Lesson 46: By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled

Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999), 202–5


Purpose

To help class members understand the importance of exercising faith, being humble, and heeding the counsel of the prophets.

Preparation

Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

  1. a.

    Ether 12:1–22. Moroni explains the importance of faith and gives examples of the power of faith.

  2. b.

    Ether 12:23–41. The Lord teaches Moroni that He gives us weakness that we may be humble. Moroni commends us to “seek this Jesus, of whom the prophets and apostles have written.”

  3. c.

    Ether 13:1–12. Moroni records Ether’s prophecies concerning the promised land.

  4. d.

    Ether 13:13–15:34. Moroni records Ether’s account of the destruction of the Jaredite civilization.

Suggestions for Lesson Development

Attention Activity

As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson.

Have class members read Mosiah 8:8–9, 12, 19; 28:17–19.

  • What record is referred to here? (The record of the Jaredites, which was abridged by Moroni in the book of Ether.) What effect did hearing this record have on the people of Mosiah? Why do you think it is important for us to read this account?

Explain that this lesson discusses the account of the Jaredites from their arrival in the promised land to their complete destruction many generations later. Although the account of their destruction is tragic, we, like the people of Mosiah, can rejoice in the knowledge the record gives us.

Scripture Discussion and Application

Prayerfully select the scripture passages, questions, and other lesson material that will best meet class members’ needs. Discuss how the selected scriptures apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share appropriate experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

1. Moroni explains the importance of faith.

Explain that after arriving in the promised land, the Jaredites began to “multiply … and wax strong in the land” (Ether 6:18). When Jared and his brother died, a king was appointed to lead the people (Ether 6:21–30). Ether 7–11 records the succession of righteous and wicked kings, the rise of secret combinations among the people, and the teachings of prophets who were called to preach repentance to the Jaredites (see the first and second additional teaching ideas for more discussion of Ether 7–11). Ether 12 begins the account of the teachings of Ether, who was one of those prophets.

Read and discuss selected verses from Ether 12:1–22.

  • Ether exhorted the people to believe in God, saying that “by faith all things are fulfilled” (Ether 12:3). How did Ether describe those who believe in God? (See Ether 12:4.) How can faith and hope be an anchor for us? What are some examples of how faith leads to good works that glorify God?

  • Ether prophesied “great and marvelous things” to the people, but they did not believe him. Why? (See Ether 12:5.)

    Ask class members to think of times when they or other people have been blessed for following prophetic counsel even when they could not “see” or understand the reasons for the counsel. Invite them to share their examples as appropriate.

  • Moroni recorded that the people would not believe the prophecies of Ether because they could not see them. Moroni then defined faith and gave examples of it. How did he define faith? (See Ether 12:6; see also Hebrews 11:1; Alma 32:21.) What do you think it means that we “receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith”? (Ether 12:6; see also Ether 12:29–31; D&C 58:2–4). In what ways have trials strengthened and confirmed your faith?

  • Moroni listed several events that occurred as a result of faith. What events did he list? (See Ether 12:7–22. List class members’ responses on the chalkboard. Also, suggest that class members mark the word faith each time it appears in these verses.) What other examples from the scriptures have shown you the power of faith?

  • The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “We receive by faith all temporal blessings that we do receive, [and] we in like manner receive by faith all spiritual blessings that we do receive” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 3). What are some blessings you have received because of your faith? (You may want to invite class members to think about this question rather than answer it aloud.)

2. The Lord teaches Moroni that He gives us weakness that we may be humble.

Read and discuss selected verses from Ether 12:23–41.

  • What was Moroni’s concern about how the Gentiles would receive his record? (See Ether 12:23–25.) What was the Lord’s response? (See Ether 12:26.) Why is it important to read Moroni’s words—and all scriptures—with meekness?

Have a class member read Ether 12:27 aloud. Direct class members’ attention to the Lord’s promise to those who humble themselves and have faith in Him (“Then will I make weak things become strong unto them”). Ask class members to think of examples of this promise being fulfilled in the scriptures, their lives, or the lives of others. Invite them to share some of these examples.

  • Moroni wrote of the importance of faith, hope, and charity (Ether 12:28–34). How do these qualities bring us unto Christ?

