About 2,200 years before Jesus was born on Earth, there lived a group of people near the Tower of Babel called the Jaredites. Although most people of that time were wicked, the Jaredites were lead by two righteous men: Jared and his brother, a spiritual leader named Moriancumer.
When, in his wrath, Jesus cursed the builders of the great tower by confounding the common language—the original language spoken by Adam and Eve—so that now no one could understand one another, Jared asked his brother to plead with Jesus not to confound the language of their family and friends.
Jesus had compassion on Moriancumer and Jared, and he did not confound the language of their family and friends. Jesus told Moriancumer to gather their flocks, male and female, and to gather seeds of every kind. He told Moriancumer that he would lead the Jaredites to the promised land of America and make them into a great nation.
Then Jesus, enshrouded in a cloud, led the Jaredites across the wilderness where no man had ever gone before. Along the way, Jesus swore in his wrath to Moriancumer that whoever possesses this promised land of America must serve him—the true and only God—forever, or else they would be swept away by the fullness of his wrath.
When the Jaredites reached the great sea that divides the lands, they set up tents and lived by the seashore for four years. Then Jesus appeared to Moriancumer in a cloud and instructed the Jaredites to build eight small, light watertight boats with no windows. To let in air, they were to make two small holes that could be plugged up when the barge submerged underwater.
After building the windowless boats, Moriancumer became concerned that the long journey ahead would be taken in utter darkness, so he climbed Mount Shelem and smelted sixteen small stones out of a rock—two for each boat. They were transparent like glass.
Climbing to the top of the mountain, Moriancumer asked Jesus to touch each of the stones to cause them to glow so they would provide light in the boats during the journey. Jesus touched each of the stones and Moriancumer saw the hand of Jesus. Jesus told Moriancumer that no one had ever stood before him with such an extreme amount of faith.
So great was Moriancumer's faith that he once said to Mount Zerin, "Remove!" and it was removed. At Moriancumer's request, Jesus showed his entire self to him, saying, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. Never before have I shown myself to any human whom I have created." Moriancumer was surprised that Jesus had a body of flesh and bones.
Jesus taught and showed many things to Moriancumer, and instructed him to engrave it all in a sealed record written in a strange language. Jesus gave Moriancumer two stones that would allow a person to be able to translate what was in the record. These stones are the very same Urim and Thummim used by Joseph Smith to translate the Book of Mormon 4,000 years later.
The Jaredites entered the boats with their food, their animals, and the glowing stones that provided them with light. Then Jesus caused a furious wind to blow for 344 days as the boats crossed the great sea, sometimes on top of the water, and sometimes below. The Jaredites sang praises to Jesus all day and night.
Finally after nearly a year at sea, the boats reached the western shore of North America, most likely some place between Panama and the Gulf of California. The Jaredites came ashore and knelt down and cried, giving thanks to Jesus for the tender mercies he had shown them.
Soon the Jaredites spread out, building homes and planting crops. The family and friends of Jared had numbered 22 plus their children before they came to America, and their numbers soon began to multiply and they prospered. Their children were taught to listen to Jesus and obey him.