Cain was the son of Adam and Eve, the first people of the Bible. Although he is the first child mentioned in the Bible, additional Mormon scriptures reveal that there were many other children before him. His birth is reported in Genesis 4. He was a tiller of the ground, while his younger brother Abel was a keeper of the sheep.
One day Cain brought the fruit of the ground as an offering to the Lord and Abel brought the firstling of his flock and the fat thereof. God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s. Cain was upset and God asked why he was upset about it. The Lord assured Cain that if he did well, his offering would also be accepted, but if not, it sin would be at the door. In the Pearl of Great Price, a book of scripture used by Mormons in addition to the Bible, Cain loves Satan more than God, and Satan encourages Cain to make an offering to the Lord. It is likely his offering was not made in faith or according to the correct procedures and that this was why it was rejected.
Cain entered into an alliance with Satan, who called him Master Mahan, or “master of this great secret.” Satan taught him to kill for personal gain and Cain coveted his brother’s flocks, which God appeared, to him, to prefer.
Cain killed Abel in a field. When God asked him where his brother was, he answered, “I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?” God told him his brother’s blood called from the ground and issued a punishment for Cain’s behavior. He told him that the ground would no longer yield its strength to him and he would be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.
Cain was upset and cried out that it was more than he could bear. He would no longer be able to speak with God and he feared everyone would want to kill him. God demonstrated his mercy by placing a mark on Cain as a protection and vowing that anyone who killed him would be punished sevenfold.
Cain left God’s presence and went to live in Nod, on the east of Eden. He was married to one of his brothers’ daughters, according to the Pearl of Great price, to a woman who also followed Satan, and became the father of many children. Some of his descendants raised cattle and many were skilled musicians or workers of metals.
He and his descendants lived apart from the other members of Adam’s family.
Adapted from Every Person in the OT by Lynn F. Price; Horizon Publishers and the Bible Dictionary.