Ether 12 A Scriptural Masterpiece
Moroni’s teachings in chapter 12 are of immeasurable power and profit. He introduces Ether—the last of the Jaredite prophets—and uses Ether’s teachings to the wicked Jaredites as a springboard to teach us today about faith, hope, humility, charity, and prayer. Following is an organized approach:
- Look for the uses of the word faith in verses 3-31 (there are more than thirty), and note what you learn.
- Ponder verse 4, then re-write it in your own words.
- Verse 6 says, “Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (see also verses 30-31). What other words could you put in place of “witness” (for example, “ye receive no answer until after the trial of your faith”).
- What do you learn about faith and prayer from verses 22-29?
- “Hope” is found in verses 4, 6, 8, 9, 28, 32. Study these verses, seeking to understand the principle of hope and the relationship between faith and hope.
- The word humble is found three times in this chapter; all in verse 27. Consider this verse as “The Key to Growth” and look for the process Moroni outlines for our growth. What part does being humble play in this process?
- Moroni taught about charity in verses 28, 34-37. What did he say about those who have charity? What did he teach about those who do not have charity?
- What helps do you see for your own prayers, as you read Moroni’s prayers in verses 22-26, 29-36; plus the Lord’s answers in verses 27-28, 37?
- A wonderful “bonus” to all this is a list of insights regarding the roles and character of the Members of the Godhead, who are referred to in almost every verse of this chapter.
- Read verses 38-41 and reflect upon what you can do to more fully accept Moroni’s invitation to “seek this Jesus.”
Ether 13:1-11 The Three “Cities” Called Jerusalem
Ether taught the disinterested Jaredites concerning the choice land in which they lived, which would one day be the place of the New Jerusalem. Ether actually taught about three places known as Jerusalem (which means “City of Peace”):
- “The New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord” (verses 2-3, 9-10). This is the same celestial world seen later by the apostle John in Revelation 3:12; 21:2.
- “… a New Jerusalem upon this land” (verses 4, 6-8; see also D&C 45:65-71; Articles of Faith 1:10). This is the city to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, which will also be known as Zion and will serve as the political capital of the world during the Millennium (see Isaiah 2:3).
- “… and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come [which] should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord” (verses 5, 11; see also 3 Nephi 20:29-36). This Jerusalem is in the country of Israel, and is a former and future location of a temple of the Lord.
We may faithfully look forward to the three Jerusalems as the Lord continues to unfold His latter-day work.
Ether 13-14 A Somber, Repeating History
As he relates the experiences of Ether—a lone prophet trying to declare repentance to a people obsessed with war, bloodshed, and wicked combinations—Moroni can surely relate, for these were his life experiences also. Note these hard-to-believe events:
- Remarkably, Ether proposed to Coriantumr, king of the Jaredites, the Lord’s offer that if Coriantumr and his household would repent, the Lord would give him victory and spare his kingdom and his people (13:20). Presumably, those are the exact things Coriantumr is fighting for!
- But sadly, Coriantumr chose to reject the offer and instead sought to kill Ether (13:21-22).
- The wars and wickedness moved on (13:23-31) as Coriantumr continued his fateful march toward fulfillment of Ether’s alternate declaration; that Coriantumr’s people would be destroyed and only he would remain to see “another people” brought to the land of promise to replace the Jaredite civilization (13:21; see the fulfillment in Omni 1:20-22).
- The miserable life of the Jaredites continued on, dominated by warfare, blood, and carnage (14:1-16).
- All people were forced to choose to fight for either Coriantumr or Shiz (both of them wicked men); the only alternatives being to die fighting or be put to death for refusing to fight (14:17-20, 27), and “the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead” (14:21).
- A shocking development is that Shiz had somehow become aware of Ether’s prophetic declaration regarding Coriantumr becoming the last surviving Jaredite, and he (Shiz) brazenly announced that he would overwhelm the word of the Lord through Ether, swearing to kill Coriantumr (14:24).
- Now both sides are not only fighting against each other, but also against the Lord. The people had reached the point of inciting “the fulness of [God’s] wrath,” barreling toward their “everlasting destruction” (14:25). This is the tragic fulfillment of the Lord’s warnings through the brother of Jared, as recorded clearly and repeatedly in Ether 2:7-12.
Prophets are so often rejected. How closely connected is your daily life to the teachings, counsel, warnings, testimonies, invitations, and promises of living prophets?
Ether 15 Beginning is Good, But Finishing is Better
The mournful tale of Coriantumr is a lesson for us all, and is highlighted thus:
- “He began to remember the words which Ether had spoken unto him” (verse 1).
- “He began to sorrow in his heart” (verse 2).
- “He began to repent of the evil which he had done” (verse 3).
- “He began to remember the words which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets … and his souled mourned and refused to be comforted” (verse 3).
Perseverance and enduring to the end are prime principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can you think of a time when you were able to persevere and successfully complete something you desired or knew you should do (such as a project, goal, assignment, calling, or other worthy endeavor)? In what ways do you feel the Lord helped you to be a finisher? What lessons did you learn? Jesus was a finisher; see John 4:34; 5:36; 17:4; 19:30; Hebrews 12:2.
The tragic end of the Jaredites is finalized in Ether 15:15-32, in an eight-day battle resulting in the death of all, save Coriantumr. Moroni summarized their total downfall and demise: “Behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed” (verse 19; see also 2 Nephi 26:11). As always, they had been repeatedly warned by prophets, with multiple opportunities to repent and accept the Lord’s kind and generous offers. He kept giving them the chance to repent and come unto Him, regardless of the fact that they rejected Him every time (for example, see Ether 11:1-8, 12-13, 20-21; 12:1-3; 13:13-14, 20-22).
Do you recognize in your life the Lord’s patience with you, and the many times He allows you to start over, try again, re-do, struggle and strive?