Enos was this guy. He lived with the Nephites, who are supposed to be the good guys, but most of the Nephites have been sinning lately, and do not believe in God any more. They do not put their trust in him like they used to.
Well, Enos was caught up in all of this and didn't know what to do. His dad was the prophet (which means the person who received revelation from God for the group of people, who could talk to him and was a spokesperson for him), so naturally, Enos had been taught from a young age about the gospel. But now that all the good guys were kinda becoming bad guys and doubting, Enos didn't know what to believe.
In Enos 1:1, he says his father was a just man. He knew his father loved him and was trustworthy. He also says his father had taught him the words if The Lord, and also the love of God. He was grateful that his dad was loving him enough to tell him these things, and knew his dad wouldn't lie to him, but he had to know if these things were true for himself.
So one day he goes out to hunt. Basically he goes to work. When he's alone out in the forest, probably looking around him and wondering for the thousandth time if there truly is a creator, if his dad was telling the truth, if God really was there and loved him. He is remembering what his father said about eternal life, about the gospel, and then he remembers the "joy of the saints. " he says that these things sunk deep into his heart. He wanted the joy that the saints had, the joy that people who believed in God had, and he wanted to know if the words his father said were true. (1:3)
Then in verse four, it says some of my favorite lines: "And my soul hungered, and I kneeled down before my maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for my own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him."
What happens when you are hungry? Your body is telling you that you are in dire need of nutrients and substance in order to have energy and continue working. But Enos had spiritual hunger. His spirit needed some nourishment, needed knowledge of the truth and needed to feel God's love. And he knew it. So he had to go find it.
Matthew 5:6 says ( and really listen to this, this is Jesus Christ literally speaking) "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."
And who better to fill that void than our Heavenly Father, who knows every need, every tear, every word?
But notice Enos is not just praying. Prayer is an important part to gaining a testimony, but it is not everything. In verse two, it says he wrestled before God before he gained this knowledge and felt God's love. This means he was fighting with himself, his mind was telling him one thing while his heart told him another. He had to lay down his pride and ask for help. He had to struggle and labor in order to receive these blessings. God expects us to work hard and be patient for his blessings. Sometimes, it is extremely hard to trust this when it feels like he is not answering our prayer right away, or with a grand manifestation of his power.
In verse five, he gets an answer: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. In verse six, he says he knew God could not lie, so he was troubled no more and at peace. But then he asked how in the world he could be blessed with this gift of forgiveness and knowledge.
Verse 8: "And he said unto me; Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years shall pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh. Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole. "
Check out the last verse, verse 27. Listen to all the things that he knows. This is many years later, after he has been faithful and believing for a while, and is on the right path. He says he will:
•soon die, but is not scared
•knows he will see his redeemer (Christ)
•knows he is forgiven of his sins and has joy that comes with that
•is looking forward to the day of resurrection when the righteous will receive perfect bodies and will live forever in happiness
•knows he will see God face to face (imagine that!)
• and Heavenly Father will be proud of him, and has a place in heaven reserved for him
Don't you wish you could have that knowledge? I know I do. I'm far from that faith, but I'm slowly getting there :). When I have those days of doubt and despair, I think of all these things that Enos mentioned, I think of the end result: someday I will get to run into Jesus's arms and hug him and thank him and thank him and thank him for all that he has done for me. I will be able to see him and say "i love you" in person. That is what helps me have faith to reach up to the light through all this darkness.
I can't wait to hug him.
Ps. This is David Bowman's painting titled Security