The Heavens Weep Over the Loss of Mankind in the Flood
With an understanding of mankind’s prior existence established, as the spirit offspring of God, the purpose of mortality and its trials and tribulations comes into sharp focus. We see that we are not an evolutionary species of biology and that we are not alone. Our Father is the Ruler of the Universe, in all its incomprehensible grandeur, and our ultimate destiny is to be determined by our response to good and evil, through the exercise of our free agency, to choose justice, mercy, and liberty, on the one hand, or evil, oppression, and captivity, on the other.
Adam was taught the plan of salvation. He had a hope in Christ long before his coming, and he taught his children the gospel that they too might acquire the same hope in the Savior to come, but, as there needs be opposition in all things, Satan was permitted to tempt and deceive them, if possible, thinking to destroy the world and frustrate the plan of God. Unfortunately, in the short run, he was only too successful, as we read in Moses’ account:
And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.
And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish. (Moses 5:7-13)
Of course, that carnality, sensuality, and devilishness overtakes those who love Satan more than God is not surprising. The purpose of Satan is to make all men miserable like himself, to thwart the purposes of God in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Therefore, he tempts men and women to indulge themselves in self-defeating behavior, to follow the lusts of the flesh, committing fornication, adultery, and abominations, to seek power and gain, by lies, deceit, and murder, and to become popular in the eyes of their fellow beings, puffing themselves up in vanity and pride, oppressing the poor and the meek, and denying the very existence of God and his work.
In this way, because of the justice of God, Satan is able to take men captive, carefully leading them down to hell. When they harden their hearts against the word of God, they are given the lesser portion of it, until they know nothing of the things that brought such joy to Adam and Eve, and then they are blinded and taken captive by the devil and led by his will down to destruction, as surely as if they were bound by chains. It was so in the days of the ancient fathers, and it is so today. Satan reigns with blood and horror on this earth.
It is this spirit of evil, opposed to the Spirit of God, that is the mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity. It is an iron yoke, it is a strong band; it is the very handcuffs, and chains, and shackles, and fetters of hell, from which there is no deliverance, except through repentance, and faith in Christ.
The pathos of this scene of death and destruction is just immense, when it is realized that those who are taken captive by evil could awake to a sense of their awful situation, if they only would. The voices from the dust cry out to them, “O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.”
Nevertheless, just as in the beginning, the works of darkness prevail today on earth. According to the record of Moses, the Lord God cursed the earth with a sore curse, in those days, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made:
For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world.
And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world, until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen (Moses 5:57-59)
When Adam and Eve died, some nine hundred and thirty years later, they having had many children, not all of their children succumbed to the temptations of the devil. Many became preachers of righteousness and they “spake and prophesied and called upon men, everywhere, to repent, and faith was taught unto the children of men.”
As we have seen, one of these preachers of righteousness, according to the record of Moses, was Enoch. Enoch was called of God to preach repentance unto the people of that day, but he was young and evidently had a speech impediment, and he was doubtful that he could fulfill such a mission; He felt that men would mock and scorn him:
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?
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.
Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
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.
And the Lord spake unto Enoch, and said unto him: Anoint thine eyes with clay, and wash them, and thou shalt see. And he did so.
And he beheld the spirits that God had created; and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye; and from thenceforth came the saying abroad in the land: A seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people.
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.
And it came to pass when they heard him, no man laid hands on him; for fear came on all them that heard him; for he walked with God. (Moses 6:31-39)
Enoch taught the people that a record had been kept since the beginning, called the “book of remembrance ” and it was written “according to the pattern given by the finger of God.” He testified to them, saying: The Lord which spake with me, the same is the God of heaven, and he is my God, and your God, and ye are my brethren, and why counsel ye yourselves, and deny the God of heaven?
The heavens he made; the earth is his footstool; and the foundation thereof is his. Behold, he laid it, an host of men hath he brought in upon the face thereof.
And death hath come upon our fathers; nevertheless we know them, and cannot deny, and even the first of all we know, even Adam.
For a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God; and it is given in our own language.
And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence.
And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.
Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.
But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent.
And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.
And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.
And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.
Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world. (Moses 6:44-54)
Enoch went on to give Adam’s account of how he was taught the plan of salvation by God, and how he was baptized in water, and came forth out of the water, filled with the Spirit of God and the joy and promise of eternal life. Then he continued his speech and laid out before the people, the things that God had shown him would come to pass concerning the children of men, even to the time of Noah, when the Lord would cleanse the earth of wickedness, by water; In the meantime, those who believed the words of Enoch, who repented and were baptized, were “caught up” into Zion:
…Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;
And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.
And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.
