Ether 3 – Light and a Sure Witness

Painted by Marcus Allen Vincent

We left off with the brother of Jared, Mahonri, needing three things from God: air, steerage, and light. God told him how to get the air to the people in the barges and that He would steer them. But He asked Mahonri what He would have him do for light. He made him think and come up with a solution himself.

Mahonri comes up with a plan. Before he goes to the Lord, he does all he can do. He goes up unto a high mount (Shelem) and moltens out of rock “sixteen small stones (two for each of the eight boats); and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass…” (1)

He begins praying to the Lord after he has done this work. This is an example that when we need something specific—like light—we must pray and then be willing to do all we can before we supplicate the Lord again, if the answer doesn’t come immediately. We can’t just expect God to do everything for us. Sometimes he does, b not always. Sometimes, He wants us to grow by going through the hard process of preparing and doing.

Mahonri begins with setting up his request. He reminds God that they will be in the floods and be in the dark upon the waters. He asks God not to be angry with him for his weaknesses due to his fallen nature. He reminds God that they have been driven out and smitten for years, but “nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us.” (3) There are always blessings, even in the midst of adversity. We just have to have our spiritual eyes open.

Now Mahonri specifically asks God to touch his stones. He has done all he can do to mold them into transparent vessels, but he cannot do anymore. He needs the Lord’s intervention.

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.

Ether 3:4

Do I have a plan to receive light from God?

What “rocks” do I take and molten into something God can work with? These could be talents and other spiritual gifts. The gift of patience or kindness is awesome, but I can ask God to “touch these stones” that they may be used to benefit and light the way for others.

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.

Ether 3:5

The Lord’s mighty power can look unto the understanding of men. What miracles are happening every day in my life that I overlook, because they look small to me? Think of all the inventions we take for granted—turning on a light switch and getting instant light. Flushing a toilet and our waste taken away. Putting leftovers in a microwave and having it cooked within a minute. These things happen everyday and we don’t think a thing about them. But if we learned about the complicated processes and functions behind what makes each of these functions possible, we would be awed.

God’s power is the same. He might do miracles that look small, since we don’t intellectually understand the laws and principles He is using. The more we learn intellectually and spiritually, the more we can come to see and understand the power of earthly functions and the might of the eternal. But with God’s work, we will never get close to understanding it completely in this life.

The veil is taken off the eyes of Jared and he sees the finger of God touching each stone, and it was a finger like his, appearing as flesh and blood. This astonishes him and he falls to the ground. When God asks him what is wrong, he tells him that he thought he might be struck because he knew not that God had a body of flesh and blood.

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 you could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?”

Ether 3:9

Jared answers “Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.” (10) That is a beautiful verse. His confidence waxes strong because of faith and he asks to see God face to face.

Mahonri must have had his calling and election made sure at this point.

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.”

Ether 3:13

God gives him a sure witness of who He is:

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 my daughters.”

Ether 3:14

He goes on to say that he is created after His image. “Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.” (15) Our bodies are glorious, since they are created after the image of our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. We should not ever demean or put them down in any way.

Moroni inserts himself and explains that after Mahonri saw Christ, “he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.” (19) Christ commands Mahonri not to share his experience with others. It was too sacred.

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 (the Second Coming); wherefore, ye shall treasure up the things which ye have seen and heard, and show it to no man.”

Ether 3:21

He is to write down what he saw, but in a language no one else knows, that they can only come forth when the Lord wills them to. Christ gives him two interpreters to seal up with his writings. After this commandment, Christ “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.” (25)

I treasure the words we have been given in the Book or Mormon, and look forward with faith that someday, Mahonri Moriancumr’s words will be revealed to us as well. But that won’t make my faith in this gospel any stronger than it is now.

I used to believe I needed more revelations, but what we already have is great and marvelous. Do I treasure the words of God He has already given me? How can I do better at showing God my gratitude for this sacred record?



Come Follow Me manual – Book of Mormon 2020

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