strtoupper('“T')hey Would Destroy Our Records and Us, and Also All the Traditions of Our Fathers.”

We find the same word used to describe both Enos' personal conflict in accepting the Lamanite future triumph and the Nephite difficulties in converting the Lamanites. Both involved "strugglings." Interestingly, the Lamanite ambition involved destroying first and foremost the Nephite "records." These records preserved the Nephite memory of what was sacred. The Lamanites feared and resented this power to recall accurately the sacred learning of ages passed.

Secondly, the Lamanites wanted to destroy the Nephites. This did not involve genocide because in the vernacular of the Book of Mormon to "destroy" did not mean annihilate. It merely meant to end their organized existence, or to terminate their government, deprive them of a separate land and end their cultural dominance. We read in 2 Ne. 25: 9: "And as one generation hath been destroyed among the Jews because of iniquity, even so have they been destroyed from generation to generation according to their iniquities; and never hath any of them been destroyed save it were foretold them by the prophets of the Lord." Although some Jews were killed in the process, the real "destruction" of the Jews was the loss of their homeland, loss of their government, loss of their selfdetermination and loss of their individuality as a distinct culture for generations. It is in this sense the Lamanites sought to destroy the Nephites.

Finally, they sought to destroy the Nephite traditions. As used here, they sought to end the Nephite religious traditions. By the time of Enos' writing, the Lamanites had their own religious traditions and they were nothing like the Nephite faith. Enos will give us a glimpse inside that new and deviant religious form adopted by the Lamanites. We will see that a little further on in this book.

The traditions, government and records of the Nephites were all linked together. Their peoplehood reckoned from the sacred texts they owned, followed and kept. It is clear the Lamanites understood this relationship and therefore specifically targeted the records for destruction.

Enos knew the records they were keeping would add to the knowledge any reader already had of God. Therefore, Enos wanted to have these Nephite records come to the attention of a worthy people at some future day.

Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. -

Denver C. Snuffer, Jr.

Beloved Enos

References