The plot continues to thicken. Corihor (the brother of king Shule) has many sons and daughters. One of which, Noah, decides to rebel against his dad and the king and take all his brothers and many people with him. I wonder how Corihor feels at this time. I get the feeling he had sufficiently humbled himself and repented of his rebelling and trying to take over the kingdom. That he had an ernest desire to right the wrongs he did and earn the trust of his brother. However, when his son does the same thing he did, he must have been distraught to say the least. I feel like he is having deja-vu–just as a father now. He probably cried a lot at night and tried to stop his son from feeling this hate. If I had a son that made the same mistakes I did, I would feel bad and sad. Yet, at the same time, I would have a great desire to help him because I would already know exactly what he’s going through.
Noah decides to fight Shule (the king). He takes from him the land of their first inheritance. Then, he comes and battles them again and kidnaps the king, taking him captive into the land of Moron.
A Review of the Lands Mentioned Thus Far
The land of Moron is not the same as the land of their first inheritance. In my last post, I talked about the potential locations of these two lands. I feel like I need to untangle this mess once and for all before moving on. I am making up locations for these lands for the sake of presenting a visual.
A quick review of the story. Please use the picture I have made. In the land of Moron, rules king Kib. One of his sons, Corihor rebels and goes to the land of Nehor to gather an army. He then uses that army to occupy and rule the city of Nehor (capital of the land of Moron) and proclaims himself king. King Kib has a son while in captivity, Shule, who grows up and takes back the city of Nehor, restoring the kingdom to his father. Instead, Shule becomes king and people begin to cover the land. Corihor repents and is reinstated into government. One of his sons, Noah, rebels and takes all his brothers and others with him. Noah builds an army and attacks the land of first inheritance (from where they were attacking from I don’t know. Maybe Moron?). Noah obtains the land of first inheritance and becomes king. Noah then attacks the king (probably with the same armies attempting to take over the land of their first inheritance) and carries him captive to the land of Moron. Probably in an attempt to parade the captured king around and declare his superiority. Ok, back to the story.
A Kingdom Divided
This story honestly keeps getting better and better. King Shule is captive in the land of Moron. He is about to be put to death. It’s the night before the execution and Shule is in prison. In the morning, it is going to be a public execution. But! Oh yes, who comes to the rescue? His sons! In the night, the sons of Shule break into the house of Noah and kill and him (Noah). Then they hurry over to the prison and break their father out. He is restored to the throne. How epic is that? A little artistic license was taken but I included the same details the scriptures did.
It gets better. The son of Noah, Cohor, is left in charge of the Kingdom (land of first inheritance) and builds it up. However, it never gains enough power to rule over Shule’s kingdom (in the land of Moron). The country is divided between two kindgoms. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Cross reference 2 Nephi 5:1-14. This is the story of when the Lamanites and Nephites separate. One thought that crossed my mind was that even in the promised land, sometimes it must needs be the righteous be led out of Babylon. We see this with the Nephites and Lamanites and in early church history. Today even, individuals and families are being led out of wicked places to more safe places where they can hear the truth of the gospel and worship in peace.
Cohor decides to have his people come up to battle against Shule. However, Shule beats them and slays Cohor. This whole civilization could be a movie! It’s all history repeating itself. Son rebels, smacks around the people, gets beat by a brother/uncle/dad, and the son is left a disgraceful legacy that he seeks to improve by seeking revenge. But here this chain is broken! Look at verse 22! Cohor’s son, Nimrod gains favor in the sight of Shule and does according to what he desired.
Prophets Among the Jaredites
During the reign of Shule, prophets come and prophesy that the wickedness and idolatry of the people would bring about the destruction of the people. One thing that has bugged me throughout the reading of Ether is that after the brother of Jared and his time, it’s hard to gauge the righteousness of the people. With the Nephites you could always tell they were going to church or if they were wicked, there would be a bad guy who comes to town. Or it would say they were caught up in riches. Stuff like that. I don’t feel like there has been a lot of that type of description in the book of Ether.
