Moses 7:1 many have believed and become the sons of God
Why did these righteous souls have to "become the sons of God"? Aren't we all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father?
In spirit, we are his children, but one of the effects of the Fall is that we can no longer endure his presence. It is almost like we lose our inheritance. As frightening as it sounds, it is like being kicked out of the family. How do we get our inheritance back? By following the gospel plan, by believing in God, and by making sacred covenants. By doing so, we become the sons and daughters of God and qualify once again for a glorious inheritance. Faith is the first ingredient in this process, "And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters." (Mosiah 5:7)
See also commentary for Genesis 6:2.
Moses 7:2 Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon
Bruce R. McConkie
The mountains of the Lord! The mountains of the Great Jehovah! The holy places where the soles of his feet have trod! How grand they are! And they are the towering peaks and the cloud-topped summits where the temples of the Lord-all of them-shall be built in the last days.
In all the days of his goodness, mountain heights have been the places chosen by the Lord to commune with his people. The experiences of Enoch, and of Moriancumer, and of Moses show how the Lord deigned to deal with his servants when they lifted themselves temporally and spiritually toward heaven's heights. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 274)
Moses 7:3-4 I beheld the heavens open, and... I saw the Lord... face to face
Spencer W. Kimball
Enoch's vision was awesome. He said:
. . . I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory;
And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations. (Moses 7:3-4.)
Abraham was known as "the Friend of God" and he said:
. . . I, Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face, as one man talketh with another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made. (Abraham 3:11.)
And through Aaron and Miriam the Lord described his revelations to Moses:
If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses. (Numbers 12:6-8)
These tremendously important experiences are so uncommon that in all of recorded history there is only a small number that are comparable. Few revelations, whether to Moses or Abraham or Joseph Smith, were so spectacular. (Faith Precedes the Miracle [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972], 24)
It is standard procedure in apocalyptic writings to have the hero introduced to cosmology in the course of his visit to the heavenly realms; in these accounts the leitmotif is glory in varying degrees, and what applies to one heavenly visit applies to another, so that the same descriptions fit the experience of Enoch, Moses, Abraham, Elijah, etc.
First, the principle is laid down that glory can be experienced only to the degree one is qualified to share it. The person who would behold God's glory must himself first be "clothed upon with glory," i.e., enveloped in that same glory: ". . . being clothed with robes of righteousness, . . . .in glory even as I am, . . . to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one." (D&C 29:12-13; italics added.) Even so with Enoch:
. . . Secrets 22:8 (Morfill, p. 28.) I beheld the heavens open, and And the Lord said to Michael... "Go and take Enoch out from his earthly garments, and anoint him with my sweet ointment and put him into the garments of my glory. . . ." And I [Enoch] looked at myself, and was like one of his glorious ones. And there was no difference. (See also Slavonic Enoch 9, Vaillant, pp. 25f.)
Text B, 22 (in R. H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, 2:443). After Enoch is clothed in garments of glory. " . . the Lord with his mouth summoned me and said: Have courage, Enoch, fear not, stand before my face to eternity. And . . . Michael brought me before the face of God." (Enoch the Prophet, edited by Stephen D. Ricks [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986], 229)
Moses 7:7-8 the land shall be barren and unfruitful... the Lord shall curse the land with much heat
Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden into an already inhospitable environment. Then, to make things worse, the land is cursed to be barren and unfruitful. After the flood, this curse was lifted:
the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake...
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Gen. 8:21-22)
Joseph F. Smith
[God] put His curse upon... the land of Canaan and caused it to be barren and unfruitful: and so sure can He send the devouring insect, to sweep the earth of the crops that are upon it, and He can scourge the nations that boast of their wealth, and of their power to resist the providences of God. He can teach them a lesson when He wills; and when the time comes, as God lives, He will teach them a lesson. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol 3, July 16, 1893)
Moses 7:8 a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan
Most have assumed that the children of Canaan were the descendants of Cain. This may not be a fair assumption as the origin of the term Canaan appears to be the name of a land or group of lands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan) and has no direct connection with Adam's murderous son. Draper, et al, agree, "This people is not the same as 'the seed of Cain' (Moses 7:22)... their tribal names are of different origin." (The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse by Verse Commentary, RD Draper, SK Brown, MD Rhodes, [SLC: Deseret Book, 2005], 115) Furthermore, Cain's descendants lived in a city of Enoch (a wicked city built long before Zion) not in the land of Canaan (Gen. 4:17). Besides, why would Enoch's vision specifically show that a blackness came upon the Canaanites, if-as the descendants of Cain-they already had black skin (Moses 7:22)?
We don't like to think about God cursing his children but we have some examples from the Old Testament we have to deal with. In reality, it is just as important to understand God's cursings as it is to understand his blessings. Cain was cursed for murdering Abel (Gen. 4:11-12), Lamech was cursed for murdering for the oath's sake (Moses 5:52), the Canaanites were cursed for destroying the people of Shum, and Ham's descendants were cursed because of Ham's indiscretion (Abr. 1:26; Gen 9:20-25).
While Cain's curse was for committing the first murder, perhaps the Canaanites curse was for committing the first act of genocide, apparently completely wiping out the people of Shum. The consequences of the curse include 1) the loss of the gospel, 2) the land becomes barren and unfruitful, and 3) a mark of dark skin to cause a separation from the children of God. Nothing is mentioned with regard to priesthood with Cain or the Caananites. In the scriptures, it is with Ham's descendants that the curse pertained to the priesthood, but in the case of Cain's descendants and the Canaanites, we ask, "would they have had the priesthood if they didn't have the gospel?"
Moses 7:13 so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God... to battle against them
"Three thousand years before the birth of Christ, the peace in which the people of the Lord had been living was broken as fierce enemies moved against them. History does not record the reason for the hatred that drove the attacking army, but they seemed intent on exterminating these early Saints. The soldiers must have felt very confident as they marched in battle array toward the peaceful land. But instead of victory they would find an ignominious defeat, which came about in ways they could not have imagined.
"At least 65 years before the invasion, Jared and his wife, followers of God, had welcomed a son into their home. They named him Enoch, a word meaning 'teacher.' Enoch grew in righteousness until, apparently when he was 65 years old, the Lord called him to be a spokesman. The Lord promised him, 'My Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course' (Moses 6:34).
"The Lord was not speaking in hyperbole. Enemy armies approached, '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 all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch' (Moses 7:13).
"It takes little to imagine the wonder that must have struck that advancing army as the land quaked and heaved and whole rivers swept out of their courses. The record tells us that the attacking army fled to a 'land which came out of the depth of the sea,' and 'there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God' (Moses 7:14, 15). Few people have ever wielded such formidable power, but Enoch had proven himself worthy in the eyes of God to exercise it." (Richard D. Draper, "Enoch: What Modern Scripture Teaches," Ensign, Jan. 1998, 29)
Jeffrey R. Holland
I ask all of you to remember Enoch as long as you live. This is the young man who, when called to a seemingly impossible task, said, "Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, [I] am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech ..." (Moses 6:31.)
Enoch was a believer. He stiffened his spine and squared his shoulders and went stutteringly on his way. Plain, old, ungifted, inferior Enoch. And this is what the angels would come to write of him.
"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).
Plain, old, inadequate Enoch! Whose name is now synonymous with transcendent righteousness. The next time you are tempted to paint your self-portrait dismal gray, highlighted with lackluster beige, just remember that so have this kingdom's most splendid men and women been so tempted. I say to you as Joshua said to the tribes of Israel as they faced one of their most difficult tasks, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you" (Josh. 3:5). (New Era, Oct. 1980, 11)
Moses 7:14 there also came up a land out of the depth of the sea
Instead of the flood sent over a surprised community one fine day, we have in Enoch the picture of a long period of preparation during which the mounting restlessness of the elements clearly admonishes the human race to mend its ways... The earth itself in Enoch's day became increasingly restless. The sea was first drawn back and the fishes were flopping around; and in the Joseph Smith version, sure enough, "There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea." (Moses 7:14.) Then the wicked invaded the new land, as Enoch had foretold, and all the people were in fear and trembling: "And fear shall seize them to the extremities of the earth, and the high mountains shall be shaken and fall down and be dissolved, flow down and be turned into side channels and shall melt like wax before a flame, and the earth will be rent with a splitting and cracking, and everything on earth shall be destroyed." This passage from the Slavonic version (one apocryphal account) describes the same scene as in Moses 7:13-14, where the mountains flow down, the rivers are changed, and the earth shakes, when Enoch spoke the word of the Lord. The mountains shook, and all people were afraid; the rivers were turned from their courses, and the land rose up from the sea-the same picture. This does not sound as fantastic as it once did. Any catastrophe of the magnitude of the flood must have been accompanied by large-scale preliminary disturbances, plus side effects, exactly like those described. (Enoch the Prophet, edited by Stephen D. Ricks [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986], 12-13)
Moses 7:15 the giants of the land, also, stood afar off
Fairy tales of beanstalks, ogres, and monsters give us fanciful, imaginary ideas when we think of the term giants. In the scriptures, the term simply means a group of people of great stature. They were not supernatural. They had no special powers. They were just big. The result was that they were feared as an enemy because of their size. The Bible records a giant race up until the days of Joshua (Josh. 11:20-22). The Anakim clan was particularly tall and put fear into the hearts of some faithless Israelites (Num. 13:31-33).
Moses 7:16 from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them
The days of Enoch are a type for the latter days. The latter-day prophets, from Joseph Smith to today, have the collective assignment to do what Enoch did-to bring us along until we are worthy of another great city of Zion. The pattern is set. The people of the world will deteriorate. There will be progressively greater wickedness until war and bloodshed will be among all people that do not belong to the kingdom of God, "it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another" (D&C 45:69).
The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.
I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolation, fires. The Son of Man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place; but with a view of them, shall I cry peace? No; I will lift up my voice and testify of them. How long you will have good crops, and the famine be kept off, I do not know; when the fig tree leaves, know then that the summer is nigh at hand. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 233)
Moses 7:17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations
When God fights your battles, it engenders great fear in the enemy. "When all the kings of the Amorites... and... Canaanites... heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over... their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more." (Josh 5:1) As Zion is built in the latter days, the effect upon the people will be the same as in the days of Enoch or Joshua.
And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.
And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.
And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy. (D&C 45:66-71)
There is a scripture which says, the time will come when he that will not take up his sword to fight against his neighbor, must needs flee to Zion for safety. And they will come. But we must prepare ourselves. We have got to have the invigorating influence of the Spirit of God to permeate all of our organizations, all feeling that we are under the guidance and protection of the Almighty, every man in his place, and every man according to the order of the priesthood in which God has placed him. . . . This is the kind of feeling we should have and be governed by. (The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, selected, arranged, and edited, with an introduction by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941], 71 - 72.)
Moses 7:18 the Lord called his people ZION
"The glorification of Enoch and his city has provided the pattern for all other societies of Saints to follow...
"Coming as these revelations did at the beginning of the history of the Church, they also provide a pattern for Saints of the last days, who-under the direction of proper prophetic and apostolic authority-endeavor to establish Zion in accordance with the Lord's command. As Joseph Smith taught, 'The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 231.)" (Kent P. Jackson, "An Age of Contrasts: From Adam to Abraham," Ensign, Feb. 1986, 30)
Bruce R. McConkie
Please note: Zion is people; Zion is the saints of God; Zion is those who have been baptized; Zion is those who have received the Holy Ghost; Zion is those who keep the commandments; Zion is the righteous; or in other words, as our revelation recites: "This is Zion-the pure in heart." (D&C 97:21) (Ensign, May 1977, 115-18)
David O. McKay
Zion we build will pattern after the ideals of its inhabitants. To change men and the world we must change their thinking, for the thing which a man really believes is the thing which he has really thought; that which he actually thinks is the thing which he lives. Men do not go beyond their ideals; they often fall short of them, but they never go beyond them.
Victor Hugo said: "The future of any nation can be determined by the thoughts of its young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five." Thus it is easy to understand why the Lord designates Zion as "... the pure in heart ..." (D. & C. 97:21); and only when we are such, and only when we have such shall Zion "... flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall be upon her." (Ibid., 64:41.)
The foundation of Zion then will be laid in the hearts of men; broad acres, mines, forests, factories, beautiful buildings, modern conveniences, will be but means and accessories to the building of the human soul and the securing of happiness. (Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953], 335)
When we conclude to make a Zion we will make it, and this work commences in the heart of each person. When the father of a family wishes to make a Zion in his own house, he must take the lead in this good work, which it is impossible for him to do unless he himself possesses the spirit of Zion. Before he can produce the work of sanctification in his family, he must sanctify himself, and by this means God can help him to sanctify his family.
Moses 7:18 they were of one heart and one mind
"A vital principle of the gospel is unity. In fact, it is a principle of the celestial kingdom, and Zion cannot be built up until we adhere to all of the laws.
"This problem of unity is one of the great challenges to the Church today, since the gospel net gathers God's children from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Each of us in the Church and each of those who would join the Church lives in a different world from every other person. In some instances the differences are striking; in other instances the differences may be rather subtle. Whatever the degree, though, each of us has inherent differences, and each of us is influenced by differing forces-cultural, geographic, economic, social, and on and on.
"And yet out of this diversity must come unity, oneness, and love.
"Unless we are 'united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom,' (D&C 105:4) this people will not be sanctified and prepared to receive Christ." ("Editorial: Unity in Diversity," Ensign, Aug. 1971, 89)
Moses 7:18 there was no poor among them
"The commandment to reestablish Zion became for the Saints of Joseph Smith's day the central goal of the Church. But it was a goal the Church did not realize because its people were not fully prepared. In the wisdom of God, who comprehends the end from the beginning, the redemption of Zion will assuredly come as promised, but not until he has a prepared people who can live by Zion's laws.
"So it becomes vitally important for us to consider (1) the law of consecration and operation of the united order, (2) why the 1831-34 effort to implement this order failed, and (3) how the Lord is now preparing a people for Zion's eventual redemption." (William O. Nelson, "To Prepare a People," Ensign, Jan. 1979, 18-19)
...it must needs be that there be an organization of my people... for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion-
For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven;
That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;
For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you. (D&C 78:3-7)
The law of consecration is expressly designed for the establishment of Zion, where "they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18.) For that, we must consecrate everything we have to the whole; and yet we lose nothing, for we are all one. To consecrate means to set apart, sanctify, and relinquish our own personal interest in the manner designated in the book of Doctrine and Covenants. It is the final, decisive law and covenant by which we formally accept the Atonement and merit a share in it. ("The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Part 4," Ensign, Oct. 1990, 27)
Gordon B. Hinckley
If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God. (Ensign, Nov. 1991, 59)
Spencer W. Kimball
As we travel and visit throughout the world, we recognize the great temporal needs of our people. And as we long to help them, we realize the vital importance of their learning this great lesson: that the highest achievement of spirituality comes as we conquer the flesh. We build character as we encourage people to care for their own needs.
As givers gain control of their desires and properly see others' needs in light of their own wants, then the powers of the gospel are released in their lives. They learn that by exercising the principle of love they ensure not only temporal salvation but also spiritual sanctification.
And as a recipient receives with thanksgiving, he rejoices in knowing that in its purest form-in the true Zion-one may partake of both temporal and spiritual salvation. Then they are motivated to become self-sustaining and able to share with others.
Isn't the plan beautiful? Don't you thrill to this part of the gospel that causes Zion to put on her beautiful garments? When viewed in this light, we can see that Welfare Services is not a program, but the essence of the gospel. It is the gospel in action. ("And the Lord Called His People Zion," Ensign, Aug. 1984, 3-4)
Moses 7:19 he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion
The best news-indeed the only wholly good news that can come to the inhabitants of this wicked earth-is the bringing again of Zion to bless the earth with the only order of society acceptable to God and unreservedly beneficial to man. Zion is any society in which the celestial law is operative, "and though we cannot claim these promises which were made to the ancients, for they are not our property," the Prophet Joseph reminded his people, "... yet if we are ... called with the same calling ... and embrace the same covenant ... we can ... obtain the same promises ... because we, ourselves, have faith ... even as they did." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 66.) Zion is a glorious ideal, albeit a rare reality, in the world's history; it is "the Holy Order that God has established for his people in all ages of the world when he has had a kingdom on the earth. We may call it," said Brigham Young, "the Order of Enoch, the Order of Joseph, the Order of Peter, or Abraham, or Moses, and then go back to Noah ..." who, of course, takes us to Enoch. (Journal of Discourses, 17:113.) (Hugh Nibley, "A Strange Thing in the Land: The Return of the Book of Enoch, Part 12," Ensign, June 1977, 81-82)
Harold B. Lee
To be worthy of such a sacred designation as Zion, the Church must think of itself as a bride adorned for her husband, as John the Revelator recorded when he saw in vision the Holy City where the righteous dwelt, adorned as a bride for the Lamb of God. Here is portrayed the relationship the Lord desires in His people in order to be acceptable to our Lord and Master, even as a wife would adorn herself in beautiful garments for her husband.
The rule by which the people of God must live in order to be worthy of acceptance in the sight of God is indicated by the revelation found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 82. This people must increase in beauty before the world and have an inward loveliness that may be observed by mankind as a reflection in holiness and in those inherent qualities of sanctity. The borders of Zion, where the righteous and pure in heart may dwell, must now begin to be enlarged; the stakes of Zion must be strengthened-all this so that Zion may arise and shine by becoming increasingly diligent in carrying out the plan of salvation throughout the world. (See D&C 82:14.D&C 73:1) (D&C 11:111, p. 138) (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 409)
We have no business here other than to build up and establish the Zion of God. It must be done according to the will and law of God, after that pattern and order by which Enoch built up and perfected the former-day Zion, which was taken away to heaven, hence the saying went abroad that Zion had fled. By and by it will come back again, and as Enoch prepared his people to be worthy of translation, so we, through our faithfulness, must prepare ourselves to meet Zion from above when it shall return to earth, and to abide the brightness and glory of its coming
I have Zion in my view constantly. We are not going to wait for angels, or for Enoch and his company to come and build up Zion, but we are going to build it. We will raise our wheat, build our houses, fence our farms, plant our vineyards and orchards, and produce everything that will make our bodies comfortable and happy, and in this manner we intend to build up Zion on the earth and purify it and cleanse it from all pollutions. Let there be an hallowed influence go from us over all things over which we have any power; over the soil we cultivate, over the houses we build, and over everything we possess; and if we cease to hold fellowship with that which is corrupt and establish the Zion of God in our hearts, in our own houses, in our cities, and throughout our country, we shall ultimately overcome the earth, for we are the lords of the earth; and, instead of thorns and thistles, every useful plant that is good for the food of man and to beautify and adorn will spring from its bosom. (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 443)
Moses 7:21 the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth
"Moses... beheld the earth, yea, even all of it... and there was not a soul which he did beheld not" (Moses 1:28). The brother of Jared was shown "all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be... unto the ends of the earth" (Ether 3:25). Enoch was also shown this panoramic, all-inclusive vision. It is remarkable to think of these three great prophets seeing what they did, especially since Joseph Smith, a prophet of equal stature, never claimed to have seen all the inhabitants of the earth!
Moses 7:21 Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven
Spencer J. Condie
Note the reference to the "process of time." A great leader must have high expectations, tempered with patience. In section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants we learn that Enoch was "four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated." (Moses 7:49.) Brothers and sisters, I rest my case: perfection takes a long, long time. But still, we are commanded to become perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. (See Matt. 5:48; 3 Ne. 12:48.) ("Some Scriptural Lessons on Leadership," Ensign, May 1990, 28)
Neal A. Maxwell
Paul wrote that, even after faithful disciples had "done the will of God," they "[had] need of patience" (Hebrews 10:36). How many times have good people done the right thing initially only to break under subsequent stress? Sustaining correct conduct for a difficult moment under extraordinary stress is very commendable, but so is coping with sustained stress subtly present in seeming routineness. Either way, however, we are to "run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1); and it is a marathon, not a sprint.
When you and I are unduly impatient, we like our timetable better than God's. And thus, while the scriptural phrase "in process of time" means "eventually," it also denotes an entire spiritual process. (Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 71)
Moses 7:24 there came generation upon generation; and... the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth
In contemplating these terrifying events, Enoch never allows us to forget that the real tragedy is not what becomes of people, but what they become. That's the sad thing. The people of Enoch's day and Noah's day were quite satisfied with themselves as they were, and they hotly resented any offers of help or advice from God's messenger; and all men were offended by Enoch's preaching. "They do not sow the seed which I give them," the Lord says to Enoch in a very important Enoch text, "but have taken another yoke and sow seeds of destruction and reject my kingship, and all the earth will be overwhelmed with iniquities and abominations." When Enoch asks the Lord why there were destructions, the first thing the Lord says is, "Behold, they are without affection"; "I gave them commandment they should have me to be their father, but they won't do it." Then he goes on, "I commanded them that they should love one another and serve me their father."
Here he says, "They don't sow the seed that I gave them; they've rejected my kingship, and all the earth will be overwhelmed." "The kings of the earth say, 'We have not believed before him; our hope was in the scepter of our kingship and in our glory.'" So when disaster strikes, they must confess that his judgments have no respect of persons. "We pass away from before his face on account of our own works." The theme often repeated in the book of Moses is that because of their own iniquities, they have brought destruction upon themselves. This is a very common theme. The refrain is ever "Wo unto you foolish ones, for you shall perish through your own folly." (Enoch the Prophet, edited by Stephen D. Ricks [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986], 15)
Moses 7:26 he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand
Carlos E. Asay
The chain held by Satan is referred to in the scriptures as "the chains of hell" (Alma 12:11), "the bands of iniquity" (Mosiah 23:12), "chains of darkness" (2 Peter 2:4), and "the everlasting chains of death" (Alma 36:18). Such chains are used to make us captives of the evil one. Normally, they are not thrown over us suddenly or in one single act. They start as flaxen threads and encumber us habit by habit, sin by sin, and strand by strand. And if not cut and cast off through the process of repentance, they can become heavy chains and the awful "snare of the devil" (2 Timothy 2:26).
So, be very careful. As you serve the Lord, identify your weaknesses, replace bad habits with good ones, and avoid any and every appearance of evil. I have one desire for you, and that desire is that you will succeed in your calling. Please be careful. Do not allow the chains of Satan to fall upon you. Do not allow those little threads to encircle you about. Throw them off. Cut them loose. Do not allow Satan to make you his. (In the Lord's Service: A Guide to Spiritual Development [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 78)
Moses 7:26 Satan... looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced
Once Satan has us where he wants us, he laughs at us. Ironically, for many, it was the fear of mocking from the great and spacious building that got them in trouble in the first place. First, the pointing finger of scorn comes from the worldly. In the end, it comes directly from Satan and his angels.
Satan is miserable. Our actions should make him more miserable not give him something to laugh about.
Bruce C. Hafen
According to Lucifer's classic bargain, he offers immediate short-term freedom in exchange for long-term slavery. He gives us what we desire in our momentary myopia, but then we are obliged to give him our souls. Incredibly, many are willing to pay this price to feel short-term "cheap thrills," even when he has warned them in advance of the long-term costs! (Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, The Belonging: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 139)
Moses 7:28 the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept
Neal A. Maxwell
I wish to share what seems to me to be a profound window of divine disclosure through which we are permitted to look. As is the case with many scriptures, there are many multiple meanings. I wish to note one from that moment in which Enoch, in the presence of the Lord, was permitted to see the trauma of the people in the time of Noah. The principle to be noted is that we do not always weep alone: (quotes Moses 28-41)
An absolutely supernal, marvelous insight! Our Father in Heaven is so tender even for his most mistaken children...
Not always, but more than we know... we do not weep alone! ("The Pathway of Discipleship," Ensign, Sept. 1998, 12)
Neal A. Maxwell
No one can read this supernal revelatory account without feeling the divine tenderness of God's sharing in human suffering. In view of this, praise be to God for His long-suffering and patience! Our Father and our Redeemer are perfect in both their mercy and their justice-and divine empathy bridges those two virtues. (A Wonderful Flood of Light [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 81)
Henry B. Eyring
God knows all we have done. And while he cannot look on sin with the least degree of allowance, he looks on us with compassion beyond our capacity to measure. When the scripture speaks of the whole heavens weeping, I think of another picture, given to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is what he said: "The spirits of the just are . . . blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith." (History of the Church, 6:52.)
These words pain me when I think of those I have loved and who loved me who are surely now among the spirits of the just. The realization that they feel pain for us and that the God of Heaven weeps because of our unrepented sin is surely enough to soften our hearts and move us to action. And it is surely reason enough to avoid even the approaches, the very thought, of committing serious sin. (To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 123)
Moses 7:29 How is it that thou canst weep?
Three times, Enoch asks the question, "how is it that the heavens weep and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?" (v. 28) "How is it that thou canst weep seeing thou art holy?" (v. 29) "...how is it thou canst weep?" (v. 31). The repetition underscores Enoch's amazement that the God of the universe could feel such poignant sorrow.
Bruce C. Hafen
Even though our Father is omnipotent and omniscient, he does feel emotion, and he feels it deeply. Thus, the Almighty God, the Lord of Hosts, wept; for he could not and would not revoke man's agency. (The Believing Heart, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 94)
Joseph Fielding Smith
These are reasons why the Lord wept and why the heavens wept. I was asked by a brother one time if a man could be perfectly happy in the celestial kingdom if one of his children was not permitted to enter there. I told him that I supposed that any man who was so unfortunate as to have one of his children barred from the celestial kingdom would, of course, have feelings of sorrow because of that condition; and that is just the position our Father in heaven is in. Not all of his children are worthy of celestial glory, and many are forced to suffer his wrath because of their transgressions, and this causes the Father and the whole heavens to have sorrow and to weep. (Conference Report, April 1923, Third Day-Morning Session 137)
Moses 7:30 were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth... it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations
Vaughn J. Featherstone
If we could "number the particles of the earth, yea millions of earths . . . it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations." We have to surrender our puny understandings to an incomprehensible totality of creations by the Creator. Including every blade of grass, every flower, tree, shrub, animal, fish, insect, such a vision reaches far beyond our mortal ability to understand or comprehend.
