Ether 12 notes from Joe’s class: The Book of Mormon is a gift


  • Moroni planned to end the Book of Mormon with Ether 15:29-30
    • Then it would end with the destruction of the Gentiles 
    • Gentiles were to be first readers of Book of Mormon! What a clear warning!
  • 12:4 What can’t Ether’s people see?
    • Abrahamic covenant — Abrahamic people are coming
    • Ether’s people, who descend from a pre-Abraham time, could be adopted into the Abrahamic covenant (but instead, they war and destroy themselves)
    • 13:1-14 is where Ether tries to explain this further
  • Ether 12:25 – see weakness
    • Do they worry, then stumble? Or is stumbling with words what reveals their weakness?
  • they = meek? or fools?
  • writing in less-familiar language (prefers Hebrew)
    • What if you had to write something so important, but in a second language?
  • 12:27 – how is grace “sufficient”?
    • grace “added” to Moroni’s words?
    • God translated = grace?
    • we also have a weak translator and a weak writer – when does grace come in?
  • Is weakness taken away?
    • No, it says they will “take no advantage of your weakness.” That means the weakness actually remains.
    • Grace is sufficient such that no one takes advantage
  • What would it mean to “take advantage”?
    • discount the book?
    • use it to teach false, screwy things?
    • attack leaders/person who translated it?
  • So, people do do that, so what does it mean that weakness won’t be taken advantage of?
  • Apparently meek don’t take advantage, but fools will mock
  • Weakness divides readers into 2 groups
    • (kind of like the hearers of the parables)
    • perhaps a mercy that some don’t accept it, b/c they would have greater condemnation?
  • So this book is supposed to be weak.
    • As if God says, “I want fools mocking and I want meek receiving”
    • Often we as Latter-day Saints want to prove that the Book of Mormon is true — STOP! That’s the problem Moroni had
  • v.27 now this idea of weakness is a general principle:
    • Not just Book of Mormon — you too
    • give weakness = humble
    • then gives grace = sufficient
  • Grace is being weak — it’s a gift!
  • Coming to God is not how we fix our weakness, it’s how we see it
  • with gift of grace and weakness, we can bring to pass great things (Benjamin)
  • Moroni says later “Deny not the gifts of God” – does he mean including weakness?
    • (I give unto men weakness)
  • Debt in connection with atonement, is only mentioned in King Benjamin’s speech
    • he says GRACE puts you in debt, not sin
    • are you ever out of debt? No, never
    • try to repay Him, and you are blessed again!
  • Perhaps sin is trying to get out from being God’s servant/slave/in an indebted relationship with Him
    • Either ignore the relationship of servant/slave entirely and go off doing bad stuff
    • Or, we try to be such a perfect servant that we look like we deserve everything we’ve been given
  • “Weak things” become strong
    • But they aren’t lost/changed/replaced
    • sounds like Paul — when I am weak, then I am strong
  • v.28 – Back to Gentiles
    • They will be tempted to mock weakness of Book of Mormon
    • What about your weakness, Gentiles?
    • What about my weakness?
    • Fools can’t see their own weakness (or admit) so they mock others’ weakness
  • Gentiles will see weakness via Faith, Hope, Charity
    • You can see why, when Moroni does add more to the Book of Mormon, he adds his father’s letters on faith, hope, and charity!
    • Moroni tries to find a way to make sure the Gentiles don’t mock by assuring they’ll have charity — But God cuts it short
  • Tells Moroni it doesn’t matter to him
  • Then Moroni bids farewell to Gentiles. “Farewell Gentiles. Good luck!” 🙂
  • Can the Gentiles see the book for what is is? or will they demand it be perfect? Question for all of us
  • Do we read the Book of Mormon in such a way that we take advantage of its weakness?
    • do we use it as an excuse not to get serious about figuring it out?
    • grammar is weird, sentences don’t flow, not well-written, oh well.
    • words were used differently than today so it sounds foreign, oh well
  • Joseph Smith reads v.37-38 before he dies.
    • Farewell Gentiles. Good luck!
  • Its weakness is a gift.
    • with its millions of “it came to pass”es, it’s a gift
    • words you have to look up, it’s a gift
    • God doesn’t give us a list of doctrines, He gives us this.
    • It’s a gift
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