And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion. (Moses 7:23-27)
Zion was the term the Lord used to describe the people of Enoch, the people who were taught and baptized and blessed, according to the commandments of God, and he called them this because “they were of one heart and one mind and had all things in common, and there were no poor among them.” But there was a great division between those that followed Enoch and those who would not, which led even to wars and bloodshed. Evidently, this important episode of world history, pertaining to events before the flood, has been lost, but we get a glimpse of it through Moses’ account. The people of God, led by Enoch, were armed with the power of God, to the confounding and destruction of their enemies:
And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.
And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;
And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.
The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.
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.
And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even ZION.
And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed. (Moses 7:13-20)
In this precious account, we see the fate of all mankind reflected in the fate of these ancient people. It is on the one hand, or on the other; Our fate is to be blessed eternally by God, because of our faith in his goodness unto keeping his commandments, by resisting the temptation to yield to the carnal, sensual and devilish desires of the flesh, or to be cursed of God, because of his justice, in returning our sins upon our own heads, by restoring evil for evil, or good for good, when this mortal probation is ended. As the voices from the dust put it:
…it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.
And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—
The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.
And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.
These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil. (Alma 41:3-7)
That God must be merciful seems to be evident to all, but that he must be just is not always so readily acceptable, and men seek lightly to justify their sins. But God has declared that no unclean thing can enter into his rest; Christ paid the price for our sins, and suffered for all, that we might not suffer, on conditions of repentance, but if we will not repent, then we must suffer, even as he suffered, which suffering is beyond our comprehension. But can God be unmoved at the prospect of such suffering, by his own offspring? Clearly not, but even so mercy cannot be allowed to rob justice, or the order of the universe would be destroyed.
Thus, the great plan of salvation provides a way out, so that the demands of justice may be met, through the suffering of the Only Begotten Son of God, but if we reject that course of mercy, then we are subject to the full demands of the law. The Lord showed this to Enoch:
And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.
And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I 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.
Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them.
And That which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment;
Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook. (Moses 7:29-41)
What a tragic scene is thus laid out before our eyes! According to the word of the Lord, those of us now living upon the earth were part of the inhabitants of heaven then, and, therefore, we must have wept along with God and Enoch for such an enormous loss of life, and surely we too mourned as Enoch mourned, refusing to be comforted, fearing all was lost at that point:
And Enoch also saw Noah, and his family; that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation;
Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up.
And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; …(Moses 7:42-44)
But our Father is God over all. He is the God of both the living and the dead and, while he is able to destroy both body and soul in hell, he is also able to raise them up again. He said to Enoch, “Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look,” and then he showed Enoch that all was not lost, that a new day would dawn and that his descendants, through Noah, would go on to a glorious destiny, for he would preserve a remnant of the seed of Enoch, through Noah, even as he destroyed the wicked, and in this way his judgments would not destroy all flesh from off the face of the earth again, as by a flood, but he would see to it that there would always be some descendants of Noah on the earth that would not be overcome by evil, unto the end of the earth.
As we will see later, this work, to keep the covenant God made to Enoch, was characterized by the Apostle Paul, as the election of grace, and it refers to the delay of judgment that, in the wisdom of God, thwarts the craftiness of Satan and his followers, who seek to veil the whole earth in darkness once again, and to rejoice together, holding the descendants of Enoch in chains of bondage, demanding their destruction.
However, as a master Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ himself teaches Enoch that his wisdom is greater than the craftiness of Satan. He does this by answering his questions, as recorded in Moses’s account, in what has to be one of the most precious gems of all recorded scripture:
And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?
And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me.
And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo 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 is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?
And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?
And it came to pass that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying: I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.
And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah;
And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand;
And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith—I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.
And it came to pass that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying: When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray thee, show me these things.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men;
And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;
And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.
And again Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the earth rest?
And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;
And 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; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
And 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; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
And there shall be mine abode, and 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.
And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;
But before that day he saw great tribulations among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men’s hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgments of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked.
And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy;
And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.
And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED. (Moses 7:45-69)
So, in the end, God will wipe away the tears of mankind, and the righteous, those whose garments have been washed clean through the blood of the Lamb, will receive a fullness of joy. In that day, the consequences of evil and wickedness will have been completely overcome, and Satan and his angels will be bound so that they can have no more power over the hearts of men, to lead them to captivity and destruction.
In that day, all men will know that God knew the end from the beginning, and they will see and understand how he brought to pass the immortality of all men who ever lived, and provided forgiveness and eternal life for all his children who desired it enough to repent and take upon them the name of his Only Begotten Son. Understanding this must have been a great comfort to Enoch.