Ether 12

Ether 12:2-3 Ether...could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him

Monte J. Brough

"One sleepless night, while serving as a mission president, I was greatly concerned about the condition of the mission. There was a need to provide some inspiration and motivation for the missionaries, but I was at a loss as to what or how I might provide it. Again my thoughts were turned to the prophet Ether because of his example of diligence and inspiration during his missionary experience. I love learning and studying about Ether because his life demonstrates qualities which I personally desire for myself, such as his supreme ability to concentrate during his service as a missionary: (quotes Ether 12:2; 13:2, 4.)

"That night I was impressed that a study of the life of Ether might provide the inspiration which was needed for our mission. Every missionary in the Church would do well to emulate this great prophet who understood the rigors of missionary work and performed at such a high level. Ether 'could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him. For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun.' (Ether 12:2-3.)

"As a mission president, I found that this example of hard work and diligent effort was among the finest available. We challenged every missionary to learn to be an 'Ether' because the Spirit of the Lord could make it possible for each of them to 'not be restrained.' Many of our missionaries did gain this level of spirituality which 'could not be restrained,' and thus were blessed with faith and results which had not been previously enjoyed. This, of course, resulted in a higher level of work even from early morning until late in the evening." (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, pp. 190-91)

Ether 12:4 whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world

Hope is the justified anticipation of eternal life as promised to those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ. Bruce R. McConkie stated, "As used in the revelations, hope is the desire of faithful people to gain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God hereafter. It is not a flimsy, ethereal desire, one without assurance that the desired consummation will be received, but a desire coupled with full expectation of receiving the coveted reward." (Mormon Doctrine, p. 365) Hence, the record states that the believers might with surety hope for a better world. (italics added)

The prophet Ether used more general terms because his people did not know Christ by name. Therefore, they were to exercise faith in God (the pre-mortal Christ) that they would be worthy of a better (or eternal and celestialized) world. The best definition of hope is given by Moroni who focuses our hope on the atonement, And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. (Moroni 7:41).

"The concept of hope plays a vital role in Latter-day Saint thought. Firmly centered in Christ and his resurrection, it is the 'hope of eternal life' (Titus 1:2) repeatedly alluded to by Paul. It is the opposite of the despair found among those who are 'without Christ, having no hope, and without God in the world' (Eph. 2:12). As the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni writes, 'If ye have no hope, ye must needs be in despair' (Moro. 10:22). For those, however, who accept Christ's Atonement and resurrection, there comes a 'brightness of hope' (2 Ne. 31:20) through which all who believe in God 'might with surety hope for a better world' (Ether 12:4)." (James K. Lyon in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 656)

Neal A. Maxwell

"Quite clearly, therefore, ultimate hope is tied to the verifiable expectation of a resurrection and the better world to follow. Paul observed that if our hope in Christ pertained to 'this life only,' a resurrectionless view of Christ, we would be 'of all men most miserable.' (1 Corinthians 15:19.) In other words, proximate hope, disengaged from the reality of the resurrection (what some inconsistently espouse as a Christian existentialism), is not Christian hope at all!" (Notwithstanding My Weakness, p. 43 - 44)

Ether 12:4 hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men

The question has been asked, "which is the anchor to the soul, faith or hope?" The answer is hope, for Paul taught of the hope set before us; Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast (Heb 6:18-19). The metaphor of the anchor is an appropriate one, for hope fixes us where we should be-sure and steadfast in the harbor of true discipleship.

Paul spoke of what happens to church members when they don't have inspired leadership. They become as children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14). Yet, without the anchor of hope, each individual can become just as unstable, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of worldliness, by the sleight of Satan and his cunning craftiness, whereby he lies in wait to deceive. Indeed, the hope of a better world gives us stabilizing perspective as we plod along in what can otherwise be a hopeless and bitter world.

