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Ether I (1-4)

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Ether I (1-4)

Book of Mormon Study Text



1:1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account of those ancient inhabitants which were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country. 1:2 And I take mine account from the twenty and four plates which were found by the people of Limhi, which is called the Book of Ether. 1:3 And as I suppose that the first part of this record, which speaketh concerning the creation of the world, and also of Adam, and an account from that time even to the great tower, and whatsoever things transpired among the children of men until that time, is had among the Jews, 1:4 therefore I do not write those things which transpired from the days of Adam until that time; but they are had upon the plates; and whoso findeth them, the same will have power that he may get the full account. 1:5 But behold, I give not the full account, but a part of the account I give, from the tower down until they were destroyed. 1:6 And on this wise do I give the account.2

He that wrote this record was Ether, and he was a descendant of Coriantor;
1:7 and3 Coriantor was the son of Moron; 1:8 and Moron was the son of Ethem; 1:9 and Ethem was the son of Ahah; 1:10 and Ahah was the son of Seth; 1:11 and Seth was the son of Shiblon; 1:12 and Shiblon was the son of Com; 1:13 and Com was the son of Coriantum; 1:14 and Coriantum was the son of Amnigaddah; 1:15 and Amnigaddah was the son of Aaron;
1:16 and Aaron was a descendant of Heth, who was the son of Hearthom;
1:17 and Hearthom was the son of Lib; 1:18 and Lib was the son of Kish; 1:19 and Kish was the son of Corom; 1:20 and Corom was the son of Levi; 1:21 and Levi was the son of Kim; 1:22 and Kim was the son of Morianton;
1:23 and Morianton was a descendant of Riplakish;
1:24 and Riplakish was the son of Shez; 1:25 and Shez was the son of Heth; 1:26 and Heth was the son of Com; 1:27 and Com was the son of Coriantum; 1:28 and Coriantum was the son of Emer; 1:29 and Emer was the son of Omer; 1:30 and Omer was the son of Shule; 1:31 and Shule was the son of Kib; 1:32 and Kib was the son of Orihah, which was the son of Jared;
1:33 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 sware4 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.
1:34 And the brother of Jared, being a large and a mighty man, and being a man highly favored of the Lord; for5 Jared his brother said unto him, Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words. 1:35 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded. 1:36 Then Jared said unto his brother, Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them which are our friends, that he confound not their language. 1:37 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends, and their families also, that they were not confounded. 1:38 And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying, Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land; and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him, whither shall we6 go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth. And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.

1:39 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord according to that which had been spoken by the mouth of Jared. 1:40 And it came to pass that the Lord did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him, and said unto him, 1:41 Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind, and thy family;7 and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families. 1:42 And when thou hast done this, thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley, which is northward. And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the land of the earth. 1:43 And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and8 the seed of thy brother, and they which shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And this9 I will do unto thee because of this long time which ye have cried unto me.

2:1 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. 2:2 And they did also lay snares and catch fowls of the air; and they did also prepare a vessel, in the which they did carry with them the fish of the waters; 2:3 and they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind. 2:4 And it came to pass that when they had come down into the valley of Nimrod, the Lord came down and talked with the brother of Jared; and he was in a clowd, and the brother of Jared saw him not. 2:5 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been. And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them, and did talk with them as he stood in a cloud, and gave directions whither they should travel. 2:6 And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in the which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.10

2:7 And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people; 2:8 and he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them. 2:9 And now we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity: 2:10 for behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God, or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decrees of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off. 2:11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God, that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness be come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you, as the inhabitants of the land hath hitherto done. 2:12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under Heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, which is Jesus Christ, which hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

