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A Covenant Plan of Salvation

      (2 Nephi--Enos)









The Book of Enos (The Books of Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon)


     According to Victor Ludlow, the Book of Mormon identifies approximately two dozen individuals whose writings are found in this work of scripture, and one third of them are in the four small books of Enos, Jarom, Omni, and the Words of Mormon. Eight individuals served as scribes in these four books, and yet their total writing comprises only seven pages of printed text as now organized into three books. The books of Enos, Jarom, and Omni bridge over three hundred fifty years of Nephite history. In other words, if all the thousand-year history of Lehi's posterity were written so succinctly, the Book of Mormon would be a 20-page pamphlet instead of a 531-page book. [Victor L. Ludlow, "Scribes and Scriptures," in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 1, p. 196]


Enos 1:1 My Father . . . Was a Just Man:


     Enos mentions that "my father . . . was a just man" (Enos 1:1). According to McConkie and Millet, a just man is one that has kept his covenants with exactness and honor. Just is a legal term derived from the Latin jus, meaning "right" or "law." An action that is justified in the eyes of the law is one which, upon examination, can be found to be right or lawful. Thus we read that Joseph the husband of Mary was "a just man" (Matthew 1:19), that Simeon, who blessed the Christ child in the temple, was "just and devout" (Luke 2:25), and that angels appear to "just and holy men" (Alma 13:26). [Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. II, p. 96]

     The definition of a "just man" is one who is righteous, lawful and upright in his dealings. One who speaks the truth and is fair. (Websters New World Dictionary, p. 795)


Enos 1:1 I, Enos, Knowing My Father That He Was a Just Man:


     In the Book of Mormon, a number of people are described as "just men": Jacob (Enos 1:1), Benjamin (Omni 1:25), the kings and teachers of the Nephites from the time of Nephi to Benjamin (Mosiah 2:4), Helaman and Shiblon (Alma 63:2), Lachoneus (3 Nephi 3:12), Nephi3 (3 Nephi 8:1).

     According to Donna Nielsen, the phrase "just man" was an expression for a strict observer of the Law (Geikie 111). [Donna B. Nielsen, Beloved Bridegroom: Finding Christ in Ancient Jewish Marriage and Family Customs, p. 24]


Enos 1:1 He Taught Me . . . in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord:


     Enos says his father Jacob, "taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Enos 1:1). According to David Seely, the phrase "in the nurture and admonition" occurs in the Bible only in the King James translation of Ephesians 6:4 where it also occurs in the context of the family ("And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.") The English word nurture does not occur elsewhere in the Old or New Testament in the KJV, and the word admonition is only slightly more common. Both Greek words in Ephesians 6:4 (paideia, "nurture," and nouthesia, "admonition") are quite common in the Septuagint translation of numerous Hebrew verbs, both in the context of the Lord and of the family. Thus such a concept could have been known to Enos from the brass plates, and it is at least possible that both passages [from the book of Ephesians and the book of Enos] are derived from a common antecedent in the Hebrew tradition that is no longer extant in our English translation of the scriptures.

     As noted above, the word nurture does not occur elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, but it is possible that the concept Enos refers to with nurture may be found in its English cognate nourish (both of which derive from the Latin root nutrire) which occurs 25 times (in various forms) in the book of Jacob, all but one in the context of the allegory of the olive tree where the term is used in reference to the care the Lord and his servants give to the vineyard. Jacob also applies it to the people in conjunction with hearing the word when he mentions their being "nourished by the good word of God all the day long" (Jacob 6:7). . . . Enos' use of "nurture of the Lord," as taught him by his father Jacob, might refer to the Lord's care for his children as demonstrated by Jacob's quotations and his discussion of the allegory of the olive trees (Jacob 5-6).

     The word admonition and its variants occur only eight times in the Book of Mormon. In each of these cases "admonish" means "to exhort," usually with the connotation of repentance. [David R. Seely, "Enos and the Words Concerning Eternal Life," in The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy, pp. 239-241]

     Note* In other words, the word "nurture" or "nourish" might have to do with the care of God's family, which in a broad way implies all his children, but more specially his covenant people. Thus, God will "nurture" his children with understanding through obedience to the gospel covenants, as well as to "admonish" them to continually repent, that they might be brought to a knowledge of their Father and their Lord of the Vineyard. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:2 And I Will Tell You . . . And . . . And . . . And . . . And . . . And . . . And:


     According to James DuWors, the Book of Mormon records that four hundred years after the birth of Christ, some of the inhabitants of this continent still spoke a version of Hebrew (see Mormon 9:33). This is later than the Hebrew spoken in the Old World (outside of liturgical usage). It should be noted that although they spoke some form of Hebrew, the plates of gold were engraved in "reformed Egyptian" (Mormon 9:32) and the brass plates were also written in Egyptian (see Mosiah 1:3-4). Lehi knew the Egyptian language (see 1 Nephi 1:2) and passed it down to his descendants, who altered it according to their manner of speech (see Mormon 9:32). We may assume that Lehi and Nephi spoke Hebrew, (although 1 Nephi 1:2 is not explicit on this point), since it was the lingua franca of their day and their descendants clearly spoke it.

