2020 Study Summary 45: That Evil May Be Done Away | Israel Revealed

2020 Study Summary 45: That Evil May Be Done Away

Ether 6-11

“That Evil May Be Done Away”

The Jaredite barges are driven by the winds to the promised land—The people praise the Lord for his goodness—Orihah is appointed king over them—Jared and his brother die.

Orihah reigns in righteousness—Amid usurpation and strife the rival kingdoms of Shule and Cohor are set up—Prophets condemn the wickedness and idolatry of the people, who then repent.

There is strife and contention over the kingdom—Akish forms an oath-bound secret combination to slay the king—Secret combinations are of the devil and result in the destruction of nations—Modern Gentiles are warned against the secret combination which shall seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.

The kingdom passes from one to another by descent and intrigue and murder—Emer saw the Son of Righteousness—Many prophets cry repentance—A famine and poisonous serpents plague the people.

One king succeeds another—Some of the kings are righteous; others are wicked—When righteousness prevails, the people are blessed and prospered by the Lord.

Wars, dissensions, and wickedness dominate Jaredite life—Their prophets predict the utter destruction of the Jaredites unless they repent—The people reject the words of the prophets.

What are the similarities in sea and storm stories?
There are some distinctive sea, ship and tempest stories in the Holy Scriptures. In the accounts of Noah, Jared, Nephi, Jesus and Paul, each has a lesson of salvation. Noah was led by the Lord to save righteous life on a barge or sea craft as the earth experienced a great tempest and flooding. The earth was cleansed or in effect, “baptized.” A new life began. “And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” (Genesis 8:18-20) Jared’s family experienced a tempest and was delivered and saved. “And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind. And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.” (Ether 6:6-7)

What followed the storms?
“And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.” (Ether 6:12) Jonah went down into the sea, only to come up, saved. Even those who cast him overboard were saved! The Lord used the experience of Jonah as a sign of the atonement. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.” (Jonah 1:11-16

What power quiets the storm?
Nephi’s family also experienced a terrible tempest brought on by their unbelief. Through repentance God also “turned the tide” and saved them. “And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts; wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me. And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm.” (1 Nephi 18:20-21)

Who is the master of my ship?
Jesus saved the Disciples in a tempest. Jesus constantly taught salvation and told us to be of good cheer. “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 8:23-25)

What can Chief Officers do in the name of the Master?
An Apostle of God, Paul saved the crew of his ship after a violent tempest. “And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.” (Acts 27:18-22)

What was used to fulfill “Let there be Light?”
A mechanical engineer stated, “Glass reflects, transmits, and absorbs light.” The scriptures teach, “And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space – the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things . . .” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:11-13) The unusual experience of the Brother of Jared in preparing “stones” for the Lord to touch for light during their ship journey also has some Biblical precedence. Glass was made in the Middle East and the Jews often had a role in its development. “The use of glass for ornaments and practical vessels goes back to the third millenium B.C.E., when the first glass beads were produced in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Since that time, and particularly after the revolutionary invention of glassblowing in the first century B.C., the manufacture of glass and glassware has been an important industry, in which Jews have often played a major role.” “The only mention of glass in the Bible occurs in Job 28:17, where it is equated with gold. This demonstrates the great value of glass in the biblical period. Archaeological excavations have revealed glass objects in Erez Israel from as early as the 14th century B.C.E., and the Mishnah includes regulations concerning the trade of glass making.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)

How do we know the name of the brother of Jared?
The brother of Jared had a name which has come to us by revelation. “While residing at Kirtland, Elder Reynolds Cahoon had a son born to him. One day when President Joseph Smith was passing his door he called the Prophet in and asked him to bless and name the baby. Joseph did so and gave the boy the name of Mahonri Moriancumer. When he had finished the blessing, he laid the child on the bed, and turning to Elder Cahoon he said, the name I have given your son is the name of the Brother of Jared; the Lord has just shown or revealed it to me. Elder William F. Cahoon, who was standing near heard the Prophet make this statement to his father; and this was the first time the name of the brother of Jared was known in the Church in this dispensation.” (The Juvenile Instructor 27/8 [15April 1892]: 282) “Mahonri Moriancumer is the name of the Brother of Jared, that mighty prophet who led the Jaredites from the Tower of Babel to their North American promised land. Our present knowledge of the life and ministry of this man, one of the greatest prophets ever to live on earth, is so comparatively slight that we do not even find his name recorded in Moroni’s abridgment of the Book of Ether. It was, however, made known by the spirit of inspiration to the Prophet.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.463) “The prophet of the Jaredite colony, Mahonri Moriancumer, commonly referred to as the brother of Jared, spoke of this land as a choice land . . . above all other lands. He indicated that those people who live here should worship the God of this land if they were to enjoy the blessings of freedom and liberty and be free from bondage. Otherwise, if they failed, they were to be swept off. And he proclaimed that this is the everlasting decree of God.” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.575)

