Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Defense of Enos

I want to take a moment to come to the defense of someone who has been wrongly accused too many times to count.

As a youth, I remember having many lessons where the Book of Mormon prophet, Enos, was discussed. In these lessons, I was taught that he had a drastic change—one from a vile sinner to a changed man. Enos was often cast in the same light as Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah pre-conversion. However, when I later read the account in the Book of Mormon for myself, I could find no explicit mention of a sinful life—I couldn't even find an implicit one! All I could find was a young man (one privileged to hear the voice of the Lord because of his faith) who sought full repentance and direction after receiving an important calling: to take the plates and obey the commandments (see Jacob 7:27, the verse right before the book of Enos).

Even Joseph Smith sought repentance after his profound experiences (JS-H 1:28).

Instead of speculating that his mention of repentance was an indication of extreme unworthiness, I got the impression that he was a righteous, faithful, priesthood-holder who wanted to learn how he was to fulfill the calling and commission he received.

What have been your experiences with Enos in church lessons? I'm hoping that my bad experiences are fairly isolated, considering the praise and prominence that Enos both deserves and receives from general authorities and others (including the seminary program: there is even a song about his experience (mp3, sheet music, other songs)).

I'm grateful for my experiences with Enos and his words. From what I read in the scriptures, Enos should be cleared of charges of extreme unworthiness. In fact, doing this makes the model he outlines that much more applicable to me and my efforts to be like Christ.

1 thought:

Michele Alger said...

I appreciate your comments in "defense" of Enos being that I stumbled upon your post while looking for images through google of Enos and am happy to say that in my life at least, I never really got the impression that Enos was an extremely sinful man more than just recognizing the sins that were his as we all have just merely being mortal. It is actually one of my very favorite stories in the scriptures because of the complete desire he had for being completely forgiven of all unworthiness and upon recieving that forgiveness enjoying such an intense amount of JOY that he wanted all those he knew to have the same Joy to be theirs. Sweet! Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!