Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Friday, February 16, 2018

“Noah … Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House”

**Scripture references 

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We all know the story of Noah and the ark.  We were taught as children and have grown up with animals two by two, rainbows and promises.  But do we really understand the story of Noah, which in fact, is not a story at all.  Rather it is a grand lesson in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to guide and direct us even in our day, helping us to have a desire to live worthily and avoid the evils of the world. A study of the prophet Noah is not only beneficial in achieving these goals but is truly necessary, for he did indeed, like those Holy ones before him, walk with God.    

Who is Noah? 

Noah's lineage consists of a long line of patriarchs, including 10 generations back to Adam.

His grandfather was Methuselah, and his great-grandfather was Enoch. The patriarchal line continues through Jared, Mahalaleel, Cainan, Enos, Seth, and finally to Adam.  Gen. 5 and D&C 107:42-52

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that Noah is Gabriel and stands next in authority to Adam in the priesthood, yet  the scriptural record is almost void of information on the early life experience of Noah.

The book of Genes
is, states that he was "five hundred years old: and he begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth" (Gen. 5:32), and D&C 107:52 tells of his unusually early ordination to the priesthood: "Noah was ten years old when he was ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood under the hand of Methuselah." One wonders about the unique factors, either in his character or in the circumstances of his time, that brought about ordination at the age of ten. 

Standing next in authority to Adam places Noah in a key role in the plan of salvation, in priesthood functions pertaining to this earth, and in the restoration of the gospel as well as priesthood keys to the earth in various dispensations, including our own. As Gabriel he appeared to Zacharias in the temple to announce the birth and role of John the Baptist (
Luke 1:1-25), and he was the angel sent to instruct Mary concerning her role as the mother of the Savior of the world. (Luke 1:26-38.)

In our own day, Gabriel is listed as one of those who brought to Joseph Smith "rights . . . keys . . . honors . . . majesty and glory . . . and the powers of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope." (D&C 128:21.)

So when we think about Noah, as a person, though we don't know much about him, what we can say is that he was absolutely, in the greats of prophets, seers and revelators for humankind.  

President Joseph Fielding Smith: 
"Summarizing the facts - Joseph Smith revealed that Gabriel was Noah; Luke declared that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Zacharias and Mary; and the Lord has declared that Elias appeared to Zacharias and Joseph Smith. Therefore, Elias is Noah." (Answers to Gospel Questions 3:141)

Noah, called to lead

As a family, Noah and his three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth"hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed, and they were called the sons of God." Noah taught the same Gospel principles and practiced the same ordinances as did Father Adam and the other men of God who preceded him; and he carried on his Gospel dispensation under the same divine power and guidance as did the other holy prophets. Noah taught the same Gospel as we have today, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being commanded to preach repentance, baptism, and receiving of the Holy Ghost.

What was the world like when the Lord called Noah to preach the gospel?  Moses 8:20–22    

Noah was born during a period in the world's history when practically all the inhabitants of the earth were corrupt except his particular family, meaning his immediate family. 

20 And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words;

21 And also, after that they had heard him, they came up before him, saying: Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children, and the same are mighty men, which are like unto men of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah.

22 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.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell teaches us that: "The picture one gets of the dispensation of Noah is of a people who were increasingly wicked and who felt increasingly self-sufficient. Their attitude was described as follows: 'And every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually' (Moses 8:22)." (Things As They Really Are, p76)

What similarities can you see between the people of Noah’s day and the people of our day?

Staying with Elder Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles he also teaches: "Long ago it was prophesied that the last days would be rampant with selfishness and the other cardinal sins, just as in the days of Noah (see Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Society in the days of Noah, scriptures advise, was 'corrupt before God' and 'filled with violence' (Genesis 6:11-12; Moses 8:28). Corruption and violence—does that sound familiar? Both of these awful conditions crest today because of surging individual selfishness. When thus engulfed, no wonder mens' hearts in our day will fail them because of fear (see Luke 21:26; D&C 45:26). Even the faithful can expect a few fibrillations." (Men and Women of Christ, p9)

Further, Elder Boyd K. Packer tells us: "I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds the wickedness and depravity which surrounds us now.  "Satan uses every intrigue to disrupt the family. The sacred relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, through which mortal bodies are conceived and life is passed from one generation to the next generation, is being showered with filth.
    "Profanity, vulgarity, blasphemy, and pornography are broadcast into the homes and minds of the innocent. Unspeakable wickedness, perversion, and abuse—not even exempting little children—once hidden in dark places, now seeks protection from courts and judges."
 (Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law Society Devotional, Saturday, 28 February 2004)

In the information and learning that has been given to and restored to us, its safe to say that in the time of Noah, things were at their absolute worst, there almost no hope for the hearts of men.  

Noah's Calling   Moses 8:19–30Genesis 6:5–227:1–10

 Though things were considerably bleak in his time, as commanded Noah preaches the gospel, but the people do not listen.  Their hearts were hardened and there was nothing to intercede to make them see the beauty and safety of the Gospel.  Noah and the other early patriarchs taught the same gospel the Savior taught, the same gospel that has been restored in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  In the Pearl of Great Price we read of Noah preaching the first principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, reminding his hearers that it was the same gospel had by their fathers: 

"And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words; "Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not." (Moses 8:23-24.)

However even with this knowledge, the people continued to live wicked lives in spite of Noah's persistent preaching and teaching of the word of God.  Noah sensing the awful depths of depravity into which the people of his generation had plunged, and seeing their wickedness and abandonment to the meanest purposes which human nature can suggest or evil power achieve, prophesied their utter destruction if they did not repent as God had commanded. But the more Noah preached the principles of righteousness, not because of his diligence but in spite of it, fewer and fewer became repentant and It became necessary, therefore, for the Lord to cleanse the earth with a flood.

Because of the people’s wickedness, the Lord declares that he will destroy all flesh from the earth (Moses 8:26–30Genesis 6:5–13)

"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Genesis 6:5-6

In trying to understand the situation before Noah and his communication with God, its important to note that the Joseph Smith Translation reads different than Genesis: "And the Lord said, I will destroy man who I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air. For it repenteth Noah that I have created them, and that I have made them; and he hath called upon me, for they have sought his life." (JST Genesis 8:14-15)

After reading the clear translations we can see then, that Noah, was having a pretty hard time. His heart ached because the people with whom he labored for righteousness' sake paid no attention to his words, but grew more and more in wickedness every day. It grieved him to the very center that God had ever made man and placed him here upon earth.

The Lord being weary of man's continual evilness, decided and so declared: "I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air." God observed that the whole earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. No one except Noah and his family in any way tried to serve Him, so, in deep regret, He cried: "Behold I will destroy all flesh off the earth."

How could the people of Noah’s day have avoided destruction? Moses 8:23–24

23 And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words;

24 Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.

How can listening to and following the prophets help us avoid spiritual and temporal destruction?

The Lord commands Noah to build an ark and take his family and two of every living thing into it (Genesis 6:14–227:1–10)

Why did Noah build the ark?  Hebrews 11:7

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was just in all his ways.  Noah had constant communion with God, he was not bold except in serving Him; he taught his sons the ways of the Lord and they as well as Noah himself walked with God.  The Lord was aware of Noah's diligence in proclaiming His Holy Word, and therefore would not forsake him to the floods, and because the wicked sought to take his life the Lord would save Noah's life and preserve him as promised.

The ark commanded to be built saved Noah's life, and the lives of his family members.  Church leaders have counseled each of us to “build a personal ark” in our day to achieve the same. (W. Don Ladd, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 36; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 29).

What can we do to protect ourselves and our families spiritually?  The key is to accept the invitation of our prophet...'to live with ever more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the love and hope and compassion He displayed'." (Conference Report, Oct 1994 Elder Ladd)

Some Specific things we need in building our personal ark:  

Study the words of eternal life in the scriptures and from the prophets.

Frequent and sincere prayer

Regular church attendance and being attentive while there.

Family prayer.

Temple attendance.

Teach and abide by the principles in the pamphlet For The Strength Of Youth.

