Lesson 49: Enos

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


After reflecting on the words of his father, Enos prayed for and received a remission of his sins. He then prayed for the spiritual welfare of the Nephites and the Lamanites and spent his life laboring for their salvation.

Suggestions for Teaching

Enos 1:1–8

After reflecting on the words of his father, Enos prays for and receives a remission of his sins

Enos Praying

Display the picture Enos Praying (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 72; see also LDS.org).

  • What do you know about the person in the picture? (If students are unsure, explain that this is a picture of Enos, who was a grandson of Lehi and Sariah and a son of Jacob. He was entrusted with the small plates shortly before his father’s death [see Jacob 7:27].)

Invite students to silently read the first phrase of Enos 1:4.

  • What do you think Enos might have meant by the phrase “my soul hungered”? (Possible answers include feelings of spiritual emptiness, pain, or weakness, or a desire to be filled spiritually and obtain a greater understanding and testimony of the gospel.)

Invite students to think of a time when their souls have hungered.

As students study the book of Enos today, invite them to look for truths that can help them know how to be filled when their souls hunger.

Display the following chart on the board. (To save time, you might want to put the chart on the board before class.)

What Enos desired

What Enos did

Results of what Enos did

Enos 1:2

Enos 1:3

Enos 1:2

Enos 1:4

Enos 1:8

Enos 1:5

Enos 1:6

Enos 1:8

Divide the class into three groups. Invite a student to read Enos 1:1–8 aloud. Before the verses are read, invite group one to look for phrases indicating Enos’s desires. Invite group two to look for what Enos did. Ask group three to look for the results of Enos’s desires and actions. (Point out that the verses listed on the chart contain information pertaining to each group’s assignment.)

Invite students in the first group to report the phrases they found concerning Enos’s desires. As students mention these phrases, have them write the phrases on the board. You might want to invite students to consider marking these phrases in their scriptures. Students may mention phrases such as “a remission of my sins,” “eternal life,” and “the joy of the saints.”

Remind students that Enos had “often heard [his] father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints” (Enos 1:3).

  • How might reflecting on teachings concerning eternal life and the joy of the Saints cause a person’s soul to hunger? (It may help a person desire to be worthy to be with the Lord and desire the happiness that comes from living the gospel.)

Point out that Enos also desired a remission of his sins. His sins may have contributed to his feelings of spiritual hunger or emptiness (see Enos 1:4).

  • Why does sin cause us to feel spiritually empty? (Sin causes the Holy Ghost to withdraw from us, and we feel distanced from the Lord.)

To help students relate Enos’s experience to themselves, ask them to silently consider whether they have some of the same feelings of spiritual hunger that Enos described.

To help the class see what Enos did to satisfy his spiritual hunger, invite students in group two to report their findings and record their answers on the board. Responses should include the following: “wrestle … before God,” “cried unto him in mighty prayer,” and “[exercised] faith in Christ.”

  • What do these phrases teach us about seeking a remission of our sins? (Point out that Enos’s wrestling indicates his struggle to show Heavenly Father the sincerity of his desires and his willingness to repent by making necessary changes in his life.)

  • Why is wrestle a good word to describe our efforts to repent?

  • In Enos 1:4, what evidence do you see that Enos was sincere as he sought a remission of his sins? (You may need to help students understand that supplication refers to asking for something humbly and with great desire.)

To help the class see the results of what Enos did, invite students in group three to report their findings and record their answers on the board. Responses should include the following: “thy sins are forgiven thee,” “my guilt was swept away,” and “thy faith hath made thee whole.” (You may want to explain that to be made whole means to be healed or purified from sin.)

  • According to Enos 1:7–8, what enabled Enos to be forgiven and made whole? (His faith in Jesus Christ.)

  • What principles can we learn from Enos about the process of receiving forgiveness for our sins? (In addition to other truths students may mention, be sure they identify the following principle: As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven and we can be made whole.)

  • Why is exercising faith in Jesus Christ necessary for us to be forgiven and made whole? (Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. It is only through His Atonement that we can be made whole.)

  • What are some things we can do to exercise faith in Jesus Christ as we seek forgiveness for our sins? (We can trust that the Savior has the power to forgive us and desires to do so; repent of our sins; and obey God’s commandments.)

  • According to Enos 1:5–6, how did Enos know he had been forgiven? (You may want to point out that the voice mentioned in Enos 1:5 was a voice that came to Enos’s mind [see Enos 1:10].)

  • How can you know that you have been forgiven of your sins?

As part of the discussion of the previous question, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Once we have truly repented, Christ will take away the burden of guilt for our sins. We can know for ourselves that we have been forgiven and made clean. The Holy Ghost will verify this to us; He is the Sanctifier. No other testimony of forgiveness can be greater” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Point of Safe Return,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 101).

Ask students to silently ponder the following questions (you may want to write these questions on the board before class):

  • When have you felt that the Lord has forgiven you of your sins?

  • How did you know you were forgiven?

  • Have you felt the Lord’s forgiveness recently?

As students ponder these questions, invite them to write some of their thoughts or feelings in their class notebooks or study journals. Consider giving students an opportunity to share their testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ. Caution them not to mention experiences about repenting and receiving forgiveness that are private or too sacred to share.

Testify that we will be forgiven as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and truly repent of our sins. Because of the Savior, our guilt can be swept away and we can be made whole.

Enos 1:9–27

Enos prays for the spiritual welfare of the Nephites and the Lamanites, and he labors diligently for their salvation

Draw the accompanying diagram on the board.

Explain that after Enos prayed for himself, he expanded his prayers to include petitions for the welfare of others. Assign students to work in pairs. Invite the students in each pair to take turns reading aloud from Enos 1:9–14. Ask them to look for the two groups of people for whom Enos prayed and what he prayed for in each case.

  • Whom did Enos pray for? (Add the words Nephites and Lamanites in place of the question marks in the diagram.)

  • According to Enos 1:14, what were the Lamanites’ intentions toward the Nephites?

  • Based on Enos’s experience, what happens as we experience the blessings of Jesus Christ’s Atonement? (Help students identify a principle similar to the following: As we experience the blessings of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we will seek to help others receive salvation. You may want to invite students to consider writing this principle in their scriptures.)

To help students understand this principle, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95):

President Howard W. Hunter

“Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of [others]. …

“A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter [2015], 127, 128).

  • Why do you think we desire to share the gospel with others after we have experienced the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

To help students identify another principle, invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Enos 1:12, 15–20. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what we can learn about prayer, faith, and diligence from Enos’s example.

  • What can we learn about prayer from Enos’s example? (Students should be able to see that the Lord answers our prayers according to our faith and diligence.)

  • What do you think it means to pray in faith?

  • According to Enos 1:12, 19–20, how did Enos show diligence during and after his prayer?

  • According to verse 16, what is one of the ways the Lord answered Enos’s prayer? (Invite students to consider marking the phrase “my soul did rest” in verse 17.)

handout iconTo help students consider ways they can follow Enos’s example, write the following statements on the board or provide them in a handout. Invite students to choose one statement and complete it in their class notebooks or study journals.

Following the Example of Enos

  1. 1.

    Like Enos, I desire to receive a remission of my sins. I will show the Lord that I am sincere in this desire by …

  2. 2.

    Like Enos, I desire to help my family members and friends come unto Christ. One person I will seek to help is … I will seek to help this person by …

  3. 3.

    Enos prayed for the Lamanites, who were considered his enemies. Like Enos, I want to show the Lord’s love toward those who are unkind to me. One way I will do this is …

© 2017 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

You may want to caution students not to write anything that is too personal.

After students have finished writing, ask a student to read Enos 1:26–27 aloud. Invite the class to look for evidence of the joy Enos experienced as he preached the gospel. After students report what they find, encourage them to accomplish what they have written in their class notebooks or study journals. Testify that as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can experience forgiveness and joy, and our desires to help others come unto Christ will increase.

Commentary and Background Information

Enos 1:2. “I received a remission of my sins”

Enos did not mention the nature or extent of his sins, but rather described the process of repentance that we must each undertake to receive divine forgiveness. President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught:

President Spencer W. Kimball

“I have always loved the story of Enos, who had great need. Like all of us—for none of us is perfect—he had strayed. How dark were his sins I do not know, but he wrote, ‘I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins’ [Enos 1:2]. …

“What a blessing and a joy for each of us to know that our Father lives and that he loves us, that he forgives us when repentance is forthcoming, that he is ever willing to help and give love to his beloved children” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Pray Always,” Ensign, Oct. 1981, 6).