“November 16–22. Ether 6–11: ‘That Evil May Be Done Away,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“November 16–22. Ether 6–11,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To help class members share something they found meaningful in Ether 6–11, you could invite them to imagine that these chapters were being made into a movie; what phrase from Ether 6–11 would they suggest as a title? Give them time to think about this, and invite them to share their titles and explain why they chose them.
This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests comparing the Jaredites’ voyage across the sea to our journey through mortality. Ask class members who tried this activity at home to share insights they gained from this analogy. To help class members make further comparisons in class, invite them to look in Ether 6:1–12 for details about the voyage that could have symbolic meaning (such as the shining stones, the barges, and the wind) and list them on the board. Then class members could spend several minutes working in pairs or small groups to study the verses and discuss what these symbols might represent in our lives. For example, what is our “promised land”? (verse 8). How does God guide us on our journey?
You could use Ether 6:1–12 to inspire a discussion about how turning to God helps us grow through our trials. For example, the quotation in “Additional Resources” can help class members compare the “furious wind” mentioned in verses 5–8 with the adversities of life. What did the Jaredites do when they “were encompassed about by many waters”? (verse 7). Class members could share experiences in which their adversities helped drive them forward. How did the way they responded to their trials help them progress toward their “promised land”? How did the Lord help them through their struggles? Encourage them to refer to words and phrases from Ether 6 as they share their experiences and thoughts.
Although much of the story of the Jaredites illustrates the negative consequences of pride and wickedness, it also includes periods of humility and prosperity that we can learn from. To help class members learn from these positive examples, you could divide the class into two groups and assign one group to read Ether 6:7–18 and 30 while the other group reads Ether 9:28–35 and 10:1–2. Ask them to look in these verses for evidence that the Jaredites had humbled themselves—or were humbled by their circumstances—and how the Lord blessed them as a result. When class members have had sufficient time, invite members from each group to share what they learned. How does being humble help us draw closer to God? Singing or listening to a hymn about humility, such as “I Need Thee Every Hour” (Hymns, no. 98), could add to this activity.
Even those who have never held a formal leadership position can learn from the examples of righteous and wicked Jaredite kings; these accounts can help us become better leaders in our homes, in our communities, and at church. Maybe you could start a discussion on this topic by asking class members to think about someone they consider to be a good leader. Invite them to share briefly some of that person’s qualities, and make a list on the board. Then you could assign each class member to learn about one of the Jaredite kings in Ether 7–11. (A list of kings, with references to scriptures that describe their reign, is found in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families.) Class members could share what they learn from these kings about leadership, adding other qualities they find to the list on the board. Other positive leadership qualities are listed in “Additional Resources.” How can we develop these qualities and be leaders, even if we don’t have a specific leadership assignment?
To spark class members’ interest in reading Ether 12–15, you might mention that in these chapters Moroni expressed to the Lord some of his insecurities about the record he was keeping. The Lord’s response can help us when we have similar feelings of inadequacy.
Speaking in a general conference during the difficult years of World War II, Elder Charles A. Callis of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “We are told that when the Jaredites in their barges set forth for this land of promise, fierce and terrible tempests prevailed. The winds blew and they were in imminent danger all the while on that perilous journey. God sustained them. And we read that although these gales and tempests raged, holding destruction in their wake, that the wind was continually blowing toward the Promised Land. And these adversities through which we are passing, these terrible wars and all the horrible things that are prevailing, are in the power of God. He can stop them when He chooses, when His divine purposes are fulfilled. But let us not forget that through this sea of trouble, our adversities, the experiences through which we pass and which God will make work together for our good, if we will obey Him—all these are blowing us forward to the haven of rest, to a glorious future, to eternal life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1943, 62).
“In God’s kingdom, greatness and leadership means seeing others as they truly are—as God sees them—and then reaching out and ministering to them. It means rejoicing with those who are happy, weeping with those who grieve, lifting up those in distress, and loving our neighbor as Christ loves us. …
“… Leadership in the Church is not so much about directing others as it is about our willingness to be directed by God” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Greatest among You,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 79–80).
“Only the wholesome have the capacity to lift and encourage one another to greater service, to greater achievement, to greater strength” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson , 244).
“The world teaches that leaders must be mighty; the Lord teaches that they must be meek. Worldly leaders gain power and influence through their talent, skill, and wealth. Christlike leaders gain power and influence ‘by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned’ [Doctrines and Covenants 121:41]” (Stephen W. Owen, “The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Followers,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 75).