2:13 And now I proceed with my record: for behold it came to pass that the Lord did bring Jared and his brethren forth even to that great sea which divideth the lands. And as they came to the sea, they pitched their tents; and they called the name of the place Moriancumer; and they dwelt in tents; and dwelt in tents11 upon the seashore for the space of four years. 2;14 And it came to pass at the end of the four years, that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord. 2:15 And the brother of Jared repented him of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren which were with him. And the Lord said unto him, I will forgive thee and thy brethern of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe, ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And this is my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice12 above all other lands. 2:16 And the Lord said, Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner13 which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord. And they were small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water; 2:17 and they were built after a manner that they were exceeding tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish. 2:18 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me. 2:19 And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light, whither shall we steer. And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish. 2:20 And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top thereof, and also in the bottom thereof; and when thou shalt suffer for air, thou shalt unstop the hole thereof, and receive air. And if it so be that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole thereof, that ye may not perish in the flood. 2:21 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord had commanded. 2:22 And he cried again unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, behold I have done even as thou hast commanded me; and I have prepared the vessels for my people, and behold, there is no light in them. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness? 2:23 And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire: 2:24 for behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea: for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. 2:25 And behold, I prepare you against these things: for how be it,14 ye cannot cross this great deep, save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you, that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

3:1 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared, (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared, was eight,) therefore the brother of Jared15 went forth unto the mount, which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord, saying, 3:2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee: for we know that thou art holy, and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee: because of the fall, our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires. 3:3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hath driven us forth, and for this many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness, but behold these things which I have moulten out of the rock. 3:4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea. 3:5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to shew forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men. 3:6 And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones, one by one, with his finger; and the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear. 3:7 And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him, Arise, why hast thou fallen? 3:8 And he saith unto the Lord, I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me: for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood. 3:9 And the Lord said unto him, Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast: for were it not16 so, ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this? 3:10 And he answered, Nay, Lord, shew thyself unto me. 3:11 And the Lord said unto him, Believest thou the words which I shall speak? 3:12 And he answered, Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie. 3:13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord shewed himself unto him, and said, Because thou knowest these things, ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I shew myself unto you. 3:14 Behold, I am he which was prepared from the foundation of the world, to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life,17 and that eternally, even they which shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. 3:15 And never hath I shewed myself unto man whom I have created, for never hath man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created, in the beginning, after mine own image. 3:16 Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

3:17 And now, as I Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written, therefore it sufficeth me to say, That Jesus shewed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body, even as he shewed himself unto the Nephites; 3:18 and he ministered unto him, even as he ministered unto the Nephites: and all this, that this man knew that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had shewed unto him. 3:19 And because of the knowledge of this man, he could not be kept from beholding within the veil: and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear: for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting; 3:20 wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus, and he did minister unto him.

3:21 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, Behold, thou shalt not suffer these things which ye have seen and heard, to go forth unto the world, until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh; wherefore, ye shall treasure up the things which ye have seen and heard, and shew it to no man. 3:22 And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them: for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read. 3:23 And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also, with the things which ye shall write. 3:24 For behold, the language which ye shall write, I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in mine own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men, these things which ye shall write. 3:25 And when the Lord had said these words, the Lord shewed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and the Lord withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth: 3:26 for the Lord had said unto him in times before, that if he would believe in him, that he could shew unto him all things—it should be shewn unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold any thing from him: for he knew that the Lord could shew him all things. 3:27 And the Lord said unto him, Write these things and seal them up, and I will shew them in mine own due time unto the children of men.

