“November 23–29. Ether 12–15: ‘By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“November 23–29. Ether 12–15,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Ether’s prophecies to the Jaredites were “great and marvelous” (Ether 12:5). He “told them of all things, from the beginning of man” (Ether 13:2). He foresaw “the days of Christ” and the latter-day New Jerusalem (Ether 13:4). And he spoke of “hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God” (Ether 12:4). But the Jaredites rejected his words, for the same reason people often reject the prophecies of God’s servants today—“because they [see] them not” (Ether 12:5). It takes faith to believe in promises or warnings about things we can’t see, just as it took faith for Ether to prophesy of “great and marvelous things” to an unbelieving people. It took faith for Moroni to trust that the Lord could take his “weakness in writing” and turn it into strength (see Ether 12:23–27). It’s this kind of faith that makes us “sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God” (Ether 12:4). And it’s this kind of faith by which “all things are fulfilled” (Ether 12:3).
Many people today, like the Jaredites in Ether’s day, want to see evidence before they will believe in God and His power. However, Moroni taught that “faith is things which are hoped for and not seen” and that you “receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6).
Note each time you find the word “faith” in Ether 12, and record what you learn about faith. Look for answers to questions like these: What is faith? What are the fruits of a faith-filled life? You could also record your thoughts about witnesses you have gained “after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6).
In addition to profound insights about faith, Ether 12 also has a lot to say about hope—maybe you could note each time the word “hope” appears. What does hope mean to you? What were the reasons that Ether had to “hope for a better world”? (see Ether 12:2–5). How has the gospel of Jesus Christ given you “a more excellent hope”? (Ether 12:32).
When we read Moroni’s powerful writings, it’s easy to forget that he worried about his “weakness in writing” and feared that people would mock his words (see Ether 12:23–25). But God promised that He would “make weak things become strong” for the humble (verse 27), and the spiritual power in Moroni’s writings is convincing evidence that the Lord fulfilled this promise.
After reading Ether 12:23–29, ponder times when God has helped you recognize your weaknesses and made you strong in spite of them. Maybe this is also a good time to think about weaknesses you are currently struggling with. What do you feel you need to do to humble yourself before the Lord and show faith in Him in order to receive His promise to “make weak things become strong”? (Ether 12:27).
As you ponder these verses, the following insight from Elder Neal A. Maxwell may be helpful: “When we read in the scriptures of man’s ‘weakness,’ this term includes the … weakness inherent in the general human condition in which the flesh has an incessant impact upon the spirit (see Ether 12:28–29). Weakness likewise includes, however, our specific, individual weaknesses, which we are expected to overcome (see Doctrine and Covenants 66:3; Jacob 4:7)” (Lord, Increase Our Faith , 84).
See also “Grace,” Gospel Topics, topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Being king of the Jaredites was, historically, a dangerous position. This was especially true for Coriantumr, as many “mighty men … sought to destroy him” (Ether 13:15–16). In Ether 13:15–22, notice what Coriantumr did to protect himself and what the prophet Ether counseled him to do instead. As you read the rest of the book of Ether, ponder the consequences of rejecting the prophets. What happens to people when “the Spirit of the Lord [ceases] striving with them”? (Ether 15:19).
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.
As you read these verses together, you might review some inspiring examples of faith you have read about in the Book of Mormon. This could lead to a discussion about examples of faith in your family history or your own lives—consider recording these experiences if you haven’t already.
Why does the Lord give us weakness? What is our part in making “weak things become strong”? What is the Savior’s part?
Is there a fun way you could teach your children to “seek … Jesus”? One way might be to hide a picture of Jesus and invite your family members to “seek” and find the picture. How do we seek Jesus, and how are we blessed when we find Him?
It might be interesting for your family members to compare the experience of Ether with the experiences of Mormon and Moroni (see Mormon 6; 8:1–10). How are they similar? How was the Nephites’ path to destruction similar to the Jaredites’ path? (compare Ether 15:19 with Moroni 8:28). What truths do we learn that can help us avoid what happened to them?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.