64: Noah

Christ said in Matthew 11:11:

…As it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man, for it shall be with them as it was in the days which were before the flood.

Today, Denver answers the question, “What was happening in the days of Noah?”


There are two models that you can consider from the scriptures as possibilities for Zion in the last days. The one model is the Book of Mormon model, in which Zion gets introduced after destruction and after the return of the Lord and after folks have a season to incorporate the information and the teachings—the ordinances that Christ restores at His coming. Under that model, we will not see Zion until sometime post-Second Coming. There’s a second model that we find in the scriptures, however, and that model is the one that Christ suggests. He says: As it was in the days of Noah, so [also shall it be at the time of] the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37; see also Matthew 11:11 RE). And what was it that was going on contemporaneous with Noah? It was the city of Enoch, in which a people separated themselves, and they found Zion. Melchizedek was able to do the same thing. The people of the Nephites were able to do the same thing. Whether the model that will actually apply is the model that Christ suggested about the city of Enoch and a righteous people ready to meet the Lord or the model that the Book of Mormon suggests (post Holocaust, post-Second Coming establishment of Zion), is your choice. And that ought to be the most sobering comment of all.

So now we should realize, I hope, that that city which Melchizedek, the King of Peace, was able to teach righteousness sufficiently so that it was taken up from the earth, reserved to the last days of the end of the world—the next time we have such an event on the earth, the next time there is this kind of a gathering and this kind of a population anywhere, it will not be for the purpose of going up—it will be for the purpose of permitting those who have gone up to come back down. It will be for the purpose of having those who can endure the presence of those who come, because those who come will burn up all those who are unworthy, and therefore, some few need to be gathered so that the earth is not utterly wasted at His coming (D&C 2:3; see also JSH 3:4 RE).

As it was in the days of Noah so [also shall it be at the time of] the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37; see also Matthew 11:11 RE). How many people were required in order to have the ark be an acceptable place in which God could preserve all of humanity? It was a portable ark of the covenant in which the family was preserved. And so, if it’s going to be as it was in the days of Noah—

There is this net that has been cast out to gather together all manner of fish, but as the Lord tells the parable, the angles are going to come, and they’re going to pick through all manner of fish, and they’re going to keep the good, and the rest are going to be scheduled for burning (see Matthew 13:47-50; see also Matthew 7:12 RE). 

And so the question is, how diligent ought the search be into the things of God? How carefully ought we to consider the things that have been restored to us through the prophet Joseph Smith? The fact is that this stuff is assigned to our dispensation. And I’m reading from the Book of Mormon, which the world does not have or accept. I’m reading from the Book of Abraham, which the world does not have or accept. I’m reading from the Joseph Smith Translation, which the world does not have and accept. All of you have this information in front of you. All this material has been restored through someone that we claim we honor and regard as a prophet. Well, they who come will burn up those who are unprepared. And therefore, what should we be doing in order to make sure that we are included among those who are prepared? 

Though the Egyptians tried to preserve the things that came down from the beginning, as we read in the Book of Abraham, the Pharaoh sought earnestly to imitate the order that came down from the beginning, and the Pharaoh succeeded in large measure in doing that. And he was a righteous man.

Pharaoh being a righteous man established his kingdom…judged his people wisely…justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even the reign of Adam, [as] also [Noah’s father]… (Abraham 1:26; see also Abraham 2:3 RE)

Pharaoh was not out there freelancing; he was trying to imitate something, and Egypt did a good job of preserving some things that have fallen into decay elsewhere. But a Restoration through Joseph Smith and the promises that were made to the fathers and the statement that was made by Moroni to Joseph on the evening that he came to him and talked about and re-worded the promise given through Malachi—all of these are pointed to something that is, at this moment, still incomplete; a work that is, at this moment, still undone; a project that remains for us—if we will receive it—to finally receive.

Let’s look at Doctrine and Covenants section 107, and go to verse 52: Noah was ten years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah (T&C 154:18). Okay? So Moses got priesthood, as a consequence of the hand of Methuselah having ordained him. That is a priesthood or fellowship or brotherhood on this side of the veil. Now go back to Moses chapter 8. In Moses chapter 8 verse 19, it says: And the Lord ordained Noah after his…order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch (Genesis 5:8 RE). Or in other words, in the case of Noah, the fellowship that originated as a relationship between him and his older brethren, here, extended by God ordaining him, also, to a fellowship on the other side. Therefore, he belonged not merely to the priesthood held by men but to the priesthood held by the immortals. 

