Yesterday, during my Book of Mormon reading, I reached one of the Book of Mormon’s most curious stories (to me) about the daughter of Jared, Akish, Jared, and Omer. I keep thinking about the questions the story posed to me this time — Do I search the scriptures for righteousness or wickedness and what spurs me to action?
Jared, the son of Omer, rebelled against his father and led away half of the kingdom. He fought against his father, won, and held his father captive. The story says Omer lived in captivity half of his days!
Omer’s two sons Esrom and Coriantumr, angered by their brother Jared’s coup, battled his army by night and won. They intended to kill Jared who then pled for his life and promised to return the kingdom to Omer. So they let him live.
And now Jared became exceedingly sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.
Now the daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert, and seeing the sorrows of her father, thought to devise a plan whereby she could redeem the kingdom unto her father.
Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair. And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?
Jared’s daughter devised a cunning plan to collaborate with Akish, one of Omer’s friends. She planned to dance for Akish, whereby he’d want to marry her and Jared would ask for Omer’s head as the dowry. Akish sprung into action. But was it an immediate decision or did the plan twist and turn in his mind? Did he know the records or did the daughter of Jared introduce him to them?
Akish called his family and friends together and they covenanted to do Akish’s wicked bidding.
Therefore, behold, it came to pass that because of the secret combinations of Akish and his friends, behold, they did overthrow the kingdom of Omer.
Nevertheless, the Lord was merciful unto Omer, and also to his sons and to his daughters who did not seek his destruction.
And the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land; wherefore Omer departed out of the land with his family…
And it came to pass that Jared was anointed king over the people, by the hand of wickedness; and he gave unto Akish his daughter to wife.
And it came to pass that Akish sought the life of his father-in-law; and he applied unto those whom he had sworn by the oath of the ancients, and they obtained the head of his father-in-law, as he sat upon his throne, giving audience to his people.
For so great had been the spreading of this wicked and secret society that it had corrupted the hearts of all the people; therefore Jared was murdered upon his throne,and Akish reigned in his stead.
I have so many questions about this plan. Why Akish? He was Omer’s friend. Omer was righteous. Usually, friends attract people like themselves. Maybe Omer was Akish’s home teacher and they forged a friendship despite differences in attitude and lifestyle. Maybe those differences bred the discontent in Akish’s pride that he was willing to act malevolently. Did Akish already have this murderous slant or was the daughter of Jared just so alluring he’d do anything for her? Were they related?
The daughter of Jared schemed for Jared and ultimately for herself. She must have sensed the charisma and ambition in Akish. In these patriarchal monarchies, she had no hope to advance her own power. But she sowed the seeds for her personal advancement in the kingdom. Akish catapulted to power and she was at his side — presumably unless he had other wives he preferred.
Did the daughter of Jared flinch when he used her plan for Grandpa Omer to slay her father? Or was that her plan all along?
Was it her son that Akish became jealous of and threw into prison until he died? Did she envision that the iniquity and bloodshed caused by her plan would decimate their entire kingdom?
One woman with a conniving plan to help her father ultimately destroyed everyone I assume she loved.
Why Sorrow? Read the Record
Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep?
These two sentences played over and over in my mind. When people tell me their life feels imbalanced or sad or depressed or purposeless or lost, I say, “Read the record!!!!” “Do you read the scriptures?” is one of the first things I ask when people struggle. For me, the scriptures bring clarity, light, and most importantly, the Holy Ghost’s revelations about life, my life.
Here, the daughter of Jared asked her father, have you read the scriptures? She obviously had read the scriptures and she knew them.
When I have questions, I search out answers. Today, the internet provides super easy access to All sorts of answers, right or wrong, good or bad. We can easily find answers about the nature of God and the nature of secret combinations. The spirits of both are available.
What is my desire? Am I searching to increase faith or doubt?
Desire for Gain versus Living in Abundance
The source of Akish’s ambition was for power and riches. Ironically, that same ambition crushed him. Compare Moroni’s synopsis of Akish and family with Omer’s son Emer who inherited the kingdom.
Now the people of Akish were desirous for gain, even as Akish was desirous for power; wherefore, the sons of Akish did offer them money, by which means they drew away the more part of the people after them.
And there began to be a war between the sons of Akish and Akish, which lasted for the space of many years, yea,unto the destruction of nearly all the people of the kingdom, yea, even all, save it were thirty souls, and they who fled with the house of Omer.
Wherefore, Omer was restored again to the land of his inheritance. …
And the Lord began again to take the curse from off the land, and the house of Emer did prosper exceedingly under the reign of Emer; and in the space of sixty and two years they had become exceedingly strong, insomuch that they became exceedingly rich—
Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks,and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things; And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.
And thus the Lord did pour out his blessings upon this land….
Jared, his daughter, and Akish sought the gain and power of temporal kingdoms. Omer and the rest of his family sought the Lord’s Kingdom. The Lord blessed His people out of the riches of His abundance which He promised in covenant relationship, to share with all who choose eternal life.
To me, this story all boils down to desire. How do you read the record?
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.