Monte J. Brough

"Ether, as my personal mentor of some years, has helped me understand how hope, which 'cometh of faith, maketh an anchor' to my soul. It is this hope for a better world that is the foundation of the great plan of happiness. This profound part of the process of bringing stability into our lives." (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, p. 193)

Bruce C. Hafen

"One of the blessings of grace along that path is the gift of hope, which is a source of comfort and strength for those who move courageously forward toward the perfecting ideal of the Savior. As put plainly and powerfully by the prophet Jacob, 'Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea...' (Jacob 4:6-7; emphasis added.)

"...This is the spiritual endowment of hope-of perspective, of patience, of an inner serenity, a sure inner sight, that is 'not weary in well-doing.' (D&C 64:33.) Such hope is bestowed by the power of the Holy Ghost, 'which Comforter filleth with hope.' (Moroni 8:26.) It is the hope of which Nephi wrote in explaining the process that follows our entry by baptism into the straight and narrow path: 'Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men.' (2 Nephi 31:20.)

"It is the hope that Mormon recognized as a sustaining, God-given source of strength in the maturing stages of spiritual development: 'I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord. . . . My brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men.' (Moroni 7:3-4.) Not perfect, not frantic; not pessimistic and not artificially cheerful. The walk of those who walk with the endowment of hope is 'peaceable.'" (The Broken Heart, p. 183-4)

Ether 12:5 they did not believe, because they saw them not

Like sign seekers of subsequent generations, the Jaredites put the cart before the horse, expecting to receive a witness before they had exhibited faith. But how can it be called faith if it comes after the witness? Faith is powerful, as Moroni is about to explain, only when it is demonstrated before the witness is given.

Bruce R. McConkie

"There is no provision in the law of faith that miracles will create faith. Signs follow; they do not precede. It is true that someone who has seen a sign may thereafter do the things which will enable him to gain faith, but it is not the miracle as such which begets the faith; it is obedience to that law upon which its receipt is predicated." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:632)

Spencer W. Kimball

"In faith we plant the seed, and soon we see the miracle of the blossoming. Men have often misunderstood and have reversed the process. They would have the harvest before the planting, the reward before the service, the miracle before the faith. Even the most demanding labor unions would hardly ask the wages before the labor. But many of us would have the vigor without the observance of the health laws, prosperity through the opened windows of heaven without the payment of our tithes. We would have the close communion with our Father without fasting and praying; we would have rain in due season and peace in the land without observing the Sabbath and keeping the other commandments of the Lord. We would pluck the rose before planting the roots; we would harvest the grain before its planting and cultivating." (Conference Report, Oct. 1952, p. 47)

Ether 12:6 faith is things which are hoped for and not seen

It is useful to compare the other two scriptural definitions of faith: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true (Alma 32:21). From Paul we learn that faith is both substantive and evidential. From Alma, we learn that it must be based on things which are true, even if it is not a perfect knowledge.

Ether 12: 6 dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith

Boyd K. Packer

"Some years ago I learned a lesson that I shall never forget.

"I had been called as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, and we were to move to Salt Lake City and find an adequate and permanent home. President Henry D. Moyle assigned someone to help us.

"A home was located that was ideally suited to our needs. Elder Harold B. Lee came and looked it over very carefully and then counseled, 'By all means, you are to proceed.'"

"But there was no way we could proceed. I had just completed the course work on a doctor's degree and was writing the dissertation. With the support of my wife and our eight children, all of the resources we could gather over the years had been spent on education.

"By borrowing on our insurance, gathering every resource, we could barely get into the house, without sufficient left to even make the first monthly payment.

Brother Lee insisted, 'Go ahead. I know it is right.'

"I was in deep turmoil because I had been counseled to do something I had never done before-to sign a contract without having the resources to meet the payments.

"...I was still not at peace, and then came the lesson. Elder Lee said, 'Do you know what is wrong with you-you always want to see the end from the beginning.'

"I replied quietly that I wanted to see at least a few steps ahead. He answered by quoting from the sixth verse of the twelfth chapter of Ether: 'Wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.'

"And then he added, 'My boy, you must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and perhaps a few steps into the darkness, and you will find that the light will appear and move ahead of you.'

"And so it has-but only as we walked to the edge of the light.

