This week I will begin (and finish) the Book of Jacob, which is the third book chronologically in the Book of Mormon. I am also using the principle study skill. As I was sitting waiting oh so patiently at the orthodontist office with my second eldest daughter and my three year old running laps around the waiting room (yes, I’m that mom that lets her child run after a 90 minute car ride) I was able to get some reading in, which is always a good thing that I remember to take my scriptures with me on days like this.
Jacob is one of the younger brothers of Nephi who left with him when the Nephites went their own way to prevent Nephi’s murder. As this chapter opens, we learn that 55 years had passed since the time that their father Lehi had left Jerusalem at the Lord’s command. Jacob then explains his purpose in writing on the small plates- a commandment given to him from his older brother Nephi. I didn’t first see this when I was reading through 1 Nephi or 2 Nephi, but as I am learning, I can now see how this is actually a principle of the gospel. Jacob says in verse 2 “I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.” He continues in verse four: “And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.” As I was sitting in that orthodontist office lobby, it hit me: this is the same thing that Nephi said. This is a principle of the gospel. We should only be sharing those things that are sacred, great revelation and most precious!
Jacob, is a great missionary, along with his brother Joseph, as he says “we”; referring to himself and his younger brother. Jacob and Joseph preach to the people and “labored diligently” to try and bring Nephites to Christ. These men understood that it was their duty to share the gospel and to get others to understand that Christ will come and that His blood will be shed for their sins.
In verse nine, Nephi appoints another man to be king in his place and we learn that every man that is to follow Nephi in this seat will also be called Nephi. A legacy to his name. Nephi’s mortal life ends in verse twelve.
Jacob shares with us another important gospel principle starting in verse fifteen and continuing through the end of the chapter. Greed and pride have no place in our hearts. Jacob and Joseph do their best to teach the word of God to those that they can reach through their office as priesthood holders so that they would not be help responsible of the sins of others at the last day.
This wraps up the chapter in two principles. Chapter 2 has more to bring though, so stay tuned.
I write this in the name if my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.