Book of Mormon Primary Lessons

Lessons from the Book of Mormon as taught by S.J. Hollist, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

Lesson 41 - Cycle of History

"Lesson 41: The Jaredites Reject the Prophets,” Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997),144

All choices have consequences. Consequences are what happen as a result of the choices we make. We grow and learn when we make choices. Heavenly Father knows that forcing us to do things will not help us to learn and grow. The scriptures teach us the consequences of our choices because Heavenly Father wants us to make good choices. This lesson is about the Jaredites and the prophet Ether. Ether told the Jaredites that if they chose not to repent, the consequences would be that all of the people would be destroyed.

Read Ether 2:10–12; 11:1–5; 12:1–5; 13:13–22; 14:1–2, 21; 15:1–6, 18–34; and Omni 1:20–21.

Throughout history when people have been righteous, Heavenly Father has blessed them with prosperity. Unfortunately this prosperity can lead to pride and wickedness and sometimes complete destruction. This is what happened to the Jaredites. At first they were a righteous people and were blessed and prospered (Ether 2:12).

The Jaredites became proud and rejected the prophets (Ether 11:2).

The people became wicked (Ether 11:4-5).

Ether warned the people that if they did not "believe in God unto repentance . . . they should be destroyed" (Ether 12:1-3).

The people threw Ether out and a great war began among the people. (Ether 13:15)

Because of the wickedness of the people, the land was cursed such that the people could not keep their possessions without defending them with is sword (Ether 14:1-2).

Ether warned the Jaredites to humbled themselves and repented before they were destroyed. They could have returned to enjoying the blessings of righteous living, if they had done what Ether told them, but they chose not to listen to Ether and tried to kill him instead (Ether 13:20-22).

The war between Coriantumr and Shiz, the opposing military leader, became so bad that Coriantumr wrote a letter "unto Shiz, desiring that he would not come again to battle, but that he would take the kingdom, and spare the lives of the people . . . [but] Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle." (Ether 15:18–19).

The fighting was so fierce that millions died until Coriantumr and Shiz were the only two left, and "Shiz had fainted with the loss of blood . . . Coriantumr . . . smote off the head of Shiz" (Ether 15:2, 29-32).

Ether’s final testimony was it didn't matter how he died so long as he was "saved in the kingdom of God" (Ether 15:34). What should be the most important goal of our lives?

This cycle of righteousness and wickedness often happens in our personal lives as well as in the history of nations. Though we may not become wicked as the Jaredites did, we all have times when we become prideful and sin. The key is to recognize our sins, become humble and repent before we allow our sins to turn into wickedness and destruction.

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