"...I am confident that as we move to the edge of the light, like the cloud that led the Israelites, or like the star that led the wise men, the light will move ahead of us and we can do this work." (The Holy Temple, pp. 184-86)

Spencer W. Kimball

"Remember that Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and others could not see clearly the end from the beginning. They also walked by faith and without sight.

"Remember again that no gates were open; Laban was not drunk; and no earthly hope was justified at the moment Nephi exercised his faith and set out finally to get the plates.

"...Remember that there were no clouds in the sky, no evidence of rain, and no precedent for the deluge when Noah builded the ark according to commandment. There was no ram in the thicket when Isaac and his father left for Moriah for the sacrifice. Remember there were no towns and cities, no farms and gardens, no homes and storehouses, no blossoming desert in Utah when the persecuted pioneers crossed the plains.

"And remember that there were no heavenly beings in Palmyra, on the Susquehanna; or on Cumorah when the soul-hungry Joseph slipped quietly into the grove, knelt in prayer on the river bank, and climbed the slopes of the sacred hill." (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 11-12)

Henry B. Erying

"One of the reasons why you will be tried is that opposition is always part of being a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You should expect that great difficulties will come to you in the pursuit of doing what the Lord would have you do. But you should also feel that these trials are a blessing, because 'faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.' (Ether 12:6.)

"I'd like to suggest something about how to receive through our trials the blessing that's promised in that scripture. Perhaps you're being tried right now, and you may feel like saying to me, 'Well, Brother Eyring, it's pretty tough right now. Do you mean this is going to go on over a lifetime?' And my answer is yes. It will be intermittent; there will be times when things go very badly, and there will be times when you think things are going wonderfully well. (If you'll remember my definition of a trial, you'll want to be careful about the times when things seem to be going well.) But the trials will continue to come." (To Draw Closer to God, p. 84)

Neal A. Maxwell

"Thus there ought to be expectations that in this laboratory of life we will actually see each other in the process of being remodeled, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. We will obviously be aware of others who are also in the 'furnace of affliction.' However, we will not always have a smooth, ready answer to the question, 'Why me?' 'Why now?' 'Why this?'-for as Moroni observed, 'Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.' (Ether 12:6. Italics added.)

"As we see ourselves, and others, passing through fiery trials, the wisdom of Peter, who had his own share of fiery trials, is very useful: 'Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.' (1 Peter 4:12.)" (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, p. 44)

James E. Faust

"Some years ago president David O. McKay told from this pulpit of the experience of some of those in the Martin handcart company. Many of these early converts had emigrated from Europe and were too poor to buy oxen or horses and a wagon. They were forced by their poverty to pull handcarts containing all of their belongings across the plains by their own brute strength. President McKay relates an occurrence which took place some years after the heroic exodus:

"A teacher, conducting a class, said it was unwise ever to attempt, even to permit them [the Martin handcart company] to come across the plains under such conditions.

"[According to a class member,] some sharp criticism of the Church and its leaders was being indulged in for permitting any company of converts to venture across the plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart caravan afforded.

"An old man in the corner ... sat silent and listened as long as he could stand it, then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget. His face was white with emotion, yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity.

"In substance [he] said, 'I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.

"'I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.' He continues: 'I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.

"'Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.' (Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1948, p. 8.)

"Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner's fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd.

"Into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful. The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner's fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process.

"...The proving of one's faith goes before the witnessing, for Moroni testified, 'Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith' (Ether 12:6). This trial of faith can become a priceless experience." (Conference Report, May 1979 Ensign, "The Refiner's Fire")

Ether 12:7-31 Examples of the power of faith

Talks on faith often begin with a dictionary or scriptural definition, followed by the usual discussions about the first principle of the gospel. Not uncommonly, both the speaker and the congregation feel bored with such a simple and straightforward concept. Yet, Moroni didn't find the subject boring at all! He demonstrated the power of the principle in a way that we rarely fully appreciate. Beginning with the appearance of Christ to the Nephites, he catalogues many of the greatest events in the scriptural history of his people. Hereby, we learn that all of the greatest events in the history of religion have occurred because of faith. Each of these examples are given to prove the one point that Moroni is trying to make-that ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith (v. 6).

