Captivity – Ether 7:4-5

4 And when Corihor was thirty and two years old he rebelled against his father, and went over and dwelt in the land of Nehor; and he begat sons and daughters, and they became exceedingly fair; wherefore Corihor drew away many people after him.
5 And when he had gathered together an army he came up unto the land of Moron where the king dwelt, and took him captive, which brought to pass the saying of the brother of Jared that they would be brought into captivity.
(Ether 7:4-5)

As we read a few days ago, the brother of Jared was unhappy the people wanted a king. He said to his brother, “Surely this thing leadeth into captivity” (Ether 6:23). As Mormon points out in the passage above, the brother of Jared’s prediction came true: his own grandson, Kib, was dethroned and taken captive by his son Corihor.

Why did this happen? Because so much power was given to one person that the position became something to be coveted. Throughout the book of Ether, we see sons and brothers fighting for control of the throne and all of the privileges that went with it. Unfortunately, achieving this goal did not put an end to their problems, because so many other people now wanted to take the throne from them. Corihor, for example, was dethroned by his brother Shule, who restored their father to the throne and went on to become king himself. But Shule was dethroned by Corihor’s son Noah, who was in turn killed by Shule’s sons. And on and on.

Jesus said:

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant (Matthew 20:25-27)

As Elder Dieter F. Uchdorf has taught:

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. The Savior loves all of God’s children regardless of their socioeconomic circumstance, race, religion, language, political orientation, nationality, or any other grouping. And so should we!
God’s greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectation of reward. It goes to those who serve without fanfare; those who quietly go about seeking ways to help others; those who minister to others simply because they love God and God’s children (“The Greatest Among You,” General Conference, April 2017).

Today, I will remember the instability and unhappiness experienced by the Jaredites when they became obsessed with worldly power, and I will choose not to follow their example. I will follow the counsel of the Savior by ministering to others instead of seeking authority over them.

This entry was posted in Ether, Government, Leadership, Service and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Captivity – Ether 7:4-5

  1. Pingback: Lessons from Chapters About Government in the Book of Mormon | Book of Mormon Study Notes

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