The name of this blog is an obvious play on words regarding the chosen namesake, the brother of Jared. Simply change the ‘brother’ to ‘blogger’ and there you have the name. We have now switched to WordPress, but will probably keep the name the same. WordPress of Jared seems a little silly.
For my first post on this ‘new’ blog I thought I might review some of the key events in the life of the brother of Jared that have some doctrinal significance. Other types of significance will also show up as well I suspect.
After reviewing the first few chapters of Ether, and a book that my father wrote but never got published called ‘Book of Mormon in a Nutshell’, I am convinced that the brother of Jared may be the most underrated prophet in history, and perhaps deserves a spot in the Prophet Hall of Fame. Hopefully I can make a case for this.
One important event that initiates the entire story of the Jaredites is the Tower of Babel and the confounding of languages. There are apparently some biblical scholars, and perhaps a few on the ‘nacle, that feel that many of the early biblical events, including the events of the garden, the ark and the flood, and the Tower of Babel, were not real events but were symbolic or figurative. The account in Ether gives some support to the belief that these events, or at least the tower and confounding of languages, were literal events and not merely symbolic narratives.
Of course there is the familiar story of the sixteen stones that the brother of Jared ‘did molten’ out of a rock. He took these stones up to the top of the mount and asked the Lord to touch the stones with his finger so that they would shine and provide light while they crossed the sea. It worked. The Lord stretched forth his hand and did as the brother of Jared requested. The brother of Jared actually saw what looked like a real finger of flesh and bones. Because of this, the brother of Jared fell down, fearing that the Lord might smite him. When the brother of Jared explained to the Lord why he had fallen to the earth the Lord asked, ‘Sawest thou more than this’?
The brother of Jared answered, ‘Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me’. The Lord responded to the request and showed himself unto the brother of Jared. What Jared saw was described by Moroni thus – ‘Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites’ (Ether 3:17). This was apparently a special showing, for the Lord said, ‘And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created…’ (Ether 3:15). So now for a few discussion questions:
Why was the brother of Jared so surprised that the Lord had a finger? He asked the Lord to touch it with his finger – did he not suppose the Lord had a finger?
Also, why was the Lord unsure of what the brother of Jared saw? Was he unaware his finger would be seen?
Are we to suppose that what the brother of Jared saw was much more than folks like Enoch, Noah, or Adam saw? Do we suppose that he may have even seen prints of nails in the hands and feet?
One more event and I will wrap up. The brother of Jared was shown ‘all things’ (v 26). Even all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and all that would be (v 25). Moroni gives further explanation of this as well:
For he had said unto him in times before, that if he would believe in him that he could show unto him all things-it should be shown unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things. (Ether 3:26)
It was also said that because of the knowledge of the brother of Jared he could not be kept within the veil. All this seems to point to the idea that once an individual has sufficient faith, revelation will be given. And at some point even the Lord can not withhold information from such a person.
But the nice thing is, the brother of Jared wrote it all down as instructed. He was shown ‘all things’ and a record of it exists somewhere. Not just any record. A record written by a man whose writing was described thus:
And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou has not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. (Ether 12:24)
Our namesake here was quite a guy. And once his words come forth in their own due time, I believe we will understand what a mighty man who was highly favored of the Lord, who was also mighty in writing can produce. Such a writer, who was shown all things, would produce a record that surely would overpower any who would read it. I look forward to the day when this record comes forth. Then this man will no longer be an underrated prophet, and will take a rightful place among the greatest prophets who have ever lived.