In this extensive list, Moroni describes these great events much as Paul had done earlier. Many similarities exist between the writings of Moroni and Paul, particularly on the subject of faith, hope, and charity. One of the most striking parallels is the way each deals with the subject of faith.



(v. 7) Christ appeared to the Nephites

(v. 2) the elders obtained a good report

(v. 8) Christ became the author of salvation

(v. 3) we understand the Creation

(v. 10) the ancients received the priesthood

(v. 4) Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice

(v. 11) the law of Moses was given

(v. 5) Enoch was translated

(v. 11) the law of Moses was fulfilled

(v. 7) Noah prepared an ark

(v. 13) Alma and Amulek caused the prison to tumble to the earth

(v. 8) Abraham left his home of Haran to receive a greater inheritance

(v. 14) Nephi and Lehi wrought the change upon the Lamanites

(v. 11) Sara conceived and bare Isaac

(v. 15) the sons of Mosiah converted thousands of Lamanites

(v. 17) Abraham offered up Isaac

(v. 17) the three Nephites obtained the promise of translation

(v. 20) Isaac prophesied about and blessed Jacob and Esau

(v. 20) the brother of Jared saw God

(v. 21) Jacob blessed his sons

(v. 22) the brother of Jared was shown all things

(v. 22) Joseph commanded that he be buried with his fathers

(v. 23) the Nephite prophets received a promise that the Book of Mormon would come forth in the last days

(v. 23) Moses was hid for three months

(v. 30) the brother of Jared moved a mountain

(v. 24-27) Moses rejected his royal Egyptian lineage in favor of his status as a Levite

(v. 31) the Savior appeared to the twelve disciples (see 3 Ne 27:1-2)

(v. 28) Moses and Israel were preserved during the first Passover


(v. 29) the Israelites passed through the Red seas as by dry land


(v. 30) the walls of Jericho fell down


(v. 31) the harlot Rahab preserved herself and her household


(v. 32-39) great men and women performed miraculous things and suffered amazing trials

Ether 12:21 the brother of Jared...could no longer be kept without the veil

Bruce R. McConkie

"To gain faith men must first have knowledge; then as their faith increases, they come to a state where it is supplanted by perfect knowledge; and in any field in which perfect knowledge has been gained, 'faith is dormant.' (Alma 32:21-34.)...The Brother of Jared is one who followed this course until he saw the Lord. As Moroni explained it, 'Because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil, therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.' Indeed, 'The Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.' (Ether 3:19-26.)

'And there were many whose faith was so exceeding strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.' (Ether 12:19.) Today as anciently the same effects flow from faith. 'It is the privilege of every elder to speak of the things of God,' the Prophet said, 'and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time.' (Teachings, p. 9; D. & C. 93:1.)" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 267)

Ether 12:23 Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things

"The weakness that troubles Moroni is his inability to express in writing what he feels inside, what he can express in speech through the power of the Spirit. He is obviously moved by the literary power and skill of the brother of Jared. His own writing pales by comparison, and he feels below the task of translating and abridging the work of this great writer and prophet. We can understand Moroni's feelings of inadequacy. A comparable task for us might be to paraphrase and abridge all 38 of Shakespeare's plays, preserving some of the continuity and brilliance of the originals. We, too, would worry that others would mock at our words." (Gary Hatch, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, 4 Nephi - Moroni, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 111)

"Perhaps Moroni sees his own inadequacies and wonders how it is possible for him to accomplish his work or how he can represent the power of faith through the written word. He refers to the 'awkwardness of our hands' and says, 'When we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words' (vv 24-25).

