Jared¹

Founder of Jaredites

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Jared¹

Jared was the first leader associated with the civilization known as the Jaredites. He “came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered”. Jared turned to his brother—“a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord” —and asked him to appeal to the Lord to spare their families from the confounding of languages. Then Jared asked his brother to intercede also on behalf of their friends. Once again Jared asked his brother to petition the Lord, this time for guidance concerning their journey and destination.

Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.

The brother of Jared did inquire of the Lord, who responded that he and Jared and their families and friends should go with their provisions to a valley northward and await instructions.

And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

Jared and his followers were led by the Lordthree hundred and forty and four days upon the water” until they reached the shores of the New World—a choice land concerning which the Lord decreed: “Whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ”. Having attained their new homeland, Jared and his people gave thanks unto the Lord “because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them”. Jared had four sons, Jacom, Gilgah, Mahah, and Orihah. The brother of Jared, their friends, and family were also fruitful in childbearing, and their civilization rapidly expanded. Because of their righteousness, Jared and his followers “were taught to walk humbly before the Lord; and they were also taught from on high”.

When Jared and his brother were approaching their final years, they gathered their posterity together and asked what final blessings could be bestowed upon them. The people responded with a request that gave great concern to their leaders. They requested “that they should anoint one of their sons to be a king over them”. At that point, even though the request was “grievous” to both Jared and his brother , there was a difference of opinion concerning how to respond. The brother of Jared warned, “Surely this thing leadeth into captivity”. However, Jared acquiesced and said to his brother, “Suffer them that they may have a king. And therefore he said unto them: Choose ye out from among our sons a king, even whom ye will”. Thus was established a pattern that would endure for generations among the Jaredites—to their blessing through the influence and inspiration of righteous kings, or to their captivity and suffering through the oppression and wickedness of evil kings. In the end, the latter prevailed—unto the utter extinction of the Jaredite civilization, for the Lord had decreed “that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them”.

(Source: Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen, Book of Mormon Who’s Who)

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