Open main menu

The Book of Ether (/ˈθər/)[1] is one of the books of the Book of Mormon. It describes the Jaredites, descendants of Jared and his companions, who were led by God to the Americas shortly after the confusion of tongues and the destruction of the Tower of Babel.[2] Ether consists of fifteen chapters.[3]

The title refers to Ether, a Jaredite prophet who lived at the end of the time period covered by the book, believed to be circa 2600 or 2100 BC[4] through 600 BC or later, at least 1500[5] but possibly as long as 2500 years.[6]

Contents

NarrativeEdit

Lineage of EtherEdit

Jared → Orihah → Kib → Shule → Omer → Emer → Coriantum → Com → Heth → Shez → Riplakish → Morianton → Kim → Levi → Corom → Kish → Lib → Hearthom → Heth → Aaron → Amnigaddah → Coriantum → Com → Shiblon → Seth → Ahah → Ethem → Moron → Coriantor → Ether

Journey to AmericaEdit

Jared and his people were among the many scattered peoples from the destruction of the Tower of Babel. The brother of Jared is described as "a large and mighty man ... highly favored of the Lord",[7] and seems to have been the spiritual leader of the group. He was given a vision of the history of the world, and inscribed prophecies, which were "sealed up" until the Lord decides to reveal them. The Lord told the brother of Jared to build unpowered submarines, termed "barges" or "vessels", to cross the ocean to the promised land. The barges could circulate fresh air because of openings in the top and bottom of the vessel.[8] The hole in the top could be "stopped up" when the waves crashed over the vessel to prevent scuttling. The hole in the bottom is assumed to have been constructed as a sort of "moon pool" with the lip above the waterline so it would not flood the vessel. This would also allow wave action and the buoying of the vessel to pump fresh air in and out of the vessel when the upper opening was uncapped.[9]

Because the vessels could not sustain fire or windows for light, the brother of Jared went to a mountain and prayed for help. God touched several molten stones and made them shine. Because of the brother of Jared's great faith, he saw the finger of God. He then saw and spoke with Jehova. The people launched the vessels and traveled through great storms. After 344 days, they arrived at the Americas. Jared and his brother led the people to successfully establish a righteous nation.

ParallelsEdit

The Book of Ether parallels in many ways the story of the Book of Mormon as a whole. A small group (Jared and his companions; Lehi and his family) separate themselves from a wicked society (the Tower of Babel; Jerusalem just prior to its destruction) and establish a new nation (the Jaredites; the Nephites) in "the promised land." In each case the group is divided following the death of the original leaders and the divisions contend for many generations. The fortunes of the nations are dependent upon their obedience to God—righteousness brings prosperity and wickedness brings destruction (sometimes delayed). Ultimately, the wicked prevail and the nation is destroyed.[citation needed][10]

These parallels are often emphasized in Mormonism as applicable to the present day. The Americas are still considered "the promised land" and the continued prosperity of the present nations are believed to be contingent on the righteousness of their people.[citation needed]

ProvenanceEdit

According to the Book of Mormon, the Book of Ether was taken from a set of twenty-four plates written by Ether and discovered by the people of Limhi during the time of King Mosiah (son of King Benjamin).[11][12] Joseph Smith claimed the book was abridged by Moroni onto the golden plates,[13][14] from which he later translated the Book of Mormon into English.

However, according to Daniel H. Ludlow, it is not clarified in the Book of Mormon whether Moroni made his abridgment of the record of Ether from Mosiah's earlier translation[15] or whether Moroni took his account directly from the plates of Ether—in which case he would have needed to translate the record as well as abridge it.[16]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «ē´ther»
  2. ^ Ether 1:33
  3. ^ https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/title-page?lang=eng
  4. ^ Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon p. 117, quoted in Church Educational System (1996, rev. ed.). Book of Mormon Student Manual (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), ch. 6.
  5. ^ Church Educational System (1996, rev. ed.). Book of Mormon Student Manual (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), ch. 48.
  6. ^ Randal Chase (2008). Making Precious Things Plain: A Book of Mormon Study Guide (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort) p. 127.
  7. ^ Ether 1:34
  8. ^ Ether 2:20
  9. ^ Ether 1:20
  10. ^ "Book of Mormon Student Manual". ChurchofJesusChrist.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2009. p. 414. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  11. ^ Mosiah 8:9
  12. ^ Ether 1:2
  13. ^ Ether 1:2
  14. ^ Moroni 1:1
  15. ^ Mosiah 28:1–20
  16. ^ Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p. 178

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit