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In all the lands of the world there were only two nations which served the Lord. Cainan was the land in which Adam and I lived with some of our more righteous children. We had heard the prophesy of Enoch concerning the land of Cainan. The prophesy was that in generations to come the people of Cainan would destroy and kill the people of the valley of Shum. I prayed that I would not be here to see such a thing. Enoch did not preach here, there was no need. Adam was here, and his sons, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. And now we had been joined in the worship of God by the people of Enoch who were gathering on the high places near Mount Simeon. They were called Zion.
What was Zion that the nations should hate it? It was children of Adam and myself, it was what we had hoped for as we told the story of the garden to our little children. It was what we had hoped for as Adam and his righteous sons offered the sacrifice of the perfect lamb. It was a city of righteous people who loved God and were willing to do the commandments of God. They would even be willing to die to keep their promises to God.
These people had had the faith to listen to Enoch, even though most others had called him a wild man. They had heard and listened and acknowledged the truth of all his words. They had looked at their lives and seen the acts of ugliness which they themselves had committed. And they had turned their backs on those acts, never to do them again. They had followed the commandment to be baptized, that they might be born into God's kingdom. And they had received the Holy Ghost which taught them all things concerning God and his Son, Jesus Christ.
We knew the name of the Only Begotten Son. It was Jesus Christ. God had taught Adam the name of his Son and Adam and I had taught it to our children. We had been taught that we had been created by the power of God's Son.
Righteousness had its rewards. With a large group of people living together who all followed the laws of God there came peace and security. Peace and security combined to make ideal working conditions for the people to produce food and goods. Zion became stronger and stronger, and rich. The people there were industrious and produced enough to supply the needs of all its people and more. There was a lively trade between Zion and Cainan and our peoples mingled freely and with great friendship,
The richness and success of Zion, and Cainan as well, became yet another cause for hatred among the nations.
War is a brutal thing. I had not seen it, I was most fortunate. But Adam and my sons had seen the aftermath of it. They did not speak much about it, but what I had heard of it was beyond comprehension. Great cities would be leveled, with all men murdered, many times women and children murdered as well. The survivors were more unfortunate than the dead. Women were subjected to such horrors as chill the blood and all became slaves. Many of these died from the treatment they received.
How could our people fight? We were not soldiers and had not taught ourselves the art of war. As the armies of the nations began to march against the people of God we were finally forced to flee from our home in Cainan. I was outraged that Adam, the father of all these people, should have to move like a hunted animal. This was the second time we had had to leave our home. I remembered our welcoming cave so long ago, and the ledge where we could see God's garden and offer the sacrifice.
We made our way to the lands of Zion. Adam and I had not come alone. The few of Cainan who still worshipped the Lord had all come with us.
As we arrived just outside the city we came through a valley, I had seen many beautiful valleys and this one was beautiful also. One side was fairly steep and covered with trees. From this place the other side gently sloped up and away as if it were like a shallow bowl. It was filled with lush grasses and small flowers were dotted throughout it. It was a place that invited one to sit down and listen to the breeze, or lie in the grasses and contemplate the sky and clouds and the birds joyfully feeding on insects. At the edge of the bowl were more trees giving the whole valley a sense of being private and protected.
But there seemed to be something else about this place. I couldn't say what is was, but I felt a feeling of home and safety. I slipped my hand through Adam's arm. He stopped in the path and straightened himself the best he could. He stood so proud, he almost looked young again.
"This is a place of God," he said gently.
"Yes, it is, isn't it? I think that that is why I like this place," I said in wonder. "Perhaps we could live here."
"No, it is too sacred a place. I will build an altar here. It will be a place of worship."
I did not say another word. There was no need. Adam was right. We would live in the city and this would be a special place of worship.
Adam told Enoch of his feeling for the valley through which we had come. Enoch agreed that the valley had a special feeling of God. Adam could not build the altar, but there were many strong men who were eager to do it for him. Adam chose the place to put the altar, at the bottom of the steeper edge, and was there as the stones were lovingly placed.
After the altar was built Adam offered a sacrifice to God. After the flames had ascended toward heaven Adam pronounced that from this time the valley would be called the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. This was Adam's special place to offer the perfect lamb.
We settled into our new home with happiness. We had left our home in Cainan, but we were consoled that we were living with the people of God. God had touched us powerfully with his spirit in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman and the people of the city had welcomed us with joy.
One morning at dawn the lookouts saw the dust rising on the plains below us. All who could rushed to see. Adam and I could no longer rush, so the people made a way through for us and there were young and strong men at our elbows to help us. Enoch was already there. I looked out at the dust which was rising and the blood in my body must have stopped coursing through my veins. There appeared to be a mass of ants beneath the dust. The plain was black with the numbers that were coming against us. I looked at the faces surrounding me. They showed fear, but also firm resolution. These people were ready to die if they had to, but they would not live again as other people. They had been baptized and worshipped God as the other nations did not. They were calm, and Enoch stood like stone watching the advance. Surely there were tens of thousands coming, their hatred so strong that tens of thousands should march against thousands.
The gentle breeze stilled. The army spread across the plain, fanning out to fill it completely. I began to hear a noise. It started quietly and began to become louder until I thought the heavens were falling. A long jagged crack appeared to our left of the moving army. The plain began to tilt toward the crack, sudden cries of alarm coming from the throats of those who had advanced in grim silence. I saw a mountain from the right begin to shift from its foundation and majestically move into the plain. The plain from the right of the newly opened crack slid under the surface of the other side, tens of thousands of men with it.
The dust filled the air, but we had still seen. All the people of Zion, who had stood and watched as the army approached to slaughter us, now stood in astonished silence. Indeed our God was powerful! Indeed he was merciful to those who loved him and just to those who hated him.
"Surely, Zion shall dwell in safety forever!" cried Enoch. We fell to the earth and thanked God for his great care.
I do not know if there were survivors from the army which we had seen destroyed. If there were they had surely gone back to their people and told them of what had happened to them. If the people had been told then their hatred was stronger than their fear. In the years which followed there were many attempts to destroy us. Disaster upon disaster fell upon our enemies, for as we had seen, Enoch could move mountains. He could change the course of rivers. He could make the wild beasts obey him. The lions roared and feasted upon the dead of our enemies.
A strange thing began to appear. A new land was rising out of the sea. It came gradually and as it grew larger and larger our enemies saw it as a place in which they could flee from our presence. Fear had finally caught up with them. They had tried and tried to annihilate Zion but it would not be destroyed.
Even so, I pitied them. I could never forget the first time I had given birth to a child. I had been so young and so inexperienced and he had been such a miracle. Nethanel was a good son, and I had had many good sons and daughters. Abel and Seth had joined their father as wonderfully wise and righteous men. But I had also had many children who had rejected the words of God and I had cried many tears for them. As I now looked over the horizon my eyes were growing weak from many years. I was failing. I could only vaguely see the water and the new land on which these poor, cursed children were gathering themselves. They were only united in hatred. They killed and killed and their blood soaked the earth. All these children had come to be here, choosing death or choosing righteousness, because I had wanted to be like God.
One night we were with Enoch. It was good to have him to ourselves, for everyone in the city of Zion had equal access to see him and he was usually very busy.
"How long can this continue, Enoch? How long will the nations fight against this people? Even though many of the people have fled onto this new land to separate themselves from us, how long will it be before another enemy rises up who has no fear of God's power?" Adam earnestly asked these questions in his concern for his righteous children.
Enoch did not answer at once. He stared into the fire and seemed to be reaching into his mind.
"You are our first parents, the father and mother of all these children. You have been the first ones to put your faith in the Lord and because of you many have been blessed. You, Father, have been our leader in the priesthood. You and your sons who have been faithful have tirelessly taught the things of God to even the most rebellious. And you, Mother, have taught each little child the ways of God. Because I honor you so highly and God honors you I will tell you what the Lord has revealed to me." Enoch looked into our faces in turn. Then his face tilted until his eyes looked at the ceiling. Knowing Enoch, he probably saw the very heavens rather the materials which covered our heads.
"As I talked with the Lord, I said to him, 'Surely, Zion shall dwell in safety forever.' But the Lord said to me, 'Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.' And then the Lord showed me all the inhabitants of the earth, and I saw that gradually Zion was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said, 'Behold mine abode forever.'"
"Zion shall be taken into heaven?" I breathed.
"Yes, Mother. I have seen it. Zion, which is the abode of such righteous people that God's spirit is continually here, cannot remain here. For I have seen many things. After Zion is taken up to heaven there will be many more generations of people. The powers of Satan shall be upon all the land, so much so that Satan will have a great chain which covers the whole earth with darkness. And he will look up at God and laugh. And all the angels of Satan will look up and laugh. But there will even be some light amidst this darkness. God's angels will come down out of heaven bearing testimony of the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost will fall on those who have faith to believe and to repent and those people will be caught up by the powers of heaven to bring them into Zion."
"God's mercy is so beautiful, Enoch," Adam said solemnly. "I will not be here to see Zion taken into heaven. I will not see those faithful caught up into it. I do not have much time left now. God said I would return to the dust and I have now lived many, many years. I have had much bitterness and joy as I have struggled and seen the struggles of my children. But it has all been worth it." Adam reached for my hand and I gladly gave it to him. We each gently squeezed and looked lovingly into each others eyes for a brief moment. "But even though Eve and I will die soon, we will see God in the flesh. We will be young and strong as we once were, but this time much wiser."
Enoch nodded in agreement before continuing. "I saw God look upon the peoples of the earth and weep. I said to him, 'How is it that you can weep, seeing that you are holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? If it were possible for man to number all the particles of your creations it would not even be a beginning of them. You have taken Zion to your bosom, from all your creations. Only peace, justice, and truth is in your throne, and mercy comes from you without end. How is it that you can weep?'"
"The Lord said to me, 'Behold, your brothers, they are the workmanship of my hands. I gave them intelligence in the day that I created them. In the garden of Eden I gave them their agency, or choice. I also gave them commandments that they should love one another, and choose me, their Father.'
