Great Prosperity and Tragic Wickedness

Church Educational System

Moroni mentioned in Ether 9:3 that Omer and his family passed by the place where the Nephites were later destroyed. According to Mormon 6:1–2, this place was near a hill called by the Nephites the Hill Cumorah.

Notice in Ether 9:5–12 how the rise of secret combinations again led to the destruction of many people. What are the motives of those who join secret combinations?

Verses 15 through 35 show a pattern repeated many times in the Book of Mormon:

  1. During the righteous reigns of Emer and Coriantum the people prospered exceedingly (see vv. 15–25).
  2. Under the reign of Heth, the people began to join together in secret combinations, and they turned to wickedness (see vv. 26–27).
  3. The Lord sent prophets to warn the people of their terrible circumstances (see v. 28).
  4. The people of Heth rejected the prophets (see v. 29).
  5. The judgments of God fell upon the people (see vv. 30–33).
  6. The people humbled themselves and repented, and the Lord blessed them again with prosperity (see vv. 34–35).

Can a people be wealthy and still remain righteous? It seems that the Jaredites were able to do this for more than 225 years (see vv. 15–25). Just think of it—they lived for that long in peace and prosperity because of their righteousness. Sometimes we think that the Book of Mormon is an account of continuous war and overlook the generations of peace and righteousness.

Book of Mormon Student Manual (1996 Edition)