03712_000_029(See Ether 1–6.)
Many years after the Great Flood, the descendants of Noah had multiplied and prospered greatly. They built cities, tilled the land, and became very wealthy. Most of them became wicked and idolatrous and forgot that it was the Lord who had spared their fathers. Some of them decided to build a high tower, which they believed would reach the heavens.
The Lord was angry with their behavior, and He confused their language. Because they could no longer understand each other, the work on the tower ceased, and the people moved to other parts of the land.
One righteous man, Jared, who had lived with his family near the tower when the language was confounded, had a brother whom the Lord loved because of his faithfulness. Jared asked his brother to pray to the Lord that the language of their families might not be confounded. The brother of Jared did so, and the Lord answered his prayer. Then the brother of Jared prayed to ask the Lord whether they should leave that country.
The Lord told him that He would send them to a land that was “choice above all the lands of the earth” and that they would receive for their inheritance. This land is now called America. He instructed the brother of Jared to assemble his family, Jared’s family, and their friends’ families.
After they had gathered their flocks and birds, fish, deseret (honeybees), and seeds of all kinds, the brother of Jared led his people into a valley called Nimrod, which was named after a mighty hunter.
There the Lord told the brother of Jared to take his people deep into the wilderness. Covered by a cloud, the Lord led them, giving directions for their journey. The travelers settled near a seashore, where they lived for four years.
The Lord continued to talk with the brother of Jared, promising him that the promised land would always be one of freedom if the people lived righteously. If they became wicked, however, He would destroy them.
During their four years near the seashore, the people began to forget the Lord. Even the brother of Jared did not pray as he once had. The Lord came down from heaven in a cloud and chastised him for three hours, and the brother of Jared repented of his sins and prayed for forgiveness for himself and his people.
The Lord forgave the people, then instructed them how to build barges so that they could cross the ocean. The barges were small, light, and sealed as tightly as a dish, except for holes in their tops and bottoms for letting in fresh air whenever they were not underwater.
When the barges were finished, the brother of Jared talked with the Lord about how they would have to cross the ocean in darkness. The Lord wanted the brother of Jared to tell Him how to light the barges. So he went up into the hills and smelted sixteen stones until they were as clear as glass. Carrying them to the top of a mountain, he asked the Lord to touch the stones with His finger so that they might shine in the darkness.
When the brother of Jared had finished praying, the Lord did as he had asked and touched the stones with His finger. The veil was removed from the brother of Jared’s eyes, and he saw the finger of the Lord. Then, because of the brother of Jared’s great faith, the Lord showed him the rest of Himself, teaching him that all men are created in the Lord’s image.
This wonderful experience—seeing the spirit body of the Lord—affected the brother of Jared deeply. The Lord instructed him to record it in a journal and hide the record where it would not be found until He appeared in the flesh.
Two of the especially prepared stones were placed in each barge, one at either end, and the people loaded their possessions and animals into the barges and set sail. The Lord caused a strong wind to blow the small vessels toward the promised land. For 344 days the people traveled across the ocean.
When they reached the promised land, they immediately knelt and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. They began to build homes for their families and to till the earth, growing crops from the seeds that they had brought with them. Children were born, and as long as they were righteous, they prospered.
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