'But behold, they are without affection, they hate their own blood. My indignation is kindled against them, and in my hot displeasure I will send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.'
'Behold, I am God, Man of Holiness is my name, Man of Counsel is my name, and Endless and Eternal is my name also. I can stretch forth my hands and hold all the creations which I have made, and my eye can pierce them also.'
'Among all the workmanship of my hands there has not been so great wickedness as among your brothers, but behold their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers. Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom. The whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of my hands shall weep for them.'
'Should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? Behold, these which you see with your eyes, these shall perish in the floods. I will shut them up in a prison which I have prepared for them. He whom I have chosen has pleaded before my face for them.'
'He suffers for their sins, if they will repent. But until that day when my chosen shall return to me, they shall remain in torment. This is the reason that the heavens and all the workmanship of my hands shall weep.'"
"Then the Lord told me of all the doings of the children of men. I looked on their wickedness, and their misery. Finally I understood the tears of the Lord, and I wept." Enoch's head was bowed. The fire was burning low and cast shadows around us. I brushed the wetness from off my face and sat in silence with Adam and Enoch.
Finally Enoch aroused himself to continue. "I saw Noah, and his family. Noah built an ark. The Lord smiled upon it and held it in his own hand. On the rest, on the wicked came the floods and swallowed them up."
"You have seen all the people but the family of Noah die?" Adam was incredulous. "All of them?"
"Yes, all but the family of Noah."
"Yes," Adam's voice was very sad. "I can understand. Sometimes God must regret that he has ever created us. We are the only part of creation which fills the world with filth."
"But my Father, you must look up and be glad as the Lord has instructed me to do. From Noah shall come all the families of the earth. And I have seen the day of the Lord. I saw the coming of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. He shall come in the flesh. He shall come in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. I rejoiced, saying, 'The righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world. Through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me!'"
"Then I heard a voice from the bowels of the earth saying, 'Woe! woe! is me, the mother of men! I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children! When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which has gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?'"
"When I heard the earth mourn I wept. I cried to the Lord, 'Will you have compassion upon the earth? Will you not bless the children of Noah? I ask you, 0 Lord, in the name of your Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that you will have mercy upon Noah, and his seed, and that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.'"
"And the Lord made a covenant with me, He has sworn to me with an oath that he would stay the floods, and that he would call upon the children of Noah. And there will be a remnant of his seed found among all nations as long as the earth shall stand."
"And the Lord said to me, 'Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come.' And he also said, 'I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of heaven, which is broad as eternity; and whoever comes in at the gate, and climbs up by me shall never fall. These people are blessed, they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.'"
"And I cried to the Lord again, 'When the Son of Man comes in the flesh shall the earth rest? Please show me these things.'"
"And then the Lord showed me, 'Look'. I saw the Son of Man, the Messiah, lifted up on a cross, as in the manner of men in his day. I heard a loud voice. All the heavens were veiled and all the creations of God mourned. The earth groaned. The rocks were split apart. The saints arose and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory."
"Many of the spirits that were in prison came forth and stood on the right hand of God. The remainder were kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day."
"'When will the earth rest?" I cried."
"Then I saw the Son of Man go up to the Father."
"'Will you come again upon the earth? You are God, and I know you. You have sworn to me. You have commanded me to ask in the name of your Only Begotten. You have made me, and you have given to me a right to your throne, but not of myself, but through your own grace. Therefore I ask you if you will not come again on the earth?'"
"And he said to me, 'As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfill the oath which I made to you concerning the children of Noah. The day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth. The heavens shall shake and the earth shall also shake. Great tribulations shall be among the children of men. But my people I will preserve. Righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead, yes, and also the resurrection of all men. Righteousness and truth I will cause to sweep the earth as a flood. It is to gather mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth to a place which I shall prepare, a holy city. This is so that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming. There shall be my tabernacle. That city shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.'
'Then you and all your city shall meet them there. We will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us. We will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other.'
'There shall be my abode. It shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made. And for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.'"
"I saw the day in which the Son of Man returned to the earth in the last days. He will stay in righteousness for a thousand years. But before that day will be great tribulations among the wicked. Men's hearts will fail them, for they will look forth with fear for the judgment of the Almighty God, which shall come upon the wicked. The Lord has showed me all things, even to the end of the world. And I saw finally the day of redemption, and my heart is full of joy."
Enoch's face was full of light and peace. The fire was reduced to slow burning coals, so it was not the reflection of the fire which shone on his face. Adam and I sat huddled close to each other and a peace which we had seldom felt in all the turbulent years rested on us at this moment.
We sat for a long time in silent companionship, Adam, Enoch, and I. Even though so few of our children had responded to God all was not hopeless. Through Enoch's testimony to us we had been allowed to see the whole plan of God for his children.
Finally Enoch rose to his feet. He came over and kissed us each on the cheek. "You are tired, Father and Mother. Go to sleep now and rest in peace. Morning comes swiftly now."
Follow along in the scriptures (links to Center Place Library)
Inspired Version of the Bible
Genesis Chapter 7:14-78
forward to chapter 17
Copyright 1991 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights Reserved
Last revised: September 22, 2001