We begin by reading the Heading Summary of the book of Ether, which was not in the 1830 edition but was added in 1920, “The record of the Jaredites, taken from the twenty-four plates found by the people of Limhi in the days of king Mosiah.”
The book of Ether was abridged by Moroni from the engravings found on the 24 plates of pure gold. It is a record of the Jaredites, beginning at the time of Babel, around 2200 BC., and continuing until around 120 BC., when Coriantumr became the last survivor of the Jaredites, other than the prophet Ether. Coriantumr was found by the people of Zarahemla and lived with them for nine months (see Omni 1:21). In many ways, the book of Ether could be considered a miniature Book of Mormon with similar history and events. Though the book is chronologically out of place, readers will understand why it is included at this point in the Book of Mormon.
For some reason, the LDS Church does not provide dates in the footnotes for the book of Ether.
Ether 1:1 “AND now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account of those ancient inhabitants who were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country.” He puts the responsibility of the Jaredite destruction on the Lord. The words “give an account of” are in Luke 16:2.
Ether 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.” (see Mosiah 21:25-27).
Ether 1:3-5 Moroni is not going to tell the whole story that is recorded on the 24 plates. The first part is about the creation of the world, and the story of Adam to the Tower of Babel. That part is had among the Jews, so Moroni is going to skip it.
Ether 1:3 The phrase “the creation of the world” is in Romans 1:20.
Ether 1:6 “And on this wise do I give the account. He that wrote this record was Ether, and he was a descendant of Coriantor.” The phrase “and on this wise” is in John 21:1.
Ether 1:7-32 Moroni then gives the genealogy of at least 26 generations from Ether back to Jared. We won’t list them here at this time. But it puts us now back to about 2200 BC.
Ether 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 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.” This group consisted of twenty-two people (see Ether 6:16). Up to this point in the history of the world, we understand that everyone still spoke the same language (see Genesis 11:1). In the 1830 edition it read “and swear in his wrath” which was changed in later editions to “and swore in his wrath.”
The people in Babylon were determined to build a tower which would reach unto heaven. But the Lord wasn’t impressed with their design or effort or motivation.
Ether 1:34 Jared asks his brother to pray to the Lord that they may speak the same language, after the coming confusion of languages. “And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.”
Ether 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.” So, they were still able to communicate with each other. The Bible, however, plainly states that “the whole earth was of one language” (see Genesis 11:1). Apparently, the writer of the Book of Mormon mistakenly thought there were many different languages and that God confounded them while sparing the language of the Jaredites. The fact is, there was only one language and God confounded the people by creating different languages.
Although the brother of Jared remained nameless in the Book of Mormon for some reason, he was later given the name “Mahonri Moriancumer” by Joseph Smith. I guess with a name like that, no wonder he was called the “brother of Jared.”
Ether 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 he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall 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.”
Ether 1:39-40 Thus, the brother of Jared prayed, and the Lord gave His answer.
Ether 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 families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families.”
Ether 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 lands of the earth.”
LDS Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The Book of Mormon informs us that the whole of America, both North and South, is a choice land above all other lands, in other words – Zion. The Lord told the Jaredites that he would lead them to a land ‘which is choice above all the lands of the earth.’ We understand that they landed in Central America where their kingdom existed the greater part of their residence in America.” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, page 73)
Ether 1:43 The Lord continues, “And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed`, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto the me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.”
Ether 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.” By the way, Nimrod was the founder of Babylon, or Babel.
Ether 2:2 “And they did also lay snares and catch fowls of the air; and they did also prepare a vessel, in which they did carry with them the fish of the waters.” A vessel meaning a water-tight container like a fish tank to hold the fish.
Ether 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.” The phrase “which, by interpretation” is in Acts 9:36. “Deseret” is a contrived word that is not in the dictionary. The term “deseret” is a common word in LDS culture. It is associated with being industrious – everyone doing their part – like honeybees in their hives. What kind of challenge would that be for them to keep bees aboard their ships for nearly a year. A bigger problem is the fact that there were no honeybees in the New World before they were introduced by Europeans in the 17th century.
Ether 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 cloud, and the brother of Jared saw him not.”
Ether 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.”
Ether 2:6 “And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.” It is important to note that these are not the eight barges in which they will eventually cross the ocean to the New World. And these “many waters” are not the ocean in this verse. Any map shows how they could have traveled, crossing no water at all (other than rivers) before reaching the ocean. In addition, these barges would have needed the same facilities (air supply and light) thus they would have already known what to do from all that experience, rather than have God help them when they finally arrived at the ocean. Right?
Ether 2:7 After they had finished this journey in barges and arrived on land again, the Lord required them to keep going, until they came to the ocean, at which point they again built vessels for the voyage to the promised land. “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.” The words “would not suffer that” are in Mark 11:16 and “the land of promise” are in Hebrews 11:9 and “when the fulness of” are in Galatians 4:4 and “cometh upon them” are in 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
Ether 2:8 Moroni re-emphasizes the requirements for people and nations to continue to dwell in this promised land. “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.”
Ether 2:9 Here are those conditions under which a nation would be swept off, of this land. “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 when they are ripened in iniquity.”
Ether 2:10 Once again, Moroni repeats these conditions.
Ether 2:11 Speaking of what Moroni is teaching here in the Book of Mormon, “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 come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hither to done.” In the 1830 edition page 541 it read “until the fulness be come” which was changed in later editions to delete the word “be”. The words “the decrees of” are in Acts 17:7 and “of the wrath of God upon” are in Revelation 16:1.
Ether 2:12 The Lord is giving the same warning to the Gentiles who will eventually come to the promised land. “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, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.” The words “is Jesus Christ” is in 1 Corinthians 3:11. The name and title – “Jesus Christ” – are completely anachronistic in the year 2200 BC.
Ether 2:13 Moroni continues now with his account of the Jaredites. “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 tents upon the seashore for the space of four years.” So, they reached the Atlantic Ocean shore and camped in a place they named after the brother of Jared. In the 1830 edition page 541, the phrase “dwelt in tents” is repeated, again in the same sentence which seems to be a scribal error. It wasn’t corrected in the current edition. The words “for the space of” are in Acts 19:8.
Ether 2:14 Next, the brother of Jared will be scolded for neglecting his prayers. “And it came to pass at the end of 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.” A three-hour conversation with God has, to be a record in religious history.
Ether 2:15 Is the brother of Jared the only one in this group who can pray? What about Jared, himself? It seems to all rest upon the shoulders of Moriancumer. “And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren 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 these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands.” The words “of their sins” are in Luke 1:77.
Ether 2:16 God now commands these people to build another set of barges, in which they can cross the ocean to the New World. Remember, they had already built similar vessels before, so why did they need help from the Lord now? “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 manner 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.” In the 1830 edition page 542 the second word “manner” was misspelled “maner.” It was corrected in later editions.
Ether 2:17 “And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly 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 were 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.” By the way, what was the length of a tree?
Ether 2:18-19 Once the small, tight, waterproof ships were built, the brother of Jared has some obvious concerns: there was no light and fresh air inside. Weren’t these concerns resolved when they built the first set of barges back in Ether 2:6?
Ether 2:20 “And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.” So, use stoppers or plugs when you need fresh air. How believable is that?
Ether 2:21 And the brother of Jared made the holes and the stoppers.
Ether 2:22 “And he cried again unto the Lord saying: O Lord, behold I have done even as thou has 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?” After being reminded by Jared’s brother about critical design flaws in the barges, doesn’t it make God look foolish and inept?
Ether 2:23 As if God didn’t have a solution to these problems, he asks the brother of Jared for suggestions. “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.” Transparent glass was invented in Germany in the 11th century, long after the Book of Mormon ends in AD 421. If God told the brother of Jared, they would not have windows, because they would break, real people of that era would not have the slightest idea what God was talking about. And Jared’s brother would never have commented that the stones were clear like transparent glass, because at that time, there was no such product and no such terminology. This conversation between Jared’s brother and the Lord about 2200 BC. is totally anachronistic. The Lord urged the brother of Jared to propose a solution to his own problem.
Ether 2:24 And because they will be under water much of the time, “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.” This will be the means by which the vessels will be steered and driven toward the promised land. The Lord will propel them with the force of the winds.