"We see in Moroni what we often see in ourselves when our faith falters or when we feel incapable of accomplishing what lies before us. First, we love to absolve ourselves of any responsibility and blame others for our problems. Moroni seems to do this when he says to the Lord, 'Thou hast made us that we could write but little' (Ether 12:24; emphasis added). Can you hear yourself in a calling or situation for which you feel unprepared?  How often do we lament, 'You got me into this. I never thought I could do this job?' Second, Moroni compares himself to the brother of Jared whose writings were 'mighty even as [the Lord], unto the overpowering of man to read them' (v 24). Third, he fears others might ridicule or treat his work with contempt: 'I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words' (Ether 12:25). And so we see in Moroni what is so common in ourselves: a tendency to [look to] others for our feelings of inadequacy, compare ourselves to others who appear to have talents we do not, and fear what others will think of our work as opposed to what God will think." (Carolyn J. Rasmus, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, 4 Nephi - Moroni, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 252)

Neal A. Maxwell

"The concluding lines of the title page of the Book of Mormon read, 'And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.' Likewise we read these comments:

"'If there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.' (Mormon 8:17.)

"'Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you  our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.' (Mormon 9:31.)

"'Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them.' (Ether 12:23.)

"These concerns are noted not because of any array of imperfections in the Book of Mormon, but rather to show the conscientiousness of the dedicated writers and editors who with blood, sweat, and tears bequeathed the Book of Mormon to all mankind." (Plain and Precious Things, p. 3 - 4)

Ether 12:26 Fools mock, but they shall mourn

B. H. Roberts

"I remember having a very rich bit of experience with that passage in the younger days of my ministry when I was on my first mission. It fell to my engage in a three-day debate with a seasoned man in that line of work. I was but twenty-three and had had no experience. He was fifty-four and had the reputation of having driven all his opponents from the platform. He mocked considerably at the Book of Mormon, and brought up this very question of its lack of incisiveness and clear-cut aphorisms, and challenged me to produce anything that could be comparable with the sharp, clear-cut aphorisms of the Bible scriptures.

"I told him I could think just at the moment of but one, and that was, 'Fools mock, but they shall mourn.'

"I am not very much acquainted with his history after that debate, but after three days' discussion he utterly refused to go on with the debate, when it was really but half through, and notwithstanding he had previously driven every opponent from the platform...immediately following the discussion, we began baptizing, and within two months had raised up a branch in the neighborhood of more than sixty members. The Lord so blessed us on that occasion.

"After calling this gentleman's attention to that passage, 'Fools mock, but they shall mourn,' he did not ask for any more aphorisms." (Conference Report, Apr. 1928, p. 108-9)

Ether 12:26 my grace is sufficient for the meek

The Lord's grace is also sufficient for the proud, but the proud would rather willfully reject his gift than admit to spiritual neediness. Therefore, the Lord's grace, although sufficient, is not offered to them. James wrote, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6). Nephi taught that the Holy Messiah is full of grace and truth, but he also explained that not everyone was eligible for that grace. Rather it was to be given only to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else (2 Ne 2:6-7). Neal A. Maxwell said:

"Meekness ranks low on the mortal scale of things, yet high on God's: 'For none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.' (Moroni 7:44.) The rigorous requirements of Christian discipleship are clearly unattainable without meekness. In fact, meekness is needed in order to be spiritually successful, whether in matters of the intellect, in the management of power, in the dissolution of personal pride, or in coping with the challenges of daily life."(Meek and Lowly, p. ix)

James continues, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:7-10). Hereby James connects the concepts of humility and submissiveness. We cannot be truly humble when we are still imposing our will upon the Lord. Only when our will is placed in submission to HIs are we truly humble.

