Come Follow Me: Ether 6-11

My blog post on Come Follow Me: Ether 6-11.


Excerpt:The Creation Anew

“And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness” (Ether 6:2)

With the beginning of this chapter, we see a new creation occurring. It is reminiscent of the Creation in Genesis chapter one. Everything that occurred in the Book of Ether thus far is similar to the preparations of God to create the world and the skies above. Now we have a repeat. Similarly, we find the same event occur with Noah and the ark, where ancient traditions suggest he may have had shining stone in the ark to give light.In the barges, we find all things necessary for a new Creation: light, food (plants), animals, and everything needful for the journey. As the darkness and waters in the original Creation and in Noah’s flood were chaotic, the shining stones brought order out of dark chaos, and the barges represented safety on dry ground from the chaos of the great waters.

Exactly four centuries ago this month (November 11, 1620), 102 Pilgrims and others landed on Plymouth Rock. For them, the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny and cramped ship, was akin to a new Creation.

https://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2020/11/come-follow-me-ether-6-11.html

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery (joelsmonastery.blogspot.com). He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

5 thoughts on “Come Follow Me: Ether 6-11

  1. I sometimes wonder if the Book of Ether isn’t the most underappreciated evidence that Joseph Smith is not the author of the Book of Mormon. In the flow of the Nephite vs. Lamanite history, its very existence seems superfluous and out of place. You can even find modern summaries of the Book of Mormon from friendly, hostile, and neutral sources that fail to mention the Jaredite record at all!

    Why would a storytelling author find the inclusion of such a side-story necessary?

    Its emphasis is different. The reader is taken from a society of inherited fraternal conflict where opponents pay with their lives, to one of to one filial overthrow and captivity.

    The Book of Ether just reads differently, even though it has Moroni’s commentary inserted throughout.

    Perhaps one of the more intriguing feats of the Book of Ether record is its recital of the genealogy of Jared in ascending order, only to then tell the story of the civilization in chronological order. By my count this covers 30 generations! And all this dictated by someone who used no visible pre-existing manuscript!

    As a youngster I found the Book of Ether very mundane other than for a few passages such as the brother of Jared’s vision of the pre-mortal Savior, and Ether 12:27 where Moroni (not Ether) teaches us how weaknesses are necessary to help us be humble.

    I appreciate being able to study the Book of Ether as part of Come Follow Me and to once again be reminded of its valuable contribution to the message of the Book of Mormon.

    Cheers.

  2. John Perry, I agree. It is a powerful statement regarding an ancient civilization, and is very different than the Nephite story on many levels. We get a deeper view of what Gadiantons robbers are. In fact, I suggest that the Nephites learned about secret combinations from the Mulekites, who probably dwelt among the Jaredites for centuries (it is when Mosiah I discovers Zarahemla that Jaredite names and secret combinations enter among the Nephites).

    The Book of Ether chapter one, suggests the Jaredite record may still have been hidden up (perhaps with the records Mormon used to make his abridgement). I believe Moroni had a copy of the record with him, perhaps on cloth/skins, which he could reference to share the story. Then again, it is likely that Moroni came from a nation with oral tradition, meaning he may have memorized the record, or at least was very familiar with it. Some think that the sealed portion of the BoM contains the full tale written by Ether. While this may be the case, I think it highly likely that we get more of a transcript from Moroni, it not another larger abridgement.

  3. Having written a self-published novel, I can tell you that no “author” would include a book like Ether. It totally interrupts the flow of the rest of the story. It has a completely different style. And you have to go back in time 3000 years or so to tell the story of some other people? As faithful latter-day Saints, we can understand that Ether was included because, among other reasons, it is another witness of Jesus Christ and it describes the sad end of another large civilization. You can understand why Mormon and Moroni would include the story. But Joseph Smith as “author?” No way. So, good comments John Perry and Gerald Smith.

  4. I absolutely agree. I also think that Mormon 8 is a similar evidence. It does not get written that way by a novel author who is planning on adding Moroni. The addition of Moroni is further evidence of authenticity in my mind.

  5. Also, the concept that Moroni says farewell to us three times. He does not plan on adding more to his father’s record, but over almost 40 years of wandering, is able to come up with more plates. On these, he first adds the Jaredite record, and bids us farewell. Later, he adds his own book, and gives us his final farewell. Not something one would expect from a Joseph Smith fabrication, but definitely a sign of real life occurring during the life of Moroni.

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