Ether, Chapter 6

Who is the rock?

“And now I, Moroni, proceed to give the record of Jared and his brother (v. 1).  For it came to pass after the Lord had prepared the stones which the brother of Jared had carried up into the mount, the brother of Jared came down out of the mount, and he did put forth the stones into the vessels which were prepared, one in each end thereof; and behold, they did give light unto the vessels (v. 2).  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 (v. 3).”  The stones gave necessary light to the Jaredites.

In 2 Samuel 22:2 we read, “And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer”.  Also in Helaman 5:12 we read, “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

Christ is our stone (rock).  The verses in this chapter could read, “Jared had carried up into the mount, the brother of Jared came down out of the mount, and he did put forth [Jesus Christ] into the vessels which were prepared, one in each end thereof; and behold, they did give light unto the vessels (v. 2).  And thus the Lord caused [Jesus Christ] to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness (v. 3).” Jesus Christ is our light.  He is the shining example to all of us.  His gospel brings happiness to our lives.  When we are in darkness, the light of Christ will help us to find our way.

What would you bring on the journey?

“And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them—and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God (v. 4).” All they took was themselves, animals and food.  I imagine that they trusted they would not be on the waters for so long that they would run out of what they needed.   This was a great amount of faith that they had in the Lord.

Faith is a Sunrise

Faith is the moving cause of all action

The Lord calls on us to do many difficult things.  He does this, so that we can learn and progress towards becoming like Him.  These things will take great amounts of faith on our part.  Without faith that what we are doing will be the best for us, or the faith that we will be blessed after this life for these things, we would have nothing to keep us striving to do these things.

The journey for the Jaredites was difficult.  They dealt with “furious wind” and being “tossed upon the waves” before it (v. 5).  They were “buried in the depths of the sea” many times because of waves and tempests (v. 6).  They were on the water for 344 days (v. 11)  It was almost a whole year of being stuck in a barge.  I am sure that this was not the easiest thing to go through.

The Jaredites had great faith.  Whenever they were buried in the waters, they would “cry unto the Lord” to bring them back up (v. 5).  I am sure that if they had lost faith, they would have struggled at times, but they were consistently pushed by the wind and they “did have light continually “(v. 8, 10).

The Jaredites saw the importance of constant gratitude to the Lord.  “And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord (v. 9).”  Then when the journey was finally over, they showed more gratitude.  “And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them (v. 12).”

The Jaredites were a great example of faith in difficult times.  They were also a great example for being grateful in difficult times.  I am glad that my difficulties do not include being tossed about on the waters of the sea for almost a year.  I have my own challenges and they are perfect for me to learn how to have greater faith and gratitude.  I hope that I can continue to learn and grow, so that I can have the promised blessings that come at the end of my challenges.

What does it mean to be “taught from on high”?

If I imagine moving to a new world where no one had been before, I think I would be overwhelmed by where to go and what should be done.  Without any roads, cities, or stores, I would feel a bit lost and out of place.  I would definitely need some help to get things done.

“And it came to pass that they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth (v. 13).  And Jared had four sons; and they were called Jacom, and Gilgah, and Mahah, and Orihah (v. 14).  And the brother of Jared also begat sons and daughters (v. 15).  And the friends of Jared and his brother were in number about twenty and two souls; and they also begat sons and daughters before they came to the promised land; and therefore they began to be many (v. 16).  And they were taught to walk humbly before the Lord; and they were also taught from on high (v. 17).”

I think that the Lord continued to speak with the brother of Jared as he had done before the journey they took.  There may have been others who were able to hear the teachings of the Lord as well.  I think that this direct divine teaching is why it says that they were “taught from on high”.  I think that since they were utterly alone in a new land-the promise land-they needed the constant help of the Lord to get started.  They were a righteous group of people and deserved to have revelations to guide them.  We can have our own personal revelations in our own lives, if we are striving to live righteously and we are seeking the guidance of the Lord and the Holy Ghost.

Why did the Jaredites prosper?

The Jaredites began to spread and prosper (v. 18 ).  When the brother of Jared was getting old, he and Jared asked the people what they wanted to happen before they died (v. 19, 21).  The people wanted a king, and after several refusals, Orihah, one of the sons of Jared, became the king (v. 22, 25-27).  Pagag, the firstborn son of the brother of Jared, was the first to be asked, but he refused (v. 25).  I think he refused because he knew that having a king would lead to something bad.  His father had said, “Surely this thing leadeth into captivity (v. 23).”  When kings rule in righteousness it is a wonderful thing, but when they are unrighteous it is the worst.  An unrighteous king, seeks power and will no doubt take away all the freedom of his people.  This freedom is one of the greatest blessings that is given to us by our Father in Heaven.

In 1 Samuel 8, Samuel told the people that a king would take away all of the good things that the people have and use them for himself and his servants.  Also in Mosiah 29, Mosiah told his people that a wicked king will bring them into bondage and pervert righteousness.  He also told them the only way to stop a wicked king is through a lot of bloodshed.

As Orihah began his reign over the people of Jared, they began to prosper, because he was a righteous leader.  “And it came to pass that Orihah did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers (v. 30).”

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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