And yet He touches our individual lives. (The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 33)
Neal A. Maxwell
The vastness of it all is truly overwhelming. We are living on a small planet which is part of a very modest solar system, which, in turn, is located at the outer edge of the awesome Milky Way galaxy. If we were sufficiently distant from the stunning Milky Way, it would be seen as but another bright dot among countless other bright dots in space, all of which could cause us to conclude, comparatively, "that man is nothing." (Moses 1:10.)
Yet we are rescued by such reassuring realities as that God knows and loves each of us-personally and perfectly. Hence, there is incredible intimacy in the vastness of it all. Are not the very hairs of one's head numbered? Is not the fall of each sparrow noticed? ("Thanks Be to God," Ensign, July 1982, 51)
Moses 7:30 yet thou art there
"What astounded the seer was not the amount of real estate, however, but that, as he told the Lord, 'Thou art there, and thy bosom is there' (Moses 7:30). The Lord confirmed that he was in direct contact with every world and every creature he had made, for he said, 'I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also' (Moses 7:36). Enoch came to truly understand that the Lord knew and loved them all." (Richard D. Draper, "Enoch: What Modern Scripture Teaches," Ensign, Jan. 1998, 32)
"Perhaps one of the greatest insights from the book of Moses is the Lord's explanation of why he does what he does for all of us. He declared: 'For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (Moses 1:39). The statement is simple, direct, and yet profound. The work of God is focused not on creating planets or organizing solar systems but on exalting his children. It is this work that brings him glory and honor." (Richard D. Draper, "The Remarkable Book of Moses," Ensign, Feb. 1997, 21)
Neal A. Maxwell
The restored gospel grandly affirms, declaring that "worlds without number" have been created (Moses 1:33; see also John 1:3; Heb. 1:2; Heb. 11:3; D&C 93:10). These gospel truths are very significant assurances for us, situated as we are on this tiny "speck of sand" at the outer edge of a minor galaxy, the Milky Way. Without the gospel's fulness, we would appear to be living during one tick of the geological clock and in the midst of unexplained vastness.
Nevertheless, our focus is to be on this planet, just as the Lord told Moses:
But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away. ... Innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them (Moses 1:35).
Enoch, to whom the Lord revealed so much, praised God amid His vast creations, exclaiming reassuringly, "Yet thou art there" (Moses 7:30; see also Jer. 10:12).
This same special assurance can see each of us through all the seasons and circumstances of our lives. A universal God is actually involved with our small, individual universes of experience! In the midst of His vast dominions, yet He numbers us, knows us, and loves us perfectly (see Moses 1:35; John 10:14). ("Yet Thou Art There," Ensign, Nov 1987, 30)
Moses 7:32 in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency
Marion D. Hanks
We had that agency with God before this world was. In the heavenly council of which the scriptures teach, there was another plan than God's presented: Lucifer was permitted to offer his program. It is vital for us in our leadership and our relationships to remember that God so loved that he would not shield us from the perils of freedom, from the right and responsibility to choose. So deep is his love and so precious that principle that he, who was conscious of the consequences, required that we choose. Lucifer had no love in his heart, no real concept of freedom or respect for it. He had no confidence in the principle or in us. He argued for forced salvation, for imposed survival, for an agencyless round trip to the earth and back again. None would be lost, he insisted. But he seemed not to understand that none would be any wiser, either, or any stronger or more compassionate or humble or grateful or more creative, under his plan.
We understood before we left that premortal state that freedom is precarious, difficult. We knew that to love would make us vulnerable to heartbreak and pain and disappointment. But we had learned that the alternatives to love and freedom of choice cannot provide the climate for growth and creative capacity that can eventually lead us to a stewardship like our Father's. The unselfish love of our Father's Firstborn in the spirit helped us understand when he, knowing the personal cost ahead for him but also the eternal significance for all of us, volunteered for his role of redemption.
We chose then, and we are, in consequence, on this earth still choosing. ("Agency and Love," Ensign, Nov. 1983, 22)
The volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they receive the blessing of life; if they choose death, they must abide the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice, and God brings forth the results of the acts of his creatures to promote his Kingdom and subserve his purposes in the salvation and exaltation of his children. (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 62)
Ezra Taft Benson
Freedom of choice is a God-given eternal principle. The great plan of liberty is the plan of the gospel. There is no coercion about it; no force, no intimidation. A man is free to accept the gospel or reject it. He may accept it and then refuse to live it, or he may accept it and live it fully. But God will never force us to live the gospel. He will use persuasion through His servants. He will call us and He will direct us and He will persuade us and encourage us and He will bless us when we respond, but He will never force the human mind. (See Hymns, 1985, no. 240.) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 82)
Moses 7:33 they should love one another, and... choose me, their Father
Marion D. Hanks
God, from whom all blessings come, asked of his children only that they should love each other and choose him, their Father.
But as in our day, many neither sought the Lord nor had love for each other, and when God foresaw the suffering that would inevitably follow this self-willed, rebellious course of sin, he wept. That, he told Enoch, was what he had to cry about. ("Willing to Receive," Ensign, May 1980, 29)
Neal A. Maxwell
The Lord's indignation is kindled when we refuse to keep the two great commandments, which tell us to follow Him and to love one another. His indignation is truly aflame when we live without affection for our fellows and hate our own blood. Why? Is it merely because we miss two points on an abstract checklist? Rather, it is because in lacking those attributes, we inflict so much misery upon others and upon ourselves. Furthermore, we thereby follow Satan, the father of misery. (Even As I Am [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 34)
Moses 7:35 Man of Holiness is my name
See commentary for Moses 6:57.
Moses 7:35 Man of Counsel is my name;
God counsels with other gods, but does he counsel with us? Perhaps a better question is, "do we presume to counsel the Lord?" "Do we counsel Him whose name is Counsel?" The Lord has commanded, do "as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God." (D&C 22:4) The question is whether we are counseling the Lord-telling the Lord the way things should be-or whether we are counseling with the Lord so we may receive counsel from Him whose name is Counsel:
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep;; and when thou risest up in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day (Alma 37:37).
[God] doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round (Alma 37:12).
Bruce R. McConkie
One of the revealed names of God the Father is Man of Counsel (Moses 7:35), a designation signifying that he is a Man and that the perfection of counsel and direction come from him. In similar manner, he might be called Man of Wisdom, Man of Righteousness, Man of Power, Man of Love, or any other name-title which points attention to the perfection and beauty of a particular one of the godly attributes embodied in his Person. (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 467)
Moses 7:35 Endless and Eternal is my name
If Endless and Eternal is the name of God, then "endless punishment" is God's punishment (D&C 19:10-11), and "eternal life" is God's life (John 6:54). If Endless and Eternal is the name of God, then "endless torment" is God's torment (2 Ne. 28:23), and "endless happiness" is God's happiness (Alma 41:4). We can choose "endless wo" (Alma 28:11) or "endless life" (Hebrews 7:16). The choice is ours.
Joseph Fielding Smith
[God] is unchangeable. His name is "Endless and Eternal;" it is, the "Everlasting God." These names are his because he possesses these qualities, and therefore he cannot change. It is just as reasonable for a man to teach that he has the right, or the power, or that society has, to set aside the law of gravity, or of light, or any other one or many of the laws of nature. It would be just as reasonable for men to legislate and proclaim that the ocean shall stop its ceaseless motion and the beating of its waves upon the shore; that water shall no longer freeze or turn into steam, as to proclaim that man may mar the work of God and set aside any of the laws that govern in his kingdom which have been established for man's salvation. (The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964], 426 - 427)
Moses 7:36 there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren
Sometimes the job of the commentator is to get the reader to stop and think for a moment. This is one of those times-a time to let the concept settle in-a time to absorb the inconceivable. Now we are to understand that God has created more than billions of earths like this one, yet of them all-of all the numberless worlds-Enoch's brethren were the most wicked. That is some mark of shame! Almost impossible to comprehend, it makes one wonder just what the people were doing that was so wicked.
But as conditions before the Flood are a parallel to the conditions before the Second Coming, we can assume that the pinnacle wickedness will return. If the wicked were that bad before the earth was cleansed with water, it is fair to assume that the wicked will be just as bad before the earth is cleansed with fire. That degree of wickedness is record-breaking; it is a sobering thought. And it is coming soon to a theater near you.
You may wonder why we are not sharing the fun here on earth. That's because we have been quarantined. We've been isolated for a special testing situation. Remember, that's what the Lord told Enoch when he was talking about the world. He had created "worlds without number," and yet he told Enoch, "Among all the workmanship of my hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren." (Moses 7:36.) So when you are here, you are getting a real test. (Old Testament and Related Studies, edited by John W. Welch, Gary P. Gillum, and Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986], 146)
So in worlds without number this is number one, the worst. Well, this means we are in a real test. If we can pass this one, we shoot right ahead to the top. That's really the impression that's given. We have been building up to this final test so that so much depends on it. It's win all or lose all on this one thing. (Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: FARMS] 193)
Moses 7:38-39 a prison have I prepared for them... until that day they shall be in torment
"Revelation to Enoch showed that for even those people who had so blatantly rejected their Heavenly Father and who would perish in the Flood, all was not lost. At a future time they could be blessed in a spirit prison through the preaching of the gospel and through the Atonement of Christ and his intercession to the Father in their behalf if they would repent (see Moses 7:38-39; 1 Pet. 3:18-20; D&C 138:20-22, 57-59). Thus, modern revelation teaches that God indeed suffered great sorrow over the Flood, which served as the baptism of the earth, and that he did all he could to prevent the destruction of his children-including giving the people one of his greatest preachers of righteousness to try to get them to change-and then, when the people failed to respond, he mercifully provided an opportunity for their redemption after their deaths." (Joseph B. Romney, "Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness," Ensign, Feb. 1998, 27)
George Q Cannon
Those millions of spirits who had thus committed sin and iniquity until it could be borne no longer, until the earth groaned under their wickedness, and cried aloud as with a human voice against the wickedness upon its surface of which those inhabitants had been guilty-those millions of spirits were swept off with a flood, the whole family of man was destroyed, except Noah and those seven souls who received his testimony, a part of his family, and a part only, for there were children that Noah had who rejected his testimony, and who also shared in the destruction that came upon the inhabitants of the earth. But those eight, including Noah, were the sole surviving remnant of the entire family of man. The antediluvian world numbered millions doubtless; millions were swept away from the face of the earth, and consigned to a place of torment, or to a prison. In this prison they were immured, doubtless in utter darkness-in the condition that is so expressly described by the Savior Himself, when upon the earth-in outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, a place of torment, where they were kept until the Savior Himself came in the flesh, and proclaimed unto the children of men the Gospel of life and salvation. (Journal of Discourses, 26:80-81)
Joseph Fielding Smith
From these paragraphs we learn that the Lord does not delight in punishment, however there is the demand of justice which must be met, and therefore the wicked are forced to suffer, and this suffering helps to cleanse them from their sins. Before the visit of our Savior to the spirit world there was a gulf separating the righteous from the wicked, and the wicked were evidently without knowledge as to what fate awaited them. (Luke 16:19-31.) Savior after his crucifixion bridged this gulf and the gospel was carried to those who sat in this darkness and through the instruction of those who held the priesthood, these miserable spirits were taught the gospel. They were granted some measure of blessing according to their works on earth and according to their opportunity or lack of it, to hear the gospel when living on the earth, and accept the same in the spirit world. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 2: 86)
Moses 7:41 his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook
"What makes us feel so keenly Enoch's sorrow?
"We notice several things. First, the words 'arms,' 'heart,' and 'bowels' convey a sorrow so intense that it is actually physical; second, the words 'stretched' and 'swelled,' show the sorrow to be so great that Enoch's body can't contain it; third, the feeling builds in intensity through the verse as short, descriptive phrases follow each other. Particularly descriptive are the verbs 'looked,' 'wept,' 'stretched,' 'swelled,' 'yearned.' Next, the repetition of eternity emphasizes the vastness of the sorrow. Then, in the line 'all eternity shook,' the emotion reaches its height as Enoch's sorrow becomes one with the sorrow of the heavens, his sorrow reverberating with theirs until all creation shakes." (Dennis and Sandra Packard, Feasting upon the Word [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 161 - 162)
Why shouldn't these and all the creations weep? And all the heavens mourn? This is a common theme in the Enoch literature. The whole cosmos shares the fate of a violated planet. The whole earth shakes and trembles and is thrown into confusion, and the heavens and their lights shake and tremble. "And I saw how a mighty quaking made the heavens to quake and the angels were disquieted with a great disquiet." Inhabitants in the other worlds weep too. (Enoch the Prophet, edited by Stephen D. Ricks [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., FARMS, 1986], 14)
Moses 7:43 Enoch saw that... upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up
"Here was an act of justice. Some men who profess to be very wise, think God was unjust in this destroying so many of his creatures. They know nothing about it because they do not comprehend the law of God and the purposes of God. It was an act of justice and righteousness according to the eternal justice that dwells in the bosom of the Father." (Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrinal Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1967], 396)
"The Flood was an act of mercy, not an act of vengeance. The generation of Noah was so wicked that only an act of cleansing of immense magnitude could allow the next generations a chance to live by higher principles. As will be necessary at the second coming of Christ, evil must be eliminated, whether it be through repentance or through destruction." (Kent P. Jackson, "An Age of Contrasts: From Adam to Abraham," Ensign, Feb. 1986, 29)
Moses 7:44 as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren
"The consequences of the world's extreme wickedness were grim. Enoch beheld in vision the growing power of Satan. The evil one held 'a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced' (Moses 7:26). As a result, the Lord looked upon the whole and wept, saying to Enoch, 'Among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren' (Moses 7:36). 'Misery,' he lamented, 'shall be their doom' (Moses 7:37). Indeed, he told Enoch, 'These which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them' (Moses 7:38).
"The implication of Enoch's vision is arresting. Hundreds of years before the Flood, both he and his people knew it was coming 'upon the residue of the wicked' (Moses 7:43). Neither the Lord nor his people kept the fact a secret. But Enoch knew that most would not respond to the warning, and 'he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren' (Moses 7:44). The Lord, controlling his own grief in order to comfort his prophet, revealed to Enoch that Noah and his family would survive and establish humankind upon the earth once more. But Enoch remained troubled. He desired peace and salvation for the souls of men. Therefore, he asked when the Savior would bring about his Atonement, that 'they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life' (Moses 7:45)." (Richard D. Draper, "Enoch: What Modern Scripture Teaches," Ensign, Jan. 1998, 30)
Moses 7:44 I will refuse to be comforted
"When Enoch was shown the fate of those in the Flood, 'he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted.' (Moses 7:44.)
"Even Enoch had to learn that to refuse to be comforted is to consciously spurn the comfort of God. 'The Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look.' (Moses 7:44.) Enoch's refusal to be comforted and his bitterness of soul went hand in hand. Yet the Lord did not abandon him, but continued the vision, showing Enoch that the descendants of Noah would all be given the possibility of sanctification and eternal life." (Terrance D. Olson, "Freedom from Bitterness," Ensign, Aug. 1991, 56)
Neal A. Maxwell
At first, Enoch refused "to be comforted" (Moses 7:44)... We, too, can "refuse to be comforted." We can wrongly charge God with that large portion of human misery which is actually caused by mortals' failure to keep His commandments. Or, like Enoch, we can be intellectually meek enough to look and to accept the truths about God's being there and about His personality and plans. (Ensign, Nov 1987, 30)
Moses 7:44 lift up your heart, and be glad; and look
Neal A. Maxwell
If Enoch had not looked and been spiritually informed, he would have seen the human condition in isolation from the grand reality. If God were not there, Enoch's "Why?" would have become an unanswered scream of despair! ("Yet Thou Art There," Ensign, Nov. 1987, 31)
Thomas S. Monson
At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel's end-no dawn to break the night's darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, "Is there no balm in Gilead?" (Jer. 8:22) We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.
To all who so despair, may I offer the assurance of the Psalmist's words: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Ps. 30:5)
Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life's fight, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome...
Yes, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is our Exemplar and our strength. He is the light that shineth in darkness. He is the Good Shepherd. Though engaged in His majestic ministry, He embraced the opportunity to lift burdens, provide hope, mend bodies, and restore life. ("Meeting Life's Challenges," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 70-71)
Is it possible to be happy when life is hard? To feel peace amid uncertainty and hope in the midst of cynicism? Is it possible to change, to shake off old habits and become new again? Is it possible to live with integrity and purity in a world that no longer values the virtues that distinguish the followers of Christ?