Submarines like these barges were not invented until the 17th century. The Jaredites were not to take fire with them, so clearly they did not cook their food or keep warm for almost a year of rolling around in the ocean with boatloads of livestock, and bees. Imagine such vessels (8 of them staying in a group) loaded with humans, animals, tons of provisions and thousands of gallons of fresh water, turning upside down in an ocean storm. How would they have survived such an experience? Why didn’t God just have them construct sailing ships like He had Nephi and the Mulekites build? The sheer mechanics and logistics of making a nearly year-long journey under the conditions described here in Ether are physically impossible.
Ether 2:25 “And behold, I prepare you against these things; for 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?” In the 1830 edition page 543 it read “for howbeit, ye cannot cross this great deep.” In later editions the word “howbeit” is deleted. The words “swallowed up in” are in 1 Corinthians 15:54.
Ether 3:1 “AND it came to pass that the brother of Jared, (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight) 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:” Imagine the work it would require to form the sixteen small, clear, white stones. This better be a good idea, cause what if the Lord rejects the stones after all the effort the brother of Jared invested to make them. Again, this is another fatal mistake for Joseph Smith to write that these stones were “transparent glass” since glass would not be invented for thousands of years into the future. The words “transparent glass” are in Revelation 21:21. “Eight” being the number of vessels to cross the water could symbolically represent the age at which Latter-day Saint children get baptized.
Ether 3:2 The brother of Jared will pitch his idea and product to the Lord. “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 has given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.”
Ether 3:3 “Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these 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 molten out of the rock.” Speaking of the sixteen stones.
Ether 3:4 “And I know, O Lord, that thou has 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.” The words “whatsoever thou wilt” are in John 11:22. How did he know the Lord had a finger? If so, then he must have believed the Lord also had a complete body.
Ether 3:5 “Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.” The brother of Jared in his confidence is encouraging the Lord to demonstrate His power.
Ether 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 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.” Here the Book of Mormon teaches that men’s spirit bodies look like flesh and blood – in other words, like their physical bodies.
Ether 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?”
Ether 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.” The brother of Jared said he was afraid the Lord might smite him for looking at his finger. Jared’s brother speaks of God having “flesh and blood.” Yet the Bible states that “God is a Spirit,” and does not possess a material body (see John 4:24). In D&C 130:22, Joseph Smith disagreed when he wrote that “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans.” Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the Bible cannot all be correct on this point.
In Alma 31:15 it says, “Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and thou wilt be a spirit forever.” That teaching was made clear by Ammon back in Alma 18:24-28 and by Aaron in Alma 22:9-11. This teaching is throughout the overall message of the Book of Mormon in, regard to God’s Spirit nature.
Ether 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 not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?”
Ether 3:10 “And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.” What the brother of Jared saw, he liked. So, he tells the Lord to show the rest of Himself.
Ether 3:11 “And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?” The words “Believest thou the” are in Acts 26:27.
Ether 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.” The words “Yea, Lord, I” are in John 11:27.
Ether 3:13 “And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed 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 show myself unto you.” The phrase “And when he had said these words” is in Acts 28:29.
Ether 3:14 “Behold, I am he who 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, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and daughters.” In the 1830 edition page 545 it read “all mankind have light” which was changed in later editions to read “all mankind have life.” The phrase “Behold, I am he” is in Acts 10:21 and “from the foundation of the world” is in Matthew 13:35 and “I am Jesus” is in Acts 22:8.
In Mormon 9:12 Moroni taught, “Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ the redemption of man.” It is stating in these verses that Jesus Christ is both the Father and the Son. The words “Father and the Son” are in 2 John 1:9. Jesus Christ being referenced as both the Father and the Son has been taught to us before in the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 11:7; Mosiah 3:8; Mosiah 7:7; Mosiah 15:3; Helaman 14:12).
Remember in the Introductory Pages to the Book of Mormon lesson, we read from the Title page – written by Moroni – what the purpose of the Book of Mormon was, “And also to the convincing of the Jews and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD.” I will bet most Latter-day Saints today would tell you otherwise – that Eternal God is referring to Heavenly Father. Always keep in mind that Joseph Smith was monotheistic in his beliefs when he wrote or translated the Book of Mormon.
We find in 1 Nephi 11:21, the 1830 edition, pg. 25 read “And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!” LDS leaders altered the wording in later editions to read “And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, the Son of the Eternal Father!”
