Unit 9: Day 4, Jacob 3–4

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 90–92


Introduction

Jacob 3 contains the conclusion of a sermon Jacob delivered to his people. In this conclusion, Jacob briefly offered words of comfort and promise to the pure in heart. He also rebuked the proud and unchaste among his people, warning them of the consequences if they would not repent. Jacob 4 contains words that Jacob was inspired to write for the people who would someday read his record. He testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and exhorted his readers to reconcile (restore to harmony) themselves to God the Father through the Atonement. With a warning voice, he told of Jews who would reject Jesus Christ and the plainness of His gospel.

Jacob 3

Jacob encourages the pure in heart, and he urges others to repent

Think about what advice you might give to a young man or woman in the following situations:

  • A young woman who is striving to live righteously suffers because her father is addicted to alcohol.

  • A young man who does his best to live the gospel struggles because of his parents’ divorce.

  • A young woman diligently tries to love her family, but she struggles at home because of the selfishness and inconsiderate actions of her sister.

Ponder a time you experienced trials even though you were striving to live righteously. Jacob taught us what to do in such situations. Read the first sentence of Jacob 3:1, and identify whom Jacob addressed first in chapter 3.

Jacob said that because of others’ pride and immorality (which he had previously warned against, as recorded in Jacob 2) the pure in heart had suffered. Read Jacob 3:1–2, and fill in the following chart:

What did Jacob exhort the pure in heart to do?

What does God promise the pure in heart?

  
  1. journal icon1.

    Review your answers in the first column. To help you further consider this principle, answer two of the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      How do you think a young person can “look unto God with firmness of mind”?

    2. b.

      What do you think it means to pray unto God “with exceeding faith” during a time of trial?

    3. c.

      What do you think a young person can do to “receive the pleasing word of God”?

  2. journal icon2.

    Review your answers in the second column. These verses teach that God will console the pure in heart in their afflictions. To help you further consider this principle, answer one or more of the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      How has God consoled you in your afflictions as you have tried to follow Him?

    2. b.

      How has praying “with exceeding faith” helped you during a time of trial?

    3. c.

      When has receiving God’s word helped you feel His love?

After speaking to the pure in heart, Jacob addressed those who were not pure in heart. Read Jacob 3:3–4, 10–12, and identify what Jacob urged these people to do. It may be helpful to know that the phrase “arouse the faculties” means to awaken our abilities and emotions, and the words fornication and lasciviousness refer to sexual sins and lust.

In Jacob 3:3–4, 10–12, we also read Jacob’s warnings about what would happen if his people did not repent. After studying these verses, circle the phrases that describe the following consequences: (a) The Lamanites would destroy them. (b) Their example would lead their children to destruction. (c) They would experience the second death, or in other words, a separation from God.

Consider for a moment how Jacob’s warning could be considered a great blessing to his people.

As recorded in Jacob 3:5–7, Jacob boldly stated that the Lamanites were “more righteous” than the Nephites because “their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children.” The Nephites needed to repent of all their sins, specifically those that led to decreased love and trust in their families.

Ponder Jacob 3:11–12, and summarize the message in your own words. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take a moment to think about the temptations you face and what awful consequences you escape as you repent of your wrongdoings.

Jacob 4

Jacob exhorts his people to gain a hope that they can return to the presence of God

To prepare to study Jacob 4, lift your pen or pencil at least two feet or one meter above your manual, and try to drop it so that it hits the center of the target—“the mark.” You may want to try this several times. Think about how less effective your efforts would be if you were looking somewhere other than the target. How well do you think people would do in archery if they never looked at the target, or mark, while they were shooting or if they looked at what was beyond the mark? Read Jacob 4:14, and identify characteristics of the people Jacob prophesied would look “beyond the mark.”

target circles

You may want to write in your scriptures next to Jacob 4:14 that “the mark is Christ” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King,” Ensign, May 1976, 26). Similarly, Paul taught, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

The prophet Jacob was referring to the Jews who misunderstood the law of Moses and its intent to lead them to the Savior. Many of the Jews were looking for a different kind of deliverance than the kind Jesus, the Messiah, offered them—they were looking for deliverance from foreign rule and oppression.

  1. journal icon3.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      What do you think it means to look beyond the mark (Jesus Christ)?

    2. b.

      What attitudes and actions listed in Jacob 4:14 blinded the Jews and prevented them from accepting Jesus Christ?

    3. c.

      What might be some examples of looking beyond the mark, or failing to focus on the Savior, today?

Jacob wanted those who would read his record to have an attitude completely different from the attitude of the Jews who missed the mark. Read Jacob 4:4, and identify what Jacob wanted all who would read his record to know. Read also Jacob 4:12, and mark the phrase “why not speak of the atonement of Christ.” As recorded in Jacob 4:4–12, Jacob gave several reasons why he believed in Jesus Christ and why he felt it was important to let others know of the Atonement.

  1. journal icon4.

    Write the following scripture references in your scripture study journal, and then write brief summaries of what Jacob taught about Jesus Christ or the Atonement in each reference:

What words or phrases in Jacob 4:4–6 indicate Jacob’s people understood the nature of the Godhead?

It may be helpful to know that being “presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God” (Jacob 4:11) refers to standing before God worthy of entering the celestial kingdom. Also, it is important to understand that if we are to have “a hope of [the Savior’s] glory” (Jacob 4:4), we must believe that Jesus Christ has provided the way for us to be redeemed from our sins and be resurrected so we can return to the presence of Heavenly Father.

One truth we can learn in Jacob 4 is this: Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be filled with hope and reconcile ourselves with God.

  1. journal icon5.

    Write short answers to the following in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Review the truths about Jesus Christ you studied in Jacob 4:4–12, and choose one that particularly motivates you to want to speak about the Atonement. Write that truth, and explain why you chose it.

    2. b.

      What other personal reasons motivate you to want to speak of Jesus Christ and the Atonement?

As you conclude this lesson, ponder why you are grateful for the Savior. Consider sharing your reasons with a family member or close friend.

  1. journal icon6.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Jacob 3–4 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: