The Origin of the Name Enos

Bryan Richards

The name Enos is a poetic Hebrew word meaning "man." It first appears in the Bible as the name of Seth's son. As a grandson of Adam, through Seth, Enos was privileged to be part of the ancient patriarchal line of the priesthood. That Jacob named his son, Enos, should not be surprising because the Nephites often gave their children names from the scriptures.

“I Will Tell You of the Wrestle Which I Had Before God”

The word "wrestle" is an interesting word to use to describe one's workings in the Spirit. Later Enos uses the term struggling in the spirit (v. 10), to convey the same concept. The concept of a spiritual struggle is both descriptive and accurate. It encompasses all the remorse and pain of soul caused by true repentance, and it depicts the straining of a human soul to reach toward the heavens. Notice that Enos says the wrestle which I had before God. He does not say "the wrestle which I had with God." The latter would imply that there is some spiritual conflict with God. Not so. The conflict is within the heart and soul of Enos. The carnal man struggles to hold on while the spiritual man fights his way to the forefront of his hopes and desires.

So often we are guilty of repeating redundant, moot prayers. Such prayers have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof (JS-H 1:19). Enos teaches us how to pray in a different way. To pray with such earnestness that it can be termed "a struggle in the spirit" is to pray with the fortitude and ferventness of the prophets. Alma prayed with this intensity on behalf of his people, Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people (Alma 8:10). The same fortitude is seen in the greatest prayer ever uttered—that of the Savior on Gesthemane when he struggled in the Spirit until his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Lu 22:44).

Spencer W. Kimball

"Here is no casual prayer; here no trite, worn phrases; here no momentary appeal. All the day long, with seconds turning into minutes, and minutes into hours, and hours into an 'all day long.' But when the sun had set relief had still not come, for repentance is not a single act nor forgiveness an unearned gift. So precious to him was communication with, and approval of, his Redeemer that his determined soul pressed on without ceasing." (BYU Speeches of the Year, Oct. 11, 1961, p. 9)

Hugh Nibley

"[Enos] was a very thoughtful young man, and he really had a conscience. The uselessness of his life was worrying him sick….When you wrestle before God, that means you try to…What does a wrestler do when he starts to compete? He tries to strike position. They have to take up a position or a stance-you decide your approach, etc. [Suppose] you have been living in the world of daily life and been completely preoccupied with trivial things ('for to be carnally minded is death' comes strongly to me all the time; carnally minded is concerned with anything related to this world). If you think about that and then you are going to approach God, you can't do it just cold like that. You can't just say, 'Hey God, listen to me; I have something to say.' You are facing the Most High here, and you can't put anything over on him. He can see right through you, so you had better be careful what you say. It is going to be to your great advantage to see through yourself and everything else because he is going to see through you. So you wrestle with it; you have a struggle to tear yourself loose from your preoccupations and thoughts and your petty ideas. And to keep concentrated during prayer takes some effort…With Enos it's a wrestle." (Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Lecture 25, p. 412)