Jacob loved his older brother Nephi. He followed his example and learned how to pray, how to be obedient, and how to love the Lord.

Jacob and Nephi’s older brothers Laman and Lemuel were angry with Nephi and even wanted to kill him. They and their families were called the Lamanites.

Jacob and Nephi and their other brothers and sisters took their families to live far away from the angry Lamanites. They were called the Nephites. Nephi became the king and protector of the Nephites. He was also the prophet. Nephi ordained his younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, to be priests and teachers.

The Nephites obeyed the Lord. Their crops grew, and they raised many animals. They built homes, and they even built a temple, where Jacob taught. For a time, the Nephite people were happy, but then they stopped being obedient to the Lord’s commandments.

Jacob worried because the Nephites were becoming so wicked. He spoke to the people, teaching them that the Savior would be born near Jerusalem, far across the ocean. The Savior would provide an Atonement so that every person ever born could repent and be forgiven of their sins. He would die and be resurrected so that every person who died would also be resurrected.

Jacob also taught that sad things happen when people choose to sin and don’t repent. After he had talked for a long time, Jacob sent the people home. He told them to come back the next day so he could finish teaching them.

That night, an angel came to Jacob and told him that the Lord’s name would be Christ when He came to earth to live among the Jews. Even though Christ would work great miracles, wicked people in Jerusalem would crucify Him.

When Jacob taught the people the next day, he told them what the angel had said. Jacob reminded the Nephites to “cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves,” to choose the right and follow the commandments of God.

Jacob taught the Nephites in the temple.

Illustration by Paul Mann