Moses 7: Enoch's Zion


Moses 6 introduced Enoch the prophet, seer, and preacher of righteousness and recorded one of his discourses that broadly summarized “the plan of salvation” (Moses 6:62). Enoch the seer received power from God to preach and move mountains and to behold the spirits that God had created. Enoch the preacher and teacher emphasized immortality and eternal life through the atonement of Christ and the reception of sacred ordinances pertaining to such. Moses 7 begins with Enoch continuing his speech that served as a prelude to the unprecedented theophanies wherein God came to “dwell” with Enoch and his people, theophanies that eventuated in Zion being taken to God’s “bosom” (v. 69). These theophanies began with the Lord’s face-to-face appearance to Enoch on the mount Simeon and included the glory of the Lord resting “upon his people,” who were “blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places” (v. 17). Moses, and later Joseph Smith, thus witnessed the theophanies experienced by Enoch (similar to those they themselves had experienced) as well as the establishment of Zion and the principles on which Enoch’s Zion and the later Zion would be based. Through a series of visions, these prophets would witness how Enoch came to become more godlike in his pursuit of Zion, developing characteristics that enabled him to view God and God’s children through the eyes and vision of God. When these visions were revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, they became influential in the Saints’ pursuit of Zion in their own day.[1]

Sometime around mid-December 1830, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation of Moses 7.[2] On December 30, 1830, Joseph received the revelation that became Doctrine and Covenants section 37.[3] This revelation commanded Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon to pause their work on the translation until they could gather in Ohio: “It is not expedient in me that ye should translate any more until ye shall go to the Ohio, and this because of the enemy and for your sakes” (v. 1). During this time, Joseph had been receiving the text of Moses 7 and Sidney Rigdon had been serving as his scribe.[4] At this point the Lord gave them the opportunity to enact principles that he had been teaching them in the revealed text of Moses 7. These principles, set forth in Doctrine and Covenants 37, included gathering (“assembl[ing] together,” v. 3),[5] preaching the gospel (v. 2; see Moses 6–7), and “strengthen[ing] up the church” (v. 2)—that is, building up Zion.

On January 2, 1831, Joseph received the revelation we now have as Doctrine and Covenants 38. In this revelation the Lord identified himself thus: “I am the same which hath taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom.”[6] Equating the God of Enoch with the God of the Restoration must have inspired the Saints with confidence in all that God was asking them to do. However, such assurance came after some wondered if “Joseph had invented” the revelation[7] and when, several weeks later, all assembled: “After a night of fasting, prayer and trial, they all consented to obey the holy messenger.”[8] This revelation developed themes relating to the principles of gathering, oneness, and becoming a righteous people, all of which consummate in the commandment to “go to the Ohio . . . [where] you shall be endowed with power from on high” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32).

These comparisons highlight the influence of Joseph’s translation of the Bible and the reception of the Book of Moses on understanding forthcoming revelations for the contemporary Church and the unfolding Restoration, particularly those that relate to principles outlined in Moses 7. As we will see, Moses 7 constituted the soil from which sprouted the Lord’s revelations on the gathering and building up of Zion and the economics of the law of consecration. As Joseph and his scribes began to record the revelation of Moses 7, they designated the translation manuscript “Extract from the Prophecy of Enoch.”[9]

Enoch’s Theophany on the Mount Simeon

As Enoch concluded his presentation of the doctrine of Christ and the plan of salvation in Moses 6, wherein Adam was a model of embracing divine teachings and participating in ordinances, he informed his audience that “Adam taught these things, and many have believed and become the sons of God” (Moses 7:1). Many of Adam and Eve’s posterity embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ, repented, and became spiritually reborn as covenant sons and daughters of God. Enoch was continuing this preaching. When he also testified that many had not embraced the gospel, this reality became the basis for what he experienced next. The Lord instructed Enoch:[10]

1 And it came to pass that Enoch continued his speech, saying: Behold, our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed and become the sons of God, and many have believed not, and have perished in their sins, and are looking forth with fear, in torment, for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God to be poured out upon them.[11]

2 And from that time forth Enoch began to prophesy, saying unto the people, that: As I was journeying, and stood upon the place Mahujah,[12] and cried unto the Lord, there came a voice out of heaven, saying—Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon.[13]

3 And it came to pass that I turned and went up on the mount; and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory;[14]

4 And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face;[15] and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations.

As Enoch continued his prophetic ministry, he received the commandment to turn and “get . . . upon the mount Simeon” to receive further instructions (Moses 7:2). There, in a possible temple-like setting akin to the mountain experience in which the vision of Moses occurred (see Moses 1),[16] Enoch saw another vision and was “clothed upon with glory” (i.e., transfigured; Moses 7:3). This sacred event was similar to Moses’s transfiguration in Moses 1:2 (compare vv. 9, 11, 18, 25, 31). From Moses 1 we have learned that his transfiguration enabled Moses to have a face-to-face conversation with the Lord (compare Moses 7:4).[17] It is within this setting that the Lord would reveal to the seer important events pertaining to the future.

It should be noted here that a textual ambiguity in the OT1 manuscript of what is now Moses 7:2 leaves open the possibility that Mahujah was a person with whom Enoch prayed. Jeffrey Bradshaw and David Larsen write: “A careful reading of the OT1 manuscript reveals Mahujah to be the name of the individual who joined with Enoch in prayer rather than the name of the place where Enoch prayed: ‘As I was journeying and stood in the place, Mahujah and I cried unto the Lord. There came a voice out of heaven, saying—Turn ye, and get ye upon the mount Simeon.’”[18] The potential problem with this reading “is that afterward, Enoch went up to meet God alone”[19] (see Moses 7:3); thus, “the only way to reconcile the absence of Mahujah in subsequent events would be if he did not follow Enoch to the mount as he had been commanded to do in Moses 7:2 (taking “Turn ye” to be plural).”[20] A similarly named person, Mahijah, had earlier asked Enoch to explain himself (see Moses 6:40). Significantly, the names Mahijah and Mahujah, as Hugh Nibley[21] pointed out, strongly resemble the name MHWY (sometimes spelled Mahaway by scholars) attested in the Book of Giants, a Jewish Enochic work found in Aramaic among the Dead Sea Scrolls. MHWY is the name of a character who conversed with Enoch in the Book of Giants, as Mahijah does in the Book of Moses. The Mahijah/Mahujah and MHWY parallel potentially provides further evidence for the Book of Moses and its account of Enoch’s ministry having distinctly ancient roots.

Enoch’s Vision of the Tribes: War and Violence

As part of Enoch’s calling as prophet and seer, the Lord granted him an expansive view of the lands, peoples, and tribes within the geographic range pertaining to Enoch and his people. He also received a commandment of the Lord to prophesy concerning “the people of Canaan” (Moses 7:6–7). What he saw must have been difficult to process, and it foreshadowed the difficulties ahead in achieving Zion:

5 And it came to pass that I beheld in the valley of Shum, and lo, a great people which dwelt in tents, which were the people of Shum.

6 And again the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked towards the north, and I beheld the people of Canaan,[22] which dwelt in tents.

7 And the Lord said unto me: Prophesy; and I prophesied, saying: Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful,[23] and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan;

8 For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness[24] came upon all the children of Canaan,[25] that they were despised among all people.[26]

9 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked, and I beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof;

10 And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them—Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die.

11 And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize 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.

12 And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent.[27]

This report of Enoch’s vision further develops the theme of the earth/land being cursed for Adam’s sake (see Genesis 3:17; Moses 4:23; compare Genesis 8:21) and the land subsequently being cursed against Cain (see Genesis 4:12; Moses 5:37). Enoch prophesied that “the land shall be barren and unfruitful” and that “the land [shall be] cursed with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever” (Moses 7:7–8). The cursing of the land in each of these instances represented the loss of the presence of God and his blessing of the paradisiacal glory the earth once enjoyed.[28] Moreover, it constituted the undoing of creation that humans were bringing on themselves, leading to the causes and necessity of the Flood. In the Old Testament, whenever a land was cursed, it was a consequence of human misbehavior (in this case violence, war, and destruction).[29] In later ancient Israelite thought, a land of promise was a land where God’s presence was, including his ritual presence, the antithesis of what was being created by these peoples who warred against each other in their wickedness.[30]


Here it is important to further note that any effort to match “blackness” to physical characteristics of a curse on specific groups or peoples represents regrettable speculation. The notion that the curse on Cain somehow relates to black skin and race definitively constitutes a postbiblical development and an unbiblical interpretation.[31] As we saw in the discussion of Cain, there are absolutely no linguistic grounds for such an interpretation in his case, and this does not appear to be the way ancient authors used the term that Joseph Smith translated here in Moses 7:8 as “blackness.” (The term black will also occur in Moses 7:22, which says that “the seed of Cain were black.”) Racial applications appear to be more modern interpretations imposed on the texts (and by “more modern” we mean early Judeo-Christian interpretations of Cain and dark skin that began to prevail in the early centuries of the Common Era), and ancient conceptions appear to have applied a different understanding to the concept. For example, the closest parallels to attributing “blackness” to a body part in the Old Testament are found in the following scriptures:

