by Jacob L., member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and student at Brigham Young University (BYU).
Often in testimony meeting, we hear members say how they are grateful for the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Indeed, we have all felt and do feel God’s love for us as we draw nearer to him by obedience to His commandments, and even when we feel we are undeserving of His love. But as I read and reread Enoch’s vision of God, I learned more of the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ than ever before. Indeed, learning about God our Father that He is magnificent and glorious, that He has passion and eternal feelings, that He can at times feel devastated when we don’t love our brethren and choose to neglect Him. The other piece of doctrine that I have learned from analyzing Moses 7 is that of God’s law in dealing with His people collectively. I will compare the land of Canaan with the people of Enoch. Doing so has given me a deeper understanding of what eventually can happen to a righteous people if they fail to keep the commandments of God.
About God: God feels compassion for us
First, I had no idea that God could weep. This means that our Heavenly Father has feelings just like ours, but I imagine eternally profound and deep, more than I can understand. We see this when Enoch, during the vision of seeing all of God’s creations turns towards God and sees Him weeping. Enoch must have been shocked! He must have been so amazingly stunned to see the most powerful being in the universe weep! I would have! I quote from the text “And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? And also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever; And peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?”
I personally, found it somewhat unusual to believe at first. That the most merciful, peaceful yet most glorious being in the universe (for we know that one has to be transfigured as to not wither away because of His glory) would weep because of His people. Why do we cry as normal human beings? Maybe we have had a bad day. Maybe we are going through a hard time in our marriage. Perhaps we have lost one of our family members to addictions, or even lost a loved one to a fateful illness. Nevertheless, God the Eternal Father weeps because “They are without affection, and they hate their own blood”. Knowing about God, that He is so full of passion(something that many faiths do not believe) is amazing and wonderful to me. How much God really does love His children that He weeps for them when they do not love one another.
About God: He blesses those who follow Him
Second, as I was analyzing the verses 8 through 23, I was reminded of a recurring theme and also learned much more about that principle. It is one that we have seen time and time again in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. It is that the Lords righteous make covenants with God and are given a promise that where they can be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth if they will diligently keep the commandments of God. But if they will not, they will be cast out of the land of their inheritance, usually by their enemies. As I studied about God and the theme of making covenants with God in order to be blessed and remain in the Promised Land, I studied other examples in the Bible that dealt with those who for one reason or another, ceased to keep the commandments and therefore, lost the privilege and right to remain in the land of their inheritance. For example in Leviticus 18:25 we read “ And the land is defiled: Therefore I do visit the iniquities thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants”.
So how does the Lord vomit out her inhabitants from the Promised Land? He does it by ceasing to protect them from their enemies. For example, we have seen this with the Jews being taken captive in Babylon. The Lord also curses the land if His people become unrighteous. “For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; Have we not seen this with examples of the Latter-Day pioneers who did not pay their tithing? Or when Joseph’s people experienced a terrible famine? One thing that I learned was most interesting and usually sparks the interest of Latter-Day Saints and nonmembers alike. The rights and privileges of ones Promised Land can be taken away if a people break their covenants with God. For example, the Jews, who covenanted with God that they would be the people of Jerusalem and there be blessed and prosper were taken away when they fell away and broke their covenants with God. As a result, the Jews were scattered upon the whole earth and taken away from their covenanted land. Today, we see that the Jews are seeking to reclaim their land in Jerusalem. But, we know that they have broken their covenant and lost their rights to the land and therefore, should have no legal rights to it. However, the Jews have taken much of their land by force because they see themselves as descendants of Jews who once lived there. How incorrect they are! How unjustly have they killed and taken lives in order to lay claim upon a land that isn’t rightfully theirs. No one can reclaim lost land after thousands of years saying that the land is rightfully theirs. We should seek never to break our covenants with Heavenly Father or we will lose our promised blessings.
What we should seek is the example of the city of Enoch. His people were the righteous ones that eventually we taken into the bosom of the Father. Not only did they prosper in the land of their inheritance, but they eventually were taken up to live with God. It is hard to know exactly at what point a people is considered righteous enough to be taken into heaven. We know that us as individuals are God’s creations but have come into a fallen world to learn to obey God and become like Him, a thing that takes time. Knowing that a people actually achieved this is somewhat puzzling (not saying that it is not possible). Perhaps God had other reasons to take them up unto Him. We read “, And lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven”. Nevertheless, examining God’s dealings with His children in all ages have helped me come to understand the necessity of being “one” in purpose, as a people. It was interesting to compare civilizations, especially the two that were talked about in Moses 7. As a result of this, I now know how important it is for God’s people to love one another and to serve God as one.