Revelation comes in various ways. The Lord defined the spirit of revelation: “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart” (D&C 8:2).
Elder Marion G. Romney cited this kind of revelation as an example of what he called the unspoken word: “‘While I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold the voice of the lord came into my mind again, saying …’ (Enos 1:10). Then he tells what the voice of the Lord put in his mind. This is a very common means of revelation. It comes into one’s mind in words and sentences. With this means of revelation I am personally well acquainted” (CR, April 1964, 124).
The answer to Enos’ prayer was conditional upon the actions of his brethren. They would be visited “according to their diligence in keeping [the Lord’s] commandments” (v. 10). Elder Harold B. Lee, after quoting this verse, said: “There you have in simple language, a great principle: It isn’t the Lord who withholds himself from us. It is we who withhold ourselves from him because of our failure to keep his commandments” (CR, Oct. 1966, 116). Parents may pray for their children, or children may pray for other family members, or friends may pray for friends with diligence and faith, and the Lord will provide opportunities for those prayed for to receive the desired blessings, but he always respects their agency. They must meet the law upon which the blessing is predicated.
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated [D&C 130:20–21].
We must be careful in judging why a blessing is given or not given, for only the Lord knows all of the conditions upon which the blessing may be given or withheld.
Enos’ experience illustrates the working of the Spirit of the Lord upon him. He began the day “in mighty prayer and supplication for mine [his] own soul” (Enos 1: 4). After knowing his sins were forgiven and his guilt was swept away (vv. 5–6), he “began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites” (v. 9). After consoling words from the Lord regarding the Nephites (v. 10), he prayed “with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites” (v. 11). He loved “his [Nephite] neighbor as himself,” the second great commandment (see Matthew 22:36–40), and did “pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you [his enemies]” (3 Nephi 12:44; Matthew 5:44).
The Lord has fulfilled his promise to preserve a record of the Nephites (Enos 1:13). In a revelation to Joseph Smith, concerning the loss of the 116 pages of manuscript, the Lord said:
46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.
47 And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers;
48 Yea, and this was their faith—that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.
49 Now, this is not all—their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land;
50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life;
51 Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.
52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up. [D&C 10:46–52]
Note that many others besides Enos had requested that the records be preserved. Enos was told that his fathers “also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine” (Enos 1:18). His fathers would be Jacob, and Lehi (and probably also Nephi) of which requirement the record is silent. The revelation cited above states that the “holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples [the twelve] desired in their prayers” for the records to come forth (D&C 10:46). The records have come forth and the time has come for the Lamanites to individually accept or reject them according to their agency. They must also be diligent in keeping the Lord’s commandments to receive the promised blessings.