Unit 30: Day 4, Ether 12

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 306–8


Introduction

After recounting many years of Jaredite history, Moroni introduced the ministry of the prophet Ether. Moroni then paused in his historical account and recorded some of the blessings that come to those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ. He also confessed a concern. He was worried that those who would read the Book of Mormon in the latter days would not accept it because of his and the other writers’ weakness in writing. The Lord promised Moroni that He strengthens the weaknesses of all those who humble themselves before Him and have faith.

Ether 12:1–4

Ether preaches repentance to the Jaredites

boat anchored to beach

Why is it important for a boat to have an anchor? What dangers or difficulties might a boat encounter if it does not have an anchor? Label the boat in the picture My life. Think about the following questions:

  • If the boat represents your life, what could the waves be likened unto?

  • If we compare the waves to difficulties and wickedness, what might someone’s life be like if he or she does not have an anchor? (See Mormon 5:18.)

  • What has the Lord given you to help hold you securely in place like an anchor?

As you study Ether 12, look for what you must do to be like a boat with an anchor—firm and secure despite the waves and pressures you face. Ether 12 begins with Moroni introducing the prophet Ether, who lived in a time when the people rejected the prophets and lived in wickedness. Read Ether 12:1–3, and look for anything that impresses you about Ether’s actions during these difficult circumstances.

While going about exhorting the people to repent, Ether taught what a person who believes in God can hope for in spite of being surrounded by difficulties and wickedness. Read Ether 12:4, and mark what that hope is. (As you read, it may be helpful to know that to have “a place at the right hand of God” means to return to God’s presence and receive eternal life.)

  1. journal icon1.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      How do you think having hope “with surety” is different from merely wishing for something?

    2. b.

      How does faith in Jesus Christ allow us to hope “with surety” for a place at the right hand of God?

    3. c.

      What phrases in Ether 12:4 describe the actions of someone who has hope and faith in Jesus Christ?

On the picture of the boat at the beginning of this lesson, label the anchor with the words faith and hope.

Ether 12:4 teaches the principle that when we have hope and faith in Jesus Christ, we will receive strength to be steadfast and abound in good works.

Ponder times when it may be difficult for you to be steadfast (unwavering) and to abound in good works. To help you in these situations and throughout your life, look for ways you can increase your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as you continue to study Ether 12.

Ether 12:5–22

Moroni recounts miracles and mighty works that came by faith

  1. journal icon2.

    In your scripture study journal, finish the following sentence with any gospel truths for which you are seeking a spiritual witness: I would like to gain a spiritual witness of …

Some people feel that they must first see evidence of a truth and have it proven to them before they will live it. Ether spoke of that attitude in Ether 12:5–6. Read these verses and mark those parts of his counsel that stand out to you. (Ether 12:6 is a scripture mastery passage.)

According to Ether 12:6, what must we have before receiving a witness from the Lord? What comes to mind when you think about a “trial of your faith”?

Elder Richard G. Scott

Some people mistakenly interpret “trial of your faith” to always refer to hardship. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave this insight into what “trial of your faith” means: “You can learn to use faith more effectively by applying this principle taught by Moroni: ‘… ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’ [Ether 12:6; italics added]. Thus, every time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. Those feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat that pattern, your faith will become stronger” (“The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2003, 76).

Read the following scripture passages, and look for the blessings that came after the people exercised faith:

  • Ether 12:11. What was the blessing? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Ether 12:12–13. What blessing came to Alma and Amulek? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Ether 12:19–22, 30–31. What blessings came to the brother of Jared by faith? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It may be helpful to notice the use of the word after in Ether 12:7, 12, 17, 18, and 31.

  1. journal icon3.

    Based on what you have studied in Ether 12, in your own words, write in your scripture study journal what you feel Moroni taught about receiving spiritual witnesses from the Lord.

One of the principles Moroni taught was: If we desire a witness, then we must first exercise faith in Jesus Christ.

  1. journal icon4.

    Read the following scenarios, and then write in your scripture study journal how someone in two or more of those situations could demonstrate faith in the Lord:

    1. a.

      A young woman wants to receive a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

    2. b.

      A young man has a strong desire to help his loved ones accept the gospel.

    3. c.

      A young woman seeks for the Lord to bless her sick father.

  2. journal icon5.

    Write in your scripture study journal about a time when you or someone you know has received a witness or miracle after demonstrating faith.

Think back on the principle or doctrine for which you would like to receive a spiritual witness (see assignment 2 in this lesson). What can you do to demonstrate your faith before receiving the witness?

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—Ether 12:6

  1. journal icon6.

    To help you memorize Ether 12:6, read it through several times, then write down as much of the verse as you can remember in your scripture study journal. Afterward, compare what you wrote with the actual verse. Study the verse again, and write it down a second time in your scripture study journal.

Ether 12:23–41

Moroni expresses concern about how the Gentiles will respond to the Book of Mormon

As recorded in Ether 12:23–41, Moroni expressed his concern that those who would receive the Book of Mormon in the latter days would not accept it because of his and the other writers’ weakness in writing. As you read the Lord’s response to Moroni’s concern in Ether 12:26–27, look for how the Lord said that weak things can become strong. (Ether 12:27 is a scripture mastery passage.)

The scriptures sometimes indicate a gospel principle by using the words if and then. The word if describes what we must do, and then explains what will happen as a result of our actions. Read Ether 12:27, identify an if–then principle, and write it below.

If we ____________________________________________________________________________________________________, then the Lord will ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.

You will discuss these verses in more depth in the lesson with your teacher this week. You will also study and learn more about Moroni’s discussion about faith, hope, and charity found in Ether 12:28–41.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—Ether 12:27

To help you remember the ideas in Ether 12:27, copy the following onto a piece of paper: If … come … show … weakness. … give … weakness … humble; … grace … all men … humble … if … humble … faith … weak … strong.

Reread Ether 12:27, noticing these words. Restate as much of the verse as you can, looking only at the words on your paper. Put the piece of paper somewhere you will see it later today or tomorrow (for example, in your pocket or in your scriptures). Review Ether 12:27 whenever you see the piece of paper until you have the passage memorized.

  1. journal icon7.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Ether 12 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: