Lesson 148: Ether 7–11

“Lesson 148: Ether 7–11,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)

“Lesson 148,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 148

Ether 7–11


The brother of Jared was saddened by his people’s request to be led by a king. He said, “Surely this thing leadeth to captivity” (Ether 6:23). His prophecy was fulfilled two generations later. During the reigns of many kings, the Jaredites went through several cycles of hearkening to the prophets and living in righteousness and then rejecting the prophets and living in wickedness.

Suggestions for Teaching

Ether 7

Orihah and Kib rule in righteousness; Corihor rebels and seizes the kingdom, and his brother Shule regains it; and prophets condemn the wickedness of the people

Draw a simple prison cell on the board.

prison cell

Ask students to describe how people might feel while they are in captivity. Point out that sinful behavior can lead people to spiritual and physical captivity.

  • In what ways do sinful behaviors lead to captivity?

Students may mention ideas such as the following: Choosing to break the Word of Wisdom or view pornography can lead to the captivity of addiction. All forms of sin decrease the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Explain that this lesson will help students see how they can avoid captivity.

Explain that when the brother of Jared learned that the people wanted a king, he warned that their choice would lead to captivity (see Ether 6:22–23). Despite this, the Jaredite people chose to have a king. Their first king was Orihah, one of Jared’s sons. Their second king was Orihah’s son Kib.

Invite students to read Ether 7:1–2 silently to learn if the prophecy of the brother of Jared was fulfilled in the days of Orihah. Ask them to report what they learn.

  • What would you say to someone who lived in the days of King Orihah and did not believe that the brother of Jared’s prophecy was going to be fulfilled?

Invite students to read Ether 7:3–7 silently, looking for the way in which the prophecy of the brother of Jared began to be fulfilled. Ask them to report what they find. Make sure they understand that King Kib and his people were brought into captivity—“Kib dwelt in captivity, and his people” (Ether 7:7).

  • What principles have you seen so far in Ether 7? (As students share what they have learned, be sure the following principle is clear: Rejecting the words of prophets can lead to captivity.)

Invite students to read Ether 7:8–13 to learn about Shule, who was born to Kib while Kib was in captivity. Before they read, ask them to imagine that they are news reporters assigned to cover the account in Ether 7:8–13. Then ask each student to report to another member of the class what he or she would highlight from the account.

Summarize Ether 7:14–22 by explaining that after Shule became king and Corihor repented of what he had done, Corihor’s son Noah led a rebellion against Shule and Corihor. Shule was taken into captivity. Shule’s sons were able to kill Noah and free Shule, and Shule returned to his own kingdom as king. However, Noah’s son Cohor maintained the kingdom where Noah had ruled. The country was divided between two kings and two peoples until a battle in which Shule killed Cohor. Cohor’s son Nimrod gave Cohor’s part of the kingdom to Shule.

Explain that after Shule regained the kingdom, prophets came among the people. Ask students to read Ether 7:23–25 silently, identifying what the prophets said and how the people reacted. After students report what they have found, ask:

  • How did the people respond to the prophets? How did Shule respond?

  • How did Shule’s protection of the prophets bless his people?

Invite a student to read Ether 7:26–27 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened when the people obeyed the words of the prophets. As students report what they have found, make sure they identify the following principle: As we follow the counsel of prophets and remember the Lord, we begin to prosper.

  • How have you been blessed because you have obeyed the counsel of prophets?

Encourage students to think of one way they can better listen to and obey the words of the prophets.

Ether 8:1–9:13

Jared and then Akish become Jaredite kings through secret combinations

Summarize Ether 8:1–14 by explaining that after Shule died, Omer became the king. Omer’s son Jared rebelled against his father and set his heart upon becoming king. He was able to gain half of the kingdom for a time, but he was later defeated and compelled to give up his half of the kingdom. Then Jared’s daughter planned a way for Jared to become king. She reminded her father of the secret combinations known in ancient times. She then said that she would dance before a man named Akish, whom she knew would desire her in marriage. When Akish asked for her in marriage, Jared was to tell Akish that he must kill Omer the king. Jared and his daughter carried out this plan. Akish asked for Jared’s daughter in marriage and then entered into a secret combination with his friends to kill Omer the king.