She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness [pāʾrûr].[32] (Nahum 2:10)

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness [pāʾrûr].[33] (Joel 2:6)

For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black [qādartî];[34] astonishment hath taken hold on me. (Jeremiah 8:21)

When Joseph Smith received the revelation of Moses 1, this concept connecting blackness/darkness with demeanor was further highlighted:

Who art thou for behold, I am a Son of God in the similitude of his only begotten, & where is thy glory that I should worship thee, for, behold, I could not look upon God except his glory should come upon me, & I were transfigered before him but I can look upon thee in the natural man, if not so surely blessed be the name of my God for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me or else where is thy glory for it is blackness unto me & I can Judge between thee & God for God said unto me Worship God for him only shalt thou serve Get thee hence Satan deceive me not.[35]

In the ancient mode of thinking, there are multiple ways of expressing “blackness” in reference to demeanors and countenances. They describe a mien or a nonphysical aura that a person displays or exudes. These can also include descriptions of wickedness, and “‘black’ and ‘white’ in Arabic can be used to refer to levels of moral cleanliness and purity. Such a distinction is found in 3 Enoch 44:6, where Rabbi Ishmael is shown the spirits suffering in Sheol and comments that ‘the faces of the wicked souls were as black as the bottom of a pot, because of the multitude of their wicked deeds.’”[36] The nuances of this ancient text highlight the wickedness of the people in the story and a spiritual type of dark demeanor that had come over those people, rather than a physically dark skin. This contrasts with the passages in scripture describing transfigurations and the countenances of people glowing bright during theophanies. The difference in countenance seems to be the heart of the matter. Joseph Smith never seemed to interject a physical interpretation on the text, nor did ancient societies among whom ethnic diversity existed.

While others attempted to claim that dark skin was a curse (and this was a tradition inherited by nineteenth-century America from its Judeo-Christian background over the centuries), Joseph taught that “all spirits are pure that Come from the presence of God.”[37] Illustrating the figurative use of the word blackness from a scriptural context to describe mood, Eliza R. Snow published the following psalm, which has heavy biblical undertones as she describes the wickedness of Missourians against the Saints:

Missouri. What aileth thee, oh! Missouri! that thy face should gather blackness, and why are thy features so terribly distorted?

Rottenness has seized upon thy vitals—corruption is preying upon thy inward parts, and the breath of thy lips is full of destructive contagion.

What meaneth thy shaking, and why art thou terrified! Thou hast become like Belshazzar. “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin,” is indeed written against thee; but it is the work of thine own hand—the characters upon thy wall, are of thine own inscription, and wherefore dost thou tremble?[38]

This type of language and interpretation associating “blackness” with wickedness, as pertaining to the previously cited Nahum passage, is also found in Bible commentaries of Joseph’s day.[39] In this light it is possible that references to blackness in the Book of Moses are to be viewed in the same vein as the biblical texts—namely, their ancient nuances refer not to literal skin color but figuratively to spiritual and emotional demeanors or countenances. Modern interpretations sometimes ignore the nuances of ancient texts, especially when removing those texts from their original context. In any case, it is not clear that Joseph ever imposed a racial reading on these verses, and context does not dictate such a reading here. We feel it important to affirm the statement made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the recent essay “Race and the Priesthood”:

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form. . . .

The Church proclaims that redemption through Jesus Christ is available to the entire human family on the conditions God has prescribed. It affirms that God is “no respecter of persons” [Acts 10:34] and emphatically declares that anyone who is righteous—regardless of race—is favored of Him [compare 1 Nephi 17:35]. The teachings of the Church in relation to God’s children are epitomized by a verse in the second book of Nephi: “[The Lord] denieth none that cometh unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; . . . all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” [2 Nephi 26:33].[40]

We must avoid uncritically applying modern lines of thinking to an ancient text that appears to have lacked the overt racial implications sometimes attributed to it. In other words, we believe that since the content of the Book of Moses demands to be taken seriously as ancient, we cannot do it justice by reading back onto it (or onto the biblical texts) the later postbiblical and modern racial ideologies that have sometimes been used, unwittingly or not, to treat so many of God’s children unjustly, both outside and inside the restored Church.

“So Great Was the Faith of Enoch”: Enoch’s Power of Speech

The great faith of Enoch is fully evident in Moses 7:13 as he becomes not only the ultimate speaker of the divine word but also an incomparable military figure.[41] Through the power of the “word” given to Enoch, the response of creation—the earth trembling, the mountains fleeing, rivers turning out of their course—becomes a striking representation of how the enemies of the Lord’s people responded. Like the people who opposed Enoch in Moses 6:47, they “trembled, and could not stand in his presence”:

13 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;[42] and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions[43] 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.

14 There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.

15 And the giants[44] of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;

16 And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people,[45] and they dwelt in righteousness.

17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places,[46] and did flourish.

With the setting of Enoch and his people flourishing with God amid the ugliness of war, President John Taylor related these verses to the situation that the early Latter-day Saints found themselves in during times of intense persecution:

They [Zion’s enemies] rejected their testimony, and not only that, but, like some of the very pious people in our day do towards us, they thought it would be doing God service to sweep these men off the face of the earth. And they thought so in earnest for they gathered together their armies for that purpose. The Saints were under the immediate direction and guidance of the Lord, and were, therefore, governed by revelation, and the power and Spirit of the Lord rested upon Enoch. And he rose up and prophesied and told the wicked of the fate that awaited them; and the power of God rested upon him in a marvelous manner, so much so, that the mountains trembled and the earth shook, and the people were afraid and fled away from his presence, because they could not endure it. Their armies were scattered, and they failed to accomplish that which they in their wickedness had designed to do.[47]

The trials were very real, but so were the blessings.

Moses 7:14–17 shares remarkable similarities with the prophecy of the New Jerusalem and latter-day Zion in Doctrine and Covenants 45:66–71, received in March 1831:

66 And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;

67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

68 And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.

69 And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.

70 And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.

71 And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.

The New Jerusalem, like Enoch’s Zion, would be a “a land of peace, a city of refuge, [and] a place of safety” for those who dwell there “in righteousness” (Moses 7:66, 18). The “glory of the Lord which was upon [the Lord’s] people” in Enoch’s Zion matched the “glory of the Lord” that would be upon the New Jerusalem (v. 67). Just as the “fear of the Lord was upon all nations” regarding Enoch and Zion, “the terror of the Lord” would be upon the New Jerusalem (vv. 17, 67). Like Enoch’s Zion, the New Jerusalem would be a place of gathering. Moreover, the “seed” of Enoch, a “remnant” of which the Lord swore “should always be found among all nations” (v. 52), would “come forth with songs of everlasting joy” (v. 53). This would seem to be “the righteous” who the Lord declared “shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:71).[48] President Marion G. Romney taught: “As the Lord has repeatedly warned that breaking His commandments would bring on calamity, so has He promised that observance of His commandments would avert calamity and bring blessings. As disobedience brought on the flood, so obedience sanctified Enoch’s Zion. ‘And the Lord blessed the land, and they . . . did flourish’ [Moses 7:17].”[49]

“The Lord Called His People Zion”: The Requirements for Zion

18 And the Lord called[50] his people Zion,[51] because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

19 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.

20 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.

21 And it came to pass that the Lord showed[52] unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time,[53] was taken up into heaven.[54] And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.

Enoch received assurance that the Lord would indeed watch over and protect those covenanting with him and living in righteousness. He witnessed that they, as Zion, would eventually obtain heaven and the presence of God. The Lord revealed to Enoch that a major requirement of Zion and reaching these ideals pertained to the hearts of the Lord’s people and their oneness. After the early Saints in Missouri lost the land of Zion, the Lord defined Zion in terms beyond the narrow confines of geography: “Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:21).[55] This revelation focused on the righteousness of the people, another requirement of Zion.

