"Seth and Enoch stand at center stage in this chapter. Though separated by five generations, these two men exerted enormous influence on their families and societies, influence that would carry forward for decades, even centuries... Above all else, these verses affirm that Seth continued the righteous, covenant line, which was ruptured with the death of Abel. In this connection, modern scripture adds much to our knowledge about Seth (see D&C 107:42-56)... Apocryphal sources also speak of Seth in exalted terms. Among other characteristics, he is said to have been an important leader in the premortal life, having struggled valiantly on the side of good in the premortal conflict. As a figure of light, he came to earth to fill an important role. According to such sources, his righteous descendants were singled out by Satan for persecution because they were to be a force for good until the end of time." (The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse by Verse Commentary, RD Draper, SK Brown, MD Rhodes, [SLC: Deseret Book, 2005], 81-85)
The second great protagonist in this chapter is Enoch, a prophet given only cursory mention in four measly verses in Genesis (Gen. 5:21-24). Joseph Smith's efforts at translation in November and December of 1830, only months after the formation of the fledgling church, would unveil two large and meaty chapters including a total of 114 verses (Moses 6:26-8:2). Moses 6 reveals his calling-though a struggling youth-as a prophet and seer (Wouldn't the Prophet Joseph would have felt a kinship?). We learn that Enoch taught the gospel as given to Adam (Moses 6:48-68).
Now stop for a minute. Time to absorb the significance of this revelation. Joseph Smith tells us what God taught Adam as preached by Enoch. This is the earliest record of the gospel plan taught to mortal man. It would be interesting to examine carefully what was taught, especially compared to the sectarian doctrines of 1830, when it was revealed.
Moses 6:2 God hath appointed me another seed, instead of Abel
There is a principle of restitution whereby God makes up for the unfair insults of life. Every violation of fairness is rectified; even when restoration is impossible, there is can be a restitution. Even though God would not restore Abel back to life, He would give Adam and Eve another son to assuage their guilt. The murder would not be undone, but there would be another son to receive the priesthood and birthright blessings. We are familiar with the doctrine as the Prophet Joseph taught it:
All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 296.)
For Adam and Eve to wait for restitution at the resurrection would mean waiting for 4000 years. So, it would seem, the Lord gave them a more immediate substitute with the birth of Seth. The lesson for us is to trust in the Lord when mortality deals with us unfairly.
Does the scripture tell us how [Adam and Eve] grieved over Abel's murder? No, although surely they did. Does it tell us about the confusion, anger, and sorrow they might have felt over Cain's rash deed and exile? No, although they possibly felt these things. Does the author of Genesis scold Adam and Eve for not teaching Cain properly? No, there is no suggestion of rebuke. Instead, Adam and Eve, comforting each other in their sorrow, conceive a son whom Eve names Seth, "for God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." (Genesis 4:25.) In other words, life literally went on for Adam and Eve!
Most parents cannot give birth to another child when they lose a child to disobedience or rebellion. But they can make the same decision metaphorically that Adam and Eve did-to acknowledge their terrible loss and decide that life goes on regardless. There are times when our best is not good enough to save another. We can acknowledge our loss and grieve over it, but surely we must also learn from it that life goes on. (Lighten Up! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1993], 89 - 90.)
James E. Faust
Sometimes we carry unhappy feelings about past hurts too long. We spend too much energy dwelling on things that have passed and cannot be changed. We struggle to close the door and let go of the hurt. If, after time, we can forgive whatever may have caused the hurt, we will tap "into a life-giving source of comfort" through the Atonement, and the "sweet peace" of forgiveness will be ours. Some injuries are so hurtful and deep that healing comes only with help from a higher power and hope for perfect justice and restitution in the next life. (Ensign, November 2005, 115)
Moses 6:3 God revealed himself unto Seth, and he rebelled not, but offered an acceptable sacrifice
Seth's righteousness is extolled in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Seth... was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam's) death, and received the promise of God by his father that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth;
Because he (Seth) was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age. (D&C 107:42-43)
Seth was also... "one of the mighty ones" awaiting a glorious resurrection as seen by Joseph F. Smith in his vision of the world of spirits (D&C 138:40).
"According to LDS sources, Seth was born after numerous other children (Moses 5:2-3), was ordained at age sixty-nine by Adam, and became patriarchal leader after the death of his father (D&C 107:41-42).
"Following the murder of Abel, Seth inherited the birthright of the patriarchal order of the high priesthood because of his righteousness (D&C 107:40-43), taking Abel's place (Gen. 4:25; Moses 6:2)... (quotes D&C 107:40-42)... He 'offered an acceptable sacrifice, like unto his brother Abel,' with the result that 'God revealed himself unto Seth' (Moses 6:3). Apocryphal texts, seeking patterns for the ministry of the expected messiah, focus on notions of Seth's leadership in the premortal life, his complete obedience, and his role as father and patriarch of the covenant race (Brown, p. 278)." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1299)
Moses 6:4 then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord
The text implies that man did not begin to call upon God until the birth of Seth's son Enos. However, Cain and Abel had already offered sacrifice. Biblical scholars recognized this inconsistency stating, "This inconsistency is the result of the redactional (meaning "editorial, revisional") activity of Rp (a biblical scribe)". (The Interpreter's Bible, ed. by G. A. Buttrick et al [New York, Abingdon Press, 1952] vol. 1, p. 516)
The book of Moses tells us that as soon as Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden, they began to call upon the Lord.
And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.
And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord...
And thus the Gospel began to be preached from the beginning, being declared by holy angels...(Moses 5:4-5, 58)
Joseph Smith's inspired work would correct the text as follows, "then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord." (Moses 6:4, emphasis added)
Moses 6:5 a book of remembrance was kept
"Latter-day revelation has... shown that the pattern of record-keeping established by Adam was continued by succeeding patriarchs who added accounts of their own days. Enoch speaks of the record of his fathers:
And death hath come upon our fathers; nevertheless we know them, and cannot deny, and even the first of all we know, even Adam.
For a book of remembrance we have written among us. (Moses 6:45, 46.)
"Abraham testified that the process of adding to the record continued after the flood and included his own additions:
But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs ... the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me. (Abr. 1:31.)
"Part of the calling of the patriarch/prophet was to make a record of his days. Thus, in relay form records from earlier patriarchs were handed down, and later prophets synthesized them, incorporated their own records, and passed them on again to yet future generations." (Lenet H. Read, "How the Bible Came to Be: Part 1, A Testament Is Established," Ensign, Jan. 1982, 39)
Spencer W. Kimball
Let us then continue on in this important work of recording the things we do, the things we say, the things we think, to be in accordance with the instructions of the Lord. For those of you who may not have already started your books of remembrance and your records, we would suggest that this very day you begin to write your records quite fully and completely. We hope that you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 349)
Henry B. Eyring
You could try [expressing gratitude] as you write an entry in your book of remembrance. The Holy Ghost has helped with that since the beginning of time. You remember in the record of Moses it says: "And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration." (Moses 6:5.)
President Spencer W. Kimball described that process of inspired writing: "Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 349.)
As you start to write, you could ask yourself, "How did God bless me today?" If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God's hand in your life. ("Remembrance and Gratitude," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 13)
Moses 6:6 their children were taught to read and write
When did man begin to read and write? Archeologists and linguistic historians believe it was much later than 4000 BC:
It is generally agreed that true writing of language was invented independently in at least two places: Mesopotamia (specifically, ancient Sumer) 3000 BC and Mesoamerica 600 BC. Twelve Mesoamerican scripts are known of, the oldest from Zapotec Mexico. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_writing
Ironically, today's scholars denigrate the sophistication of previous generations. They may have assumed that the language of ancient civilizations was rudimentary, "The invention of writing was not a one-time event, but a long evolution preceded by the appearance of symbols, possibly first for cultic purposes." In contrast to primitive pictographs, ancient language was actually superior to ours. Before the Tower of Babel, language was "pure and undefiled." It is our language, ironically, that is primitive by comparison.
Moses 6:6 having a language which was pure and undefiled
Decades of learning cannot always overcome the stubborn awkwardness of our language. Ideas and feelings cannot always be conveyed in their purity because of the limitations of imperfect communication. Many have felt like Ammon that they could not "say the smallest part which [they] feel" (Alma 26:16). Joseph Smith said it best, "Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen and ink;-and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language." (History of the Church, 1:299) It would have been such a blessing to have a language which was "pure and undefiled!"
Eliza R. Snow
(On visiting Carthage jail years after the martyrdom) Words are too weak to convey the feelings of the soul, where shall I find language to portray the thoughts that agitated my mind... (Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1884], 113)
Often, when I stand up here, I have the feelings of a person that is unable to convey his ideas, because I have not the advantages of language. However, I do not very frequently complain of that, but I rise to do the best I can and to give the people the best I have for them at the time. (Journal of Discourses, 5:97)
One of the most important points in the faith of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, through the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, is the gathering of Israel (of whom the Lamanites constitute a part) that happy time when Jacob shall go up to the house of the Lord, to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to live in holiness; when the Lord will restore His judges as at the first, and His counselors as at the beginning; when every man may sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there will be none to molest or make afraid; when He will turn to them a pure language, and the earth will be filled with sacred knowledge, as the waters cover the great deep. (Teachings of the Prophet, 92-93, italics added)
Words are a form of personal expression. They differentiate us as well as fingerprints do. They reflect what kind of person we are, and tell of our background, and depict our way of life. They describe our thinking as well as our inner feelings.
But where do they come from, and why is language so peculiar? It started in the beginning, as we read in Moses 6:5-6...
Language is divine. Some may know this but do not realize its implications in their daily family life. Love at home starts with a loving language. This need is so important that, without loving words, some become mentally unbalanced, others emotionally disturbed... ("Language: A Divine Way of Communicating," Ensign, Nov 1979, 25)
Moses 6:7 this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also
The Priesthood, not the priest, is "without beginning of days or end of years." (Alma 13:7) So it makes sense that it was present in the beginning. It did not originate in the beginning. It always existed. Referring to the days of the ancients, the priesthood has been called the "patriarchal priesthood" (see D&C 107:41-52).
"The Melchizedek and the Patriarchal Priesthoods are essentially the same Priesthood, but they differ in their organization and in the rights and prerogatives they possess. The Patriarchal Priesthood is the Melchizedek Priesthood organized according to a family order. Hence it is called the Patriarchal Priesthood. By contrast, the Melchizedek Priesthood is organized according to a system of quorums and presiding offices. Though the rights and privileges of the Melchizedek Priesthood are not appointed by promise to a given lineage within the chosen family, those of the Patriarchal Priesthood belong by right to a chosen lineage which God has appointed." (Hyrum Andrus, Doctrinal Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1967], 357)
Joseph Fielding Smith
It is true that the patriarchal priesthood was handed down from father to son, and that the keys of it belonged to the oldest son by right of primogeniture; but notwithstanding this, all of the faithful men who obtained the priesthood had this patriarchal office from the days of Adam down to the days of Moses. This order of the priesthood was the one conferred upon these ancient prophets and teachers, whether they were the first-born or the last born, if they were faithful. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 2: 174)
Ezra Taft Benson
Adam and his descendants entered into the priesthood order of God. Today we would say they went to the House of the Lord and received their blessings. The order of priesthood spoken of in the scriptures is sometimes referred to as the patriarchal order because it came down from father to son. But this order is otherwise described in modern revelation as an order of family government where a man and woman enter into a covenant with God-just as did Adam and Eve-to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity, and to do the will and work of God throughout their mortality. (Robert L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 28.)
Moses 6:9 in the image of his own body, male and female, created he them
The corresponding version of the Genesis account, Gen. 5:2, does not include this phrase, "in the image of his own body." Over and over again, the lesson is taught: God has a body of flesh and bones which is in form like ours except that His is glorified and perfected.
Joseph Fielding Smith
Here we are informed that man was created in the image of God. This is repeated several times in the Book of Genesis in speaking of the creation of man. This is the answer to the evolutionist in relation to the descent of man, and to all religionists as well as scientists who ridicule the anthropomorphic nature of God. Man was created in the likeness of the body of God. (Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 268)
Moses 6:9 he... called their name Adam, in the day when they were created
George F. Richards
That is a rather peculiar expression "called their name Adam." The author of the Compendium, commenting on that expression, says that man in his fulness is a two-fold organization, male and female; either being incapable of filling the measure of their creation, alone. It requires a union of the two to complete man in the image of God. (Conference Report, April 1924, Afternoon Session 32)
Bruce R. McConkie
Thus the name of Adam and Eve as a united partnership is Adam. They, the two of them together, are named Adam. This is more than the man Adam as a son of God or the woman Eve as a daughter of the same Holy Being. Adam and Eve taken together are named Adam, and the fall of Adam is the fall of them both, for they are one. How aptly did Paul say: "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:11). The fall of Adam is the fall of the man Adam and the woman Eve. (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 202)
Moses 6:10-25 the Great Patriarchs
The following table is given as a numerical representation of Gen. 5:3-31. The Moses version of this geneology, which continues all the way to Moses 8:12, does not alter the ages of the Patriarchs. The numbers are the same.
If the Fall of Adam occurred at 4000 BC (a common supposition based on very little evidence), then the chronology of these patriarchs can be calculated. Section 107 of the D&C also gives this same chronology but focuses not on the son's age at birth but rather his age at ordination to the priesthood. Often referred to as the Patriarchal priesthood, the name of the priesthood was changed to Melchizedek after the Flood.
While we might assume that the priesthood was administered strictly in a father to son fashion, this is not the case. Adam was still alive even when Lamech was born. Section 107 explains that Adam ordained Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah at various ages and places (DC 107:41-52). Lamech was not ordained by his father but by Seth.
Age at heir's birth
Years after heir's birth
Age at ordination (DC 107)
Age at death
Estimated birth/death dates
3378-3013 BC (city taken up)
Moses 6:13 Seth... prophesied in all his days, and taught his son Enos in the ways of God
The Joseph Smith Translation includes this vignette on Enos, Seth's son. He lived at a time of great wickedness, v. 15, and led his people to a land of promise, v. 17. The pattern of a great priesthood leader leading his people out of spiritual Babylon to a land of promise is a recurring theme for subsequent generations: Enoch, Moses, Nephi, and Joseph Smith. Enos is the first prophet to do it. He was one of a long line of great men, who "were preachers of righteousness, and spake and prophesied, and called upon all men, everywhere, to repent" (v. 23).
Moses 6:22 this is the genealogy of the sons of Adam, who was the son of God
Adam was the son of God in three ways. First, he was the spiritual offspring of his Heavenly Father. Second, unlike the rest of us, his physical body was created by Elohim and Jehovah. Third, after the Fall, it was necessary for him to "become a son of God" through faith and righteousness (D&C 39:4; Mosiah 5:7).
"Since these statements are in the context of fathers begetting the bodies of children on the earth, the consistent and plain reading of the scripture conveys the idea that just as Seth is the son of Adam and Eve, so also are Adam and Eve, in the physical body, the physical offspring of heavenly parents. Any other reading would be strained and artificial. This is a demonstration of the law that living things, including the Gods, reproduce 'after their kind.' Thus the terms 'fatherhood of God' and 'brotherhood of man' are not simply figures of speech but are literal expressions when seen through the lens of latter-day revelation.
"There is something comforting and reassuring in searching holy writ and knowing that the human family's pedigree chart runs back to God and not to the animals. The foregoing passages make it quite easy and natural for us to realize that Adam and Eve were not the products of organic evolution, up from the ape, but rather that human beings have a divine origin in both body and spirit." (Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 469)
Mark E. Petersen
We need to understand the true concept of the first man, Adam. He was next to Christ in authority in the creation; he still is. He directs all dispensations of the gospel ever given to mankind, as the Prophet Joseph Smith taught.
He was a preacher of righteousness to his family. Holding the keys of the First Presidency, he presided over the Church of Christ in his day, for the Church was organized among his descendants. He was taught the gospel from the beginning of his mortality. He was baptized, even as we are, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, even as we do... (Adam: Who Is He? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 60)
Moses 6:23 they were preachers of righteousness, and spake and prophesied
We are blessed with great "preachers of righteousness" in our day as well.
David B. Haight
Those of us who sit at the feet of President Hinckley, President Monson, and President Faust marvel at their wisdom, understanding, and protection of sacred matters. God's hand directs this work. He prepares His servants. He knows their hearts. He knows the end from the beginning and raises up those servants who will carry out His designs.
These are able, humble leaders, called by God to preside over His earthly kingdom in these last days. They are true and faithful servants, tested and refined by extreme circumstances. They are teachers and preachers of righteousness, examples to the world of goodness and obedience to God's commandments. We all would do well-for ourselves and our posterity-to heed their counsel.
As an early Apostle, Elder Orson Hyde, said: "It is invariably the case, that when an individual is ordained and appointed to lead the people, he has passed through tribulations and trials, and has proven himself before God, and before His people, that he is worthy of the [position] which he holds. ... Some one that understands the Spirit and counsel of the Almighty ... is the [one] that will lead the Church" (in Journal of Discourses, 1:123). ("Sustaining a New Prophet," Ensign, May 1995, 36)
Bruce R. McConkie
These humble men who preside over the church and kingdom of God on earth in our day are like unto the prophets and apostles of old and are the ones whom God hath chosen to lead and direct his earthly kingdom in these last days. Those of us who sit almost daily at the feet of Presidents Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney marvel at the wisdom and judgment that attend their decisions and recognize them as preachers of righteousness. ("God Foreordains His Prophets and His People," Ensign, May 1974, 72)
Moses 6:26-68 The Prophet Enoch
Genesis is remarkably brief regarding the ministry of Enoch. Other than his age and genealogy, Genesis states, "Enoch walked with God... And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:21-24). The Book of Moses brings this cryptic note to life. Joseph reveals 116 verses of information compared to the 6 verses in Genesis. A linguistically insecure lad is called as a prophet and given great power so that "all nations feared greatly." (Moses 7:13) He revealed the prophecies and baptism of Father Adam as well as a remarkably intimate revelation of God's love and concern for his children. This is just one more reminder that the Bible is by no means an all-inclusive record of God's dealings with man-that he has revealed his plan of salvation to his prophets in all generations, and that God is intimately concerned with the prosperity and obedience of his children.
"It is in reading of Enoch's ministry among the people that we encounter one of the most profound and doctrinally significant sections in all the standard works. In speaking of Adam, Enoch provided a flood of intelligence regarding the Plan of Salvation and delivered to us some matters of understanding that may be had in no other place. Specifically, Enoch described the principle of blood atonement by Christ as he unfolded and restored the doctrinal dialogue between God and Adam subsequent to the latter's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. We become witnesses to a sacred scene and significant sayings: the revelation of the gospel to Adam. fn We learn that our hope is in Christ and that his is the only name given by the Father whereby salvation may come; that Adam's transgression in the Garden of Eden has been forgiven through the Savior's atonement; that even as man is born into the world through the elements of water, blood, and spirit (and is thus born of the 'dust of the earth'), he must be born again by a baptism of both water and Spirit and must be sanctified by the atoning blood of Christ; and that all things in heaven and on earth are created and made to bear witness and point toward the Son of God. Enoch then spoke briefly of Father Adam's baptism, birth of the Spirit, and ordination to the priesthood (Moses 6:48-68). Surely no other twenty- one verses in scripture could be more important or impactful in leading man to an understanding of the Plan of Salvation!
"But Enoch was not simply one who preached heavy and hard doctrine; he had the power and promise of the Lord, and so his words resounded like thunder and his word was obeyed.
"And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him (Moses 7:13). (Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 2: The Pearl of Great Price [Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985], 134-135)
Now this Enoch God reserved unto himself, that he should not die at that time, and appointed unto him a ministry unto terrestrial bodies, of whom there has been but little revealed. He is reserved also unto the presidency of a dispensation, and more shall be said of him and terrestrial bodies in another treatise. He is a ministering angel, to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, and appeared unto Jude as Abel did unto Paul; therefore Jude spoke of him. (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 54 - 55)
Bruce R. McConkie
From the accounts in the 6th and 7th chapters of Moses we learn his life was one of miracles, preaching, visions, and revelations, perhaps without parallel in all history. He and his whole city were translated and taken up into heaven, from whence they shall return when the earth is cleansed and becomes again a fit abode for Him who dwelt personally with his saints in Enoch's ancient Zion. From revelations given to Joseph Smith we know that the Book of Enoch will come forth in due course (D. & C. 107:53-57), and that Enoch personally ministered to Jude and quoted the statement recorded in this epistle. (Teachings, p. 170.) (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 426)
George Q. Cannon
Enoch walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years (DC 107:49), and the Bible says he was not for God took him. If he walked with God that length of time, he must have known something about Him, and about the heavens, and about the organization of the earth, and something about what is called science now, geological as well as astronomical. Our revelations tell us that not only he but his city was translated. They were all taken, with the exception of Methuselah, who was left on the earth, because the promise had been made to him that through him one should arise who should be the progenitor of a new world. This proved to be Noah, his grandson. (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, selected, arranged, and edited by Jerreld L. Newquist [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 10)
Let me ask, what did the Lord do before He sent the flood? He sent Noah among them as a preacher of righteousness; He sent Enoch; He sent many Elders among the people, and they prophesied to them that unless they repented, judgment would overtake them... We are also told that Enoch walked with God, and that he had a city which they called Zion, and people gathered to Zion then, as we gather the people to Zion in this day. Enoch walked with God, and was instructed by Him, and he instructed the people of Zion. There is a very short account of it in the Bible. There we are simply told that "Enoch walked with God and was not; for God took him." It was not thought necessary to say more upon this subject; but the facts were that Enoch and the people of his city, having been taught for upwards of 300 years in the principles of the Gospel before the judgment overtook the world, were translated. Thus the people in that day, had had fair warning, but only a very few paid any attention to it. We are told concerning the Book of Enoch that it is to be testified of in due time, and then we shall know more about these things than we do now. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 24: 292)
Moses 6:26 the Spirit of God descended out of heaven, and abode upon him
The Genesis account declares that Enoch walked with God in two separate instances (Gen. 5:22, 24). This is appropriate because Enoch walked with God in two ways: 1) the Holy Ghost descended upon him so he walked with the Spirit of God attending him, 2) He very literally "walked and talked" with God. This is important if we want to pattern ourselves after Enoch. There are two ways we can walk with God, either by obtaining his Spirit to attend us or by literally enjoying his presence. For most of us, the former is more likely. For Enoch, both were applicable.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).
"Those who attain the status of a Zion-people are entitled to the Lord's protection. They are they who walk with God literally and/or figuratively." (Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds., Fourth Nephi through Moroni: From Zion to Destruction [Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1995], 222)
Bruce R. McConkie
The whole issue is whether we as mortals walk in the Spirit, whether we walk by faith as though seeing him who is invisible. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 297)
I had such a wonderful experience in the mission field, I almost feel that I walked and talked with the Lord. (Lucile C. Tate, LeGrand Richards: Beloved Apostle, 56)
Charles W. Penrose
It is our privilege to walk in the light continually, and have the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion, directing our ways, not only our actions and our doings, but our feelings and our thoughts and our sentiments, that we may become purer and holier, day by day, until we are sanctified and made clean and white and fit to go back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 25: 47)
Carlos E. Asay
You will recall that the two disciples who walked and talked with Christ on the road to Emmaus did not recognize him at first. Later, however, "their eyes were opened, and they knew him," when they reflected, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:31-32.)... Our "eyes of faith" will also be opened, and we shall know of a surety that he lives and that we shall live again, if we believe and accept the divine invitation "Walk with me" (see Moses 6:34).
- Yes, we walk with him in the desert and feel his presence when we fast, pray, and withstand temptation.
- We walk with him to Jacob's well and our hearts burn within us when we study the scriptures and drink living waters.
- We walk with him to Galilee when we teach and live the truth.
- We walk with him in Gethsemane when we assume the burdens of others.
- We walk with him to Calvary when we take up our cross by denying ourselves of all ungodliness, and every worldly lust (see JST, Matt. 16:26).
- We suffer with him on Golgotha when we sacrifice our time, talents, and means in building up the kingdom of God.
- We rise with him to a newness of life when we seek a spiritual rebirth and strive to become his sons and daughters.
And in the process of following in his footsteps (see 1 Pet. 2:21), we gain the personal conviction or infallible proof that he lives, that he is the Son of the living God, and that he is our Redeemer. (Ensign, May 1994, 10)
Moses 6:28-29 [they] have sought their own counsels in the dark; and... they devised murder
The wicked of Enoch's day were not passive in disregarding God. They were not rejecting the Lord so they could do whatever they wanted-to follow what they thought was their personal ticket to freedom. No, this was not a passive rejection of religion but a wholesale rebellion from God. They thereby landed in the lap of Satan and followed his plan to perfection. That involved all the rites and ceremonies of secret combinations. They joined Satan's church. In effect, they were baptized into Satan's plan by devising murder, by forswearing "themselves and by their oaths." They would then receive exactly the reward that Satan had in mind, death and hell.
John declared that the Savior holds "the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:18). But from Enoch's ministry, we learn that the Master not only holds the keys of hell, he prepared hell as a necessary part of the plan of salvation. In perfect gospel symmetry, "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) guarantees a death and a hell for those who reject him.
Moses 6:29 they have foresworn themselves
The wicked had perverted the ways of the Lord. They had perverted the priesthood; they had perverted the temple rites. When the text says, "they have foresworn themselves," it means they have participated in Satan's temple rites-his secret combinations-whereby the patrons covenant by God to protect their brethren in the performance of evil. They have sworn to keep his secrets and do his work.
They gave away the rites of the temple, and they perverted them. The whole thing is a rite of perversion. They had all the same things, but they perverted them and claimed that they were being holy, that they had the priesthood, that they had the covenants. This was their great crime, of course, that they perverted the real thing. Fortunately, we are told they didn't have enough knowledge. Their knowledge was limited, so they weren't able to destroy everything. "They knew not the mind of God," as we are told in this book. So their system was not the system God gave Adam.
This is typical. You will find this in many verses in this old Enoch stuff we mentioned. This verse 28 here: They have "sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments, which I gave unto their father, Adam." Cain did all this and kept it secret so that Adam wouldn't find out that he was copying and corrupting the whole thing. So here it comes out again. They did not keep the commandments I gave Adam, but they put their own version, their own counsel, and devised their own abominations and murders. "Wherefore, they have foresworn themselves, [they have the oaths] and, by their oaths,..." In Moses 5:29 we read about the oaths they made to each other. "And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die;..." By their oaths they have foresworn themselves. They were false oaths. "...they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not [and this is a decree which has gone out of my own mouth]." (Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe [n.p., n.d.], 2 )
Moses 6:31 I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
Spencer J. Condie
Some of God's choicest servants-Enoch, Moses, and Elijah-were slow of speech. While a radiant countenance and eloquent speech are desirable qualities in preaching the gospel, it is the Holy Ghost, not the sentence structure, which begets conversion. (Ensign, Oct. 1980, 34)
Spencer W. Kimball
We read of Enoch who was called when but a lad. He describes himself as a lad whom the people despised and who was slow of speech; yet he did his duty in love and compassion with stunning success. (See Moses 6.) I marvel at the empathy of these men in all ages, because even prophets have no immunity from thorns in the flesh. They learn to cast all their cares upon the Lord. (Ensign, May 1978, 77)
Neal A. Maxwell
When the prophet Enoch was called, he wondered why and said, "I ... am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech" (Moses 6:31). Yet Enoch knew that in responding to God the test is not our capability but our availability. Enoch kept the commandments and trusted in the Lord's vision of his possibilities, going on to become the builder of the greatest city of all time. The only time in all of human history when a whole people's righteousness did not relapse was in the City of Enoch. And it all began with a young man who was less than sure of himself.
Your personal possibilities, not for status and position but for service to God and mankind, are immense, if you will but trust the Lord to lead you from what you are to what you have the power to become. (New Era, May 1981, 4)
Henry B. Eyring
We need not be overwhelmed with our feelings of inadequacy. Whoever we are, however difficult our circumstances, we can know that what our Father requires of us if we are to qualify for the blessings of eternal life will not be beyond our ability. What a young boy said long ago when he faced a seemingly impossible assignment is true: "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Ne. 3:7). (Ensign, Feb. 1998, 10)
Moses 6:33 Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you
God's command is that we make a choice. He has laid our options before us. We "are free to choose liberty and eternal life... or to choose captivity and death" (2 Nephi 2:27). The Lord told the children of Israel, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deut 30:19). Joshua gave the children of Israel the same choice, "choose you this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:15). The choice is ours. The consequence is not. We will all receive wages of him whom we choose to obey (Alms 3:27).
Moses 6:34 thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me
Jewish scholars certainly don't interpret the Genesis account of Enoch walking with God literally. Instead, they say, "he was shown the mysteries of heaven and the ushering in of the messianic era." (The Torah: A Modern Commentary, ed. by W. Gunther Plaut [New York, The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981], 52) Indeed, he was shown the mysteries of heaven and the messianic era, but he also walked with God and talked with Him. Like Moses, he saw the Lord and spoke with him "face to face" (Moses 7:4; Ex. 33:11). This example brings meaning to the phrase, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8). Enoch "saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated." (D&C 107:49)
To interpret the Bible literally is an important thing. If Enoch walked with God, then God must have legs. If Moses and Enoch spoke with God face to face, then God must have a face. Sounds silly right? But how different would Christian theology be if these simple truths had not been ignored! How important is it for us to know that such righteousness is possible? The possibility direct interaction with God must be real for any other human to seek the face of God or to have any hope of walking with Him. Latter-day Saints have that hope. They are to build up a Zion people. In this great quest, Enoch and his city are the perfect example. It can be done. It has been done before. The Latter-day Saints will have to develop the same purity as their ancient predecessors. They must build up a Zion in the latter-days.
Spencer W. Kimball
This holy prophet did walk with God and beheld his creations back to the beginning and forward to the resurrection of Christ and of all men. (Ensign, May 1974, 46)
Enoch possessed intelligence and wisdom from God that few men ever enjoyed, walking and talking with God for many years; yet, according to the history written by Moses, he was a great length of time in establishing his kingdom among men. The few that followed him enjoyed the fulness of the Gospel, and the rest of the world rejected it...
Enoch had to talk with and teach his people during a period of three hundred and sixty years, before he could get them prepared to enter into their rest, and then he obtained power to translate himself and his people, with the region they inhabited, their houses, gardens, fields, cattle and all their possessions. (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 105)
Moses 6:36 A seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people
A seer is greater than a prophet... a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. (Mosiah 8:15-18)
A seer is greater than a prophet because he reveals the invisible. He has greater access to the mysteries of heaven. "Seers are able to see things that are not visible to the natural eye. Acting as revelators, they reveal what they see to the people." (Dennis Largey, "Built upon the Rock," Ensign, Jan. 1992, 51)
The best latter-day example of a seer is the choice seer, Joseph Smith. Joseph identified with Enoch as a seer. Both were shown marvelous things; both were called in their youth; both were given great power from God. In the early revelations of the Restoration, sometimes codenames were used. The codename for Joseph was Enoch, suggesting that Joseph felt connected to this great prophet. (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, [Random House, NY, 2005], 139)
For Joseph, his ability to see in the invisible was enhanced by a seerstone. Separate from the Urim and Thummim, the seerstone allowed Joseph to see things past, present, and future.
"Joseph received, apparently by chance, a stone found while he was digging a well for Willard Chase. While it looked like an ordinary stone, in his hands, through faith, he was able to learn to discern secret things. His mother said even before receiving the Urim and Thummim he 'possessed certain keys, by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye.' [Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, (New York, 1969) p. 92.] We do not know exactly how Joseph used this power, nor for what purpose. We do know that even before he received the plates he was able to tell the family about the customs and lives of the ancient inhabitants of America. Perhaps the Lord was revealing things through the seerstone." (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith Memorial Sermons, 9-10)
"[Martin Harris] said that the Prophet possessed a seerstone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he [often] used the seerstone. Martin explained the translation as follows: By aid of the seerstone, sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say, 'Written,' and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used." (Testimonies of Book of Mormon Witnesses, 86-87.)
Moses 6:38 there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us
Prophets for a peculiar people are accused of being more than just peculiar. They are accused of being drunkards (Acts 2:15), crazy (Mosiah 13:1; Acts 26:24-25), or devils (Matt. 12:24). John the Baptist was a spectacle in the wilderness. Enoch was likely the calmest of characters, yet he was called "a wild man." Elder Neal A. Maxwell speculated how the common man of Enoch's day might have responded to his teachings.
Neal A. Maxwell
I advise you now of the presence in my city of a strange and wild man by the name of Enoch... I do not expect he will become a man of even local importance. Even so, his first advent amongst us was unsettling.
Enoch is apparently a son of Jared, whose people are said to be hard-working and harmless. Yet he caused unease and fear among some here who heard him, even though he is young and noticeably slow of speech.
All who heard him, and I, too, were offended in one manner or another. It was his certitude, in particular, that troubled me. Indeed, I was one of the few who chose to confront him, asking him to tell us plainly who he was and whence he came. He gave a straightforward answer, but then riled us all by saying that while he had been journeying from the land of Cainan by the sea east, he had received a vision. He even made bold to say the Lord had commanded him to come forth and preach to us. He spoke at length, detaining many of us from our appointed rounds by reason of our curiosity.
I have it in mind to hear Enoch again tomorrow, for he is roving over the countryside speaking on the hills and high places, or wherever he can find people willing to endure his testifying. How does he expect to gain much of a following? He is so filled with alarms and denunciation, and he disturbs the even flow of life here.
Since he gave me more than a passing glance as I challenged him about his origins, I felt he was challenging me to dare to be again among his listeners. I shall not disappoint him, though he is hardly worth the effort.
Enoch spoke of certain records coming down to us through outstanding patriarchs going back to Adam. I can scarcely believe such records mean much to our time... Enoch says we have neglected these teachings. (Of One Heart/Look Back at Sodom [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 9-10)
Moses 6:40 Tell us plainly who thou art, and from whence thou comest?
This question is intended to delegitimize the prophet. In essence, the question is "Who do you think you are?" "Who made you a prophet over us?" The Savior was asked the same thing. Jesus was asked, "Who art thou?... If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly" (John 8:25; 10:24). God is not in the business of proving to the wicked that his servants are true prophets. The people must decide that for themselves.
Moses 6:46 a book of remembrance we have written among us
Henry B. Eyring
You could try the same thing... in your book of remembrance. The Holy Ghost has helped with that since the beginning of time. You remember in the record of Moses it says: "And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration." (Moses 6:5.)
President Spencer W. Kimball described that process of inspired writing: "Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 349) ("Remembrance and Gratitude," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 13)
Marion G. Romney
I understand from this that Enoch could read about Adam in a book which had been written under the tutelage of Almighty God. Thus there were no prehistoric men who could not write because men living in the days of Adam, who was the first man, wrote.
I am not a scientist. I do not profess to know anything but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and the principles of his gospel. If, however, there are some things in the strata of the earth indicating there were men before Adam, they were not the ancestors of Adam.
Adam was the son of God... Some men speak of the ancients as being savages, as if they had no intelligence. I tell you this man Enoch had intelligence, and Adam had intelligence, as much as any man that ever lived since or that lives now. They were mighty sons of God. (Conference Report, April 1953, Afternoon Meeting 124)
Joseph Fielding Smith
From these writings we discover that in the very beginning men were intelligent, possessed of knowledge and wisdom and were clothed upon by the power of the Holy Ghost. Moreover, the Gospel in its fulness was had among them. They had a powerful language, for it was the language of God, perfect in both the spoken and the written word. We also learn that those antediluvian patriarchs from the days of Adam were acquainted with the creation of this earth and with the heavenly bodies, their revolutions and the purpose of their creation. All of these things were made known by revelation. (The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964], 181 - 182)
Moses 6:48-62 Introduction
This passage of 15 verses is like a condensed version of the Book of Mormon's teachings on the Fall and the Plan of Redemption. It comes to us from a powerful preacher, Enoch, who spoke with such force that "the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence" (Moses 6:47). The big picture is painted in less than a thousand words. It explains the true meaning of the Fall and God's plan to save us from its consequences. It is proof that the ancients taught the gospel in purity and clarity. They understood God's plan even if there is little evidence of that in today's Bible.
Neal A. Maxwell
We learn from terse verses that we are not helpless and hapless victims of "original sin." We are responsible for our own actual and individual sins, not Adam's, whom the Lord forgave long, long ago. (See Moses 6:53-54; D&C 93:38; A of F 1:2.) In fact, "because that Adam fell, we are" (Moses 6:48), and "men are, that they might have joy." (2 Ne. 2:25.)
Commanded to write of these truths, Moses was also told that many of the things he would write would later be taken away. Nevertheless, these would be "had again" among the children of men in the last days. (See Moses 1:40-41.)
My brethren, these truths are "had again." We possess these precious truths! Now they must come to possess us! We are to search them, to ponder them, to feel them, and to live by them!
They are not just theological niceties and philosophical footnotes. We need to ponder their implications as well as believe in their declarations regarding daily and eternal life. (Ensign, May 1986, 35)
Moses 6:48-54 Because that Adam fell, we are;
There is an interesting contrast between Enoch's teachings and Lehi's. Both declare that Adam fell so that mankind could experience mortality. But consider the doctrine that follows:
Lehi: Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. (2 Ne. 2:25)
Enoch: Because that Adam fell, we are... and we are made partakers of misery and woe. (Moses 6:48)
Well, which is it? Do we exist that we "might have joy?" or do we exist in order to partake "of misery and woe." These ideas seem completely opposite. And, of course, we know that both are completely true. We might have joy if we choose to keep the commandments; but we will all sin and suffer the "misery and woe" of mortality. Lehi said it best:
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things...
Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself...
Wherefore men are free...they are free to choose liberty and eternal life... or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil. (2 Ne. 2:11-27)
Moses 6:53 Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water?
The Master told Nicodemus that in order for a man to enter the kingdom of God, he must first be baptized by water and by the Spirit (John 3:5). From this we understand that all must be baptized to enter the celestial kingdom. The only exception involves innocent young children. Otherwise, no one gets in without this ordinance. They will receive it vicariously if necessary but all adults need baptism. We believe the doctrine. We have taught the doctrine. But have we ever asked ourselves the question, "Why"?
In this passage, Adam asks God a brilliant question, "why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water?" The answer is fundamental and important as the question. We should credit Adam with asking the most crucial question a believer could ever ask.
Moses 6:53 I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden
God has forgiven Adam, but many of his children have not. They have blamed Adam for the curses of mortality, for death, and even for their own sins. There is a grand irony in the fact that God has forgiven Adam but most of "Christianity" has not.
"We are fully assured by this passage that Adam stands forgiven of his transgression in the garden and that his posterity is free from all responsibility for that transgression. We are held accountable only for our own sins. If this passage had remained in the book of Genesis or if the correct doctrine had survived in our current New Testament, the whole mistaken concept of original sin and infant baptism as taught and practiced by much of Christianity for the past eighteen hundred years could have been avoided." (Robert J. Matthews, Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 478)
Bruce C. Hafen
The Lord taught Adam that the Atonement of Christ would atone for his transgression in the garden. The children of Adam and Eve were therefore redeemed from the penalties of original sin as a pure act of grace, embodied in the Atonement. This portion of the Atonement comes as a free gift to all mankind, just as does the Resurrection.
Moses 6:54 the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt
Original guilt, or original sin, is the Christian idea that the sin of Adam's Fall is transmitted to all of his posterity. Such a misunderstanding comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of the Fall and God's plan of salvation for his children. Soon after the Restoration, Joseph Smith's revelation of Moses teaches us the true nature of Adam's transgression and its effect upon his children.
"Original sin is, according to a theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred to as a 'sin nature', to something as drastic as total depravity or automatic guilt by all humans through collective guilt." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin)
Theologians have argued for centuries over the dark implications of such a damning doctrine. Some of the more ardent proponents have placed much of man's misery at the feet of Adam and the Fall. All of this misery could be blamed, they argue, at the feet of Father Adam.
"Evil was mixed with our nature from the beginning...through those who by their disobedience introduced the disease. Just as in the natural propagation of the species each animal engenders its like, so man is born from man, a being subject to passions from a being subject to passions, a sinner from a sinner. Thus sin takes its rise in us as we are born; it grows with us and keeps us company till life's term." Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes, 6 (ante A.D. 394). (http://www.scripturecatholic.com/original_sin.html)
"Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame." Tertullian, On the Soul, 40 (A.D. 208). (http://www.scripturecatholic.com/original_sin.html)
Bruce R. McConkie
What is original sin? This is the false doctrine that the sin of Adam passes upon all men and that, therefore, all men-infants included-must be baptized to be saved. It is, however, a fundamental principle of true religion "that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression." (A of F 1:2)
Are children tainted with original sin? Absolutely not. There is no such thing as original sin as such is defined in the creeds of Christendom. Such a concept denies the efficacy of the atonement. Our revelation says: "Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning"-meaning that spirits started out in a state of purity and innocence in preexistence-"and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God" (D&C 93:38)-meaning that all children start out their mortal probation in purity and innocence because of the atonement. Our revelations also say, "The Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world." (Moses 6:54.)
Are children conceived in sin? Since there is no such thing as original sin, as that expression is used in modern Christendom, it follows that children are not conceived in sin. They do not come into the world with any taint of impurity whatever. ("The Salvation of Little Children," Ensign, Apr. 1977, 4)
Spencer J. Condie
The absence of these plain and precious doctrines has led to various misconceptions such as the belief that Adam and Eve were evil and their fall was a grievous disappointment to Deity. This erroneous line of reasoning continues to assume that because of the transgression of Adam and Eve all infants born thereafter are tainted by "the original sin" and must, therefore, be baptized in their infancy to become pure again.
Another pervasive belief is that one's salvation is predestined according to God's good pleasure, that predestination overrides personal agency, and that grace supersedes the need for good works and participation in essential ordinances. ("The Fall and Infinite Atonement," Ensign, Jan. 1996, 22)
Moses 6:55 Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin... even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts
The scripture says "children are conceived in sin." In other words, all children are innocent before God, but they must be born into world of sin. It does not mean that children are inherently evil. Man is not bad by nature. But according to God's plan, mortal man must be given agency in a world of opposites. Sin is the inevitable result. So when man comes of age and becomes subject to Satan's influence, sin is born.
"May I pause and say that we do not like that statement, 'conceived in sin.' We do not like it because it reminds us of a perverse doctrine among the sectarians, to the effect that the act of conception is sin... God... means by it that man is conceived in a fallen situation where sin is dominant, where the natural man is dominant, where other effects of the Fall are dominant over him in his fallen or natural state. He does not mean that conception in itself, properly controlled, is transgression or sin." (Hyrum L. Andrus, The Glory of God and Man's Relation to Deity [Provo: BYU Extension Publications, 1964], 55)
Bruce C. Hafen
According to Christ's original doctrine as restored through Joseph Smith, the Fall made both possible and necessary the Savior's atoning for our sins. Human nature is neither inherently evil nor inherently good. We become evil or good based on interaction between the Lord's influence and the choices we make-choices unavailable in the garden before Adam and Eve fell and only made possible because of the Savior's atonement.
In fulfillment of his intended purpose, God expelled Adam and Eve from Eden into a world that was subject to the forces of life and death, good and evil. Yet He soon taught them that "the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt"; therefore, Adam's children were neither evil nor good but were "whole from the foundation of the world." (Moses 6:54; emphasis added.) Thus, "every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God." (D&C 93:38; emphasis added.)
As Adam's and Eve's descendants become accountable for their own sins at age eight, they all taste sin to one degree or another because of their experiences in a free environment. Those who come to love "Satan more than God" (Moses 5:28) will to that degree become "carnal, sensual, and devilish" (Moses 5:13; Moses 6:49) by nature-"natural men." On the other hand, those who accept Christ's grace by their faith, repentance, baptism, and continued striving will ultimately put off "the natural man" and become "a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." (Mosiah 3:19.) They will then be good by nature. ("The Restored Doctrine of the Atonement," Ensign, Dec. 1993, 11-12)
Moses 6:57 in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name
Bruce R. McConkie
God the Father is a Holy Man, an exalted, perfected, and glorified Person. Life eternal is gained through a knowledge of the nature and kind of being that he is. Hence, when he revealed himself to Father Adam, the first man, he chose words which, "in the language of Adam," identified him as "Man of Holiness." (Moses 6:57.) By this name he signifies both his position as a Man and his status as the embodiment of holiness and perfection. If we still spoke the Adamic language, the words we would use to specify our Father in Heaven would mean Man of Holiness. (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 467)
Moses 6:58 teach these things freely unto your children
Susan L. Warner
Children come into this world pure and open and eager to learn. It is our happy privilege and solemn responsibility to lovingly teach them plain and simple gospel truths, provide opportunities for them to feel the Spirit, and help them identify and recognize their own spiritual feelings. Heavenly Father said to Father Adam, "Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children" (Moses 6:58).
In our family we have tried to hold early-morning scripture study. But we were often frustrated when one son complained and had to be coaxed out of bed. When he finally came, he would often put his head right down on the table. Years later, while serving his mission, he wrote home in a letter: "Thank you for teaching me the scriptures. I want you to know that all those times I acted like I was sleeping, I was really listening with my eyes closed."
Parents and teachers, our efforts to help our children establish a heritage of rich spiritual memories are never wasted. Sometimes, the seeds we plant may not bear fruit for years, but we may take comfort in the hope that someday the children we teach will remember how they have "received and heard" the things of the Spirit. They will remember what they know and what they have felt. They will remember their identity as children of Heavenly Father, who sent them here with a divine purpose. (Ensign, May 1996, 79)
Moses 6:59 inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit... even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven
An entire Sunday School lesson could be given on this one verse. There is a lot of doctrine compressed into this triplet of truth. The message encapsulates how God's plan of redemption overcomes the Fall by the spiritual rebirth of baptism.