Neal A. Maxwell

"If we were not serious about our submissiveness to Him, could we endure having our weaknesses shown to us?" (We Will Prove Them Herewith, p. 120)

Hans B. Ringger

"As Moroni wrote, the Lord's grace is sufficient for all who humble themselves before Him. If we humble ourselves and have faith in Him, He will make our weaknesses into our strengths (see Ether 12:27). He will provide His strength to meet our challenges, and many things will take care of themselves. The Spirit of God strengthens us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It is now up to us to choose the way! Caterina Di Genova, who died in the Middle Ages as a martyr and who inspired future generations, is believed to have said, 'Once God possesses the will of a person, God will dwell within this person and will lead him to perfection.' To prevail in this world without God is difficult. Through God, however, all things are possible." (Conference Report, May 1994 Ensign, "What Shall We Do")

Ether 12:27 if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness

George Q. Cannon

"If you go to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, he will show to you all your faults, and all your weaknesses, he will bring plainly before you wherein you have come short in doing his will, and when you see yourself in the light of that spirit instead of being filled with pride, you will feel to abase yourselves and bring yourselves down in the very dust of humility; your own unworthiness will be so plain before you, that if pride should come into your heart at any time, you will almost be shocked at it, and you will feel to put it away from you. It is in this way that we as Latter-day Saints should live." (Journal of Discourses, 22:101-2 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 501)

George Q. Cannon

"The Lord shows His servants their weaknesses.  They are made to feel how impotent they are without Him.  He will keep them constantly reminded of their dependence upon Him, conscious that they are poor, fallible creatures, and that their only strength is in the Lord.  If a man is blessed of the Spirit of the Lord, with great gifts and power, with visions and revelations, He will accompany these gifts and graces perhaps with weaknesses, in order that the man may be kept humble, and not be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and forget the source of his blessings." (Collected Discourses 1886-1898, ed. by Brian Stuy, vol. 5, George Q. Cannon, Apr. 17, 1897)

Ezra Taft Benson

"It was while I was on my first mission that I discovered the constant need for dependence on the Lord. I learned through experience that I could not convince another soul to come unto Christ. I learned that one cannot convert another by just quoting scripture. Conversion comes when another is touched by the Spirit of the Lord and receives a witness, independent of the missionary, that what he or she is being taught is true.

"I learned that a missionary is only a vessel through whom the Lord can transmit His Spirit. To acquire that Spirit, a missionary must humble himself in prayer and ask our Heavenly Father to use him to touch the hearts of investigators. The first lesson of missionary work is to be dependent on the Lord for our success." (Come Unto Christ, p. 95)

Ether 12:27 I give unto men weakness that they may be humble

Hartman Rector, Jr.

"Where do you suppose we get these weaknesses? If you pose this question to a group of Saints, it will astound you how many different answers you get to this particular question. Some will say that they are responsible for their own weaknesses; well, if you keep your weaknesses, that's true, but that is not where they come from. Another will say weaknesses come from heredity or environment...So where do we get our weaknesses? We get them from the Lord; the Lord gives us weaknesses so we will be humble. This makes us teachable. Now don't misunderstand me -- the Lord is not responsible for the sin; he is only responsible for the weakness. It seems that all men have weaknesses in one form or another, character traits that make one more subject to a particular temptation than another. Lehi states that God 'hath created all things, both the heaven and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.' (2 Ne. 2:14-16.)

"Therefore, what you do with the weakness is up to you.

"The Prophet Joseph Smith said, 'There are three independent principles; the Spirit of God, the spirit of man, and the spirit of the devil. All men have power to resist the devil.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 189.) But when our weaknesses are exposed to Satan, he is quick to take advantage of us by tempting us in our selfishness." (Conference Report, Apr. 1970, p. 101-2)

Ether 12:27 my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me

Though separated by an ocean and several centuries of time, Paul and Moroni are doctrinal companions on many subjects. They both elaborate on how human weakness is given to foster meekness. Interestingly, Moroni is concerned with his writing style, but Paul was struggling with putting off the natural man. Like many of us, his weakness was carnal in nature. In his discussion, he gives us a great formula for overcoming sin, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:7-9).