Keep the Sabbath day holy.

The most important thing we can do—young or old—is develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we do, we will always be comfortable with ourselves. Any questions of self-esteem and self-worth will diminish, and we will have a quiet confidence that will see us through any trial. And the Savior’s promise to us is “Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world” (D&C 50:41).
Whatever the anxiety or fear or frustration, we have only to remember the Lord’s comforting words to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Liberty Jail: “My son, peace be unto thy soul” (D&C 121:7). To each of us, He will always be there to say, “My son, my daughter, my child, peace be unto thy soul.”
(Conference Report, Oct 1994 Elder Ladd)

What can we do to be temporally prepared in case of calamity or other need?  

Elder L. Tom Perry taught:  “Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.  

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness” (Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 46–47; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36).

President Spencer W. Kimball also explained that when Noah built the ark, “there was no evidence of rain and flood. … His warnings were considered irrational. … How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. The ark was finished. The floods came. The disobedient and rebellious were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 5–6)

The Lord cleanses the earth with a flood Genesis 7:11–2489:8–17  

Many who read the story of the flood see it as a bad thing, they see it as an act of violence from and unforgiving, jealous, unloving God.  When actually, if we really but a study to it, we can see that it was an act of mercy coming from a loving God to save his children in the best way possible.  

Victor L. Ludlow professor of ancient scripture at BYU suggested five reasons why the flood was an act of mercy :

The wicked would have less time in this phase of their existence to commit further sins.

God's prophets had already demonstrated his power and witnessed his judgments; to have allowed more witnesses would have brought the people under greater accountability.

God's spirit children still residing in his presence needed a more pure spiritual environment in which to come.

The earth itself was a living entity and desired a rest from wickedness (see Moses 7:48-49).

The earth needed to go through its own baptism of water preparatory for a later baptism of fire and eventual celestialization.  (Unlocking The Old Testament, pp8-9):

What happened when the flood came? All people and creatures that were not on the ark died, and the waters cover the earth for 150 days (Genesis 7:13–24). .

23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark

What “arks” do we have today that can help save us from the evil around us? Homes and families, friends, temples, seminary, Church meetings, prayer, the scriptures, and living prophets...

How can we help others find refuge in these “arks”?  Record your thoughts in your journal, or gospel study notebook.

When the waters recede, Noah, his family, and the animals leave the ark (Genesis 8:1–19)

After the rain stopped, why did Noah send out a dove from the ark?  Genesis 8:8

8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

"The sign of the dove," taught the Prophet Joseph Smith, "was instituted before the creation of the world.  The dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence." 

Joseph Fielding Smith taught that the Dove is an emblem of purity. It was the dove which Noah sent forth from the Ark which returned to him with the evidence that the waters had departed from the face of the earth. The dove as an emblem of purity was offered in sacrifice in ancient Israel, and perhaps before by, which means certain sins were cleansed. (Answers to Gospel Questions Vol 2)

What happened the first two times he sent out the dove?  Genesis 8:8–11

8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

What happened the third time?  Genesis 8:12

12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

When the waters recede, Noah, his family, and the animals leave the ark (Genesis 8:1–19)

What was the first thing Noah did after leaving the ark?  Genesis 8:20 Joseph Smith Translation Genesis 9: 4-6 

20 ¶ And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

4 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar; and gave thanks unto the Lord, and rejoiced in his heart.

5 And the Lord spake unto Noah, and he blessed him. And Noah smelled a sweet savor, and he said in his heart;

6 I will call on the name of the Lord, that he will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and that he will not again smite any more every thing living, as he hath done, while the earth remaineth;

How can we show our gratitude to the Lord when he helps us through a difficult situation?  We can honor Him by living the Gospel to the best of our ability.  

The Lord establishes his covenant with Noah and sets the rainbow as a token of the covenant Genesis 9:8–17

When engaging in a study of the covenant from the flood it is important to note that the Joseph Smith Translation of verse 15 states that the covenant was between God and Noah, not between God and every living creature.

