5 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
8 And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.
The Lord instructed Jared and his brother to build barges “after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built” (Ether 2:16). Earlier in their journey, before they arrived at the sea, they had built “barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord” (Ether 2:6). I’m not sure what those other waters were like, but they were merely a preparation for the journey which they now faced. What a blessing for them that they had some experience with journeys on water and had learned the advantage of building barges that were “tight like unto a dish.” (See Ether 2:17.)
The Lord had a good reason for wanting their vessels to be sturdy and waterproof. His method of getting them efficiently to the promised land would be to have the wind blow them over stormy seas until they arrived. They needed strong vessels to withstand the “mountain waves” and the “great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.”
There are many reasons why we face adversity. In this case, the Jaredites needed to be prepared to endure significant adversity which would serve the purpose of carrying them to the promised land.
This year, the theme for my stake is a question: “Is your testimony tight like unto a dish?” As I strive to fulfill the challenge embedded in this question, I will remember the reason Jared and his brother had to be so conscientious as they built their barges. I will surely face adversity in my life which will serve the same purpose as the mountain waves: to help me progress toward my destination. Today, I will take action to strengthen my testimony so that I can be ready for the adversity which will drive me forward and enable me to eventually arrive at my promised land.