If the Lord's grace was sufficient for Moroni's writing, and if the Lord's grace was sufficient for Paul as he suffered with the buffetings of Satan, then the grace of the Lord is sufficient for us-no matter what the weakness-if we are sufficiently meek and humble.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

" is not uncommon for individuals to feel that the temptations and the trials they face are simply too much for them to manage.  Happily, we can feel overwhelmed and yet not be overwhelmed . . . Certain temptations are common to those who come to this earth.  It is our task to deal with these common temptations in an uncommon manner.  The Lord has promised to succor us in our temptations, reminding us that He 'knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.'  (D&C 62:1.)  He truly knows our infirmities firsthand because He has actually borne them.  (Alma 7:11-12.)" (We Will Prove Them Herewith, pp. 40-41)

Thomas S. Monson

"Should there be anyone who feels he is too weak to change the onward and downward course of his life, or should there be those who fail to resolve to do better because of that greatest of fears-the fear of failure-there is no more comforting assurance to be had than these words of the Lord: 'My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.'" (Conference Report, Nov. 1999 Ensign, "Priesthood Power")

B. H. Roberts

"Have you in your moments of trial or deep sorrow felt the hand of a friend steal quietly into your hand, and by pressure express sympathy and brotherhood to you? I have fortunately had a few friends with whom I have had such experience as that, both men and women, a recollection that is among the precious treasures of my experience. But this passage, 'I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all those who humble themselves before me,'--in this, it seems to me, that I feel the hand of God slipping gently into my hand, and giving me the pressure of assurance that there will be mercy, that there will be helpfulness, that there will be encouragement from God. He will remember that we are but men and women in the making; and while not yet perfect, yet perhaps perfectable--which is the important thing. In that utterance in the Book of Mormon, I feel the richness of the grace of God, and assurances of success in hungering and thirsting after righteousness, for it shall be given unto us." (Conference Report, Apr. 1928, p. 109)

Ether 12:27 if they humble themselves...and have faith...then will I make weak things become strong unto them

Ezra Taft Benson

"'...if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.' (Ether 12:27; italics added.)

"What a promise from the Lord! The very source of our troubles can be changed, molded, and formed into a strength and a source of power. This promise is repeated in one form or another in many other scriptures. Isaiah said, 'He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.' (Isa. 40:29.) Paul was told by the Lord, 'My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' (2 Cor. 12:9.) In the Doctrine and Covenants we read, 'He that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom.' (D&C 52:17; see also 1 Ne. 17:3; 2 Ne. 3:13; D&C 1:28; 133:58-59)

"Brothers and sisters, we must take our sins to the Lord in humble and sorrowful repentance. We must plead with Him for power to overcome them. The promises are sure. He will come to our aid. We will find the power to change our lives." (Ensign, Oct. 1989, "A Mighty Change of Heart")

Chieko N. Okazaki

"Strengthen yourselves by seeking the source of true strength-the Savior. Come unto him. He loves you. He desires your happiness and exults in your desires for righteousness. Make him your strength, your daily companion, your rod and your staff. Let him comfort you. There is no burden we need bear alone. His grace compensates for our deficiencies." (Ensign, Nov. 1994, p. 94 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, pp. 500-1)

Ether 12:30 the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove-and it was removed

The brother of Jared and Enoch are the only prophets in the scriptures to actually move mountains by the power of God (Moses 7:13). We would do well to ask the question, "how much faith does it take to move a mountain?" The Lord said, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you (Matt 17:20). But a mustard seed is pretty small-so what does that say about the size of our faith? If the brother of Jared's mighty faith was only the size of a mustard seed, then mine must still be microscopic.

Ether 12:32 man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope

Monte J. Brough

"In facing tragedy, it is instructional to observe those who have complete and total faith in the reality of the mansions of our Father. This faith does result in a testimony of Jesus Christ and the process of the Atonement. 'Man must hope, or he cannot receive' the blessing of the great plan of happiness, which provides peace and understanding for mortal mankind. It is this 'more excellent hope' that allows us to accept whatever trial or test comes to us.

"As each of us faces personal tragedy, we can have a much better acceptance of the final results because of the prophet Ether's example." (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, p. 194-5)

Neal A. Maxwell

"The capacity to love grows out of 'faith unfeigned.' The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers to man 'a more excellent hope,' a perspective about life that infuses it with purpose, even with its tragedy. The Gospel reveals a continuity in human affairs and makes it clear that life is not just a brief encounter.

