OLD TESTAMENT - LESSON 5
- Cain covenants with Satan, kills Abel, and cursed by the Lord.
- Enoch preaches repentance to the people.
- The people in the city of Enoch are of one heart and one mind with
Choices to follow Jesus Christ lead to liberty, happiness, and eternal
life, while choices to follow Satan lead to misery and captivity.
Cain & The Consequences of Wickedness
The story of Cain & Abel (Moses 5:16-41):
- It is interesting to note that Adam and Eve had children prior to the
birth of Cain and Abel.
Adam & Eve bore Cain (v16).
- "And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters,
and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth. And from that time
forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the
land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons
and daughters." (Moses 5:2-3)
- According to verse 12, they taught the gospel to their children, but
"Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he
commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they
loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal,
sensual, and devilish" (Moses 5:13).
- WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE CHILDREN OF THESE GREAT PARENTS WERE SO REBELLIOUS?
- As it says in v12, Satan came among them. Adam and Eve were the first
to try parenting on this planet. They were starting from scratch. It may
have been that they worked so hard attempting to establish themselves in
this physical world, that there simply wasn't enough time to teach their
- If such is the case, it certainly reinforces President Lee's statement,
"Remember always that the most important of the Lord's work you
and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes."
Adam & Eve bore another son, Abel (v17).
- When Cain was born, Eve said "I have gotten a man from the
Lord; wherefore he may not reject his words."
- It was Adam and Eve's great hope that this new son would abide by the
commandments and live the gospel.
- Their hopes were eventually dashed for "Cain hearkened not,
saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?"
- WHAT DOES THIS QUESTION SHOW ABOUT CAIN'S ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD?
- He was like so many today, he didn't care. Many today are so caught
up in their own life and pursuits that God and religion is a nuisance.
Cain & Abel took up differenct occupations (v17).
- Unlike Cain, "Abel hearkened unto the voice of the Lord."
Cain made an offering to the Lord of "the fruit of the ground"
- Abel was a keeper of sheep.
- Cain was a tiller of the earth.
Abel made an offering of "the firstlings of his flock"
The Lord respected the offering of Abel, but not that of Cain (v20-21).
- WHAT WAS CAIN'S MOTIVATION FOR MAKING THE OFFERING?
- He loved Satan and it was Satan's commandment.
Cain reacts to the Lord's rejection of his sacrifice.
- WHY DID THE LORD ACCEPT ABEL'S SACRIFICE BUT REJECT CAIN'S OFFERING?
- In v5, Adam was commanded by the Lord to "offer the firstlings
of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord." This commandment
was taught to Adam's children. Abel obeyed. Cain offered a sacrifice, but
not in the way the Lord had commanded.
- Joseph Smith: "By faith in this atonement or plan of redemption,
Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings
of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted,
because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not
exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. It must be shedding the
blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man; for this was the plan of redemption;
and without the shedding of blood was no remission; and as the sacrifice
was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice
which God had prepared; to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith
could be exercised, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor
the power of atonement instituted after that order; consequently Cain could
have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. But Abel offered
an acceptable sacrifice, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,
God Himself testifying of his gifts. Certainly, the shedding of the blood
of a beast could be beneficial to no man, except it was done in imitation,
or as a type, or explanation of what was to be offered through the gift
of God Himself; and this performance done with an eye looking forward in
faith on the power of that great Sacrifice for a remission of sins."
- This quotation from the Prophet is instructive. Adam and Eve received
a commandment from the Lord to "offer the firstlings of their flocks,
for an offering unto the Lord." When an angel asked Adam why he
made the offerings, he replied, "I know not, save the Lord commanded
me" (v6). He did not know the reason at that time, but there was
a reason. So it must be with all that we are commanded to do. We may not
always know the why, but the Lord would not have commanded it without a
purpose. Not only must we do it, but we must do it in the way the Lord
Cain enters into a pact with Satan to kill his brother Abel (v29-31).
- "Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell" (v21).
- The Lord calls Cain to repentance, "If thou doest well, thou
shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and
Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments,
I will deliver thee up" (v23).
- HOW DID CAIN REACT TO THE LORD'S CALL TO REPENT?
- "And Cain was wroth, and listened not any more to the voice
of the Lord" (v26).
- WHY IS IT SOMETIMES HARD TO BE CALLED TO REPENT?
- Pride: We don't like to be told what to do. When I was a child I decided
I wanted to learn how to play the piano. My mother, as a piano teacher,
started teaching me. But I failed to practice. I didn't mind the lessons,
but I hated to practice the songs over and over. I didn't see any reason
for it. After three months, mom said that if I wasn't going to practice,
she wasn't going to teach me. I refused to comply and thus ended my brief
career as a musician. I didn't like being told what to do and I am the
one who suffered because of my pride. I love piano music to this day, but
I have to listen to someone else or put on a CD.
- Change: We sometimes hate to move out of our comfort zones.
- Lazy: We may not feel like doing what we are commanded. The demise
of my piano career was due to both pride and laziness.
- HOW CAN WE DEVELOP MORE REPENTANT HEARTS?
- We need to realize that it is for our own good and eternal progress.
Hugh B. Brown tells the story of moving to Canada and cutting back a currant
bush that had grown all out of proportion. He relates the following, "As
if to set the bush's mind at ease, I said to it, as I took the shears in
hand, 'Someday, when you are laden with currants you will thank me for
cutting you down so that you could grow properly and develop the fruit
that you were created to produce'." (An Abundant Life, p49)
HOW DID CAIN RESPOND WHEN THE LORD ASKED WHERE ABEL WAS?
- "And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his
brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose
up against Abel, his brother, and slew him. And Cain gloried in that which
he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth
into my hands" (v32-33).
- WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE CAIN MEANT WHEN HE SAID, "I AM FREE"?
WHAT DID HE THINK HE WAS FREE OF?
- Feeling that he was free of this brother that he may have considered
a thorn in his side. Their relationship may have been like that of Laman
- With his brother gone, he may have felt more free to do as he chose.
- HOW DOES DISOBEYING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS ACTUALLY DECREASE OUR FREEDOM?
- In Cain's instance, he gave up the freedom to choose. He was now faced
with the consequences of his action. He was bound for eternity. There was
nothing he could do to revoke the consequences.
- Our transgressions may not have the irreversible effects of Cain's
sin, but they also bind us and cause us to freedom.
- - Consider the consequences of not living the Word of Wisdom.
- - Consider the consequences of moral transgression.
- IN CONTRAST, HOW DOES OBEDIENCE INCREASE OUR FREEDOM?
WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES OF CAIN'S CHOICE TO OBEY SATAN RATHER THAN
- "And the Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel, thy brother? And
he said: I know not. Am I my brother's keeper?" (Moses 5:34)
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER?
- "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have
need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth
the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither
in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:17-18)
- HOW DOES THIS STORY APPLY TO US TODAY?
- Consider the words of Hugh Nibley: "Failing to enlist Adam
in this project, Satan approached Cain and taught him the basic principles
of business: he took his fee, made him swear confidentiality, taught him
how to get rich, and gave him the degree of Master Mahan, making him privy
to the 'great secret' of how to get the stuff. Cain wanted his brother's
flocks.... So he murdered his brother Abel to get gain (Moses 5:50). An
important part of the course was to overcome moral scruples...he feels
no qualms, admits no guilt, and easily defeats the polygraph. Cain, in
fact, 'gloried in that which he had done' (Moses 5:33). (It is not enough
to just live with it, you have to glory in it. Then you feel all right.
This was the big obstacle, and he gloried in it. And what gives him the
moral right to glory? The greatest of all appeals--freedom. Freedom sanctifies
all.) So Cain says, Now 'I am free; surely the flocks of my brother fall
into my hands' (Moses 5:33). He was free now, so he gloried in what he
had done. His murder didn't bother him in the least. Thus when the Lord
asked him, 'Where is your brother Abel?' Cain said, 'That is none of my
business; he can take care of himself. If not, that is just too bad for
him--he deserves what he gets' (cf. Moses 5:34). It's a dog-eat-dog world,
says the entrepreneur who comforts his ruined investors with the magnanimous
submission that life is unfair after all." (Collected Works of
Hugh Nibley 9:435)
- Robert L. Simpson: "The world today tells you to leave your
friend alone. He has the right to come and go as he pleases. The world
tells you that persuasion to attend Church or priesthood meeting or to
discard a bad habit might lead to frustration and undue pressures; but
again I repeat the word of the Lord, you are your brother's keeper, and
when thou art converted, you have an obligation to strengthen your brother."
(CR, Oct. 1971)
HOW CAN OUR RIGHTEOUS OR UNRIGHTEOUS CHOICES AFFECT OUR FAMILY MEMBERS?
- He would be delivered up to Satan (5:23).
- He would be the father of lies (5:24).
- He would be called Perdition (5:24).
- Milton R. Hunter: "Why should Cain become Perdition? He committed
murder, but there have been thousands and thousands of murders committed
since his day and God has not pronounced the murderers sons of Perdition.
The answer to this question lies in the fact that Cain must have held the
Holy Priesthood" (Pearl of Great Price Commentary, p.167).
- The earth would not yield abundantly for him (5:36-37).
- He would be a fugitive and a vagabond (5:37).
- A mark was set upon him (5:40).
- Cain was shut out from the presence of the Lord (5:41).
- This was not a temporary curse, but a curse that has no end. Cain shall
never again know his Heavenly Father and the joy that comes through eternal
- His descendants followed in his footsteps. Lamech, a great, great,
great grandson, became Master Mahan, "master of that great secret
which was administered unto Cain by Satan" (5:49).
- "And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all
the sons of men" (5:55).
- He was responsible for the first secret combinations and the subsequent
wickedness that follows.
Bruce R. McConkie on Cain:
"From the scriptural records available to us, from the sermons
of the Prophet, and from a knowledge of the revealed requisites for becoming
a son of perdition, we know that Cain was a liar and a rebel in pre-existence;
that, like Lucifer, he had power and influence there; that in this life
he was taught the gospel, received the priesthood, and knew of the divinity
of the Lord's work; that he then came out in open rebellion against God;
that he in fact loved Satan more than God, choosing to worship and serve
that evil one rather than the Lord; and that he offered false sacrifices
at Satan's behest and slew Abel because the devil directed him so to do.
(Gen. 4; Moses 5:16-55)." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary,
Loved Ones Who Go Astray
Even though Adam and Eve taught their children the gospel, Cain and
others chose to live unrighteously.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP OURSELVES BEAR THE PAIN WHEN LOVED ONES GO ASTRAY?
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THESE LOVES ONES?
Apostle Orson F. Whitney: "You parents of the wilful and the
wayward: Don't give them up. Don't cast them off. They are not utterly
lost. The shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were
yours--long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin
to love them as he loves them. They have but strayed in ignorance from
the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fulness of
knowledge brings the fulness of accountability. Our Heavenly Father is
far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his
servants, and the Everlasting gospel is mightier in power to save than
our narrow finite minds can comprehend." (CR, Apr. 1929)
Elder Richard G. Scott:
Many of you have heavy hearts because a son or daughter, husband
or wife, has turned from righteousness to pursue evil. My message is for
Your life is filled with anguish, pain, and, at times, despair. I
will tell you how you can be comforted by the Lord.
First you must recognize two foundation principles:
- While there are many things you can do to help a loved one in need,
there are some thing that must be done by the Lord.
- Also, no enduring improvement can occur without righteous exercise
of agency. Do not attempt to override agency. The Lord himself would not
do that. Forced obedience yeilds no blessings (see D&C 58:26-33).
I will suggest seven ways you can help.
First, love without limitations.... Second, do not condone the transgressions,
but extend every hope and support to the transgressor.... Third, teach
truth.... Fourth, honestly forgive as often as required.... Fifth, pray
trustingly. 'The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much' (James
Sixth, keep perspective.... When the things you realistically can
do to help are done, leave the matter in the hands of the Lord and worry
no more. Do not feel guilty because you cannot do more. Do not waste your
energy on useless worry.... In time, you will feel impressions and know
how to give further help. You will find more peace and happiness, will
not neglect others that need you, and will be able to give greater help
because of that eternal perpective....
One last suggestion--Never give up on a love one, never! (CR,
Enoch & The Blessings Of Righteousness
The Hope For A Better World.
- The Iraqi threat.
- Drug trafficking.
- Instability in Russia.
- Crime and moral degradation in this country.
AS YOU OBSERVE THESE EVENTS, IS NOT YOUR SOUL STIRRED IN HOPE FOR A
BETTER, MORE PEACEFUL WORLD?
WHAT IS THE CONDITION THAT WE AS LATTER-DAY SAINTS HOPE FOR?
