Enos 1

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 90–92


In his brief but powerful book, Enos describes his “wrestle” to receive a remission of his sins (v. 2). “Enos placed a proper price upon the blessings of heaven; yet he did so in such a way as to encourage those who in like manner seek the light and mercy of heaven. Having tasted of such things, he sealed his book in the spirit of rejoicing in Christ” (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon: Volume II—Jacob through Mosiah [1988], 95).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 50–51.

Suggestions for Teaching

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Book of Mormon Video presentation 8, “And My Soul Hungered” (10:20), can be used in teaching Enos 1 (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

weekly iconEnos 1:1–8, 27. The Lord forgives those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ and diligently repent of their sins. (20–25 minutes)

Ask students to share some goals they have for the next few months or years, and list them on the board. (These might include getting good grades, learning to play a musical instrument, doing well at sports, and excelling in a hobby.) Ask:

  • How long have you worked toward your goal?

  • What else will you have to do to meet your goal?

Tell students that faith and desire lead people to actions, and actions lead to results. Explain that today they will read about a man who had great faith and desire. Invite students to read Enos 1:1–4 and answer the following questions:

  • What desire did Enos have?

  • What words did Enos use to describe the intensity of his faith and his desire to be forgiven? (These might include “wrestle” [v. 2]; “sunk deep into my heart” [v. 3]; “my soul hungered” [v. 4]; “cried unto him in mighty prayer” [v. 4].)

To help students better understand the importance of faith and desire in our efforts to receive forgiveness, share the following account by Elder Sterling W. Sill, who was then an Assistant to the Twelve:

“A young man came to Socrates one time and said, ‘Mr. Socrates, I have come 1,600 miles to talk to you about wisdom and learning.’ He said, ‘You are a man of wisdom and learning, … and I would like to have you teach me how to be a man of wisdom and learning.’ Socrates said, ‘Come follow me,’ and he led the way down to the seashore. They waded out into the water up to their waists, and then Socrates turned on his friend and held his head under the water. His friend struggled and kicked and bucked and tried to get away, but Socrates held him down. … And after this man had stopped struggling, Socrates laid him out on the bank to dry, and he went back to the market place.

“After the young man had dried out a little bit, he came back to Socrates to find the reason for this rather unusual behavior. Socrates said to him, ‘When your head was under the water what was the one thing you wanted more than anything else?’ And the man said, ‘More than anything else, I wanted air.’ Socrates said, ‘All right, when you want wisdom and learning like you wanted air, you won’t have to ask anybody to give it to you.’” (“The Five Fingers of Leadership Success,” in Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [9 Feb. 1965], 9).


  • What role did desire play in the account of Socrates and the young man?

  • How could this experience be compared to the one Enos had?

Remind students that faith and desire move us to action. Share the following statement from Lectures on Faith, compiled under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Faith … is the moving cause of all action” ([1985], 1–2).

Ask students to give examples of how actions are motivated by faith or belief. Read Enos 1:1–4 again and list on the board what actions Enos’s faith and desire led him to. The list might include the following:

  • He wrestled before the Lord for forgiveness for his sins (see v. 2).

  • He pondered his father’s teachings on eternal life (see v. 3).

  • He “cried unto [Heavenly Father] in mighty prayer” (v. 4).

Remind students that actions lead to results. Read Enos 1:5–6, 27 and look for what happened as a result of Enos’s actions. (He received forgiveness [see vv. 5–6]. He had the peace of knowing he would receive eternal life [see v. 27].) Ask:

  • What question did Enos ask the Lord? (see v. 7).

  • What was the Lord’s answer to the question? (see v. 8).

  • Why do you think faith in Jesus Christ is so important in obtaining forgiveness?

As a review, draw the accompanying diagram on the board. Discuss with students how faith and desire lead to actions, and actions lead to results in making the Atonement effective in our lives.

Faith in the Lord and Desire

lead to

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lead to

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We receive the benefits of the Atonement.

Ask students to consider the following questions:

  • What would you be willing to do to receive the blessings Enos received?

  • What could you do to increase your faith and change your desires and actions in order to receive the full benefits of the Atonement in your life?

Read the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“Our divinely granted willpower gives us control over our desires, but it may take many years for us to be sure that we have willed and educated them to the point that all are entirely righteous.

“President Joseph F. Smith taught that the ‘education … of our desires is one of far-reaching importance to our happiness in life.’ (Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 297.)” (“The Desires of Our Hearts,” Ensign, June 1986, 65).

Share your testimony and express your gratitude for the blessings of the Atonement in your life.

Enos 1:4–17. Whatever the righteous ask the Lord in faith that is right, they will receive. (10–15 minutes)

Ask students what righteous action preceded each of the following events:

Point out that each event was preceded by a righteous person praying with faith in accordance with the will of the Lord.

Invite students to read Enos 1:4–8 and look for what preceded Enos’s receiving forgiveness for his sins. Read the following groups of verses. In each case identify (1) what Enos prayed for and (2) the Lord’s response.

Write on the board Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Write the following scripture references under the standard work in which they are found: Mark 11:24; Enos 1:15; D&C 4:7; Moses 6:52. Have four students read the scriptures to the class, and invite the class to cross-reference the scriptures to each other. Ask:

  • What can we learn from the fact that all of the standard works teach the same principle?

  • Why do you think the Lord would repeat something so many times?

  • What part does our belief play in receiving what we ask for?

Share the following statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve: “No message appears in scripture more times, in more ways than ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 26; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 21).

Sing or read the words to “Sweet Hour of Prayer” (Hymns, no. 142). Share an example of a time the Lord answered your prayers, and invite any students who would like to share an example to do so.

Enos 1:9–12, 20. A person who experiences forgiveness for sin becomes concerned for the welfare of others and desires to share the gospel with family, friends, and even enemies. (10–15 minutes)

Invite students to think about the last good movie they saw, good book they read, or good restaurant in which they ate. Ask:

  • Did you tell anyone about it? If so, who?

  • Why did you tell that person?

Invite students to read Enos 1:9–12, 20 to see what Enos did after he received forgiveness for his sins. Ask: For whom did he have a concern in verse 9? in verse 11? Read Matthew 5:43–47 and look for how it relates to Enos’s prayers. (You may want to have students cross-reference these verses to Enos 1:11.) Ask:

  • What relationship did the Nephites and Lamanites have in Enos’s time? (see vv. 20, 24).

  • Read 1 Nephi 8:10–12. How was Enos’s reaction similar to that of his grandfather Lehi?

  • Read Matthew 22:39. How does this verse relate to what Enos did?

  • What can we do to show the Lord we are concerned for others?

Share the following statement by President Harold B. Lee:

“You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 178; or Ensign, July 1973, 123).


  • If you were sinking in quicksand, who would you want to try to save you: someone who is also sinking in the quicksand or someone on solid ground? Why?

  • In what way is this example like President Lee’s principle of being on higher ground before helping others?

  • Considering President Lee’s teaching, why do you think Enos’s experiences in verses 9 and 11 come after his experiences in verses 5–6?

Sing or read the words to “Because I Have Been Given Much” (Hymns, no. 219).