It’s not surprising that Moroni named his history of the Jaredites “the Book of Ether.” He must have felt a particular kinship with the last Jaredite prophet, who spent much of his life in hiding, and who witnessed the destruction of his people.
As he introduces the prophet Ether to us, Moroni expounds on the concept of faith leading to hope. Ether told his people that hope comes from faith, and that it creates an anchor for our souls (Ether 12:4). Moroni elaborates on this principle, showing how faith-based hope was a stabilizing force in the lives of individuals throughout the Book of Mormon, and in his own life as well. Here is my summary of Moroni’s message in Ether 12:
Moroni shared other teachings from Ether, including a prophecy of the gathering of Israel to a New Jerusalem on the American continent (Ether 13:1-14).
After describing the final battle of the Jaredites, Moroni ends the record with Ether’s final words, which must have been particularly meaningful to him as well:
Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.Ether 15:34
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from those chapters:
Faith and Hope
- Hope leads to action: Always Abounding in Good Works – Ether 12:4.
- God can work with us in spite of our limitations. We can move forward with confidence, trusting in Him: Because of Our Weakness – Ether 12:23, 26, 35-37.
- Faith can qualify us to eventually receive the gift of a deeper, more durable hope: Partakers of the Heavenly Gift – Ether 12:6-9.
- We can overcome the frustrations associated with challenges and roadblocks by remembering the confidence we have in God: An Anchor to the Souls of Men – Ether 12:4.
- Don’t wait until you have all of the answers before taking action. You may not receive those answers until you begin moving: After the Trial of Your Faith – Ether 12:6.
- We can visualize outcomes long before we have empirical evidence that they will happen: With an Eye of Faith – Ether 12:19 .
- We are frequently reminded of our shortcomings, so we need to intentionally remind ourselves that God can compensate for them: Why Is It Important to Know That God’s Grace Is Sufficient?
- Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage: What Should I Do When I Feel Inadequate?
- We can learn to have faith by following the examples of faithful people: What Are Some Examples of Faith in the Book of Mormon?
Sharing the Gospel
- The Spirit of the Lord can fill us with eagerness to share the gospel: He Could Not Be Restrained – Ether 12:2.
- We must be willing to speak up to defend the truth: He Should Go and Prophesy – Ether 13:20-22.
Repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ
- If we seek Jesus, we can receive God’s power now and we can retain it over time: That the Grace of God…May Be and Abide in You Forever – Ether 12:41.
- The voluntary suffering of Jesus made it possible for us to be purified: What Does It Mean for Our Garments to Be “Washed White Through the Blood of the Lamb?”
- The earlier we choose to repent, the sooner we will receive God’s blessings in our lives: He Began to Remember – Ether 15:1-3.
- Avoid getting stuck in a train of thought that prevents you from adapting to guidance from others and to changing circumstances: The Hardness of Their Hearts – Ether 15:18-19.
- We should promote unity, holiness, and charity: What Is the New Jerusalem?
- Don’t make fun of other people, and don’t stop doing good things just because people make fun of you: Fools Mock – Ether 12:23-26.
- We should be grateful for the trusting relationships in our lives and work to strengthen those relationships: A Great Curse – Ether 14:1-2.
- Focus on the most important things, and let other things go: It Mattereth Not – Ether 15:34.
- Meekness is strong, not weak: What Is Meekness?