How can we be as the church of Enoch?

Brigham Young gave these profound words:

“What hinders this people from being as holy as the Church of Enoch? I can tell you the reason in a few words. It is because you will not cultivate the disposition to be so—this comprehends the whole. If my heart is not fully given up to this work, I will give my time, my talents, my hands, and my possessions to it, until my heart consents to be subject; I will make my hands labour in the cause of God until my heart bows in submission to it.” (Brigham Young – Journal of Discouses Vol. 1, p.202)

I am afraid that these days there is another piece of the pie that would need to be added. In Brigham Young’s day there was not the rejection of family that there is today. Today every principle of family has been torn to shreds and ground underfoot in the world, and the members of the church have taken a large measure of this influence into their own lives. Zion cannot be built without the foundation stone of family. Zion is built on eternal families, and is built first in the hearts of individuals, and then in the homes, before it can embrace wards and stakes.

Today we would not only need get our heart to submit to building up the kingdom of God, but also to principles of family that we have largely rejected since Brigham Young spoke. In Brigham Young’s day, children were counted a blessing. In our day, my own wife has endured significant criticism across multiple wards for having children. She has dreaded the day her pregnancies have become public at times because of the words and looks she knew she would endure, not from the world, but from the members. At times she has dreaded the day her visiting teachers realized she was pregnant because of the coldness and cruel words she would have to endure when they did.

We will have to learn to give all to the kingdom of God, but we will also have to give our all to principles of family as well, if we want to follow Brigham Young’s inspired advice in these days. We cannot become as the church of Enoch while still excusing divorce, making the husband a mere figurehead, with our single members indulging in “friends with benefits”, with a significant chunk of the membership in each of our wards drinking in of pornography like they are alcoholics, with mothers choosing fancier homes, furnishings, and televisions and a quest for fulfillment over their own children. We could follow Brigham Young’s counsel with regard to the kingdom of God each day till the sun goes down and would just end up being a bunch of pharisees and hypocrites unless we simultaneously restore the foundation of family principles that we have discarded since his statement was made.

That being said, the principle he taught was perfectly correct.

These days, we want the atonement to fix us if we are not ready to build Zion. But Brigham Young had it right, and he understood the atonement far better than you or I do.

“What hinders this people from being as holy as the Church of Enoch? I can tell you the reason in a few words. It is because you will not cultivate the disposition to be so—this comprehends the whole. If my heart is not fully given up to this work, I will give my time, my talents, my hands, and my possessions to it, until my heart consents to be subject; I will make my hands labour in the cause of God until my heart bows in submission to it.” (Brigham Young – Journal of Discouses Vol. 1, p.202)

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John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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