“By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled”
Book of Mormon Lesson 46
A SUCCESSION OF RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED KINGS
In Ether 7–11, we read about a succession of righteous and wicked kings who followed Orihah. We also read about the rise of secret combinations among the Jaredites, and the teachings of prophets who called them to repentance.
Moroni Warns Against Secret Combinations
Moroni's warning about secret combinations in the latter days, which he prophesied would also exist among us (Ether 8:19–26). Moroni is very clear about their danger, saying we must not sit by and allow it, but seek to eradicate secret combinations wherever they are.
President Ezra Taft Benson said, ". . .the Book of Mormon. . . states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people. (Ether 8:21). . . . This scripture [Ether 8:22] should alert us to what is ahead unless we repent, because there is no question but that as people of the free world, we are increasingly upholding many of the evils of the adversary today. . . . Moroni seemed greatly exercised lest in our day we might not be able to recognize the startling fact that the same secret societies which destroyed the Jaredites and decimated numerous kingdoms of both Nephites and Lamanites would be precisely the same form of . . . conspiracy which would rise up among the gentile nations in this day."1
The Jaredite Pride Cycle
Earlier in the Book of Mormon, we became familiar with the Nephite pride cycle of prosperity, pride, destruction, and repentance. The Jaredites suffered from the same malady, which Moroni illustrates for us in the continuing history of Jaredite kings and their people.
Jared ruled briefly, then was assassinated by his son-in-law Akish (Ether 9:4–6). Akish killed his son and reigned in wickedness (Ether 9:7–11). Omer was restored again to the throne when Akish's kingdom erupted into civil war among the sons of Akish, killing all but 30 people (Ether 9:12–13).
Emer succeeded his father on the throne and ruled righteously, bringing great prosperity to his people (Ether 9:14–22):
— All manner of fruit, grain, silks, fine linen, gold, silver, and precious things (v. 17).
— Cattle, oxen, cows, sheep, swine, goats, & other animals useful for food (v. 18).
— Horses, asses, elephants, cureloms, and cumoms, of which the elephants and cureloms were most "useful unto man" (v. 19).
— Cureloms and cumoms. We do not know for sure what kind of animals these were, but since they seem to be unique to the Americas and are "useful to man" (as opposed to wild), some Book of Mormon scholars speculate that cureloms are llamas (a type of camel, useful for packing things) and cumoms are either alpacas or bears, whose fur would have been especially useful for clothing.
"The Son of Righteousness" appeared during the reign of righteous King Emer (vv. 21–22).
Heth's reign brought the rise of secret combinations again, leading to destruction of many people (Ether 9:26).
A Period of Great Peace and Prosperity
The Jaredites achieved a very high state of civilization. The whole northern part of the land was covered with cities (Ether 10:9–34).
— The land southward was preserved as a wilderness for hunting game (vv. 20–22)
— During this time, they were very industrious and had a thriving economy (v. 22).
— They made many things of gold, silver, iron, brass, and other metals (v. 23).
— They had silks, fine-twined linen, and "all manner of cloth" (v. 24).
— They made tools to till the earth, plow, sow, reap, hoe, and thrash, as well as "all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts" (vv. 25–26).
— They made all manner of weapons and "other works of. . .curious workmanship" (v. 27).
— Moroni says "never could be a people more blessed than were they" (v. 28).
The Final Stages of Jaredite Civilization
Hearthom, Heth, Aaron, Amnigaddah, and Coriantum all live in captivity (Ether 10:30–31). We know very little about their righteousness, but assume that Hearthom was righteous for a while, until he lost the kingdom and went into captivity.
Seth, Ahah, and Ethem all reigned in wickedness, and the prophets withdrew from among the people because of their wickedness (Ether 11:9–14). Moron reigned in wickedness and was taken captive twice (Ether 11:14–18), spending all the remainder of his days in captivity" (v. 18). Coriantor lived in captivity all his days and begat the righteous prophet Ether (Ether 11:19, 23).
The prophets predicted the coming of the family of Lehi to inherit the land (Ether 11:20–22) after the Jaredites' "utter destruction" (v. 20). But the people rejected all the words of the prophets "because of their secret society and wicked abominations" (v. 22).
Trials of Our Faith
While Coriantumr was king, Ether—their last prophet—preached repentance unto the people (Ether 12:1–5). He "could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him" (v. 2), crying repentance "from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed" (v. 3). Ether also prophesied "great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not" (v. 5).
Faith produces hope of eternal life, which is the motivation for righteous living (Ether 12:3–4). Moroni defines faith as "things which are hoped for and not seen," and that we will "receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith" (Ether 12:6; Hebrews 11:1).
Moroni illustrated the doctrine of faith with several scriptural examples of prophets and others who had gone before him who were recipients of great miracles, testimonies, and blessings of the Lord as a result of their great faith (Ether 12:13–22).
— Alma and Amulek caused the prison to tumble to the earth (v. 13).
— Nephi and Lehi caused Lamanites to be baptized with fire & the Holy Ghost (v. 14).
— Ammon and his brethren miraculously converted the Lamanites (v. 15).
— Many performed miracles by faith, both before and after Christ (v. 16).
— By faith the 3 Nephites obtained a promise that they would not taste of death (v. 17).
Moroni observed that in no case did the Lord perform any of these miracles "until after their faith"—until "they first believed in the Son of God" (v. 18). Many had faith so strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw. . .with an eye of faith, and they were glad" (v. 19). One of these was the brother of Jared, whose faith in God was so strong that "the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil" (vv. 20–21).
Moroni concludes by saying that "by faith. . .my fathers have obtained the promise that these things [the Book of Mormon] should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles," which is the reason why "the Lord hath commanded me [to keep and protect the record], yea, even Jesus Christ" (v. 22).
Turning Weaknesses into Strengths
Moroni showed self-consciousness about the weakness of Nephite writing (Ether 12:23–25). In contrast, he observed that the writing of the brother of Jared (which was the Adamic language) was "mighty. . .even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them" (v. 24).
The Lord gives all of us weaknesses to keep us humble, and will help us to "make weak things become strong unto" us (Ether 12:26–29).
Moroni listed some of the great blessings the Lord had given unto His prophets and those who had faith (Ether 12:30–35).
The last scripture read by Hyrum Smith prior to his martyrdom was Ether 12:36–37. As he prepared to go to Carthage Jail, he read these verses and folded down the page (D&C 135:4–5).
Amen #3: Moroni wrote his third "farewell" statement here, thinking he was finished (Ether 12:38–41).
THE JAREDITES ARE DESTROYED
The People Reject Ether's Teachings
The Jaredites rejected Ether and cast him out (Ether 13:13–14). He dwelt in a cave and witnessed their final destruction. Moroni was "about to write more" concerning the "great and marvelous" prophesies of Ether, but was forbidden by the Lord (v. 13). It was while he was dwelling in that cave that "he made the remainder of this record, viewing the destructions which came upon the people, by night" (v. 14).
Coriantumr became the sole survivor of the Jaredites (Ether 14:24–31). He remembered the prophecies of Ether concerning him and wrote to Shiz in an effort to end the bloodshed—to no avail (Ether 15:1–6). More than two million Jaredites were killed in the battles (v. 2).
The last great battle utterly destroyed the Jaredite nation (Ether 15:7–33). The last great battle took place at the Hill Ramah (Cumorah) (vv. 7–14)."Ramah" is a Mayan word meaning a very high hill rising above a flat plain. This is the place where both the Nephites and the Jaredites were destroyed-the hill that the Nephites call Cumorah (Mormon 6:1–2; Mormon 1:3; 4:23). Every living Jaredite gathered there except the prophet Ether (v. 12).
1. God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, 321–322.
This material is taken from the Making Precious Things Plain study guides for the Book ofMormon.