Profiles of the patriarchs: Noah

Noah, the son of Lamech, known as Gabriel in the pre-mortal existence (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157), is considered a second father to the human race. Through Noah, the Lord fulfilled His promise to Enoch that his seed would continue and a remnant of his posterity would inhabit all nations. Noah was ordained to the priesthood at age 10 by Methusela. (D&C 107:52.)

Noah continued Enoch's pattern of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ including faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. (Moses 8:19, 23-24.) Men sought to kill him, but he was protected by the Lord.Well aware of the warning of a global flood if the people did not repent, Noah preached and prophesied for many years. However, the "wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually." (Moses 8:22.)

Eventually, God spoke to Noah and said, "the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth." (Moses 8:30.)

According to the Bible Dictionary, "The tradition of a great flood is found in nearly every ancient culture." Noah was directed to build an ark, and gather within it male and female animals "to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth." In the 600th year of his life, rains began. Noah and his wife, said to be a daughter of Enoch, and their sons - Japeth, Shem and Ham - and their wives, a total of eight people, survived aboard the ark with the animals. All else, "in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died." (Gen. 7:22.)

After 150 days, the waters abated and slowly receded. Noah and his family remained in the ark nearly a year before exiting to begin tilling the soil and rebuilding and repopulating the earth. The Lord promised Noah that never again would the earth be entirely flooded, that the seasons for growing would not cease, and commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful, to multiply and replenish the earth. (Gen. 9:1-17.)

Noah lived to be 950 years of age before he died. He holds "the keys of a dispensation and stands next to Adam in authority," according to the Bible Dictionary. (p. 739.) As Gabriel, Noah announced to Zacharias the birth of John the Baptist. Noah is also an Elias, according to the Bible Dictionary:

"The title Elias has also been applied to many others for specific missions or restorative functions that they are to fulfill, for example, John the Revelator (D&C 77:14); and Noah or Gabriel (D&C 27:6-7, see Luke 1:11-20)," states the Bible Dictionary.

In Answers to Gospel Questions, (Vol. 3, pp. 138-39), Joseph Fielding Smith states:

"Summarizing the facts - Joseph Smith revealed that Gabriel was Noah; Luke declared that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Zechariah and Mary; and the Lord has declared that Elias appeared to Zacharias and Joseph Smith."

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