“That the Lamanites Should Not Be Destroyed”

Bryan Richards

The third topic for Enos is the welfare of the Lamanites. We must remember that, at the time, there was no love lost between the Nephites and the Lamanites. Enos describes the Lamanites as a wild, and ferocious, and a blood thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness (v. 20). Nevertheless, Enos exhibits true charity in his concern and love for his brethren. This is another good example of the teachings of the Savior when he said, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matt 5:44). One of the truest signs that an individual has charity is the exhibition of such love for the enemy.

Enos was not the only prophet to exhibit such charity. This was the desire of Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob—Thy fathers have also required of me this thing (v. 18). See also DC 10:47-52. The Nephite prophets' charity for their Lamanite brethren was discussed in the allegory of the olive tree, as recorded in the following passage:

'the other part of the tree hath brought forth wild fruit…

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Pluck off the branches that have not brought forth good fruit, and cast them into the fire.

But behold, the servant said unto him: Let us prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it a little longer, that perhaps it may bring forth good fruit unto thee, that thou canst lay it up against the season.' (Jacob 5:25-7)

Marvin J. Ashton

"Very often the Twelve and the First Presidency pray together. When President Kimball takes his turn to be voice, he generally includes this phrase in his prayers: 'Bless our enemies. Help us to understand them, and them to understand us.' He doesn't ask for vengeance or retaliation, just for understanding so differences can be resolved. Perhaps, family differences and neighborhood problems could be resolved if we would follow our prophet's example and pray for patience and forgiveness." (Conference Report, Apr. 1985, p. 59 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 193)