82.2: Cain vs. Enoch; OT Lesson 5 (Study Notes)

“If Thou Doest Well, Thou Shalt Be Accepted”

Part II of the episode discusses Cain and Abel in literary and historical perspective, then introduces some ancient traditions about Enoch

Part III examines the theology of this story, returns to the assigned reading with an analytical lens, and then tackles the tradition of black skin as the mark of Cain and its recent official renunciation.

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Class ReadingMoses 5:16-41; 6:26-63; and 7:13, 17-21, 23-47, 68-691 John 3:11, 17-182 Nephi 2:25–27

Additional Reading: Moses 5:42-55; 6:10-23; and 7:14-16, 59-64

Other ReadingGenesis 4:1–16


JodyJenniTimothy, and Jeff continue the discussion.

You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF)

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF)



Lesson Part 2

0:00 Intro and Framing

1:13 Cain and Abel via Genesis Account

8:05 Enoch

Study Notes

12:03 Cain

15:50 Dispensationalism

18:43 Race

Discussion Part 2

31:41 Cain and Abel: Theological and Ethical Problems

36:00 Do we need Satan?

Discussion Part 3

38:25 Cain in the LDS tradition

49:30 Scientific Explanation of Race

53:04 Human Capacity for Evil




The Church’s official statement on race and the priesthood 

Terryl and Fiona Givens, The God Who Weeps

Eugene England, The Weeping God of Mormonism

Armand Mauss, Dispelling the Curse of Cain 

Sunstone article documenting several teachings regarding Cain and race 


Thanks to James Estrada for his postproduction work, and to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.

Latest Comments

  1. Mike Maxwell says:

    I really enjoyed the study notes on this one. The unique character of our Mormon “weeping God” and “mourning earth” are two ideas that we tend to take for granted in Mormonism but are so unique to western religion. I love the treatment you gave them and I hope they can become more a part of the dialogue among the Latter-day Saints.

    I had a chuckle hearing the the Mormon Doctrine Cast System comments, which did not recall having read in Mormon Doctrine. I came to the conclusion some time ago that, Elder McConkie is a bit like the “SNL drunk uncle” of Mormonism — we love him but continue to learn that loud opinionated pronouncements based on a relatively narrow worldview do not weather the test of time very well. To me, he is a lesson that certainty and passion are not the best ingredients in our recipe to find truth.


  2. Cyrus says:

    A comment regarding the Cain and Abel story. Assuming that we can never know if it literally happened, and, instead, we accept it as a story with a lesson. As I listened to the podcast, I noticed that the Cain vs. Abel story seemed very similar to the Lucifer vs. Jesus pre-existence story. That Jesus’ sacrifice/offering was acceptable, while Lucifer’s was rejected. That Lucifer successfully murders the mortal Jesus like Cain murders Abel. And, that Cain is cast out, just as Lucifer is cast out.

    Perphaps the purposes of the Garden of Eden story and the Cain and Abel story are to teach and to remind us of the pre-existence (Garden of Eden) and (the selection of a Savior (Cain vs. Abel).

    Any thoughts?


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