     So while both the brass and gold plates were written in Egyptian, one would still expect Hebrew literary features to show through since these features are a function of the language itself and not of the particular characters used to represent it. One of these features is the "vav-consecutive" verb conjugation. This is a peculiar feature whereby the word "and" is literally affixed to a past-or future-tense verb as part of its conjugation. We should remark that in many biblical passages, especially in the Old Testament, verses begin with the word "and" (for example, most of the verses in 1 Kings 22--see illustration below). In the Hebrew text there is a vertical stroke at the beginning of a verb. This is the Hebrew letter vav and means "and." It is literally affixed to the verb conjugation that follows and results in the translation which includes the word "and." This same pattern is evident in the Book of Mormon. The book of Enos is a prime example of this unique Hebrew syntax. [James Joseph DuWors, "Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon," Book of Mormon Conference, 14-16 August 2001: The Twenty-Fifth Annual Church Education System Religious Educators Conference at Brigham Young University, p. 57]

     Note* It is interesting to note that the book of Enos contains an incredible 86 occurrences of the word "and" in just 27 verses. It appears that nearly 48 of these occurrences can be linked to the "vav-constructive" verb conjugation. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:2 And I will tell you . . . and . . . and . . . and . . . and . . . and . . . and (Illustration): Above are the first words of verses of the actual Hebrew text of 1 Kings 22. You see in the text at the beginning (reading Hebrew right to left) a vertical stroke (that looks like the number 7). As you can see, it is literally affixed to the verb conjugation that follows and results in the translation shown next to each verb. This same pattern is evident in the Book of Mormon. The book of Enos is a prime example of this unique Hebrew syntax. [James DuWors, "Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon," Book of Mormon Conference, 14-16 August 2001: The Twenty-Fifth Annual Church Education System Religious Educators Conference at Brigham Young University, p. 57]


Enos 1:2 I Will Tell You of the Wrestle I Had before God:


     Enos notes that "I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins" (Enos 1:2). Thus the question the reader might ask is not whether the word "wrestle" pertains to a spiritual struggle, but on what level. One of the most puzzling episodes in the Bible has always been the story of Jacob's wrestling with God in Genesis 32:24-31:

           And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled A Man with him until the breaking of the day.      And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with Him.

           And He said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou      bless me.

           And He said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

           And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou      power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

           And Jacob asked Him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And He said, Wherefore is      it that thou dost ask after my name? And He blessed him there.

           And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [in essence, "the face of God]: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

           And as he passed over Penuel [a variation in the name "Peniel"] the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.


     The reader should note the addition of italics, interpretation within brackets, the capitalization of the pronouns "he" and "him," and the capitalization of the noun "a man." That they all refer to God is verified not only by verse 30 ("for I have seen God face to face"), but by Genesis 48:14-16, in which Jacob describes the Lord as both "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk," and "the Angel which redeemed me from all evil."

     According to Bruce R. McConkie, Jacob's name was changed to Israel, "for as a prince," the divine decree announced, "hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." (Genesis 32:24-30; 35:9-13; Hos. 12:1-5). Literally, the name Israel means contender with God, the sense and meaning indicating one who has succeeded in his supplication before the Lord, who has enlisted as a soldier of God, who has become a prince of God. (Bruce R. McConkie, "Israel" in Mormon Doctrine, p. 389)

     According to Hugh Nibley, when one considers that the word conventionally translated by "wrestled" (yeaveq) can just as well mean "embrace," and that it was in this ritual embrace that Jacob received a new name and the bestowal of priestly and kingly power at sunrise, the parallel to the Egyptian coronation embrace becomes at once apparent. (Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, 243; quoted in Gary P. Gillum, ed., Of All Things!, Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley, p. 45)

     Thus, Enos' "wrestle" with the Lord was perhaps similar to that of Jacob of old, which involved special covenants and powers. The reader should also note that Enos's father Jacob was named after the ancient patriarch Jacob. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on 2 Nephi 1:15]


Enos 1:2 I Will Tell You of the Wrestle Which I Had before God:


     According to John Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, additional evidence suggesting that Enos had his ancestor the ancient patriarch Jacob in mind as he wrote, is found in his words "I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God" (Enos 1:2). In Hebrew the words before God would be liphney 'el, literally "to the face of God." The name of the place where Jacob wrestled all night, Peniel, is from the same Hebrew phrase. "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30).

     After his wrestle with God, Enos expressed the hope that, at the resurrection, he would "stand before Him; then shall I see his face with pleasure" (Enos 1:27). This passage is also reminiscent of Jacob's reunion and reconciliation with his brother Esau the day after his nightlong wrestle. Jacob said to his brother, "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me" (Genesis 33:10). Just as Esau was "pleased" when Jacob saw his face, Enos hoped to see the face of God "with pleasure." [John A. Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, "Jacob and Enos: Wrestling before God" in FARMS Update, No. 146, in Insights, FARMS, Vol. 21, 2001, pp. 2-3]


Enos 1:3 The Words Which I Had Often Heard My Father Speak concerning Eternal Life, and the Joy of the Saints, Sunk Deep into My Heart:


     While some have viewed Enos as being wayward before his episode of repentance while in the woods to hunt, one can also view his statements to mean that he was young, and that in his youthful ways he hadn't viewed life from as mature of perspective as his heritage dictated. Enos said that he knew that his father was a just man because he taught him in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Enos 1:1). Enos also said that he had "often heard [his] father speak concerning eternal life and the joy of the saints" (Enos 1:3) and that one day these words finally "sunk deep in [his] heart," which inspired him to make supplications before the Lord. A similar scenario occurred in the life of a 14 year-old boy named Joseph Smith. If Joseph was only 14 when he received his calling, then Enos could very well have been near the same age, and some 6-7 years away from receiving the plates, just like Joseph. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:3 The Words That I Had Often Heard My Father Speak concerning Eternal Life, and the Joy of the Saints:


     David Seely writes that the Book of Mormon contains many detailed accounts illustrating the power of the "word" or "words," in bringing individuals to Christ through repentance. Enos says his father Jacob, "taught [him] in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Enos 1:1), and later Enos declares: "The words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart" (Enos 1:3).