  • Moroni exhorted us to “seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written” (Ether 12:41). In what ways can we “seek Jesus” today? What does the Lord promise those who do this? (See Ether 12:41.) Why do we need the grace of God and His Son?

3. Moroni records Ether’s prophecies concerning the promised land.

Read and discuss Ether 13:1–12.

  • What did Ether prophesy about the New Jerusalem and the Old Jerusalem? (Have class members read Ether 13:2–12 to find answers to this question; see also the list below.)

    1. a.

      The Old Jerusalem (“from whence Lehi [came]”), will be “built up again, a holy city unto the Lord” (Ether 13:5). This will be done by the descendants of Judah before the Second Coming.

    2. b.

      Before the Second Coming, “a new Jerusalem should be built up upon this land [the Americas]” (Ether 13:6). The New Jerusalem will be a holy city built by a remnant of the house of Joseph (Ether 13:8).

    3. c.

      The City of Enoch will come down out of heaven and become part of the New Jerusalem (Ether 13:3, 10; see also Revelation 21:2, 10). This will occur after the Second Coming.

  • How did Moroni describe those who would be worthy to live in these holy cities? (See Ether 13:10–11.) What does it mean to be “washed in the blood of the Lamb”? (To be cleansed from sin through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.)

4. War rages throughout the land. The Jaredite civilization is destroyed.

Read and discuss selected verses from Ether 13:13–15:34. Explain that the people cast Ether out, and he made the remainder of his record while hiding in the cavity of a rock (Ether 13:13–14). The people soon became engulfed in wars and secret combinations.

  • During the second year that Ether dwelled in the cavity of a rock, the word of the Lord came to him. What did the Lord instruct him to do? (See Ether 13:20–21.) How did Coriantumr respond to Ether’s prophecies? (See Ether 13:22.)

Explain that Ether 13:23–15:28 describes continual bloodshed as different groups sought to obtain power. Millions of Jaredites were killed in the battles. Although Coriantumr lost many battles and was wounded several times, he did not die. Near the end of the record, Coriantumr and Shiz gathered all the people together for a final battle. After several days of fighting, only Coriantumr and Shiz remained alive.

  • How did the battle finally end? (See Ether 15:29–32.) How was this a fulfillment of Ether’s prophecy? (See Ether 13:20–21.)

  • What can we learn from the Jaredite record about the importance of repenting before we become deeply involved in sin? (See Ether 15:1–5, 18–19; see also Helaman 13:32–33, 38.) How does sinning limit our agency?

  • What are some similarities between the history of the Nephites and the history of the Jaredites? What can we learn from the accounts of these civilizations?

Conclusion

As directed by the Spirit, testify of the truths discussed during the lesson.

Additional Teaching Ideas

The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use one or more of these ideas as part of the lesson.

1. The importance of following the prophets

Point out that the history of the Jaredites gives many examples of the following pattern:

  1. a.

    The people become wicked.

  2. b.

    Prophets call the people to repentance.

  3. c.

    The people accept the prophets and are blessed, or they reject the prophets and begin to suffer the consequences of their wickedness.

  4. d.

    In response to the consequences, the people repent and follow the prophets, or they continue in wickedness to their destruction.

You may want to read and discuss examples of this pattern in Ether 7:23–27; 9:23–35; 11:1–8, 11–14, 19–23.

2. Moroni warns against secret combinations

After the death of Jared and his brother, the people were ruled by a succession of kings. With the passing of each generation, contention for the throne became more intense. As this contention grew, Jared’s daughter devised a plan to make her father the king (Ether 8:8; remind class members that the man named Jared in this account was a descendant of the Jared referred to in Ether 1–6).

  • What plan did Jared’s daughter create to make her father the king? (See Ether 8:9–12.) How did this plan introduce secret combinations in the land? (See Ether 8:13–18.)

  • What did Moroni teach about the danger of secret combinations? (See Ether 8:21–22.) Why did he include these things in his record? (See Ether 8:23, 26.) How can we recognize secret combinations and protect ourselves from them? (See Ether 8:23–25.)

3. “Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong” (Ether 12:37)

  • As Hyrum Smith prepared to go to Carthage Jail, where he and the Prophet Joseph Smith were murdered, he read Ether 12:36–38 and folded down the page (D&C 135:4–5). What comfort do these verses offer? What passages of scripture have strengthened or comforted you?