Friday, March 5, 2010

Ether 1

I'm fascinated by the Book of Ether. Moroni inserted this in the abridgment his father began and that he completed. Moroni was alone -- the last of his people. In his isolation and loneliness, why did he choose to add this to the record? Why did the people of our day need this?

And the Book of Ether is unique. Many new names appear here that are found no where else in the Book of Mormon record. Their politics and culture are markedly different. Through repeated readings of the Book of Mormon, I find the Book of Ether to be peculiar and believe it is a testimony to the truthfulness of the record as a whole.

The first chapter sets forth the genealogy of Ether who wrote the record. That's unique in the Book of Mormon, also. There isn't another place where a long family history is set forth. Ether was a descendant of Jared who with his brother and their friends and families left Babel when God confused the languages of the people. Jared appears to have been a righteous man, but it's interesting that he defers to his brother in spiritual things. He asks his brother to approach the Lord for guidance. Jared's brother never has a name in the Book of Mormon other than "the brother of Jared." That's another interesting and unique thing.

Jared and his brother go to the Lord repeatedly for help. After obtaining several promises from God, the brother of Jared receives instruction to go with Jared and their friends and family and they will be led by God to a promised land.

43 And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

God tells the brother of Jared that he obtained this blessing "because this long time ye have cried unto me." Sometimes we have to exercise faith and patience in seeking blessings from the Lord. We have to wait on Him. We have to believe that His timing is right and continue to petition Him. A central message of the Book of Ether which begins with this last verse in chapter 1 is that faith precedes miracles.

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