God uses the example of childbirth as the symbolism upon which to build the ordinance that signifies our commitment to Him. It is an outward ordinance to represent an inner commitment to keep the commandments and take upon us the name of God. The symbolism is worthy of careful consideration.
Bruce R. McConkie
In our temporal birth we are born to mortal parents and belong to an earthly family. In our spiritual birth we are adopted into a new family, the family of Christ. We take upon ourselves his name and he becomes our Father. (New Era, Aug. 1971, 36)
Theodore M. Burton
Note the perfect comparison, my brethren, of birth into this world with birth into the family of Jesus Christ. Thus we take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and become members of the royal family. If we hope to reach the presence of God the Eternal Father in the flesh with these present wonderful bodies which shall become purified and spiritualized to dwell in the presence of God, it can only be through Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Thus, we become through Jesus Christ members of the family of God the Father. (Conference Report, October 1965, General Priesthood Meeting 96)
Joseph Fielding Smith
Every child born into this world comes by the water; the blood and the Spirit. The unborn babe is cradled in water, the blood enters its body and by blood it is born and the spirit which the Lord created enters its body, thus there are three witnesses in birth, the water, the blood and the spirit of the child. So likewise we must be born again, by a burial in water, "for by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified." (Moses 6:60.) John the Beloved understood this principle thoroughly and he said: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." (1 John 5:7-8.) (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 4: 30)
Moses 6:60 For by the water ye keep the commandment
Within the ordinance of Baptism, all three members of the Godhead are symbolized. God the Father represents justice. He represents the requirement to comply with his commandments-to signify by outward ordinance that we are committed to be obedient to God. God can require of us whatever He sees fit. Baptism is required of all the accountable.
God's rule is, "all those who wish to enter the kingdom of heaven must first be baptized. They must keep the commandment. My perfect justice requires it."
Joseph Fielding Smith
The baptized person is immersed in water, is by the spirit justified and by the blood sanctified, or made alive in the kingdom of God. These three on earth in the birth of an infant bear witness, the water, the blood and the spirit. These three bear witness on earth in baptism, by immersion in water, the blood of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of God, and they agree. Then we have the three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and these three also agree and approve of the baptism when it is properly done and sanctioned. In each case there are three witnesses and in each case these witnesses agree and are one. This is a beautiful doctrine, perfectly consistent and full of virtue and meaning. Can't you see, my good Christian friends, how impotent and unsatisfactory your "baptism" so-called, has been if you were sprinkled with a little water, or had water poured on your heads? If such is the case then the symbolism to birth is lost. Likewise the symbolism to death, burial and the resurrection, is lost. Baptism is a beautiful doctrine. (The Restoration of All Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1945], 213)
Moses 6:60 by the Spirit ye are justified
In the symbolism of childbirth, the spirit entering the body represents the third member of the Godhead. The Holy Ghost justifies us before the Father. Justification is a legal term. It means to be right with the law; in this case to be right with God's legal requirement to enter his kingdom. We must be absolved of all violations of God's law-that is justification.
Are we justified by the Spirit alone? Can't we be justified by Christ? Yes, both the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ can justify us before the Father. Paul even said we are justified by Christ's blood (Rom. 5:9), but the baptismal doctrine, in its original and symbolic purity, designates the Holy Ghost as the one that justifies us. The Holy Ghost acts as a legal witness on our behalf before the Father (Heb. 10:15), declaring we have kept the commandment, putting his seal of approval on the ordinance performed.
Harold B. Lee
I want to comment about this one statement: "by the Spirit ye are justified." Now I've struggled with that statement, and I have found a definition that seems to indicate to me what I'm sure the Lord intended to convey. The definition that I think is significant says: "Justify means to pronounce free from guilt or blame, or to absolve." Now if the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is to pronounce one free from guilt or blame, or to absolve, then we begin to see something of the office of the Holy Ghost that relates to the subject about which we are talking: what it means to be born of the Spirit.
I shall inject here another phrase that is oft discussed (and I think is misunderstood) and to which we try to attach some mysteries. This phrase, where the Lord directs that all of these things are to be eternal, is: "must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise." Let me refer first to the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Speaking of those who are candidates for celestial glory, the Lord says:
They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial . . . That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands . . . And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. (D&C 76:51-53.)
In other words, baptism is only efficacious, and the initiary ordinance is applicable, when it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. (Stand Ye in Holy Places [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 52)
Bruce R. McConkie
[The baptismal ordinance] must be ratified by the Holy Ghost; or in other words, it must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
All of us know that we can deceive men. We can deceive our bishops or the other Church agents, unless at the moment their minds are lighted by the spirit of revelation; but we cannot deceive the Lord. We cannot get from him an unearned blessing. There will be an eventual day when all men will get exactly and precisely what they have merited and earned, neither adding to nor subtracting from. You cannot with success lie to the Holy Ghost.
Now let us take a simple illustration. If an individual is to gain an inheritance in the celestial world, he has to enter in at the gate of baptism, that ordinance being performed under the hands of a legal administrator. If he comes forward prepared by worthiness, that is, if he is just and true, and gains baptism under the hands of a legal administrator, he is justified by the Spirit in the act which has been performed; that is, it is ratified by the Holy Ghost, or it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. As a result it is of full force and validity in this life and in the life to come.
If an individual thereafter turns from righteousness and goes off and wallows in the mire of iniquity, then the seal is removed, and so we have this principle which keeps the unworthy from gaining unearned blessings. The Lord has placed a bar which stops the progress of the unrighteous; he has placed a requirement which we must meet. We must gain the approval and receive the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost if eventually and in eternity we are to reap the blessings that we hope to reap. (Conference Report, April 1956, Afternoon Meeting 65.)
Moses 6:60 by the blood ye are sanctified
In the baptismal symbolism of childbirth, the blood represents the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. Sanctification means to be made clean. Sanctification purges out impurities, cleans out dirt, washes away the unclean. "Sanctification is the process of becoming a saint, holy and spiritually clean and pure, by purging all sin from the soul." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1259) Since no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of heaven, we all need sanctification.
Paul said that we "are sanctified in Christ Jesus" (1 Cor. 1:2). Whereas the blood sacrifice of the law of Moses symbolically took away the guilt of a broken law, now "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all," giving us "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus." (Hebrews 10:10, 19)
Again, it is true that many scriptures speak of the sanctifying effect of the Spirit, suggesting perhaps that it is the Spirit that sanctifies. However, the baptismal doctrine, in its original and symbolic purity, designates the blood of Christ as the sanctifier, the "fuller's soap" to cleanse us from sin (Mal. 3:2). To appease the justice of God, the Son declares to the Father, "behold the blood of thy son which was shed... wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name" (D&C 45:4-5).
Bruce R. McConkie
Although men are sanctified by the power of the Holy Ghost, such sanctifying process is effective and operative because of the shedding of the blood of Christ. Thus Moroni says that the faithful saints are "sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission" of their sins, that they become holy and without spot. (Moro. 10:33) (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 189)
Moses 6:61 therefore it is given to abide in you... the Comforter
Theodore M. Burton
Without the nourishment provided by the atonement of Jesus Christ, baptism would remain just a dead form. Baptism alone cannot save us. Works alone cannot save us. Baptism must be accompanied by the granting of the Holy Ghost, which makes us spiritually alive just as God breathed into Adam the breath of life when he was created. Without the Holy Ghost, we would be spiritually stillborn and not have power to enter the presence of God the Eternal Father. ("To Be Born Again," Ensign, Sept. 1985, 68)
You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (History of The Church, 5: 499)
Moses 6:61 the Comforter [teaches] the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things
Keith K. Hilbig
When it comes to drawing upon the promptings and the blessings which flow from the Holy Ghost, we often "live far beneath our privileges."
