Ether 1:1-32

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Home > The Book of Mormon > Ether > Chapter 1a / Verses 1:1-32
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Relationship to Ether. The relationship of Chapter 1a to the rest of Ether is discussed at Ether.

Story. Chapter 1a gives the genealogy of Ether.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1a include:


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  • Ether 1:2: The 24 gold plates. Moroni says here that he takes his account from the twenty and four plates found by the people of Limhi (see Mosiah 21:25-27). We know from Mosiah 28:17 that had already translated this record once. Moroni makes no indication of that pre-existing translation here. This verse suggests Moroni goes back to the source making the Book of Ether Moroni's translation of Ether's record. (Or, to be more precise, the Book of Ether is Joseph Smith's translation into English of Moroni's translation into his own language.)
For more on the 24 plates, see Mosiah 8:9, Mosiah 21:27, Mosiah 28:11, Alma 37:21, and Ether 15:33.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Ether 1:1: Why does Moroni decide to "give an account" of the Jaredites?
  • Ether 1:1: Why does he refer to them as "ancient inhabitants"?
  • Ether 1:1: In what sense can we say that these ancient inhabitants "were destroyed by the hand of the Lord" when they clearly killed themselves through warfare?
  • Ether 1:1: What does Moroni mean by "this north country"? North in relation to what?
  • Ether 1:1: "This" north country suggests that Moroni is in that northern land--is this the land of Bountiful, or farther north? Cumorah?
  • Ether 1:1: The Nephite center of influence seems to have moved several times--from the Land of Nephi, to Zarahemla, to Bountiful, and perhaps now even farther north. What does this tell us about the nature of Nephite society?
  • Ether 1:2: How does Moroni get his "account from the twenty and four plates"?
  • Ether 1:2: What does this imply about how these ancient records had been kept since the time of Limhi?
  • Ether 1:2: Why is this record "called the Book of Ether"?
  • Ether 1:3: What might we be missing from the Book of Ether? How valuable would it be to have another ancient account of the creation, Adam, and the material found in our Book of Genesis?
  • Ether 1:4: Whoso findeth them. What does this mean? Is this a prediction or prophecy? Should we be looking for these plates? Where are they? How valuable would it be to have the original record? Does this imply that these records are potentially available to us and the rest of the world to find and translate?
  • Ether 1:5: How much of the 24 plates contained the parts that we don't have?
  • Ether 1:7-32: If Moroni was already editing the Book of Ether, why give this extended genealogy? Wouldn't it have been enough to say that Ether was a descendant of Jared? Why give us all the actual names?


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Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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