“Lesson 43: Jacob 1–Jacob 2:11,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 43,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
After Nephi’s death, the Nephites began to “indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices” under the reign of a new king (Jacob 1:15). Jacob and his brother Joseph had been consecrated by Nephi as priests and teachers of the people, and they diligently labored to persuade the people to repent and come unto Christ. Jacob obeyed Nephi’s commandment to record sacred teachings, revelations, and prophecies on the small plates.
Ask students to give examples of different titles of priesthood leaders. (Answers may include prophets and apostles, General Authorities, stake presidents, bishops, and quorum presidents.) Invite a few students to share briefly some ways in which priesthood leaders have blessed their lives through priesthood service.
Explain that Nephi had consecrated his younger brothers Jacob and Joseph as priests and teachers of the people (see 2 Nephi 5:26; Jacob 1:18). As Nephi neared the end of his life, he gave Jacob charge over the plates that contained the record of their people.
Invite students to read Jacob 1:1–4 silently. Ask them to identify what Nephi commanded Jacob to record on the plates, and why. (You might want to suggest that students mark Nephi’s instructions to Jacob.) After students have had enough time to read, invite a few of them to tell the class what they have found.
If students do not mention it, point out the last phrase of Jacob 1:4—“for the sake of our people.”
What does the phrase “for the sake of our people” mean? (For their benefit.)
Invite a student to read Jacob 1:5–6 aloud. Ask the class to identify what the Lord revealed to Jacob and Joseph that would help them teach their people. (You may want to explain that “great anxiety” refers to their deep concern for the people.)
What did the Lord reveal to Jacob and Joseph? (He showed them what would happen to the Nephites in the future, and He revealed details about the coming of Christ.)
How might knowing these things have helped Jacob and Joseph in teaching their people?
Write the word persuade on the board. Ask students to read Jacob 1:7–8 silently, looking for what Jacob and Joseph wanted to persuade the people to do. (You might want to suggest that students mark what they find.) Invite several students to write on the board one thing they discover.
From the list on the board, invite students to point out a phrase or two they would like to understand better. As students point out these phrases, ask if other students can help explain them. In this discussion, the following definitions may be helpful:
“Enter into his rest”—Entering into the rest of the Lord means enjoying peace in this life and receiving “the fulness of [God’s] glory” in the next life (D&C 84:24).
“View [Christ’s] death”—One definition of view is to look at or examine attentively. When Jacob wrote that he wanted to persuade people to “believe in Christ, and view his death,” he may have meant that he wanted them to examine the Atonement of Jesus Christ attentively, realize its importance, and gain a personal testimony of it.
“Suffer his cross”—This phrase refers to our willingness to deny ourselves of ungodliness and worldly lusts and to keep the Lord’s commandments (see Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 16:26 [in Matthew 16:24, footnote d]; Luke 9:23; 2 Nephi 9:18). It also refers to our willingness to endure and sacrifice as we follow the Savior.
“Bear the shame of the world”—This phrase refers to keeping the commandments despite the worldly pressure, humiliation, and opposition that often come to disciples of Jesus Christ.
Ask students to summarize what they have learned from Jacob 1:1–8 about the responsibilities of priesthood leaders. As students share their ideas, emphasize that priesthood leaders labor diligently to help us come unto Christ. (You may want to write this principle on the board.)
How do our priesthood leaders labor to help us come unto Christ?
Give students a few minutes to write in their scripture study journals about ways in which prophets or other priesthood leaders have helped them in one or two of the areas they identified in Jacob 1:7–8. Invite a few students to share what they have written. (Remind them that they do not need to share anything that is too personal or private.)
Encourage students to ponder the following question during the rest of the lesson:
Why do Church leaders warn us against sin?
Jacob recorded that after the death of his brother Nephi, the people began to indulge in certain wicked practices. Invite students to read Jacob 1:15–16 silently. Ask them to identify three areas that concerned Jacob. (Once students have answered, you may want to write the words immorality, worldliness, and pride on the board.)
Have students read Jacob 1:17–19 silently, looking for what Jacob and Joseph did to help their people. Ask them to report what they find. Invite a student to write their responses on the board.
What do you think it means to obtain an “errand from the Lord”? (Jacob 1:17). (To learn what the Lord would have us do.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask the class to listen for ways in which Church leaders seek their errands from the Lord as they prepare to teach in general conference:
“Perhaps you already know (but if you don’t you should) that with rare exception, no man or woman who speaks [in general conference] is assigned a topic. Each is to fast and pray, study and seek, start and stop and start again until he or she is confident that for this conference, at this time, his or hers is the topic the Lord wishes that speaker to present regardless of personal wishes or private preferences. … Each has wept, worried, and earnestly sought the Lord’s direction to guide his or her thoughts and expression” (“An Ensign to the Nations,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 111).
What do general conference speakers do to seek their errand from the Lord?
Why is it important to understand that Church leaders seek to teach us what the Lord wants us to know? How might keeping this in mind influence our attitude when we listen to them teach?
According to Jacob 1:19, what were Jacob and Joseph’s responsibilities? (As students answer, make sure they understand that priesthood leaders have a divinely given responsibility to teach the word of God and warn against sin. You may want to write this truth on the board.)
Why is it a blessing to have parents and Church leaders who warn us of sinful attitudes and behaviors?
What words did Jacob use to describe how they should teach? What would be the consequences if they did not perform their responsibilities?
Ask students to think about how they would feel if, like Jacob, they were in a leadership position and were inspired to call people to repentance for immorality, worldliness, and pride. Divide the class into pairs. Invite the partners to take turns reading to each other from Jacob 2:1–3, 6–7, 10–11. Ask them to identify phrases that indicate Jacob’s feelings about his task of calling the people to repentance. After sufficient time, invite several students to share their findings with the class.
What do these phrases indicate about Jacob’s feelings toward calling his people to repentance? (Make sure students understand that although Jacob found this responsibility difficult, he carried it out because he cared about the people and because he wanted to obey God’s commands.)
Consider using this segment from the Book of Mormon Videos as you teach this part (see the Book of Mormon Videos: Seminary Teacher Instructions).
To conclude, have students write in their scripture study journals about (1) what Church leaders have taught them recently and how they can apply it in their lives or (2) how they can apply what they have learned today in their callings in class or quorum presidencies, in their responsibilities as home teachers, or in other leadership opportunities. (You may want to write these instructions on the board.) Encourage students to follow the counsel of their priesthood leaders. Conclude by bearing your testimony of the principles taught in this lesson.