Episode 78: Ether 13-15

May 3, 2015


Click to Listen: Episode 78: Ether 13-15

We finish up The Book of Ether in this one, but it goes out with a bang! We also learn that Ether is nothing more than a cave dwelling babbling lunatic, that god likes practical jokes, and the those Jaradites just can’t turn down the opportunity for a good fight. Seriously, even the Jaradite babies get into the sword swinging action!

“Drink” Count – 50

Almost 8 and a half beers


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10 Comments on “Episode 78: Ether 13-15”

  1. Saint Ralph Says:

    Turns out, according to Merriam-Webster (my two favorite people in the whole world), “smite” actually has a past tense called “smote.” I’m just sayin’ . . .

    Shiz? The “author” is now channelling Snoop Dog?


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    HOLY SHIZ! Yes, a man’s head was just smitten off, after which he raised up on his hands and struggled for breath, and then died. Apparently, if this is not to be the most crazy and impossible moment in a crazy and impossible book, “smote off” must not have meant fully decapitated, or to put it another way, words don’t mean what they mean.

    Speaking of words not meaning what they mean, Ether’s last words are a bit more coherent than they sound. In wondering whether he’ll “be translated”, that’s just Mormonspeak for being brought up directly to heaven without dying, like what happened to Elijah when the chariot of fire came down and took him up to heaven in a whirlwind. It’s also basically what happened to the Three Nephites, receiving a change in their bodies, only they stayed on Earth afterwards. On the other hand, to “suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh” is to just plain die.

    Coriantumr did indeed live long enough to see new people take over the land. Back in the Book of Omni, after the Nephites discovered the Mulekites (or people of Zarahemla), we heard of a large stone with engravings on it that was brought to King Mosiah to translate, which told the story of Coriantumr being discovered by the people of Zarahemla, living with them for nine months, and then dying. Supposedly the destruction of the Jaredites had occurred shortly before the arrival of the Mulekites, although since we never got a timeline in the Book of Ether, for all we know Coriantumr was cursed to live hundreds of years until the prophecy was fulfilled. You can never tell with this book.

    One moment in this book (the entire Book of Mormon I mean) that always stood out as a red flag to me was Ether’s prophecy of the New Jerusalem. As David Michael pointed out, these people left Mesopotamia before there was an even an Old Jerusalem yet. It’s as if Joseph Smith had just dictated that verse about the New Jerusalem, then realized, “Oh Shiz! These people wouldn’t know about that!” and since he couldn’t backtrack, he had to explain in the next several verses how Ether had seen all that stuff in vision.

    But even so, why would any Jaredite care about the House of Israel? It just now occurred to me, though, that this is exactly how the Book of Mormon was intended to be peddled to the Native Americans. “Hey, look at our book. Isn’t that neat, Chief Walking Bear, or whatever your name is? Your people aren’t just filthy savages after all, you’re descendants of Israel!” And the chief is all, “Dude, what is Israel? What the hell are you talking about?”

    Lastly, I’m thrilled that we finally got to the verses concerning (as David Michael put it) the “April Fools’ Day Curse”, where if you laid a sword or tool on the shelf, you couldn’t find it the next day. Why am I thrilled? Because now I get to share this clip of the uncharismatic street prophet from The Life of Brian. Enjoy!


  3. Saint Ralph Says:

    Holy Shiz, indeed, mein Dük! And David: Ether is nothing MORE than a cave-dwelling babbling lunatic? Can you BE more that a cave-dwelling babbling lunatic in the relidge biz? Is there a higher calling?


  4. help3434 Says:

    I am pretty sure Coriantumr resting on his sword, and Coriantumr cutting off Shiz’s head were two separate actions.


  5. jwartena Says:

    All right, David, I hope you’re ready for the last book!

    I’ve gone back through the past 20 or so episodes, and you’re averaging between 3500 and 4000 words for each hour-long podcast.

    Moroni has about 6300 words, so you’ll finish it in 2 sessions, and then you’re done with the book.

    Are you going to do a final thoughts, recap, or another mymo special to discuss what you think after more than a year of reading?

    Holy cow, you’ve been steadily doing this for more than a year.

    Pearl of Great Price is around 15,000, but it’s story heavy, so maybe 5-6 episodes.

    Thanks again, in advance.


