministering of angels, in the gift of tongues, and in the gift of interpretation. Then he adds to those specific things that we should believe in all good things. What is the significance of the particular things he mentions? Why mention those four things rather than some others? In other words, when we choose examples of something, those examples often reveal much about what we are thinking, how we see the matter we are thinking about, and how we want those we are addressing to understand our point. What do these examples tell us about Ameleki and his message?
Verse 26: How do we come to Christ? How do we partake of his salvation? Are coming to him and partaking of his salvation one thing or two? Does “the power of his redemption” means something different than “his redemption”? How do we partake of the power of his redemption? Is”partake of his salvation and the power of his redemption” parallel to “offer your whole souls unto him, and continue in fasting and prayer, and endure to the end”? In the context of this verse, what does it mean to be saved? From what are we saved?
Verses 28-30: What do these verses tell us about the Book of Mormon and Book of Mormon peoples?