Ether 3:15 “And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has 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.” Clearly, the encounter with the Lord is one of the – if not the most – intimate of all accounts related in the Book of Mormon. According to other LDS scripture, He says He had never shown Himself unto man before the brother of Jared. But that clearly contradicts the revelation Joseph Smith received – called the book of Moses, where Moses saw God (see Moses 7:4) and Enoch saw God (Moses 7:59).
Ether 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.” He will look like this in His mortal body. Now, this gets confusing for the LDS when He says, “and man have I created.” It is clear in the Bible that the “Word” who became flesh – Jesus – was the creator of ALL things, including man (see John 1:3; Acts 17:24; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16). The Book of Mormon supports this (see Mosiah 3:8; Helaman 14:12). That is because the Word was God. But in LDS theology, Heavenly Father, through His Son created all things except man. But that contradicts what is said here in Ether 3:16. It is the premortal Christ who created all things including man.
Ether 3:17 Moroni is going to summarize this event. “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 showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites.” The phrase “things which are written” is in Revelation 22:19 and “of the same body” is in Ephesians 3:6.
Ether 3:18 “And he ministered unto him even as he ministered unto the Nephites; and all this, that this man might know that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had showed unto him.” This pre-Incarnate manifestation preceded Jesus’ appearance to the Nephites by a couple of thousand years.
Ether 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.” The words “nothing doubting” are in Acts 11:12.
Ether 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.” His faith led to perfect knowledge. But there are so many people in this world who have faith, who also have questions and doubt. The phrase “perfect knowledge of” is in Acts 24:22 and “he saw Jesus” is in Luke 8:28.
Ether 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 show it to no man.” Jesus didn’t want the brother of Jared to tell anyone that he had seen Jesus’s finger and spirit body, until He had performed his mortal mission on earth. The words “unto the world” are in Matthew 18:7 and “the time cometh that” are in John 16:2 and “have seen and heard” are in Luke 7:22.
Ether 3:22 Then, speaking of a future date, “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.”
Ether 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.” These “two stones” are the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord provides. It is interesting to know that there is more than one Urim and Thummim, and that the one given to Joseph Smith, was the one used by the brother of Jared (see Bible Dictionary, pages 786-787). We can assume the things the brother of Jared wrote are contained in the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon plates, which were not translated by Joseph Smith.
Ether 3:24 “For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write.” They were made so that no one else could understand it, without the help of the Urim and Thummim. Surprisingly, Joseph “translated” most of the Book of Mormon without the use of the Urim and Thummim. Instead, he used a treasure-seeking peep stone in a hat (see Gospel Topic Essays – Book of Mormon Translation – links are in the description). The words “that these stones” are in Matthew 4:3.
Ether 3:25 The brother of Jared had such great faith that the Savior showed him all things. “And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth.” Jesus showed him every human that has ever lived or ever will live. But for what purpose?
Ether 3:26 “For he had said unto him in times before, that if he would believe in him that he could show unto him all things – it should be known unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.” Seems the brother of Jared had more influence than any man ever lived by forcing the Lord to show him all things.
Ether 3:27 “And the Lord said unto him: Write these things and seal them up; and I will show them in mine own due time unto the children of men.” Referring to the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon.
Ether 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 show them not, until the Lord should show them unto the children of men.” Meaning, when Joseph Smith in 1827 received the Urim and Thummim.
Ether 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 Mosiah keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ should show himself unto his people.” Here, Moroni is explaining that Jesus commands Jared’s brother to write that he saw Jesus’s finger and spirit body and the inhabitants of the world. 2200 years later in the flesh, Jesus will be born and reveal His finger and His body to the rest of the world. Then in another 1820 years or so, Joseph Smith will obtain the plates that will tell everyone all about what the brother of Jared saw. Got it?
In the 1830 edition page 546 it read “and for this cause did King Benjamin keep them.” But according to Book of Mormon chronology, king Benjamin was already dead when these events took place. He died about 121 BC. (see Mosiah 6:5). LDS leaders in later editions changed the name from king Benjamin to “king Mosiah” here in Ether 4:1, to eliminate the mistake.
