Moses 7:20-69

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Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Moses > Chapters 6-8 > Verses 7:20-69
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Relationship to Chapters 6-8. The relationship of Verses 7:20-69 to the rest of Chapters 6-8 is discussed at Chapters 6-8.


Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 7:20-69 include:


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  • Moses 7:51-52. As a response to Enoch's plea in verse 50 (a two-fold plea: for mercy upon the seed of Noah, and for a promise that floods would never again destroy the earth), the Lord here makes both a covenant and an oath with Enoch. The response is, in verse 51, quite simply a matching up of two promises with the two pleas: the Lord "would stay the floods," and "he would call upon the children of Noah." But verse 52 adds something to all of this: the Lord doubles the promise concerning Noah's seed by decreeing that a remnant of it should remain to the Second Coming, or "while the earth should stand." The promise is curious, because it suggests that there is something important covenantally about there being someone in Noah's line still alive at the end of earth's history. This may connect the verse up with D&C 107:42, or again with D&C 84:33 (one should notice, as regards the latter reference, the similarity between the "oath" and "covenant" here and in D&C 84:40).
  • Moses 7:57. Verse 57 may seem like a contradiction. The begining of the verse states that "as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth", but then it claims that "the remainder were reserved in chains." That some spirits would be reserved in chains seems to contradict the statement that all the spirits in prison already "came forth" out of prison.
One resolution to this difficulty is to read this as a description of two different groups of spirits. The first group are the spirits of the saints mentioned in verse 56. These saints arise and stand on the right hand of God. Verse 57 then explains that even those saints who were spirits in prison came forth and stood on the right hand of God. The second part of verse 57 then shifts to describe what happens to the second group of spirits in prison, those who were not saints: they are reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment day.
  • Moses 7:61. This verse, in the end, seems to be describing a single veil that separates the heaven from the earth: "the heavens shall be darkened," perhaps precisely because "a veil of darkness shall cover the earth." This "veil" seems, in the end, to amount to a cutting off of the heavens from the earth, of the earth from the heavens. It might be for this very separation that "the heavens shall shake, and also the earth." The wording here is peculiarly similar to D&C 84:49, where one reads that "the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness." The D&C is there presumably speaking of this same era and situation, and the D&C seems to offer a similar solution to the difficulty of the veil of darkness as verse 62 here.
  • Moses 7:62. If a veil of darkness keeps the earth and the heavens separate in verse 61, then the veil appears at first to be double ruptured in this verse: from heaven comes righteousness to rend the veil from one direction, and from the earth comes truth to rend it from the other direction. Looking more closely, however, there does not seem to be a rupture of the veil exactly: righteousness seems to pass through the veil, but not to rupture it, and "truth" is only sent "forth out of the earth," not necessarily passing through the veil at all. In fact, that "righteousness and truth" quickly become paired suggests that truth only comes out of the earth to join up with the righteousness that passes through the veil of darkness. The sum of this seems to be that "righteousness and truth" join up beneath the veil of darkness to spread forth upon the earth, while the veil itself remains intact. Of course this question of a veil of darkness must, in the end, be read in light of verse 26, where another veil of darkness covers the earth at the time of a great gathering of saints and coming of the Lord. The comparison between these two passages is perhaps the key to unraveling the meaning of this passage.

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  • Moses 7:21. The Lord showed Enoch "all the inhabitants of the earth". What other accounts have we been given of prophets seeing similar visions?
  • Moses 7:21. What is meant by the phrase "in process of time"? Are we to believe that they lived as Zion for a time, then the city was taken in a moment, or that it was a gradual process?
  • Moses 7:37. Does this say that their sins shall be on Satan's head?
  • Moses 7:37. What does it mean that their sins will be on anyoe else's head if they will have to suffer? and if they will be shut up in a prison (v 38)?
  • Moses 7:39. Why is Christ referred to as "That"?
  • Moses 7:41. What does the phrase "all eternity shook" mean? Is this shaking meant literally or metaphorically? What does it mean to talk about all eternity as shaking?
  • Moses 7:51. What does it mean that the "Lord could not withhold?" Why could he not withhold?
  • Moses 7:51. Is it significant that the Lord both "covenanted" and swore "with an oath" to Enoch? Is there some connection between this verse and D&C 84:40?
  • Moses 7:57. How are we to understand this verse? (There seems to be an internal conflict between all the spirits coming forth and a remainder being reserved in chains.)


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  • For Elder Holland's comments on these verses (and others) as they relate the nature of God see his general conference address The Grandeur of God.
  • Moses 7:53. Richard G. Scott, "The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 40–42. Elder Scott uses a rock climbing analogy to illustrate the right and wrong way to peace and happiness. "[Solo climbers] are like many who face the challenges and temptations of life without the security of following the commandments of God, guided by the Holy Spirit. In today's difficult world they will almost surely violate critical laws, with painful, destructive consequences. Do not 'solo' in life. You will almost certainly fall into transgression."


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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