Enos’s Pattern of Faith

Enos went out to hunt, but his thoughts turned to the words of his father, Jacob, who spoke “…concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints…” (Enos 1:3) and he says his soul ‘hungered’. He then says “I cried unto him [the Lord] in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him…” (Enos 1:4) – he continued on through the night. He was starving for the Spirit.

What is interesting is the pattern in which Enos’s prayer is set out in. We see the pattern of faith demonstrated by Elder David A. Bednar in his talk ‘Seek Learning by Faith’. He says there are “three basic elements of faith: (1) faith as the assurance of things hoped for which are true, (2) faith as the evidence of things not seen, and (3) faith as the principle of action…And the faith that fuels this ongoing process…assurance leads to action and produces evidence, which further increases assurance.” This explanation of assurance -> action -> evidence -> developed assurance -> further action -> more evidence and so on is is found in Enos’s prayer. He has the assurance by his father that he can receive joy. He acts by praying mightily and he receives an answer saying “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” (Enos 1:5) – his evidence. Because of this evidence, Enos gained a stronger assurance – and acted further by praying for his brethren, the Nephites. The same process happened again. After that he says “…my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord…” (Enos 1:11) – his faith grew and grew, so much so that he began praying for the Lamanites.

Another interesting point to make about Enos’s prayer is that the Lord answers him whilst he is praying, like a two-way communication. This is something that many people sometimes forget and therefore, miss out on powerful, meaningful contact with the Divine. Another lesson to take from Enos.

One final thought is linked to when Enos said – the “wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.” (Enos 1:2) When we pray, we need to concentrate. The Book of Mormon Study Guide says “Such wrestling is the struggle to find and express one’s real desires which are sometimes hidden behind sin…It means going beyond the cliché level of prayer to the point that one truly pours his soul into words and offers them to God.” – that is when the Spirit leads our prayers.

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