Moroni is all alone and probably in hiding. I picture him in a room of records, and he finds the 24 plates found by the people of Limhi. He starts translating this record, condensing it into the book of Ether.
The Jaredites lived in the north country, and were eventually destroyed, all save one man. Moroni probably felt deep empathy with them as their nation shared the same fate as his. Ether left this record behind, which gives a genealogy of his fathers, tracing back directly to Jared.
Jared left the old world with his brother (who we know from Joseph Smith is named Mahonri Moriancumr) and their families.
Which Jared came forth with his brother 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.”Ether 1:33
Jared asks his brother to “Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.” (34) He also prays for their friends not to be confounded and is granted that their language remains with them.
Jared always goes to his brother and asks him to pray. Why didn’t he just ask God himself? He asks him to ask God to take them somewhere choice, “and if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.” (38) He seems to have great faith.
Was it maybe a patriarchal order type thing, where his brother held the keys to leading the family?
God has compassion upon the brother of Jared and speaks to him, telling him to gather all their flocks, “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.” (41) He tells them to meet in a valley 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.” (42) They must meet the Lord halfway.
God often tells us to do something that isn’t comfortable, to see if we are willing to meet him halfway, in a manner of speaking. Are we willing to do what the Lord asks of us, even if it might not make sense or be what we want to do?
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 me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus will I do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.”Ether 1:43
The Jaredite nation was very blessed. They became a great nation—none greater at the time. To think they will end with only one soul surviving is sobering. To me, that shows that pride can destroy a whole nation, even one as great as ours, if we don’t repent.
We live in a very prideful, divisive time. But we as Church members have so much to be grateful for—a living prophet, the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost and personal revelation, God’s kingdom on earth. God has called us to meet Him halfway in this great work of gathering His children. He wants us to gather all that we can–all who will have God as their king. He will sort them all out later.
Am I willing to meet God halfway, as Jared and Mahonri’s families did, to be led to promised blessings in my life?
Get a FREE copy of the Book of Mormon to study for yourself