“November 16–22. Ether 6–11: ‘That Evil May Be Done Away,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“November 16–22. Ether 6–11,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
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Hundreds of years after the Jaredites were destroyed, the Nephites discovered the ruins of their ancient civilization. Among these ruins was a mysterious record—plates of “pure gold” that were “filled with engravings” (Mosiah 8:9). The Nephite king, Limhi, could sense that this record was important: “Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates,” he said (Mosiah 8:19). Today you have an abridgment of this record, translated into your language, and it’s called the book of Ether. It comes from the same record that the Nephites “were desirous beyond measure” to read, and when they did, “they were filled with sorrow; nevertheless it gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice” (Mosiah 28:12, 18). As you read about the rise and the tragic fall of the Jaredites, you’ll find many sorrowful moments. But don’t overlook the joy of learning lessons from this history. After all, as Moroni wrote, “it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you” (Ether 8:23), for if we can learn from the failures and the successes of the Jaredites, “evil may be done away, and … the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men” (Ether 8:26).
You may find spiritual insights if you compare the Jaredites’ voyage across the ocean to your journey through mortality. For example, what has the Lord provided that lights your way like the stones in the Jaredites’ barges? What might the barges represent, or the winds that “blow towards the promised land”? (Ether 6:8). What do you learn from the actions of the Jaredites before, during, and after the voyage? How is the Lord leading you toward your promised land?
Although pride and wickedness seem to dominate Jaredite history, there are also examples of humility in these chapters—especially in Ether 6:5–18, 30; 9:28–35; and 10:1–2. Pondering the following questions could help you learn from these examples: Why did these Jaredites humble themselves in these situations? What did they do to show their humility? How were they blessed as a result? Notice that in some cases, the people were compelled by their circumstances to be humble. Consider what you can do to willingly “walk humbly before the Lord” (Ether 6:17) rather than be compelled to be humble (see Mosiah 4:11–12; Alma 32:14–18).
See also “Humility,” Gospel Topics, topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Chapters 7–11 of Ether cover at least 28 generations. Although not much detail can be given in such little space, a pattern quickly emerges: righteous leadership leads to blessings and prosperity, while wicked leadership leads to captivity and destruction.
Below are just a few of the kings mentioned in these chapters. Read the associated verses, and see what you can learn from their examples—positive and negative—about leadership. As you do, think about opportunities you might have to lead or influence others in your home, your community, your Church calling, and so on.
When two or more people conspire to keep their wicked acts secret, they are involved in a secret combination. They are often motivated by the desire for power or riches. In addition to the secret combination described in Ether 8:7–18, other examples can be found in Helaman 1:9–12; 2:2–11; 6:16–30; and Moses 5:29–33. In Ether 8:18–26, Moroni describes the consequences of secret combinations (see also Ether 9:4–12) and warns us not to support them.
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.
Would your family enjoy acting out the Jaredites’ voyage to the promised land? Maybe you could use a dark room as a barge and flashlights to represent the shining stones. You could talk about how the Jaredites showed their faith in the Lord by getting in the barges, despite knowing that they would be “buried in the depths of the sea” (Ether 6:6). After reading verse 9, family members could share favorite hymns of praise and sing them together. How can our homes be compared to the Jaredites’ barges? What is the promised land the Lord is leading our family toward?
Throughout this week, your family could watch for how the brother of Jared’s prophetic warning about captivity was fulfilled. What warnings have our Church leaders given us? In what ways could dismissing their counsel lead to captivity?
According to these verses, why was Moroni commanded to write “these things” about secret combinations? (Ether 8:23). What have we learned from the book of Ether that can help us obtain the blessings described in verse 26?
How do our desires affect our choices? What can we do as a family to ensure that we desire the things of God?
To learn more about the Lord’s mercy to those who repent, you could read Mosiah 26:29–30; 29:18–20; Alma 34:14–16; or Moroni 6:8. Perhaps family members could share examples of God’s mercy from the scriptures or from their own lives.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “I Thank Thee, Dear Father,” Children’s Songbook, 7.