Summary: Wars, dissensions, and wickedness dominate Jaredite life—Their prophets predict the utter destruction of the Jaredites unless they repent—The people reject the words of the prophets.
In this chapter we read about several leaders of the Jaredites. Many Generations passed in which the people lived in wickedness, and the prophets were discouraged because no one would hearken to their teaching.
Here is a run down of the leaders (father to son) that are named in this chapter:
Com: A good king; prophets who were rejected by the people found protection with him; he was blessed through the end of his life.
Shiblom: The people grew wicked during his reign; his brother caused that all the prophets should be put to death; wars and pestilence grow rampant--more than had previously been seen on the face of the earth; finally the people begin to repent, but Shiblom is killed.
Ahah: Wicked king; murdered many people; his days were numbered few.
Ethem: Wicked king; more prophets come to implore the people to repent, but are rejected by all and withdraw.
Moron: Wicked king; overthrown by a leader of the secret combination but retains half his kingdom; eventually reclaims his entire kingdom, but a new leader of the secret combination overthrows him for good and forces him into captivity for the rest of his life.
Coriantor: Dwelt in captivity all of his days because of the sins of his father, Moron; more prophets come and tell the people that unless they repent, God will cause them to be destroyed and will give their land to another people. The people reject the prophets. Ether is born and Coriantor dies.
The problem with the generations of people in this chapter is that they are so immersed in wickedness, wars, and secret combinations, they have lost all desire for righteousness. When the prophets testify that they must repent, the people harden their hearts. This chapter contains several verses like the one below:
22 And they did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society and wicked abominations.
Henry B. Eyring reminds us of the importance of heeding the prophets:
“Looking for the path to safety in the counsel of prophets makes sense to those with strong faith. When a prophet speaks, those with little faith may think that they hear only a wise man giving good advice. Then if his counsel seems comfortable and reasonable, squaring with what they want to do, they take it. If it does not, they consider it either faulty advice or they see their circumstances as justifying their being an exception to the counsel. Those without faith may think that they hear only men seeking to exert influence for some selfish motive. . . .
“Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 32–33; or Ensign, May 1997, 25).