     To be sure, the story of Enos is a story of his lifelong conversion to the gospel. At several places in his account Enos mentions the role of words in his conversion process: first, they act as a catalyst for his desire to gain a remission of his sins; second, they form a powerful agent in his conversation with the Lord; and finally, they are the means by which he attempts to share the experience of his conversion with others.

     As mentioned previously, the first verses of the book of Enos contain the account of Enos' conversion when he went to hunt beasts in the forests and the words of his father sunk deep in his heart. As part of that conversion process initiated in the forest, Enos sought and eventually secured a covenant with the Lord relative to the words of eternal life--those which had initiated Enos' conversion process--that they would be preserved for his brethren. In the remaining verses of his book, Enos writes of his efforts to teach the words concerning eternal life to the Nephites and the Lamanites. Near the end of his life Enos says, "And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ" (Enos 1:26).

     In his closing verse Enos expresses his desire to hear the words of the Redeemer, words concerning eternal life: "Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father" (Enos 1:27). This final verse provides a wonderful link between the opening and closing of the story of Enos, which begins with the words of his righteous father inspiring him to seek forgiveness of the Lord and ends with the words of the Savior inviting him to come and dwell with his Eternal Father.

     As a final note concerning the "words" of Enos and other Book of Mormon writers, Nephi declares: "The words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead" (2 Nephi 27:13). Moroni says the Lord will say to us at the judgment bar: "Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?" (Moroni 10:27; see also 2 Nephi 33:13; Mormon 8:26). [David R. Seely, "Enos and the Words concerning Eternal Life" in The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy, pp. 235-239]


Enos 1:3 Eternal Life and the Joy of the Saints:


     Enos relates that he had often heard his father Jacob speak "concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints" (Enos 1:3). David Seely notes that in the writings of Jacob, Jacob refers to "life eternal" and "eternal life" three times, always in the context of the need for repentance: "Remember to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal" (2 Nephi 9:39; see also 2 Nephi 10:23) "O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life" (Jacob 6:11).

     While the phrase "joy of the saints" does not occur in the teachings of Jacob, synonymous phrases do occur. The occurrence that is most likely an antecedent for the language of Enos is a combination of both "joy" and "saints" in 2 Nephi 9:18: "But, behold, the righteous saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever." This verse gives us a good definition of a saint. It also explains "the joy of the saints". It is worthy of note that the word joy occurs six times in Jacob's writings, twice in the words of Isaiah (2 Nephi 8:3, 11), once in the context of the hoped-for effects of receiving the words (Jacob 4:3), and three times in the allegory of the olive trees (Jacob 5:60, 71, 75). In light of Enos' concern for his brethren and his lifelong efforts to convert them to the gospel, it may be significant that joy is explicitly related to missionary work in the Lord's invitation: "If ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself" (Jacob 5:75).

     That "the joy of the saints" is closely related to the idea of eternal life is further supported by Lehi's statement in his vision of the tree of life when he said, "the fruit thereof . . . filled my soul with exceedingly great joy" (1 Nephi 8:12). [David R. Seely, "Enos and the Words concerning Eternal Life" in The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy, pp. 242-243]


Enos 1:3 Saints:


     According to Cleon Skousen, the reader should note that the word "saints" is used throughout the Old Testament (and not merely the New Testament) to describe the members of God's Church (see for example Daniel 7:18-27; Deuteronomy 33:3; Zechariah 14:5). The word denotes those who have consecrated their lives to God under a solemn covenant. (see Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 14, pp. 352-353). [W. Cleon Skousen, Treasures from the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2, p. 2006]


Enos 1:4 All the day long I did cry unto him (Illustration): Enos Praying [Steven Lloyd Neal, Verse Markers, Book of Mormon, Vol. 1, p. 5]


Enos 1:4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker (Illustration): Enos Praying. "And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer." Artist: Robert T. Barrett. [Thomas R. Valletta ed., The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families, 1999, p. 174]


Enos 1:4 I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer (Illustration): Enos Praying. [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gospel Art, #305]


Enos 1:8 Thy Faith [in Christ] Hath Made Thee Whole:


     According to Dennis Largey, although Enos' words are few, his doctrine and commentary support other writers throughout the Book of Mormon and other scriptures. There are nine such supported precepts or "instructions in righteousness" that make Enos a most significant "voice from the dust."

     (1) Jesus is the Christ: The Lord's declaration to Enos that "thy faith [in Christ] hath made thee whole" (Enos 1:8) sums up, supports, and testifies of that doctrine. (see 1 Nephi 6:4)

     (2) Forgiveness Sometimes Requires a "Wrestle before God": The story of Enos teaches us that there is a price to pay both in effort and attitude before we can receive forgiveness of our sins. (see Alma 36:18; Alma 22:18)

     (3) Forgiveness Comes through Faith in Jesus Christ: Awed by the relief he felt because his sins were now forgiven, Enos inquired, "Lord, how is it done?" The Lord responded, "Because of thy faith in Christ . . . Thy faith hath made thee whole" (Enos 1:8).

     (4) Removal of Sin Must Precede Removal of Guilt: Faith enables the repentant person to "[put] off the natural man and [become] a saint through the atonement of Christ" (Mosiah 3:19).

     (5) Charity and Good Works Follow True Conversion: Upon hearing the voice of the Lord announce that he had been forgiven, Enos recorded, "When I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren" (Enos 1:9). (see Moroni 8:25-26; Mosiah 28:3)

     (6) Revelation: The story of Enos teaches an important principle concerning how revelation is received. Enos recorded that "while I was . . . struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind . . ." (Enos 1:10). (see 1 Nephi 17:45; D&C 8:2-3).

     (7) The Lord Visits Us according to Our Diligence in Keeping the Commandments: In answer to Enos' prayer for his brethren, the Nephites, the Lord said: "I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments" (Enos 1:10). (see 2 Nephi 1:20)

     (8) The Lord Keeps His Covenants: Enos' "knew" that the Lord would keep his promises "according to the covenant which he had made" (Enos 1:16-17) but he did not know when the Lord would keep them. Enos' peace was not dependent upon God meeting Enos' timetable. Knowing that it would be accomplished was enough.

     (9) Parents in Zion Need to Teach the Gospel to Their Children: It was the "words" Enos' father had "often" taught him that motivated him to cry unto the Lord "in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul" (Enos 1:3-4). (see Alma 36:16-18; Alma 56:46-48)

[Dennis L. Largey, "Enos: His Mission and His Message," in The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy, pp. 143-155]


Enos 1:11 I Prayed unto Him with Many Long Strugglings for My Brethren, the Lamanites:


     According to John Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, in his record Enos appears to allude to the ancestor after whom his father was named: the ancient patriarch Jacob, who was renamed Israel by "a man" with whom he wrestled all night (Genesis 32:24-28). Enos may have had this event in mind when he wrote of "the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins" (Enos 1:2).

     When Enos wrote about his wrestling, he evidently was referring not only to his struggle to overcome sin but also to his prayers for both the Lamanites and the Nephites (Enos 1:9-18). He wrote of "struggling in the spirit" while praying for his own people (Enos 1:10) and noted that he "prayed unto [God] with many long strugglings, for [his] brethren, the Lamanites" (Enos 1:11). Similar terminology is found in Alma 8:10, where we read that "Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance." These two examples suggest that wrestling with God can refer to prayer in behalf of those who have fallen away from the truth.

     In similar fashion, Jacob may have been praying for his brother Esau during his wrestle with the angel. At the time, Jacob was returning to his homeland after a sojourn of two decades in the land of Syria. He had left on bad terms with Esau, who wanted to kill him (Genesis 27:41-45). Now, in the midst of his efforts to placate Esau with gifts, Jacob prayed that God would deliver him and his family from his brother (Genesis 32:9-12).

     The Nephites and Lamanites for whom Enos prayed were very much like Jacob and Esau. Nephi, like Jacob, had to flee with his family because his elder brothers Laman and Lemuel sought to kill him (2 Nephi 5:1-7). Nephi's people were settled and industrious, constructing a temple and other buildings (2 Nephi 5:15-17), while the Lamanites became "an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey" (2 Nephi 5:24). Enos later described the Lamanites as "wild and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in the tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax" (Enos 1:20) and also that they sought to destroy the Nephites (Enos 1:14).

     Similarly, the Bible describes Esau as "a cunning hunter, a man of the field" (Genesis 25:26), who loved to hunt with the bow (Genesis 27:1-5). Before God forgave his sins, Enos "went to hunt beasts in the forests," where he remembered the words of his father, which prompted him to seek God's forgiveness (Enos 1:3-4). By describing himself as a hunter, Enos may have been comparing his preconversion self to the Lamanites and to Esau. [John A. Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, "Jacob and Enos: Wrestling before God" in FARMS Update, No. 146, in Insights, FARMS, Vol. 21, 2001, pp. 2-3]


Enos 1:12 After I Had Prayed and Labored with All Diligence:


     Readers should be aware that Enos's blessings didn't derive from just one trip to the woods and a long prayer. Phrases such as "and now it came to pass" (Enos 1:9), "my faith began to be unshaken and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings" (Enos 1:11), "it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence" (Enos 1:12), "I cried unto him continually" (Enos 1:15), "I . . . went about among the people" (Enos 1:19), and "I have declared [the word] in all my days" (Enos 1:26) allude to the concept that the understanding and fulfillment of Enos' covenant with the Lord involved a long lifetime of labor, prayer and diligence. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:13 I Desired . . . That the Lord God Would Preserve a Record of My People:


     Enos prayed that God would preserve the Nephite records (Enos 1:13, 15-16), and they were eventually buried in the ground in a stone box by Moroni, who delivered them to the Prophet Joseph Smith. According to John Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, Enos' use of the term preserve may reflect the words of the ancient patriarch Jacob following his nightlong wrestling, in which he said, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30). [John A. Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, "Jacob and Enos: Wrestling before God" in FARMS Update, No. 146, in Insights, FARMS, Vol. 21, 2001, pp. 2-3]


Enos 1:14 They [the Lamanites] Would Destroy Our Records:


     Enos noted that the Lamanites wanted to destroy the records of the Nephites (Enos 1:14). Evidently this was because these records gave validity to various Nephite claims, including the right to possess the land that God had given them (see Enos 1:10). According to John Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, some noncanonical Jewish texts reflect a similar tale of the dispute between the ancient patriarch Jacob and his brother Esau. Jasher 27:12-14 recounts Jacob's purchase of the birthright in exchange for the pottage and notes that "Jacob wrote the whole of this in a book, and he testified the same with witnesses, and he sealed it, and the book remained in the hands of Jacob." Later, after returning from Syria, Jacob wrote a "book of purchase" for the property agreement he struck with Esau after Isaac died.207 He put it with "the command and the statutes and the revealed book, and he placed them in an earthen vessel in order that they should remain for a long time, and he delivered them into the hands of his children" (Jasher 47:26-29). When Esau's family challenged the right of Jacob's sons to bury their father in the cave, the Israelites produced "all the records; the record of the purchase, the sealed record and the open record, and also all the first records in which all the transactions of the birthright are written" (Jasher 56:55-57).208

     The subtlety of Enos' allusion to his ancestor Jacob and the way he seems to compare the situation of the Nephites and Lamanites with that of Jacob and Esau suggests an acute awareness of the scriptural account. It may also reflect additional material found on the brass plates of Laban and represented in early Jewish tradition. Such subtlety would not be expected from an uneducated farm boy such as Joseph Smith, who dictated the entire Book of Mormon in approximately 60 days. Consequently, these allusions to the biblical account can be seen as further evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and another example of the complexity of this masterpiece of literature. [John A. Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, "Jacob and Enos: Wrestling before God" in FARMS Update, No. 146, in Insights, FARMS, Vol. 21, 2001, pp. 2-3]


Enos 1:17 I, Enos Knew:


     John Welch notes that the Hebrew word for know is yada. It has a broad range of meanings, but certainly one of them is covenantal. "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2). In what sense has God only known Israel? By means of the covenant. [John W. Welch, "Christ at the Nephite Temple," in Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 4, p. 144] [See the commentary on 1 Nephi 1:3; 3:7; 5:2; 5:5; 5:8; 2 Nephi 33:4; 3 Nephi 14:23]


Enos 1:18 Thy Fathers Have Also Required of Me This Thing:


     In Enos 1:16-17, Enos records:

           And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time. And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he made; wherefore my soul did rest. And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine. (emphasis added)


     According to Victor Ludlow, we might gain some insight into the meaning of these verses by comparing them with the Lord's great intercessory prayer as recorded in John 17. For the benefit of the reader, a few sample verses follow:

           These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. (John 17:1-10; emphasis added)

[Victor L. Ludlow, "Scribes and Scriptures," in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 1, p. 204]


Enos 1:18 Thy Fathers Have Also Required of Me This Thing:


     Enos petitioned God to preserve the record, "that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation" (Enos 1:13). Dennis Largey notes that in this instance Enos became part of the fulfillment of one of Nephi's prophecies concerning the Lamanites and the Book of Mormon:

           After my seed [the Nephites] and the seed of my brethren [the Lamanites] shall have dwindled in unbelief, . . . and after they shall have been brought down low in the dust, even that they are not, yet the words of the righteous shall be written, and the prayers of the faithful shall be heard, and all those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not be forgotten. (2 Nephi 26:15)


     In a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Harmony, Pennsylvania, in July 1828, the Lord confirmed that in preserving the Book of Mormon plates he had kept his promise and that the information on the plates was intended to bring the Lamanites to a knowledge of the truth: "And for this very purpose are these plates preserved . . . that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people; And that the Lamanites might . . . know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ (D&C 3:19-20). [Dennis L. Largey, "Enos: His Mission and His Message," in The Book of Mormon: Jacob through Words of Mormon, To Learn with Joy, p. 142]


Enos 1:18 Thy Fathers Have Also Required of Me This Thing:


     Joseph McConkie and Robert Millet note that in reference to the Book of Mormon prophets who sought the assurance of the Lord that their record would be preserved to come forth to the Lamanites in the last days, the Lord said:

           Behold, there are many things engraven upon the plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel . . . And behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea, and this was their faith--that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions. Now, this is not all--their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land; and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life; yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be. And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayer will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up. (D&C 10:45-52).


[Joseph F. McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 2, p. 101]


Enos 1:19 I, Enos, Went about . . . Prophesying:


     Brant Gardner writes that in contrast to what we find with the situation of Nephi and Jacob, the book of Enos is lacking in any reference to an official priesthood or temple position for Enos among the people. That is, even though it is apparent that Enos is the recordkeeper of the small plates, there is no recorded bestowal of priesthood office or recorded temple sermons as with his father Jacob (see 2 Nephi 5:26; Jacob 1:17). Although Enos declares that he "went about among the people of Nephi, prophesying of things to come, and testifying of things which [he] had heard and seen" (Enos 1:19), he also notes that "there were exceeding many prophets" among the people (Enos 1:22). Thus, perhaps Enos was not the formal priest for the people. It seems that he has been marginalized or limited in his public position of power and authority, a process that was hinted at with the last public discourse of Jacob (see the commentary on Jacob 6:13). The reader should note that this process of marginalization will become painfully more obvious with the subsequent caretakers of the small plates. [Brant Gardner, "Brant Gardner's Page, "http://, p. 3]


Enos 1:20 They [the Lamanites] became . . . Full of Idolatry:


     According to the chronological footnotes, somewhere between 544 B.C. and 421 B.C. Enos says that the Lamanites were "full of idolatry" (Enos 1:20). According to Brant Gardner, apparently the Lamanites had begun accepting idols into their religious practices much in the same way as Israel in the Old World. Even though the practice was expressly forbidden in Hebrew scripture, for many years Israel had had problems expunging the influence of the foreign gods from their midst. Now in the context of a Mesoamerican setting it was happening again. Multiple gods were being worshipped. During this time period in Mesoamerica, we know that there were multiple gods worshipped, with multiple representations. If the Lamanites were accepting of these modes of native American worship, then the accusation of idolatry is easily understandable and a correct portrayal of Lamanite society. [Brant Gardner, "Book of Mormon Commentary," Enos1.htm, p. 16]


