This week in the Book of Mormon we’ll look at Ether 1-4. What we see here in these four chapters is the Brother of Jared and his people flee the tower of Babel to be saved from the confounding of the language. Being highly favored of the Lord, he receives guidance to take his people to a land of promise – America. The Brother of Jared, during his preparations to flee across the waters, sees Yehovah. Yehovah shows him all things, which the Brother of Jared records. What we see here is the Brother of Jared having his calling and election made sure by seeing Yehovah in the flesh and now has standing to rend the veil and call upon the Father. When we get to chapter 4, Moroni appears to be setting out a process that we too can see what the Brother of Jared saw.
Standing to Call Upon the Father
When we evaluate chapter 4 of Ether, what we see is a condensed version of the process of transformation, which culminates in seeing God, the Son and having one’s calling and election made sure and has standing before the Father – v.15. Moroni appears to be using the sequence – The Law > The Spirit > The Son > The Father.
The concept of “standing” is that a person has a legal right to receive something. When we have standing with God, we have the right to ask something of Him. When we live God’s Laws and Covenants, He is bound to honor our requests.
The concepts that we see presented in verses 6 through 10 include – repenting of iniquity, becoming clean, having faith, and being sanctified in Messiah – all can be associated with obeying God’s Law – His Commandments. Indeed, obedience is the evidence of faith.
The first concept that we see Moroni set out if we want to receive the record of the Brother of Jared is to repent of iniquity. Iniquity is when sin becomes generational, which is a concept that we saw in a previous post – The Fall of Zion – when those people who denied the Messiah also taught their children to deny the Messiah.
Iniquity can occur in degrees. When we violate the principles in the US Constitution, which are based on biblical law, and teach our children to do likewise, we perpetuate iniquity. When we violate Torah Law and its fullness, and teach our children to do likewise, we and our children can’t become clean and sanctified for generations.
The next stage to have our calling and election made sure and have standing before the Father is to receive a fullness of the Spirit and a witness that our covenants of sanctification are made everlasting and unconditional, which occurs once we pass a trial of faith – the Baptism of Fire. When our covenants of sanctification are made everlasting and unconditional, we receive a tangible manifestation of the Spirit and a fullness of the Spirit to confirm truth.
Moroni appears to set us on this path to receive a witness from the Spirit through the Messiah’s Spirit (Light of Christ) confirming the truthfulness and goodness of the Book of Mormon to us – v. 11,12. We can receive a witness through the Light of Christ that something is good/true until we qualify to receive the Spirit by living the Law/Commandments.
Once we receive the Spirit, which testifies of the Messiah/Christ who is the light, life and truth of the world, Moroni tells us to “come unto me” – v.12-14. In other words, this is an invitation for us to become like our Messiah to be a light, the truth and the life. Its to become perfected and to reach His full stature. We saw in a previous post that to reach the full stature of Messiah we need to enter the Davidic Covenant and to be saviors for which we see the Brother of Jared do – Ether 2:15. We also saw in the post – The Kingdom of My Father - that when we become like the Son we are not only sanctified/pure but we become also holy.
When we reach this point of righteousness, we have standing before God and can rend the veil and call on the Father to have His Son reveal all things to us. Moroni points out that our attitude when we call on the Father is to have a “broken heart and a contrite spirit” – v.15.
A Savior of Family and Friends
Notice here that the Brother of Jared was not associated with a church, but sought for the welfare of his family and friends. We might want to think about that in the context of our last post where all churches at the Endtimes had become polluted and corrupt. Moroni is providing this story to us for a reason!
33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered. – Ether 1:33
1 And it came to pass that Jared and his brother, and their families, and also the friends of Jared and his brother and their families, went down into the valley which was northward, (and the name of the valley was Nimrod, being called after the mighty hunter) with their flocks which they had gathered together, male and female, of every kind. – Ether 2:1