Book of Mormon
Enos prays for himself, the Nephites, and the Lamanites.
The Nephites prosper through continual repentance.
Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom, and Amaleki keep the records.
Mormon adds the small plates of Nephi to his abridgment of the large plates.
A study of this lesson will emphasize that the scriptures have been prepared and
preserved to guide and direct us.
Scripture references for study:
Words of Mormon
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 14 Handout (PDF)
How much of the Book of Mormon record and history are we missing?
The accounts contained in the books of
Enos, Jarom, Omni, and Words of Mormon span 350 years of Nephite history.
HOW MUCH IS MISSING?
If the rest of the Book of Mormon history were written as briefly as these
four books, the Book of Mormon would be a 20 page pamphlet instead of a
531 page book.
These books bring the Small Plates to a conclusion.
We then enter Mormon's abridgment of the large plates.
These books span the period from a relatively small colony to a major civilization.
From about 500 BC - Record of Enos begins at the death of Jacob.
To about 145 BC - The last scribe, Amaleki, turns the records over to Benjamin.
The Book Of Enos
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT ENOS BEYOND THE EXPERIENCE HE RECORDED?
We do not know if his experience occurred before or after the death of
He was the son of Jacob and grandson of Lehi and Sariah.
Jacob educated Enos in things both spiritual and temporal.
He says he lived to an old age.
Jacob was born between 600-590 BC.
At the end of his record,
Enos writes that it has been 179 years since Lehi left Jerusalem (Enos
Jacob and Enos must to have lived to an old age.
Enos seems to have been born to Jacob in his older years.
Jacob trusted Enos enough to place the plates in his custody.
Enos may have been given the plates not just because he could be trusted,
but also because he was young and could span the generations.
WHAT IMPRESSIONS DO YOU HAVE FROM THESE VERSES?
Jacob took his duty as a father seriously.
He taught his son in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
He spoke often of "eternal life, and the joy of the saints."
Jacob appears to have born his testimony often and rejoiced in the knowledge
of the gospel.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Treat your
children as sons and daughters of God. Be kind. Love them. Respect them. Counsel with them. Teach them. Pray for
them. Guide them and god will bless both them and you."
(Church News, 1 Nov 1997, p2)
HAS THE TEACHING OF YOUR PARENTS PROMOTED YOUR TESTIMONY? HOW?
Enos "got away" to a place where he was able to ponder his life and
the things which his father had taught.
He left town and went out into the forest on a hunting trip.
He was alone in a place of peace.
In this situation he was able to ponder his life and the words of his father.
THE RESULT: Those things "sunk deep into my heart" and "my soul hungered."
WHAT APPLICATION DOES THIS HAVE FOR US?
We need to take time to get away from the busy hub-bub of life, to ponder
There are insights, strengths, and blessings available to us that come in no other
There is an effort required to receive answers to our prayers.
Enos says his "soul hungered."
He speaks of "the wrestle I had before God."
He cried in "mighty supplication."
He prayed all day and into the night.
ARE YOU WILLING TO PUT FORTH THAT KIND OF EFFORT TO RECEIVE AN ANSWER?
WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO TO HEAR THE WORDS SPOKEN TO ENOS IN VERSE 5,
"THY SINS ARE FORGIVEN THEE, AND THOU SHALT BE BLESSED"?
"The wrestle Enos had before God was with himself. Sometimes the greatest effort is put forth when a person contends with
himself before the Lord. Such wrestling is the struggle to find and
express one's real desires which are sometimes hidden behind sin, evasion,
and cover-up. Wrestling with oneself involves deep thought, meditation,
and concentration. It means going beyond the cliché level of prayer
to the point that one truly pours his soul into words and offers them to
God. Repetitions cease to be vain, trite, or unfelt. Instead,
each phrase is an expression of a yearning desire to do God's will. Such prayers are assisted and guided by the Holy Spirit, 'for we know not
what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession
for us with groanings which cannot be uttered' (Romans 8:26)."
(Religion 121-122, Book of Mormon Student Manual, p55)
The progression of Enos prayer.
STEP 1 - He prayed for his own soul.
"I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto
him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul" (v4).
Enos received the witness that his sins were forgiven and then asked: "Lord,
how is it done?" (v7).
HOW WAS ENOS' FORGIVENESS MADE POSSIBLE?
Because of his faith in Jesus Christ (v8).
STEP 2 - He prayed for his brethren, the Nephites.
"Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel
a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did
pour out my whole soul unto God for them. And while I was thus struggling in the spirit,
behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again..." (v9-10).
Once Enos testimony was in force and his sins forgiven, he hungered for
the welfare of his brethren.
STEP 3 - He prayed for his enemies, the Lamanites.
"And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my
faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many
long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites. And it came to pass that
after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me:
I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith"
After praying for his friends Enos then prayed for his enemies.
STEP 4 - He prayed for the preservation of the records.
"Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able
to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said
unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall
receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it. 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
STEP 5 - His soul rested after this powerful prayer.
"And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the
covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest" (v17).
We cannot receive peace in this world by simply seeking for our own salvation,
we have to pour our hearts out and do all that we can for the salvation
of our fellow citizens throughout the world, whether they be friend or foe.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS RECORD TO WHICH ENOS IS ADDING HIS BRIEF WRITINGS?
Enos felt, as directed by the Spirit, so strongly about its message, that
his soul could not rest until that Lord assured him that the record would
be preserved for future generations.
HOW WAS THIS REVELATION MANIFEST TO ENOS? DID HE HEAR THE ACTUAL
VOICE OF GOD?
"And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold,
the voice of the Lord came into my mind again" (v10).
President Harold B. Lee spoke of this principle: "May
I bear humble testimony, if I may be pardoned, to that fact? I was
once in a situation where I needed help. The Lord knew I needed help
and I was on an important mission. I was awakened in the hours of
the morning--as though someone had wakened me to straighten me out on something
that I had planned to do in a contrary course--and there was clearly mapped
out before me as I lay there that morning, just as surely as though someone
had sat on the edge of my bed and told me what to do. Yes, the voice
of the Lord comes into our minds, and we are directed thereby."
(Stand Ye In Holy Places, p140)
We must be worthy of such manifestations. Recall the words of Nephi
to his rebellious brethren: "Ye are swift to do
iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an
angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to
time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past
feeling, that ye could not feel his words" (1 Nephi 17:45).
ARE WE EVER GUILTY OF BEING STIFFNECKED AND NOT FOLLOWING THE PROPHETS? DO WE HAVE TO BE STIRRED UP CONTINUALLY IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD?
Brother Victor L. Ludlow: "Prophets face similar
obstacles today; often their greatest opposition comes from the Latter-day
Saints who should be the first to respond with simple, devout faith to
the prophet word. However, repeated words of plainness, harshness,
and sharpness are often needed to keep God's children from bringing divine
destruction upon themselves." (Studies In Scriptures, 7:200)
HOW DID ENOS FEEL ABOUT DYING?
"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 unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you
in the mansions of my Father. Amen." (Enos 1:27)
HOW CAN WE BE AS WELL PREPARED TO DIE?
Do as Enos did.
Seek for our own forgiveness and salvation and then for that of those around
The Book Of Jarom
Jarom speaks of the continuing spiritual apostasy among many of his people
He also speaks of many who have revelations and keep the commandments.
- In Jarom's day there was a growing and diverse society. There were people with
many practices and beliefs.
- It might have been much like our day where there are many righteous, but
also many who are stiffnecked and refuse to obey the teachings of the
He continues his brief history of the people speaking of wars and their
Jarom presents an interesting teaching technique:
They taught the people to believe in the coming of the Messiah "as though
he already was."
HOW WOULD WE LIVE OUR LIVES TODAY IF WE LIVED AS IF THE SECOND COMING HAD
The Book Of Omni
The Book of Omni contains the record of five scribes. Amaleki wrote
2/3 of the book.
Refers to himself as a wicked man.
He did carry out his role as custodian of the record.
Continued the genealogy.
He still had a conscience. "I have not kept the
statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done"
The Book of Mormon writer with the least amount of writing.
We have talked about the importance of Jacob's writings. His writings
were brief, but contained that which was must precious.
In writing our histories and journals, we might consider creating a section
of those things which we believe to be of greatest value.
ON THE OTHER HAND: How many of us keep journals like Chemish? Do
we need to do more?
A pattern of wars between the Nephites and Lamanites continued over the
Omni: "I fought much with the sword to preserve
my people" (Omni 1:2).
"...we had many seasons of serious war and bloodshed"
Amaron: "...the more wicked part of the Nephites
were destroyed" (Omni 1:5).
"...he did spare the righteous that they should
not perish, but did deliver them out of the hands of their enemies"
Abinadom: "I saw much war and contention between
my people" (Omni 1:10).
Amaleki: Things became so bad that Mosiah was warned "of
the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi" (Omni
"I have seen, in the days of king Benjamin, a
serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites"
Important historical notes from the writings of Amaleki:
Amaleki brings us up to the the time near the end of the reign of King Benjamin, about 130
We have, in a few short pages, spanned the period from Enos (421 BC) to
King Benjamin (130 BC).
MIGHT WE BE MISSING SOME IMPORTANT BOOK OF MORMON HISTORY?
WHO WERE THE PEOPLE OF ZARAHEMLA?
Source for some of the following information: The "Mulekites" by John L. Sorenson,
emeritus professor of anthropology at BYU. BYU Studies, Summer 1990.
Came out from Jerusalem at the time King Zedekiah was taken captive to
In 586 BC Jerusalem was invaded by the Babylonians.
The temple was destroyed.
The city was raided.
Most of the population was deported to Babylon.
King Zedekiah attempted to escape but was captured.
"And the city was broken up, and all the men of
war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by
the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:)
and the king went the way toward the plain. And the army of the Chaldees
pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and
all his army were scattered from him. So they took the king,
and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment
upon him. And they slew the sons
of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound
him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon." (2 Kings
Mulek was the sole surviving son of King Zedekiah (Helaman 8:21).
The people of Zarahemla were descended from Mulek (Mosiah 25:2).
The term "Mulekites" is never mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
Sailed across the ocean and arrived in the Americas like Lehi and his family.
Mulek could have been as old as 15, maybe younger.
Possibly the reason he escaped death - too young to be noticed.
Possibly secreted away by family retainers and close associates of the
Escaping to Egypt, among his father's allies, would have been the logical
It is possible that Mulek and his companions commissioned a Phoenician
ship to carry them to safety.
The Phoenicians were the premier sailors of that age. Israel had
few sailing traditions.
Minor evidence for Phoenician influence in the Americas.
The river Sidon and the land of Sidom.
At the time of the Spanish conquest, a name given by nearby Indians to
the key site in the area some consider probably Sidom was zactan, "white
lime," while the Semitic name Sidon, in Phoenicia, may be derived from
From Egypt they could have sailed west through the Mediterranean and into
the Atlantic catching the same prevailing winds that drove Columbus to
Thor Heyerdahl exhibited the possibility of this route with his Ra II expedition.
They landed north of the Nephite/Lamanite civilizations, before moving
south to where they encountered the Nephites.
"And it bordered upon the land which they called
Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which
had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which
was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their
first landing" (Alma 22:30).
They had become a large nation, larger than the Nephite nation (Mosiah
They had suffered many wars and contentions.
Their language had become corrupted. WHY?
They brought no records with them.
It may be evidence of the cultural diversity amongst those that made the
voyage. Additional evidence that they may have chartered a Phoenician
ship and those employed remained in American after their arrival.
They may have encountered other cultures after their arrival on this continent.
Recall: The Jaredites had not destroyed themselves at this time.
Possibly they encountered a colony of Jaredites separated from the main
Recall: The Jaredite nation was to the north.
IN ADDITION TO HAVING THEIR LANGUAGE CORRUPTED, WHAT OTHER EFFECTS DID
THE LACK OF RECORDS HAVE ON THIS PEOPLE?
They lost their faith.
"They denied the being of their creator"
The loss of faith and failing to keep commandments brings about suffering
(wars and contentions) and can lead to destruction.
The Lord preserved this branch until they could join with those that had
the gospel and sacred records.
HOW MIGHT WE BE AFFECTED IF WE DID NOT HAVE THE SCRIPTURES?
"And he [Mosiah II] also taught them [his sons]
concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying:
My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates,
which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered
in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God"
The Nephite and Zarahemla nation united as one with Mosiah [the first] as their
There is no reference after this period of time to the people of Zarahemla
as a separate people.
Mosiah interpreted a large stone with engravings.
It contained the story of one Coriantumr and his fallen people (the Jaredites).
Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla and he lived with
them for nine moons before dying.
Mosiah died during the lifetime of Amaleki. Mosiah's son, Benjamin, became
king over the Nephite nation.
Amaleki had no children to pass the small plates to, so he delivered that
plates into the custody of King Benjamin.
Amaleki concludes with reference to the expeditions of Zeniff to recover
the land of Nephi.
Amaleki's counsel to us.
"And now, my beloved brethren,
I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel,
and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come
unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue
in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye
will be saved." (Omni 1:26)
The Words Of Mormon
WORDS OF MORMON 1:3-7. An explanation regarding
the attachment of the small plates.
Mormon provides a link between the small plates and his abridgment.
There was a great battle between the Nephites and Lamanites under the reign
of King Benjamin.
There were false Christs and false teachers.
Benjamin caused these people to be tried for their crimes and once again
established peace in the land.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings and history as discussed in this
lesson. What principles can you apply in your life?
Resources Used In This Lesson
LDS Church News.
Religion 121-122, Book of Mormon Student Manual.
Stand Ye In Holy Places by Harold B. Lee.
Studies in Scripture, Volume 7, edited by Kent P. Jackson.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
08 February 2016