This explanation of Enos‘ life is testimony he lived a prophet’s life. He used his time in mortality to preach and prophesy to his contemporaries. However, this was not on his initiative. He was “wrought upon by the power of God” to minister. He had a message given to him. That is one of the measures of a true prophet. Such messengers feel the obligation imposed upon them from a higher source. They do not volunteer. They are drafted.
Enos’ explanation is deeply personal. He was “called” to be the bearer of the plates but there is no indication in the record that he occupied a station similar to either Nephi or Jacob. Nephi was clearly the prophet-king of his people. (See 2 Ne. 5: 16-18; 6: 2.) Jacob was called and set apart as the presiding High Priest over the Nephites. (See 2 Ne. 6: 2; Jacob 2: 1-3.) Enos does not inform us that he held any official political or religious office. From his record, he seems to be nothing more than a layman who was given the responsibility of keeping the Plates of Nephi. Enos went to “wrestle” with the Lord apparently on his own initiative. Then having found God, he is entrusted with the obligation to preach and teach truth.
This account, like the later ministries of Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite, involves a personal burden laid upon the messenger by the Lord. They, like Enos, were “wrought upon” by direct communication from the Lord. It serves to remind us that institutional sources of truth are not left unsupported by independent, inspired messengers. All teachers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are obligated to receive a personal commission to teach. Being “called” by a local leader is not enough. Without a commission from God it is forbidden for anyone to teach. “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” (D&C 42: 14.) It is a mandatory requirement in the Church for teachers to teach only by the Spirit. Without the Spirit, you are forbidden from teaching. Enos was “wrought upon” by the Spirit to teach and to prophesy. It might more properly be said: “if ye receive the Spirit ye cannot help but preach.”
Enos leaves no information in his record about the contemporary leaders of his day. Perhaps the same will be true of all contemporary leaders. It may be that those who are regarded as great while alive may not be remembered in a future day. Even their names may be forgotten, as Enos’ record demonstrates. At the time of the New Testament, Cyrenius was a figure of such importance that Christ’s birth was reckoned from the beginning of his appointment as governor of Syria. If it were not for Luke’s brief mention in the second verse of Chapter 2 of his Gospel, however, his name would be forgotten to all but a few scholars delving into antiquity. It is not the importance of the position held by a man, nor the wealth he accumulates, nor the political power held, nor the religious position he attains during his life which makes a life memorable. It is the words of truth, the testimony of Christ, which persist and make a life significant. It is fidelity to Christ and teaching of Him which makes any of us significant.
The subject which occupied Enos was “the truth which is in Christ.” Enos clearly understood who the Messenger of Truth was and who the source of all light for this world was. Modern revelation confirms: “For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” (D&C 84: 45.) We cannot find truth apart from Christ. Therefore, if you intend to preach of truth you are inevitably drawn to “the truth which is in Christ.” All truth, as all light, originates from Christ. These are some of the Gospel’s deepest concepts and Enos writes of this in plain simplicity. We continue to find the Book of Mormon to be “the most correct book” just as Joseph Smith declared it to be.
Enos preferred the message of the Gospel over the things of this world. This is also one of the signs of authentic messengers from God. There is always a trade-off between the things of this world and the things of God. God’s messengers do not achieve worldly acclaim, public praise, financial gain or security in this life by publishing an authentic message from Christ. Such messages always insist the audience repent. The world has little use for a challenging message of repentance. Therefore, a choice is always required by Christ. You can never sit still if you are listening to Christ. His words will inevitably set you in motion, moving you away from the world and closer to Him. It will always ask for sacrifice, one of the foundational conditions of true worship. The price we pay for harmony with Christ demands we lay worldly success on the altar. Christ’s true messengers rarely have more to sustain them than what is sufficient for their needs because the world does not reward His servants. Remember the wise men went to find Christ first at the king’s residence and were disappointed. It required a further journey to find the lad living in a common house in Bethlehem, in humble circumstances.
But note Enos’ words about the trade-off he has made: He “rejoiced in it above that of the world.” It has brought him joy, confidence in the presence of the Lord, and deep satisfaction which nothing in this world can replace. The concluding verse of Enos’ record tells us he possessed eternal life, or in other words, the greatest riches of all. “Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.” (D&C 6: 7.) Although eternal life may be of no economic value in the world, it nevertheless has the greatest value of all. Enos preferred the eternal view and was willing to give up what the world offers as a substitute.