Ether 13 talks about how the land upon which we live is a choice land above all other lands in the world. We learn from Ether 13:2 that it became a choice land after the great flood. In Ether 13:3 we learn that this land will be the place where the New Jerusalem will be built. I’ve always taken an interest in these verses because my patriarchal blessing states, “you will be involved in the gathering of Israel and in the preparation for the building of the New Jerusalem here upon the earth.” I don’t know to what extent I’ll be involved in the preparation for the building of the New Jerusalem.
Scriptures, Quotes and Notes on The New Jerusalem
The Old Jerusalem in New Times
Zechariah 14 describes what will happen to Jerusalem before the Second Coming of Christ. The Lord will fight for Israel and He will stand on the Mount of Olives. He will be King over all the earth. Referring to Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:11 says, “And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”
Isaiah 65:17-25 “I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” There will be peace on the earth and the wolf and the lamb will feed together. This passage refers to the Jerusalem in Israel.
The New Jerusalem
These two passages refer strictly to the Old Jerusalem. There will also be a New Jerusalem built in the Western hemisphere.
Isaiah explains that the old Jerusalem and new Jerusalem will be world capitols where one will administer the law and the other will preach the word. Isaiah 2:2-3 says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us ago up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (see also Micah 4:1-7)
Joel also mentions two world capitols, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (Joel 2:30-32)
“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
“So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” (Joel 3:16-17)
The Lord told Enoch, “And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;
“And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
“And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. (Moses 7:60-62)
John the Revelator saw the New Jerusalem, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:2-3)
Ether, the Jaredite prophet prophesied of the New Jerusalem, “And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.
“Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.
“And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel.
“And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.” (Ether 13:3-6)
Modern revelation says the following of the New Jerusalem, “And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
“And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
“And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
“And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.
“And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.
“And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.” (D&C 45:66-71)
“The graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever." (D&C 133:56.) Among other things they shall sing:
The Lord hath brought again Zion;
The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel
According to the election of grace,
Which was brought to pass by the faith
And covenant of their fathers.
The Lord hath redeemed his people;
And Satan is bound and time is no longer.
The Lord hath gathered all things in one.
The Lord hath brought down Zion from above.
The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath.
The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength;
And truth is established in her bowels;
And the heavens have smiled upon her;
And she is clothed with the glory of her God;
For he stands in the midst of his people.
Glory, and honor, and power, and might,
Be ascribed to our God; for he is full of mercy,
Justice, grace and truth, and peace,
Forever and ever, Amen.
In D&C 84:2-3 we learn of the location of the New Jerusalem, “Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.
“Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.”
Another Nephite and Jaredite Parallel
The Land is Cursed
In Ether 14:1, we read of a great curse on the land. “If a man should lay his tool or his sword upon his shelf, or upon the place whither he would keep it, behold, upon the morrow, he could not find it.”
The Nephites were cursed similarly. “And behold, if a man hide up a treasure in the earth, and the Lord shall say—Let it be accursed, because of the iniquity of him who hath hid it up—behold, it shall be accursed.” (Helaman 12:18)
Helaman 13:31, 33, 36 and Mormon 1:18 document the curse on the land as well.
The war among the Jaredites became very bloody. Coriantumr became the target for many warriors, but he would not die. “So great and lasting had been the war, and so long had been the scene of bloodshed and carnage, that the whole face of the land was covered with the bodies of the dead … [there were] none left to bury the dead.” (Ether 14:21-22)
The Final Battle
Coriantumr was injured by Shiz. During his recovery, “he began to remember the words which Ether had spoken to him.” (Ether 15:1) Two million people had already died. He tried to make peace with Shiz, but the people did not desire peace and the war continued.
For four years, all the people were gathered to one place to battle … men, women and children. They finally met. Every day for a week, the people battled. The numbers grew smaller until there were only a handful of people left. “Satan had full power over the hearts of the people” and they continued to fight. Finally, all men were killed except for Shiz and Coriantumr. Coriantumr then cut off the head of Shiz and the battle was finally won.
Ether witnessed the last scene, made a record and hid it so that the people of Limhi would find it. Coriantumr eventually recovered from the war and lived among the people of Zarahemla for about nine months. (Omni 1:20-22)