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TitleChapter 50: Ether 1–5
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication2009
Corporate AuthorsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Manual TitleBook of Mormon Student Manual
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsBrother of Jared; Genealogy; Jaredite Stones; Mahonri Moriancumer; Nephite Interpreters; Prayer; Promised Land; Revelation; Sealed Portion; Urim and Thummim; Veil

The Book of Mormon is not arranged in chronological order. If it were, the book of Ether would be listed first. The Jaredite record begins approximately 2200 B.C. First Nephi begins in 600 B.C. The book of Ether covers over 1,700 years of history from 2200 B.C. down to the time of Coriantumr. We don’t know exactly when Coriantumr lived, but it was somewhere between 500 and 250 B.C. The rest of the Book of Mormon from the books of 1 Nephi to Moroni covers approximately 1,000 years of history.

Following the Flood in Noah’s day, many descendants of those who had been spared became wicked. One group of people attempted to build a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4). The story of the Jaredite nation began with the building of the Tower of Babel. The Lord dealt with the widespread wickedness by confounding the common language and by scattering the people across the face of the earth (see Ether 1:33; Genesis 11:5–8).

The brother of Jared pled with the Lord to preserve the language of his worthy friends and family. Demonstrating great faith and led by the hand of God, the brother of Jared was able to lead this group to another land. The story of this migration is filled with important principles that we can apply to our lives today. These principles include the exercise of faith to receive divine assistance and the role of prayer in accomplishing difficult tasks. As you study the life of the brother of Jared, you will learn of the blessings that come when individuals exercise strong faith.

Here is a review of the origins of the book of Ether:

  • Jaredite prophets kept the history until the final Jaredite prophet named Ether (see Ether 1:6).
  • Limhi’s search found part of the Jaredite record—in the form of the 24 gold plates (see Mosiah 8:7–11).
  • King Mosiah translated the Jaredite record (see Mosiah 28:10–17).
  • Moroni abridged or edited the Jaredite record and included it before his own writings (see Ether 1:1–6).