Enos 1:20 [The Lamanites Wore] a Short Skin Girdle about Their Loins:


     Enos describes the Lamanites as "wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins" (Enos 1:20). According to Brant Gardner, this is surely descriptive of the earliest groups of Lamanites who would have stayed along the coastal regions of the Pacific Ocean in what is now Guatemala. We should remember, however, that this is a description based upon the early experience of the Nephites and Lamanties, and may have been a codified description of their dress. To the extent that we find larger Lamanite populations later in the Book of Mormon, and especially those among the highland inhabitants, we might assume that at least some of those urban Lamanties would have had the same taste for fine clothes as the Nephites of Jacob's time. [Brant Gardner, "Book of Mormon Commentary," ~nahualli/LDStopics/Enos/Enos1.htm, pp. 17-18]

     With respect to the Lamanites living in the coastal regions of Guatemala, John Sorenson says the following:

           What can we tell about living conditions in the land of first inheritance? The coastal plain where the landing of Lehi would have occurred was uncomfortably hot and humid. That climate favored rapid crop growth, but the weather would [have been] unpleasant for colonizers. The Nephites soon fled up to the land of Nephi, where the elevation permitted living in greater comfort. As Nephi tells the story, the Lamanites down in the hot lowlands were nomadic hunters, bloodthirsty, near naked, and lazy (2 Nephi 5:24; Enos 1:20). The circumstances of life in that environment could account for some of those characteristics. Many centuries after the Spaniards spoke in like terms of natives in the same area. The Tomas Medel manuscript, dating about A.D. 1550, just a generation after the first Spaniards arrived in the area, reported that the Indian men on the Pacific coast of Guatemala "spent their entire lives as naked as when they were born." That practice may have seemed a sensible response to the oppressive climate. In the late seventeenth century, Catholic priest Fuentes y Guzman contrasted the "lassitude and laziness" of the same lowlanders with the energy of the highland inhabitants. As for getting a living, the tangle of forest and swamp along the coast itself may have been too hard for the Lamanite newcomers to farm effectively, since they wouldn't immediately get the knack of cultivation in that locale. . . . It may have been economically smart for them to hunt and gather the abundant natural food from the estuaries. [John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, p. 140]


Enos 1:20 Feeding upon Beasts of Prey:


     The Lamanites are described in a derogatory manner as "feeding upon beasts of prey" (Enos 1:20). Some have wondered if in saying this, Enos was inadvertently condemning hunting for sport. Others have said that it was against the law of Moses to feed on wild animals. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Jarom 1:6]


Enos 1:20 Dwelling in Tents:


     [See the commentary on Mosiah 2:6]


Enos 1:20 Their Skill Was in the Bow:


     Enos comments that the Lamanites' skill "was in the bow" (Enos 1:20). According to William Hamblin, the Book of Mormon mentions only the sword more often than the bow. Bows are mentioned twenty-two times, arrows twenty-six. Bows were used by both Nephite and Lamanite cultural groups but are not mentioned as having been used by the Jaredite culture.

     In Mesoamerica, there are limited artistic representations of the use of the bow by at least the second century A.D.; however, the numerous arrowheads found might push the date back to at least the first millennium B.C. [William Hamblin, "The Bow and Arrow in the Book of Mormon," in Warfare in the Book of Mormon, pp. 365-399]


Enos 1:20 Their Skill Was in . . . the Cimeter:


     In Enos 1:20 we find, in reference to the Lamanites, that "their skill was in . . . the cimeter." According to Hoskisson, Hamblin and Merrill, "cimeter" is an early variant spelling for the word that has become standardized in twentieth-century English as "scimitar," meaning a highly curved, single-edged saber, which was usually associated with the Middle East and was used for slicing or hacking. The word "cimeter" appears in the Book of Mormon eleven times, always in the context of weaponry. [Paul Hoskisson, "Scimitars, Cimeters! We Have Scimitars! Do We Need Another Cimeter?," in Warfare in the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., p. 352]

     From the Mesoamerican perspective, the Book of Mormon cimeter might be identified with a curved, axlike weapon held by many of the figures in the Temple of the Warrior at Chichen Itza. It appears to be a curved piece of wood in the end of which was inserted obsidian or flint blades. [William Hamblin and Brent Merrill, "Notes on the Cimeter (Scimitar) in the Book of Mormon," in Warfare in the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., p. 361]


Enos 1:20 Their skill was in . . . the cimeter (Illustration): Sketch of a possible Mesoamerican scimitar. This figure clearly shows the structure of the weapon as being different from the standard ax. [William Hamblin and Brent Merrill, "Notes on the Cimeter (Scimitar) in the Book of Mormon," in Warfare in the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., p. 362]


Enos 1:21 And . . . and . . . and . . . and (Polysyndeton--The Excessive Use of the Conjunction "And"):


     Richardson, Richardson and Bentley note that the excessive use of the monotonous conjunction "and" in the Book of Mormon seems awkward and somewhat annoying to the western reader, however, it follows perfect Hebrew syntax. The word "and" often stands before each word (or phrase) in a series; possibly because there was no punctuation in the Hebrew language.

     Notice the structure of Enos 1:21:

     "And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land,      

     and raise all manner of grain,

     and of fruit,

     and flocks of herds,

     and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind,

     and goats,

     and wild goats,

     and also many horses."


Other uses of polysyndeton in the Book of Mormon are found in 1 Nephi 2:4; 2 Nephi 33:9; Alma 1:29; 7:27; 8:21-23; 9:21; Helaman 3:14; 3 Nephi 4:7; 11:19-20; 17:13-25; 4 Nephi 1:5-7; Mormon 8:37 and Ether 9:17-27. The same literary usage can also be found in Genesis 8:22; 20:14; 22:9-13 and 1 Samuel 13:20.209 [Allen H. Richardson, David E. Richardson and Anthony E. Bentley, 1000 Evidences for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Part Two-A Voice from the Dust: 500 Evidences in Support of the Book of Mormon, p. 262]


Enos 1:21 The Nephites Did . . . Raise All Manner of . . . Flocks of Herds:


     What does the phrase "flocks of herds" (Enos 1:21) mean? Is this a scribal error? Should it read "flocks and herds"? [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:21 Flocks:


     According to John Sorenson, no hint is given that any flocks were taken aboard Nephi's boat (in specific contrast to the Jaredite case--see Ether 6:4). So how would they have obtained native American fowls or other animals to keep in "flocks" (Enos 1:21), or more importantly, how would they have discovered techniques for successfully caring for them? Discovery or invention of a major cultural feature like the domestication of animals is rare enough in human history that it is highly unlikely that these newcomers could simply have pulled themselves up culturally "by their bootstraps" in this way in a generation or two. [John Sorenson, "When Lehi's Party Arrived, Did They Find Others in the Land?" in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, F.A.R.M.S., p. 6]

     Thus, the mention of "flocks" might imply an existing native American population with cultural advances of animal domestication.


Enos 1:21 And Also Many Horses:


     Research by John Sorenson has attempted to answer the question of whether the "horse" (Enos 1:21) in the Book of Mormon is merely a matter of labeling by analogy some other quadruped with the name Equus (the true horse), or whether the scripture's use of "horse" refers to the actual survival into very recent times of the American Pleistocene horse (Equus equus). If, as most zoologists and paleontologists assume, Equus equus was absent from the New World during Book of Mormon times, could deer, tapir, or another quadruped have been termed "horses" by Joseph Smith in his translating? Sorenson has suggested the latter possibility and has pointed to archaeological specimens showing humans riding on the backs of animal figures, some of which are evidently deer. Also Mayan languages used the term deer for Spanish horses and deer-rider for horsemen. Indians of Zinacantan, Chiapas, believe that the mythical "Earth Owner," who is supposed to be rich and live inside a mountain, rides on deer. In addition, the Aztec account of the Spanish Conquest used terms like the-deer-which-carried-men-upon-their-backs, called horses. Another explanation has been to hold that true horses which are well-documented for the late glacial age in America, survived into Book of Mormon times.

     Excavations at the Post Classic site of Mayapan in Yucatan in 1957 yielded remains of horses in four lots. Two of these specimens are from the surface and might have been remains of Spanish animals. Two other lots, however, were obtained from excavation in Cenote [water hole] Ch' en Mul "from the bottom stratum in a sequence of unconsolidated earth almost 2 meters in thickness." They were "considered to be pre-Columbian on the basis of depth of burial and degree of mineralization. Such mineralization was observed in no other bone or tooth in the collection although thousands were examined, some of which were found in close proximity to the horse teeth.

     In southwest Yucatan, Mercer found horse remains in three caves associated with potsherds and other artifacts, and with no sign of fossilization. Excavations of 1978 at Loltun Cave in the Maya lowlands turned up further horse remains.

     A careful study of the reported remains . . . still remains to be done. . . . But in the meantime, the few references to horses in the Book of Mormon should not be counted as erroneous or unhistorical. [John Sorenson, "Once More: The Horse," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., pp. 98-100] [See the commentary on Alma 18:9]


Enos 1:22 And There Were Exceeding Many Prophets among Us:


     The most accurate Mesoamerican solar era appears to have been started on the spring equinox, March 26, 433 B.C.E. (1563355) at Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala (City of Nephi). This solar era used a 365-day calendar and measured the average solar year at 365.242203 days per year. Did the interpretation of calendar events have anything to do with the "many prophets" (Enos 1:22) that Enos mentioned? [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [For an explanation of the different calendar systems possibly used by the Nephite record keepers, see Appendix A]


Enos 1:24 And I Saw Wars between the Nephites and Lamanites in the Course of My Days:


     Enos mentioned that in the course of his days, he "saw wars between the Nephites and Lamanites" (Enos 1:24). Enos then proceeded to say that, "I began to be old, and an hundred and seventy and nine years had passed away" (Enos 1:25). Chronologically speaking, this might imply that wars had been happening for part, if not all, of those 179 years. Geographically speaking, his statement perhaps implies that the "Nephites" had been living somewhat close to the "Lamanites" during those years. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:25 I Began to Be Old and an Hundred and Seventy and Nine Years Have Passed Away:


     The small plates recordkeepers appear to have been quite old when their recordkeeper sons were born. Concerning these circumstances of age, John Welch says, "the men seemed to live consistently to very old ages, perhaps an indication that they occupied a privileged social status over the common people. The fact that they lived so long is even more remarkable in light of the frequent references in the Small Plates to wars and contentions between the Nephites and the Lamanites, unless these particular people were not generally involved in the military" (see, e.g., Enos 1:14,20; Jarom 1:7; Omni 1:3,10; Words of Mormon 1:13). [John Welch, "Longevity of Book of Mormon People and the 'Age of Man'," from The Journal of Collegium Aesculapium, 1985, 37, reprinted by F.A.R.M.S.]