Yes. The answer is yes because of Jesus Christ, whose Atonement ensures that we need not bear the burdens of mortality alone. There is nothing this confused world needs more, nothing that inspires a greater sense of well-being, nothing that has greater power to strengthen families than the gospel of Jesus Christ. President Howard W. Hunter said, "Whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives." The Savior will do for each of us what He has promised to do-if we will have faith in Him and receive His gift. ("Our Only Chance," Ensign, May 1999, 67)
Moses 7:47 the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world
Christ, of whom we hear and read so much in the Scriptures of divine truth, was "the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world." He was believed in, long before he made his appearance, both on the Asiatic and American continent, and God gave unto his ancient Prophets many visions, manifestations and revelations of his coming to take away the sins of the world by the sacrifice of himself. (Journal of Discourses, 16:196)
George Q. Cannon
"Adam fell," therefore, "that man might be, and men are that they may have joy." There was a purpose in this. God, through his foreknowledge, comprehended it all. He knew the end from the beginning. It was all arranged. The Son of God was foreordained, to come as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, to die for man and atone for the original sin, and to bring to pass the resurrection from the dead, he being the firstfruits of them that slept. God designed that he should come here and be clothed upon with humanity. He designed we should struggle and contend here in this probation with a glimmering of knowledge, a little light. He gave unto us his word. He has commanded us to seek unto him, and he that seeks shall find, to him that knocks it shall be opened, and he that asks shall receive. (Journal of Discourses, 22:238-239)
Moses 7:48 Wo, wo is me, the mother of men: I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children
The earth itself has groaned under the load of sin and corruption which has been upon its face. Enoch when enveloped in the vision of the Almighty, beheld and heard the earth groan under this load of wickedness, crying out to the Lord, saying-"When will my creator sanctify me, that righteousness may abide upon my face. When shall I rest from all the wickedness that has gone out of me." He was informed that there was a day of rest coming for old mother earth-for he was grieved in his heart for the earth itself, as well as the inhabitants thereof; for he saw how the earth was afflicted, until she groaned to be relieved. But the time will come, when it will be sanctified. We are living near that period of time. It is for this purpose you have come to these mountains. It is for this purpose you have received the spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost, the comforter, to sanctify you, and prepare you to take part in this great work of the latter days, which God has decreed from the beginning should come to pass in its time and season. (Journal of Discourses, 21:205)
Spencer W. Kimball
I have traveled much in various assignments over the years, and when I pass through the lovely countryside or fly over the vast and beautiful expanses of our globe, I compare these beauties with many of the dark and miserable practices of men, and I have the feeling that the good earth can hardly bear our presence upon it. I recall the occasion when Enoch heard the earth mourn, saying, "Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me?" (Moses 7:48.)
The Brethren constantly cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord: against pollution of mind, body, and our surroundings; against vulgarity, stealing, lying, pride, and blasphemy; against fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and all other abuses of the sacred power to create; against murder and all that is like unto it; against all manner of desecration.
That such a cry should be necessary among a people so blessed is amazing to me. And that such things should be found even among the Saints to some degree is scarcely believable, for these are a people who are in possession of many gifts of the Spirit, who have knowledge that puts the eternities into perspective, who have been shown the way to eternal life.
Sadly, however, we find that to be shown the way is not necessarily to walk in it, and many have not been able to continue in faith. These have submitted themselves in one degree or another to the enticings of Satan and his servants and joined with those of "the world" in lives of ever-deepening idolatry. ("The False Gods We Worship," Ensign, June 1976, 4)
Moses 7:48 When shall I rest and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth?
Enoch asked a great question, "When shall the day of the Lord come?" (v. 45) He was asking about Christ's first coming. The next great question comes from Mother Earth, "when shall I rest and be cleansed?" She was asking about Christ's second coming.
The first step in cleansing the filthiness from Mother Earth is getting rid of Satan and his angels. The second step is getting rid of his wicked followers. When the Lord comes the second time, he will "clean house" and "upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth" (D&C 112:25). The place will be a big mess. It will be a Martha moment-both inside the church and out-a time for a serious cleaning job.
When [the earth] is redeemed it will be a glorious mansion, it will be a glorious world, it will be worth living on; and it will be sanctified, and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep. All beings will have knowledge. All people will have understanding. They will comprehend the things of God, and perform them. The Lord will make this earth one of the most glorious habitations, inasmuch as the people will prepare themselves for it, one of the most glorious habitations that can be given to men. (Journal of Discourses, 20:155)
Do you believe that we, as Latter-day Saints, are preparing our own hearts, our own lives, to return to take possession of the Center Stake of Zion, as fast as the Lord is preparing to cleanse the land from those ungodly persons who dwell there? You can read, reflect, and make your own calculations. If we are not very careful, the earth will be cleansed from wickedness before we are prepared to take possession of it. We must be pure to be prepared to build up Zion. To all appearance, the Lord is preparing that end of the route faster than we are preparing ourselves to go there.
His grace is here, his judgments are here, his wisdom and Spirit are here, and every qualification that Saints can require is here ready to be poured out upon the people, if they are prepared to receive them. Are we prepared to receive those qualifications? Are we prepared to march back and take possession of the Center Stake of Zion, build up the great Temple of the Lord, and gather in the nations of the earth? (Journal of Discourses, 9:137)
Moses 7:50-52 the Lord... covenanted with Enoch , and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods
The oath and covenant is a term which usually refers to the priesthood. But in this case, the Lord made an oath by covenant with Enoch that he would stay the floods-that he would never again destroy virtually all the inhabitants of the earth-that a remnant should always be preserved. As with other covenants, there was to be a token of the oath and covenant of the Flood. The token of God's promise to Enoch was the rainbow.
Cheiko N. Okazaki
The Lord gives the promise of which the rainbow is a token-that he will never again curse the earth with a flood. "I do set my bow in the cloud," the Lord said, "and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." That covenant was one of continuity, of binding, of continued relationship. The Lord said: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 9:13; Gen. 8:22.)
What covenants have we made? What tokens do we have of the covenants between us and the Lord? (Aloha! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 163)
Bruce R. McConkie
Special covenants have often been made for special purposes to particular persons or groups. The Lord covenanted with Noah never to destroy the earth again by flood, and he set the rainbow as a token of such covenant. (Gen. 9:12-13.) To Abraham he gave the covenant of circumcision to remain in force with the chosen lineage until it was fulfilled in Christ. (Gen. 17:11-14; Moro. 8:8.) To Lehi the covenant was vouchsafed that America should be a land of inheritance for his seed forever. (2 Ne. 1.) (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 167)
Bruce R. McConkie
It is clear from the foregoing that there is some relationship between the destruction of the world by water in Noah's day, the destruction by fire in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the placing of the rainbow in the heavens as a token of a covenant that involved both the flood and the Second Coming. Joseph Smith, with characteristic spiritual insight, ties the whole matter together by statements made on two different occasions. "The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child," the Prophet said, "communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it. The inhabitants of the earth are asleep; they know not the day of their visitation. The Lord hath set the bow in the cloud for a sign that while it shall be seen, seed time and harvest, summer and winter shall not fail; but when it shall disappear, woe to that generation, for behold the end cometh quickly." (Teachings, p. 305.)
"I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming," the Prophet also said, "and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, 'In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.' But I will take the responsibility upon myself to prophesy in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come this year, . . . for we have seen the bow." (Teachings, pp 340-41.) (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 417)
Moses 7:53 Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come
Enoch sees the genealogy of Jesus declaring, "Blessed are Noah and Shem; blessed are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah; blessed are Ruth, Obed, Jesse, David, and Solomon."
Moses 7:53 I am Messiah, the King of Zion
"Because biblical prophecy uses the imagery of royalty, some believed that at his first coming the Messiah would save them from political bondage. Jacob foresaw that Shiloh would come, to whom people would gather (Gen. 49:10). Moses prophesied, 'There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel' (Num. 24:17). Isaiah envisioned a child born, 'and the government shall be upon his shoulder.... Of the increase of...peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom' (Isa. 9:6-7). Micah recorded that from Bethlehem 'shall he come forth...to be ruler in Israel' (Micah 5:2). Jeremiah saw that 'a King shall reign...and shall execute judgment and justice' (Jer. 23:5). However, such royal prophecies of a king and ruler would find fulfillment in the Messiah's eternal, rather than his mortal, role." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 893)
If Christ is to be the King of Zion and Zion is to include all of North and South America (geographically speaking), then the democracies of the Americas must be dissolved. Their governments become unnecessary (D&C 49:10; 64:41-43). Theocracy supersedes democracy and a new constitution written by the King must certainly prevail. "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3)
Bruce R. McConkie
Both church and state, as the world knows them, will soon cease to be. When the Lord comes again, he will set up anew the political kingdom of God on earth. It will be joined with the ecclesiastical kingdom; church and state will unite; and God will govern in all things. But even then, as we suppose, administrative affairs will be departmentalized, for the law will go forth from Zion [in Jackson County, Missouri], and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [in the Holy Land]. But, nonetheless, once again the government of the earth will be theocratic. God will govern. This time he will do it personally as he reigns over all the earth. And all of this presupposes the fall of Babylon, and the death of false religions, and the fall of all earthly governments and nations. (Millennial Messiah, 596)
Moses 7:53 I am... the Rock of Heaven
"Moses spoke of the God of Israel as a Rock: 'Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect, ... a God of truth and without iniquity.' (Deut. 32:3-4.) David wrote, 'the Lord is my rock, and my fortress, ... my shield, ... my high tower.' (2 Sam. 22:2-3.) Enoch heard the Lord say, 'I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven.' (Moses 7:53.) Paul explained that the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses 'drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.' (1 Cor. 10:4.) Nephi praised the Lord as the 'rock of my salvation' and the 'rock of my righteousness.' (2 Ne. 4:30, 35.) The patriarch Jacob spoke of the Lord as 'the shepherd, the stone of Israel.' (Gen. 49:24.) This stone is identified in latter-day revelation as Jesus Christ: 'I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.' (D&C 50:44; see also "Jesus Christ, Rock," in Topical Guide, LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible.)
"Isaiah spoke particularly of the Lord as 'a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.' (Isa. 28:16.) And Paul explained that the faithful Saints belong to the household of God 'built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.' (Eph. 2:20.)
"The prophets had revealed that Jesus would be rejected of the world, and they declared that even so, he is the only way to salvation. Therefore it is written that 'the stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.' (Ps. 118:22.) Jesus told the rulers of the Jews that he was that stone, and added that 'whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.' (Matt. 21:44.) And Peter, declaring to the people that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead, said that 'this is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.' (Acts 4:11-12.) Therefore Jesus is called a stumbling stone to those who reject him, 'a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.' (1 Pet. 2:8.) The Nephite prophet Jacob explained that 'by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation. But ... this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build. (Jacob 4:15-16.)
"Not only is Jesus a Rock, but his gospel also is likened to a rock, a sure foundation... The faithful disciple will build his life upon the foundation rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than upon the shifting sands of man's wisdom. Such a disciple is 'like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.' (Luke 6:48.)" (Robert J. Matthews, "I Have a Question," Ensign, Jan. 1984, 52)
Moses 7:54 When the son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest?
The quick answer to this question is, No! When Christ comes in the flesh the first time, the earth gets no rest. In fact the opposite happens. At the crucifixion, the earth heaves in great earthquakes, cities are swallowed up, others are burned, the heavens gather blackness, while tempests, fires, and smoke prevail such that Gentile witnesses exclaim, "The God of nature suffers." (1 Ne. 19:12; 3 Ne. 8)
Moses 7:56 the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man
The one detail about these first saints to be resurrected that is missing from other scriptures is that they were "crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man." The scriptures speak of them appearing to the righteous but not of their crowning glory.
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (Matt. 27:52-53)
In the Americas:
Samuel... [testified] unto his people, that... there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so? (3 Ne. 23:9)
Joseph E. Taylor
These Scriptures establish the fact that the resurrection which took place at and immediately after the resurrection of Christ was the first resurrection, and that this was the period upon which the expectation, faith and hope of all saints was centered. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 1, June 2, 1888)
Moses 7:57 As many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God
If these spirits were in spirit prison, how is it that they came and stood at the right hand of God?
"Both those who were crowned with glory on the right hand of God and those who were confined to 'chains of darkness' are spoken of by Enoch as being in prison.
"The reason those in paradise are spoken of as being in prison or as being prisoners is made plain by President Joseph F. Smith in the vision of the redemption of the dead. Speaking of the righteous who were awaiting the arrival of Christ, he said, 'While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful' (D&C 138:18). In this text the captives awaiting deliverance are righteous souls. It is to them that Christ declared liberty, and it was for them he broke the bands of death that they might be freed from the 'chains of death.' Even in the spirit world they could be freed from the effects of Adam's fall, including the separation of body and spirit, only in and through Christ's atoning sacrifice. So it was that 'the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage' (D&C 138:50; D&C 45:17)." (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 99)
This passage teaches an interesting but poorly understood truth. There were two groups of the righteous in the spirit world when the Savior visited them after his crucifixion. The first would soon be resurrected and appear unto the saints in Jerusalem and the Americas. The second would not be resurrected at that time. These were the saints who would be sent as missionaries to the wicked in spirit prison. They "stood on the right hand of God" when Jesus visited them after his crucifixion, then they were "appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority and commissioned... to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to all them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead" (D&C 138:30). If all the righteous spirits had been resurrected at the time of the First Resurrection, then there would have been no spirits left to preach to the wicked in spirit prison. See commentary for D&C 138:51.
Moses 7:57 the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day
One of the punishments of the wicked in spirit prison is that they are the last to be resurrected. They have to wait, without a body, in darkness and sorrow for the day of their resurrection. At the Second Coming, they will again be disappointed to learn it is not yet time for them to come forth.
And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump, and then come the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation;
And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.
And another trump shall sound, which is the fourth trump, saying: There are found among those who are to remain until that great and last day, even the end, who shall remain filthy still. (D&C 88:100-102)
Moses 7:58 When shall the earth rest?
This is the third time this question is asked (see v. 48, 54, 58). Enoch asks two big questions and each is asked three times. First, "how is it that the heavens weep?" Second, "when shall the earth rest?"
Judgments await the world, and they await this nation, and the day is at hand when the Lord will sweep the earth as with a besom of destruction. In the vision which the Lord gave to Enoch, he saw the heavens weeping over the earth because of the fall of man; and when Enoch asked the Lord-"When will the earth rest from under the curse of sin?" the Lord told him that in the last days the earth should rest, for then it should be redeemed from the sin, wickedness and abominations that were upon it. The earth is now pretty near ripe, and when ripened the Lord will cut them off. These things are before the Latter-day Saints, but the world do not believe in them any more than they believed in the message of Noah or Lot. (Journal of Discourses, 18:38)
Moses 7:59 Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?
Enoch is asking some good questions. His third question is "Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?" What Enoch didn't yet realize is that the earth will rest once the Lord comes again. Those two coincide. The answer makes it clear that when the Lord comes again, the earth will finally rest (v. 61).
This [the Millennium] is the only thing that can bring about [peace]... Other attempts to promote universal peace and happiness in the human family have proved abortive; every effort has failed; every plan and design has fallen to the ground; it needs the wisdom of God, the intelligence of God, and the power of God to accomplish this. The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols. 5:64-65)
Moses 7:60 even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance
"We learn from this passage that there are times when the patience of the Lord comes to an end. Though he often endures the typical wickedness of the world with great longsuffering, there are times when he will not so endure... The Lord also specifically designates two time periods as 'days of wickedness and vengeance' (Moses 7:46, 60). One such designated time is the meridian of time, as we see in the response to Enoch's plea to know when the Savior will perform the Atonement...
"The other days of wickedness and vengeance specifically denominated by the Lord are the latter days: (Moses 7:59-61)
"...The Nephite 'days of wickedness and vengeance' came at [the meridian of time]... The Lord in his kindness had blessed the people when they called upon him and his name. But when they became worldly and wicked in the peace and prosperity with which the Lord blessed them, he sent prophets to them, whom they slew. Finally, the Lord sent his most faithful servant unto them. Through all of this came a final separation of the righteous from the wicked. The few who were righteous hearkened to the words of the prophets and Nephi; the many who were wicked stonily rejected both them and God, ultimately rejecting their own redemption. Now it was time for the Lord to do his great work of vengeance.
"In the beginning of the thirty and fourth year, at the time of the crucifixion of the Savior in Judea, there arose a great storm in the land of the Nephites, worse than had ever before been experienced. By fire and tempest, by the opening and closing of the earth, by the sinking and rising of parts of the land, all but the more righteous part of all of the people of the Nephites were destroyed. And these included the humble followers of Christ, who had already repented (3 Nephi 8). The day of vengeance came as the Lord destroyed of the more wicked among the Nephites, thus fulfilling the days of wickedness and vengeance among this people.
"Of course, that is not the end of the story. After the visitation of the Savior among them, the Nephites entered into that blessed era of Zion, an era of such faithfulness as had never been before seen among so many. They lived in righteousness and peace for the full lifetimes of two generations (4 Nephi 1:22-23). The days of wickedness and vengeance were thus designed for a purpose: to cleanse the earth in preparation for ushering in a special era of righteousness." (Chauncey Riddle, Helaman through 3 Nephi 8: According to Thy Word, ed. by Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr., [Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1992], 191-200)
Joseph Fielding Smith
We have been warned and forewarned of the great and dreadful day of the Lord which is now even at our doors. Is it not time for us to take notice? Should not the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be sober-minded, have the spirit of humility, and faith, and prayer in their hearts, endeavoring to know the purposes of the Lord and to stand before him in righteousness and thus be prepared should that day come while we are living? Is it not a fatal mistake for us to feel that this day is yet a long time off, that it is not to come in our generation, and therefore, we may in safety receive the spirit of the world, and seek after the things the world delights in, its follies and its wickedness? The Lord expects better things of us. He expects us to keep his commandments, and watch and pray and stand, as he has declared, in holy places and be not moved.
These are perilous times. This is a day when we are in grave danger-danger because of the teachings of men, danger because of the lack of faith in the hearts of men, because the philosophies of the world have a tendency to undermine the fundamental things of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are things we must contend against. There is a spirit of indifference in the world toward religion today. People are not worshiping in spirit and truth, but the Lord expects us, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to worship in spirit and truth, to walk in righteousness, and to stand in this liberty which will make us free, spoken of in these revelations. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 56)
Moses 7:61 my people will I preserve
"That is, in the midst of gross darkness, at a time when wickedness and apostasy will have spread to the four corners of the earth, the God of heaven will save a people, will preserve those who choose to hearken to his voice and receive the revelations of his Spirit." (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987-1992], 4: xiii)
...the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded...
