Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book of Mormon Sunday II- Enos-Words of Mormon

      Would you buy a book entitled "How to Pray and Stay Awake"? Enos certainly has a few hints in that direction. He prayed with all the energy of his heart, both day and into the night. He was rewarded with a gift that only the power of the Atonement can give. His sins were removed and he felt them lift for good.
    Enos 5 "And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said: Lord, how is it done? 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."
     I had a recent conversation with a friend about knowing your sins are forgiven. She was disturbed by the scriptures relating to the final judgement. Her question was if Jesus remembers your sins no more why are you then judged by what you do and say in the final judgement. I tried to tell her that the events in our lives, like this experience of Enos are on the right side of the "ledger". At the final judgment wouldn't this statement of Enos be sweet evidence of the goodness of the Savior Jesus Christ? To be judged by our repentance is not a negative. In the final judgement He will be our defense attorney and his pleading for us will show how we desired him and gave our heart to HIm.
   I am comforted to know that there are some, even in the wickedest times, who are not stiff-necked. They are often the reason why God Stays the hand of destruction.
    Jarom 4 "And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith." 
    Amaleki is one writer in this long succession of family members who hold the plates and have stewardship to write the events of their days. He seems enamored with the first Mosiah. I suspect he followed with the people of Mosiah and knew first hand the faith that this leader exhibited. 

     Omni 13 "And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla."
  Leaving with Mosiah seems to have strengthened Amaleki and he gives us a fervent testimony of the power of the Atonement to save.
    Omni 26 "And now, my beloved brethren, 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. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

  Why does Mormon show up in this section of the Book of Mormon? This sounds like the end of the Book of Mormon. This book is placed here to explain what we have just read. Mormon has been abridging many records. After working on the large plates of Nephi he finds a smaller group of plates with words of Nephi and Jacob and he likes them because of the teachings of Christ which they contain. He is including these smaller plates "for a wise purpose". That purpose does not reveal itself until 1828, when Joseph Smith loses 116 pages of translation through Martin Harris, (D&C 10). These smaller plates, which Mormon likes so much become the first part of our present day B of M. The translation of the larger plates ends to prevent deception by those who stole the 116 pages and we are promised that if we read and follow the teachings of what we do have now, the other plates will come to light at a later time. Wow! It took me almost 30 years to fully get this story and I am sure I explained it badly. If you are confused don't give up, what kept me from understanding was pure laziness. I just did not read with intent to understand. But this section is important to me because I feel the power of the hand of God in our lives. His power transcends time and circumstance. If God can inspire Mormon to do a work  which will affect Joseph Smith's work then it is plausible that our ancestors lives, their righteous works might affect us. and looking forward what we do now, the lives we lead, the records we keep,  might have an affect on our posterity. I believe it does. 
    Here are some sketches I made about this same block of scripture. 

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