My question is, “Were the kings righteous?” If so, which ones and in what way? Orihah is the last one we really get a good description of his reign. We get general descriptions of the kings and people. Such as, they were righteous or wicked or caught up in idolatry. Granted, I think Moroni didn’t have a lot of time to give a minute by minute account of all that happened. He had to get as much as he could with the time he had. That was why he was led by the Lord in compiling the material. In addition, we are talking like 1000 years plus of Jaredite history crammed into 15 chapters. Of course there is going to be a ton left out. Hopefully, all that will be revealed later on, because I would really like to thumb through it.
Cross reference Ether 9:28; 11:1. Prophets came multiple times among the people saying that the people need to repent because a curse and famine would come upon the land. This is happening over a period of many years I’m guessing.
Where did the prophets come from? What were their names? Was the church of God established? Had the traditions of Adam been passed down into Jaredite culture? This goes to show, by the fact that prophets appeared among the Jaredites, that God raises up prophets among the people inhabiting America. One thing I would like to know is how God chose prophets when there was no church (that we know of). Or has there never been a point like that? Maybe it was like what happened with Moses when he was young or Lehi. The Lord visits you and talks with you because of your testimony.
Prophets are Rejected
Anyway, the people revile against the prophets and mock them. Fortunately, Shule passes judgement upon these people and creates a law saying that these prophets may go wherever they want. I like that even though the people were wicked (does that include the king?) the king still made a righteous law regarding the prophets. I feel like that is how it is today. Governments may not agree or endorse the church, but they make laws or regulations that let the missionaries work in their country or city.
Because of laws that protected the prophets, the people were brought to repentence. This work will go forth nobly, and independently until it has penetrated every ear. Goes to show that once you let the prophets in, the slippery slope of repentence begins. The people repent and the Lord spares them in addition to prospering them. Really, the cool thing was that there were no more wars in all the days of Shule. Turns out, he was a righteous king because he remembered the Lord and all the things he had done for his father. After he dies though, the chapter heading of 8 suggests the trouble will begin. We have three kings of righteousness before things begin to tipsy on over to the Dark Side.
King Omer’s Son Rebels
Shule begets Omer and he takes over the kingdom, then begets Jared. Guess what Jared did? He rebelled against his father! He goes to dwell in the land of Heth. Jared flatters away many people because of his words and gains half of the kingdom. I think one of the lessons here is that words are very powerful. Those who are gifted with talents of speech and writing need to be wary because the word has more power than the sword. In this instance, Jared obtains half of the kingdom through his carefully tailored words. Satan is also an expert in flattery. He tells us exactly what we want to hear. If we listen, it can lead to a lot of sin.
Same thing happens again. Jared gains a following and raises an army in which he attacks his father’s kindgom. He overcomes his father’s forces and takes him into captivity and has him serve. Are people seeing this in their history??! I guess if you are living it and don’t have a bird’s-eye view of history, it would be hard to pick it out. If the Jaredites had seen that this pattern of son rebelling and taking over the kingdom do you think they would have done anything different? Maybe taken precautions at least? For example, make sure they had strong armies or defenses so when the son rebelled and attacks the kingdom, his butt could be kicked.
Omer (the king at the time Jared rebels) ends up in captivity half of his days! He begets sons and daughters, two of which are Esron and Coriantumr. Can you believe being in captivity for half of your days? I can’t. Did he even try and get out? If I was in captivity, I would spend it trying to get out. I ain’t going to let some punk, unrighteous, and ungrateful son keep me in captivity. These two kids Omer begets become exceedingly angry because of what their brother had done. So they raise up and army by night and attack.
They kill the entire army of Jared and are about to kill him themselves, but he begs for his life. He says that he will give up the kingdom if they spare his life. The brothers spare his life. Why are wicked people like this? Once they lose power and are in the hands of others, they become like squealing pigs. I feel like when they are before you begging for mercy, you, holding the sword and fully intending on ending their life, are in a hard position. Regardless of your decision, no one but you will question if you did the right thing. You have to make the decision you can live with. Having killed the army, all those people were just soldiers, but this is your brother. Do you kill him? If you spare his life, he may turn from his ways or he may not. He could go right back to his evil ways, having “taken advantage” of you. If you don’t spare his life, you guarantee that he won’t be of any more trouble to you and those around you. But the repercussions are that you have to live with the fact that you killed your brother and when he begged for mercy at your feet, you invoked justice and smote him down. I like to think I would have spared his life with the understanding that if he betrayed the family again, I would not spare his life so easily.
Jared becomes exceedingly sorrowful because he lost the kingdom. He had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world. Whew! Jared was a really ambitious man! The glory of the world huh? He wasn’t going to stop in America, he was going to keep going! It must have been quite a sight to see him. Ambitious and very persuasive words. Cross reference a book I once read that was a psychohistory of Hitler. I kind of imagine Jared was like Hitler. In the book I read, it talks about the speeches and public speaking skills the Führer possess. Jared, like Hitler, probably was very enthusiastic and because he was a great public speaker and persuasive, conveyed his vision for the people in a very powerful and applicable way. So much, that for the people not to follow him woud make them sound stupid. With talents and amibition like this, it is no surprise that he became exceedingly sorrowful when he lost. When wholeheartedly believed he would be triumphant.
Turning to Secret Combinations
The daughter of Jared is very smart. She believe she could devise a plan to redeem the kingdom for her father. The scripture, verse 8 of chapter 8, says that she was exceedingly expert. Expert in what? Did she inherit the speaking abilities of her father? Perhaps she was crafty?
The daughter asks her father why he has so much sorrow. She asks him if he has read the accounts of secret plans by which kingdoms and glory were obtained. The account she is referring to is the record that their fathers brought across the deep. A record from Adam down to the present day. Cross reference Ether 1:3.
Cross reference 3 Nephi 6:28. That deal is old. Once administered by the devil. It’s an oath to combine against all righteousness. I’m thinking that these oaths started with the story of Cain and Abel. I bet some pretty strange and disgusting things happen when you make that secret oath and turn yourself completely to the Devil. It is interesting that “old” in this context denotes a negative connotation. I am reminded of the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian when Caspian is in the dungeon of the stronghold, thinking about the Telmarines and how they are coming to kill the Narnians. Then the wolf and creepy bird appear and tell him about “old ways” and deep magic that is powerful. All he has to do is make these oaths and the power will be his.
At the same time, their is complete opposite of these secret combinations. That is through God’s way and His priesthood. It’s just as prevalent as these “dark ways” perhaps more so, but it takes faith to see it. Secret combinations is ever an easy way to go. Truth and the way of God is always better though.
Cross reference Helaman 6:26. These secret combinations and oaths didn’t come from records, they came straight from the Devil himself. They were put into the heart of Gadianton, they were put into the heart of Cain. Satan ensnares people. Cross reference Helaman 6:27 and Ether 13:18. Secret combinations. Going behind someone’s back to accomplish things without people knowing. Making promises to people without public approval or knowledge. I think Helaman’s verse is especially good because it says that Cain and Satan plotted together and Satan continues to plot with Cain and his followers. That’s scary. Satan is very real. You all know Joseph Smith’s experiences with him in the sacred grove. Satan wants us dead! He is an enemy to ALL righteousness and good in this world. He isn’t the figment of an author’s imagination. This is real, this is war! And some people just want to sit back and ignore it. There is no neutral ground. If you are not being righteous, you are contributing to the work of Satan. The blank spots on the map are disappearing quickly and it’s time to decide which nation you are going to be a part of–God’s or Satan’s. There is no United States of I Don’t Care. If there is, Satan has it as part of his kingdom.
Thanks for reading. We’ll pick up in two weeks with what Jared’s daughter does with the secret combinations!