“All the holy prophets … believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name” (Jacob 4:4–5). The prophets love Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This love inspires them to keep the commandments and serve as they do, teaching us the gospel and guiding us in paths of righteousness. Jacob was such a prophet.
Jacob, Nephi’s brother, took care of the sacred plates of scripture when Nephi died. Nephi had commanded him to write on them things he considered precious—“preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, … and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people” (Jacob 1:4).
Jacob obeyed this commandment. He also taught the Nephites the scriptures and warned them of their wrongdoings. He told a Nephite named Sherem, who had tried to turn the other Nephites away from faith in Jesus Christ, that Sherem did not understand the scriptures, that “none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ” (Jacob 7:11).
Sherem demanded a sign to prove that what Jacob said about Jesus Christ was true. Jacob did not want to ask God for a sign, but he said, “Nevertheless, not my will be done; but if God shall smite thee, let that be a sign unto thee that he has power, both in heaven and in earth; and also, that Christ shall come” (Jacob 7:14). Sherem fell to the earth. Before he died, Sherem confessed to the people that he had lied and he testified that Jesus is the Christ. The Nephites who had fallen away because of Sherem’s lies started studying the scriptures again.
Before he died, Jacob turned the plates over to his son Enos, who promised to take care of them and obey the commandments. Enos’s son Jarom kept the plates next. He wrote that the Lamanites had become more wicked and they greatly outnumbered the Nephites. But when the Lamanites attacked, because the Nephite “kings and … leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord” (Jarom 1:7), the Nephites defeated the Lamanites and prospered in the land.
The plates were handed down from Jarom to his son Omni, to Omni’s son Amaron, to Amaron’s brother Chemish, to Chemish’s son Abinadom, and to Abinadom’s son Amaleki. These record-keepers wrote little upon the plates, but what they wrote was important. They obeyed Nephi’s instruction to keep the word of God safe for their people—and for us—so that we, too, can learn of and love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and keep Their commandments.