The books of Jarom and Omni contain the final writings from the small plates of Nephi. Jarom received the plates from his father, Enos, and recorded the Nephites’ struggles and blessings over a period of approximately 60 years. He then passed the plates to his son Omni. The book of Omni contains the writings of five different Nephite record keepers and covers approximately 230 years.
Jarom describes how the Nephites prosper when they keep the commandments of the Lord
To prepare to study an important principle taught in Jarom and Omni, read the following experience shared by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:
“I remember when I was preparing to be trained as a fighter pilot. We spent a great deal of our preliminary military training in physical exercise. I’m still not exactly sure why endless running was considered such an essential preparatory part of becoming a pilot. Nevertheless, we ran and we ran and we ran some more.
“As I was running I began to notice something that, frankly, troubled me. Time and again I was being passed by men who smoked, drank, and did all manner of things that were contrary to the gospel and, in particular, to the Word of Wisdom.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wait a minute! Aren’t I supposed to be able to run and not be weary?’ But I was weary, and I was overtaken by people who were definitely not following the Word of Wisdom. I confess, it troubled me at the time. I asked myself, was the promise true or was it not?” (“Continue in Patience,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 58).
Have you ever wondered if or how the Lord would fulfill His promise to bless you for keeping His commandments?
The prophet Jarom, who was the son of Enos, explained how a specific promise of the Lord to his fathers was verified, or proven to be true. Read Jarom 1:9, and mark the promise that the Lord verified to the people.
Jarom showed that as we obey the commandments of God, we will prosper. To see examples of this truth, study each of the scripture references below, and answer the accompanying questions in your scripture study journal:
Read what President Uchtdorf taught and testified about his experience of wondering if the Lord would verify the promise given in the Word of Wisdom: “The answer didn’t come immediately. But eventually I learned that God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways. Years later I could see clear evidence of the temporal blessings that come to those who obey the Word of Wisdom—in addition to the spiritual blessings that come immediately from obedience to any of God’s laws. Looking back, I know for sure that the promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain” (“Continue in Patience,” 58, italics added).
In your scripture study journal, describe an experience when the Lord has blessed or prospered you for keeping His commandments. From your experience, what are you able to testify about the Lord and His promises?
Record keepers recount Nephite history
The descendants of Jarom wrote the book of Omni, which covers approximately 230 years. Mark the names of the different men who kept the small plates after Jarom. You can find these in Omni 1:1, 4, 9, 10, 12, and 25.
The book of Omni describes several important events in Book of Mormon history. You may remember that in Nephi’s time the Nephites left the Lamanites and settled in a place they called the land of Nephi. This migration is represented on the map by the arrow from the land of first inheritance to the land of Nephi.
Read Omni 1:12–13, and identify how the Nephites came to live in the land of Zarahemla. You may want to underline any phrases in these verses that indicate the Nephites traveled by the Lord’s direction and power. On the map, the arrow from the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla represents this migration.
Read Omni 1:14–19, and look for similarities and differences between the Nephites and the people they discovered in the land of Zarahemla.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How did the lack of scriptures affect the people of Zarahemla?
How might knowing this help you feel more grateful for the scriptures and be more diligent in studying them?
The book of Omni also introduces two other groups of people that you will study later in the Book of Mormon. To identify one of these groups, read Omni 1:20–22, and write the word Jaredites in your scriptures next to these verses. Coriantumr was one of the final two survivors of the Jaredite nation; the other was the prophet Ether. You will learn about the Jaredites in your study of the book of Ether.
To learn about the final group of people mentioned in Omni, note the arrow on the map that extends from the land of Zarahemla nearly to the land of Nephi and then back to Zarahemla and the arrow from the land of Zarahemla that extends all the way to the land of Nephi. These arrows represent the migrations of the people of Zeniff, who are referred to in Omni 1:27–30. (You may want to write “people of Zeniff” next to these verses.) You will learn about this group of people as you study the book of Mosiah.
The Book of Mormon does not claim to be a record of all of the peoples who have inhabited the Americas. Besides the Jaredites, the people of Zarahemla, and the descendants of Lehi, there were others who came to the American continent as well. President Anthony W. Ivins of the First Presidency stated at the April 1929 general conference: “The Book of Mormon … does not tell us that there was no one here before [the Book of Mormon peoples]. It does not tell us that people did not come after” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 15).
Notice in Omni 1:23–24 that the final portion of this book was written by Amaleki. He lived during the time of King Benjamin, following the Nephites’ migration to the land of Zarahemla. Read Omni 1:25–26, and mark an invitation that Amaleki extends three times.
Notice that each of the three invitations to come unto Christ in Omni 1:25–26 is followed by the word and, as well as a specific direction that helps us know how to come unto Christ. Refer again to Omni 1:25–26, and mark what Amaleki encouraged us to do to come unto Christ.
You should have found the following counsel on how to come unto Christ:
Partake of His salvation (receive the blessings of His Atonement)
Offer your whole soul to Him (give your heart, your desires, and your best efforts—holding nothing back)
Fast and pray
Endure to the end
Amaleki offered a promise at the end of Omni 1:26 to those who follow this counsel. Find the promise, and complete the following principle: If we come unto Christ and endure to the end, we ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Choose one of the phrases in the counsel on how to come unto Christ listed above, and write or outline in your scripture study journal a one- to two-minute talk explaining how we can come unto Christ by applying that principle.
For example, you could write your talk on how fasting and prayer can help us come unto Christ. Your talk might include (1) reading Omni 1:25–26 and explaining in your own words the phrase you chose; (2) additional scriptures that clarify or add meaning to the phrase; (3) an experience from your life or from the life of someone you know that shows an example of the phrase; and (4) your thoughts, feelings, and testimony.
Your teacher may ask you to share your talk the next time you meet. You may also want to share your talk in a family home evening or some other setting.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Jarom–Omni and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: