Prophets Help Lead Us to Jesus Christ
Daniel, a student at Brigham Young University and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called “Mormon Church” by friends of other faiths), shares his insight to his scripture study of Moses 7:1-40. The book of Moses is found in The Pearl of Great Price, a book of scripture revered as sacred by Latter-day Saints. The book of Moses is an extract from the translation of the Bible as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Moses 7:1-40 provides a narrative of Enoch’s interaction with God the Father as he is shown a vision of future events and a glimpse into the heart of our Father. From this narrative, I learned multiple things, asked several questions, considered the flow of the account, and came to understand better the role of Jesus Christ as Justifier and Advocate.
The scriptures are filled with numerous accounts of prophets in various dispensations being shown in vision events of the future, particularly as they relate to their people. Enoch was given this privilege as part of his Seer-ship. It is likely that many such experiences occurred elsewhere though the record is not now known or had among men. These men were Seers. Given this, it is quite probable that the Seers today are given similar experiences on varying levels from time to time.
The account begins with God showing Enoch a vision and describing the contents of it to him. It is confusing though whether or not the vision is one continuous vision or if it simply a single narrative which records multiple visions seen at different stages of Enoch’s ministry. Also, was the battle Enoch led the people of God in a spiritual battle or a physical battle? A few verses later it is speaking of a physical war which might mean the earlier reference could be the same kind of battle, only the people of God seem to have been spared from taking part in this later battle.
The flow of this chapter shows a pattern wherein God the Father commands, fulfills His commands, and either blesses or curses men according to whether or not they followed His commandments. Enoch is first told to go to Mount Simeon to see a vision of future generations. He goes and is shown the vision. As a result, many believe his witness of Jesus Christ and they become Zion (the pure in heart). Likewise, those who do not accept his witness fight a losing battle against the people of God, either physically or spiritually. Zion, due to faithfully following God, is taken up into heaven while Satan holds the wicked inhabitants of the earth under a veil of darkness. The flow of the chapter also shows God’s pattern of teaching the Plan of Salvation. Always included is reference to the Fall, to man’s agency, to sin, and to salvation through Christ. In answering Enoch’s inquiry as to His tears, the Father expounds on all the above stated doctrines.
There appears to be dual reasons for the shedding of tears by God the Father in Moses chapter seven. Though the voice of the Lord in this passage is given from the perspective of the Father, it is Jehovah that is conveying the message. Also, it is stated that Zion ascended both into heaven and into the bosom of God, suggesting that the word “heaven” is synonymous with “God” in this instance. Thus, when the heavens weep, it is God weeping. Verse 39 indicates “…that which I have chosen” is Jesus Christ who even at that time “pled” before the Father on behalf of His sinful children. The intent of His pleading is for His brethren to be justified before the Father as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants (a book of Mormon scripture revealed in modern times) 45:3-5. The word “wherefore” in verse 39 hints that because Jesus Christ was pleading for the sinful souls Enoch was viewing, He also was the one required to suffer for their sins. Or, if looked at in reverse, because He was the one required through His voluntary offering to suffer, He is the only one that could plead for the sinners. His suffering only covers those who repent. All souls will remain in “torment” until they repent. “Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep.” This is God’s summation to the shedding of tears and, as clarified through causal words, indicates that God sheds them because of the pain that sinners experience until they repent and because of the pain that He Himself suffers for the sins they repent of.