Okay, this is a great chapter to use your visualization skills. Can you just imagine? Can you see yourself there? I am in awe and wonder. I believe that I have seen him and touched him and lived with him before, in the heavens. But can I see myself in this chapter… Ether 3 is amazing!
Faith…. we read in “True to the Faith” on page 54 that “Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith. You show your hope for something that you cannot yet see.” And this is what I try to remember that faith is… a great hope for something that I can not yet see. I hope that the heavens are real. I hope that Jesus Christ died for my sins- and the sins of the world. I hope that He was resurrected on my behalf. I hope that the gospel is true. Replace each of those hopes with “have faith.” I have faith in each of these things and part of why, you can read here in this chapter. I pray and wish that I have just a tidbit of the faith that the brother of Jared had.
So, back to the issue of light in the barges. The Jaredites are afraid of being in the barges for a length of time with no light. Can you imagine being in an enclosed space for a long period of time and not have any light? Light is one of those things that we take for granted a lot in our day. I know that I get frustrated when the power is out for more than a couple of hours….
The brother of Jared gathers up 16 small white and clear stones and carries them up mount Shelem and begins to pray. He prays that the Lord won’t be angry with him for asking again and he recognizes the unworthiness of himself and his people, he recognizes the blessings that they have received in being spared at the tower of Babel. As the brother of Jared continues to pray, he asks specifically for the Lord to touch these 16 stones with his finger so that they would shine and that they people would have light to cross the waters. He says in verse 5 “O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.” As he spoke, Christ reached forward and touched each stone with his finger. The brother of Jared saw His finger and fell to the ground astonished and in fear. Christ bids him and asks why he has fallen and the brother of Jared replies that he saw the finger of the Lord and he didn’t know that Christ was flesh and blood and he was afraid of being smote down. Christ then tells him in verse 9 “Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger.”
How amazing….. because of his faith…. the next series of events ties into the picture for this post as Jesus Christ, our Lord shows himself unto the brother of Jared. Christ tells the brother of Jared that since he knows that Christ is a God of truth and can not lie, that he will be redeemed from the fall and brought back into the presence of God and He shows himself unto the brother of Jared. A proper introduction in verse 14 “Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my mane; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.”
The brother of Jared clearly had more faith than anyone ever had up to this time, as Jesus Christ tells him the brother of Jared is the first human to see Him and to see that humans were created in His own image.
Moroni then closes up the chapter by recapping most of what I just wrote and then tells us of the instructions that the brother of Jared received from the Lord regarding writing the pates. He was also given two stones to keep with his plates so that those in the future would be able to utilize them in the Lord’s time to interpret the writings upon the pates.
And what will be next? I tell you this book is AWESOME. In the name of Jesus Christ, I write, Amen.