Revelation given to Joseph Smith restores information about the prophet Enoch, who ascended to heaven with his entire community. Learn about Enoch’s call as a prophet and communal ascent in these resources.
“The LDS Story of Enoch as the Culminating Episode of a Temple Text,” Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, BYU Studies 53, no. 1
The story of Enoch might be understood as the culminating episode in a temple text cycle woven through the Book of Moses in the LDS Pearl of Great Price. A “temple text” is a sacred text that uses ceremony and commandments to allow a person to stand ritually in the presence of God. The Book of Moses reflects elements of temple architecture, furnishings, and ritual in the story of the Creation and the Fall. Like other scripture-based temple texts, the general structure of the second half of the Book of Moses follows a pattern exemplifying faithfulness and unfaithfulness to a specific sequence of covenants that is familiar to members of the LDS Church who have received the temple endowment. The story of Enoch and his people in these latter chapters of the Book of Moses provides a vivid demonstration of the final steps on the path that leads back to God and up to exaltation.
These essays, with MP3 audio versions, delve into the philosophical aspects of the book of Moses.
“Enoch and the City of Zion: Can an Entire Community Ascend to Heaven?,” David J. Larsen, BYU Studies Quarterly 53, no. 1
One of the most significant additions to the Book of Genesis in Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible is to the story of the prophet Enoch, who the biblical record briefly implies was taken up into heaven alive. In Joseph Smith’s rendering of the story, however, not only Enoch, as an individual, ascends into heaven, but also his entire community. This article explores the notion of communal ascent in ancient Jewish and Christian literature and seeks to find affinities with the story of Enoch’s Zion found in the LDS Book of Moses. Ancient narratives such as The History of the Rechabites provide some interesting parallels, however the idea of a group ascending into heaven is more strikingly presented in texts that are arguably designed for ritual purposes, as we see with the biblical Epistle to the Hebrews and the Hodayot and Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice texts from among the Dead Sea Scrolls. We can see in these texts a pattern that entails an individual being taken up into heaven and taught the celestial mysteries, then being appointed to return and teach others so that they can also, as a group, ascend into the heavenly realm.
“The Narrative Call Pattern in the Prophetic Commission of Enoch (Moses 6),” Stephen D. Ricks, BYU Studies 26, no.4
There is a striking example of a “narrative” type call in the prophetic commission of Enoch in Moses 6:23–36. This study considers the elements of the narrative call pattern; those elements of this form found in the prophetic commission of Enoch are examined and compared with the biblical narrative call passages.
Videos from a conference on Enoch, sponsored by the Academy for Temple Studies and the Religion Department at Utah State University. These presentations on Enoch the man, LDS revelations on Enoch, and the apocryphal books of Enoch were given in 2013.
“The Temple According to 1 Enoch,” George W. E. Nickelsburg, BYU Studies Quarterly 53, no. 1
During the Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE), most Jews in Jerusalem worshipped at the Jerusalem temple. But a separate community at Qumran decried the lack of ritual purity in the activity at the Second Temple and saw their community as an ersatz for the temple. Literature at Qumran included 1 Enoch, a collection of five tractates composed in the Aramaic language between the fourth century BCE and the turn of the era and ascribed to the ancient patriarch Enoch, the head of the seventh generation after creation (Gen. 5:18–24). Some of the tractates are concerned about a dysfunctional Jerusalem cult and resolve the problem of how to worship by looking forward to the approaching eschaton. Other sections of 1 Enoch tell that the real action is already taking place in the true temple, which is the heavenly temple. There, variously, God is enthroned, and the Son of Man is being prepared to enact divine judgment so that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. Here Enoch remains until the end-time, witnessing the interaction between God and the archangels. This vision refers to three Israelite sanctuaries—the tabernacle, the First Temple, and the Second Temple—and to the establishment of a New Jerusalem, in which there is no temple, because the city itself serves as a temple.