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The Jaredites are an alleged ancient people of the Americas, whose existence is mainly accepted by Latter Day Saints. In the Book of Mormon, specifically the Book of Ether, the Jaredites are described as the descendants of Jared and his brother. At the time the Tower of Babel was destroyed and the tongues of all nations were confounded, the Lord accedes to the desires of Jared and his brother such that their language, as well as that of their families and friends, was not confounded, and they were granted a land of promise.

According to the narrative, the people were guided by God through the wilderness, and were eventually directed to cross the sea in "barges." (http://scriptures.lds.org/ether/2/16#16)

Ether is the last in the royal line that began with one of the sons of Jared. From the time of the first king to the destruction of the Jaredites, there were only occasional times of peace and prosperity. These times of peace were interrupted by intrigue to the throne, civil war, and the accession of wicked kings. Thus the history of the Jaredites proved the fear of Jared and his brother that a monarchy would lead to captivity.[1] (http://scriptures.lds.org/omni/6/22-23#22)

The Jaredites finally destroyed themselves about the time Lehi and the other refugees from Jerusalem arrived in America (see also Nephites, Lamanites, and Mulekites). A prophecy given (http://scriptures.lds.org/ether/13/20-21#20) by Ether is fulfilled, and the last Jaredite king, Coriantumr, lives both to see the total destruction of his people and the arrival of another people to inherit the land.[2] (http://scriptures.lds.org/omni/1/21#20)

Jaredites as Hamites

Some research on the heritage of the Jaredites leave the impression that the Jaredites may have been descendants of Ham, Noah's son who according to LDS teaching married Egyptus, a cainanite woman. This is significant, because up until 1978, supposed descendants of Ham (who are mostly African blacks) were not permitted to receive the priesthood according to official church doctrine.

The evidence that suggests their Hamite heritage includes:

  • All Jaredite names are supposedly Hamitic.
  • They came from the valley of Nimrod, who was a Hamite.
  • There are no priesthood ordinations mentioned in the book, which hints that they may have been prevented from having the priesthood due to their heritage.
  • Parley P. Pratt, one of the original Mormon Apostles, wrote that the genealogy of the Jaredites go "back to Ham the son of Noah" (Pratt to Van Cott, LDS Church Archives)
  • The Jaredites had oaths "handed down even from Cain." (Ether 8:16) This would hint that they were part of the family of Cain.
  • According to Carlos de Siguenza y Gonorra (1645-1700) there were ancient Mayan records that claimed that the original settlers of Mexico sailed there from the Tower of Babel (The Jaredites Were Black by David Grant Stewart, 1978, p.22)
  • The Jaredites were probably the Olmecs of Mesoamerica, because there are some similarities between archeological evidence and the recorded history of the Jaredites. The Olmecs appear to have been black Africans, according to studies of Olmec skulls and the ancient giant Olmec stone heads.

This is only speculation and is not the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

See also


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