Slow of Speech
And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord, and spoke before the Lord, saying , Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me, for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? (Genesis 4:2). Being “slow of speech” does not mean Enoch was inarticulate or somehow impaired. He was not at all “slow.” He was a brilliant man. He was an articulate man. He was a most capable man. He wrote the record which Moses preserved in his account and Joseph Smith restored to us by revelation. He was always envisioned anciently as the Great Scribe. He was thought by antiquity (by the Egyptians) to be the one who brought wisdom, who brought knowledge (Thoth). This phrase clearly means something else. He is “slow of speech” because he would rather think about things than talk about them. He would rather consider a matter carefully than speak quickly about it. He would rather be left alone than to make public declarations. He would rather have his privacy, his family, and a few close intimate friends than he would to minister to people who don’t give a damn about what he has to say. He would have preferred to avoid contact with those who think he is a wild man come among them, because they believe he has no business delivering the message. He was trusted by the Lord precisely because the message was the Lord’s, and Enoch would not add to it because he craved attention. In other words, being “slow of speech” is a qualifier for Enoch as the Lord’s messenger, not a handicap.1
1 Essays: Three Degrees, “The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered,” 86–87.