Stones of Light
In Ether 3, the Brother of Jared goes into a large mountain and melts rock to make 16 clear, white, small stones and then takes them before the Lord. He asks the Lord to touch them and he believes that if the Lord touches them, then they will be lit up and will provide light for them.
The Faith of the Brother of Jared
The faith of the Brother of Jared was so great, that he saw the finger of the Lord. The Lord then revealed himself to the Brother of Jared. From that point on, the Lord could not withhold anything from the Brother of Jared.
I find his faith fascinating as I read about his faith in Ether 3:4, 5 and 12. He says, “I know,” “We know,” and “I know” in each respective verse. His faith is almost to the point of knowledge when the Lord reveals himself. At that point, he has knowledge and no longer has faith. We also learn that he is redeemed from the fall – he is brought back into the presence of the Lord.
Because of the Brother of Jared’s faith, the Lord revealed to him everything … all that has been and all that will be “even unto the ends of the earth.” (Ether 3:25) This seems to be the same vision Nephi and John the Revelator saw too.
Urim and Thummim
In Ether 3:23, the Lord gives him two stones, the Urim and Thummim, to be sealed up with his account of his personal visitation. These stones are to be the means of translating his sealed record of the Lord. D&C 17:1 states that the Urim and Thummim that Joseph Smith used are these two stones. How they fell into the hands of Moroni, we do not know. When we first learn of how the 24 gold plates of the Jaradites are obtained by the people of Limhi, there is nothing said of two stones. Later on, we learn that King Mosiah had the gift of seership. We do not know if he had a separate set of Urim and Thummim. I would imagine that at some point, these stones fell into the Nephite prophet’s hands and then were eventually passed down to Moroni who passed them to Joseph Smith.