Enos 1:25 I Began to Be Old and an Hundred and Seventy and Nine Years Had Passed Away:


     According to Cleon Skousen, in commencing a study of the writings of Enos, we are suddenly confronted with a man who seems to have lived an incredibly long time. Enos says he was alive and serving as prophet and historian of the Nephites clear down to 420 B.C. (assuming Lehi left Jerusalem about 600 B.C.--see Enos 1:25). Jacob, the father of Enos, was born way back around 598 B.C. Then when was Enos born? If he were born when his father, Jacob, was 50 (which would seem to be an extremely conservative estimate), Enos would have lived to the age of 128 before he relinquished the plates in 420 B.C. If we assume that he was born when his father was younger, then the total life span of Enos would have to be extended that much more.

     When we come to our Book of Mormon study of the Jaredites (the book of Ether) we will see that it was customary for men who lived a long time to choose one of their younger sons to carry on. This is also true of the early patriarchs. The above circumstances would indicate that Enos was one of the younger sons of Jacob, and that he received the records from Jacob when the latter was very old, perhaps close to a century. [W. Cleon Skousen, Treasures from the Book of Mormon , Vol. 2, p. 2005]

     Note* According to the proposed chronology in Appendix A, Jacob was born in the 4th year from when Lehi left Jerusalem. Thus Jacob would have been 97 when he gave the small plates to Enos (Jacob 7:26-27). If Enos was 20 at the time, then he would have been born when Jacob was 77 years old. When "an hundred and seventy and nine years had passed away" shortly before Enos' death, Enos would have been 99. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Enos 1:27 I Know That in Him I Shall Rest:


     In order to gain an appreciation for Enos and his writings, one must first gain some perspective on what his position as a recordkeeper had evolved to. In view of the fact that the small plates of Nephi were reserved for "the ministry" of the people (1 Nephi 9:3-4) one might ask, How did Enos feel about his ability to add anything substantive to the record when his writings had to follow those of Nephi's and Jacob's?

     Nephi had presented one of the most complex, structurally interwoven documents on his calling and responsive actions in leading his family (figuratively the children of Israel and more specifically the tribe of Joseph), through the wilderness to the promised land. As a "ruler and a teacher" over his brethren (1 Nephi 2:22; 3:29; 16:37), he had often compared his situation to that of Moses. He also used the writings of Isaiah to speak of the role of scattered Israel (more specifically the tribe of Joseph) in restoring the House of Israel from it's scattered state.

     Jacob had used passages of Isaiah and the allegory of Zenos, along with his own teachings in describing the history and prophetic future salvation of the House of Israel, a people who had taken upon themselves the covenant name ("Israel") which had been given to Jacob's namesake, the ancient patriarch Jacob of old, the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham who also shared in the covenant.

     So what was left for Enos to write? In other words, how could Enos even come close to equaling or adding to the greatness of Nephi or Jacob? The answer is found precisely in what he wrote. In his most humble way, Enos chose to focus on individual salvation as it relates to the salvation of a people. In his short record, Enos spells out the simpleness of the covenant way in obtaining personal salvation. In subtle phrases, he marks his simple obedience to covenants from his conversion process to the end of an extremely long life. His overriding concern becomes the salvation of his brethren, and that the true record of salvation might be preserved and brought forth unto them. Rather than sinking in despair over the absence of success in converting his Lamanite brethren to the gospel at the present (see Enos 1:14), or being overly concerned with the lack of any great achievements in his lifetime (he mentions only his conversion and covenant with the Lord), Enos seems to focus on diligence (compare Enos 1:12 and 26) in trying to comply with his part of the covenant made with the Lord while trusting that the Lord will ultimately uphold his part.

     The writings of Enos speak out and give great comfort to the common person. It gives one hope to find a humble Enos proclaiming with great assurance in his final words:

           And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in Him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before Him; then shall I see His face with pleasure, and He will say into me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen. (Enos 1:27)


     As has been discussed before, the phrase "I know" (see Enos 1:15, 17, 27) is covenant related. The covenants recorded by Enos and other writers in the Book of Mormon by which they "knew" of events concerning their own salvation and the salvation process of their brethren were ultimately verified and confirmed by Christ and his covenant with the Father. These themes were to become the main purposes which guided Mormon and Moroni's abridgment. Thus in his own humble way, Enos was true to his charge and worthy of a place beside both Nephi and Jacob "in the mansions of [their] Father." [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [For other commentary on the covenant phrase "I know," see Enos 1:17] [See the commentary on 2 Nephi 9:13; Jarom 1:2; Alma 22:13]


Enos 1:27 There Is a Place Prepared for You in the Mansions of My Father:


     According to Hugh Nibley, a mansion is a house which is yours, and there are many mansions where you stay overnight as you progress on your journey. When a great king or lord made his tour, the Royal Progress, where did he stop at night? He didn't camp; he had mansions. He had special houses built for him to stay overnight. The first year of his reign he had to make the complete tour of his kingdom (see "Tenting, Toll, and Taxing," Western Political Quarterly 1966: 599-630; reprinted in The Ancient State, CWHN 10, F.A.R.M.S., 33-98). The mansion is the place where you stay during the course of your progress on your journey. You continue to have your mansion, and on you go. There you have your eternal progression. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 1, pp. 422]