In the day when the Lord confounded the language of the people at the time of the great tower, Jared came forth with his brother and their families. And the Lord said: Go to work and build… barges.
And the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness. And they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which to cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.
Now, the brother of Jared was a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord. When Jared’s brother saw that there was no light in the barges, he cried unto the Lord: O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? 0 Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?
And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?
And the brother of Jared went forth unto the mount Shelem, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and he did carry them upon the top of the mount, and cried unto the Lord, saying:
O Lord, suffer not that we shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these things which I have molten out of the rock. Therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness in the vessels we have prepared.
And behold, the Lord stretched forth His hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear. And thus the Lord caused the stones to shine, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.
And the Lord would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.
Behold, this is a choice land, a land which is choice above all other lands, and 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.
Abridged from the Book of Ether
In the words of the artist:
“The pictures were completed in the same order as the historical time sequence in which the events occurred. The story of the Jaredites being by far the earliest historical event, the first painting was logically of the brother of Jared as he laid the crystal stones before the Lord. I called it The Brother of Jared Sees the Finger of the Lord. Being, as the book says, a man of immense faith, the brother of Jared fully expected the stones to be lighted. It was seeing the finger as it touched the stones that astonished and terrified him. It is this stunning surprise that the artist sought to capture.
Some church leaders felt that no mortal artist could adequately picture the divine hand and finger. Friberg solved the problem by picturing some of the stones, while concealing the finger within a dense cloud, broken only by the rays of an intense blinding light. By this simple means, the whole scene was now drenched in mystery burning into our imagination a more sublime glory that could ever have been pictured in physical reality.” Arnold Friberg
All 12 Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon lithographs are currently available as a signed and numbered set for $5300.