Cain's children sought to entice Seth's children to leave the safety and righteousness of their mountain promised land. The children of Seth had replaced the fallen angels (Cain and other fallen individuals), who had become the Watchers. In time, the Watchers succeed in overcoming Seth’s children by playing seductive music and showing off their pretty daughters in fine clothing. Just like the Nephites, nice clothing leads to their downfall.
|1 WHEN Enos was nine hundred years old, all the children of Seth, and of Cainan, and his first-born, with their wives and children, gathered around him, asking for a blessing from him.|
2 He then prayed over them and blessed them, and adjured them by the blood of Abel the just saying to them, "Let not one of your children go down from this Holy Mountain, and let them make no fellowship with the children of Cain the murderer" (Book 2, ch 14).
But eventually, the children of Cain find a way to tempt and overcome many of Seth’s children:
13 When, at the end of that year, Genun (a Watcher) saw that they (people living in the lowlands) were being won over to him little by little, Satan entered into him, and taught him to make dyeing-stuffs for garments of divers patterns, and made him understand how to dye crimson and purple and what not.
14 And the sons of Cain who wrought all this, and shone in beauty and gorgeous apparel, gathered together at the foot of the mountain in splendour, with horns and gorgeous dresses, and horse races, committing all manner of abominations.
15 Meanwhile the children of Seth, who were on the Holy Mountain, prayed and praised God, in the place of the hosts of angels who had fallen; wherefore God had called them "angels," because He rejoiced over them greatly.
16 But after this, they no longer kept His commandment, nor held by the promise He had made to their fathers; but they relaxed from their fasting and praying, and from the counsel of Jared their father. And they kept on gathering together on the top of the mountain, to look upon the children of Cain, from morning until evening, and upon what they did, upon their beautiful dresses and ornaments. (Book 2, ch 20).
Many ignored the prophetic warnings and left the mountain for what seemed to be greener pastures. Today, many ignore modern prophets and apostles, thinking that the world offers good solutions. While the world does have many wondrous dresses and ornaments, bells and whistles to offer us, they are all temporary comforts that do not bring true joy and happiness.
For those who stay in the promised land, they received a particularly marvelous blessing. Three years before his death, Adam called his faithful sons together, where he blessed them. Before them came the Savior, who blessed Adam. Adam had returned into the presence of God, and brought his faithful children with him (D&C 107:53-57).
Enoch the missionary prophet
In Moses 6:25-38, we find Enoch has left the land of promise. He journeyed in the land, where the people grew ever more violent and evil, due to the secret combinations abounding in the world (vs. 15).
God calls down to Enoch from heaven and issues him a mission call. At 65 years old, Enoch still saw himself as a lad. Since he was not doing wicked things, nor was he as eloquent as the Watchers, "the people hate me; for I am slow of speech."
Whom God calls, God qualifies. As with Enoch, the Lord can help us rise above our weaknesses and fears, and cause us to succeed. Even if it means He has to perform mighty miracles through us. Moses would see in this vision that he would be a new Enoch, leading the righteous of his day to a new promised land. Both would perform great miracles against seemingly overwhelming forces. Moses spent 40 years preparing Israel in the wilderness before entering the promised land. Enoch worked 300 years building his promised land.
Enoch is described as both a "seer" and a "wild man" (vs. 36, 38). Just as with Enoch, other prophets have been so viewed. The angel Moroni told Joseph Smith that his name would be held for both good and ill. Many considered him an illiterate fool and fraud for the Book of Mormon, while others, like scholar Harold Bloom, considered Joseph Smith a genius for bringing forth the Book of Mormon.
In the middle of Enoch's story, we find a strange side story that for some reason was added. While in the land of Mahujah, a man named Mahijah questions Enoch (6:40; 7:2).
In his book, Enoch the Prophet, Hugh Nibley notes reading the Book of Enoch fragments in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4QEnoch). As he read the last fragment, the name Mahujah jumped out at him as a person asking Enoch questions! In Aramaic, Mahujah and Mahijah are essentially the same word. The Dead Sea Scrolls help demonstrate the validity and truthfulness of the Book of Moses. I’ve yet to see any competent rejoinder from LDS critics on how Joseph Smith would have known to place Mahujah/Mahijah in a story line with Enoch. The claim of “coincidence” can only be used so many times.
In Moses 6:35-36 and 7:2-4) Enoch has two major visions. In the first, Enoch beholds the Spirit World, perhaps having a similar vision of the Grand Council in heaven that Abraham had (Abraham 3). From the things revealed to him, he was called a “seer.”
In the second vision, Enoch is told to climb a mountain. Ascension stories often begin on mountain tops, including Nephi, Moses, the Brother of Jared, and the apostle John (1 Nephi 11:1, Moses 1:1, Ether 3:1, Revelation 21:10).
Ascension stories are also tied directly to the temple experience. In the LDS temple, we symbolically experience ascending into God’s presence, which is what each of these individuals sees.
Once upon the mountain, the vision began, and Enoch states, “I beheld the heaven open, and I was clothed upon with glory.”
In the ancient book, Secrets of Enoch, Enoch ascends through the many levels of heaven. Some of these levels include the physical cosmos, as Enoch describes passing by the planets and stars. However, the higher levels are actual heavens in which angels dwell. The higher the heaven, the greater the glory.
Enoch tells us:
In the Book of Secrets, Enoch is given a book to read. This also is a common ascension experience, when a person sees God. Lehi was given a book to read and prophesy from (1 Nephi 1:11-12), the apostle John was given a book to swallow and prophesy (Revelation 10:8-11), Isaiah was given a book to read and prophesy from (Ascension of Isaiah 9:22), Moses saw God and was given a book of 10 Commandments (Exodus 20), and Joseph Smith saw God and later was commanded to translate the ancient Book of Mormon.
|ON the tenth Heaven, Aravoth, I saw the appearance of the Lord's face, like iron made to glow in fire, and brought out, emitting sparks, and it burns.|
2 Thus I saw the Lord's face….
4 And I fell prone and bowed down to the Lord, and the Lord with his lips said to me:
5 'Have courage, Enoch, do not fear, arise and stand before my face into eternity.'
6 And the archistratege (archangel) Michael lifted me up, and led me to before the Lord's face.
7 And the Lord said to his servants tempting them: 'Let Enoch stand before my face into eternity,' and the glorious ones bowed down to the Lord, and said: 'Let Enoch go according to Thy word.'
8 And the Lord said to Michael: 'Go and take Enoch from out his earthly garments, and anoint him with my sweet ointment, and put him into the garments of My glory.'
9 And Michael did thus, as the Lord told him. He anointed me, and dressed me, and the appearance of that ointment is more than the great light, and his ointment is like sweet dew, and its smell mild, shining like the sun's ray, and I looked at myself, and was like one of his glorious ones (Chapter 22).
God then explains the Creation story, the story of Adam and Eve, and the Fall to Enoch. This is a key experience that ties us to our understanding of God. Lehi and Nephi saw a version of this, as they learned of the Tree of Life in vision (1 Nephi 8-15). Lehi clearly explained all of it in 2 Nephi 2. Moses had the Creation revealed to him, as have many other ancient and modern prophets. Joseph Smith designed the temple endowment around the concepts of the Creation and Fall, knowing through divine means that it is intricately tied to the ancient ascensions of Enoch, Moses and others.
Enoch is given the responsibility of being God’s scribe, a position held traditionally by Metatron, one of the archangels. In the tradition, Enoch is clothed in robes of glory and given the name Metatron. He is allowed to sit down on God’s throne– normally only allowed to God, but representing God’s sharing of His divine power with Enoch. Enoch becomes a symbol of God, and equal to God in many respects. Upon returning to earth, Enoch begins to teach the children of men the things he has written down.
Interestingly, Enoch mentions this in talking with God: “Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and… thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace…” (Moses 7:59).
The Watchers married women and the women
|Before these things Enoch was hidden, and no one of the children of men knew where he was hidden, and where he abode, and what had become of him. And his activities had to do with the Watchers, and his days were with the holy ones. And I Enoch was blessing the Lord of majesty and the King of the ages, and lo! the Watchers (the righteous angels) called me -Enoch the scribe- and said to me: 'Enoch, thou scribe of righteousness, go, declare to the Watchers of the heaven who have left the high heaven, the holy eternal place, and have defiled themselves with women, and have done as the children of earth do, and have taken unto themselves wives: "Ye have wrought great destruction on the earth: And ye shall have no peace nor forgiveness of sin: and inasmuch as they delight themselves in their children, The murder of their beloved ones shall they see, and over the destruction of their children shall they lament, and shall make supplication unto eternity, but mercy and peace shall ye not attain."' (12:1-6, see also ch 15).|
|“became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones” (7:1-6)|
The giants could either be mighty men or war, or as this and other traditions suggest, they were as tall as trees. Interestingly, this is also supported in the Book of Moses, where Enoch fights against the giants of his day (Moses 7:15), and later the giants attempt to assassinate Noah (Moses 8:18).
The Watchers used their secret knowledge to train mankind in the use of weapons, extravagant clothing, and to live excessively and violently (1st Enoch 8).
Enoch Builds Zion
In such a day, God prepares the world for destruction by Flood, which will be discussed in the next lesson. The preparation had to do with preparing a new land of promise, even a holy city, wherein the people of God could dwell in safety.
Enoch was an amazing missionary. He went everywhere, “save it were the people of Canaan” and call them to repentance (7:12). Why not the people of Canaan? Again, some presume they were the cursed race. But a closer reading of the Book of Moses shows that the land of Canaan/Cainan was the promised land of Enoch’s fathers. They were already righteous, and had no need to have missionaries call them to repentance (6:41). The term “Canaan” commonly was used for a group of Semitic people (not black), who lived in Moses’ day, but not in Enoch’s. Enoch could not have been referencing them as the people he did not preach to.
Over several centuries, Enoch was a thorn in the side of the Watchers and their secret combinations. In Moses 7:13-17, we see that Enoch and his righteous people were feared greatly. It was built upon the mountains, as it represented sacred space (a high place). This people, their city and the land they dwelt upon, became Zion. It was a people who had learned to live a Celestial Law, in stark contrast to the wicked individuals living in the land below.
Eventually, God took Zion up and out of the world. Why? Because the world was being prepared for the Flood. Even after Zion’s fleeing from the world, as people repented of their sins and became righteous, they would be translated and lifted up to the holy city, to receive their blessings with Enoch, and to escape the great destruction below (Moses 7:18-21).
Love one another and choose me, their Father
Just as Moses sought to see God a second time, as he had further things to inquire of him (Moses 1:18), so Enoch has more to learn, as well.
God takes Enoch into his confidence, to show him just how much power Satan had over the world. God wept as he pondered the terrible destruction he was about to send upon the earth. Interestingly, the earth also groans and weeps, as it is shown to be a living being. Enoch is at first unsure why God would be so moved by such a small thing as destruction. Remember, Enoch has destroyed armies, and experienced the fear of his enemies in mortality. The Lord explains that these are the “workmanship of mine own hands.” They are his children.
All God has asked of us is that we “should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father….” Sadly, most of the people in Enoch’s day had chosen Satan as their father, and to hate one another as they sought to get gain through their secret combinations, lust, and greed.
Enoch is wholly moved by the tender feelings of the Master. As he looked upon the true misery of mankind, he “wept and stretched forth his arms (towards them), and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.” Enoch refused to be comforted (Moses 7:23-44). At that moment, there did not seem to be any way to save such a lost group of people. There was no hope for all those who had fallen into Satan’s snare.
Enoch Sees the Redemption
God showed Enoch the hope of mankind. The Messiah is proclaimed. Whosoever comes in through the gate, or climbs up by him “shall never fall” (Moses 7:53). Like Nephi in the Vision of the Tree of Life, Enoch sees the life and death of Christ. As Christ resurrected, many of the spirits in prison (Spirit World) also came forth. The others would await the day of judgment, but would still receive as much blessing as God could possibly give them. Through Christ, God seeks to maximize the blessings, and minimize the punishments. Even those who end up in the Telestial Kingdom, after they have suffered a time for their sins, will be redeemed in Christ in a kingdom of glory and goodness (D&C 76).
Enoch sees the world’s history, including the Restoration of the Gospel in the latter days. He sees that a new Zion will be established on the earth. Finally, he sees “even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fullness of joy” (Moses 7:62-67).
Conflict of Adam and Eve With Satan, Book One: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/fbe005.htm
Conflict of Adam and Eve, Book Two: The Forgotten Books of Eden Index
The First Book of Enoch (Ethiopian): Book of Enoch
The Secrets of Enoch: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/i...tm#section_002
Ascension of Isaiah: Ascension of Isaiah