Moses chapter 7—this is the Lord speaking to Enoch in a vision (recorded subsequently by Moses by revelation), but it is a restoration of the Book of Enoch, and the conversation speaker is the Lord. Beginning in Moses chapter 7 verse 60: 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 fulfill the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah (Genesis 4:22 RE). This is the Lord’s oath to Enoch: He’s going to come; He’s going to come in the last days.

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 had among the children of men, but my people will I preserve. And righteousness will I send down out of heaven….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…. (Moses 7:61-62; see also Genesis 4:22 RE)

The thing that is possible now by you sitting at a keyboard anywhere in the world—you can cause the truth to flood the earth. 

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, [in this context the tabernacle to be built is his house] 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…. (ibid, vs 62-63)

This is the second return of Enoch as well—first His house, then Enoch.

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. (ibid, vs 64-65)

Zion exists before these things can happen. If Zion does not exist, these things will be delayed. They will not be prevented because the Lord has, by a covenant, insured that they will happen. But the fact that the Lord has, by a covenant, insured that it will happen is no guarantee that we will see it. Because we will only see it if we undertake to abide the conditions by which He can accomplish His work. This is the Joseph Smith translation of Genesis chapter 9:

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch; …that, when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself and this is mine everlasting covenant, that when thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy; and the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch. (JST Genesis 9:21-23; see also Genesis 5:22 RE)

The covenant that God made again with Noah, the covenant that He made originally with Adam, the covenant which some generation will rise up to receive—whether that’s you or whether you go to the grave without realizing or not is entirely up to you.

The scriptures do not foretell any great numbers will repent. Christ said: I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion (Jeremiah 3:14; see also Jeremiah 2:3 RE)—too few perhaps to impress the world, but the Lord does not view things as do men. The Lord describes those who respond to His invitation as His elect. He explained: Mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts (D&C 29:7; see also T&C 9:3).

Nephi foresaw how few believers there would be in the last days: 

[He] beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and it’s numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many water; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw (1 Nephi 14:12; see also 1 Nephi 3:28 RE)

The Lord requires us to invite the world to repent but not to expect large numbers to do so. Numbers matter to men, but the hearts of men matter to the Lord. It is the quality of conversion, not the quantity. He always spoke of having few sheep. Of the likely billions living at the time of Enoch, only some few thousand were saved—and only eight by Noah. The end times will be like those days.

We face the same test as all others have ever faced, from the days of Adam down to the present. Things never change. From the time of Adam, the roles have been filled by different persons in different ages, but the conflict is perpetual, and the same battle continues from age to age. You can even lift the arguments that are made from one epoch and put them into the next—and they fit. It doesn’t change. 

Adam taught his posterity the gospel, and Satan, imitating an angel of light, declared himself to be a son of God and taught this doctrine: Believe it not. And most of Adam’s posterity did not believe. Enoch received a message from God, and the record that Enoch left behind says: And all men were offended because of him (Moses 6:37; see also Genesis 4:4 RE). 

Noah taught the same gospel as was taught in the beginning to Adam—but his audience claimed, We are the sons of God. And they would not hearken to the message that came through Noah. Abraham obtained the same rights that were belonging to the Fathers or to Adam in the beginning, including holding the right of the firstborn that came down from the first father, Adam. And those who claim the gospel of Abraham is less than the gospel given to Adam are a false message born by a false messenger. Mark it. If they don’t repent for preaching that message in opposition to what the Lord decares, both in scripture and by my voice, they will regret it. But unfortunately, Abraham’s own family—that is, his fathers, his uncles—utterly refused to hearken to his voice. 

Moses saw God face to face, and He talked with him. God gave Moses a work to do. Satan tempted Moses to instead worship him, even declaring to Moses: I am the only begotten, worship me (Moses 1:19; see also Genesis 1:4 RE). When Moses rejected this demand, his message from God was opposed by sorcerers and magicians who did, in like manner, with their enchantments, duplicating signs shown through Moses, over and over again in the record in Exodus. Even after delivering Israel from Egypt, the Israelites wished they had died in Egypt rather than being delivered and freed. And, of course, what might have happened, given the qualification of Moses to bring it about, did not happen because the people that he led were unwilling to rise up as they were invited. 

