According to Hugh W. Nibley, the name "Ether" (Ether 1:6), athira, means "the one who left a trace, the one who left his mark or left a record." In all Semitic languages it's the same, and it means "to leave a track, to trail somebody."
Ether's grandfather Moron, had been king of the Jaredites. Moron was overthrown and "dwelt in captivity all the remainder of his days". Ether's father, Coriantor, was born while his father was captive and Coriantor "dwelt in captivity all his days". Ether "was a prophet of the Lord" and "lived in the days of Coriantumr; and Coriantumr was king over all the land". The people rejected his teachings concerning a "New Jerusalem", causing him to hide in a cave, where he witnessed the destruction of the Jaredites. Ether was compelled to preach to Coriantumr, who also rejected his word. After sealing up the records, Ether's final words were, "Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen."
Monte J. Brough said the following about him: "Ether, as my personal mentor of some years, has helped me understand how hope, which 'cometh of faith, maketh an anchor' to my soul. It is this hope for a better world that is the foundation of the great plan of happiness. This profound hope...is part of the process of bringing stability into our lives." 
"In facing tragedy, it is instructional to observe those who have complete and total faith in the reality of the mansions of our Father. This faith does result in a testimony of Jesus Christ and the process of the Atonement. 'Man must hope, or he cannot receive' the blessing of the great plan of happiness, which provides peace and understanding for mortal mankind. It is this 'more excellent hope' that allows us to accept whatever trial or test comes to us. As each of us faces personal tragedy, we can have a much better acceptance of the final results because of the prophet Ether's example."