This episode is a tiny bit about Cain and Abel and mostly about Enoch and what the Lord did for him and how he became mighty through the help of Jesus Christ.
From the manual:
Most of Genesis 5 is a list of the generations between Adam and Eve and Noah. We read a lot of names, but we don’t learn much about them. Then we read about Enoch, six generations from Adam, who is described with this intriguing but unexplained line: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). Surely there’s a story behind that. But without further explanation, the list of generations resumes.
Thankfully, Moses 6 reveals the details of Enoch’s story—and it’s quite a story. We learn of Enoch’s humility, his insecurities, the potential God saw in him, and the great work he performed as God’s prophet. We also get a clearer picture of the family of Adam and Eve as it progressed through the generations. We read of Satan’s “great dominion” but also of parents who taught children “the ways of God” and of “preachers of righteousness” who “spake and prophesied” (Moses 6:15, 21, 23). Especially precious is what we learn about the doctrine these parents and preachers taught: faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost (see Moses 6:50–52). That doctrine, like the priesthood that accompanies it, “was in the beginning [and] shall be in the end of the world also” (Moses 6:7).
I also talked about a blog post about parenting which can be found here. www.comefollowmeforus.com/wordsofwisdomforparents
Here is the full transcript! Thanks Greg!!
This is Season 4, Episode 2, “Genesis 5 and Moses 6, Teach These Things Freely Unto Your Children.”
As you’re listening today, say a prayer before you start listening and say, “Heavenly Father, how can I apply this to my life? What can I do as a result of this week’s lesson. Help me to be a doer.” So I asked on Sunday night, “What did you learn last week?” Because I told you I was going to, and I did, and here was my favorite answer. It was from Christie, or Christianne. And she said, “I learned more about the importance of agency. Even though it’s hard, I want to try to give my kids more agency and try to be less controlling. I need to just trust my kids that they will do the right thing. One quote that was brought up in our Sunday school class was from a talk by Elder Renlund. He said this — “Our Heavenly Father, his goal in parenting is not to have his children do what is right. It is to have his children choose to do what is right, and ultimately become like Him. If he simply wanted us to be obedient, he would use immediate rewards and punishments to influence our behaviors. But God is not interested in His children just becoming trained and obedient pets who will not chew on His slippers in the celestial living room. No, God wants His children to grow up spiritually and join Him in the family business.'” And then she said, “I’m hoping that my kids will choose to join Heavenly Father in the family business.” And I really liked this, especially as I’m watching some people that I love making decisions that I think are poor, and I want to force them to make a different decision. I think Heavenly Father probably looks down at me a lot and says, “Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Please, please, please.” And I just go on my way. And I have to face the consequences of those actions. But I don’t, I guess, I don’t want anyone to force me to do what they think is right. Yes I do. “Heavenly Father, force me to diet, force me to stop eating, force me to clean up this house.” I want to choose to do what Heavenly Father wants me to do. And it’s a process and it takes time. And the more we choose to do what’s right, I think the more empowered we are to do more. That’s right. But I did really like her perspective that she wanted to give her kids more agency. And maybe that’s the lesson I need to learn right here as well. That’s no fun! Is that what we’re supposed to learn?! We’re supposed to learn agency is good? Dang it!
Alright. This week, I was so excited. I thought, “Okay, we’ll finish up the story of Cain, and then we’ll move along.” And when I opened the lesson, it wasn’t there. And I looked back, and in the Ideas for Personal Study down at the bottom, there was a little bit more to talk about what happened with Cain with your kids. And apparently I missed that. But why wasn’t it up in the top in the important stuff? I’m actually quite angry about it. But I’m going to talk about it for just a second because I think it’s important.
So, Cain brought the potato, and Abel brought the sheep. God was happy with Abel’s offering because Abel did what He said. And Cain brought a potato. He still worked hard, but it wasn’t the offering that he knew he was supposed to bring. And he got mad at God and was disappointed. And Satan was happy because that was his plan. He wanted Cain to be mad. And so God said to him, “What’s the big deal? Just make it right. Just make it right and we’re fine. Because if you do, we’re fine. But if you don’t, then sin lies at the door. And I’m really afraid because Satan is going to make this a whole lot worse.”
And let’s start in verse 25. It says, “And it shall be said in time to come that these abominations were had from Cain, for he rejected the greater counsel which had been from God.” And what was that greater counsel? “Just make it better. Don’t be mad. Don’t be mad. Don’t be mad. Satan tricked you. Just make it right.” That’s it. That was the greater counsel. “I love you. You got tricked, just make it better.” And God said, “And this is a cursing which I will put upon thee except thou repent. And Cain was wroth and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel his brother who walked in holiness before the Lord. And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord because of Cain and his brethren. And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brother’s daughters to wife and they loved Satan more than God.” And it has said this now two or three times about Cain, that he loved Satan More than God. And if you looked at your own life, would you say, “I love Satan more than God?” I’m sure 99% of us would go, “No, I totally love God more than Satan.” But sometimes I wonder — But what do we love more than God? Is it our stuff? Is it our money? What are we placing before our relationship with God? Because there are so many time distractors in our life. Trust me, I know. My friend gave me a Sudoku book for Christmas and some pencils. I didn’t know how to play Sudoku. And, so I have one of my kids help me. And guess what, I just want to play Sudoku all the time. And while that’s not bad, and it’ll probably help my brain from getting too old and deteriorated quickly, there are other things I need to be doing. So I think in our life, we just need to think, “But what do I love more than God? And if I do think that I love God the most, I’m trying to put Him first, then what do I need to change?”
Okay, and in verse 29, it says, “And Satan said unto Cain, swear unto me by the throat, and if thou tell it, thou shalt die.” And I want to say it in, like, a “mwahahaha” voice, like Satan. Like, [in scary, evil voice]: “Swear unto me by thy throat?” [End scary voice]. What is that? [Again, in scary, evil voice]: “And swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God that they tell it not?! For if they tell it, they shall surely die. And this that the Father may not know it. And this day will I deliver thy brother Abel into their own hands. Mwahahaha!” [End scary voice]. “And Satan swore unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret.” I have a little tidbit, a fun fact, a little hack for your life — If you have to hide something that you’re doing, it’s probably not inspired by God… Unless it’s a surprise party. And even then, I don’t think surprise parties are inspired, because I hate them. And maybe that’s the only thing you should be doing in secret, but not for me, because that’s the worst.
Okay, in verse 32, “And Cain went into the field and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him. And Cain gloried in that which he had done saying, I am free, surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.” And when I read that I thought, “Free from what?” Abel was out in the field taking care of his flocks. I don’t think Abel was trying to have any control over Cain. I think he was free from envy and jealousy. But we really don’t read a lot about Abel. But we know what it said was, “He walked in holiness before the Lord.” So maybe Cain was jealous of his relationship with God. Maybe he was the perfect son and Cain wasn’t. But he ALSO could have been the perfect son. He also could have walked with holiness before God. He could have made it right. God would have respected him the same. But he didn’t make it right. And why? Because of pride. He probably didn’t want to ask Abel for a sheep. And then when his brother died, he’s like, “Yeah, I have the sheep now.” And I can imagine him going to God and saying, “Okay, here’s my offering.” And Heavenly Father is looking at him and going, “Are you kidding me? Are you not listening to anything I said.” In verse 34 it says, “And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said, I know not, am I my brother’s keeper.” This always made me laugh, too, because Abel is dead, and God is in Heaven. So, Abel’s probably sitting next to God. So, Cain probably couldn’t have hid the fact that he was gone. But anyway, “And the Lord said, what hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground. And now thou shalt be cursed from the earth which had opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” So he basically said, “You don’t get the flocks, and you also lose the potato field. You’ve lost it all.” Because Satan wants us to be miserable. He doesn’t want us to be happy. He’s not on our side. His team is never the winning team. It’s never the happy team. If he would have just asked his brother for a sheep, or made it right, he would have still had the potatoes, still had his brother, still had a place in the Father’s kingdom. But now he’s committed MURDER. It’s gotten so much worse. And then in 38, Cain said unto the Lord, “Satan tempted me because of my brother’s flocks. And I was wroth also, for his offering Thou didst accept and not mine. My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Are you kidding me right now? His punishment is too much? You just killed your brother! And now you’re not going to be able to have your fields anymore and you’re going to be a beggar. Guess what? That is a consequence of your action. In that, he didn’t say he was sorry, anywhere. He whined and complained about what went on, and that he didn’t get his way. And I think that’s why his hot potato didn’t work when he said, “Well, Satan tempted me.” Because God said, “Listen, if you do this, Satan is going to be in charge of you. And I’m not going to be able to stop it.” And Cain went ahead and did it. And then he didn’t want to face the consequences of his actions. But we have to. If we deliberately rebel against God, we can go back and be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean we don’t face the consequences of our actions. Even Adam and Eve, they were forgiven, but they got kicked out of Eden.
I think one of the main things we learn from this whole story is that humility is key. And this week, I was listening to a BYU speech by the president of BYU, Kevin Worthen. And it was his talk on January 4th this year called “Choose to Be Humble”. And there isn’t a transcript of it yet, so I couldn’t go back right now and find the things that I loved. But I really did love all of it. So please, go listen to that. I will link it on comefollowmeforus.com. And speaking of transcripts, my friend, Greg, took the podcast from last week and transcribed it for us. And I put it on last week’s web page on comefollowmeforus.com. So every week, it’ll probably be a week or two after the podcast comes out, but there will be a complete printed transcript. He has volunteered to do this like a champion. So that’s exciting, exciting news. So, Season 4, Episode 1 has been transcribed and is on the website.
Okay, let’s get to today’s lesson. It says in the manual, “Most of Genesis 5 is a list of the generations between Adam and Eve and Noah. We read a lot of names, but we don’t learn much about them. Then we read about Enoch, six generations from Adam, who is described with this intriguing but unexplained line: ‘And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.’ Surely there’s a story behind that. But without further explanation, the list of generations resumes. Thankfully, Moses 6 reveals the details of Enoch’s story. And it’s quite a story. We learn of Enoch’s humility, his insecurities, the potential God saw in him, and the great work he performed as God’s prophet. We also get a clearer picture of the family of Adam and Eve as it progressed through the generations. We read of Satan’s great dominion, but also of parents who taught children the ways of God, and of preachers of righteousness who spake and prophesied. Especially precious is what we learn about the doctrine these parents and preachers taught — faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost. That doctrine, like the priesthood that accompanies it, was in the beginning and shall be in the end of the world also.”
And I think it’s funny if you go to Genesis 5, all it is is, “Adam had this kid and then they lived this long, and they lived this long.” And they lived a long time. “And all the days that Adam lived were 930 years and he died.” And then Seth — 807 years. I mean, it just proves that back in the early days, without all the carcinogens and all the things, you would live a really, really long time. Unless your brother was Cain, and then you didn’t. Why am I even talking about this? This is going in the outtakes. But I do think it was interesting that it was telling who lived for how long, lalala, until it came to Enoch. And it said, “Enoch walked with God.” And then it said, “Enoch walked with God.” And I wonder if they are giving a whole long list, let’s say, of all the people in your family starting with your grandma on down. Are they going to say their names, their names, their names, their names, and then stop with you and say something special? “And Janice walked with God. And Tom walked with God.” Enoch must have been incredible for this family history here to leave that sentence. And we know he was as we learn more about him. And we’re going to go over to Moses right now and learn more about him. But when somebody that you love dies, especially young like we’ve had in our family in this last month, you think about your mortality, and you think about, well, what if I left this earth tomorrow? What would people think? What would they remember? What would they say? I don’t know. I just think it’s kind of special that in this whole thing, he stood out so much that he got the “walked with God”, and I want to get the “walked with God” someday. So let’s keep walking with God.
Alright, the first section is “Moses 6:26-36: A Prophet is a Seer. As you study Moses 6:26-36, what do you learn about eyes, darkness, and sin? In Enoch’s time, who could not see afar off? Why are these people unable to see truth? What was Enoch able to see that has built your faith that modern day prophets are seers?” There’s so much about Enoch. And I’m not going to give you all the history and all the things because there’s a lot of podcasts out there now. And I know a lot of you are listening to multiple podcasts, and you’re going to church, and you’re watching the Facebook and the YouTube, and there’s so much information. And I’m here to help you apply it in a simpler way. I don’t have the time or the resources that other people do to give you all the backstories and all of that. I am a one man show in my closet. But I think there are some good things in this lesson that we can apply to our lives. And there are lessons we can learn from this interaction with Enoch. And so I just want to go ahead and start reading in Moses 6, starting in verse 26. It says, “And it came to pass that Enoch journeyed in the land among the people. And as he journeyed, the Spirit of God descended out of heaven and abode upon him, and he heard a voice.” And when you click on “voice”, it goes to “Divine Guidance”. And then when you click on “Divine Guidance”, the scriptures are all about leading, teaching, guiding. So I’m not sure that it’s a voice like, “Hello.” Maybe it was, but maybe it was a feeling, a thought. Sometimes we hear God’s voice in the scriptures, in songs. Remember, you have to learn how God speaks to you and search Him out in those ways. But as he was journeying, maybe he didn’t have the radio up too loud in his car, maybe he wasn’t constantly having to be fed some kind of noise, maybe he was just listening as he journeyed about. “And he heard a voice from heaven, saying, Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people and say unto them, Repent, for thus saith the Lord, I am angry with this people and my fierce anger is kindled against them, for their hearts have waxed hard.” I found a dear sweet little quote by Marvin J. Ashton in a talk called “Measure of the Heart”. And he talks a little bit more about our heart and why God worries about it. And he says this: “We also tend to evaluate others on the basis of physical outward appearance, their good looks, their social status, their family pedigrees, their degrees or their economic situations. The Lord, however, has a different standard by which he measures the person. When it came time to choose the king to replace King Saul, the Lord gave this criteria to his prophet Samuel, ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, for the Lord seeth not as man seeth. For man, looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart.'” And that was in 1 Samuel 16:7. He continues, “When the Lord measures an individual, he does not take a tape measure around the person’s head to determine his mental capacity, nor his chest to determine his manliness, but he measures the heart as an indicator of the person’s capability and potential to bless others. Why the heart? Because the heart is a synonym for one’s entire makeup. We often use the phrases about the heart to describe the total person. Thus we describe people as being big hearted, or good hearted, or having a heart of gold. Or we speak of people with faint hearts, wise hearts, pure hearts, willing hearts, deceitful hearts, conniving hearts, courageous hearts, cold hearts, hearts of stone, or selfish hearts. The measure of our heart is a measure of our total performance. As used by the Lord, the heart of a person describes his effort to better self or others, or the conditions he confronts. ‘For I the Lord will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.'” And I think his words are so good and important. And he gives us four ways to check your spiritual heart. And in real life, if our heart is having problems, sometimes we can have a pain in our chest, we can have some edema, some swelling, stand up and you feel like you’re gonna pass out, or shortness of breath. There are all sorts of indicators maybe that when your heart is failing, but sometimes I think when our spiritual hearts are failing, it’s sometimes a little harder to see.
So, Elder Ashton gave us four ways to check your spiritual heart, and I will link this talk as well on the website:
1) But the first thing he says is, “How honest is your heart?” And he goes through, you know, that one of the ways to see if maybe your heart’s failing a little bit is if you’re dishonest, if it’s easy for you to be dishonest.
2) The second thing is “A willing heart.” And he says this, “A willing heart describes one who desires to please the Lord and to serve his cause. First, he serves the Lord on the Lord’s terms, not his own. There are no restrictions to where or how he will serve.
3) Number 3 is “An understanding, loving heart.”
4) And number 4 was, quoting from the Book of Mormon, “If you have experienced a change of heart and you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, can you feel so now?” He talks about how our commitment to the Lord has to be continuous. So that’s it about hearts.
So the Lord tells Enoch, “Their hearts have become hard, and their ears are dull of hearing.” What does that mean? And how does that apply to us? In 2 Nephi 9:31 it says, “And wo unto the deaf that will not hear, for they shall perish.” And I don’t think he’s saying, “Wo unto the people who physically cannot hear.” He’s saying, “Wo unto the people that will not hear, that won’t listen.” And I looked up “dull”, of course, in the thesaurus, and these words kind of sound like — if somebody’s attitude towards the gospel, towards church, towards listening to the prophets, following the commandments…boring! How many times do you hear people say, “Church is so boring.” “Flat, lifeless.” This is talking about us. “Listless, sluggish, accustomed.” And I think this is dangerous, when we just become accustomed to the gospel and things like, “Yeah, yeah, Jesus does nice things. Yeah, it’s good, a good social club.” Another word is “callous”. And I think this comes from losing the spirit. So what can we (stop) doing that maybe is keeping the spirit out of our life, so that we don’t become callous, depressed. Sometimes when we are mentally, physically depressed, chemically depressed, we can’t hear the word of the Lord, we can’t open our ears. And we may need to go to the doctor. We may need to talk about things that we can do to get out of this real-life, physical depression so that we can continue to hear the voice of the Lord. “Empty, apathetic.” And “apathetic” is such an interesting word because how often do people get apathetic to the Lord and to the word of God? I remember one time talking to a friend and just saying, “I don’t understand. I had the same spiritual experiences as some of these people. And they left, and I stayed. And I don’t understand. How could they leave when they had those same great experiences as me? Did they just forget?” And this person said, “Well, maybe they just don’t care anymore that that happened.” And I thought my friend was so wise, because I think that happens. We just get apathetic. “Yeah, sure, I have that same experience, but it doesn’t really matter to me anymore.” And that’s something we have to be so careful of, not to have apathy come into our life. Some more synonyms of “dull” are “colorless, dead, inactive, indifferent.” “Indifferent” goes with “apathetic”. Like, “I don’t care. Yeah, go to church. If it works for you, great. Doesn’t work for me.” “Monotonous, passionless, regular.” Sometimes I think the truths we know and the life we live is just regular. We just think it’s how it is. But if you step outside into the real world, when you move into a neighborhood, not everybody shows up and welcomes you, and offers to take your kids to scouts, and help unload your truck. And when your mom is sick for 6 months and the ward brings dinner every single week for six months. Like, this isn’t “regular”. This gospel is not “regular”. This church that we belong to is not “regular”. It is amazing! And we can’t get apathetic, we can’t get to a feeling where we think it’s regular because it’s not. It’s amazing! Let’s not let it be “spiritless stagnant. unexciting”. It isn’t. It is exciting! This news of the gospel is exciting! What Jesus Christ can do for our lives, the pains that He can lift, the joy that He can bring, the forgiveness that He can offer is so beautiful. And it’s anything but regular. Don’t let it be regular.
And the last thing He says is, “Their hearts are hard. Their ears aren’t working, and their eyes cannot see afar off.” And this is what’s happening right now. And it reminds me of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, right? We live in this land that, [singing] “I don’t care how. I want it now.” [End singing} Remember? She’s, like, on the golden goose, drops through the thing into the garbage. But I think that’s how we are. We don’t want to think about what’s in the future. We don’t want to look down the road. We just want to see what’s happening right now. “I want to have fun right now. I want to buy this thing right now that I can’t afford. I want to have this relationship that I know that’s bad for me,” or whatever, because we can’t see afar off.
So the Lord continues to tell Enoch, “And they don’t keep the commandments. And they don’t want to do what I say. And they need you to tell them all to repent.”
And the next section is kind of in two parts mixed together. So I’m gonna read the first part that says, “God calls us to do His work despite our inadequacies. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed with what the Lord has called us to do. Even Enoch felt that way when the Lord called him to be a prophet. As you read Moses 6:26-36, look for why Enoch felt overwhelmed and what the Lord said to give him courage.” And I want to start in verse 31. It says, “And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord and spake before the Lord saying, why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and I am but a lad and all the people hate me, for I am slow of speech. Wherefore am I thy servant?” He’s like, “Why me? I can’t even talk well, and all the people hate me. I’m probably not the best candidate for your crusade here.” And the Lord says to him in verse 32, “Go forth, and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pearce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.” And I think this was cool, because he didn’t say why he called him. Because he says, “Why me? Why me?” And the Lord says to him, “Just go do it.” He didn’t say, “Because you’re cute, and smart, and you have good parents.” He just says, “Get to work and I’ll help you.” And I feel like sometimes I get like, “This isn’t for me. I’m not an organized person. I can’t do this. Blah, blah, blah.” And what He’s saying is, “You know, maybe right now you’re not any of those things. Yeah, maybe Enoch, maybe right now you are slow of speech, maybe everybody does hate you. But guess what? I’m going to be behind you. And I can help you do anything. So just move forward. And let’s go, right?” In verse 33 it says, “Say unto this people, choose ye this day to serve the Lord God who made you this day.”
In Mark 13:33, it says, “Take ye heed, watch and pray for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore, for you know not when the master of the house cometh, at even or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning, lest coming suddenly he finds you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.” And I like this story because we all know that the Savior is coming back. And we don’t know when. But we also know that we could die at any moment. And so we need to choose today to serve the Lord because we might not have tomorrow. When Brittany’s health took a turn for the worse, she wasn’t running around saying, “Oh, I’ve got to talk to the bishop. I’ve got to clean this up. Oh, help, I’ve got all of this bad stuff on my computer I need to erase. Or, I need to go through all these documents and throw away these bad journals.” There was none of that happening. She was like, “Hey, yeah, let’s watch a movie together. Sit on the couch and hold my hand.” She was peaceful because she had chosen to serve the Lord and her priorities were in the right place. And we just don’t know. We just don’t know. So choose today.
And in verse 34 it says, “Behold, my spirit is upon you. Wherefore, all the words will I justify, and the mountain shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course, and thou shalt abide in me and I in you. Therefore, walk with me.” It’s so beautiful. And He said it to us so many times. “Just walk with me. Come follow me.” That’s what this whole program is called — “Come Follow Me”. “Come walk with me. You can do it. It’s easier, I can make your life easier. I have all the power to make your life beautiful. So walk with me.”
“And the Lord spake unto Enoch and said unto him, Anoint thy eyes with clay and wash them, and thou shalt see. And he did so.” And I’m thinking, this is why Enoch eventually got translated. Because here’s what I would say, “Um, I’m not blind.” Or maybe I would say, “Excuse me, but how does putting mud on my eyes make me see? What does mud do? Who made the mud? Is it safe to put mud on my eyes.” But he didn’t do any of that. He went and just put the mud on his eyes. And when he did that, he beheld the spirits that God had created. And he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye. I think this is what happens to us when we do what He says. When we figuratively put clay on our eyes and we do what he says, we just take the hard calling, or we forgive the person we don’t want to forgive, or we sacrifice time that we don’t think we have. When we do that, then our eyes are opened to things that they’re closed to, because of our pride. And I, I feel like the more I read my scriptures, and the more I spend time doing the things that I know the Lord wants me to do, the more I see people in a better light, the more I give people the benefit of the doubt, the more I want to be kind to them, the more I want to serve others. And I don’t know, sometimes we just have to do what He says without knowing why. And then He says, “And from thenceforth came the saying abroad, in the land a seer hath the Lord raised up unto this people.” Before, they hated him. And now they’re saying, “Wow, a seer hat the Lord raised up.” So the people are seeing what God did with this guy Enoch, who couldn’t talk very well and thought everybody hated him.
In the manual, it said, “What has built your faith that modern day prophets are seers?” And I think mine starts with President Benson, because he’s the first prophet I really remember being my prophet. And he talked about the Book of Mormon all the time. And I think he saw down the road, he saw the troubles, and the calamities, and the problems that would be happening in our day. And he just said, “Just read the Book of Mormon. Hold tight to the Book of Mormon. Stay close to the Book of Mormon. And you’ll be safe.” And I feel like I have avoided so many pitfalls in my life because I’ve chosen to follow that counsel, because he knows it can save us, he knew it could save us. And that’s why I talk about it all the time. And I grabbed onto that. And I felt like it changed my life. And now we have a prophet who is very well educated. And he’s our prophet, and he’s led by the Lord. And I think he sees down the road, and he tells us things to do that will make us happy, and that will bring us peace, and we need to do it. And sometimes we just have to put the clay on our eyes and do it even if we don’t know why.
