In 1961, Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then of the Council of the Twelve, spoke of the mighty prayer summarized in Enos 1:1-4:
"May we remember Enos, who, like many of us, had great need," Elder Kimball said. "Like many sons of good families he strayed. How heinous were his sins I do not know, but they must have been grievous."Enos wrote: "And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. . . ."
"The account is graphic, his words impressive," Elder Kimball said.
Enos said: "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."
Elder Kimball noted that memory was both cruel and kind, recalling not only pleasantness but also ugliness.
Enos recorded: "And my soul hungered; . . . "
"The spirit of repentance was taking hold," Elder Kimball said, noting that Enos was "eager to bury the old man of sin, to resurrect the new man of faith, godliness."
Enos continued: ". . . and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; . . . "
"He had now come to realize that no one can be saved in his sins, that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. . . . He knew it was not a small thing to change hearts, and minds, and tissues."
Enos wrote: ". . . and all day long did I cry unto him; . . ."
"Here," said Elder Kimball, "is no casual prayer; here no trite, worn phrases; here no momentary appeal. . . . When the sun had set, relief had still not come, for repentance is not a single act nor forgiveness an unearned gift. So precious to him was communication with, and approval of, his Redeemer that his determined soul pressed on without ceasing. . . .
"Could the Redeemer resist such determined imploring? How many of you have thus persisted? How many of you, with or without serious transgressions, have ever prayed all day and into the night? . . .
"How much do you pray, . . . how often? How earnestly? If you should have errors in your life, have you wrestled before the Lord? Have you found your deep forest of solitude? . . . As you struggle in the spirit and cry mightily and covenant sincerely, the voice of the Lord God will come into your mind, as it did to that of Enos:
" `Thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blest.' "
About half a millenium separates books
Two of the shortest records in the Book of Mormon are Jarom and the Words of Mormon. A little more than half a millennium separates the two records: Jarom ended about 361 B.C.; the date for the Words of Mormon is about A.D. 385.
The Church Educational System's student manual on the Book of Mormon contains the following about information recorded in the book of Jarom:
- The Nephite record keepers knew the record would be for the benefit of the Lamanites. (v. 2.)
- Apostasy was rampant among the Nephites. (v. 3.)
- A strong group of believers communed with the Holy Spirit and kept the commandments. (vs. 4-5.)
- The Lamanites were more numerous than the Nephites and had degenerated into a primitive state of existence. (v. 6.)
- The Nephites, led by men of great righteousness, prevailed in battle. (v. 7.)
- The Nephites expanded beyond a simple agricultural form of society. (v. 8.)
- Only constant preaching kept the Nephites from being destroyed by the Lamanites. (v. 12.)
In A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Daniel H. Ludlow wrote regarding the time span between the Words of Mormon and other writings immediately preceding that record:
"The two pages comprising the Words of Mormon are approximately five hundred years out of context. . . .
"The Words of Mormon were apparently written near the end of Mormon's life for the purpose of connecting two major records. It was made known to Mormon `by the workings of the Spirit of the Lord' that the small plates of Nephi (which ended when Benjamin was a relatively young man) might be used to replace his abridgment of the book of Lehi [the first book on the large plates of Nephi] which ended when Benjamin was an old man about ready to die. So that a gap would not occur in the history of the Nephites, Mormon included the major events of the lifetime of King Benjamin in The Words of Mormon, thus connecting the account on the small plates of Nephi with Mormon's abridgment of the book of Mosiah."
Book of Omni comprised of brief records
Five record keepers inscribed the book of Omni, the first four of whom wrote little.
In three verses, Omni wrote he fought for his people, but claimed he was a "wicked man" who had not kept the commandments as he ought to have. (Omni 1:1.)
Summing up the history of the Nephites, he wrote they "had many seasons of peace and many seasons of serious war and bloodshed." (Omni 1:3.)
Amaron wrote of growing Nephite apostasy and recorded that the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed. (Omni 1:5.)
There is no specific method of destruction given, but one might surmise it was in battle with the Lamanites, since Omni 1:7 states that the Lord "did deliver [the righteousT out of the hands of their enemies." One might conclude that the wicked were not so delivered.
Chemish wrote one verse acknowledging he received and then passed on the record. (Omni 1:9.)
Abinadom, son of Chemish, reported he saw much war and contention between the Nephites and Lamanites, and that he had killed many Lamanites defending his brethren. He wrote that he knew of no revelation or prophecy that had not already been recorded. (Omni 1:10-11.)
It is through Amaleki's record that the reader learns of a second colony of Jews, headed by Mulek, who escaped the destruction of Jerusalem and settled in the New World. Mulek's descendants were discovered during the reign of Mosiah, king over the land of Zarahemla.
Because the descendants of Mulek had no written records, their language had become so corrupted that the Nephites could not understand them, and they "denied the being of their Creator." (Omni 1:15-19.)
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the Gospel Doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by Gerry Avant
Sources: A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, by Daniel H. Ludlow; The Church Educational System's Student Manual on the Book of Mormon; and BYU Speeches of the Year, Oct. 11, 1961.