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Enoch

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Enoch was an Old Testament prophet, the son of Jared, the seventh patriarch in Adam's line. Because of the extent of his visionary experiences, a mystique surrounds him outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints, however, because of the account in the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price know more about Enoch, the nature of his visions, and his role on earth.

As the world was growing in wickedness and violence, literally ripening in iniquity, the Lord set about to gather the righteous out of the world before He would destroy it by flood. He called Enoch to preach and prophesy. In spite of Enoch's royal lineage and priesthood, he felt inadequate for the job.

And it came to pass that Enoch journeyed in the land, among the people; and as he journeyed, the Spirit of God descended out of heaven, and abode upon him.
And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them; for their hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off;
And for these many generations, ever since the day that I created them, have they gone astray, and have denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments, which I gave unto their father, Adam.
Wherefore, they have foresworn themselves, and, by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not;
And this is a decree, which I have sent forth in the beginning of the world, from my own mouth, from the foundation thereof, and by the mouths of my servants, thy fathers, have I decreed it, even as it shall be sent forth in the world, unto the ends thereof.
And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant (Moses 6:26-31)?

The Lord told Enoch not to fear, that he would be protected, and that the Lord would fill his mouth with the words he should say. "And it came to pass when they heard him, no man laid hands on him; for fear came on all them that heard him; for he walked with God (Moses 6:39). The Lord did show Enoch many visions, some of which were extremely depressing to view. Enoch saw the destruction of the wicked, as well as the crucifixion of Christ. [1] He also saw that the heavens wept over the fallen children of men.

Enoch...wept over the human condition, but he was told, “Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look” (Moses 7:44). 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!
At first, Enoch refused “to be comforted” (Moses 7:44). Finally, he saw God’s plan, the later coming of the Messiah in the meridian of time, and the eventual triumph of God’s purposes. Enoch saw how the throne of God features justice and mercy (see Moses 7:31).
Significantly, the consequences of misused human agency were explained to Enoch: mortals had been given a commandment to “love one another,” yet those then had become a people “without affection” who “hate their own blood” (Moses 7:33). [1]

Evidently, Enoch had a "book of remembrance" kept since the time of Adam. These scriptures provided continuity of the gospel plan to bring men to repentance. Enoch himself was reknowned for keeping his own records:

We begin with Enoch keeping the books of Adam, recalling that the words and prophecies of Adam were “all written in the book of Enoch” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:57), who reminded his people, “the first of all we know, even Adam. For a book of remembrance we have written among us …” (Moses 6:45–46). Now according to the Zohar, “Enoch also had a book which came from the same place as the book of the Generations of Adam.” Rabbi Eleaser said that Adam hid the book that the angel Raziel, the purveyor of the heavenly secrets, gave to him, and that Enoch later found it, and that it was next delivered to Noah by Rafael and so passed on to Shem and hence from one generation to the next. It is implied in Genesis 5:1–2 [Genesis 5:1–2] that the human race was fully launched when the Book of the Generations of Adam was inaugurated, since Adam and Eve were set apart (bara), and given a name and a blessing. A very old tradition equates true humanity with Enoch the record-keeper, a more complete man than Adam himself. The early Christians were fond of the Book of Adam, according to Epiphanius, and A. Vaillant, the authority on the Slavonic Enoch, maintained that the Christian Enoch book was not taken from Jewish sources but from an old lost Book of Adam and Seth. [2]
In the secretarial line, preeminence goes to Enoch, “to whom the angels showed and taught all things both in heaven and in earth … and he wrote everything down” (Jubilees 4:21), “the man of intelligence, the great writer, whom the lord took to be a seer of the life above …” (2 Ethiopian Enoch. Intd.), who was commanded by God to “take these books which I have written back to earth to your children … that they shall read them and know me for the Creator of all, and distribute the books children to children, generation to generation, nation to nation …” (2 Ethiopian Enoch 88:6–9). Inevitably the saying went abroad in the land that it was that man who “first learned and taught writing, and was deemed worthy to reveal the divine mysteries.”

The Lord taught Enoch the Plan of Salvation, the reason for Adam's fall, and the redeeming value of the coming atonement of Christ. [2]

The Lord also blessed Enoch with keys to priesthood power:

Behold 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; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me (Moses 6:34).
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).

The "power of language" mentioned in the scripture also supports Enoch's strength as a writer and record keeper.

Enoch was commanded to call people to repentance and then baptize them "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son" (Moses 7:11). It is evident from the record that Enoch, as well as all the ancient prophets, knew of Christ and preached in His name. As the righteous gathered, they built a city, called the City of Enoch, or Zion. The people there were the pure in heart. They lived the Law of Consecration, a celestial law, so that there were no poor among them. In time, the people were so righteous, the Lord took them up, and they became translated beings:

And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.
And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever (Moses 7:19-21).

Before the flood, other righteous inhabitants of the earth were caught up and translated, to join the citizens of Zion.

And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion (Moses 7:27).

From heaven, Enoch continued to see visions and behold the future of mankind.

And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy (Moses 7:67).

The Lord promised Enoch that the Zion in heaven would be joined with the New Jerusalem on earth during the millennium.

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; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; 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, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest (Moses 7:62-64).

References

  1. Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Yet Thou Art There’,” Ensign, Nov 1987, 30.
  2. Hugh Nibley, “A Strange Thing in the Land: The Return of the Book of Enoch, Part 5,” Ensign, Apr 1976, 60.

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