Christ was opposed by Satan who demanded that He worship him. And then He was opposed by religious leaders of the people. The people He went to save conspired to kill Him and, ultimately, brought that about. 

Joseph Smith was and is opposed by those who claim to follow him or to belong to a church that was founded by him. If you don’t understand the extent to which the opposition to Joseph Smith arrose out of those claiming to be Mormons, take a look at the book A Man Without Doubt, and you’ll see that Joseph’s greatest opposition came from those who claimed to follow him. Opposition in scripture seems clear, but when we struggle in our environment, it becomes much more difficult to make decisions about what is right, what it wrong, what is good, what is bad, what is of God, what is deception, what is truth, what is false—but that’s not a correct understanding, because the scriptures may reveal the conflict in sharp contrast, but it was no different in that day than it is today. Deciding between the opposing sides was not any more clear to those living at the time the scriptures were written than the opposition you encounter every day of your life. The scriptures were written by or about prophets who took clearly opposing positions from those who were deceived. The clarity you read in scriptures—because the views and opinions of prophets were used to tell about the events, but as the events happened, those living at the time had to have faith to distinguish between truth and error, to believe or to ignore a message from the Lord—it is no different for them than it is for the dilemma that we face today. 

In the beginning there was a unitary priesthood. It was the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God, but in order to prevent the too frequent repetition of the name of the Son of God, it got renamed, first, after Enoch and then, later, after Melchizedek—but it is referring to one original, unitary priesthood, which is the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God. Yet, Joseph spoke about three great divisions. 

In the beginning, because the first patriarchs had that original, unitary fullness of the priesthood after the Order of the Son of God, and because Abraham acquired the rights of the Fathers (or the first father, Adam), and therefore, like Adam, held the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God, I use the term “Patriarchal” priesthood to refer to that original fullness and to nothing else. And I divide them up into three categories and three nomenclatures using those terms. 

There is the Spirit of Elias; there is the Spirit of Elijah; and there is the Spirit of Messiah. These three great spirits unfolded in the work of God in the generations of man in a steady descent. And they will be, likewise, inverted like a chiasm and return in an ascent. So that at the end, it will be as it was in the beginning. That same Priesthood which was in the beginning, shall [at the end of earth be] also (Moses 6:7; see also Genesis 3:14 RE) was the prophecy that father Adam gave—Enoch quoting Adam; Moses quoting Enoch—the prophecy being contained in the Book of Moses (or soon, in the Book of Genesis). 

The first spirit was the Spirit of Messiah. Adam dwelt in the presence of God. Adam represents that original fullness. Adam was the first man. Adam received instructions and spoke to God face-to-face. He dwelt in a temple—from which he was cast out—but he dwelt in a temple. And therefore, Adam represents the Spirit of Messiah. 

The Spirit of Elijah is represented by Enoch who—when the earth was threatened with violence and men were to be destroyed because of the wickedness upon the face of the earth—was able to gather a people into a city of peace and to have the Lord come to their city of peace and remove them from the coming violence and destruction. He is a type of the Spirit of Elijah because Elijah would, likewise, later ascend in the fiery chariot into heaven. He is a type of the Spirit of Elijah because it is the Spirit of Elijah and that ascent into heaven that must prefigure the return of the Spirit of Messiah in the last days, in order to gather a people to a place that God will acknowledge, will visit, and will shield from the coming violence that will involve the destruction of the world. And so Enoch becomes the great type of the Spirit of Elijah—although the name, Elijah, is associated with a man who lived later still but who duplicated, among a hardened people in a fallen world, the same achievement as Enoch had accomplished—albeit Enoch did so with a city, and Elijah did it as a solitary ascending figure. Yet, it will be Elijah and his spirit which, in the last days, will, likewise, prepare a city for salvation and preservation. 

And then there is the Spirit of Elias, which is represented by Noah—in which everything that had gone on before was lost, things begin anew, and Noah begins a ministry of attempting to preserve what was before by preaching repentance. And so Noah—as the messenger or the Elias—bears testimony of what once was. 

Well, in the end, before the Lord’s return, these same three spirits need to have been brought into the world, in order for the completion of the plan that Adam prophesied about and that was in the heart of the Lord from before the foundation of the world:

  • The Spirit of Elias, declaring the gospel has to come again into the world—and it did in the person of Joseph Smith and in the message that he brought and in the scriptures that he restored and in the message and the practices that he was able to bring about—however short-lived that success may have been. Elias and the Spirit of Elias came through Joseph Smith into the world. We have yet to take the Spirit of Elias seriously enough to move on to receive something further, but we’re now facing a crossroads in which it may be possible to restore again and continue the work and move forward. 
  • Moving forward successfully, however, will require the Spirit of Elijah. This time, the Spirit of Elijah is not to prepare a people so that they might ascend into heaven but instead to prepare a people so that those who come will not utterly destroy them. There must be a people prepared to endure the burning that is to come. Just as Enoch’s people were prepared, shielded, and brought worthy to ascend, so as not to be destroyed by the flood, the Spirit of Elijah must prepare a people, in order for them to endure the day that is coming that shall burn the wicked as stubble. That will be people living in a place of peace, and they will be the only people who are not at war one with another. They will be people who will accept a body of teachings and allow them to govern their daily walk, both with each other and with God, so that they receive commandments, not a few, and revelations in their day—because that is what the people of Zion must necessarily be willing to do. We’re promised that one will come who will be part of Jesse and part of Ephraim who will set in order—whose identity will be established by the work accomplished and not by the foolishness of prideful claims made by someone who’s done nothing. If the work is done, once it’s completed, you might be able to guess—but any fool can run around claiming themselves to be whatever their peculiar schizophrenia allows them to claim. 
  • The third spirit that is to return is that Spirit which was in the beginning. It is the Spirit of Messiah—this time, the Messiah himself. This time He will come to His house. He will dwell there. Everything must be prepared in order for Messiah to return. And so—in the end, as it was in the beginning, Adam being a type who represents dwelling in the presence of God or the Spirit of Messiah—in the end it will be Messiah, Himself, who returns to dwell among a people who are prepared. 

This is a chiasm. It’s returning to the beginning, as a work of the last days walks backward in time to the point where it all began. Elias goes before to prepare for a greater work that is coming after, just as the Aaronic ordinances go before. Joseph Smith said the Spirit of Elias was revealed to him. But the Spirit of Elijah holds something more—it holds the revelations, ordinances, endowments, and sealings necessary to accomplish [turning] the heart[s] of the fathers to the children (Malachi 4:6; see also Malachi 1:12 RE) by securing an unbroken thread between the living and the Fathers in heaven. This can only be done in a temple prepared for that purpose. (I’m reading Joseph): “Without sealing of living children to the fathers in heaven (who dwell in glory and who sit upon thrones), the return of the Lord with Enoch and the other thousands who will accompany him would result in none escaping the judgments to come.” 

Those who’ve entered faithfully into the covenant this day are going to notice some things. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the world. Men are increasingly more angry without good cause. The hearts of men are waxing cold. There is increasing anger and resentment of gentiles—in political terms, its rejection of white privilege. Language of scriptures (description of the events now underway) calls it the end of the times of the gentiles (see Luke 21:24; see also Luke 12:16 RE). This process, with the spirit withdrawing, will end on this continent as two prior civilizations ended—in fratricidal and genocidal warfare. For the rest of the world, it will be as in the days of Noah, in which as that light becomes eclipsed, the coldness of men’s hearts is going to result in a constant scene of violence and bloodshed. The wicked will destroy the wicked. The covenant, if it is kept, will prevent you from losing light and warmth of heart as the spirit now steadily recedes from the world. The time will come when you will be astonished at the gulf between the light and truth you will comprehend and the darkness of mind at the world. Be charitable and patient, and labor to reach others. They will judge you harshly, but nevertheless, be kind to them. They’re going to grow to fear you, but that’s only part of how darkness responds to light. Give them no reason to fear you. The time will come for us to gather, but between now and then, be leaven. Preserve the world. Be salt. Preserve the world, even if it hates you. 

In the Book of Matthew chapter 24 is Christ’s most extensive prophesy about the future events including the time of his Second Coming. While He gives some details in Matthew chapter 24, there’s a statement that He makes about: As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:37; see also Matthew 11:11 RE). He makes an analogy between the events that occured during Noah’s time and what we will see on the earth at the time of His return. Let me read you a description of the events at the time of Noah (and these are the kinds of events with which we typically associate the days of Noah): 

And God saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually…The earth was corrupt before God, and it was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth. (Moses 8:22, 28-30; see also Genesis 5:12 RE)

Ominous. Terrible. Reason for concern—and that’s what we generally think of—but there’s another side to that. That other side includes, obviously, Noah. You can’t have the days of Noah without having a Noah. Another contemporary who lived at the same time with Noah was Enoch—who built a city of righteousness; where people gathered together to worship the only true God; who were then, in turn, taken up to heaven. That group of people taken up to heaven are going to return with the Lord when He comes again in glory. Book of Jude (there’s only one chapter in there): Enoch also the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints (Jude 1:14; see also The Epistle of Judas 1:3 RE). There were those that were taken up into the heavens, numbering in the tens of thousands, who will return with Him. So if there is reason for pessimism when Christ predicts that as was in the days of Noah so shall it be at the time of his return (ibid), there’s also extraordinary reason for optimism, because we’re going to see things like Noah and his family (that included Shem, who would be renamed Melchizedek—about whom the apostle Paul had a great deal to say in the Book of Hebrews, comparing that man, the son of Noah, to the Lord Himself—actually, we ought to flip that; he compares the Lord Himself to that man), and then there is Enoch. 

And so, while we tend to look at the prophecy Christ gave concerning His coming negatively—about how far degenerate the world is going to go—those are the tares ripening. Christ said we’re not going to uproot the tares, bind them in bundles, and burn them, until the wheat also becomes ripe. You’re here. You’re Christian—and God would like you to be wheat. He would like you to ripen in righteousness while the world ripens in iniquity. 

As I mentioned, the days of Noah have to include Noah, have to include Enoch, or in other words, in addition to all of the wretchedness that we look forward to—the world disintegrating and devolving into—there will be an opposition to that, a hand sent from God in the form of prophets, apostles—someone with a message. When I use the word “apostle,” I mean the word in the same sense in which it is used in the New Testament; that is, someone with a message, coming to deliver a message from God to those to whom he speaks. I’m not talking about some officious chap claiming a title as his rightful inheritance, as is done in Mormonism. I’m not talking about someone who calls themselves. I’m talking about someone to whom God speaks and says, “Go tell the people thus.” We believe we are approaching a moment in which the Lord is about to return. Read that chapter Matthew 24 [see also Matthew 11 RE]. All of the signs that he speaks of will occur in one single generation. If you’ve not noticed, the signs have begun to appear. It means you’re living within a generation in which a great deal is to occur. As it was in the days of Noah (ibid), so it is about to be. That means dreadful things are coming, on the one hand, and it means prophets are going to be among us again—people with messages that come from the Lord.

The purpose of the Restoration is to return the heart[s] of the children to [the] fathers (Malachi 4:6; see also Malachi 1:12) because everything that is going to happen in the last days God established at the beginning, by a covenant that was made three years previous to the death of Adam, when he gathered together his posterity in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and he prophesied whatsoever should befall [them] unto the latest generation (D&C 107:56-57; see also T&C 154:20). And the Lord appeared and administered comfort unto Adam, and the gathering there rose up and called him Michael, the Prince. Right there, at that moment, at the beginning of the history of the family of Adam, he prophesies by the power of the Holy Ghost what should befall his descendants unto the latest generation in the presence—  Adam-ondi-Ahman—Adam in the presence of Son Ahman. (See D&C 107:53-56; see also T&C 154:19-20.)

Adam-ondi-Ahman was an event. It’s like the Super Bowl—it doesn’t matter where you play it; wherever it is, it’s the Super Bowl. Adam-ondi-Ahman is an event. When Adam is there in the presence of Son Ahman, that is Adam-ondi-Ahman—and you can say Springhill, Missouri is Adam-ondi-Ahman, but it doesn’t matter where it happens, when it happens, and it will happen again, in fulfillment of that original prophecy that was made in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman when Adam was before Son Ahman the first time. When it happens again, it doesn’t matter if that’s in Mesa, Arizona or Springfield (I don’t know… where do the Simpsons live? Springfield, USA) or Bogus Basin. Wherever it is that that occurs, that is Adam-ondi-Ahman. And it will certainly happen. The hearts of the children turning to the fathers so that the earth is not smitten with a curse means that the purpose of the Restoration, ultimately, is to return us back to something that was here in the beginning—the way in which it once was. 

The dispensation of Adam, the dispensation of Enoch, the dispensation of Noah—all of which were running simultaneously at the time of the flood—As it was in the days of Noah so also shall it be at the time of the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37; see also Matthew 11:11 RE). We’re going to have three different kinds of remnants operating at the same time at the coming of the Lord. A dispensation that will reflect somewhat of the Christian era; a dispensation that will reflect somewhat of Joseph Smith’s era; and a dispensation that will reflect somewhat of the original—the one in which man stood in the presence of God—and of course, we’ve got a couple of those functioning, after a fashion. What we lack yet (and what necessarily will involve the presence of Ahman—Son Ahman—to achieve) is something that He must bring about. When He said: [I will] bring again Zion (Isaiah 52:8, Mosiah 12:22, 3 Nephi 16:18; see also Isaiah 18:8 RE, Mosiah 7:17 RE, 3 Nephi 7:6 RE), He literally means that, because you can’t have it without His presence. That dispensation—that’s the one that needs to occur. Joseph gave a talk where he referred to the Spirit of Elias and the Spirit of Elijah and the Spirit of Messiah—because there are really three great spirits that are involved with three great stages. 

There’s a great gulf separating us from the first Fathers of mankind. At the very beginning, a book of remembrance was kept in the language of Adam (Genesis 3:14; see also Genesis 3:14 RE). Enoch taught repentance and knowledge of God using that book of remembrance. Those records were passed down for generations until Abraham. He learned of the first Fathers, the Patriarchs, from those records. Abraham wrote: But the records of the Fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord, my God, preserved in mine own hands (Abraham 1:31; see also Abraham 2:4 RE).

At the time of Abraham, Egypt was the greatest civilization on earth. Egypt was great because it imitated the original religion of the first Fathers. Abraham explained: 

Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of [Zeptah] the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.  Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, In the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood. (Abraham 1:25-26; see also Abraham 2:3 RE) 

Egypt began by imitating the pattern Adam, Seth, Enos, and their direct descendants, through Noah, used to organize the family of the faithful. Abraham calls it a “government,” but it was a family. The title “Pharaoh” originally meant “great house” or “great family,” because Pharaoh was the “father” over Egypt who taught and led them. Over time, however, the title “Pharaoh” came to mean “king” or “tyrant” who controlled people. The first Pharaohs—or founding father of Egypt—imitated the first Fathers of mankind. He could only imitate because he did not have the right to act as the patriarchal head of mankind. He, nevertheless, tried to be a shepherd who led by righteous example. Abraham knew more about the first Fathers than did the Egyptians because Abraham had the original book of remembrance written by the fathers in the language of Adam. 


The foregoing are excerpts taken from:

  • Denver’s talk given at the “Zion Symposium” in Provo, Utah on February 23rd, 2008
  • Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #4 entitled “Covenants” given in Centerville, UT on October 6th, 2013
  • Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #5 entitled “Priesthood” given in Orem, UT on November 2nd, 2013
  • Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #6 entitled “Zion” given in Grand Junction, CO on April 12th, 2014
  • Denver’s conference talk entitled “The Doctrine of Christ”, given in Boise, ID on September 11th, 2016
  • Denver’s conference talk entitled “Things to Keep Us Awake at Night” given in St. George, UT on March 19th, 2017
  • Denver’s Closing Remarks given at the Covenant of Christ Conference in Boise, Idaho on September 3rd, 2017
  • Denver’s Christian Reformation Lecture Series, Talk #1 given in Cerritos, CA on September 21st, 2017
  • Denver’s remarks given at the Joseph Smith Restoration Conference in Boise, ID on June 24, 2018; and
  • Denver’s remarks entitled “Keep the Covenant: Do the Work” given at the Remembering the Covenants Conference in Layton, UT on August 4, 2018

You may find it helpful to review the scriptural record of Enoch and Noah, found in the Restoration Edition of Genesis, chapters 4-6, especially when compared with the King James version of Genesis 5-9.

In addition, Denver has written extensively about this topic. If you are interested in learning more, please review the following blog posts: