"By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled"
Lesson 46 - Ether 7-15
Mosiah 8:8-9, 12, 19; Mosiah 28:17-19. The record referred to in these verses is the record of the Jaredites, which was abridged by Moroni in the book of Ether. What effect did hearing this record have on the people of Mosiah?--It caused them to mourn. Consider why you might think it is important for us to read this account. This lesson discusses the account of the Jaredites from their arrival in the promised land to their complete destruction many generations later. Although the account of their destruction is tragic, we, like the people of Mosiah, can rejoice in the knowledge the record gives us. Today's lesson will remind us of the importance of exercising faith, being humble, and heeding the counsel of the prophets.
Moroni explained the importance of faith.
Ether 6:18 After arriving in the promised land, the Jaredites began to "multiply...and wax strong in the land" .
Ether 6:21-30 When Jared and his brother died, a king was appointed to lead the people.
Ether Chapters 7-11 records the succession of righteous and wicked kings, the rise of secret combinations among the people, and the teachings of prophets who were called to preach repentance to the Jaredites.
Ether 12 begins the account of the teachings of Ether, who was one of those prophets.
Ether 12:3 Ether exhorted the people to believe in God, saying that "by faith all things are fulfilled".
Ether 12:4 Ether described those who believe in God as "sure and steadfast...always abounding in good works...being led to glorify God" because their souls are anchored in faith and hope.
Think about how faith and hope anchor you. Consider how faith leads to good works that glorify God.
Ether 12:5 Ether prophesied "great and marvelous things" to the people, but they did not believe him because they could not see them.
Think of times when you or other people have been blessed for following prophetic counsel even when you could not "see" or understand the reasons for the counsel. Share appropriate examples from your experience with your Gospel Doctrine/Sunday School class.
Moroni recorded that the people would not believe the prophecies of Ether because they could not see them. Moroni then defined faith and gave examples of it.
Ether 12:6; see also Hebrews 11:1; Alma 32:21 Moroni defined faith as "things which are hoped for and not seen".
Ether 12:6; see also Ether 12:29-31; D&C 58:2-4 Consider what it means that we "receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith".
Ether 12:7-22 Moroni listed several events that occurred as a result of faith. Events he listed included: the appearance of the Resurrected Lord to their "fathers", the reception of the Mosaic Code by Moses, the giving of the higher law as provided by the Savior, the miraculous deliverance of Alma and Amulek from prison, the reception of the Holy Ghost by converted Lamanites through the efforts of Nephi and Lehi, a miracle among the Lamanites by Ammon and his brethren, and the appearance of Christ to the brother of Jared.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "We receive by faith all temporal blessings that we do receive, [and] we in like manner receive by faith all spiritual blessings that we do receive" (Lectures on Faith , 3).
The Lord taught Moroni that He gives us weakness that we may be humble.
Ether 12:23-25 Moroni was concerned about how the Gentiles would receive his record, thinking that they would mock his writing ability and vocabulary.
Ether 12:26 The Lord responded that fools would mock, but the meek would respond to His grace.
It is important to read Moroniís words "and all scriptures"with meekness so that we may feel and understand by the power of the Spirit.
Ether 12:27 This verse contains the Lord's promise to those who humble themselves and have faith in Him ("Then will I make weak things become strong unto them").   Think of examples of this promise being fulfilled in the scriptures, your life, or the lives of others.
Ether 12:28-34 Moroni wrote of the importance of faith, hope, and charity.
These qualities bring us unto Christ as we apply them to His work on the earth.
Ether 12:41 Moroni exhorted us to "seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written".
Ponder the ways in which you can "seek Jesus" today.
Ether 12:41 The Lord promises the grace of the Father and the Son to those who do this.
We need the grace of God and His Son to strengthen our testimonies and keep us on the path to eternal life.
Moroni recorded Etherís prophecies concerning the promised land.
Ether 13:2-12 Ether prophesied about the New Jerusalem and the Old Jerusalem:
a. The Old Jerusalem ("from whence Lehi [came]"), will be "built up again, a holy city unto the Lord" (Ether 13:5).