  6. Ephima Morphew Says:

    Yet another chapter of Ether in The Leaden Book of Mormon.
    The BoM Sounds So Bibical but yet there’s more, redundant hackneyed, trite, vapid, stale, tired and threadbare prose to commit to memory.
    Oh, the reveries of a Prophetic Bumpkin seeking to impress us with his story telling skills, me-mo, ma mo, mu mu, my mo, frumpy bumpy and quite obtuse; parochial ignorance and flagrantly uninspired, juvenile and platitudinous, a wonder of repetition and banal tripe delivered to us out here in audience-land for our study.
    Advanced Mormon Studies is a wonder given to us by the awesome grace of Joseph’s God.

    We do enjoy deep exploration of the trite, banal, clichéd, hoary, ordinary, Mormon Stock Text –– conventional, stereotyped, predictable; unimaginative, uninspired, prosaic, dull, boring, uninvolving, pedestrian, run-of-the-mill, routine and quite the cheesy, corny story. Filled with lots of fire and brimstone its the foundationstone of a new theology for the benefit of we mere mortals. How can the words from God get any more challenging and frightfully redundant?

    I aplaud the David Michael enterprise, a true test of will to trudge through the swamp of Mormon prose.


  7. Tina Says:

    OK. I’m late to reply again. (I’ve been listening but haven’t had time to comment.) But I finally want to take David up on his call out for remarks on this whole “baptism by fire” thing. I think one of the last times, if not the final time, it gets mentioned in the BOM is Ether 12.

    There’s actually a Wikipedia entry on the subject, since it’s a term not unique to Mormonism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_by_fire

    It’s one of those *many* things that Mormons interpret differently from the rest of Christianity, and if you grow up Mormon you don’t necessarily realize that you’ve learned a very peculiar way of interpreting it that nobody else seems to share. (Another one is the “stick of Ephraim” and “stick of Joseph” in Ezekiel 37, but that’s a totally different subject.)

    Matthew 3:11 (John the Baptist speaking): “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; blow up the kingdom with the arrow of light” KJV

    The Wikipedia entry even has a little shout out to the unique Mormon interpretation of this concept. In Mormonism, you first get baptized by immersion, at which point your sins are washed clean and you are now a member of Christ’s church. You have figuratively taken upon you the name of Christ. However, you have not yet been confirmed. Confirmation in Mormonism is different than in Catholicism. It’s a rite performed usually immediately after baptism (or sometimes a couple of days later), when elders of the Church lay their hands on your head and pronounce the gift of the Holy Ghost upon you. In Mormonism, without this gift, you might occasionally feel God’s love via the Holy Spirit. However, once you are confirmed, you are entitled to have his Spirit with you 24/7, to guide you to make wise choices and even comfort you when you mourn. However, if you fall into sinful ways, He might revoke this blessing, withdrawing the Spirit from you until you prove yourself worthy to receive it again. There’s a whole big metaphor with temples here, too. If your body is a temple, then you need to keep it clean and holy for the Spirit of God to dwell in it. We learn that “the Spirit will not dwell in unholy temples.”

    This Spirit = fire metaphor was super popular at the time of Joseph Smith, so much so that the greater PA-NY-OH area in the early 1800s was called “the Burned Over District.” Every preacher that could pitch a tent and get a crowd going was claiming to feel the Spirit of God burning in his soul. A very popular early Mormon hymn, sung at the dedication of the Kirtland temple, is “The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning,” at which time many early Mormons claimed to have had Day of Pentecost-type heavenly manifestations, seeing angels and hearing the “rushing of winds.” The song has a with a very Pentecostal, last-days vibe and is actually a pretty rousing, peppy song. For that reason alone, it beats out a lot of the other dirge-like hymns: https://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/the-spirit-of-god?lang=eng


  8. pipmaester Says:

    Shiz trying to get up while headless doesn’t seen like to much of a stretch to me. I know if you pop the head off a quail they flap, scoot along the ground and occasionally make gurgling noises from their lungs rapidly expanding and contacting. I could see how someone might mistake that for trying to rise up and gasping for breath.

    An entire civilization fighting itself to the death is much less believable than the breathing thing imo



  1. Episode 79: Moroni 1-7 | My Book of Mormon - May 11, 2015

    […] ← Episode 78: Ether 13-15 […]

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