February 22, 2013 by FHElessons
Including the Stories of
- The Daughter of Jared
- Coriantumr’s Final Battle
For the previous story, The Brother of Jared and the Stones of Light, click HERE.
I’ve got another Book of Mormon story that you can use for Family Home Evening! This actually includes 2 stories: I’ll begin with the story of the Daughter of Jared and finish up with Coriantumr’s story.
When I first started this blog, I wrote to the LDS church legal department and asked for permission to use pictures from their site on my blog. They granted me permission to use pictures from their online Media Library. Anyway, they have a lot of great pictures in their Gospel Art section, but none from the stories that I am going to present today. What to do? I decided to try my hand at drawing the pictures myself. Now, I’m no artist, so please don’t make fun of my attempts. But I hope it will help to have a little visual as you tell the story.
As I was working on the pictures, I realized that my own 13 year old daughter was not even familiar with these stories since she asked me about them as I was coloring. That just goes to show that it’s a good idea to tell Book of Mormon stories to your kids, in Family Home Evening or at bedtime or any chance you get. You’ll probably have to re-tell them several times for them to remember them. I hope this blog post helps you with that task!
Hymn Suggestion: Book of Mormon Stories – Children’s Songbook #18
A note about the song choice: When our kids were little, they used to request Book of Mormon Stories for our song every single week for Family Home Evening. We used to sing all 7 verses, which was fun because you sing about several different stories from the Book of Mormon. After awhile, we all had the entire song memorized. Just an idea for something you might like to do if you’re using my stories for a series of FHE lessons. OK – on to the lesson –
The Jaredite People and What Became of Them
found in Ether 7-15 of the Book of Mormon
Part 1: The Story of the Daughter of Jared (Ether 8-9):
I’ve always thought that the history of the Jaredite people was one of the very interesting stories in the Book of Mormon. It begins with a people so righteous that they get special permission from the Lord to avoid having their language confounded after the Tower of Babel incident, so righteous that they are led by a man whose faith is stronger than the veil, who moves a mountain by faith, and who sees the Lord. Yet, within only four generations, they become wicked enough that one son is taking his father, the king, captive. The fighting over the kingship and just wickedness and battles in general continue for 4 more generations until some prophets are raised up to call the people to repentance. They have success for awhile, but then two generations later comes another king’s son named Jared. He wants to take the kingdom from his father, so he raises up an army and takes his father captive, thus gaining half of the kingdom, which he retains for a while. But then his brothers get mad and get their own army to defeat him and retake the kingdom. Jared is “sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.” (Ether 8:7)
Now, Jared had a daughter who was “exceedingly expert.” She either loved her father and didn’t want him to be sad or she saw his sorrow as an opportunity to get gain for herself. Either way, she tells him, “Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?” (Ether 8:9). In other words, she decides to bring back the Secret Combinations that started with Cain. She tells her father to send for a man named Akish, and she will dance for him and please him so that he will desire her to wife. She instructs her father that when this man comes to ask for her hand in marriage, the price he should demand for the union is the head of his father, the king. How evil can you get? Anyway, this is exactly what happens. In order for Akish to obtain the head of the king, he brings in all his kinsfolk and swears them in on the pact to kill the king. Anyone who divulges their secret will be made to lose his life. (Sounds a lot like gangs today).
Fortunately for Omer the king, he is righteous enough to hear the voice of the Lord, and the Lord warns him in a dream to escape, which he does. He takes the rest of his household (other than Jared & Jared’s family) with him. So, Jared is left to be king in his place, and Akish gets Jared’s daughter for his wife. Do you think these people are happy now that they’ve all gained their hearts’ desires? Here is what they reap for their actions:
Akish gathers up his gang and conspires to murder his father-in-law, thus gaining the kingdom for himself. Then, of course, he starts to worry that his son will do the same thing to him. So he has his son shut up in prison and keeps him on little or no food until he starves to death. The other sons of Akish are angry about what happens to their brother, so they get together an army and make war against their father. This war lasts for many years until all of the people except for 30 of them are destroyed, and those 30 go over to the original king, Omer, who had fled, and bring him back to be king again. Because the daughter of Jared sought for power for her father and/or herself, she got to be married to a man so evil that he would kill her own father and starve her son to death. The rest of them suffer war and death. Once we’re rid of all those evil people, the Lord begins to take the curse from the land, and the people prosper once again.
Part 2: What Becomes of the Jaredites Under Coriantumr (Ether 13-15):
How many generations do you think it takes before the people become wicked again? Only 3! Within 3 generations we’re back to wars and kings’ sons trying to dethrone their fathers. Things go along for a long time – some kings are righteous and some are wicked. Prophets come to prophesy that the people will be destroyed if they don’t repent. So it goes along until the last king, whose name is Coriantumr. The people cast out their prophets and begin a “great war.” There are “mighty men” who wish to overthrow Coriantumr and take the kingdom, but Coriantumr has “studied himself in all the arts of war and all the cunning of the world,” (Ether 13:16) and he’s not too easy to destroy. One thing to know about Coriantumr, though, is that the prophet, Ether, comes to him to warn him that if he will repent, his household will be spared and he will retain the kingdom. If he will not repent, they will all be destroyed except himself. How would you react given that option? Well, Coriantumr decides not to repent. The result is that “there began to be a great war upon all the face of the land, every man with his band fighting for that which he desired” (Ether 13:25). The wars continue for many years, with people having to sleep with their weapons in their hands to avoid losing them. Millions of Jaredites are killed. During the final war, everybody becomes “exceedingly angry.” Every day they come together to battle, and half of them are killed. The survivors go home and stew about all their friends and family who were killed that day and get so angry that they go out to battle again the next day. Every day the population diminishes by half so that one day there are just 120 people left. The next day there are only 60 people left, and so on. Do the people realize that they are extinguishing themselves? No, they just keep on being angry and keep on getting up to kill each other until one day there are only 2 men left. The last 2 men are Shiz and Coriantumr. They fight until Coriantumr cuts off the head of Shiz and then faints himself “as if he had no life.” So, the entire population is extinguished. Coriantumr is left, and he gets to roam the land alone until he finally is discovered by the people of Zarahemla (who are descendants of Mulek, a son of Zedekiah who escaped from Jerusalem about the same time as Lehi and led a group of people to the Americas). He dwells with them from 9 months and then dies.
What I think is interesting about these stories:
1. The daughter of Jared introduces the wickedness of secret combinations to her people. Moroni warns in Ether 8:23-25 that whoever builds up secret combinations seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands and brings to pass the destruction of the people. Secret Combinations are so destructive to a society that when the gold plates containing the record of the Jaredites came to Mosiah, the Lord commanded him to keep what was written therein a secret until after Christ came to visit the Americas. He didn’t want the people to know about the secrets and oaths of the Secret Combinations. We also see in the Book of Mormon that after the Lamanites become righteous, they eradicate all secret combinations from among their midst while the Nephites tolerate the secret combinations, and the secret combinations eventually destroy the Nephite people while the Lamanites are preserved. This is a lesson that is pertinent to our time. Will we tolerate gangs to persist among our society or will we seek to eradicate them? If the lessons of the Book of Mormon are to be believed, the answer to that question will determine the future of our society.
2. The story of the daughter of Jared also illustrates that the wages of sin are unhappiness and death.
3. I am always amazed that a people could continue to fight and kill each other even when it becomes so apparent that doing so is completely eradicating their society. How could a people just keep getting up and killing and killing every day until there was no one left? It’s crazy! This is what happens when we allow anger and selfishness to take hold of our hearts – they cloud our judgment and ruins our lives.
4. Throughout the scriptures there are many accounts of the people desiring a king even though the Lord counsels them against it. Why do they always want a king? Why don’t they wish to govern themselves? In the Bible, it’s because they want to be like other nations (thus showing the ill effects of peer pressure). Perhaps it is also that they don’t want to take responsibility for themselves –t hey are taking the lazy way out. Whatever the reason, they never seem to learn their lesson that they should heed the counsel of the Lord in refusing to be governed by a king. We should “trust in the Lord with all [our] hearts and lean not to [our] own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Points to Ponder:
- What could cause a people to go from exceedingly righteous to exceedingly wicked within the span of a few generations? Are we in danger of this?
- The Lord has promised the American continent to be a haven for the righteous. He has warned us that this land is choice above all other lands, and “he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off” (Ether 2:10). What does this mean for those of us living on the American continent today? Are we in any danger of being “swept off”?
- Do we have Secret Combinations in our society today? Do we tolerate them or seek to eradicate them?
- The daughter of Jared got what she wanted. Did it make her happy?
- Can wickedness ever yield happiness?
- What happens to judgment when people get angry?
As always, remember to bear your testimony of Jesus Christ at the end of your lesson. You can also bear your testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
OK – Now, I have a favor to ask. After I drew and colored my pictures for these stories, I snapped a photo of each to get them onto my computer. Then I decided to play around with them a little bit in Photoshop to see what I could do. I could have worked on them all day, there were so many interesting effects to try. Below are a few of my favorites of what I did today. If you have time, please look through them and let me know which is your favorite of each picture. I had a hard time choosing which ones to use above! And I’m still itching to try some more variations if I get time in the future! Let me know what you think.
If you would like to move on to the next story in this series, Sariah, Woman of Faith, click HERE. Remember that you can always find all my scripture stories by clicking on the “Scripture Stories” tab at the top of the page.
Daughter of Jared #1:
Daughter of Jared #2:
Daughter of Jared #3:
Daughter of Jared #4:
Coriantumr’s Final Battle #1:
Coriantumr’s Final Battle #2:
Coriantumr’s Final Battle #3:
Coriantumr’s Final Battle #4:
Coriantumr’s Final Battle #5: