Brother of Jared: Key Events

Brother of JaredThe 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.

8 Responses to “Brother of Jared: Key Events”

  1. 1 Ryan August 7, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Well said, and thank you for pointing out the absent record made by the Brother of Jared.. I had never really considered that verse, nor really heard it spoken of in any of the classes I have been in where this material was covered. Now you’ve got me all giddy and looking forward to reading his record.

    I also appreciate your lobbying for his Hall of Fame status. I initially only used his name, as you mentioned, as a play on words… after these several months however, I couldn’t be more proud to be paying tribute, minor though it may be, to such an amazing individual. He has definitely become one of my all-time favorite scriptural characters.

  2. 2 Wade August 7, 2006 at 11:00 pm


    . . .the sixteen stones that the brother of Jared ‘did molten’ out of a rock.

    It just hit me: If Mahonri “did molten” the stones out of rock, he actually made the stones himself. This was his plan, not God’s; God asked him to figure it out himself (sort of). I wonder if Mahonri’s solution was to use stones that he knew the Lord could make shine forth in darkness because he was familiar with seer stones? Furthermore, I wonder if each stone touched by the Lord was in fact a type of seer stone itself? It would make sense to me. After all, Lehi’s family was given the Liahona (which was similar to a seer stone because it showed unto them the right way and directed them). An interesting thought.

    Also, why was the Lord unsure of what the brother of Jared saw?

    I think maybe because the Lord did not intentionally show His finger to the BoJ; rather, it was the BoJ’s knowledge that pierced the veil! This means that visions are predicated upon a person’s knowledge and faith and not necessarily on God’s active involvement.

  3. 3 Eric Nielson August 8, 2006 at 7:40 am

    Ryan and Wade:

    Thanks for your comments. Yeah, I’m pretty excited about reading some of the additional scripture the BofM promises, especially the record of our namesake. I have actually prayed for this to happen occasionally.

    Yes, Wade, I think it is interesting that these ‘stones’ were made and that they were clear like glass.

    I also liked the idea that information could not be withheld from the brother of Jared. But my question had more to do in my mind with forknowledge. It seems a bit of a contradiction that a God who was capable of showing the brother of Jared ‘all things’ appears to not know just what it was that the brother of Jared saw. I wonder if the Lord did know exactly what the brother of Jared saw, but was asking some ‘leading questions’ in order to have more meaningful experience. Probably a lame idea.

  4. 4 adam August 8, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    I think that you have a point about God using a leading question. We are reading an account from one pointof view(well 2 really) the BoJ and Moroni. They can only report what the Lord said to Him, they do not know what the Lord noticed or did not notice. We do not have God’s personal account on the subject. However, the fact that the Lord told the Boj “that many times before have I said that I will show you all things,”(paraphrased) makes me to think that this has been an ongoing conversation with them. What I found interesting was the BoJ reaction- He tells the Lord that he was afraid that he would be smitten. From what we know about Christ and his love, the Boj;s reaction in in contrary to such things. This tells me that his understanding of Christ at the moment was incomplete, yet he had the faith to continue past his fears and lack of understanding to come to a greater knowledge.

  5. 5 Connor Boyack August 8, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    God’s leading questions always intrigue me. Questions such as asking Adam “Adam, where art thou?”, asking BoJ what he saw, and the angel asking Nephi what he understood things to be in his vision of the Tree of Life. I am confident that these questions are for our own spiritual understanding and awareness, helping us to formulate an answer and hold ourselves accountable to that answer.

  6. 6 Eric Nielson August 8, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    Adam and Conner:

    Great responses guys. I think that a lot of this was a learning experience for the BofJ. Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge after all.

  7. 7 Danielle August 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    What happened to the stones once they were done being used on the barges?

  8. 8 Eric Nielson August 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I am not aware of what became of them.

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