"For a Wise Purpose"
Lesson 14 - Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon
Introduction

Try to recall an incident or feeling that would have been forgotten if you had not recorded it in a journal. Why did you write about that incident or feeling? How has it benefited you to have this information written in your journal?
In 1 Nephi 6:4; 1 Nephi 9:5; 1 Nephi 19:3; and 2 Nephi 25:26, Nephi gave some reasons for the importance of keeping his written record.
The keepers of the records that have become the Book of Mormon labored mightily to preserve the word of the Lord and the experiences of their people in learning to keep His commandments. They recognized the importance of recording this information for future generations. Because of their diligence in keeping the records and because of Godís hand in protecting and preserving the records, we are able to learn from the spiritual successes and failures of those who have gone before us. The four books discussed in todayís lesson, Enos, Jarom, Omni, and Words of Mormon, were written by eight men who, like Nephi, understood the importance of keeping sacred records.

Enos prayed for himself, the Nephites, and the Lamanites.

Enos 1:1 Enos credited his father Jacob (Jacob 7:27) with teaching him the gospel.
The teaching and example of righteous parents help children develop faith in the Savior. Regarding what it means to teach children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord", President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled parents to be righteous examples for their children, as Enosís father was for him: "Treat your children as sons and daughters of God. Be kind. Love them. Respect them. Counsel with them. Teach them. Pray for them. Guide them and God will bless both them and you" (in Church News, 1 Nov. 1997, 2).
Enos 1:3-4 Jacobís teachings influenced Enos to kneel in prayer and supplication.
Enos 1:2 Enos described his prayer to the Lord using the word "wrestle". Ponder Enos' choice of words--calling his experience a "wrestle". Enos' account of seeking forgiveness can remind us of the sincerity and long-suffering required in truly repenting.
Enos 1:5-6 Enos knew that his sins had been forgiven by hearing the Lord's voice.
Enos 1:7-8 His faith enabled Enos to receive forgiveness of his sins.
Faith in Christ is necessary for us to repent and receive forgiveness because he is the one who paid the price and holds the keys of forgiveness for sin.
How can we know our sins have been forgiven? President Harold B. Lee said: "If the time comes when you have done all that you can to repent of your sins...and have made amends and restitution to the best of your ability... , then you will want that confirming answer as to whether or not the Lord has accepted of you. In your soul-searching, if you seek for and you find that peace of conscience, by that token you may know that the Lord has accepted of your repentance" (Stand Ye in Holy Places [1974], 185).
Enos 1:9 , 11-13 After Enos learned that his sins were forgiven, he prayed for the welfare of his Nephite brethren, for the Lamanites, and he also asked that a record of his people be preserved.
Enos 1:13-14 Enos wanted to be sure that the records would be preserved so that they could be used in bringing about the salvation of the Lamanites.
Consider Enos' example and what you might learn about prayer from Enos.
Enos 1:22-23 Enos described the Nephites of his time as a "stiffnecked people" who were only moved by "exceeding harshness" and "exceedingly great plainness of speech". Doesn't it sound as if there are similarities between the Nephites of Enosís time and some people today?
Enos 1:15-18, 26-27 Enosís faith and testimony are impressive because he was completely convinced that the Lord would answer his requests, and he was able to rest, knowing for a certainty that he would be exalted because of his faith and works.

The Nephites prospered through continual repentance.

Jarom 1:1-2 Jarom said his purpose in adding to the records was to record genealogy and to keep his father's instructions. Jarom did not record the prophecies and revelations he had received because he said that previous writings already revealed the plan of salvation in sufficient detail.
Jarom 1:3-4 Jarom described his people, the Nephites, as hard-hearted and stiff-necked--stubborn and proud!
Jarom 1:5, 7-12 They were able to prosper in the land and overcome the Lamanites because they kept the commandments and repented when necessary.
Jarom 1:11-12 Prophets, priests, and teachers played a vital role in the success of the Nephites as they carried out their callings to preach, teach, exhort, and persuade their people to follow the law of Moses and understand the intent of that law.
Jarom 1:12 To "prick their hearts with the word" meant that the priests and teachers kept the people stirred up to repentance.
Think about a time when your heart has been pricked by the words of a prophet or another Church leader or teacher to get your life in order or continue in good works.
Jarom 1:11; see also Mosiah 3:13 The Nephite leaders persuaded the people to "look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was" . We also need to follow this counsel as we prepare for the Second Coming.

Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom, and Amaleki kept the records.

The book of Omni covers approximately 200 years and was written by five record keepers, yet it is only 30 verses long. Although the writers of the book of Omni wrote little, each writer obeyed the commandment to keep and preserve the plates. Preserving the records was vital to accomplishing the Lord's plan for these peoples.
The second half of the book of Omni, written by Amaleki, illustrates the importance of preserving the records by showing what happened to a people that had not preserved its records.
Amaleki recorded the story of Mosiah and his followers, who were commanded by the Lord to leave the land of Nephi.
Omni 1:13 Mosiah and his followers were led to Zarahemla.
Omni 1:14 They found the people of Zarahemla there.
Omni 1:15-16 ; see also 1 Nephi 1:4 The origin of the people of Zarahemla is explained here. Zedekiah was king of Jerusalem at the time that Lehi and his family went into the wilderness.
Omni 1:14 The Mulekites, the people of Zarahemla, were so happy to see Mosiah and his followers because they brought with them the plates of brass, the record of the Jews.
Omni 1:17 Consequences Amaleki implied had come to the Mulekites because they did not bring any records with them when they left Jerusalem included the degeneration of their language and the loss of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Mosiah 1:3-5 If we did not have the scriptures, we might not know of the mysteries of God. Keep in mind that when we have the scriptures but do not study them we are no better off than if we did not even have the scriptures.
Omni 1:20-22 By interpreting an engraved stone kept by the Mulekites, Mosiah learned of another civilization, the Jaredites, that had existed in the land. The Jaredites came to the western hemisphere at the time of the Tower of Babel. Coriantumr, the last survivor of the Jaredite nation, had lived with the Mulekites for a time. The records of the Jaredites are abridged in the book of Ether, and they will be discussed in later lessons.
Amaleki counsels us wisely in Omni 1:25-26. Ponder his counsel that we should "offer [our] whole souls as an offering" to the Savior.

Mormon added the small plates of Nephi to his abridgment of the large plates.

From 1 Nephi through Omni, the Book of Mormon contains a straight chronological account. The Words of Mormon, however, were written more than 500 years after Amaleki completed the book of Omni.
Words of Mormon 1:1-5 Mormon wrote the Words of Mormon after seeing his people almost completely annihilated (around 385AD) because he wanted to explain his inclusion of Nephi's small plates in the record.
Words of Mormon 1:3-5 After Mormon abridged the large plates of Nephi, he found the small plates of Nephi and included them in his record. The first six books of the Book of Mormon, from 1 Nephi through Omni, are a translation of these small plates. The book titled Words of Mormon is Mormonís explanation of why he included the small plates. It serves as a transition between the records from the small plates and the records from the large plates.
Words of Mormon 1:4, 6 Mormonís impressions of the small plates were that they were "choice" to him and should be "choice" to his brethren.
Words of Mormon 1:7 He decided to include the small plates in his record because he was inspired to do so by the Spirit.
The "wise purpose" to which Mormon referred was the Lord's way of preserving the information on the 116 pages of manuscript that would be lost by Martin Harris.
Look at the chart showing the records that Mormon and Moroni abridged and compiled. Note that the books that are not listed on the chart (Words of Mormon, Mormon, and Moroni) were written by Mormon and Moroni.
Records Abridged and Compiled by Mormon and Moroni
ORIGINAL SOURCE CONTENTS CURRENT FORM
Large Plates of Nephi Book of Lehi
Mosiah, Alma, Helaman
3 Nephi, 4 Nephi
Lost 116 pages
Abridged by Mormon and included in the Book of Mormon
Small Plates of Nephi 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni Included by Mormon in the Book of Mormon
Plates of Ether Book of Ether Abridged by Moroni and included in the Book of Mormon

The small plates of Nephi covered approximately the same time period (600 to 200 B.C.) as the first records in the large plates. There was no apparent need for Mormon to include both in his abridgment. But the Lord knew that the translation of the first records from the large plates would be lost centuries later, when Martin Harris took 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript to show to his family members and friends. After these 116 pages of the translation were lost, the Lord instructed Joseph Smith not to retranslate the same records (D&C 10:8-14). These records are not found in the Book of Mormon today. Instead, the same time period is described through the account from the small plates.
Words of Mormon 1:2, 8; see also the title page of the Book of Mormon Mormon said the purpose of the entire sacred record he was abridging was to bring people to a knowledge of God and the redemption of Christ.
It is important that we read the Book of Mormon with this purpose in mind to concentrate on and understand the important spiritual doctrines and teachings in this sacred record.

Conclusion

The writers of the Book of Mormon kept and preserved the records of their people so that future generations would know the dealings of the Lord with these people. Study the Book of Mormon so that you may be guided and directed by the word of the Lord contained within it.

Additional Teaching Idea
Feeling the promptings of the Spirit
Read Jarom 1:3. Four conditions Jarom mentioned that can keep us from feeling the promptings of the Spirit are a hard heart, deaf ears, a blind mind, and a stiff neck.
Ponder what these four symbolic conditions represent and how they prevent us from feeling the promptings of the Spirit.
Jarom 1:4 Blessings of communion with the Holy Spirit come to those who overcome these conditions.