1. Moroni explains the importance of faith.
Ether 12:4 Hope
“The concept of hope plays a vital role in Latter-day Saint thought. Firmly centered in Christ and his resurrection, it is the ‘hope of eternal life’ (Titus 1:2) repeatedly alluded to by Paul. It is the opposite of the despair found among those who are ‘without Christ, having no hope, and without God in the world’ (Eph. 2:12). As the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni writes, ‘If ye have no hope, ye must needs be in despair’ (Moro. 10:22). For those, however, who accept Christ’s Atonement and resurrection, there comes a ‘brightness of hope’ (2 Ne. 31:20) through which all who believe in God ‘might with surety hope for a better world’ (Ether 12:4).” (James K. Lyon in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 656)
Ether 12:6 The trial of your faith
“Thus there ought to be expectations that in this laboratory of life we will actually see each other in the process of being remodeled, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. We will obviously be aware of others who are also in the ‘furnace of affliction.’ However, we will not always have a smooth, ready answer to the question, ‘Why me?’ ‘Why now?’ ‘Why this?’-for as Moroni observed, ‘Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.’ (Ether 12:6. Italics added.)
“As we see ourselves, and others, passing through fiery trials, the wisdom of Peter, who had his own share of fiery trials, is very useful: ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ (1 Peter 4:12.)” (Neal A Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, p. 44)
Ether 12-8-22 Faith and Miracles
“Faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth. …
“… It was by faith that the worlds were framed. God spake, chaos heard, and worlds came into order by reason of the faith there was in Him. So with man also; he spake by faith in the name of God, and the sun stood still, the moon obeyed, mountains removed, prisons fell, lions’ mouths were closed, the human heart lost its enmity, fire its violence, armies their power, the sword its terror, and death its dominion; and all this by reason of the faith which was in him” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith).
2. The Lord teaches Moroni that He gives us weakness that we may be humble.
Ether 12:23 Because of our weakness in writing
“The weakness that troubles Moroni is his inability to express in writing what he feels inside, what he can express in speech through the power of the Spirit. He is obviously moved by the literary power and skill of the brother of Jared. His own writing pales by comparison, and he feels below the task of translating and abridging the work of this great writer and prophet. We can understand Moroni’s feelings of inadequacy. A comparable task for us might be to paraphrase and abridge all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays, preserving some of the continuity and brilliance of the originals. We, too, would worry that others would mock at our words.” (Gary Hatch, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, 4 Nephi – Moroni, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 111)
Ether 12:26 Fools mock, but they shall mourn
‘Yahweh responds to Moroni’s sincere concern that his personal inadequacies may jeopardize the great work. The Lord assures him that, although some will mock, “my grace is sufficient for the meek.” The Book of Mormon’s effectiveness will continue in spite of efforts to discredit it. Indeed, the history of the Book of Mormon has been one of divided approaches. Those who perceive it as true accept it as a witness of Christ, while others who cannot “see” reject it.’ (Brant Gardner, Second Witness)
Ether 12:27 Weakness
“When we read in the scriptures of man’s ‘weakness,’ this term includes the generic but necessary weakness inherent in the general human condition in which the flesh has such an incessant impact upon the spirit (see Ether 12:28–29). Weakness likewise includes, however, our specific, individual weaknesses, which we are expected to overcome (see D&C 66:3; Jacob 4:7). Life has a way of exposing these weaknesses” (Neal A Maxwell, Lord, Increase Our Faith , 84).
Ether 12:30 The brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed
“In the New Testament the Savior said that “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove” (Matthew 17:20). Many people have assumed that the Savior was simply giving a dramatic illustration to portray the great power of faith. However, He may have been referring to an actual incident, forEther 12:30 says that the brother of Jared “said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove–and it was removed.” [Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p. 325]
Ether 12:41 Seek this Jesus
‘You too can seek our Heavenly Father and “this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have [testified]” (Ether 12:41) in the scriptures and in this general conference. As you seek a personal witness—your personal revelation—you will discover that Heavenly Father has provided a special way for you to know the truth for yourself: through the third member of the Godhead, a personage of spirit we know as the Holy Ghost.’ (Robert D Hales, General Conference, October 2014)
3. Moroni records Ether’s prophecies concerning the promised land.
Ether 13:3 The New Jerusalem
‘The establishment of Zion and the New Jerusalem will come “down out of heaven” (Ether 13:3) in both a literal and a symbolic way. In the symbolic way, the New Jerusalem will be built upon heavenly principles and under the influence of revelation to the Lord’s chosen officers. . . . There is, however, an additional meaning–a very literal meaning–to this phrase. Enoch’s city–the city of Holiness that was taken up into heaven (see Moses 7:13–21) will come down from heaven and be united with the earthly New Jerusalem.’ ([Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet, Brent L. Top, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. IV, p. 307]
4. War rages throughout the land. The Jaredite civilization is destroyed.
Ether 13:13 Cast him out
“Ether was deprived of social status whereas Mormon was granted it by the Nephites. Ether, the heir apparent to the Jaredite throne, was rejected by the people in power, and they even tried to kill him. The fact that Ether was the grandson of a deposed king and that he was making accusations against king Coriantumr must have created a strong bias against him. Because both his person and his message were unwelcome in Coriantumr’s court, Ether had to flee for his life (Ether 13:20-22). He lived without influence among the people rather than as a king in a castle. In fact, he was considered to be an enemy, and lived as a recluse in a cave. He warned the people, observed the war by night, and recorded the tragic events (Ether 13:13-14).” (E. Dale LaBaron, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, 4 Nephi – Moroni, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 154)
Ether 13:22 Coriantumr repented not
‘The king again rejects the prophet and attempts to kill him. The warnings in the prophecy are now on Coriantumr’s head. Ether’s remaining record documents the fulfillment of that terrible pronouncement.’ (Brant Gardner, Second Witness)
Ether 13:25 Every man with his band fighting for that which he desired
“Preceding the second coming, will there be such similar and widespread violence, disorder, and anarchy again? Yet even in the midst of such destruction, the Lord’s purposes unfold, not only generally but individually, as He keeps His individualized promises to His servants.” (Neal A Maxwell, Plain and Precious Things, p. 90)
Ether 14-15 The final Jaredite battle
‘Coriantumr and Shiz allowed all of their followers to be killed without ending the conflict. We cannot fully comprehend the horror of the final Jaredite battle in which even women and children were armed and sent to war (see Ether 15:15). This does, however, provide a graphic picture of what people become when the Spirit of the Lord withdraws and no longer strives with them (see verse 19).’ (Book of Mormon Institute Manual)
Ether 15:29 All had fallen…save it were Coriantumr and Shiz
‘Two circumstances peculiar to Asiatic warfare explain why the phenomenon is by no means without parallel: (1) Since every war is strictly a personal contest between kings, the battle must continue until one of the kings falls or is taken. (2) And yet things are so arranged that the king must be the very last to fall, the whole army existing for the sole purpose of defending his person. . . . As long as the war went on, the king could not die, for whenever he did die, the war was over, no matter how strong his surviving forces. Even so, Shiz was willing to spare all of Coriantumr’s subjects if he could only behead Coriantumr with his own sword.’ [Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites, pp. 235-236]