What is the procedure to faith and works?
In reviewing the brother of Jared’s faith and works we see a formula emerging that we should follow. It is called the “Mahonri Formula.” 1). Identify the problem. 2). Consider possible solutions. 3). Make yourself worthy–develop humility. 4). Make a specific request. Despite backsliding, the Lord recognized the repentance of the Jaredite family and turned toward them. In fact, due to the humble faith of the brother of Jared, the Lord manifested himself to him. Repentance works! Then, as Moses was shown the “ends of the earth” and was able to see the creation, the beginning to the end, so did the brother of Jared. Moroni was also privileged to see this account. As Jared and his brother turned from their backsliding and reflected humility, they were blessed. So shall the Gentiles be blessed as they return from their backsliding and once again reflect humility.

What is the difference between oaths and vows?
Although these chapters in The Book of Mormon deal mostly with wars and secret combinations and little Jewish or “Israelitish” insight can be given, one thing comes vividly to mind. That is, vows and covenants are usually made with the Lord and not used as an instrument of people to people. “In Jewish law, ‘oaths’ and ‘vows’ serve as distinct terms, each representing a different class of ‘sworn statement.’ The oath, which in Hebrew is called shevuah, is limited to sworn statements made during the course of judicial proceedings, while the vow, called in Hebrew neder, has a much broader application and refers to all types of sworn statements made outside the courtroom. Both are treated at great length in the Talmud, in separate tractates entitled, respectively, Shevuot and Nedarim.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)

What has taken the place of “swearing-in” a witness in Jewish Law?
“Today in courts in most countries, it is common practice to ‘swear in’ all witnesses. Jewish law never adopted this custom, preferring to accept testimony without the administration of an oath, as long as there were at least two witnesses who corroborated each other’s testimony, as well as other supportive evidence. Testimony given under oath was, in fact, considered to be a particularly weak form of evidence, and it was only accepted when there was a complete lack of something better. When the judicial oath was administered, it was only used in civil cases and then not to the witnesses but to the defendant, or less often, to the plaintiff. In capital cases, a judicial oath was never administered, since it was assumed that no one charged with a capital crime could be believed, even under oath.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)

What is a “Vow?”
“In contrast to the judicial oath, the ‘vow’ has very wide application. It consists of a fully verbalized statement made by an adult (not a minor) that he (or she) takes upon himself a specified obligation (such as giving a definite sum of money to charity) or that he denies to himself the enjoyment of a given object, person or experience (such as eating a particular type of food). If the vow is made voluntarily, without any compulsion from anyone else, it is fully binding, and only with great difficulty can it be declared void.” “Vows were regarded by the rabbis with great seriousness. They attempted to discourage indiscriminate making of vows, for they realized that most people made them without fully realizing the consequences. It is reported in the Talmud that the sage Samuel even declared that ‘he who makes a vow, even though he fulfills it, commits a sin.’ The rabbis tolerated vows only when they were taken in order to get rid of bad habits and encourage one to do good; otherwise they emphasized that one should strive for the desired ends without the aid of vows.” “Because of the strict binding nature of vows, and the great difficulties involved in having them annulled, even today many people have the habit of saying beli neder (‘without it being a vow’) whenever they make statements about acts which they plan to undertake in the future.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)

What precedes the destruction of a people?
Notice that just prior to the destruction of the people, the various Kings and rulers like Shiblom, arrested and killed the prophets. In the days of Ahah, Ethem and Moron even the people rebelled against the prophets. A parallel to that is in Israel when Jeremiah was imprisoned for speaking against the government. This occurred also just prior to the destruction of the City of The Lord, Jerusalem, when Father Lehi left with his family.

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