16 And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time.
17 And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.
18 And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine.
Individual salvation leads to collective salvation. As the story of Enos demonstrates, a person may reach out to God because of a fear for the welfare of his or her own soul, but once the weight of their sins has been lifted by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, their thoughts and feelings will immediately turn to the welfare of others.
After Enos’s “guilt was swept away,” he felt “a desire for the welfare of [his] brethren, the Nephites” (Enos 1:9). After receiving assurances from God on their behalf, his “faith began to be unshaken in the Lord.” He prayed “with many long strugglings” for his enemies, the Lamanites (Enos 1:11). Only after God promised to preserve the spiritual records of his people and make them available to the descendants of the Lamanites did Enos’s soul “rest.”
What did he do next? He went to work: preaching, prophesying, and testifying to his people, trying to help them receive the promises that he now knew they could receive. He also participated in efforts to help the Lamanites regain their faith (Enos 1:19-20). “Rest” did not mean complacency or relaxation. Rather, it meant that he could set aside his fears, have confidence in God’s promises, and work hard with an assurance that his efforts would not be in vain.
I think it’s significant that the Lord told Enos, “Thy fathers have also required of me this thing.” Even though he had just received a personal remission of his sins after many hours of solitary prayer, he was not alone. His ancestors had experienced similar things and had also pleaded with God to bless their people. Salvation is both an individual and a collective endeavor.
Today, I will strive to follow Enos’s example. I will pray for the welfare of the people around me. I will take opportunities to teach and testify of the truths I know. And I will remember that, however personal my own spiritual experiences may seem, other people have made similar requests of God and have received similar promises from Him.