In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses recorded that Adam, having been baptized and having received the Holy Ghost, "became quickened in the inner man."
When we invite the Holy Ghost to fill our minds with light and knowledge, He "quickens" us, that is to say, enlightens and enlivens the inner man or woman. As a result we notice a measurable difference in our soul. We feel strengthened, filled with peace and joy. We possess spiritual energy and enthusiasm, both of which enhance our natural abilities. We can accomplish more than we otherwise could do on our own. We yearn to become a holier person. (Ensign, Nov 2007, 37-39)
Parley P. Pratt
The gift of the Holy Ghost... quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. (Key to the Science of Theology, 101)
Moses 6:61 the record of heaven
Now the Lord gave Adam to understand that it was by being born again of the water and the Spirit that it was given to abide in him the record of heaven. I wonder just what the Lord meant by the "record of heaven," and I thought that it meant that it reveals unto us who we are, where we come from, why we are here, where we are going, and that great eternal truth that we are in very deed sons and daughters of God, the Eternal Father. Is there any truth that men could acquire through their faith and their obedience that would mean more than to know that every man born into this world has the possibility to grow and develop and become like unto our Heavenly Father? (Conference Report, April 1946, Afternoon Meeting 83)
Moses 6:62 this is the plan of salvation
We return to the introductory statements about the doctrine revealed by Enoch. We are about to learn the simple truths of the gospel as they were taught from the beginning. Like the Book of Mormon, Enoch's teachings are straightforward and simple. "Adam fell that men might be" (2 Ne. 2:25) was followed by doctrines that are so simple they would have been earth shattering to the sectarians of 1831 when this revelation was revealed. The doctrines include:
- men were made by God before the earth was created,
- sin and death came into the world by the Fall,
- Satan has come among men to tempt them,
- God has commanded all men to repent and be baptized,
- Adam's transgression in the Garden has been forgiven by God
- Jesus has atoned for original guilt
- Baptism is required to inherit the kingdom of God.
"Joseph's translation of Moses went a step beyond Protestant readings of the Old Testament. Protestants saw only foreshadowings of Christ in the Hebrew scriptures. Humankind was cut off from the full knowledge of the Gospel at the Fall. From then on, Christ was only hinted at in symbols or clues called types...
"Joseph Smith's book of Moses fully Christianized the Old Testament. Rather than hinting of the coming Christian truth, the Book of Moses presents the whole Gospel. God teaches Adam to believe, repent, 'and be baptized even by water, in the name of mine only begotten Son, which is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ.' Together the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses give history a different shape from the Old Testament. There is no sharp drop after the Fall, followed by gradual spiritual enlightenment. Theologically, the ancient patriarchs were the equals of later Christians. The problem of history was to hold on to the Gospel, not to prepare for its coming." (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, [Random House, NY, 2005], 134-135)
George Q. Cannon
There is much... in this revelation, which shows plainly that in that early day God sent His angels to Adam; that he repented of his sins and was baptized in water by an angel, and he received the Holy Ghost, just as much as we who live now do, and probably in greater power. These are the principles of the Gospel, and this was in the beginning. Every principle that was taught to men by the Savior in His day, so far as pertaineth to the Gospel, was taught in those early days. It is the height of folly, it is a libel on our Father in heaven, to say that those men who lived in those days dwelt in ignorance, or that the revelations of God to them were imperfect, or that God has improved since their day. He was perfect then; He knew all things then; and He taught that which was necessary then for man's salvation. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 3, September 24th, 1893)
Moses 6:63 all things are created and made to bear record of me
Henry B. Eyring
When we contemplate the stunning vastness, it is wise to remember, "Behold . . . all things are created and made to bear record of me" (Moses 6:63). Alma similarly declared, "All things denote there is a God . . . all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator" (Alma 30:44). It is a witnessing and overwhelming universe! (On Becoming a Disciple Scholar [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995], 9)
Gordon B. Hinckley
Can any man who has walked beneath the stars at night, can anyone who has seen the touch of spring upon the land doubt the hand of divinity in creation? So observing the beauties of the earth, one is wont to speak as did the Psalmist: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge." (Ps. 19:1-2)
All of beauty in the earth bears the fingerprint of the Master Creator. (Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 90)
Orson F. Whitney
"All things have their likeness, and are made to bear record of me," inspired Goethe to teach that things temporal are types of things spiritual.
The Universe, composed of things great and small, the smaller symbolizing the greater, is one vast poem. Filled with types and foreshadowings, the seen and heard bearing witness of the unseen and unheard, it is a mighty prophecy, ever fulfilling and awaiting further fulfillment... Seeing in part, what do we behold?
That there is an endless symbolism, all things visible, audible, or in any manner appreciable, typifying greater things, toward which, along the lines of eternal progress, all things are advancing.
That man is a symbol of God, as the child is a symbol of the parent, capable by growth and development, by the thorough education of his mental, physical, moral and spiritual powers, of becoming what he symbolizes, blossoming from the human into the divine.
That Earth symbolizes Heaven, though affording by its conditions a contrast to Heaven; through which contrast and its conditions man's spirit secures the education to which it aspires; whereupon the contrast disappears, and Earth, also educated, becomes Heaven.
That Time, with all its ages, is a chain, a climax, an ascending scale of dispensations, one merging into another and all into one, like rills and rivers mingling with the ocean.
That the past symbolized the present; was preparatory to and productive of the present; and that the present, also symbolical, sows the seed of and foreshadows the future.
That Time, with its centuries, is typical of Eternity with its aeons, those centuries being typified in turn by years, months, weeks, days and the more minute subdivisions of eternal duration.
That men and nations from the beginning have carved out the way for other men and nations; that human lives and human events, like sections of machinery turned by the enginery of Omnipotence, have fitted into and impelled each other, under the controlling, guiding master Mind and Hand that doeth all things well.
Through all these changes and vicissitudes, whether of Time or of Eternity, man's deathless intelligence passes, reaping where and what it hath sown, and advancing by experience from height to height of knowledge, power, glory and dominion.
This is "the open secret-open to all, seen by almost none." (Improvement Era, 1926, Vol. Xxix. July, 1926 No. 9)
Moses 6:64 Adam... was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water
Who is going to baptize Adam? Will God send an angel from another planet to perform the baptism of Adam? Who laid hands on his head to give him the Holy Ghost? If Adam's baptism wasn't performed in exactly the same way as ours, does that give us any heartburn?
God baptized Adam. He didn't need any help. He didn't need to physically perform the ordinance, he performed it spiritually by the power of the priesthood, having the Spirit carry him down into the water. Adam was thus baptized by God himself. We should not be too surprised. Some Old Testament prophets received the priesthood the same way. The Prophet Joseph recorded they "were ordained by God himself." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 181)
George F. Richards
Herein is described the mode of baptism originating with Adam, the first man. God has never authorized any other kind of baptism by water. And baptism by water is not complete until the individual has been baptized by fire, or the Holy Ghost... as was the order of things in the Primitive Church. (Conference Report, October 1934, Afternoon Meeting 73)
Moses 6:67 the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years
In the Doctrine and Covenants, we have the continuance of the Melchizedek Priesthood traced out through the line of the fathers from Moses to Abraham, from Abraham to Noah, and from Noah to Adam, (D&C 84:6-17) and I see not how this priesthood can exist among men and not the Gospel: for that is what this priesthood is for-to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel, and it is obtained through obedience to the Gospel. (The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1901], 231 - 232)
Ezra Taft Benson
Adam and his posterity were commanded by God to be baptized, to receive the Holy Ghost, and to enter into the order of the Son of God. To enter into the order of the Son of God is the equivalent today of entering into the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is only received in the house of the Lord. (Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 279)