And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.
And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture. (1 Ne. 22:22-25)
Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. (D&C 10:55)
A. Theodore Tuttle
In the world there will be no peace. Among faithful Latter-day Saints things will be better. The spirit of fear is not of God. Let us turn to the principles and promises of the prophets, and prepare so we need not fear. How? Strengthen the home! (Conference Report, April 1970, Afternoon Meeting 85)
Moses 7:62 righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth
Ezra Taft Benson
Many years before the coming of the Savior to this earth, the prophet Enoch saw the latter days. He observed the great wickedness that would prevail on the earth at this time and foretold the "great tribulations" that would result from such wickedness; but in the midst of what was otherwise a very gloomy prophecy, the Lord promised, "But my people will I preserve" (Moses 7:61). How would He do so? Note what the Lord Himself promised He would do to preserve His people. He said:
And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; ... and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare (Moses 7:62; italics added).
The Lord promised, therefore, that righteousness would come from heaven and truth out of the earth. We have seen the marvelous fulfillment of that prophecy in our generation. The Book of Mormon has come forth out of the earth, filled with truth, serving as the very "keystone of our religion" (see Introduction to the Book of Mormon). God has also sent down righteousness from heaven. The Father Himself appeared with His Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The angel Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James, and numerous other angels were directed by heaven to restore the necessary powers to the kingdom. Further, the Prophet Joseph Smith received revelation after revelation from the heavens during those first critical years of the Church's growth. These revelations have been preserved for us in the Doctrine and Covenants.
These two great works of scripture, then, become a major tool in the Lord's hand for preserving His people in the latter days: the Book of Mormon, written under the hand of inspiration for our day, preserved through the centuries to come forth in our time, translated by the gift and power of God. It is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of our testimony. It is a keystone in the witness of Jesus Christ. It is a keystone in helping us avoid the deceptions of the evil one in these latter days. Satan rages in the hearts of men and has power over all of his dominions (see D&C 1:35). But the Book of Mormon has greater power-power to reveal false doctrine, power to help us overcome temptations, power to help us get closer to God than any other book. ("The Gift of Modern Revelation," Ensign, Nov. 1986, 79-80)
Righteousness and truth are to sweep the earth as with a flood. And now, I ask, how righteousness and truth are going to sweep the earth as with a flood? I will answer. Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work, and Zion is to be prepared, even a new Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city, for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 2:260)
Moses 7:62 to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto... an Holy City
Marion G. Romney
Let us be constantly aware that we are living in the last gospel dispensation; that Satan has marshaled all his forces for war; that he is making his final premillennium struggle for our individual souls and for the souls of all men. Let us realize that the conflict we are now in will be accelerated to such intensity "that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety" (D&C 45:68).
Let us understand that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the literal kingdom of God in the earth; that neither defectors from within nor enemies from without can stay its progress. It is here to stay and to triumph. In the words of Moroni, "The eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled" (Morm. 8:22).
Righteousness in the end is to prevail in this dispensation. So said the Lord himself in his reply to Enoch's query, (quotes Moses 7:59-64).
It is Zion, as portrayed in this scripture, for which we are preparing ourselves and which we shall yet build, which has held the righteous on course in all dispensations. (Look to God and Live [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971], 12-14)
Joseph Fielding Smith
If we would carry out that which the Lord has revealed, as he has revealed it, then all things would be perfect; for the organization is a perfect organization the theory of it, the plan of it. is without flaw, and if we followed all the orders that have been given to us in the priesthood and otherwise, if we would put into practice the great doctrines which have been revealed in the revelations contained in the Holy Scriptures, it would only be a matter of a very short time until this great people would be in the same condition, absolutely, as were the people in the city of Enoch. We would be able to walk with God, we would be able to behold his face, because then faith would abound in the hearts of the people to the extent that it would be impossible for the Lord to withhold himself, and he would reveal himself unto us as he has done in times past. (Conference Report, April 1921, Afternoon Session 40)
Moses 7:62 Zion, a New Jerusalem
The site for the city of Zion was pointed out by the Prophet Joseph Smith as Jackson County, Missouri, and there some of our people settled in 1831, but were subsequently driven from their homes. This event, while it delayed the building of the city, did not change the place of its location. The Latter-day Saints fully expect to return to Jackson County and "build up Zion." (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984], 182)
We look forward to the day when the Lord will prepare for the building of the New Jerusalem, preparatory to the City of Enoch's going to be joined with it when it is built upon this earth. We are anticipating to enjoy that day, whether we sleep in death previous to that, or not. We look forward, with all the anticipation and confidence that children can possess in a parent, that we shall be there when Jesus comes; and if we are not there, we will come with him: in either case we shall be there when he comes.
We want all the Latter-day Saints to understand how to build up Zion. The City of Zion, in beauty and magnificence, will outstrip anything that is now known upon the earth. The curse will be taken from the earth and sin and corruption will be swept from its face. Who will do this great work? Is the Lord going to convince the people that he will redeem the center Stake of Zion, beautify it and then place them there without an exertion on their part? No. He will not come here to build a Temple, a Tabernacle, a Bowery, or to set out fruit trees, make aprons of fig leaves or coats of skins, or work in brass and iron, for we already know how to do these things. He will not come here to teach us how to raise and manufacture cotton, how to make hand cards, how to card, how to make spinning machines, looms, etc., etc. We have to build up Zion, if we do our duty. (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 120)
We are called upon to work with the Lord just as fast as we are prepared to receive the things of his kingdom. But I am satisfied there has got to be a great change with us in many respects before we are prepared for the redemption of Zion and the building up of the New Jerusalem. I believe the only way for us is to get enough of the Spirit of God that we may see and understand our duties and comprehend the will of the Lord. (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, edited by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 111)
Moses 7:63 Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there
Our scriptures teach that all the events prior to the Flood actually occurred in the Americas. Adam taught his people from Adam-ondi-Ahman (D&C 107:53). His sons and Enoch also lived in what is now North America. The city of Enoch was taken from its North American location into the heavens. As part of "the restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21), that city must return to its original geographic location and be joined with the New Jerusalem. But the grandeur of this union will not be geographic or geologic; it will be an acutely human celebration-as the righteous of one era embrace and sob with the righteous of another.
George Q. Cannon
This quotation describes how happy will be the meeting of the faithful... Our old affections, of which we know but little at this time, will be revived, and we shall enjoy ourselves, with a joy that to us is inexpressible now. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 10: 370)
Neal A. Maxwell
The contemporary righteous will earn the esteem of their admired predecessors. Finally, if we are faithful, even the righteous of the city of Enoch will fall upon our necks and kiss us, and we will mingle our tears with their tears! (Moses 7:63.)
Let us, therefore, notwithstanding our weaknesses, be reassured that the everyday keeping of the commandments and the doing of our duties is what it is all about. (Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 18 - 19)
Moses 7:64 a thousand years the earth shall rest
Joseph Fielding Smith
During this time of peace, when the righteous shall come forth from their graves, they shall mingle with mortal men on the earth and instruct them. The veil which separates the living from the dead will be withdrawn and mortal men and the ancient saints shall converse together. Moreover, in perfect harmony shall they labor for the salvation and exaltation of the worthy who have died without the privileges of the gospel.
The great work of the millennium shall be performed in the temples which shall cover all parts of the land and into which the children shall go to complete the work for their fathers, which they could not do when in this mortal life for themselves.
In this manner those who have passed through the resurrection, and who know all about people and conditions on the other side, will place in the hands of those who are in mortality, the necessary information by and through which the great work of salvation for every worthy soul shall be performed, and thus the purposes of the Lord, as determined before the foundation of the world, will be fully consummated. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 2: 252)
Moses 7:69 Enoch and all his people walked with God
"The glorification of Enoch and his city has provided the pattern for all other societies of Saints to follow. We know only of the city of Melchizedek which has succeeded in joining Enoch's people as a group (see JST, Gen. 14:32-34). Yet other individuals between the days of Enoch and Noah were also taken up, or translated, when found worthy to do so (JST, Gen. 14:32; Moses 7:27). In our day these things were revealed at the beginning of the history of the Church; thus they provide a pattern for Saints of the last days, who-under the direction of proper prophetic and apostolic authority-endeavor to establish Zion in accordance with the Lord's command. As Joseph Smith taught, 'The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight.'" (Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3: Genesis to 2 Samuel [Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985], 33)
Moses 7:69 Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom
Joseph Fielding Smith
In this day of wickedness it is difficult to understand how an entire people could become so righteous that it was no longer expedient that they should remain on the earth, and, therefore, were translated and taken away to await the time when righteousness should come. The people of the city of Enoch because of their integrity and faithfulness were as pilgrims and strangers on the earth. This is due to the fact that they were living the celestial law in a telestial world, and all were of one mind, perfectly obedient to all commandments of the Lord. When Christ comes these people will be returned to the earth again for this is their eternal abode. (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 1: 178 - 179)