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Dear Gramps,

On March 29, 2013, you posted that the story of David W. Patten in Miracle of Forgiveness mentions Cain and you indicated the individual that Elder Patten met was Cain.

On March 8, 2006, you posted an extract from Hugh Nibley, where Cain is said to have died in his house.

On July 4, 2010  you posted that Cain was not alive anymore.

So I am confused about your position, are you saying he is alive, as in David Patten’s story or that he is dead?





Dear Stuart,

What I’m saying is that Gramp’s Cain sits rather uncomfortably in a box with Schrodinger’s cat. We have the authoritative scriptures (which I reference in two of my answers cited) which are silent as to the death of Cain. Then we have other sources that claim his death (The Book of Jasher disagrees with my earlier-cited Jubilees/Nibley on the manner of his death) and some modern second-hand accounts of a living Cain sighting. Who am I to believe? I don’t think the evidence is conclusive. As with so many things that remain unrevealed, we must learn to live with the uncomfortable silence until God speaks on the matter.

I think this speaks to a larger issue, which is that I am ever a student and learning new things each year. Sometimes this means I’ve changed my mind as I’ve learned new information. Other times, this means I’ve found new sources or approaches to commonly asked questions (why do I really need to address Cain’s fate three times?). The most exciting thing that happens is when the Lord addresses an issue through His servants the prophets.

The name of the game for Latter-day Saints is progression. Even our life in heaven is properly described as eternal progression. Our critics (including our common adversary) would prefer us to stagnate, as that makes for an easy target. For us to really come off victors we have got to grow in light and truth by living the commandments and revelations we’ve already been given and accepting the new ones as they come in the same manner.






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