Wednesday, February 28, 2007



After Enos was forgiven his sins, he asked the Lord how it was done. The Lord told him that it was because of his faith in Christ who was yet to come. Then the Lord commanded him to go his way for his faith had made him whole. I looked up the reference in the footnote (Matthew 9:22) and it refers to the Savior healing a woman when she simply touched his garment. The Lord turned to her and said, “thy faith hath made thee whole.” The scripture goes on to state that “the woman was made whole from that hour.” In this verse, whole means healed. I think that the healing was not only physical with this woman, but it was also a spiritual healing. The same applies to Enos. Although he may not have necessarily been wounded or sick physically, he was spiritually hungry and desired forgiveness of his sins. The Lord was able to make him whole or to fill his spiritual reserve.

Views Change with Experience

When I was a little kid and I read the book of Enos, the only thing that really caught my mind or that I thought was amazingly cool was that Enos prayed all day and all night (v. 4). After that, I just thought of Enos as a good example of prayer. Then one time, I remember someone using the life of Enos as an example of a ‘normal’ member of the Church – someone who has lots of sins, prays all day, then is forgiven and lives happily ever after. My ideas about Enos were like this all my life until I really began studying the book of Enos and reading other people’s commentary about this man’s life. One commentary that I really enjoy is the one found in a recently published book entitled Heroes from the Book of Mormon (written by a number of general authorities in 1995). The author of the commentary (Elder John H. Groberg) found a cycle in Enos’ life that we can use in ours. He called it the “Spiritual Growth Cycle.” The cycle has three steps. Gratitude yields humility, humility yields effort, effort yields gratitude.

Spiritual Growth Cycle

Enos was grateful for his father because he had taught Enos very well. This in affect caused Enos to be humble and to seek repentance. Enos began to pray and asked for forgiveness. The Lord forgave him, which caused the faith of Enos to increase. Enos then prayed for his brethren and his enemies. Enos’ story doesn’t end with that long prayer. He "went about among the people of Nephi, prophesying of things to come, and testifying of the things which [he] had heard and seen" (v. 19). He did this “all of his days” (v. 26).

Revelation and Meditation

From Enos' writings, we learn one way in which we receive personal revelation from God. Verse 5 says, "And there came a voice unto me." Later on, verse 10 reads, "the voice of the Lord came into my mind again."

As a child, our primary teachers often taught us about the "still small voice" (see 1 Kings 19:12, 1 Nephi 17:45 and D&C 85:6). It may have been difficult at first to determine what the still small voice was, but as I grew older and had more spiritual experiences, I learned how the still small voice spoke to me.

Perhaps one of the most important reasons we are to live a pure life is so that we can hear that still small voice. Nephi chastised his older brothers about being "past feeling" and therefore could not hear the still small voice nor "feel his words" (1 Nephi 17:45). Recently I read in the Lucy Mack Smith's personal history about one of the visits Joseph made to the hill Cumorah. After lifting the stone that guarded the plates and Urim and Thumim and breastplate, Moroni told him the following: “Now I will show you the distance between light and darkness, and the operation of a good spirit and an evil one. An evil spirit will try to crowd your mind with every evil and wicked thing to keep every good thought and feeling out of your mind, but you must keep your mind always staid upon God, that no evil may come into your heart” (“The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by his Mother” edited by Scot Facer Procter and Maurine Jensen Procter, 109).

We are constantly bombarded by so many voices, that if we are not careful, we may lose the still small voice amongst the choirs of discord. It is so important to take the time to prayerfully meditate and study the scriptures. We must make an effort to escape the business of the day in order to refill our spiritual cups. Enos is a perfect example of one who purposefully sought solitude in order to commune with God. David O. McKay once said, "Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord" (“Chapter 4: Elements of Worship,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 29).

Some days, I long for the remoteness of the jungles of Guatemala. I remember receiving many personal revelations while praying early in a morning when all I could hear was the chatter of birds. I remember receiving personal revelation while reading Ensign articles in the heat of the day when we had personal study time. Sometimes personal revelation came while meditating on a bus that was driving home through the mountains after we had attended a zone conference. And then there was always plenty of time to think and meditate on many long hikes in the mountains.

But what we can learn from Enos is that we need to take the time to meditate and commune with God. Take the time to find a quiet place and then kneel down and speak with our Father in Heaven. If we regularly do this, then our lives will be blessed beyond measure.


kelly miller said...

My thoughts as I read this:

Somedays I Long for a Place Remote

Somedays I long for a place remote
Where only the sounds of nature are found
Where I can pray, meditate and take note
Where I have been and where I am bound
Gone would be all the choirs of discord
As my focus is full on the Lord
A time to be blessed beyond measure
To feel the greatest of all pleasures
To bask in love with full gratitude
And increase my spiritual aptitude

Angela Simon said...

I have read the book of Enos many times and have always loved the conversion of Enos and the many lessons that are taught. As a teenager I was caught up with the way he was answered and the peace he felt. As a parent of teenage children the verse about the tings he had heard his father say many times has made an impression on me and made me think what have my children heard me teach about many times. I also noticed that Enos had heard these things many times.

This last week I read Enos again and I focused more on the end of the chapter when Enos's attention turns to the spiritual welfare of others. It suddenly occurred to me that Enos attitude to the Lamanites was condescending and judgmental. Am I wrong about this? He wanted to convert them but he saw them as a ferocious people. Later in the book of Mormon when Ammon preached to the Lamanites he goes and lives among them. He becomes a servant and serves them. The attitude seems different to me.