Joseph Smith taught that after coming to an understanding of the nature, character, and attributes of God, it was then necessary to understand the knowledge that a person must have in order to obtain eternal life in God\’s presence. This knowledge, taught Joseph, was necessary \”in order that they may be enabled to exercise faith in him unto life and salvation . . . An actual knowledge to any person, that the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God, is essentially necessary to enable him to have that confidence in God without which no person can obtain eternal life\” (Lectures on Faith 6:1-2).
When we come to earth as a new born baby, the veil is placed over our memory, and we do not remember who we are. We have no recollection of where we came from or just how far we have come in our progression towards eternal life. If we could catch a glimpse of who we really are, I am sure we would be amazed at how far we progressed in the pre-earth life. The Father, and his eldest Son Jehovah, felt we had progressed enough that we were ready to experience life on an earth-a life without memory, with a physical body with weaknesses and a natural desire towards sin.
What great faith they must have in us to trust us with this experience. Knowing that we would indeed give into the natural man and the temptations of Lucifer, the Father\’s plan for this earth included a Savior who would suffer for our sins, die, and be resurrected for us. We shouted with joy when Jehovah offered himself to be our Savior. What great love he has for us, and what great love we must return to him.
On earth, without memory of our previous life, Satan wants us to feel worthless and unworthy. He constantly whispers discouragement through thoughts and the words of unenlightened individuals. The very fact that we have been born on earth should tell us of our value and worthiness. Satan will never have a body because of his choices, and therefore, each of us living on this earth is more worthy, of more value, and with more potential than Satan will ever posses. By understanding how we came to be born on earth should comfort us with the knowledge that we are well along the path to eternal life. The key to continuing on the path is the same for each of us. Because we are all fallen, natural men and women, we must turn to him who can save us, Jesus Christ, and repent constantly for mistakes made and opportunities missed.
We must always ask ourselves, am I on course? Is Father pleased with my progress? Am I humble enough to accept the gift Jesus has given me? Are my actions in accordance with one who trusts in Christ and desires eternal life in his presence?
Enos asked these questions at a pivotal time in his life. His father, Jacob, had chosen and set him apart to be the record keeper and spiritual leader of the people of Nephi. Obviously Enos was a righteous, faithful man or his father would not have chosen him for such an important position. However, as with all men who are called as a spiritual leader, Enos was unsure of his abilities and worthiness. He needed the knowledge that \”the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God.\” If so, he would then be able to faithfully perform the duties of his calling.
His desire became so great that it was as if he had a \”wrestle . . . before God\” (Enos 1:2) as he went into the forest. He surely missed his father and the strength he had been. His father\’s words \”concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into\” (Enos 1:3) his heart. His desire became a hunger, and he fell to his knees and \”cried unto him (the Lord) in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul\” (Enos 1:4). His hunger remained unfed for hours as he pled with heaven to answer his questions of worthiness. He wanted to know if he was on course, if he really mattered. He wanted to know if the Lord loved him, cared for him, and if he could fill his father\’s place among the people. In humble prayer, kneeling before his Maker, tears were shed as his desire grew with each moment.
Finally, after a true soul-searching time in prayer, his mind was filled with peace and light, and a voice quietly came to his mind, \”Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed\” (Enos 1:5). His faith was strengthened as he \”knew that God could not lie\” or he would cease to be God, \”wherefore, my guilt was swept away\” (Enos 1:6). In one simple moment, and through a simple phrase, Enos learned of God\’s love for him personally, that he was on the path laid for him to follow, and that the Lord would always be with him.
In amazement, with a desire for confirmation of the teachings of his father, Enos said, \”Lord, how is it done?\” (Enos 1:7). Again, with the calm of omniscience, the Lord replied, \”Because of thy faith in Christ . . . wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole\” (Enos 1:8). Immediately Enos was filled with the love of God and charity for his fellow men. By coming to understand his place on the path to the tree of life, he reached out, as did his grandfather Lehi in his great vison, to others, desiring for them what he had experienced. Thus, his charity continues to reach through generations of time to us today, instilling in us a desire to follow his example before the Lord.
Through the power of the Spirit, each of us can follow the counsel of Enos in going before the Lord to learn for ourselves if \”the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God.\” I testify that if our desires are great enough, if we hunger and thirst for this knowledge, in time, we shall be fed. We can each personally have quietly come to our minds the sweet words of our Savior, \”thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.\” Our faith will join with Enos in being unshakable, and our hearts will be filled with charity.
May each of us strive for the understanding that \”the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God,\” that we might learn through the Spirit\’s power the love our Father and Savior have for us. May our faith lift us to be more like him who made eternal life a reality-even Jesus Christ.