This week brought the end of 3 weeks of missionary interviews. Every missionary gets time with the Mission President – time to talk about what they’ve learned, what they’re struggling with and/or questions they have been thinking about. For those about to return home, it’s time to get a new temple recommend. For those who are new, it’s time to get acquainted beyond the superficial. The Spirit teaches both the Mission President and the Missionary of “things as they really are.”
For many of the Arizona Scottsdale missionaries, during the interviews we spent time studying the call and instruction by the Lord of Enoch the Prophet. It’s really a story that can benefit all missionaries.
From the call “letter” to Enoch we can learn many things. Here’s the call as recorded in Moses 6:27:
“And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them; for their hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off”
First, the Lord has a pattern of addressing us – He ALWAYS calls us by our first name (why wouldn’t you, we’re both His friends and we are family) – and he establishes His relationship with us (son or daughter). Think of Moses’ interview with the Lord (Moses 1:6), Enos’ forgiveness and the First Vision – all follow this pattern.
Enoch was not fully prepared to accept the call from the Lord when it came.
He first offered up several personal excuses (his own weaknesses):
“And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?” (Moses 6:31)
But the Lord does not care about our weakness! As Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.” Pres. Thomas S. Monson likewise testifies ““When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”
The Lord’s response was to remind Enoch of these very truths:
“And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.” (Moses 6:32)
Not only did Enoch get reminded that the Lord is “able to do mine own work” (see 2 N 27: 20, 21 where the Lord repeats this phrase twice for emphasis) but that Enoch’s work would be doing what every missionary has been admonished to do from the beginning of time: “Open your mouth” so that the Lord can fill it with His words prompted by the Spirit.
The Lord ended Enoch’s call by way of an amazing promise:
“Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.” (Moses 6:34)
With the Lord’s Spirit as his guide, Enoch was promised that the Lord would stand behind his words – even to the point of moving mountains and changing the course of rivers! Far from mere hypothetical promises, in Moses 7:13 the Lord fulfills his pledge by doing these very things as Enoch preserves the righteous from destruction by an army of the wicked. All Prophets are prepared for their missions – as are all missionaries – with the promises of the Lord as found in patriarchal blessings, promptings during nightly planning and even in the moment.
As further evidence of this principle, consider that Moses was told of his future power to divide the waters as promised by the Lord to him just after Moses’ encounter with Satan: “And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God. Moses 1:25)
Strengthened, Enoch proceeds to fulfill his call – with great boldness!
“And it came to pass that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.
And they came forth to hear him, upon the high places, saying unto the tent-keepers: Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us.” (Moses 6:37-38)
Our Elders and Sisters were invited to be like Enoch – to forget their imperfections and rely upon the Lord and become BOLD Elders and Sisters – speaking those words the Lord will give them.