If I could ask them one question . . .
Come Follow Me, Lesson 13
For Come Follow Me, lesson 13, March 23-29, Enos - Words of Mormon
If I wanted to encourage thought and try to understand devout believers better, I might ask:
“Could it be problematic that Enos’s father taught him ‘in the nurture and admonition of the Lord’?”
Things to consider:
- First, this phraseology from Enos 1:1 seems to copy language from Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
- And, we know that Joseph seems to borrow much of what he calls revelation from other sources. Mormon apologist Terryl Givens admits “Smith’s prophetic vocation included inspired borrowings” (Epilogue to book, “Standing Apart”).
- BYU researchers also admit to such borrowing in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible: “The number of direct parallels between Smith’s translation and Adam Clarke’s biblical commentary are simply too numerous and explicit to posit happenstance or coincidental overlap. The parallels between the two texts number into the hundreds” (“A Recently Discovered Source”).
- Second of all, how could Enos be taught by his father, the prophet Jacob, “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” but the Lord had to tell Enos how it was that his sins were forgiven - by faith in Christ? Isn’t faith in Christ the first principle of the gospel? Was Jacob a bad teacher or focused on Pharisaical ideas like the proper hand by which to take the sacrament? Was Enos a poor student, not listening? Neither seems likely after also reading him say that before his mighty prayer, “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).
- Does this reflect something of the general understanding about the role of faith in Christ among latter day saints? This is only anecdotal, so please share your perspective if it is different, but I have an acquaintance (let’s call him Jon) who seemed as ignorant of the role of faith in Christ as Enos was, and Jon was a stake president at the time. Jon had feelings of guilt and inadequacy that he was seeing a life coach for. The life coach, a Baptist, had to teach Jon the role of faith in Christ in setting a Christian free from these concerns about guilt and inadequacy - that relying on Christ’s grace is where it all starts. (I’m no longer a believer, but it’s not rocket science that from a Christian perspective, everything of greatest value relies on faith in Christ.). Is Jon’s story at all reflective of a more general lack of understanding among the LDS about the role of faith in Christ? Please share your experiences or information.
If you could ask believers questions about the scriptures for this lesson, what would you ask?
Some other problems I see in this lesson’s reading:
- God covenanted to bring the records of the Nephites unto the Lamanites (Enos 1:16), but as far as we can tell, there is no such people as Lamanites.
- Goats and horses are anachronisms (Enos 1:21).
- The time line for the births and deaths of Jacob and Enos seem very unlikely (Enos 1:25-26).
- Iron and steel are anachronisms (Jarom 1:8).
- Swords seem anachronistic (Omni 1:17).
- Engravings are interpreted by a seer (Omni 1:20); why don’t modern seers do this?
- It asserts the tower of Babel event actually happened as described in the Bible (Omni 1:22).
- There doesn’t seem to be a distinction between foreknowledge and predestination (Words of Mormon 1:7).
- Preservation of the plates from that time henceforth seems important (Words of Mormon 1:11), but Joseph didn’t seem to need them?
Have fun studying!
If I could ask them one question, Lesson 13