Enos 1: The Power of Forgiveness

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 67–68

For a few, such as Paul, Enos, and Alma the Younger, the realization of the seriousness of sin and the glorious nature of God’s promises to the righteous seem to have come at once. Change for the better (conversion) may not always be so sudden. Concerning the process of repentance, President Ezra Taft Benson said:“We must be careful, as we seek to become more and more godlike, that we do not become discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant, as it were: Alma the Younger, Paul on the road to Damascus, Enos praying far into the night, King Lamoni. Such astonishing examples of the power to change even those steeped in sin give confidence that the Atonement can reach even those deepest in despair.“But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule. For every Paul, for every Enos, and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle, much more imperceptible. Day by day they move closer to the Lord, little realizing they are building a godlike life” (“A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 5). As you study the book of Enos, note the roots of his experience—what led Enos to his knees, crying unto the Lord “in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul” (Enos 1:4). Notice also the fruits that came—both to himself and to others—as he sought and gained a remission of his sins.

Understanding the Scriptures

Enos 1

Nurture (v. 1)Teaching and training, like that which loving parents give to their children
Admonition (v. 1)A gentle warning against sin or error, counsel
Ferocious (v. 20)Fierce, savage
Cimeter (v. 20)Curved sword

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you study Enos 1.

Activity A iconWhat Kind of Prayer?

  1. 1.

    Search Enos 1:1–10 and list in your notebook the words that describe what Enos was thinking, what he was feeling, and how he prayed. How was Enos’s prayer different from many prayers?

  2. 2.

    Explain how we can make our own prayers more effective by following Enos’s example.

Enos praying

Activity B iconWhat Is the Natural Result of Being Forgiven?

  1. 1.

    Enos’s first concern was naturally and appropriately for his own salvation (see Enos 1:1–8). After he received forgiveness for his own sins, his circle of concern expanded.

    Draw the accompanying diagram in your notebook and label who Enos prayed for second (see vv. 9–10) and third (see vv. 11–17).

  1. 2.

    How were Enos’s prayers similar to how Lehi felt in 1 Nephi 8:10–18? What do Enos and Lehi teach us about those who are truly converted and have been born again?