“November 23–29. Ether 12–15: ‘By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“November 23–29. Ether 12–15,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To help class members share what they learned from their personal or family scripture study, you could write on the board phrases like “I have learned that …” “I have a testimony of …” and “I have experienced …” Invite class members to share something from Ether 12–15 that could complete one of the statements on the board.
To help class members ponder what it means to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, you could ask them what images or words come to mind when they hear the word exercise. (You might even look the word up in a dictionary.) What effect does physical exercise have on our bodies? How can we apply this principle to faith? In what ways can we “exercise faith” in Christ? Class members could search Ether 12:2–22 and discuss how the people mentioned in these verses exercised faith. How can we follow their examples? According to these verses, what are the results of exercising faith in Jesus Christ?
The examples of faith in Ether 12:7–22 provide a good review of inspiring stories you’ve studied together in the Book of Mormon. Perhaps class members could share other examples of faith and what they learn from them (others can be found in Hebrews 11). They could also share faithful examples from their family history or their own lives. How have these examples strengthened their faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father?
Ether 12 is full of insights and truths about faith. Class members could find verses in this chapter that teach them about faith. They could then write on the board what they discover.
Can someone in your class describe why an anchor is important to a boat? You could show a picture of a boat and an anchor (or draw one on the board) and discuss what would happen to a boat that has no anchor. What happens to us when we have no hope? Class members could then read Ether 12:4 and talk about how hope is like “an anchor to [our] souls.” They could also read Ether 12:1–9, 28, and 32 and share insights they gain about hope. What should we hope for? (see Ether 12:4; Moroni 7:41; see also John 16:33).
To help class members personalize the truths Moroni learned about weakness and strength in Ether 12, you could invite class members to think of someone who may be feeling discouraged because of their weaknesses. Then encourage class members to search Ether 12:23–29 to find messages that could help that person. If Moroni were here today, what might he say to encourage him or her? Class members could also share experiences from their own lives when the Savior has helped “weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27). How is this change different from self-improvement efforts that a person might make without relying on the Savior? For more on this topic, see the statement by President Henry B. Eyring in “Additional Resources.”
Moroni’s experience is one of many in the scriptures that show how the Savior’s grace can turn our weaknesses into strengths. It might be helpful to divide the class into groups, assign each group to pick someone in the scriptures who had a weakness, and discuss how the Lord made that person strong. Some examples are suggested in “Additional Resources.” You might also suggest that class members review the definition of grace in the Bible Dictionary or True to the Faith (pages 77–78). How do the scriptural examples they studied illustrate the power of the Savior’s grace? How do we invite this power into our lives?
It’s common to compare our weaknesses to another’s perceived strengths; even Moroni felt he compared unfavorably to the brother of Jared (see Ether 12:24). Why is it dangerous to compare ourselves to others? According to Ether 12:26–27, how does the Lord want us to see our weakness? (see also the statement by President Henry B. Eyring in “Additional Resources”). How does He want us to see the weakness of others? (see Ether 12:26).
Given the important truths taught in Ether 12, you may not choose to spend a lot of time in class on chapters 13–15. However, it may be useful to ask a class member to briefly summarize what happens in these chapters. To help class members find meaningful messages in this account, you could ask them to complete the phrase “thus we see …” with a lesson they learn from the fall of the Jaredites. How was their fall similar to the fall of the Nephites? (see, for example, Ether 15:19 and Moroni 8:28). What does the Lord want us to learn from these accounts, and what can we do to avoid the fate of the Jaredites? Class members could also review how the end of the book of Ether connects with Omni 1:19–22; Mosiah 8:8; and Mosiah 28:11–18.
Next week class members will start studying the book of Moroni. They might find it interesting to know that Moroni had not originally planned to write anything more after the book of Ether, but he remained alive longer than he expected. This week they will begin reading the last messages that Moroni was inspired to write before he died.
President Henry B. Eyring, commenting on Ether 12:27, taught: “Moroni said that when he ‘heard these words,’ he ‘was comforted’ (Ether 12:29). They can be a comfort to all of us. Those who do not see their weaknesses do not progress. Your awareness of your weakness is a blessing as it helps you remain humble and keeps you turning to the Savior. The Spirit not only comforts you, but He is also the agent by which the Atonement works a change in your very nature. Then weak things become strong” (“My Peace I Leave with You,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 16).