The record of Ether tells of a blessed people living in a promised land but who lost their way through wickedness. These chapters tell of Ether and Moroni’s focus on Christ amid the destruction of that people.
Chart 138: “The Two Final Battles,” Charting the Book of Mormon
This chart compares the details of the final battles of the Jaredite and Nephite civilizations, which took place near the same hill (see Ether 15:11). Moroni must have been deeply impressed by the parallels between the two wars of annihilation.
The Book of Mormon: Fourth Nephi Through Moroni, From Zion to Destruction, ed. Charles D. Tate Jr. and Monte S. Nyman
This book contains several insightful chapters on Ether 12-15, including: “‘Weak Things Made Strong’,” Carolyn J. Rasmus
“The Plates of Ether and the Covenant of the Book of Mormon,” Lee L. Donaldson
“The Jaredites: A Case Study in Following the Brethren,” Douglas E. Brinley
“Ether and Mormon: Parallel Prophets of Warning and Witness,” E. Dale LeBaron
“Gathering in the Last Days: Saved in Sheaves, Burned in Bundles,” Michael W. Middleton
“The Timing of Christ’s Appearance to the Nephites,” John A. Tvedtnes, The Most Correct Book: Insights from a Book of Mormon Scholar
Ether 12:7 teaches that Christ did not appear unto the Nephites directly after the great destruction; he appeared only after they had shown that they had faith in Him.
“Place of Crushing: The Literary Function of Heshlon in Ether 13:25-31,” Matthew L. Bowen and Pedro Olavarria, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 14
The name Heshlon, attested once (in Ether 13:28), as a toponym in the Book of Mormon most plausibly denotes “place of crushing.” It describes the crushing or enfeebling of Coriantumr’s armies and royal power.
“Book of Mormon Swords in Mesoamerican Antiquity,” Matthew Roper, Insights 28, no.
What are the swords mentioned in Ether 15? Roper discusses the nature of swords in the Book of Mormon and how these were more likely the mesoamerican “machuahuitl” rather than the European steel blades.
“The ‘Decapitation’ of Shiz,” Gary M. Hadfield and John W. Welch, Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s
In Ether 15, the head of Shiz gets cut off, yet he seems to raise himself up and gasp for breath. This article explains how this description is consistent with medical sources on decapitation.
A new publication related to the book of Ether and available for purchase as hardcover or ebook: Illuminating the Jaredite Records, ed. Daniel L. Belnap. See the table of contents and book description here.