That This Man Might Know – Ether 3:17-18

17 And now, as I, Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written, therefore it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites.
18 And he ministered unto him even as he ministered unto the Nephites; and all this, that this man might know that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had showed unto him.
(Ether 3:17-18)

The brother of Jared had a specific objective in mind as he approached the Lord in prayer. His people were about to travel across the ocean in enclosed barges, and he needed a light source for them. His request was bold–he had created some clear stones, and he was asking the Lord to touch them with His finger to make them shine.

God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), and so it stands to reason that His goals are different from our goals. The immediate outcome of this prayer was that the brother of Jared received the blessing he had requested, but the ultimate outcome of the prayer was that the brother of Jared saw the Savior, Jesus Christ, who showed him “all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth” (Ether 3:25). In the passage above, Moroni tells us the the Savior ministered unto the brother of Jared as He later would minister to the Nephites, “and all this, that this man might know that he was God.”

God’s work is to bring about our immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39). Jesus defined eternal life as knowing Him and His Father (John 17:3). Therefore, nothing could be more central to God’s purposes than to give us experiences which help us to know Him better.

Today in my prayers, I will remember that God’s ways are higher than my ways. I will ask for the blessings I need and will seek His help in achieving my goals, but I will recognize that He is performing a larger and more important work, and I will seek to align my will with His so that I can help Him achieve His goals.

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