Now, we see the effects of not following the prophet in the Jaredite history. They are not pretty.
The Lord curses the land, that they can’t keep anything. I don’t know whether this was a geological curse, where the earth is doing something funky like swallowing their treasures, or if this curse was brought on by wickedness and secret combinations and a whole lot of plundering is going on. To me, it sounds like anarchy, since people are sleeping with their sword in their hands to protect themselves and their families.
After two years, the brother of Shared rises up and battles against Coriantumr. He drives him out into the wilderness and takes over the throne. After two years in the wilderness, Coriantumr gains a lot of followers. But so does Gilead, the brother of Shared, because of secret combinations. But his high priest murders him on the throne. His name is Lib “and Lib was a man of great stature, more than any other man among all the people.” (10) He is king now.
Coriantumr comes against him, but Lib drives him back with a mighty force. He drives him to the seashore and into a plain. Lib is eventually killed, but his brother, Shiz, takes over for him and drives Coriantumr back once more. Shiz is ruthless, slaying women and children and burning every city he passes through. The people divide—either for Shiz or for Coriantumr. The wars have lasted so long that “the land was covered with the bodies of the dead.” (21) They don’t have time to bury their dead because of the quick pace of their march to slaughter again.
And the scent thereof went forth upon the face of the land, even upon all the face of the land; wherefore the people became troubled by day and by night, because of the scent thereof.”Ether 14:23
They are troubled by the smell of death and carnage that is all over their land, yet they will not stop fighting.
Moroni inserts himself to say: “And thus we see that the Lord did visit them in the fullness of his wrath, and their wickedness and abominations had prepared a way for their everlasting destruction.” (25)
Coriantumr’s people are chased to the seashore, and there they battle for three days against Shiz and his men. Coriantumr’s side rallies and beats them back, frightening them even. Coriantumr is wounded greatly and carried away as though he is dead…but the people go on fighting.
Their life makes me shudder. How far they fell from the brother of Jared’s days, when he spoke with God face to face and saw ALL things, to this chaotic, beastly warmongering people whose only desire is to kill each other and revel in wickedness and secret combinations.
And thus we see the results of not following the prophet Ether. King Coriantumr could’ve spared his people this great destruction if he had heeded the prophetic words to repent and humble himself before God. Instead, he continued in his wickedness, and anarchy too control of their hearts.
Let us follow our prophet intentionally and with increasing precision in every word he gives us from the Lord. Let us be humble and repentant. Let us be kind and not give place for anger in our hearts. Let us learn from the Jaredites mistakes and do better.
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