The prophet Ether’s tale of the history of his people is a sad one. Ether was surrounded by continual conflict, war, and rebellion, yet the Lord blessed him with views of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the building of the New Jerusalem on the American continent, and other great and marvelous things that Moroni was forbidden to write. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:
“Ether is a classic example of a prophet who devoted his whole life to the cause of the Savior. In the days of Coriantumr Ether reached a point in his spiritual development when, as a prophet, he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him. Because his righteousness removed the restraints that otherwise hold each of us back, Ether actually saw high points of the future—centuries before these were to occur. Ether was born of a kingly line, but at one point his family was in captivity. Ether’s father dwelt in captivity all his days. Later, courageous Ether prophesied face to face to King Coriantumr when Ether was directed by the Lord to do so. And Coriantumr repented not, neither his household, neither the people; and the wars ceased not, and they sought to kill Ether, but he fled from before them and hid again in the cavity of a rock. It must have torn at Ether’s emotions to see the people he loved move relentlessly toward anarchy.”
Ether 12 is one of the greatest chapters on faith.
verse 4. Faith is an anchor to the souls of men. Richard G. Scott said: “Anchor your life in Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. Make your Eternal Father and His Beloved Son the most important priority in your life—more important than life itself, more important than a beloved companion or children or anyone on earth. Make their will your central desire. Then all that you need for happiness will come to you.”
verse 6. We don’t receive answers to prayer until our faith is tried. Faith is something hoped for and not seen.
verse 12. If no one had faith, God could not perform a miracle among them. Several examples of people who experienced miracles because of their faith are then given: Alma, Amulek,Nephi, Lehi, Ammon & his brethren, 3 disciples, the Brother of Jared.
verse 27. God gives us weaknesses so we will become stronger. Some of the greatest men who ever lived were given weaknesses that humbled them. For example, Moses was slow of speech. Enoch had some type of speech impediment which caused people to laugh at him, and Paul had a thorn in the flesh. In our own dispensation we see great men who had weaknesses that were developed into strengths. Perhaps the greatest example is President Spencer W. Kimball who has had severe problems with his health.
President Kimball said: “It takes faith—unseeing faith—for young people to proceed immediately with their family responsibilities in the face of financial uncertainties. It take faith for the young woman to bear her family instead of accepting employment, especially when schooling for the young husband is to be finished. It takes faith to observe the Sabbath when time and a half can be had working, when profit can be made, when merchandise can be sold. It takes a great faith to pay tithes when funds are scarce and demands are great. It takes faith to fast and have family prayers and to observe the Word of Wisdom. It takes faith to do home teaching, stake missionary work, and other service, when sacrifice is required. It takes faith to fill full-time missions. But know this—that all these are of the planting, while faithful, devout families, spiritual security, peace, and eternal life are the harvest.”
Bruce R. McConkie said: “Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment of faith.”
Reading this chapter has reminded me that FAITH IN CHRIST is:
Makes me sure and steadfast
Brings about good works
Allows us to see God
Prepares us for life with God
Calls us to duty
Allows the law to guide us home
Brings about miracles
Propels me toward a might change of heart
Through faith I obtain His promises
I LOVE this chapter!
I also learned so much about LOVE – CHARITY from this chapter too.
The thing is faith, hope and charity go together just like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost go together. All three… work in concert.
What a relief after all the sadness in the past couple of chapters!