What did God put in the sky after the flood was over?  Genesis 9:13

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

What did God say the rainbow was to represent? Genesis 9:12–13, 16–17

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

What covenant did God make with Noah? Genesis 9:8–11, 15

8 ¶ And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

The people build the tower of Babel Genesis 11:1–9

A few generations after the flood, the connections of Noah began to replenish the earth with people.  "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech" Genesis 11:1 

Orson Pratt indicates that this language was the language of Adam:  " is that same language that was spoken for nearly two thousand years after the creation; that was spoken by Adam and by his children, from generation to generation that came down to the flood, and was taught extensively among the children of Noah until the Lord by a direct miracle caused the people to forget their own mother tongue" (Journal of Discourses, 3:100).

These people, who grew great in number,  tried to build a tower to heaven (the tower of Babel). "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."  Genesis 11:4.

Why did the descendants of Noah decide to build a tower?  Elder Orson F. Whitney stated:  "The people who built the Tower of Babel are said to have done so in order that its top might 'reach unto heaven.' It was to prevent them from accomplishing this purpose, that the Lord confounded their language. Tradition credits Joseph Smith with the statement that the 'heaven' they had in view was the translated city." (Saturday Night Thoughts, p.101)

Noah, I am sure, often taught his family about his great grandfather and the city of righteousness he established.  The story of Enoch surely was passed from generation to generation and became part of the history of these people, even after wickedness returned to the world.  So maybe, rather than live a righteous life, these people possibly believed they could find Zion, the city of Enoch, by building a tower that reached into the heavens. Thus the Lord came down to see what man was doing

Brother Hugh Nibley wrote:  "An investigation of the oldest temples...concludes that those high structures were also 'gigantic altars,' built both to attract the attention of the powers above...and to provide 'the stairways which the god, in answer to these prayers, used in order to descend to the earth. . . . He comes bringing a renewal of life in all its forms.' From the first, it would seem, men built altars in the hopes of establishing contact with heaven, and built high towers for the same purpose (see Genesis 11:4)." (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, 4:360)

The Lord confounds their language so they cannot understand one another and scatters them over the whole earth. 

Why did the Lord confound the language? Genesis 11:7 

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

It was a means of confounding their efforts in building the tower and stopping the commission of greater evil. It may be that the perfect language they spoke enabled them to communicate more efficiently than we find possible. Maybe they were no longer entitled to speak this pure language. According to Orson Pratt, our means of communication is inefficient and imperfect (Journal of Discourses, 3:99-100).

This story of the confounding of tongues and the building of the tower, is today almost universally disbelieved. It is classed among the folklore and mythology of the ancient peoples. Textbooks on sociology, all linguistic studies and history, ridicule, or ignore entirely, treating the origin of man and the gradual development of his language from the evolutionary point of view; and the story of the confusion of tongues is regarded as a fable or ignored with silent contempt.

In the translation, or divine revision, of the Book of Genesis by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the story of the flood and the confusion of tongues are recorded with some corrections of the Bible account. Many of the parts that originally were in the writings of Moses and which were eliminated in course of time, have been restored. The Lord, in these restorations, placed the stamp of approval on the story of Babel and the scattering of the people after the confusion of their language. We have the evidence that this story of Babel is true and is written in the history of the Jaredites as recorded in the Book of Mormon. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny chapter 22)

What do you think they wanted to accomplish by “making a name” for themselves? The Hebrew word for "name" is "shem". Among the meanings for this Hebrew word is reputation, fame, and glory. Possibly this is what the people were trying to achieve. 

What is the difference between making a name for ourselves and taking upon us the name of Christ.  

A name for ourselves:  Achieving wealth and the things of the earth; power; glory and the honors of men; following our own earthly pursuits. We may achieve greatness in this life, but it will end just as surely as does our mortal life.

Taking upon us the name of Christ:  Christ and the gospel is the focus of our life; we strive to honor him; we seek to obey his will rather than our temporal desires. Though we may have little in this life, we will have made a name for ourselves in the eternities.

Additional Facts to help us understand the Tower 

Built of bricks that were baked with fire, as in an oven or a kiln (see Genesis 11:3). Sun-dried bricks had been used for a long time, but baking bricks made them stronger, so larger structures could be built with this new technology.