"It is easy to see, though lamentable, why increasing numbers of individuals suffer from exquisite, existential despair. Unsupported by the heavenly gift of the Holy Ghost, even the believer would come to despair. Faith and meekness permit the Holy Ghost to bless us, and the 'Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth. . . .' (Moroni 8:26.)" (A Time To Choose, p. 48)

Ether 12:34 except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place

Neal A. Maxwell

"Striving to incorporate these cardinal qualities (as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, see Mosiah 3:19) makes us more saintly and helps us immeasurably...The living Church greatly facilitates living discipleship in which opportunities and reminders of the needed virtues are all about us.

 "Developing these saintly qualities is every bit as essential as receiving the ordinances of the gospel. Even the gifts of God are not of full use if one has not, for instance, developed the quality of charity:

'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.' (1 Corinthians 13:13.)

"Thus developing charity is clearly just as essential for admission to the upper realms of the celestial kingdom as is baptism! We are to be more than merely nice; rather, we are to be 'full of love' (Mosiah 3:19). Moroni could not have been more declarative on this point." (If Thou Endure It Well, pp. 33-34)

Ether 12:37 If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee

This is an unusual yet informative response. The Lord says, "Don't worry about it." "What they do doesn't concern you, for you have been faithful." The Lord's answer hints that indeed the Gentiles will lack that grace for which Moroni prays. Certainly, if the grace of the Gentiles is to be judged by how they have received the Book of Mormon, then they are certainly deficient.

Hugh Nibley

"In reply to his request, the Lord gave Moroni no firm promise. His only answer was: 'If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful' (Ether 12:37). God will not force any man to have charity-that would not be charity, which must be spontaneous and unsolicited, as Paul says, seeking nothing for itself (1 Corinthians 13:5). Charity is the one thing a person must have in himself and of himself. And so there Moroni leaves it: will we have charity, or will we not?" (The Prophetic Book of Mormon, p. 467)

Ether 12:38 I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles...all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood

As if Moroni's vision of the Gentiles is closing before his eyes, he majestically says goodbye. We can only imagine Moroni-all alone-as he mourns the lack of charity among the Gentiles. Jacob was concerned that the blood of his people would not be found on his garments (Jacob 1:19). Moroni declared that the blood of his people-the Gentiles-would not be found on his garments. Moroni had the distinction of being called to preach to a people who would not live for 1400 years after his death. Yet, his responsibility was the same-to go to his grave having done all he could do for his people.

Yet, as we imagine Moroni, the vision of two other great prophets should come to view, for this passage can be applied, equally well, to the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Undoubtedly, they will be at the same judgment-seat of which Moroni spoke. Their garments were also clean of the blood of the Gentiles. They also bade farewell to the Gentiles prior to their untimely deaths. In fact, these words became the prophetic farewell of Hyrum. The morning of these two prophets left for Carthage, Hyrum read this passage in the Book of Mormon, and turned down the leaf upon it (DC 135:4).

Ether 12:41 I would commend you to seek this Jesus

Thomas S. Monson

" is not my desire to speak to a formal text, but rather to bear my personal testimony concerning Jesus of Nazareth and to suggest that each person undertake a personal search for him.

"Many of you have traveled far to attend this conference. From Europe, from Canada, from Mexico, from the isles of the sea, and from many other points you have come. In the New Testament of our Lord John describes a similar journey by those who would worship.

'And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
The same came therefore to Philip which was of Bethsaida of Galilee and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.' (John 12:20-21)

"I feel this is your desire even today.   The little children have another way of expressing the same wish. Most often they say: 'Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear; things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.' (W. H. Parker, The Children Sing, No. 65.) They seek after Jesus, and so it has ever been. No search is so universal. No undertaking so richly rewarding. No effort so ennobling. No purpose so divine.

"The search for Jesus is not new to this present period of time. In his touching and tender farewell to the gentiles, Moroni emphasized the importance of this search: '...I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, . . .' (Ether 12:38, 41.)" (Conference Report, Oct. 1965, pp. 140-1)