Point out that because of this plan, secret combinations began among the Jaredites and eventually caused their destruction. Explain that a secret combination is “an organization of people bound together by oaths to carry out the evil purposes of the group” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Secret Combinations,” The Gadianton robbers are an example of an organization in the Book of Mormon that used secret combinations to accomplish its evil purposes.

Invite students to read Ether 8:15–19 silently, looking for what Akish did to establish a secret combination. Ask students to look for what these verses teach about secret combinations.

  • What are the motives of those who embrace secret combinations? (To get power so they can commit wicked acts.)

  • Whose power is behind secret combinations? (The devil.)

  • Which phrase in Ether 8:18 shows how the Lord feels about secret combinations? (“Most abominable and wicked above all.”)

Invite a student to read Ether 8:20–22, 25 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for additional things they can learn about secret combinations. Ask them to give particular attention to the effect that secret combinations have on societies. (Note that the phrase “buildeth it up” at the beginning of Ether 8:25 refers to building up secret combinations.)

  • From what you have read, what effect do secret combinations have on societies? (As students express their ideas, make sure they identify the following truth: Supporting secret combinations leads to the destruction of societies.)

Invite the class to read Ether 8:23–24, 26 silently, looking for what Moroni wanted us to do as a result of his warnings about secret combinations.

  • What did Moroni tell us to do? (Be aware of secret combinations and seek to make sure they are done away with in our societies.)

  • As recorded in Ether 8:26, what was Moroni’s hope for us in the last days?

Summarize Ether 9:1–13 by explaining that as a result of their secret combination, Akish and his friends were able to overthrow the kingdom of Omer. However, God warned Omer that he should flee with his family, thereby saving their lives. Omer’s wicked son Jared became king and gave his daughter to Akish in marriage. Akish and his friends continued their evil plans, killing Jared and even Akish’s son. These actions led to a war between Akish and his sons that eventually destroyed almost all the Jaredites and restored Omer to the throne. Emphasize that these events show that secret combinations lead to the destruction of societies.

Ether 9:14–11:23

One king succeeds another, some ruling in righteousness and some in wickedness

Explain that chapters 9–11 of Ether record that 24 more kings ruled the Jaredites after Jared—some in righteousness and some in wickedness. Remind students of the following principle, which was discussed earlier: Rejecting the words of prophets can lead to captivity. Ask half of the class to study Ether 9:26–35 (during the reign of Heth), and ask the other half to study Ether 11:1–8 (during the reign of Com and Shiblom). Ask both groups to look for evidence of this principle. Invite students to briefly report what they find.

Share your testimony about the importance of following the counsel of prophets. You may want to share an experience from your life that taught you the importance of following the counsel of prophets.

Commentary and Background Information

Ether 7:23–27; 9:28–31. Prophets and their messages are frequently rejected

Why do prophets proclaim messages that are unpopular with many people in the world? Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:

“Prophets must often warn of the consequences of violating God’s laws. They do not preach that which is popular with the world. … Why do prophets proclaim unpopular commandments and call society to repentance for rejecting, modifying, and even ignoring the commandments? The reason is very simple. Upon receiving revelation, prophets have no choice but to proclaim and reaffirm that which God has given them to tell the world” (“If Thou Wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments,” Ensign, May 1996, 37).

Elder L. Aldin Porter of the Presidency of the Seventy taught:

“Some complain that when the prophets speak with clarity and firmness that they are taking our agency away. We are still free to choose. But we must accept the consequences of those decisions. The prophets do not take away our agency. They simply warn us of what the consequences of our choices will be. How foolish to fault the prophets for their warnings” (“Our Destiny,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 66).