3:28 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that he should seal up the two stones which he had received, and shew them not, until the Lord should shew them unto the children of men. 4:1 And the Lord commanded the brother of Jared to go down out of the mount from the presence of the Lord, and write the things which he had seen: and they were forbidden to come unto the children of men, until after that he should be lifted up upon the cross: and for this cause did king Benjamin keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ should shew himself unto his people. 4:2 And after that Christ truly had shewed himself unto his people, he commanded that they should be made manifest. 4:3 And now after that18 they have all dwindled in unbelief, and there is none, save it be the Lamanites, and they have rejected the Gospel of Christ; therefore I am commanded that I should hide them up again in the earth. 4:4 Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never was greater things made manifest, than that which was made manifest unto the brother of Jared; 4:5 wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have wrote them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord. 4:6 For the Lord saith unto me, They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord; 4:7 and in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them is. 4:8 And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed: for unto them will I shew no greater things, saith Jesus Christ, for I am he which speaketh; 4:9 and at my command the heavens are opened and are shut; and at my word, the earth shall shake; and at my command, the inhabitants thereof shall pass away, even so as by fire; 4:10 and he that believeth not my words, believeth not my disciples; and if it so be that I do not speak, judge ye: for ye shall know that it is I that speaketh, at the last day. 4:11 But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my spirit; and he shall know and bear record. For because of my spirit, he shall know that these things are true: for it persuadeth men to do good; 4:12 and whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good, is of me: for good cometh of none, save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good: he that will not believe my words, will not believe me, that I am; and he that will not believe me, will not believe the Father which sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world. 4:13 Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will shew unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief. 4:14 Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief. 4:15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvellous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you; yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel; 4:16 and then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John, be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed; 4:17 therefore, when ye shall receive this record, ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land. 4:18 Therefore, repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and believe in my Gospel, and be baptized in my name: for he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned: and signs shall follow them that believe in my name. 4:19 And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name, at the last day: for they shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. And behold, it is I that hath spoken it. Amen.



1. P gives the title as The Book of Ether, whereas the 1830 edition omits the word The. The preface immediately following the title in modern editions, “The record of the Jaredites, taken from the twenty-four plates found by the people of Limhi in the days of King Mosiah,” was not in P or the 1830 edition but was added in 1920.

2. Ether 1:6b-33 is here set out in sections (unlike in the 1830 edition) reflecting its structure as a genealogy.

3. The 1830 edition omitted the word and here in Ether 1:7.

4. Here in Ether 1:33, both P and the 1830 edition have the form swear, a clear misspelling of the word sware.

5. Skousen (Analysis) argues that the word for here in Ether 1:34 is a scribal error and that the word should be therefore. This proposal is plausible but in the absence of textual support must be deemed speculative.

6. Here in Ether 1:38, P has shall we whereas the 1830 edition has we shall.

7. Here in Ether 1:41, P has the singular family whereas the 1830 edition has the plural families, implying (accidentally) that Jared’s brother had multiple families. During the polygamy era in Utah, this verse was cited by the Utah Mormons in defense of polygamy (see the interesting note in Skousen, Analysis).

8. The 1830 edition added the word of here in Ether 1:43.

9. P here at Ether 1:43 has this, which was changed in the 1830 edition to thus.

10. Ether 2:7-13 are here set as a separate paragraph because it pauses the narrative to comment on the theme of the land of promise.

11. Both P and the 1830 edition have the words and dwelt in tents here at Ether 2:13, which repeat what had just been said, “and they dwelt in tents.” Skousen (Analysis) views this as a scribal error, specifically as dittography (the accidental copying twice of the same text). This is a possibility, but the omission of the word they in the repeated words weakens the case. We will therefore leave the repetition stand.

12. Ether 2:15 P, land of choice; 1830 edition, land choice. Although we cannot be sure, it appears that the word of was accidentally added (so Skousen, Analysis).

13. Here in Ether 2:16, the 1830 edition misprinted the word manner as maner.

14. Here at Ether 2:25, the 1830 edition changed the expression how be it (meaning “how can it be”) to the single word howbeit (meaning “however”).

15. The 1830 edition here at Ether 3:1 omitted the repetitive words therefore the brother of Jared.

16. Neither P nor the 1830 edition has the word not here in Ether 3:9, but Skousen (Analysis) offers a good argument for thinking that it was in O, which is partially extant here.

17. Here at Ether 3:14, the 1830 edition accidentally replaced life with light.

18. The 1830 edition punctuates Ether 4:3 here as follows: And now, after that, they have all…. The two commas should be removed because after that functions as a conjunction (so Skousen, Analysis).