Enoch learned that these principles of purity and righteousness would bind people in unity and result in caring for the poor and needy, also a requirement of Zion.[56] Despite diversity, Zion needed to be of “one mind” with respect to the Lord’s purposes (Moses 7:18).[57] If they could achieve this, they would obtain a fulness of the blessings of the Lord. The Prophet Joseph Smith averred, “And could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the vail might as well be rent to day as next week or any other time.”[58] In so saying, he was directly referencing Enoch and the Zion society that Enoch established. Enoch and his people were able to “rend” the veil and commune with God.[59] Joseph’s translation of Moses 7 uniquely taught the Saints what would be required to build Zion and how the attributes of the builders of latter-day Zion would need to reflect those of the builders of Zion of old. In Doctrine and Covenants 45:65–67, the Lord commanded the early Saints, “And with one heart and with one mind, gather up your riches that ye may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed you; and it shall be called the New Jerusalem; a land of peace; a city of refuge; a place of safety for the saints of the most high God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked shall not come into it: and it shall be called Zion.”[60]

Etymologically, the word Zion itself may offer clues to its interpretation, although, as noted earlier, a definitive conclusion remains elusive. What the name Zion would have meant in the language of Enoch is simply not recoverable and remains in the realm of conjecture. Nevertheless, informed analysis supports the suggestion that Hebrew ṣiyyôn may derive from the verbal root -w/y-n, perhaps etymologically reflected in an Arabic root meaning “‘hill top’ or ‘mountain ridge’ [or] ‘fortress,’ which comes to have the connotation of protection.”[61] When Enoch built “the City of Holiness, even Zion,” upon the principles that God had prescribed,[62] the people came under the protection of the Lord (Moses 7:19). The people’s experiences on the mountains appear to have been the source of the apex of their blessings and flourishing (see v. 17). For Enoch and his city, the Lord extended that protection into both spiritual and physical realms. “First and foremost, . . . Zion denotes the location of Yahweh’s dwelling place and immediate presence, symbolizing a place of security or safety (Ps 45:4–6; 76:2–3).”[63]

It is easy to overlook that Enoch’s efforts to build Zion largely consisted of missionary labors (see Moses 6) and much work to care for the poor and needy. As Elder Bruce R. McConkie observed, “Enoch made converts and assembled a congregation of true believers, all of whom became so faithful ‘that the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness’ [Moses 7:16], and were blessed from on high.”[64] Zion, as a “city of holiness,” consisted not of people who had lived perfectly but of people who repented and lived the doctrine of Christ and so became holy through him, thereby creating a society where holiness could exist and the Man of Holiness could come and dwell (see vv. 16, 35). The creation of Zion was a difficult process, and Enoch’s efforts were not without very determined opposition:

He [Enoch] . . . built and perfected the city called Zion. He, however, met with all kinds of opposition from the people among whom he labored; but the power of God was manifested to such an extent that his enemies stood and trembled through fear; and through that power he was enabled to perform the mighty work which he and his people did; it was not because the devil and his party were any more kindly disposed towards the Saints of God, but because they could not help themselves; and in the wisdom of God Enoch and his people and their city were taken away from the earth.”[65]

The work, though difficult, achieved everlasting results: “Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever” (Moses 7:21).[66]

Enoch and Zion’s Elevation vis-à-vis the Power of Satan on Earth

The Book of Moses draws a stark contrast between the conditions that prevailed in Enoch’s Zion and those that prevailed in the world outside its domain:[67]

24 And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up,[68] even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man;[69] and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.[70]

25 And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.

26 And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain[71] in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

27 And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many,[72] and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.[73]

Enoch saw that even as he and his people continued their powerful teaching of the gospel message, angels descended out of heaven and the Holy Ghost fell on many, effecting a change within these people and bringing them closer to heaven. But also, amid this Pentecostal-type outpouring of heavenly testimony, Enoch saw in vision Satan holding a chain as a symbol of his power to bind and captivate people on the earth. The struggle for souls then, as it is now, was real and was fought on the battlefield of every heart. The power of the adversary took a terrible toll on those who forsook the word of God. As Satan and his angels rejoiced in the darkness that prevailed on the earth, they laughed at those souls who were being destroyed in the process of time, a stark contrast to those who were obtaining heaven in the process of time (see 3 Nephi 9:2). Satan’s actions, as seen by Enoch, revealed him and the spirits who followed him in the premortal existence as utterly malevolent beings, possessing complete and total hatred of and ill will toward God and his children. They strove to spiritually destroy and, when they could, physically destroy every human soul in their relentless opposition to the plan of God.[74] Noting how the language of Moses 7 kept appearing in the contemporary revelations Joseph Smith was receiving, Kerry Muhlestein observes the following regarding Moses 7:26:

Immediately after mentioning Enoch, the Lord said He would plead for those who believed in His name, “but behold the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth” (D&C 38:5). Here the Lord contrasts the blessed state of those who will believe in Him with those who remain in chains of darkness, which surely suggested to the Saints the recently received vision Enoch had beheld of Satan standing with “a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced” (Moses 7:26). This chilling allusion underscored the need to obey the new and strenuous commands the Lord was about to deliver. For those who did not, a laughing Satan awaited, chain in hand.[75]

Those who violate divine covenants could truly find themselves in Satan’s power, and Moses 7:26 offers a vivid picture of what that looks like and how it manifests itself.

The God of Heaven Wept

After a description of the sorrow the devil and wickedness would bring to the earth and all God’s children, Enoch then encountered something that surprised him: God weeping.

28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept;[76] and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep,[77] and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

29 And Enoch said unto the Lord:[78] How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?

30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still;[79] and yet thou art there, and thy bosom[80] is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;

31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?

Enoch was surprised to see and hear the Lord weep over humanity.[81] Enoch’s questions and comments are revealing. For Enoch, God had and was everything. God was holy. God was the Creator of endless worlds. God was just, merciful, and kind. Truth was his habitation. How can you weep, O God, when you have all this? The Lord’s response is life-changing to Enoch and triggers a series of changes and responses within Enoch, who goes from asking the Lord why he weeps to weeping himself. In essence, God informed Enoch that it was not what he had that was at issue—an ever-expanding universe in which his “curtains are stretched out still” (Moses 7:30)—but what he did not have: the love and obedience of his children who pitted their wills in opposition to his. Those children, whom he loved beyond description but who rejected him and hated one another, were the source of his weeping. Enoch’s view of God and his children changed forever. The Lord answered Enoch’s question fully:

32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another,[82] and that they should choose me, their Father;[83] but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

34 And the fire [84] of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.

35 Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness[85] is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.

36 Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.

37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father,[86] and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?[87]

As Enoch witnessed God weeping, he began to understand a side of God he had never considered. Despite all that God had, what he wanted most was his children, all of them. Despite being all-powerful, the one thing he would not do (and will not do) was compel his children to righteousness and obedience, despite the misery their wickedness and disobedience would create for themselves. As their father, he would love, counsel, instruct, and guide, but it was up to each individual to respond, just as it is now. As their rebellion against him and each other increased and their violence and corruption reached a point that would trigger the Flood, God’s heart was broken over his children. The Lord explained to Enoch that, in addition to granting humankind their agency, “unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood” (Moses 7:33). God wept for the broken relationship they had not only with him but also with one another. In essence, the Lord had given what Jesus much later described as the two great commandments to love God and neighbor (see Matthew 22:36–40, which quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18). Humankind was “without affection” for God and for one another. However, some good news was coming. True, the floods were on the horizon, but the Lord had his merciful eye ever on the plan of salvation from his eternal perspective.

“A Prison Have I Prepared for Them” Until . . .

38 But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison[88] have I prepared for them.

39 And that which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment [see Moses 7:57];

40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.

Suffering would follow, but also relief. The Lord’s response revealed to Enoch that the doctrine of the salvation of the dead constituted a part of the everlasting gospel. The Lord described a “prison” wherein those lost in the Flood would reside until they repented “in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me” (Moses 7:38–39). This revelation prepared Enoch to bear powerful witness of the ministry and resurrection of Christ that he was about to personally behold through revelation.[89] The larger picture of salvation, in time, would be a source of comfort to Enoch as it was to God.

The Lord’s revelation to Enoch on salvation for the dead had unavoidable implications for Joseph Smith and the early Church as the Restoration and doctrines concerning the redemption of the dead continued to unfold, which would eventually include ordinances on behalf of the dead performed in temples.[90] In time the Prophet Joseph Smith would learn more regarding the spirit world and the organization and operation of the Church there.[91] Revelation on the salvation for the dead would continue beyond the early years of the Restoration to President Joseph F. Smith’s vision of the dead in 1918, as currently canonized in Doctrine and Covenants 138. Although vicarious ordinances for the dead first appeared as a part of New Testament praxis (see 1 Corinthians 15:29), Enoch seems to have been privy to this aspect of the work of salvation for the dead. Elder Mark E. Petersen taught the following:

Jesus preached to the dead. The apostle Peter taught this in his day, saying that after the death of the Savior, and while his body lay in the tomb, the Lord, as a Spirit, went to the realm of the dead and there preached to the spirits of the people who previously had lived on the earth. (1 Pet. 3:18–20.) Then he gives us the reason for this preaching: “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Pet. 4:6.) Having heard the gospel, they might accept it or reject it and thus be “judged according to men in the flesh.” As they did accept it, they could then “live according to God in the spirit” just as the scripture indicated.[92]

The ancient gospel as taught to and understood by Enoch is now taught again in the spirit world in its fulness. The spirits who rejected the preaching of Enoch, Noah, and others and who consequently perished in the Flood still had the opportunity to repent, obey the gospel, and progress—that is, “live according to God in the spirit.” Their misery—and the misery of all humankind—could have an end. Before this knowledge could be a source of comfort to Enoch, he needed to learn a few more details about the Lord’s plans from the Lord himself. Even with the precious knowledge of salvation for the dead, Enoch wept.

Enoch Wept

As Enoch came to fathom the depths of human sin, God’s love for humankind, and God’s concern for their suffering and well-being, he acquired something of God’s own experience and perspective. The result: he wept. Enoch progressed in perspective from asking God how he could weep to weeping himself as he began to see as God saw and love as God loved.

41 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew,[93] and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity;[94] and his bowels yearned;[95] and all eternity shook.

42 And Enoch also saw Noah, and his family; that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation;

43 Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up.

44 And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look.

45 And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?

46 And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance.

47 And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb[96] is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me.

Amid his weeping and agony of soul, Enoch finally began to receive comfort when he began to see Noah and his posterity and the “coming of the Son of Man” through the lineage of Noah (Moses 7:47). This was the answer: “The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world” (v. 47). It was through this offering that “all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life” (v. 45). Through this vision, Enoch personally gained insights into the tenderness of God and the redemption that would be performed by his Son. This source of comfort surely exceeded anything that Enoch could have imagined, giving him cause to rejoice despite his sorrow for those who would not be saved. For Moses—and later Joseph Smith, who would receive and transmit them—these revelations became pearls of inestimable price. In an 1840 letter, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught the Quorum of the Twelve that every Saint could follow the same pattern of growth evident in Enoch and in the doctrine of Christ:

Let the saints remember that great things depend on their individual exertion, and that they are called to be co-workers with us and the holy spirit in accomplishing the great works of the last days, and in consideration of the extent, the blessings, and the glories of the same let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but anihalated, and let love to God and man, predominate and reign triumphant in every mind, that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old so that they may comprehend all things, present, past, and future.[97]

Our growth will come from accepting, fulfilling, and magnifying callings from God, as we witness Enoch doing in Moses 6–7. President Henry B. Eyring explained:

Confidence depends on your seeing the call for what it is. Your call to serve is not from human beings. It is a trust from God. And the service is not simply to perform a task. Whatever name it has, every call is an opportunity and an obligation to watch over and strengthen the children of our Heavenly Father. The Savior’s work is to bring to pass their immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39). He called us to serve others so that we could strengthen our own faith as well as theirs. He knows that by serving Him we will come to know Him. . . . The Savior will let you feel the love He feels for those you serve. The call is an invitation to become like Him.[98]

Imagine how our personal ministries could be magnified if Enoch’s experience became our experience!

Modern-Day Zion

As we have seen in the Zion of Enoch, as well as from the people in the Book of Mormon in their attempts to achieve a Zion society (see 4 Nephi 1:2–3, 5, 15–16), building such a society takes much effort and cooperation of a unified people seeking God. But we also see that Zion is obtainable, and when those efforts succeed, “there could not be a happier people” (4 Nephi 1:16). So what prevents us from achieving Zion in this dispensation? One obstacle among the early Saints was covetousness. Early attempts to organize and live as Enoch’s Zion and the Saints of the early New Testament church were met with failure. After the early Church members had been driven from the land of Zion in Jackson County, the Lord explained, “Inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant through covetousness, and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse” (Doctrine and Covenants 104:4). A few months later the Lord stated a principle that remains equally true today: “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer” (105:5–6).

Enoch’s Zion was not some primeval historical country club where the poor were not allowed.[99] The text states that “there was no poor among them” because Enoch’s Zion ministered to the temporal and spiritual needs of the people (Moses 7:18).[100] In an 1832 revelation to the Saints in Ohio that expanded on the principles evident in Moses 7:18, the Lord revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith that

the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion—

For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven;

That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things. (Doctrine and Covenants 78:3–5)

Enoch’s Zion had become equal in the bonds of earthly things in order to become “equal in the bonds of heavenly things.” That revelation also came with a warning: “For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; for if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:6–7).[101]

Summarizing the requirements to establish Zion then and now, Elder D. Todd Christofferson explained that Zion will come to fruition only to the degree that we meet the requirements for Zion that Enoch’s people had met and that we must actively acquire the necessary attributes:

Zion is Zion because of the character, attributes, and faithfulness of her citizens. Remember, “the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18). If we would establish Zion in our homes, branches, wards, and stakes, we must rise to this standard. It will be necessary (1) to become unified in one heart and one mind; (2) to become, individually and collectively, a holy people; and (3) to care for the poor and needy with such effectiveness that we eliminate poverty among us. We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen—Zion will come only as they happen.[102]

The Lord leaves it to us to “do many things of [our] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27) in order to make Zion “happen.” Enoch and his people demonstrated that Zion would not just happen on her own.


[1] For the overall structure of Moses 7, see Szink, “Vision of Enoch,” 6–19. For an overview of how the Enoch material has influenced Latter-day Saints in various stages, see Ludlow, “Where Did Enoch Go after Genesis?”

[2] See Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 57.

[3] See Revelation, 30 December 1830 [D&C 37], p. 49, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[4] See Jackson, Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts, 3, 6; Doctrine and Covenants 35:20; and Revelation, 7 December 1830 [D&C 35], p. 48, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[5] In Revelation, September 1830–A [D&C 29], pp. 36–37, Joseph Smith Papers, the Lord, through Joseph Smith, had already discussed the Saints gathering in one place. See Doctrine and Covenants 29:8.

[6] Revelation Book 1, p. 49, The Joseph Smith Papers; and Doctrine and Covenants 38:4.

[7] John Whitmer, History, 1831–circa 1847, p. 9, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[8] Waterloo, NY, 26 Jan. [1831], Letter to the Editor, Reflector (Palmyra, NY), 1 Feb. 1831, 95; see Revelation, 2 January 1831 [D&C 38], p. 49n5, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[9] See Letter to the Elders of the Church, 16 November 1835, p. [209], The Joseph Smith Papers; Revelation, 22–23 September 1832 [D&C 84], p. [4], The Joseph Smith Papers; and “Extract from the Prophecy of Enoch,” 18. See also Moses 7.

[10] The narrative begins in the third person, perhaps through the voice of Moses, and ensues in the first person with Enoch.

[11] “This is a reference to the condition of those in spirit prison.” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 127.

[12] The reference to a “place” here may have undertones of designating sacred space. See Draper, Brown, and Rhodes, Pearl of Great Price, 112.

[13] “In an uncanonized revelation on Enoch found in Revelation Book 2, this place is called the ‘Mountain of God.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 129; Joseph Smith Jr., “Revelation Book 2,” 48 [verso], 27 February 1833, in Manuscript Revelation Books, 508–9. The etymology of the word Simeon is often associated with “hearing.” Paul D. Gardner, “Simeon,” in New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters, 617.

[14] Enoch’s being “clothed upon with glory” is reminiscent of Jesus’s experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. See, e.g., Matthew 17:2; and Luke 9:29. For possible parallels of communing with God in this context, including a face-to-face experience, see Discourse, between circa 26 June and circa 2 July 1839, as Reported by Willard Richards, p. 21, The Joseph Smith Papers. “Each of the three major works of Enoch pseudepigrapha contain stories of Enoch’s activities in heaven. In 1 Enoch 14, Enoch is taken up into heaven and kneels before the throne of God. 2 Enoch 22:5 echoes the wording of Moses 7:4 (‘stood before my face’), when the Lord says: ‘Be brave, Enoch! Don’t be frightened! Stand up, and stand in front of my face forever.’ In 2 Enoch 22:1, Enoch relates: ‘I saw the face of the Lord.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 130.

[15] Hymns of the early Church would reflect the profound effect Enoch’s theophany had on the Saints, who in the days leading up to the dedication of the Kirtland Temple were all preparing to experience an endowment of power:

HYMN 76. L. M.

1 In ancient days men fear’d the Lord,

And by their faith receiv’d his word,

Then God bestow’d upon the meek,

The Priesthood of Melchizedek.

2 By help of this their faith increas’d,

Till they with God spoke face to face:

An Enoch, he would walk with God;

A Noah ride safe o’er the flood.

(Collection of Sacred Hymns, 1835, p. 101, The Joseph Smith Papers)

[16] For associations of this episode with temple settings, see Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 130–31. Brigham Young stated, “I will not say but what Enoch had Temples and officiated therein, but we have no account of it.” Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 18:303. Ancient accounts have been discovered of Enoch’s theophanies, which parallel temple experiences. See Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 121.

[17] The Prophet Joseph Smith had such an experience when he received his first vision. He wanted all the Saints to have this experience. He pleaded, “Let the Saints remember, that great things depend on their individual exertion, and that they are called to be coworkers with us and the Holy Spirit, in accomplishing the great work of the last days, and in consideration of the extent, the blessings and glories of the same, let every selfish feeling, be not only buried, but annihilated; and let love to God and man, predominate and reign triumphant in every mind, that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old, and comprehend all things, present, past, and future.” History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842], p. 1118, The Joseph Smith Papers. He additionally taught, “Never cease striving till you have seen God, face to face, Strengthen your faith cast off your doubts, your sins and all your unbelief and nothing can prevent you from coming to God.” Minutes and Blessings, 21 February 1835, p. 160, The Joseph Smith Papers. Moses would also prepare his people for such mountain theophanies.

[18] Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 128.

[19] Bradshaw et al., “Could Joseph Smith Have Borrowed Mahijah/Mahujah from the Book of Giants?”

[20] Bradshaw et al., “Could Joseph Smith Have Borrowed Mahijah/Mahujah from the Book of Giants?”

[21] See Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, 267. Nibley’s view has recently been challenged; see especially Townsend, “Returning to the Sources, 58–85. For a response that challenges Townsend’s critique, see Bradshaw, Bowen, and Dahle, “Where Did the Names Mahaway and Mahujah Come From?,” 181–242.

[22] These peoples were not related to Cain, and there appears to be no connection with the later Canaanites who were descended through Noah’s son Ham (see Genesis 9:18).

[23] Bradshaw and Larsen, in Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 131, opine, “The punishment is ‘measure for measure.’ Because the Canaanites had wickedly conspired to exterminate the people of Shum and take their land, the land would be cursed for their sake.”

[24] The curse was heat and a barren land. Any change in skin tone owing to exposure to the sun does not equal a curse. In fact, depending on the ancient syntactic construction of the language used here, there may not even be a correlation or connection between the heat and the “blackness,” the hypotactic conjunction and representing the introduction of a new subject and main clause. For the nonphysical nature of the term blackness, see the discussion below. In verse 10 the curse is “lest they die” (something not related to a physical characteristic). We do not conclude that skin tone was part of a curse here, and “the fact that a blackness ‘came upon’ the children of Canaan contradicts any notion that these people inherited dark skin because they were of the lineage of Cain.” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 131.

[25] Again, etymologically not related to Cain.

[26] Perhaps they were despised by all people because they were killing all people and dividing themselves from them.

[27] Perhaps the Lord forbade Enoch to go among the people of Canaan because they were murdering people and dividing themselves and cutting off all others. The Lord had promised Enoch that “no man shall pierce thee” (Moses 6:32). Warnings to avoid the Canaanites may have been a way for God to fulfill his promise to Enoch (i.e., keeping him out of harm’s way). “There is no explanation for why the people of Canaan are excluded from Enoch’s preaching. Following the narrative, we may suppose that the reason may be due to their violence.” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 133.

[28] Bradshaw and Larsen, in Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 131, compare the curse to a lack of knowledge of the Lord (compare 2 Peter 1:8).

[29] For other examples of land being cursed because of sin, and the relation of this to God, his presence, and covenants, see Deuteronomy 27–28; see Douglas and Tenney, New International Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Curse.”

[30] “In the Old Testament, God promised in his covenant with Abraham that he would give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants (Gen 17:8). This covenant and promise of land form an important thread running throughout the Bible, especially the Old Testament, even though the phrase ‘promised land’ is not itself a biblical term. The Old Testament uses phrases such as ‘the land (אֶרֶץ, ʾereṣ) that I [God] gave to Abraham and to Isaac’ (e.g., Gen 35:12) and ‘the land that I swore with an oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’ (e.g., Num 32:11). The terms אֶרֶץ (ʾereṣ, ‘land’) and אֲדָמָה (ʾădāmâ, ‘land’) are used to talk about this land. It is also frequently called Israel’s נַחֲלָה (naḥăla, “inheritance”). The New Testament speaks of the γῆ (, ‘land’) in a general sense, but the focus shifts to the κληρονομία (klēronomia, ‘inheritance’) of eternal life and the ἐπαγγελία (epangelia, ‘promise’) of God, which was given to Abraham and is fulfilled in the ministry of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.” “Promised Land,” in Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook.

[31] See Adams, “Curse of Ham,” 157–69, which reviews Goldenberg, Curse of Ham, and Haynes, Noah’s Curse.

[32] This passage is a description of the destruction of Nineveh but turns to describe its inhabitants. The word used for “blackness” is difficult to interpret. פָּארוּר may carry the meaning and nuance of all faces gathering a glow (“glow with dread,” or perhaps פאר, “grow pale”) or “gather[ing] blackness (fr. פָּרוּר a pot!).” Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 802–3. The etymology is uncertain, but the interpretation of “blackness” appears to revolve around a demeanor, not a literal blackness of the face.

[33] This passage is talking about wickedness, wars, and destructions and again carries the nuance in the Hebrew of a type of demeanor or countenance.

[34] The Hebrew term used here is קָדַר, meaning to “be dark” (dull-coloured; compare Arabic قَذُرَ/ قَذِرَ qaḏura/qaḏira), or “to be dirty or gloomy (of face); shew gloom.” It is also used figuratively for lack of revelation or for mourning. Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 871.

[35] Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1], p. [1], The Joseph Smith Papers; compare Moses 1:15.

[36] Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 131.

[37] See “Speech of Elder Orson Hyde,” 30; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, ed. Kenney, December 25, 1869, 511; and Reeve, Religion of a Different Color, 207–8.

[38] History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844], p. 1872, The Joseph Smith Papers. Another example of how people conversant with the Bible understood the idea of a figurative blackness comes from a letter asserting that for wicked people “degraded in form and faculties . . . is reserved the blackness of darkness forever Punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Letter from Udney H. Jacob, 6 January 1844, p. [3], The Joseph Smith Papers. A further example comes from an 1829 letter from Jesse Smith that accuses Hyrum Smith of “impos[ing] on the credulity of your Grandfather . . . Blackness of darkness.” Letterbook 2, p. 59, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[39] See, e.g., Burder, Oriental Customs, 164–65.

[40] Gospel Topics Essays, “Race and the Priesthood.”

[41] Bruce R. McConkie equated Enoch with John the Revelator’s rider on a white horse in Revelation 6:2:

Such of these events as John saw pertained to someone on a white horse (the emblem of victory); who had a bow (weapons of war); wore a crown (the garland or wreath of a conqueror); and who went forth conquering and to conquer (that is, was victorious in war). . . . It is clear that the most transcendent happenings involved Enoch and his ministry. And it is interesting to note that what John saw was not the establishment of Zion and its removal to heavenly spheres, but the unparalleled wars in which Enoch, as a general over the armies of the saints, “went forth conquering and to conquer.” Of these wars our revelations recite: [read Moses 7:13–17]. Truly, never was there a ministry such as Enoch’s, and never a conqueror and general who was his equal! How appropriate that he should ride the white horse of victory in John’s apocalyptic vision! (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:476–78)

[42] This is a fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to Enoch earlier in his life (see Moses 6:34). These passages were used as a source of inspiration in the Council of Fifty in the hope that each member would get into the spirit of his calling: “Moses had power. Before him Mount Sinai trembled and shook to the centre. Had Moses not gone forth in the exercise of faith he would not have accomplished the work which God sent him to do. We stand in the same light. We have greater power and are called to do a greater work. We have more power than Enoch and have a greater work to do than Enoch had and we shall accomplish it.” Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846; Volume 1, 10 March 1844–1 March 1845, pp. [108–9], The Joseph Smith Papers.

[43] A similar image is used in Amos 3:6–8 to describe the necessity of listening to the Lord’s prophets. The phrase evokes the power of God’s speech as delivered through his prophets and evinces the fear and respect that should be given to such a powerful messenger and message. See Isaiah 31:4.

[44] See discussion of Moses 8:18 herein.

[45] This remarkable situation has been described as follows: “Enoch brought his people ‘into the presence of God.’ Their calling and election was made sure and they entered into the rest of the Lord. They became members of the church of the Firstborn, which also has been called the church of Enoch.” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 135; see Doctrine and Covenants 76:67. Whatever the case, Moses 7:16 does appear to describe the Lord’s physical presence among Enoch’s people.

[46] Mountains and high places are often associated with sacred space. See Draper, Brown, and Rhodes, Pearl of Great Price, 120. In an 1835 revelation to Harvey Whitlock, who had turned from his covenants but desired to come back, Joseph Smith described weeping for joy over his return. Joseph then delivered a revelation in the name of the Lord, wherein the Lord called Harvey back to him and into the bosom of “my Church” and spoke tenderly of him: “But I will lift him up as out of deep mire, and he shall be exalted upon the high places, and shall be counted worthy to stand ammong princes, and shall yet be made a polished shaft in my quiver, of bringing down the strong holds of wickedness, among those who set themselves up on high, that they may take council against me, and against annointed ones in the last days.” Joseph Smith, Letter and Revelation to Harvey Whitlock, 16 November 1835, pp. 42–43, The Joseph Smith Papers. The language bespeaks God’s lifting souls to him in holy places and in holy ways and reveals his tender mercy and feelings for his children. Enoch is about glimpse this.

[47] John Taylor, “Hostility of the World to the Gospel [. . .] Our Children Should Be Correctly Taught,” in Journal of Discourses, 26:90.

[48] Doctrine and Covenants 45 was revealed on March 7, 1831, amid trials and challenges. In it the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to move his translation efforts to the New Testament. Section 45 offers revelations pertaining to and insights into Matthew 24, now contained in Joseph Smith—Matthew. The timing was providential to the Saints and the trials they were about to experience, and reports linked the content of Joseph Smith—Matthew with concepts recently encountered in the reception of the Enoch material. See Revelations printed in The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1832–June 1833, p. [2], The Joseph Smith Papers.

[49] Marion G. Romney, “Silver Lining,” Ensign, May 1977, 53. Along with promises of blessings, warnings to Zion would also be given: “I say to you, (and what I say to you, I say to all,) hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, & the Lord swear in his wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into his rest.” Joseph Smith, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], p. 263, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[50] “Draper et al. observe that it was the Lord ‘who conferred the name on his people, itself a sacred act.’ The Lord called

his people Zion because they lived ‘the law of the celestial kingdom’ [Doctrine and Covenants 88:22].” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 136.

[51] “Determining the origins of the Hebrew noun ‘Zion’ is difficult, largely because it seems to have been used before the biblical narratives were composed (2 Sam 5:7; compare 1 Chr 11:5). . . . Delitzsch proposed that Zion derives from a Syrian parallel equivalent to the Hebrew word צִוָה (tsiwah), which means ‘to set up, erect.’ This suggests that Zion was a place ‘built up’ (possibly the Temple Mount; Delitzsch, Psalms, I, 94). Dillman suggested that the noun reflects a theoretical Hebrew verb (צוֹן, tson/צִין, tsin) meaning ‘to surround,’ which itself derived from an Arabic parallel, tsana, meaning ‘to protect, defend.’ Thus the origins of the noun were equal to a ‘refuge’ or ‘asylum’ (Dillman, Lexicon, 1300–01).” C. E. Shepherd, “Zion,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary. “Central to the life of the nation of Israel, [Zion] became the symbol of the whole nation and was seen, especially by the prophets, as the focus of God’s promises and his final victory.” Manser et al., Dictionary of Bible Themes, s.v. “Zion.” The word may connote the protection God can provide through covenants. In the Bible the concept of Zion developed in important ways, including Zion as a holy mountain where the Lord reigns and dwells. For numerous scripture references, see Day, Collins Thesaurus of the Bible, s.v. “Zion.”

[52] The Lord showed Enoch in vision Zion’s assumption into heaven long before it happened (see Moses 7:21) and “showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world” (v. 67), including the latter days in which we live. Moses 7 suggests that the Lord showed Enoch much more than could ever be recorded. Brigham Young explained:

Understand eternity? There is not and never was a man in finite flesh who understands it. Enoch has been referred to in this matter. How many of the Gods and kingdoms he saw when the vision of his mind was opened, matters not. If he had seen more than he could have enumerated throughout his long life, and more than all the men on earth could multiply from the time his vision opened until now, he would not have attained to the comprehension of eternity. How much Enoch saw, how many worlds he saw, has nothing to do with the case. This is a matter that wise men know nothing about. Discourses of Brigham Young, 148.

[53] Neil A. Maxwell explained, “The city of Enoch was not prefabricated and put up in a day. The city was built incrementally and spiritually as the individuals in that city were built incrementally and spiritually. That near-celestial culture was constructed only as individuals were improved.” Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward, 24. See Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 137.

[54] For Judaic and Christian literature among temple communities and groups seeking communal ascent to God’s heavenly city and temple, see Larsen, “Enoch and the City of Zion,” 25–37. For a discussion on some early thoughts within the Church about the state of Enoch’s people when they were taken to heaven, see Pratt, “Zion of Enoch,” 261–65. Pratt subsequently concluded, “We have no revelation to decide directly” (p. 264), which supposition is right.

[55] President David O. McKay similarly emphasized that “Zion is the pure in heart, we have been told, and the strength of this Church lies in the purity of the thoughts and lives of its members, then the testimony of Jesus abides in the soul, and strength comes to each individual to withstand the evils of the world.” Gospel Ideals, 153. President John Taylor tied the purity of heart required of those who would establish Zion to the keeping of what the Savior described as the first and second great commandments: “We ought to have a heaven upon earth—to be really the Zion of our God, the pure in heart, each one seeking another’s welfare. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.’” Gospel Kingdom, 72.

[56] The Saints of Christ’s New Testament church during its earliest stages achieved a Zion “oneness” of heart: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:31–32), although that unity did not last permanently.

[57] “At a conference of the Church held soon after Moses 7 was dictated, the Lord emphasized one of this chapter’s most important lessons: ‘I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine’ [Doctrine and Covenants 38:27]. Speaking in Nauvoo to the Relief Society, the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed: ‘All must act in concert, or nothing can be done.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 136. See Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, p. 22, The Joseph Smith Papers; and Discourse, 31 March 1842, as Reported by Eliza R. Snow, p. 22, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[58] Minutes, 25–26 October 1831, p. 11, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[59] Similarly, Melchizedek and his people in Salem were able to “obtain heaven”: “And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world.” Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:34.

[60] Revelations printed in Evening and Morning Star, January 1835–June 1836, p. 6, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[61] William H. Bellinger Jr., “Zion,” in New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 5:985. Others also propose roots meaning “to preserve, conserve, keep, retain, maintain, sustain, uphold[,] . . . to protect, guard, safeguard, keep, save.” Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 621. For Zion constituting a fortress that protects, see Römer, Invention of God, 130.

[62] President Spencer W. Kimball explained: “Zion is a name given by the Lord to his covenant people, who are characterized by purity of heart and faithfulness in caring for the poor, the needy, and the distressed. (See D&C 97:21.) . . . This highest order of priesthood society is founded on the doctrines of love, service, work, self-reliance, and stewardship, all of which are circumscribed by the covenant of consecration.” Kimball, “And the Lord Called His People Zion,” 78. For Moses 7 constituting the principles on which temple worship is based (obedience, sacrifice, the gospel, chastity, consecration, and endless life), see Bradshaw, “LDS Story of Enoch,” 39–73.

[63] Klouda, “Zion,” 936. Isaiah described Zion as not simply a place of protection but also a place of protection for the poor, consistent with the Moses 7:18 requirements for Zion: “The Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it” (Isaiah 14:32).

[64] McConkie, “Come: Let Israel Build Zion,” 117.

[65] Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 24:53.

[66] “The conditions for such a society have been achieved only rarely, and with long, sustained effort. Terryl and Fiona Givens observe [in God Who Weeps, 114]: ‘All who have attempted to reenact Enoch’s enterprise have found the transition from worldly ways to celestial society a more taxing challenge than anticipated. The hard lesson has been that “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom” [Doctrine and Covenants 105:5]. Rome is not the only city that cannot be built in a day.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 136.

[67] See Widtsoe, “Enoch, Whom the Lord Took unto Himself,” 342–46.

[68] Bradshaw and Larsen, in Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 140, explore the possibility that the phrase “lifted up” reflects an “initiation into the heavenly mysteries.” See Nickelsburg, “Temple according to 1 Enoch,” 7–24.

[69] The Aramaic phrase כִּבַר אֱנָשׁ (kivar enash, “one like a son of man”) occurs in the Old Testament in reference to a ruler in God’s future kingdom. “[Daniel] 7:13 The Aramaic ‘one like a son of man’ stresses this person’s humanity and mysterious identity; “[Daniel] 7:13–14 He enters God’s presence and is given final authority over God’s kingdom; “[Daniel] 7:27 He shares the kingdom with God’s people. See also “[Daniel] 7:18 ‘saints of the Most High.’” Manser et al., Dictionary of Bible Themes, s.v. “Son of Man.” “Daniel sees ‘one like a son of man, coming on the clouds of heaven’ (Dan 7:13 NIV). The phrase ‘one like a son of man,’ denotes a human-looking figure who is given privileges normally reserved for God: authority, glory, sovereign power, the worship of men of every language, and an eternal kingdom (Dan 7:14).” In 1 Enoch and 4 Ezra, “the Son of Man” occurs as an apocalyptic figure that seems to have influenced Jewish conceptions of the Messiah. Later, Jesus uses the phrase “Son of Man” (ὁ ὑιὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ho huios tou anthrōpou) to describe himself and his ministry. Leslie T. Hardin and Derek Brown, “Son of Man,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary. The usage in the Book of Moses highlights the antiquity of the concept.

[70] In his vision of the tree of life, Nephi foresaw that latter-day Zion would exist among conditions in which Satan’s power extended over the earth (see 1 Nephi 14:12). Nevertheless, Nephi also foresaw that the Lord would empower Zion to overcome these conditions despite the “dominion” of the “great and abominable church” that would actively “fight against the Lamb of God” (vv. 11, 13–15). Earlier in the same vision, the Lord, quoting Isaiah 52:7, had promised the following regarding those who would seek to establish and build Zion in the latter days: “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be” (1 Nephi 13:37).

[71] In the Bible, chains take on several functions. On chains used for bondage, Douglas and Tenney, in New International Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Chain,” cite Psalm 149:8 (NIV “fetters”); Isaiah 45:14; Jeremiah 39:7 (NIV “shackles”); 40:1; Lamentations 3:7; Ezekiel 7:23; 19:4, 9 (NIV “hooks”); and Nahum 3:10. They remark: “In the NT most of the references represent the Greek halysis, chain. In Mark 5:3–4; Luke 8:29 chains are used to bind a demoniac; in Acts 12:6–7, Peter in prison was bound with two chains, but was quickly released. In Acts 28:20 Paul was bound by a chain on his right hand to a soldier’s left. Paul refers to this in 2 Timothy 1:16; this circumstance offers one explanation of why Paul dictated his letters to a secretary. An angel binds Satan with a chain (Rev 20:1).” While Satan here wields a chain to fetter humanity, eventually he will be bound.

[72] Joseph taught that Enoch had been “a ministring Angel to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.” Instruction on Priesthood, circa 5 October 1840, p. 6, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[73] The “angels” that Enoch saw “descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son” are perhaps to be equated with those who began the systematic preaching of the gospel to Adam and his posterity, as mentioned in Moses 5:58: “And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.” As “Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven” (Moses 7:21), it continued to be the gathering place for those who responded to the gospel message over the course of many years. Joseph Smith said the following about this continued gathering of the righteous: “In his day [the day of Enoch] the Lord gathered together all the righteous and they with Enoch were taken from the earth, and later before the flood if any repented and accepted the truth they too were caught up to the people of Enoch.” Joseph Fielding Smith, Signs of the Times, 10; see John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 26:90.

[74] In his epic poem Paradise Lost, the English poet John Milton captures Satan’s psychology. Cast out of heaven, Milton’s Satan declares to his fellow fallen angels:

Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,

To do ought good never will be our task,

But ever to do ill our sole delight,

As being the contrary to his high will.

(Paradise Lost, bk. 1, lines 158–61)

[75] Muhlestein, “Revelations Surrounding the ‘New Translation,’” 57. In the Book of Mormon, Alma had also described the destructive, deceptive nature of the devil, who was seeking to harm God’s children. Korihor described his downfall after seeing Satan and yielding himself to him:

But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me. (Alma 30:53)

Korihor is subsequently trodden down and killed while begging for food among the Zoramites. From this Mormon draws the lesson “And thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell” (Alma 30:60). Amulek also declared of Satan, “He rewardeth you no good thing” (Alma 34:39).

[76] “The OT2 manuscript was amended in the handwriting of Sidney Rigdon. The revision has it that Enoch wept instead of God: ‘And it came to pass, that Enoch looked upon the residue of the people and wept; and he beheld and lo! the heavens wept also, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 141; see Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 618. For an overview of ancient literature and all those who weep in the stories of Enoch (God, Enoch, the heavens, and the earth), see Bradshaw, Rennaker, and Larsen, “Revisiting the Forgotten Voices of Weeping in Moses 7,” 41–71.

[77] See Doctrine and Covenants 76:26 for the heavens weeping over the fall of Lucifer.

[78] OT1 and OT2 have “Enoch said unto the heavens.” Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 106, 618. In the manuscript variations, it seems that “the heavens” and “the Lord” are being equated, the one being the residence of the other.

[79] “Curtains stretched out pulls out the meaning of ‘revelation,’ associated with pulling back the veil. God is there, and he always is. Whether or not we see him, depends on the revelation and the degree to which the curtains have been pulled back to offer us a glimpse. In the Old Testament, and the Bible in general, curtains are referenced mainly in the construction of the tabernacle and as a shield in front of the Most Holy Place dividing humans from God (Ex 26:1–13, 36–37; Ex 36:8–18, 37–38; Ex 27:9–18; 38:9–19; 35:10–17; 39:33–40; Nu 3:25–26; Heb 9:2–4; see also Ex 26:31–33; 40:2–3, 21; Nu 4:5; 2Ch 3:14), symbolizing separation from God (Lev 16:2; Nu 18:7; Heb 9:6–9), indicating the hiddenness of God (Ps 18:11; 2Sa 22:12; Ex 20:21; Dt 4:11; Job 22:14; Ps 97:2; 1Ti 6:16), and a torn curtain symbolizing access to God (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45; Heb 10:19–20; Heb 6:19–20).” Manser et al., Dictionary of Bible Themes, s.v. “Curtain.”

[80] OT2 uses the word “presence” instead of “bosom.” Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Original Manuscripts, 618. Both terms reflect being with God or a closeness to him. Bosom is used as a term of affection in scripture when one is physically close to God’s presence. “BOSOM (חֵיק, cheiq; חֵצֶן, chetsen; חֹב, chov; κόλπος, kolpos). A person’s chest, probably the lower chest (Num 11:12; Deut 28:54–56; Ruth 4:16; Psa 74:11). Figuratively it symbolizes intimacy, care, and possibly thoughtfulness and reflection (Gen 16:5; 2 Sam 12:8; Isa 40:11; Psa 79:12; John 1:18).” “Bosom,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary. “Bosom. Although in English the word means the part of the body between the arms, in Scripture it is generally used in an affectionate sense, e.g., “the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18 RSV), carrying the lambs in his bosom (Isa 40:11 KJV), or Lazarus resting in Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22–23 KJV). It can be almost synonymous with ‘heart’ as the center of one’s life (cf. Ps 35:13; Eccl 7:9 KJV).” Douglas and Tenney, New International Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Bosom.” For attempts at connecting the language here with temple ritual in rabbinic literature, see Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 143–44.

[81] For the concept of a weeping God, see Peterson, “On the Motif of the Weeping God in Moses 7,” 285–317.

[82] In the holiness codes given to Israel under Moses in Leviticus, Leviticus 19:18 commands, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The Hebrew states וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ, where רֵעַ (“neighbour” in the King James Version) can mean anything from “friend, companion, fellow” to simply “another person.” Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 945–46. “Some scholars make a distinction between the verb אָהַב (‘ahav, ‘to love’) with the direct object and the more unusual construction with the preposition לְ (lamed) as it is here and in Lev 19:34 and 2 Chr 19:2 only. If there is a distinction, the construction here probably calls for direct and helpful action toward one’s neighbor. . . . Such love stands in contrast to taking vengeance or bearing a grudge against someone.” Biblical Studies Press, NET Bible, at Leviticus 19:18. Here we see how far back the command to love one another extends, and we witness it within the framework of principles of Zion and its antithesis, all leading to conditions of the Flood.

[83] OT2 has “serve me their God” instead of “choose me, their Father.” Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 618. Both phrases underscore God as our Father in light of the overall picture provided in Moses 6–7.

[84] The “fire” of God’s indignation is sometimes used in scripture to define his judgment. In relation to Deuteronomy 4:24, the Hebrew uses language of God as a consuming “fire” and as “jealous.” “The juxtaposition of the Hebrew terms אֵשׁ (‘esh, ‘fire’) and קַנָּא (qanna’, ‘jealous’) is interesting in light of Deut 6:15 where the Lord is seen as a jealous God whose anger bursts into a destructive fire. For God to be ‘jealous’ means that his holiness and uniqueness cannot tolerate pretended or imaginary rivals. It is not petty envy but response to an act of insubordination that must be severely judged.” Biblical Studies Press, NET Bible, Deuteronomy 4:24. The word for “jealous” קָנָא (qānāʾ, “be jealous, zealous”) “expresses a very strong emotion whereby some quality or possession of the object is desired by the subject.” R. H. Alexander, “Ezekiel,” in Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 6:934. God very much loves his children and feels great pain, sorrow, and joy over them. Moses 7 helps dispel the philosophical and creedal notions that divine sorrow and divine anger are metaphors and that a “transcendent” God “without body, parts, or passions” could never be touched with human emotions. Westminster Divines, “Westminster Confession of Faith.” Rather, in Moses 7, we see a concrete picture of what the Lord meant when he described himself as a “jealous God”—ʾēl qannāʾ.

[85] In Moses 7:19, Zion is called the “City of Holiness,” highlighting its familiarity with the characteristics and presence of God.

[86] OT2 uses master instead of father. Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 619. In scripture, Satan is described as the “father” of lies and contentions as well as the “master of sin.” See Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 148.

[87] The heavens wept over the fall of Lucifer (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:26), and now they wept over the fallen children of God. Commenting on the Lord’s sorrow, Elder Marion D. Hanks noted the following: “God, from whom all blessings come, asked of his children only that they should love each other and choose him, their Father. But as in our day, many neither sought the Lord nor had love for each other, and when God foresaw the suffering that would inevitably follow this self-willed, rebellious course of sin, he wept. That, he told Enoch, was what he had to cry about.” Hanks, “Willing to Receive,” Ensign, May 1980, 29. The Lord wept for the misery that had come and would continue to come upon his children.

[88] Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that “in the realm of departed spirits there are two divisions—paradise, where the spirits of the righteous go to await the day when they shall come forth in the resurrection of the just; and hell, where the spirits of the wicked go to be buffeted and tormented until that day when they shall come forth in the resurrection of the unjust. Our Lord did not go in person to the spirits in hell, which is the spirit prison as such. His ministry in the spirit world was among the righteous in paradise, but even these considered their disembodied state as one of bondage. Thus the designation spirit prison may be said to have two meanings—hell, which is the prison proper; and the whole spirit world, in the sense that all who are therein are restricted and cannot gain a fulness of joy until after their resurrection. (D&C 93:33–4.)” Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:309. This statement is broadly consistent with the notion, prevalent in the ancient Near East, including in ancient Israel, that the dead continued to exist beyond death in their own realm. In the ancient Israelite conception, the spirits of the dead abode in Sheol, which included the spirits of both the wicked and the righteous. The concept of Sheol is congruent with what Latter-day Saints would describe as “the spirit world.” In fact, Joseph Smith described the spirit world as “the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:4). On occasion, the Prophet Joseph Smith would lecture on Sheol. See Joseph Smith, Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 3, 15 July 1843–29 February 1844, p. [249], The Joseph Smith Papers.

[89] Jesus Christ—designated here “that which I have chosen”—had already “pled” before the Father according to the Book of Moses, and in the meridian of time he would perform his atoning sacrifice and accomplish the Resurrection. This would create a “way” of return (compare Isaiah 51:9–11 [2 Nephi 8:9–11]; 2 Nephi 9:10–11, 41) for all the dead, including those who had rebelled in Enoch’s and Noah’s times. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: “Men in Noah’s day rebelled, rejected the Lord and his gospel, and were buried in a watery grave. Their spirits then found themselves in that prison prepared for those who walk in darkness when light is before them. Are they lost forever? Who will plead their cause? To Enoch, concerning them, came these words of the Father: ‘And That which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment.’ (Moses 7:39.)” Promised Messiah, 330–31. For these ancient peoples, Jesus Christ was also “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). See also Doctrine and Covenants 38:5.

[90] For early references to the practice in the sermons of Joseph Smith, see Simon Baker, “15 Aug. 1840 Minutes of Recollection of Joseph Smith’s Sermon.” See also Baugh, “Baptism for the Dead Outside the Nauvoo Temple,” 47–58.

[91] See Revelation, 19 January 1841 [D&C 124], p. 5, The Joseph Smith Papers; and Doctrine and Covenants 124:30.

[92] Petersen, Noah and the Flood, 62–63. See also Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 13:163.

[93] The phrase “wherefore Enoch knew” may suggest that Enoch gained experiential knowledge of human sin and misery as he listened to God’s speech and “looked upon” all the wickedness and suffering. The revelation and experience of feelings may parallel what was described by Isaiah and Alma the Younger (see Isaiah 53; Alma 7:7–13) and particularly the revelations associated with “to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” (Mosiah 14:1). The great revelation may constitute more fully comprehending what the Atonement is in view of the sorrow of sin and the joy of redemption and feeling empathy for the lost soul—i.e., seeing as God sees. Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained, “Thus those tutored by the Lord become more and more like Him, including in the qualities of empathy and indignation.” Maxwell, Sermons Not Spoken, 90. Here we witness Enoch becoming more like the Lord himself, experiencing divine emotions on a divine scale as he “wept,” “his heart swelled wide as eternity,” “his bowels yearned,” and “all eternity shook” in response. Enochic literature also describes Enoch weeping at the wickedness he beholds. See Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 150.

[94] OT2 has “he beheld eternity.” Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 619. Thomas Bullock described some of the themes discussed in the April 1844 general conference and summarized the desire that all good souls be brought up to Zion and be saved. Some of these comments have been recorded as follows:

do not fear the very God of heaven will take care of you— I want to put out all bad things— let us extend the fostering hand & save all men. I want to save all men— our Savior is competent to save all— he has given, & is able to save all from death & hell—I want a Savior who is great, important, who has all power &c I know a many men who have little bodies but have big souls— we have gathered out all the big souls from the Ends of the Earth— the Gospel picks out all the big souls out of all creation & we will get all the big souls out of all the nations— & we shall have the largest city in the world— as soon as the Gospel catches hold of a big soul it brings them all right up to Zion— Enoch told the people the Sp of God took him up to an high mount: & saw the deluge &c— & he sd. his heart swelled to take all in but Popery could not take it in. it was too large for them— God Alm[ighty]: has made men souls according to the Society which he lives in— very few excep[tio]ns.— when men come to live with the mormons, their souls swell as if they were going to stride into Eternity & head from world to world— a man who gets so high in the mansions above. (Minutes and Discourses, 6–9 April 1844, as Reported by Thomas Bullock, p. 14, The Joseph Smith Papers)

Another rendition of the account states, “If I thought I should be saved, and any in the congregation be lost, I should not be happy; for this purpose Jesus effected a resurrection; our Savior is competent to save all from death and hell; I can prove it out of the revelations; I would not serve a God that had not all wisdom and all power. The reason why I feel so good is because I have a big soul, there are men with small bodies who have got souls like Enoch; we have gathered out all the big souls.” Minutes and Discourses, 6–7 April 1844, as Published by Times and Seasons, p. 597, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[95] “In Joseph Smith’s time, the figurative uses of the word ‘bowels’ to represent the ‘interior part of any thing; as in the bowels of the earth’ and the ‘seat of pity or kindness’ would have been well understood [Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, s.v. “bowels”]. These senses came from scripture, where the Hebrew term meim and the Greek term splagchna were both usually translated as ‘bowels’ in the KJV, whether meant literally or figuratively. For example, Jeremiah expressed his grief for his people as follows: ‘My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart . . .’ [Jeremiah 4:19.] Likewise, Paul admonished the Saints to: ‘Put on . . . bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering’ [Colossians 3:12]. In modern English, the word ‘heart’ is roughly equivalent to these scriptural meanings for ‘bowels.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel, 151.

[96] “Jesus Christ is referred to as the ‘Lamb of God.’ This symbol points to Christ being a perfect sacrifice for sin. It also conveys his meekness and his willingness to submit to suffering and death.” Manser et al., Dictionary of Bible Themes, s.v. “Jesus Christ, as Lamb.” This title and symbol occur in various forms and images throughout the Old and New Testaments, pointing to the all-encompassing mission of Christ as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world:

1. The Passover lamb (Exod 12). This is perhaps the strongest contender [for John’s interpretation of the term], as the writer of the Gospel of John applies the Passover lamb imagery to Christ at His death (John 19:36, citing Exod 12:46). Moreover, the Gospel dates Jesus’ death to the time of the slaying of the Passover lambs (John 18:28; 19:14, 31). However, the Passover sacrifice was not oriented towards taking away sin.

2. The Suffering Servant (Isa 53). The Suffering Servant bears the sins of the people of Israel (Isa 53:6–12) and is described as a lamb (ἀμνός, amnos) led to the slaughter (Isa 53:7 LXX; compare Acts 8:32; 1 Pet 1:19). John 12:38 cites Isaiah 53:1 in application to Jesus. Although this may not have been the only Old Testament text behind the phrase, it is very likely one of them.

3. The lamb sacrificed daily in the temple (Lev 1:4; Exod 29:38–46). The Greek word “lamb” (ἀμνός, amnos, see John 1:29, 36) appears 75 times in the Septuagint, mostly in reference to the lamb sacrificed daily to make atonement. However, this atonement lamb does not receive much attention elsewhere in Scripture and thus is probably not the referent of John’s phrase.

4. The “lamb” Abraham offered in place of Isaac (Gen 22). The account in Genesis clearly uses substitutionary and sacrificial language (Gen 22:13), and the New Testament authors invoke this account as foreshadowing Christ (Gen 22:16; Matt 3:17; Rom 8:32). However, Genesis does not present this sacrifice as taking away sin. In addition, the Septuagint uses the word “sheep” (πρόβατον, probaton) rather than “lamb” (ἀμνός, amnos) in this account (Gen 22:7 LXX). The actual animal that was sacrificed in place of Isaac was a “ram” (κριός, krios; Gen 22:13 LXX). (Justin W. Bass, “Lamb of God,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary)

[97] Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 15 December 1840, p. [6], The Joseph Smith Papers.

[98] Henry B. Eyring, “Watch Over and Strengthen,” Ensign, May 2000, 66.

[99] See Nibley, Approaching Zion, 241.

[100] “To serve the classes that are living on them,” Brigham Young reported from England, “the poor, the laboring men and women are toiling, working their lives out to earn that which will keep a little life in them [lunch is what they get out of it, and no more]. Is this equality? No! What is going to be done? The Latter-day Saints will never accomplish their mission until this inequality shall cease on the earth.” In Journal of Discourses, 19:47.

[101] President Ezra Taft Benson explained that pride constitutes “the great stumbling block”: “My dear brethren and sisters, we must prepare to redeem Zion. It was essentially the sin of pride that kept us from establishing Zion in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was the same sin of pride that brought consecration to an end among the Nephites. (See 4 Ne. 1:24–25.) Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion. I repeat: Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion.” “Beware of Pride,” 7.

[102] Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, November 2008, 38.