“November 9–15. Ether 1–5: ‘Rend That Veil of Unbelief,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“November 9–15. Ether 1–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
While it is true that God’s ways are higher than ours, and we should always submit to His will, He also encourages us to think and act for ourselves. That’s one lesson Jared and his brother learned. For example, the idea of traveling to a new land that was “choice above all the earth” seemed to start in Jared’s mind, and the Lord “had compassion” and promised to grant the request, saying, “Thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me” (see Ether 1:38–43). And when the brother of Jared realized how dark it was inside the barges that would carry them to their promised land, the Lord invited him to suggest a solution, asking a question that we usually ask Him: “What will ye that I should do?” (Ether 2:23). The message seems to be that we shouldn’t expect God to command us in all things. We can share with Him our own thoughts and ideas, and He will listen and give His confirmation or else counsel us otherwise. Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.
Ether 1:33–43 tells of three prayers of the brother of Jared. What do you learn from the Lord’s response to each of these prayers? Think about a time when you have experienced the Lord’s compassion as you cried unto Him in prayer. You may want to record this experience and share it with someone who may need to hear your testimony.
President Russell M. Nelson said: “I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. … Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 96).
As you study Ether 2; 3:1–6; and 4:7–15, what truths do you find that help you understand how to seek personal revelation? You could mark in one color the questions or concerns the brother of Jared had and what he did about them, and in another color you could mark how the Lord helped him and made His will known. What impresses you about the way the brother of Jared conversed with the Lord, and what do you learn from this about how to increase the flow of revelation in your life?
To get to the promised land, the Jaredites faced a major obstacle: crossing the “great deep” (Ether 2:25). The phrase “great deep” can be a fitting way to describe what our trials and challenges sometimes feel like. And sometimes, as was the case for the Jaredites, crossing our own “great deep” is the only way to fulfill God’s will for us. Do you see similarities to your life in Ether 2:16–25? How has the Lord prepared you for your challenges? What might He be asking you to do now to prepare for what He needs you to do in the future?
On Mount Shelem, the brother of Jared learned a lot about God and about himself. What do you learn from Ether 3 about the spiritual and physical nature of God? How do these truths help you understand your divine identity and potential?
God had shown Himself to other prophets before the brother of Jared (for example, see Moses 7:4, 59), so why did the Lord say to him, “Never have I showed myself unto man”? (Ether 3:15). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland offered this possible explanation: “Christ was saying to the brother of Jared, ‘Never have I showed myself unto man in this manner, without my volition, driven solely by the faith of the beholder’” (Christ and the New Covenant , 23).
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
What do we learn from these verses about praying for others? What other truths about prayer do these verses illustrate?
What does the brother of Jared’s example teach us about how to find answers to our problems and questions? Maybe family members could share experiences when they sought and received answers from the Lord.
After reading these verses, family members could write down some everyday things that influence your family (such as movies, songs, games, or people) on slips of paper and place them in a bowl. Then they could take turns picking one and discussing whether it “persuadeth [them] to do good” (Ether 4:12). What changes does your family feel inspired to make?
You could hide an object or a treat in a box and invite a family member to look inside and give the rest of the family clues to help them guess what it is. As you read Ether 5 together, discuss why it is important that the Lord uses witnesses in His work. How can we share our witness of the Book of Mormon with others?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.