Sunday School
March 16–22. Jacob 5–7: “The Lord Labors with Us”
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“March 16–22. Jacob 5–7: ‘The Lord Labors with Us,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)

“March 16–22. Jacob 5–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020

Allegory of the Olive Tree

Allegory of the Olive Tree, by Brad Teare

March 16–22

Jacob 5–7

The Lord Labors with Us

Begin your preparation to teach by reading Jacob 5–7 personally and with your family. What did you learn that would be of most benefit for those you teach? This outline can give you additional ideas.

Record Your Impressions

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Invite Sharing

What did class members find in Jacob 5–7 that inspired them to “labor in the vineyard” where they live? (Jacob 5:15).

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Teach the Doctrine

Jacob 5

The Lord invites His servants to labor with Him in His vineyard.

  • Because the allegory of the olive trees is long and somewhat complex, you might want to work together as a class to create a brief overview of the allegory. For example, you could draw the main elements of the allegory on the board or create a time line of events (for an example, see the diagram at the end of this outline). Class members could add scripture references or descriptions to the drawing and discuss what some of the symbols might mean, such as the tame and wild olive trees, the Lord of the vineyard, the servant, and the good and bad fruit. During this discussion, review verses 61–75, which describe the Lord’s work in our day. How are we serving in the Lord’s vineyard? How do these verses relate to the work we are doing?

  • The words of the “Lord of the vineyard” could provide comfort for parents of wayward children. For example, what does Jacob 5:41, 46–47 suggest about how our Father in Heaven feels about His children who go astray? How does He try to save them? (see verses 61–75).

  • Jacob 5:61–75 teaches that the Lord works alongside His servants in His vineyard. Class members could read these verses in small groups and discuss experiences that have shown them that the Lord is working with His servants to move forward His work. What additional insights can class members add from President Henry B. Eyring’s message “The Lord Leads His Church”? (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 81–84).


    We can labor with the “Lord of the vineyard” here on earth.

Jacob 6:3–13

The Lord remembers His people in love and mercy.

  • Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families invites us to search Jacob 6:3–5 for the messages Jacob wanted to emphasize and then find those messages in the allegory of the olive trees (see Jacob 5). Perhaps class members would benefit from hearing from those who did this activity or from doing this activity as a class. They could list on the board the gospel truths they find in Jacob 6. Then, under each truth, they could list verses from the allegory in Jacob 5 that communicate that message. How have class members seen these same messages illustrated in their own lives?

  • One meaning of the word cleave is to adhere to something firmly, closely, and unwaveringly. You might want to share this definition with your class and ask what insights it gives them about Jacob 6:5.

Jacob 7:1–23

We can stand strong when others challenge our faith.

  • Most of us have experienced opposition to our faith such as Jacob faced when he met with Sherem. One way to help class members prepare for such opposition is to have them search Jacob 7:1–23 for principles that helped Jacob stand strong. What other examples of standing strong in our faith can we share—from the scriptures, our family history, or our own lives? Perhaps there are messages from Church leaders that have helped us when others sought to shake us from our faith (see, for example, Quentin L. Cook, “Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 40–43). Encourage class members to share messages they have found helpful.

  • When Jacob was confronted by Sherem, Sherem hoped to shake Jacob from his faith, but Jacob’s faith was unshakable (see Jacob 7:5). Class members might enjoy acting out the interaction between Jacob and Sherem, using Jacob 7:1–23 as a script. What do we learn from these verses about the tactics and teachings of those who oppose the work of God? What do we learn from Jacob about how to become more unshakable in our faith?

Jacob 7:24–25

We can trust in God.

  • The Nephites lived under constant threat of attack from the Lamanites. Though we may not face the daily threat of physical warfare, what spiritual dangers do we face? What do we learn from the Nephites’ response to their situation, described in Jacob 7:24–25? You may want to sing or read and then discuss Church hymns that use battles as a metaphor, such as “Onward, Christian Soldiers” or “Behold! A Royal Army” (Hymns, nos. 246, 251).

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Encourage Learning at Home

To encourage class members to read the book of Enos, tell them that it can teach them how to make their prayers more meaningful.

Improving Our Teaching

Center your teaching on doctrine. Make sure your class discussions focus on the foundational doctrine in the scriptures. You can do this by asking class members to read scriptures and then share the truths they found, as well as their experiences with living those truths. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 20–21.)