The Lord Confounds the Language of Those Who Were Building the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:5–9

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Elder Orson Pratt said:

“The people before the Flood did not lose the art of writing, but they wrote their revelations, visions, etc., in the language of Adam—the first language given to man. This knowledge was retained through the Flood.

“We come down to the days of the building of the Tower of Babel, soon after the Flood. . . . The people being of one language, gathered together to build a tower to reach, as they supposed, the crystalized heavens. They thought that the City of Enoch was caught up a little ways from the earth, and that the city was within the first sphere above the earth; and that if they could get a tower high enough, they might get to heaven, where the City of Enoch and the inhabitants thereof were located. They went to work and built a tower. They had this tradition, that there had been a translation of people from the earth, and they were anxious to become acquainted with them; but the Lord saw that they were one, and that they all had one language, and that nothing would be restrained from them which they imagined to do; and as a curse, He sent a variety of tongues—took from them their own mother-tongue. The language of Adam was all forgotten in a moment; and independently of taking away from them the knowledge of their own tongue, He gave them a multitude of other tongues, so that they could not understand one another.”

(“Discourse,” The Ogden Junction: Semi-Weekly, June 25, 1873, 6.)