We also read back in Mosiah 21:28 “And now Limhi was again filled with joy on learning from the mouth of Ammon that king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice.” This verse contains the same serious mistake. In the 1830 Edition page 200 it read, “king Benjamin had a gift from God.” Since, King Benjamin died 15 chapters earlier, the name had to be changed to “king Mosiah” in later editions to correct the obvious mistake. So, in today’s version it reads “king Mosiah had a gift from God.” This was not a mere grammatical or punctuation change – but a change of considerable substance. How did such an obvious mistake slip into a translation being overseen by the power of God? The fact there are two such changes in the Book of Mormon leads one to speculate that Joseph Smith may possibly have had a different course in mind for the life of king Benjamin and had killed Benjamin prematurely while writing the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Fielding Smith, a former LDS prophet and Church historian said in The Improvement Era, December 1961 “…enemies of the Church…have made the statement that there have been one or two or more thousand changes in the Book of Mormon since the first edition was published. Well, of course, there is no truth in that statement.” Really, President Smith, no truth to that at all? I think it has been proven otherwise.
Ether 4:5 “Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded 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.” The words “in unbelief” are in Romans 11:23 and “the gospel of Christ” are in Romans 15:19. These “interpreters” or “Urim and Thummin” were described by Joseph Smith in Joseph Smith History 1:35 “There was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang… Also, that there two stones in silver bows – and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummin – deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted ‘seers’ in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.” What is surprising is that the Urim and Thummin were only used for the first 116 pages. Once those pages were lost, the Urim and Thummin was not used again in the translation process. It was replaced by Smith’s treasure-seeking peep stone. David Whitmer, who was one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, wrote in An Address To All Believers 1887 page 12: “I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing…”
Ether 4:6 What Jared’s brother saw was not to be revealed until people are ready and worthy to receive them.
Ether 4:7 Next, Moroni tells the reader when they will be privileged to learn the contents of these sealed plates. “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 revelation, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.” Once again, here in the Book of Mormon Jesus is both the Father and the Son. The phrase “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” is in Mark 1:1.
Ether 4:8 The words “let him be accursed” are in Galatians 1:9 and “saith Jesus” are in Matthew 26:31.
Ether 4:9 The words “so as by fire” are in 1 Corinthians 3:15.
Ether 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.” The phrase “at the last day” is in John 6:39.
Ether 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.” The words “things are true” are in Philippians 4:8 and “persuadeth men to” are in Acts 18:13.
Ether 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 who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.” Again, emphasizing that He is Christ and the Father. The phrase “I am the light” is in John 8:12.
Ether 4:13-15 Next, the Savior invites all people to come unto Him.
Ether 4:13 The words “because of unbelief” are in Romans 11:20.
Ether 4:15 The phrase “the Father in my name” is in John 16:23.
Ether 4:16 Then Jesus speaks of the Book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John. Apparently, the brother of Jared saw the things which were shown in a vision to John. These things are recorded in the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon. The words “servant John” are in Revelation 1:1 and “the time is at hand” are in Revelation 22:10.
Ether 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.” With the coming forth of the Book of Mormon it will be a sign of the restoration of the gospel and that the gathering of Israel has begun.
Ether 4:18-19 This chapter closes with the Savior issuing another invitation for all people to repent and be baptized. Believe and be saved – don’t believe and be damned.
Ether 4:18 The words “my gospel” are in 2 Timothy 2:8.
Ether 4:19 The words “And blessed is he” are in Matthew 11:6.
Ether 5 In this chapter, Moroni is speaking directly to the future Joseph Smith with instructions about the gold plates.
Ether 5:1 “AND now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God.” Moroni doesn’t want Joseph Smith to translate the sealed portion of the plates.
Ether 5:2 Moroni then tells Smith that he will be allowed to show the gold plates to some who will serve as witnesses. “And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work.” He is referring to the Eight Witnesses.
Ether 5:3 “And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true.” The phrase “by the power of God” is in 1 Peter 1:5.
Ether 5:4 “And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record – and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.” The three witnesses selected were Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris (see Doctrine and Covenants Section 17). The words “the Father and the Son” are in 2 John 1:9. Joseph Smith carefully crafted the witness affidavits, which the individual witness simply signed. To be more credible, each of these witnesses should have written their own testimony instead of merely signing a carefully prepared statement written by Joseph Smith.
Ether 5:5 “And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God.”
Ether 5:6 “And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye; for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen.” The phrase “stand before God” is in Revelation 20:12.
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