Jacob, Chapter 1

Can you write a scripture?

It would be difficult to write scripture because it has to be words from the spirit, that are meant for everyone.  Sometimes it is hard to write in a journal because I think that I wouldn’t want everyone to be able to read my thoughts.  Some of the scriptures seems like a journal of the prophets, while others are strictly gospel from the Lord.

“FOR behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven (v. 1).  And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that 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 (v. 2).  For he said that the history of his people should be engraven upon his other plates, and that I should preserve these plates and hand them down unto my seed, from generation to generation (v. 3).  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 (v. 4).”

Nephi wanted Jacob to continue writing on the plates.  If I was Jacob, I would feel inadequate for the task at hand.  But like any calling we receive, we are willing to do what we have been asked because we know God will help us.  Jacob was told to write sacred preaching and revelations on the small plates. “Engraven the heads of them” means to only include the most important things that are said (footnote 4b).  These plates were for “the sake of our people”, meaning the descendants of their family and ultimately everyone seeking Christ.

What did the Nephites know about Jesus Christ?

This chapter discusses a time around 544 B.C. meaning 544 years before Christ.  All that the Nephites knew of Jesus Christ, was what had been prophesied of His coming and His purpose.  “And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come (v. 6).”  There were two reasons for the revelations they received.  “For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them (v. 5).”  Faith and great anxiety led the prophets to have these revelations.

“Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness (v. 7).  Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi (v. 8 ).”  Jacob wanted his people to come unto Christ, believe in Him, and live righteously.

“And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son (v. 15).  Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride (v. 16).”  Jacob did not want them to do these things, because they were wicked and against the commandments of God.

Here are the talks from the most recent Conference, the 178th Semiannual General Conference:

  • Let Him Do It with Simplicity by L. Tom Perry
  • Go Ye Therefore by Silvia H. Allred
  • You Know Enough by Neil L. Andersen
  • Because My Father Read the Book of Mormon by Marcos A. Aidukaitis
  • Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament by Dallin H. Oaks
  • The Infinite Power of Hope by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  • Come What May, and Love It by Joseph B. Wirthlin
  • The Ministry of Angels by Jeffrey R. Holland
  • Even a Child Can Understand by Gérald Caussé
  • The Way by Lawrence E. Corbridge
  • Come to Zion by D. Todd Christofferson
  • Pray Always by David A. Bednar
  • Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well by Richard G. Scott
  • Arms of Safety by Jay E. Jensen
  • Winning the War against Evil by James J. Hamula
  • Lift Where You Stand by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  • O Ye That Embark by Henry B. Eyring
  • To Learn, to Do, to Be by Thomas S. Monson
  • Our Hearts Knit as One by Henry B. Eyring
  • Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship by Robert D. Hales
  • God Loves and Helps All of His Children by Keith B. McMullin
  • A Return to Virtue by Elaine S. Dalton
  • The Truth of God Shall Go Forth by M. Russell Ballard
  • Finding Joy in the Journey by Thomas S. Monson
  • The Test by Boyd K. Packer
  • Celestial Marriage by Russell M. Nelson
  • Gospel Teaching—Our Most Important Calling by William D. Oswald
  • Returning Home by Eduardo Gavarret
  • Testimony as a Process by Carlos A. Godoy
  • “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time” by Quentin L. Cook
  • Until We Meet Again by Thomas S. Monson

There seemed to be a message of encouragement throughout the talks.  They also spoke a lot on the importance of basic principles of the gospel and why they are important.  These topics were chosen with the spirit as a guide.  Our job as a congregation is to take what was said and apply it to our lives.  If we go home and forget about all that was said, we will be judged for it and the general authorities of the church do not want this.  These messages are for us, just as Jacob’s messages are for us.  We will be blessed for applying these things to our lives.

How many Nephis were there?

We learn in verse 11 the reason why there were so many Nephis in the Book of Mormon.  “Wherefore, the people were desirous to retain in remembrance his name. And whoso should reign in his stead were called by the people, second Nephi, third Nephi, and so forth, according to the reigns of the kings; and thus they were called by the people, let them be of whatever name they would.”  The Nephites loved Nephi, “The people having loved Nephi exceedingly,…”, because he had truly served them, “…he having been a great protector for them, having wielded the sword of Laban in their defence, and having labored in all his days for their welfare (v. 10)—”  It is hard to fill the shoes of someone who brought there ancestors to the promised land and loved them the way that Nephi did.  Our prophets today make wonderful Nephis.  They guide and direct us out of love for each of us.

Who’s the Nephite; who’s the Lamanite?

Many people live in America are Chinese, Japanese, European, South American and so on.  All of these people are called Americans because they live together in America.  The same type of thing applied in Jacob’s time.  “Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites (v. 13).  But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings (v. 14).”  The difference between the Lamanites and the Nephites was whether or not they were friendly to Nephi.

“I . . . obtained my errand from the Lord”

An errand is something that we are charged with taking care of, for instance buying groceries for my family is an errand I take care of.  In a family, usually the errands are given by parents or the parents take care of errands themselves.  Brothers and sisters should not give each other errands pretending they came from the parents because they shouldn’t lie to one another.  Trust is lost in this case and there may be a misinterpretation for what the errand really should be.

“Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord (v. 17).  For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been consecrated priests and teachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi (v. 18).”  The Lord gave Jacob and Joseph their errand.

The Nephites had begun to “grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices (v. 15)…” and “to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride (v. 16).”  Jacob and Joseph were consecrated priests and teachers of the people so that they could teach the word of God to them.  “And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day (v. 19).”  To fulfill his calling, Jacob taught the word of God “with all diligence”.  When we receive callings from the Lord, we need to fulfill them with all diligence, so that the blood of those we come in contact with, will not be upon our garments.


1 Response to “Jacob, Chapter 1”

  1. 1 a rubow March 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Jacob was given the responsibility to be caretaker of the plates by Nephi, before he died. Nephi gave him instructions that the words written upon the plates would only be those of which Jacob considered most precious or sacred. After Nephi died, a man was chosen to be king over the Nephites. In Jacob 1:15-16 we read: “And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son. 16 Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.

    These two verses remind me of today. In our country today, we have a president who encourages the people to make wrong choices, by the policies he wants to implement. It is almost like he and his fellow officials want to punish righteous choices and hard work, while rewarding the foolish and the cheats. They punish and mock those who choose to believe in a loving Savior. They want the people to believe that the government can “save them.”

    Jacob was called to teach the people to choose the right. He, along with his brother Joseph, was diligent in this. Jacob wrote this: Jacob 1:19 “And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the “responsibility”, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.”

    We know that this was something that Jacob thought was important, most precious and sacred, or else Jacob would not have included it on the plates. Our church leaders consider their stewardship of teaching the people and testifying of Christ to be extremely important as well. In a few weeks, we will again get the opportunity to listen to our Apostles and other General Authorities. They continue to teach us the word of God with all diligence so that our blood might not come upon their garments. Will we listen and choose the right? I hope and pray so. I think that it is interesting that the word “responsibility” is footnoted. Below is one of those connected scriptures:

    Ezekiel 34: 10.
    10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

    I fully believe that the Lord God is aware of his righteous children and will protect them from unrighteous leaders. However, we need to listen to our Prophets and other General Authorities and follow their counsel. We have a responsibility to be obedient. As I read through the topics spoken of in our last conference, as so beautifully listed in your blog, I am again filled with hope and an assurance that those who listen to the words of the prophets will be blessed of the Lord, and those people who call themselves our government leaders, who are trying to take away our freedoms and our agency, will be punished from the Lord for their unrighteous leadership.

    Here are some other referenced scriptures on Accountability, which is another term for responsibility.

    (Alma 12:14-15) 14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.
    15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.

    (D&C 10:20-28) Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good;
    21 And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me.
    22 Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction.
    23 And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment.
    24 Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work.
    25 Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him.
    26 And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare.
    27 And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.
    28 Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.

    Let us listen to our church leaders and choose the right and we can know of our Heavenly Father’s love for us.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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