Used bitumen (a form of petroleum used today in asphalt or roofing tiles) for mortar.

Located in Shinar in Mesopotamia and associated with Nimrod (see Genesis 10:10; 11:2).

Because of its location and materials, usually associated with ziggurats, which were stepped temple towers designed to be elevated above a plain, like a man-made mountain.

Built to “reach unto heaven” and to allow the people to “make [them] a name” and not be scattered (Genesis 11:4).

Failed to achieve its purpose for the people; instead, “the Lord did … confound [their] language … and … scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).

The Lord’s people were commanded to build their altars out of stones that had not been cut with tools (see Exodus 20:24–25). And they built their temples out of quarried stone rather than man-made brick (see 1 Kings 5:15–18).

The word Babel in Hebrew means “confusion,” but in Babylonian or Akkadian it meant “gate of God,” in reference to the tower’s temple function.

Jewish tradition holds that Nimrod rebelled against God and tried to usurp His authority.

One reason the people built the tower was so that they would not be scattered (see Genesis 11:4). Doctrine and Covenants 2:3 says the sealing power would be restored so that the earth would not be “wasted” at the Second Coming. In Joseph Smith’s day, one definition of waste was “to destroy by scattering” 

What We Can Learn From the Tower of Babel 

The tower of Babel:

Used the latest technology. Our mounting technological triumphs, though they can be used for good, can also cause us to forget God and rely on our own strength. Man’s invention is no substitute for God’s power.

Was completely man-made. The Lord wants us to “trust in [Him] with all [our] heart; and lean not unto [our] own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5).

Was undertaken without authority from God. It seems that the people at Babel were attempting to build a counterfeit temple to “reach unto heaven,” bind or seal the people together somehow so they would not be scattered, and “make [them] a name” rather than take the Lord’s name upon them—and all this without authority from God and without regard to His commandments. No project of our own devising will bring us ultimate happiness; only God’s plan, including temple covenants, can do that.

Failed. A world that rejects God and, with pride and arrogance, tries to obtain happiness while disregarding Him and His righteousness will always fail in its quest. “The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:17).    ( The Tower of Babel Ensign Feb 2018)

The Lord preserves the righteous

Just as Noah and his family were saved from the flood because of their righteousness, the Lord also protected righteous people at the time of the tower of Babel.  The story of Jared and his brother, as found in Ether 1:1–5, 33–37, in the Book of Mormon, shows us how this is true.  

1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account of those ancient inhabitants who were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country.

2 And I take mine account from the twenty and four plates which were found by the people of Limhi, which is called the Book of Ether.

3 And as I suppose that the first part of this record, which speaks concerning the creation of the world, and also of Adam, and an account from that time even to the great tower, and whatsoever things transpired among the children of men until that time, is had among the Jews—

4 Therefore I do not write those things which transpired from the days of Adam until that time; but they are had upon the plates; and whoso findeth them, the same will have power that he may get the full account.

5 But behold, I give not the full account, but a part of the account I give, from the tower down until they were destroyed..  

33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.

34 And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.

35 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded.

36 Then Jared said unto his brother: Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language.

37 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded.


The people who built the tower of Babel were punished because they tried to reach heaven by worldly means. Conversely, Noah and his family were saved from the flood because they lived according to God’s commandments.  The only way for us to reach heaven—to return to live with our Heavenly Father—is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must live righteously, as Noah did, having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, receiving sacred ordinances, and enduring to the end of our lives. If we do these things, we will rise above evil and be able to return to the presence of God.

Elder W. Don Ladd taught: “When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. … We … need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future” (Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 37; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 29)



Unlocking The Old Testament, pp8-9

Answers to Gospel Questions Vol 2

Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 276

Journal of Discourses, 3:100

Saturday Night Thoughts, p.101

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, 4:360

Journal of Discourses, 3:99-100

The Tower of Babel Ensign Feb 2018

Conference Reports


Church History, Times and Seasons


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The Fall of Adam and Eve

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