Do we Comprehend our Nature?

Mar 03
Do we comprehend our nature

Last week while doing a search in my scriptures, I stumbled on a verse in 2 Enoch 30 which stunned me. I had been reading somewhere about the four parts of the earth and wondered if there might be more meaning behind this phrase. The scriptures talk about the four parts, four corners, four winds, four quarters, etc…. The number four in Hebrew can mean:

Divine revelation; complete harmony; sufficiency; completeness and perfection; totality; God’s creations; man; and glory

So the four parts of the earth represent the complete creations of God. Some might suggest groupings like air, water, fire, and earth for the four parts, but I was curious what I might find in the scriptures. So I did a search in scripture notes for:

Four and (part* or wind*)

That finds all verses with the word four, and either part, parts, parted, partake, (the * is a wildcard that pulls in every variation of a word after the letters before it), or wind, winds, winded, or winding. Most of those won’t have a combination so it’s basically four and part or parts, or four and wind or winds.

I love to just see what’s in the scriptures when you search. There’s a lot of power in searching across the scriptures for phrases and trying to find little clues that give you insights into what one particular verse means. So I was reviewing the standard works but I really love to go down to the apocryphal works sometimes and see what’s in the Apocrypha or books of Enoch or other ancient writings that have been found that might also be of interest.

I scrolled down to those verses and discovered 2 Enoch 30. This chapter is part of a sequence of chapters where Enoch records the creation story. I’d never read this section yet and so after discovering what amazed me in verse 15 (I’ll get to it), I started backtracking several chapters to get to a sense of the context. The creation story begins in chapter 27 and it is definitely interesting.

Unlike the Genesis account which is completely silent on a war in heaven and Satan being cast out, 2 Enoch 29 describes Satan being cast out of heaven on day 2 of creation. The accounts in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4 and Abraham 3, seem to indicate it happened in a pre-mortal council before creation, though I have no problem if Lucifer wasn’t thrown out immediately when he was rejected as Savior of the world. He may have taken that rebuff as just the beginning of his pride being wounded and then amassed his followers until they could no longer be tolerated in heaven and were eventually cast out. Maybe on day 2 of creation. Maybe not. Regardless, it’s most interesting that 2 Enoch includes an account that we have in the Pearl of Great Price and this book of Enoch was not published till around 1896, far after the book of Moses was published. IE. Joseph Smith’s revelation was corroborated by actual ancient documents found later.

Now to the verses I stumbled upon, it is in the 6th day of creation which begins thus: (2 Enoch 30, bolding and italics are mine, [brackets are from the translator], {braces are my insertions})

10. [Friday]. On the sixth day I commanded my wisdom {in Hebrew this is a feminine noun which could be a reference to Heavenly Mother} to create man from seven consistencies: one, his flesh from the earth; two, his blood from the dew; three, his eyes from the sun; four, his bones from stone; five, his intelligence from the swiftness of the angels and from cloud; six, his veins and his hair from the grass of the earth; seven, his soul from my breath and from the wind.

11. And I {God the Father} gave him seven natures: to the flesh hearing, the eyes for sight, to the soul smell, the veins for touch, the blood for taste, the bones for endurance, to the intelligence sweetness [enjoyment]. {Thus we see the Book of Enoch may be the only source that illustrates what the Bible says in “Let US make man in OUR image”}

12. I conceived a cunning saying to say, I created man from invisible and from visible nature {IE. Spirit and body}, of both are his death and life and image, he knows speech like some created thing, small in greatness and again great in smallness {we are nothing, but we are everything to God}, and I placed him on earth, a second angel, honourable, great and glorious, and I appointed him as ruler to rule on earth and to have my wisdom, and there was none like him of earth of all my existing creatures.

13. And I appointed him a name, from the four component parts, from east, from west, from south, from north, and I appointed for him four special stars, and I called his name Adam, and showed him the two ways, the light and the darkness, and I told him:

14. This is good, and that bad, that I should learn whether he has love towards me, or hatred, that it be clear which in his race love me.

15. For I have seen his naturebut he has not seen his own nature {BINGO, the reason for our test on earth is God knows us, but we don’t know ourselves}, therefore through not seeing he will sin worse {Perhaps through not seeing our own nature, we will sin worse}, and I said After sin what is there but death?

{“For just in proportion as we comprehend ourselves in our true light, and our relationships and affinities with the past, present and future, with time and eternity, with Gods, angels, spirits and men, who have gone before us, and who will come after us, so, in proportion, we may be able to benefit by the keys of the mysteries of the Godhead, or, in other words, to know and comprehend Jesus Christ and his Father.” – Parley P. Pratt, KSoT 5:41}

16. And I put sleep into him and he fell asleep. And I took from him a rib, and created him a wife, that death should come to him by his wife, and I took his last word and called her name mother, that is to say, Eva.

2 Enoch 31

1. Adam has life on earth, and I created a garden in Eden in the east, that he should observe the testament and keep the command.

2. I made the heavens open to him, that he should see the angels singing the song of victory, and the gloomless light. {Adam and Eve were pure and innocent and saw wondrous things}

3. And he was continuously in paradise, and the devil understood that I wanted to create another world, because Adam was lord on earth, to rule and control it.

4. The devil is the evil spirit of the lower places, as a fugitive he made Sotona from the heavens as his name was Satanail, thus he became different from the angels, but his nature did not change his intelligence as far as his understanding of righteous and sinful things. {Lucifer’s nature was created with goodness, light, and truth. He knew right from wrong and chose to go against his nature and thus became different from other angels.}

5. And he understood his condemnation and the sin which he had sinned before, therefore he conceived thought against Adam, in such form he entered {the world, not Eve} and seduced Eva, but did not touch Adam.

6. But I cursed ignorance {man cannot be saved in ignorance -D&C 131:6}, but what I had blessed previously, those I did not curse, I cursed not man, nor the earth, nor other creatures, but man’s evil fruit, and his works.

I love this section of 2 Enoch. Verse 15 above is so powerful to me. God knows my nature, but I don’t know my nature until I’m tested with right and wrong and choose the right. I love this C.S. Lewis quote which ties into this concept:

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.” – C.S. Lewis

This also brings to mind the verse in 1 John 3:2.

2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Coming to know God, coming to know his nature, is done by coming to understand our own fallen nature and change it through the enabling power of Jesus Christ to become more like God which is how this can be fulfilled.

Video version:



About the Author

Oak Norton - Just trying to share a love of the scriptures with others.

  • Mark Welker says:

    Been a member my whole life. Where did you find the book of Enoch? Very interesting

    • Oak Norton says:

      It’s online, but I’ve imported all 3 books of Enoch to Scripture Notes. If you watch the video version of this blog post, you’ll see me navigate around to it. I have included a number of apocryphal works in Scripture Notes like the Apocrypha, Books of Enoch, Book of Jasher, and others. I’m working to continue to add more. D&C 91 applies to them. There is a lot of truth in them if we seek it by the Spirit. Also, we have this in D&C 107:57. “These things were all written in the book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time.” We should be checking it out.

  • >