Sunday School Lesson 46

Lesson 46: Ether 7-15

These notes will concentrate on Ether 12.

Verse 3: When Ether says that all things are fulfilled by faith, what does he mean? What things are the kinds of things that can be fulfilled, and how are they fulfilled through faith?

Verse 4: Ether says that those who believe can hope for a better world. Is he only referring to the “next world”? Is that the answer to our present sorrows, “Don’t worry, it will be better later,” or does the gospel change this world as well? How does hope make us sure and steadfast? How does it cause us to be “abounding in good works”?

Verse 6: How does remembering that “trust” is a synonym for “faith” help make what Moroni says more intelligible? For example, why would faith require that we hope for something not seen? And why would we not receive a witness until after our faith (trust) had been tested?

Verse 7: When Moroni says that Christ showed himself to the fathers by faith, does he mean by their faith or by Christ’s?

Verse 8: What heavenly gift is Moroni speaking of?

Verse 9: The wording of this verse indicates that we can partake of the heavenly gift even before our hope is realized. How does trusting in the Lord (having faith) make it possible for us to partake in the gift?

Verses 10-22: What things does Moroni show us with this list?

Verses 26: What is grace? What does it mean to be meek? (A look at an historical dictionary would be helpful here, perhaps the Oxford English Dictionary or the 1828 edition of Webster’s.) What does it mean to say that the Lord’s grace is sufficient? Sufficient for what?

Verse 27: What kinds of weaknesses is the Lord speaking of? Should we be grateful for our weaknesses? Why do we need to be humble? How does this contrast with what our culture often teaches us and our children? How might weak things become strong to us?

Verse 28: What’s the connection between weaknesses, on the one hand, and faith, hope and charity, on the other? What does it mean to say that the Savior is the “fountain of all righteousness”? What does the word “fountain” mean here?

Verse 29: What does it mean to be comforted? (Here, again, a look at a historical dictionary may be helpful.) How would these words have been a comfort to Moroni? Which words does he mean by “these words”?

Verses 30-31: Moroni illustrates the idea of faith with examples. How might these examples of faith served to comfort him? What purpose or purposes do they serve for us?

Verse 32: Here he illustrates hope. How is this example of hope particularly appropriate?

Verses 33-35: Moroni illustrates the meaning of “charity.” He used humans to illustrate faith and he used our relation to the Son to illustrate hope. How is this illustration of charity particularly significant?

Verse 33: What does it mean to say that Jesus laid down his life so he could take it up again? Does the phrase “to prepare a place for the children of men” refer to “laying down of thy life” or to “thou mightest take it again”? In other words, does it mean he laid down his life to prepare a place for us or that he was resurrected to prepare a place for us? What difference in our understanding might each of these make?

Verse 34: This verse, paraphrased, says, “Christ’s love is charity, so unless people have charity they cannot inherit a place in the Father’s kingdom.” What is the connection between the ideas of the two clauses? In the paraphrase, what does “so” (“wherefore” in the verse) tell us?

Verse 36: What does grace have to do with charity?

Verse 37: The Lord tells Moroni he will be made strong because he has seen his weaknesses. Does that mean we must know our weaknesses if we are to be made strong? What does it mean to know one’s weaknesses? How do we discover them? What is the significance of using the passive voice—”shalt be made strong”—rather than the active—”will become strong”? What does “shalt be made strong even unto the sitting down” mean?

Verse 39: Moroni says that Jesus talked with him “in plain humility.” Does this mean that Jesus too is humble, or is the verse describing Moroni? If it is describing Jesus, what would it mean for him to be humble when he has no weaknesses? Does this teach us anything about what our own humility ought to be like?