274.3: A Tale of Two Cities (OT Gospel Doctrine 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, and to Trent Oliphant for updating the episode.

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