This will be
done by the descendants of Judah before the Second Coming.
b. Before the Second Coming, "a new Jerusalem should be built up upon this land [the Americas]" (Ether 13:6).
The New Jerusalem will be a holy city built by a remnant of the house of Joseph (Ether 13:8).
c. The City of Enoch will come down out of heaven and become part of the New Jerusalem (Ether 13:3, 10 ; see also
Revelation 21:2, 10). This will occur after the Second Coming.
Ether 13:10-11 Moroni described those who would be worthy to live in these holy cities as those who had made and kept covenants through Christ, becoming members of the house of Israel, and those among the original house of Israel who accepted the Savior.
To be "washed in the blood of the Lamb" is to be cleansed from sin through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
War raged throughout the land. The Jaredite civilization was destroyed.
Ether 13:13-14 The people cast Ether out, and he made the remainder of his record while hiding in the cavity of a rock. The people soon became engulfed in wars and secret combinations.
Ether 13:20-21 During the second year that Ether dwelled in the cavity of a rock, the word of the Lord came to him, instructing him to go and prophesy unto Coriantumr to repent with all his household or else he [Coriantumr] would be destroyed.
Ether 13:22 Coriantumr responded to Etherís prophecies by refusing to repent and seeking to slay Ether.
Ether 13:23-15:28 describes continual bloodshed as different groups sought to obtain power. Millions of Jaredites were killed in the battles. Although Coriantumr lost many battles and was wounded several times, he did not die. Near the end of the record, Coriantumr and Shiz gathered all the people together for a final battle. After several days of fighting, only Coriantumr and Shiz remained alive.
Ether 15:29-32 The battle finally ended with Shiz being beheaded by Coriantumr.
Ether 13:20-21 (previously cited) This was a fulfillment of Etherís prophecy that we reviewed a moment ago.
Ether 15:1-5, 18-19; see also Helaman 13:32-33, 38 We learn from the Jaredite record that repenting is essential before we become so deeply involved in sin that we lose the desire and power to escape from the evil in our lives and its consequences upon us and our families.
There are some similarities between the history of the Nephites and the history of the Jaredites because both fell from grace through their bad choices and the downward spiral of sin. Think seriously about what we can learn from the accounts of these two civilizations.
1. The importance of following the prophets
The history of the Jaredites gives many examples of the following pattern:
a. The people become wicked.
b. Prophets call the people to repentance.
c. The people accept the prophets and are blessed, or they reject the prophets and begin to suffer the consequences.
d. In response to the consequences, the people repent and follow the prophets, or they continue in wickedness to their destruction.
Examples of this pattern are found in Ether 7:23-27; Ether 9:23-35; Ether 11:1-8, 11-14, 19-23.
2. Moroni warned against secret combinations
After the death of Jared and his brother, the people were ruled by a succession of kings. With the passing of each generation, contention for the throne became more intense. As this contention grew, Jaredís daughter devised a plan to make her father the king (Ether 8:8)
Note that the man named Jared in this account was a descendant of the Jared referred to in Ether 1-6.
Ether 8:9-12 Jaredís daughter planned to make Akish desire her for his wife. Then, her father would require Akish to slay his father, Omer the king, so that Jared could inherit the throne.
Ether 8:13-18 This plan introduced the secret combinations of old into the land as Akish administered the secret oaths to his kinfolk.
Ether 8:21-22 Moroni taught about the danger of secret combinations and their power to bring civilizations down to destruction.
Ether 8:23, 26 Moroni included these things in his record as a warning to the Gentiles who would receive his writings.
Ether 8:23-25 We can recognize secret combinations and protect ourselves from them by noting that they seek unrighteous power and control over others by oaths that promote secrecy and getting of worldly gain; we protect ourselves by embracing the gospel and humbly seeking the will of the Lord.
3. "Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong"(Ether 12:37)
As Hyrum Smith prepared to go to Carthage Jail, where he and the Prophet Joseph Smith were murdered, he read Ether 12:36-38 and folded down the page (D&C 135:4-5). Consider the comfort these verses offer.