Enos, the One Who Prayed with Faith

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

The Savior taught: “Therefore, ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Nephi 18:19–20). Enos desires a remission of his sins. He hungers to be spiritually liberated and enjoy “eternal life, and the joy of the saints” (verse 3)—blessings that his father, Jacob, has unveiled to him as part of “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (verse 1). What Enos does in the pursuit of this worthy goal, while alone in the out-of-doors, is something that resonates in the hearts and minds of all who search the scriptures in quest of enlightenment and encouragement: “And my soul hungered;” Enos says, “and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens” (verse 4). The Lord hears his supplication and speaks to him the words he hungers after: “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (verse 5). When he asks the Lord how such a thing is done, the answer comes: “Because of thy faith in Christ … ” (verse 8).

It is faith that brings forgiveness to Enos through the power of the Atonement; and it is forgiveness that brings an overpowering surge of charity into his soul—as evidenced by his longing for the blessings of the Lord to be extended to his brethren, the Nephites, and then, in turn, to the Lamanites. Thus he prays fervently that the Lord will preserve the records of His dealings with the people and cause that these records will be made available to his brethren as an instrumentality of salvation. As a result, the Lord covenants with Enos that this will be fulfilled “in his own due time” (verse 16).

Enos is the son of Jacob, brother of Nephi. His celebrated prayer experience takes place sometime in the period 544 b.c. to 421 b.c. Following his spiritual rejuvenation, Enos serves his people in righteousness all the remaining days of his life. He learns that the most effective strategy for keeping his people on the pathway of obedience is “exceedingly great plainness of speech” (verse 23). Thus his message to us about prayer, forgiveness, and charity is short, austere, and directly to the point.

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1