Enoch and His People Are Taken Up to God (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5; Moses 6:26-39; Moses 7:1-21; Moses 7:67-69)
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them. (Moses 7:18)
Enoch was a great prophet in ancient times. When he was young the Lord called him to preach repentance to the people (Moses 6:27). Enoch did not feel qualified for this great work, and he bowed himself before the Lord and asked, "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?" (Moses 6:31). The Lord blessed Enoch and promised to protect him and give him the words he should speak if Enoch would go forth and obey (Moses 6:32).
Enoch taught his people as the Savior instructed. He was so obedient and faithful that he was blessed to see the Lord and talk with Him face to face (Moses 7:4). Enoch's faith was so great that even the mountains and rivers moved according to his command (Moses 7:13).
Many of the people Enoch preached to believed his words and repented. They kept the commandments of God and lived so righteously that "the Lord came and dwelt with [them]" (Moses 7:16). Enoch and his people received great blessings because of their faithfulness. They built a city called the City of Holiness, or Zion, where the people lived in peace, unity, and prosperity (Moses 7:18-19). As the people of Enoch followed the Lord, they became more like Him. They grew so righteous that they were taken up to heaven without tasting death to live forever in the presence of God.
When Enoch was a young man the Lord told him to tell the people to repent. Enoch told the people what the Lord had said. Many believed Enoch's words, repented, and were baptized. These people built a city, Zion, where they lived together in peace, sharing all they had. The people in Zion became so righteous that they were taken up to heaven to live forever in the presence of God.
Artist, Del Parson
Rebekah at the Well (Genesis 24)
The servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. (Genesis 24:17-18)
When Isaac was old enough to marry, Abraham wanted his son to have a wife who was worthy to receive the blessings of the covenant:
"And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, ...
"... Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, ...
"But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac" (Genesis 24:2-4).
In obedience to Abraham's command, the servant took 10 camels laden with treasures and traveled to the city of Nahor, which was named after Abraham's brother. As the servant came to the city, he prayed:
"O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
"Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
"And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac" (Genesis 24:12-14).
Before the servant "had done speaking," Rebekah came to the well "with her pitcher upon her shoulder" (Genesis 24:15). When the servant asked for water, Rebekah replied: "Drink, my lord: and she hasted, ... and gave him drink.
"And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking" (Genesis 24:18-19).
After Rebekah had finished drawing water for all the camels, the servant asked her, "Whose daughter art thou?" When Rebekah told him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor," the servant "bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord" (Genesis 24:23-24, Genesis 24:26). The servant knew that "the Lord God ... had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's [grand]daughter unto his son" (Genesis 24:48).
Rebekah took the servant to her home, where he immediately stated his errand. Her father and her brother, Laban, knowing that "the thing proceedeth from the Lord," agreed to the marriage. "And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go" (Genesis 24:50, Genesis 24:58).
Before she left her home, her father and brother "blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions" (Genesis 24:60).
As the servant and Rebekah were nearing the end of their journey, "Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. ... And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her" (Genesis 24:64, Genesis 24:67).
Abraham wanted his son Isaac to marry a woman who would be worthy to receive the blessings that the Lord had promised to Abraham and his children. He asked his servant to go back to Abraham's land of birth and find a worthy wife for Isaac. The servant prayed that the Lord would show him which woman Isaac should have for a wife by having the woman give him a drink of water and offer to draw water from the well for his animals. As he waited at the well, a beautiful young woman named Rebekah offered to get water for him and his animals to drink. The servant then knew this was the woman the Lord wanted him to take back to be Isaac's wife. Rebekah agreed to become Isaac's wife, and she and Isaac were married.
Artist, Michael Deas
Jacob Blessing His Sons (Genesis 22:17-18; Genesis 26:4; Genesis 28:3; Genesis 48:21; Genesis 49; 2 Nephi 3:5; Jacob 2:25)
And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. (Genesis 49:1-2)
Jacob received the same blessings from the Lord that his father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham, had received. The Lord changed Jacob's name to Israel and promised that his posterity would be as numerous as the stars in the heaven and that through his descendants all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 22:17-18; Genesis 26:4; Genesis 28:3).
When Jacob realized that he would soon die, he called his twelve sons together to give them each a patriarchal (father's) blessing (Genesis 48:21; Genesis 49:1). Jacob scolded Reuben, Simeon, and Levi for past sins; he then prophesied that Judah's descendants would rule until the coming of Christ (Genesis 49:3-12). He said that Dan would be a judge in Israel (Genesis 49:16-18), and he promised Joseph that he would have many descendants who would inherit the American continent and be greatly blessed (Genesis 49:22-26; 2 Nephi 3:5). Jacob also blessed Zebulun, Issachar, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, and Benjamin (Genesis 49:13-15, Genesis 49:19-21, Genesis 49:27).
Jacob asked to be buried in the land of Canaan in the same cave where his wife Leah; his parents, Isaac and Rebekah; and his grandparents Abraham and Sarah were buried. He died soon after this. (Genesis 49:29-33).
Jacob, whose name the Lord changed to Israel, was a righteous prophet who had twelve sons. The family of each son was called a tribe, and they were known as the twelve tribes of Israel. When Jacob grew old he called his family together and blessed each of his sons. Their descendants would bring the blessings of the gospel to many people throughout the world. The Lord had blessed Jacob and had preserved him to become the father of a great nation.
Artist, Harry Anderson
Moses and the Brass Serpent(Numbers 20:17, Numbers 20:21; Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-15; 1 Nephi 17:41; Alma 33:19-20; Helaman 8:14-15)
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:9)
After the prophet Moses led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, they journeyed in the wilderness for 40 years. During this time the Lord blessed the Israelites in many ways, including taking care of their physical needs.
The Israelites were nearing the end of their travels and were close to the borders of Canaan—the promised land. But when they asked the king of Edom if they could pass through his land, which would have been a short journey into Canaan, he told them no (Numbers 20:17, Numbers 20:21). As a result, they had to travel a long way to find a different route into the country (Numbers 21:4).
The Israelites became discouraged during this journey and "spake against God, and against Moses." They complained about the very things they should have been thankful for: God's help in freeing them from bondage and the manna He had provided for them in the wilderness. (Numbers 21:5).
Because of the ingratitude of the Israelites, "the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died" (Numbers 21:6).
When the children of Israel saw family members and friends dying, they realized they had sinned in complaining against God. They asked Moses to pray to the Lord to take away the serpents. (Numbers 21:7).
Moses prayed, and in response the Lord told him to make a brass serpent, put it on a pole, and place it where the people could see it. The Lord promised that everyone who had been bitten would live if they looked at the serpent. (Numbers 21:8-9).
Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, explained that many Israelites did look at the serpent and live, "but few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them" (Alma 33:19-20; 1 Nephi 17:41).
Part of what the Israelites did not understand, because of the hardness of their hearts, was that the brass serpent was a symbol of Jesus Christ being lifted up on the cross and bringing eternal life:
"Yea, did [Moses] not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come.
"And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal" (Helaman 8:14-15).
Jesus Christ Himself taught that the account of the brass serpent is a lesson for us about the importance of looking to the Savior and His atoning sacrifice: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).
After the Lord helped free the children of Israel from bondage, Moses led them in the wilderness for 40 years. The Lord provided for all their needs. When the people complained and were not grateful for all Heavenly Father had done, the Lord sent serpents among them, which bit some of the people. The people knew they had sinned for not being grateful. Moses prayed for them. The Lord told Moses to make a brass serpent and set it on a pole for the people to see. The brass serpent represented the Savior's sacrifice. The Lord promised that everyone who had been bitten would live if they looked at the brass serpent.
Artist, Judith Mehr
Ruth Gleaning in the Fields (Ruth 1:4)
And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers. (Ruth 2:2-3)
During the time the judges governed ancient Israel, there was a famine in the land. Elimelech, a man who lived in Bethlehem, decided to take his wife, Naomi, and his two sons to the land of Moab, where they would have enough food to eat. (Ruth 1:1-2).
After Elimelech died, Naomi stayed in Moab with her two sons, who married two Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. After 10 years Naomi's sons died. Because the famine was over in Israel, Naomi decided to return to her people in Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:3-6).
Naomi's daughters-in-law started on the journey with her, but Naomi told them to go back to their own families (Ruth 1:7-8). Both of the younger women wanted to go with Naomi, but she finally convinced Orpah to return to Moab. Ruth, however, would not leave. She pleaded with Naomi to let her go with her to Bethlehem: "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" (Ruth 1:16). Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth at her side.
It was harvesttime when the women arrived in Bethlehem. During the harvest men gathered the grain into small bunches. As they worked, some stalks fell to the ground. Poor people were allowed to gather, or glean, the stalks left behind. Because they had no food, Ruth offered to glean the fields to get grain for Naomi and herself (Ruth 2:2).
Ruth worked in the fields of a righteous relative of Elimelech named Boaz. Boaz was impressed with Ruth's kindness to Naomi and said, "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel" ( Ruth 2:12). Boaz was kind to Ruth and told her she could always glean from his fields. He even instructed his harvesters to leave grain behind for her to gather. (Ruth 2:8-16).
Naomi wanted Ruth to marry and have children. So she taught Ruth about the customs of the Israelites and told her to go to Boaz and ask to be his wife. Ruth did what Naomi said to do, and Boaz, knowing that Ruth was a virtuous and kind woman, married her. (Ruth 3:1-150).
After they married, Ruth and Boaz had a son, whom they named Obed. Obed grew up and had a son named Jesse, who later became the father of David. (Ruth 4:13-17). David became the king of Israel, and it was through this line that Jesus Christ was born.
When the judges governed Israel there was a famine in the land. Naomi, who lived in Bethlehem, went with her husband and their two sons to the land Moab so they would have food to eat. While in Moab Naomi's husband died, and later her sons married two Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. When her sons died, Naomi returned to Bethlehem. Orpah stayed in Moab, but Ruth went to Bethlehem with Naomi. Ruth cared for her mother-in-law by gathering leftover grain during the harvest. Boaz, who owned the fields, told Ruth that God would bless her for being kind to Naomi. Boaz married Ruth, and they had a son named Obed, the grandfather of King David. Many years later Jesus Christ was born into the royal family of King David.
Artist, Judith Mehr
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