So this next part says, “You might compare Enoch’s experience with that of other prophets who felt inadequate. What do you feel God wants you to learn from these scriptures, about the work he has given you to do?” Starting in verse 37 it says, “And it came to pass, that Enoch went forth in the land among the people standing upon the hills, and the high places and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works, and all men were offended because of him.” That must have been fun. Everyone was offended. It’s not fun to have all the people hate you, or one person hate you. But it says, “See Jacob 4.” And, so, in Jacob 4:7 it says, “Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know it is by His grace and His great condescension unto the children of men that we have power to do these things.” And I think this is Enoch, right? He couldn’t even talk. “I’m slow of speech.” And then all of a sudden, he’s able to stand on these mountains, on the hills, and proclaim the gospel. You know why we’re weak? You know why he couldn’t talk? So that the Lord could show him what he could do. And so the people could see it. “Wait, that guy was just some guy that whatever over there, and now look at him. The Lord must have done that.” And in verse 39, “And it came to pass, when they heard him, no man laid hands on him, for fear came on all of them that heard him for he walked with God.” And in Moses 7:12-13 it says, “And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people to repent. And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God and their enemies came to battle against them, and he spake the word of the Lord and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command. And the rivers of water were turned out of their course. And the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness. And all nations feared greatly.” So powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him, that not only could Enoch talk to the people, but Enoch’s testimony and his words shook the earth, moved the mountains, changed the rivers, made the lions roar. He became the most powerful thing there was because he trusted in God, because he put the clay on his eyes for who knows what reason. And he said, “Okay, I’ll do what you say even though I feel I’m slow speech, even though I feel like everybody hates me. I love you. And I’m going to do what you say.” And then look what happened.
And it says, “What do you feel God wants you to learn from these scriptures about the work he’s given you to do?” I felt in the blessing just over three years ago, that it was time for me to share my talent with the world. And I didn’t know how to do that. But I said, “Okay, you show me how, and I’ll do it.” And I started thinking and brainstorming and talking to my friends, and within two months, this podcast was born, I was just some girl talking in my closet. And now millions and millions of downloads later, the Lord has taken my little voice in the closet and has used it to share the gospel to people even in New Zealand. I have a comment on here tonight from someone in New Zealand. So sometimes it seems impossible. Sometimes what God asks you to do seems impossible. And it’s not always about proclaiming the gospel. Sometimes he’s gonna ask you to be content with not having a baby when all you want is to have a baby. Or sometimes, He’s gonna take someone that you love. Sometimes He’s gonna ask you to do hard things. And just now I’m reminded of that David Archuleta song that I love so much. And I need to look up the lyrics to read some of them to you, because it’s so good. Hold, please.
Okay, this is the part I love. It says, “I will go and do.” And think of this. Think of the Lord telling Enoch what He wanted him to do, and Enoch saying this, “I will go and do, I will stand for truth. And though the world may back away, I will walk right through. I know if I follow Him, follow Him in faith, He will ease my burdens, and He’ll provide a way. He’ll provide a way for me to cross the desert, to sail across the ocean. If that’s where He sends me, I’ll follow His plan. I’ll do whatever He commands me, for I know that He will lead me to the promised land.” And I think this is what we need to remember. God’s not asking us to do something hard and crazy because He wants us to have a hard and crazy situation. He’s asking us to do something because He’s leading us to the promised land. And when we put some mud on our face, and we don’t know why, and we say, “Okay, I’ll do it”, He leads us to the promised land. And right now, my promised land isn’t that all my kids are around me and they all believe just like I do, and nobody is sick, and nobody dies, and my marriage stayed together, and everything’s perfect. But as I do what He asks, my heart becomes more perfect, it becomes softer, I feel so much more love, I’m able to handle my burdens better. Uh, there was a tangent. I don’t know where that came from. But there you go.
Okay, these next two sections kind of mixed together. It’s talking about the doctrine of Christ and teaching it to our kids. And, and it basically says that the Lord wanted Enoch to restore the truth that had been lost, along with the commandment originally given to Adam to teach these things freely unto your children. And it says, “What do you learn about Jesus Christ? What do you find that would be especially valuable to the rising generation? What can you do to help pass these truths on to future generations?” In Moses 6:58, it says, “Therefore, I give you a commandment that you should teach these things freely unto your children.” There’s lots of good scriptures throughout the Old Testament, the Pearl of Great Price, but I’m going to stick with the main ones in this main section of the manual, because that’s what they’re asking us to study. Just now when I said, “What can you do to help pass these truths on to future generations?”, a thought just popped into my head. And I’m just gonna say, go to the temple, because we’re promised in a part of the temple, that because we’re there, our kids, and our kids’ kids will be blessed. And I think my testimony is what it is because my grandparents and great grandparents and parents sacrificed their time and went to the temple. And I need to get to the temple more so that I can bless my kids. And my kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids all the way down. So what can I do? One of the things I can do is get to the temple.
In verse 51, it says, “And he called upon our father, Adam, by his own voice, saying, I am God, I made the world and men before they were in the flesh.” It says, “What do you find that would be especially valuable to the rising generations?” Maybe, starting right here, God knows you. He’s gonna call you by your own name. And He made you before you came to this earth. You had a relationship with Him before you came to Earth. Get your patriarchal blessing. Learn a little bit more about that relationship. I’ve mentioned it before, and I know we’re not supposed to talk a lot about our blessings, but there’s a part of mine that says Heavenly Father loved me in the Pre-existence because of my obedience and my attitude. And I like to think I had an attitude in the Pre-existence, because the personalities we have here are the personalities we had there. And sometimes I’m a little crazy. And sometimes I’m silly, and people are like, “Oh, you should not blah blah blah.” And I want to say sometimes, “But you know what, Heavenly Father liked my attitude. He likes my attitude. He likes me to be happy. And He liked me.” And I think that’s what we need to talk to our children about. Heavenly Father knows you. And you knew Him. And you guys were close. You chose to come here, and you got placed here in this certain time for a reason. And I can’t wait to see that unfold. Because you’re amazing.
“And He also said unto him, If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of my Only Begotten Son, who was full of grace, and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name. And whatsoever you shall ask, it shall be given to you.” Now, that’s a lot. “I need you to turn to me, hearken to my voice, believe, repent, be baptized, turn to Jesus, and do everything you say in the name of Jesus, and then get the Holy Ghost. And if you do all that, then you’re gonna be fine.” And sometimes we go, “Okay, that was a long list. But today I’m going to believe, and tomorrow I’m going to repent, and I was already baptized, and I’ve got to do more, and say more about Jesus Christ, everything, ask all things in his name. When I lean on the Savior, my life is better.” And in 56 it says, “And it was given unto them to know good from evil. Wherefore they are agents unto themselves. Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men everywhere must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. For no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in His presence.” And then He says, “It’s going to be possible by this guy that’s coming, the Son of God named Jesus. Teach that to your kids, too.” And that was in a lot of scriptures, and it was long. It was talking about the Fall, and it got a little deep, and it got a little heavy. But, basically, He was saying, “There’s this guy that’s coming, and His name is Jesus, and He’s my son, and He’s gonna save all of you. Therefore, I give unto you a commandment to teach these things freely unto your children. Therefore, it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things and hath all power, according to the wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment. And now behold, I say unto you, This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.” This is what we need to teach our children — to repent, and to look to Jesus Christ who’s going to take care of it. He knew God knew we were going to fall. That’s why He gave us Jesus. So what we need to do is believe Him, look to Him, trust Him, repent when we mess up, and we’re gonna make it home.
And I asked on Instagram on Friday, like I said I would, “What have you found that helps you teach your children about Jesus Christ? And, how do you help them enjoy the words of eternal life?” And I want to read you a couple of people’s answers. And I appreciate all the answers. I wish I had time to read all of them because they were so good. But I want to read a couple, and then I will be done.
Lydia said in answer to this question, “Talking about the mistakes I make. When I get too angry, or we don’t do something we said we would, etc. I admit that I make mistakes, and I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. And that’s good enough for Christ. That no matter what, they are loved, and no matter how many mistakes they make, it’s okay. Just keep trying. That’s good enough. I think us having humility to be able to say to our kids, ‘I made a mistake. I didn’t do that right. I’m sorry.’ They pattern their lives after what we do. And if we can’t apologize, if we can’t be humble, we’re going to grow up kids that can’t apologize and can’t be humble.” And it’s nice. I really liked for her to say, “You know what, I let them see that I mess up. But it’s okay.”
Sherry said, “I always make sure to study what I’ll be teaching first. I love doing this. Because while I study, I learn, and then when I’m teaching them, I can get really excited about the things I learned, which brings the spirit and also gets them excited to learn.” And there’s a talk by President Eyring, and I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s “Gospel Learning in the Home”, something like that. I’ll find it. But he talks about this. He talks about us studying it before we go and share it with our kids and how much of a difference that can make. I will link it after this is done.
Jenna said — and this was so good, I love this — she said, “One thing I learned when we spent a week studying the Family Proclamation at the end of 2021 was that we are commissioned to raise children in righteousness, not to raise righteous children. There’s a huge difference in those statements. I’m learning to pray for ways to bring the spirit more consistently into our home, and praying for opportunities to teach my kids how to do that on their own, to seek out and receive the Spirit. It’s helped to change my focus from a checklist mentality – Have I taught each individual gospel principle? Now I try to focus more on teaching them to establish a relationship with God through living a lifestyle that will be conducive to that.” Oh my gosh, isn’t that so beautiful? We are commissioned to raise children in righteousness, not to raise righteous children. Again, a lot of this has to do with agency, right? Let’s do what we can to have righteous homes, to do what we can to show them Jesus and how it works, and then not force them to live righteously. Right?
Alright, here’s my friend from New Zealand. She said, “The best way we have learned about Jesus Christ’s teachings and about Him is when we read the Book of Mormon together, which we have done many times. I guess whatever we do, we have to be consistent, and let the love of the Savior shine through our actions and our hearts.” And I’m here to say this too. If you have stopped reading the Book of Mormon so that you can read the Old Testament every day, I would suggest you stop and flip that. I suggest you read the Book of Mormon every day and you do your Old Testament / Come Follow Me on family home evenings, or on Sundays, or whatever. But if you want to bring people to Christ, if you want to have a more Christ-like feeling in your home, if you want to be tied to the Savior, read the Book of Mormon every day with your family. Leslie is right. That is the best way she’s learned about Jesus Christ — to read the Book of Mormon with her children. And then she said this, and I love it. She said, “Thank you for your podcast. It’s taken us a wee while to understand your humor. We are listening from New Zealand, (or NZ, I’m supposing that’s ‘New Zealand’), but your love for the Savior is contagious.” “It’s taken us a wee while to understand your humor.” I’m glad you stuck around Leslie. I’m glad you stuck around “a wee while.”
Anyway, okay, Natalie said, “My boys are three and five. I put a picture relating to Come Follow Me or another story I want to discuss on the table during dinner and we talk about it. Or sometimes we show a little video. It doesn’t take a ton of prep for me, but we’re having some great discussions. We also tuck them into bed, say a family prayer and their personal prayers, and then read the Book of Mormon. I know it won’t stay this way forever but it’s what’s working for us now.” I want to say to you, Natalie, you’re doing what’s right. You’re raising them in righteousness. And I did that too. And we read the scriptures, and we sang the songs, and we did the things, and then they grow up and they have their own agency. And that’s okay because we raised them in righteousness and they are going to be blessed for their whole life because of that. So, just do what we can. Do what you can.
I have a blog post on comefollowmeforus.com, “Words of Wisdom for Parents”, and I’ve shared before. But I’m gonna read it one more time because this is my fourth year; how much new material can I come up with? Sorry, you’re gonna have to hear some repeats. But somebody wrote me this letter, and I think it’s appropriate as we’re talking about teaching our children. I want to read it. This is what I wrote at the beginning. “For clarification, I don’t think everyone who leaves the church is eating with the pigs. Not at all. Our children can live beautiful, productive lives outside of the church. And we need to treat them with respect, and honor all the wonderful things they do.” But in the episode this mother is referring to, we were talking about the prodigal son. And so that’s why she’s talking about eating with the pigs. I want you to let her words sink into your heart because they are true. This is what she said. “I was just listening to the podcast today about Alma and Helaman, the one about the kids. And as you were pouring out your heart, I could tell that you really wished you could do more for the situation your kids are in. And I just wish I was there to tell you, you are doing enough, and nothing you could have done differently or better would have changed what is. Everyone is going to have their own journey. And you are fortunate that your journey was with wonderful, amazing, God-loving parents, and that you grew up the same way. But not everybody does. Not everybody has that together from the start. As you kept asking about what things could you do, or ideas, I just kept thinking about the verse that says, ‘Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ It’s funny that it says ‘when he is old.’ Maybe the Lord knew we’d do a lot of dumb things when we were young. But seriously, though, don’t despair if your kids are not where you want them to be right now. They have to get on their own and through their own experiences. I have seven kids and some are older now and some are still babies. And now that the older ones are starting to make bad choices, I have come to terms with the fact that it doesn’t matter what I want, these kids are gonna do what they want. So I have to decide what is the best way to stay relevant in their lives so that they always feel that they have that door to come through when they get back from eating with the pigs. Do I still teach them Jesus? Yes, I’m just like you. It’s in every other conversation. But when they are at the crossroads, when they are wracked by the torment of their many sins, it will be impossible for them not to remember the words of their mother. I know it hurts. I know it’s hard. I may be calling you in a couple more years when the rest of mine grow up to remind me of these words. No mother wants to see her kids stray because we know what that leads to. And we don’t want that for our kids. I grew up in a Christian home. And we were all very involved in church, the scriptures, praying, evangelizing, etc. I have six sisters and two brothers. But we all had to come to our own day of reckoning. And that day came in different times in our lives. But we always came back to the Lord in different ways. Maybe still not perfect, but it’s in us, and we can’t run from it, just like the Lord promised. Lastly, one thing my husband always tells me is not to give up on people. You never know what they will become. And he knows because he was raised in a Mormon family, and he was the wildest kid you ever met. He did every drug, every party, moved to the city, and ran with the worst gangs. And now he’s a completely different man. I’ve seen the power of God work in a lot of the worst people. I’m from the inner city of Chicago. We faced a lot of tough challenges, but the bottom line is, it was never in your power to save your kids or keep them in the church. Your job is to teach them the way so they can always know how to get back.” This letter was so full of so many smart, smart things. But the sentence, the phrase, that runs through my mind all the time is that, “It is in us.” And that’s what happens when we raise our kids in righteousness. That’s what happens when we lovingly teach them about the Savior. And when they mess up and make mistakes, we lovingly correct them. We lovingly offer the right course to them. And then we love them even when they don’t pick it. And that has to be enough. You’re doing good, mamas. You’re doing good, dads. Just keep trying. We’ve got this. We’ve got this. We can do it. We can do it. Preach repentance and Jesus all day long — “Isn’t it amazing and awesome that we can repent? It’s so great.” Not, “You’re so bad.” But, “Jesus is so great.” That’s the message that we have to give.
That’s it for today. Please stay tuned over on Instagram where on Friday I’ll ask for help for the following week. And on Sundays, I’m going to check up on what did you do as a result of this lesson? What did you change? What happened? You can tell me or you can just be reminded, but I want to keep this conversation going. Let’s be “doers”. I already thought of some things while I was recording this. I sent some texts while I was recording this. How’s the spirit gonna move you? What’s gonna help you learn and do? Say a prayer. I’m gonna say this and put it at the front of the podcast. [Sound quality decreases here.] And I got a new computer and I have to have this dumb dongle thing in order to hook up my my microphone, and I can’t find it, and I need to be done. So I’m just gonna say, “Have a great week, and SHINE ON!