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Now Moroni proceeds with “the record of Jared and his brother” (verse 1). He tells us that Jared’s brother put the stones in the vessels as light (verse 2), “and thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness” (verse 3).
So also is Christ our light in the mists of darkness, our path Home through mortality.
When the people finished preparing the food for the trip, they boarded their vessels “commending themselves unto the Lord their God” (verse 4). The Lord sent winds that blew the vessels (verse 5). Even when vessels were “many times buried in the depths of the sea” (verse 6), “there was no water that could hurt them” because their vessels were sealed tight as Noah’s ark had been (verse 7). The wind never stopped, always blowing them forward to the promised land (verse 8).
So also are we prepared for all things, knowing that even afflictions and storms are necessary in refining us and pushing us in the right direction, even towards our promised land, even our Father’s presence.
And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord (verse 9).
While their vessels were driven forth, nothing could destroy them, and they did have light continually.
So also do are we driven through mortality by storms and afflictions, but we do also always have His light – and nothing can destroy us. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says:
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…
For nearly a year, the families of Jared and his brother were driven across the waters (verse 11) before landing in the promised land (verse 12):
… And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land, they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.
They had been protected and provided for, arriving safely in the land that was promised. It was time to get to work, tilling the earth (verse 13) and continuing their families (verses 14-16). As their families grew, “they were taught to walk humbly before the Lord; and they were also taught from on high” (verse 17).
That “taught from on high” is Temple talk. It means, among other things, that they received the ordinances they needed as their families grew not only physically but also spiritually. The blessings are then given as evidence, as tokens of a covenant-keeping people, in that their families prospered as did their land. “They did wax strong in the land” (verse 18).
When the brother of Jared grew old, he asked Jared to gather the people to number them – which is also to bless them – “that we may know of them what they will desire of us before we go down to our graves” (verse 19). The people were gathered (verse 20), and asked what they needed before their patriarchs passed from mortality (verse 21).
The children asked for one of their sons to be a king over them (verse 22). This grieved their parents, and Jared’s brother warned the children that this would lead to their captivity (verse 23). However, Jared himself consented, telling the children to choose their king from amongst them (verse 24).
The people chose the eldest of the children of Jared’s brother, but he refused (verse 25). The people tried to get Jared’s brother to force him, but Jared’s brother knew it was not good for the people and would not force his son to be king over them.
Then the people tried to choose the other children of Jared’s brother, but all of them refused (verse 26). They understood their father’s teaching, and knew it would not be a good thing. Rather than putting everyone at risk, they remained humble and faithful to what their father had taught.
Finally, the people began to ask the sons of Jared, and none of them would be king, either – except one, and he was made king (verse 27). He reigned according to the Lord, as his father and uncle had taught them, and the people prospered (verse 28).
And it came to pass that Orihah did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers (verse 30).
Then Jared and his brother passed away from mortality (verse 29).