My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me deep into the book of Moses. This week’s studies covered Genesis 5 and Moses 6. In Genesis 5, Moses wrote all the generations between Adam and Eve and Noah. There are a lot of names but not much information on the individuals. Enoch came six generations from Adam, and he was described as follows: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).
This sounds like an interesting story, but
Moses continued the list of generations without any further explanation. We are
blessed because the Lord revealed details of Enoch’s story in Moses 6. The
following information is from Come, Follow Me – For Individuals and
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).
Like most chapters in the
scriptures, Moses 6 contains numerous principles. The principle that I have
chosen to discuss tonight is “The doctrine of Christ is central to God’s plan
of salvation.” Through the book of Moses, “we know that God has been teaching
His children how to find forgiveness and redemption ever since the beginning.”
In 2 Nephi 31:13-21, these teachings are called the “doctrine of Christ.” What
are the specifics of the doctrine of Christ?
The first doctrine that we must
understand is that the Fall of Adam and Eve was part of Heavenly Father’s plan
from the beginning. Because of the Fall, all mankind will suffer two kinds of
death. Physical death is the separation of the immortal spirit from the mortal
body. Spiritual death is the separation from the presence of God.
In addition, Lucifer (Satan) was cast down
to earth without a body. Because of his rebellion against God, he will never
receive a physical body. Therefore, he tempts mortals in an attempt to take over
their bodies. Because we are mere mortals, we yield to the temptations of Satan
and become “carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence
of God” until we repent (Moses 6:49).
The second doctrine that we must
understand is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was part of Heavenly Father’s
plan from the beginning also. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind
will overcome physical death and can overcome spiritual death (see Romans 3:23;
Mosiah 16:3-4; Alma 11:42-43; Helaman 14:14-18; Moses 6:52).
A third doctrine that we must understand
is the great gift of agency given to each of us in our pre-mortal life (see
Moses 7:32). Moral agency allows us to choose between good and evil and to
experience the consequences of our choices (see 2 Nephi 2:14-16, 25-29;
Doctrine and Covenants 101:78). God will do all that He can do to help us
qualify to return to His presence, but He will never force anyone. He honors
our agency and allows us to choose where we want to spend eternity.
This doctrine includes the principles of
faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by emersion for the remission of
sins, and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Moses 6:57-68
tells us that Enoch saw that Adam and Eve were baptized. We know that they had
faith in Jesus Christ because they knew Him from the Garden of Eden. We know
that they repented of their sins, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost after
baptism. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained how birth and baptism are similar
Two births are essential to salvation. Man
cannot be saved without birth into mortality, nor can he return to his heavenly
home without a birth into the realm of the Spirit…. The elements present in a
mortal birth and in a spiritual birth are the same. They are water, blood, and
spirit. Thus every mortal birth is a heaven-given reminder to prepare for the second
In every mortal birth the child is
immersed in water in the mother’s womb. At the appointed time the spirit enters
the body, and blood always flows in the veins of the new person. Otherwise,
without each of these, there is no life, no birth, no mortality.
In every birth into the kingdom of heaven,
the newborn babe in Christ is immersed in water, he receives the Holy Ghost by
the laying on of hands, and the blood of Christ cleanses him from all sin.
Otherwise, without each of these, there is no Spirit-birth, no newness of life,
no hope of eternal life….
… These elements were again present in
[Christ’s] death. He sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane as he took upon
himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance. This same agony and
suffering recurred on the cross. It was then that he permitted his spirit to
leave his body, and it was then that blood and water gushed from his riven side
(A New Witness, 288-89).
There are numerous names for the
plan of salvation. Sometimes it is called the plan of happiness or the plan of
redemption. Other times it is called the plan of restoration, the plan of
mercy, the plan of deliverance, or the everlasting gospel. According to
President Russell M. Nelson, the designation is not as important as the fact
that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the “enabling essence of the plan” (“Constancy
and Change,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 33).
The Creation of the earth, the Fall
of Adam and Eve, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ (including His death and resurrection)
are the three pillars of eternity upon which rests Heavenly Father’s plan for
the eternal happiness of His children. We are blessed that Heavenly Father saw
fit to reveal the book of Moses to Joseph Smith in these latter days. This book
contains many doctrines and principles necessary for us to know and live to
prepare us to return to the presence of God.