To repopulate the desolate earth, which the Flood had so violently
swept from its moral corruption,
The Most High had preserved but
one family,the household of Noah,
to whom He had declared,
“Thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.”
Genesis 7:1; 1Nephi 17:35
Yet in the three sons of Noah was speedily developed the same
great distinction seen in the world before the Flood. In Shem, Ham,
and Japheth, who were to be the founders of the human race,
was foreshadowed the character of their posterity.
On the other hand, the reverence manifested by Shem and Japheth for their father, and thus for the divine statutes, promised a brighter future for their descendants.
The unnatural crime of Ham
declared the impiety and vileness
of his character. These evil characteristics were perpetuated in Canaan and his posterity, whose continued guilt called upon them the judgments of The Most High.
"Concerning these other 2 sons it
was declared: “Blessed be The
Redeemer, God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant."
The Most High shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” The line of Shem was to be that of the chosen people, of The Most High’s covenant, of the promised Redeemer. Rom. 9:4; D&C 107;40
The Redeemer was the God of Shem. From him would descend Abraham,and the people of Israel, through whom Maschiach was to come. “Happy is that people, whose Redeemer is the Lord.”
Psalm 144:15; D&C 27:10; Isa. 11:17,18
And Japheth “shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” In the blessings of the gospel the descendants of Japheth were especially to share.
The posterity of Canaan descended to the most degrading forms of heathenism. Though the prophetic curse had doomed them to slavery, the doom was withheld for centuries.
The Most High bore with their impiety and corruption until they passed the limits of divine forbearance.
“Then they were dispossessed, and became bondmen to the descendants of Shem and Japheth.
The prophecy of Noah was no arbitrary denunciation of wrath
or declaration of favor. It did not fix the character and destiny of his
sons; But it showed what would be the result of the course of life they had severally chosen and was an expression of The Most High’s purpose toward them and their posterity."
"As a rule, children inherit and imitate the tendencies of their parents, and their examples, so that the sins of the parents are practiced by the children from generation to generation.
Thus the vileness and irreverence of Ham were reproduced in his
posterity, bringing a curse upon them for many generations. “One sinner destroyeth much good.” Ecclesiastes 9:18 ; Alma1:26
On the other hand, how richly rewarded was Shem’s respect for
his father; and what an illustrious line of holy men appears in his
posterity! “The Lord knoweth the days of the upright,” “and his
seed is blessed.” Psalm 37:18, 26; D&C 61:16; 2Neph 30:4
“Know therefore that the Lord thy
God He is God, the faithful God,
which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.”
Deuteronomy 7:9; D&C 93:20; 2Neph 9
“For a time the descendants of Noah continued to dwell among the mountains where the ark had rested.
As their numbers increased, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired to forget their Creator and to cast off the restraint of His law felt a
constant annoyance from the teaching and example of their God-fearing descendants , and after a time they decided to separate from the worshipers of The Most High.
Accordingly they journeyed to the
plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates.
They were attracted by the beauty of the situation and the fertility of the soil, and upon this
plain they determined to make
Ref_ kjv; D&C; egw_lbry; Bk.mor.