The Book of Ether is where I will be studying this week and there are 15 chapters to get through, so we best get bust writing these posts!
This past Thursday in my Pathway gathering, we focused on the study skill of visualization. In order to use this study skill, we need to determine the setting, look for the details in the text to determine what the details add to our understanding. Next we need to ask ourselves questions to help fill in our mental picture like “who else is there, how might they be reacting, and what is it that the scriptures aren’t saying that must be happening?” I do hope that you are able to use this while you are studying this week and this helps bring your scriptures to life this week.
Ether 1 begins by Moroni telling us that he is writing an account of those that lived on the American continent before the Nephites and the Lamanites did. He is abridging the records from the 24 plates that were found by the people of Limhi that we have previously read about. These people came to the continent after the tower of Babel. Lineage is given and the man that was writing on the plates was named Ether.
Ether begins his account of events by telling us of a man named Jared that were living in the tower of Babel era and that Jared had a brother that was “a large and might man, and a man highly favored of the Lord (verse 33).” Jared went to his brother and asked him to go to the Lord and ask that his family and friends would not have their language confounded so that the family and friends could stay together. Jared asked his brother several times to go and pray, once for the family, next for their friends, and again about having to leave their home. Each time the brother of Jared did and was granted his request by the Lord.
The brother of Jared was given instructions by the Lord, much like Noah and Lehi were. He was to go and gather flocks and seeds and then take his friends and family away from the land in which they were. The Lord promises the brother of Jared that if he does as he is told that he will bless his family with a great nation and the blessing will come because of his prayers.
Can you see yourself at the time of the tower of Babel? Do you believe in the words of your prophet and know that your brother is a man of God? Do you have faith in the Lord, but know that your brothers faith is stronger and so you beg him to go unto the Lord on behalf of your friends and family? Can you put yourself out in the fields gathering flocks and seeds to move to only the Lord knows where? Can you feel the confusion and profound faith and love that must abide here?
Thoughts to ponder as we move to the next chapter. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.