Book of Moses Commentary Part IV: Fathers Must Teach Their Sons the Gospel

[Previous installments here, here, and here]

Quick, who can spot the pattern in these two verses?

“Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begat Enos, and prophesied in all his days, and taught his son Enos in the ways of God, wherefore Enos prophesied also.”  Moses 6:13

“And Jared lived one hundred and sixty two years , and begat Enoch; and Jared lived, after he begat Enoch, eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.  And Jared taught Enoch in all the ways of God.”  Moses 6:21

This formula is certainly used or suggested elsewhere in scripture: in the Book of Mormon, for example, Nephi starts off by telling us that he had been “taught somewhat in all the learning of my father,” (1 Nephi 1:1), just as Enos begins his story by declaring that he, “knowing my father was a just man–for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…” (Enos 1:1), and King Benjamin had three sons whom he also “caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding; and that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers…” (Mosiah 1:2)

(Maybe this post should have been called, “Fathers must teach their sons the gospel…and, apparently, literacy skills.”)

The relative silence in the scriptures about the training that comes from mothers, or towards daughters, shouldn’t be construed to mean that no such teaching takes place, nor should this emphasis on father-to-son teaching be taken to mean that no other teaching is important in the family.  After all, the Book of Moses reminds us that as Adam and Eve started having children, “Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.”  (Moses 5:12)  Adam may have had some personal priesthood interviews with Cain, Abel, Seth, and his other sons, but certainly the first family also had plenty of family home evenings where the teaching was more generally dispersed. 

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