WHAT IS ZION?
- National park/bank.
- Dictionary: a hill in Jerusalem, site of Solomon's temple, Jerusalem,
- The place where the pure in heart dwell.
- A city built by the people of Enoch.
- A city to be built in Jackson county.
Joseph Smith taught: "The building up of Zion is a cause that
has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which
prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with particular delight.... [It
is] a work God and angels have contemplated with delight for generations
past; that fired the souls of ancient patriarchs and prophets; a work that
is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the
renovation of the earth, the glory of God and the salvation of the human
family." (TPJS, p231)
Enoch & Zion
WHO WAS ENOCH?
Enoch preaches repentance to the people.
- Enoch called to teach repentance to the people, "for their
hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes
cannot see afar off . . . they gone astray, and have denied me, and have
sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have
they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments" (6:27-28).
- Enoch's response to the Lord, "Why is it that I have found
favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I
am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?" (6:31)
- Enoch was given great promises if he would fulfill this call (6:32-34).
- READ MOSES 6:37.
- WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE PEOPLE WERE OFFENDED WHEN ENOCH BEGAN TO PREACH
- WHY DID THESE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO LISTEN TO ENOCH?
- They were curious. "Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while
we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange
thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us" (6:38).
- Enoch taught the people the gospel (6:41-63).
- Many listened to this prophet, were converted, and repented of their
- WHAT DOES THIS INCIDENT TEACH US ABOUT LISTENING TO THE PROPHET, EVEN
IF WE DON'T LIKE WHAT HE SAYS?
READ MOSES 7:13. The faith of Enoch and the people.
READ D&C 45:66-70. The power of Zion in the last days.
WHY WOULD THE WICKED FEAR TO ATTACK ENOCH'S PEOPLE OR A MODERN ZION?
(The glory and terror of the Lord would be there)
A Zion People
- THE LORD REFERED TO HIS PEOPLE AS "ZION" (see 7:18). WHY?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE OF ONE HEART AND ONE MIND? DID THEY ALL VOTE
REPUBLICAN AND ONLY SHOP AT ALBERTSONS & ZCMI?
- They were of one heart and one mind.
- There was no poor among them.
HOW DID THE PEOPLE OF ENOCH BECOME OF ONE HEART AND MIND?
- CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING PART OF SUCH A SOCIETY?
- DO WE HAVE THIS SITUATION WITHIN THE CHURCH, OUR WARD, OUR FAMILY?
WHAT WAS THE ULTIMATE DESTINY OF ENOCH'S ZION?
HOW CAN WE BECOME A ZION PEOPLE?
- They exercised faith in the words taught by Enoch.
- They sought to live the gospel every moment of their lives.
- President Kimball suggested three things we should do to assist in
the bringing forth of a modern day Zion (see Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,
Joseph F. Smith: "When I am ready to say, 'Father, all that
I have, myself included, is Thine; my time, my substance, everything that
I possess is on the altar, to be used freely, agreeable to Thy holy will,
and not my will, but Thine, be done,' then perhaps I will be prepared to
go and help to redeem Zion."
- "We must eliminate the individual tendency to selfishness that
snares the soul, shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind."
- "We must cooperate completely and work in harmony one with
the other. There must be unanimity in our decisions and unity in our actions."
- "We must lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required
by the Lord. We begin by offering a 'broken heart and a contrite spirit.'
We follow this by giving our best effort in our assigned fields of labor
and callings. We learn our duty and execute it fully. Finally we consecrate
our time, talents, and means as called upon by our file leaders and as
prompted by the whisperings of the Spirit...."
- Cain chose to follow Satan and teach his evil practices to his
children and followers.
Enoch chose to follow the Lord and preach repentance.
- The consequences: Cain and his descendants grew in wickedness and were
cursed by God for their unrighteousness.
- The consequences: An entire city became so righteous that they were
removed from the earth to dwell with God.
How will we choose? Our happiness and eternal destiny depends
on righteous choices. Throughout the history of the restored Church there
have been those who have been proud and refused to give up their pride
and humble themselves (Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, William
Smith, and others). How much did they loose? We may not always like what
we hear from the prophet (as the listeners of Enoch), but if we continue
to listen and obey, our blessings can be as great as their's. We can be
tools in the hand of God in building a modern day Zion.
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