Lesson 8

Jacob 1–7


The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.

Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.

Complete four of the following assignments:

1.   Jacob 1. Jacob Obtained His Errand from the Lord

Read Jacob 1:4–10 and then write answers to the following:

  • In what ways is Jacob’s stated purpose for writing in harmony with Nephi’s instructions found in 1 Nephi 6:4–6?
  • List principles of effective Church leadership you find from the lives of Nephi and Jacob as described in Jacob 1 (see also Jacob 2:3–6).

Read Jacob 1:15–19 and write responses to the following questions:

  • What did Jacob list as his motive for laboring diligently?
  • What “wicked practices” were the Nephites beginning to observe?
  • Why did Jacob labor “with all diligence” among his people?
  • What are some good examples you have seen of people magnifying their callings?

Read the institute student manual commentaries “Jacob 1:19; 2:2: ‘Answering the Sins of the People upon Our Own Heads’” and “Jacob 2:8–10: Admonish ‘According to the Strict Commands of God’” (pages 116–17). Write a paragraph explaining the responsibility  priesthood leaders carry for the spiritual welfare of Church members and why their talks are not given “to be enjoyed” (see Elder Oaks’s talk in the student manual commentary, page 117).

2.   Jacob 2–3. Jacob Condemned Pride and Unchastity

Review Jacob’s counsel to his people about the dangers of pride and riches in Jacob 2:12–21. Write a three-paragraph essay explaining how a family, school, and community would improve if everyone followed Jacob’s counsel.

Read the student manual commentaries “Jacob 2:12–19: ‘Before Ye Seek for Riches’” and “Jacob 2:17: ‘Free with Your Substance’” (pages 117–18). Write your responses to the following questions:

  • Why do Church leaders caution us against making riches our goal in life?
  • How does the payment of a generous fast offering help us maintain proper motives in seeking for riches?

Read Jacob 2:7, 23–35; 3:4–12 and the student manual commentaries “Jacob 2:28: Chastity”; “Jacob 2:31–35: ‘Many Hearts Died, Pierced with Deep Wounds’”; and “Jacob 3:10: Damage Caused by Poor Examples” (pages 119–20). Write a brief summary of what Jacob taught about marriage and chastity. In what ways can sexual immorality affect the sinner’s family, friends, and members of society?

Jacob’s audience included not only the sinful men of his time but also those who were “pure in heart” (Jacob 3:1). After reading Jacob 3:1–2, respond in writing to the following items:

  • List the promises and requirements to obtain those promises that Jacob gave his people.
  • What promise could be added to this list from 3 Nephi 12:8?

3.   Jacob 4. For This Intent

Search Jacob 4:4–16. For each of the verses below, record a phrase that you feel reveals something about Jesus Christ’s life and mission. The first one is done as an example:

4.   Jacob 5–6. Zenos’s Allegory of the Olive Tree

This assignment is intended to assist you in your understanding of the allegory found in Jacob 5. Therefore you may want to do this assignment before reading the scripture block. The entry in the Bible Dictionary under “Olive tree” (pages 739–40) may also be helpful.

Read the student manual commentary “Jacob 5: The Allegory of the Olive Trees” (page 122), and write a good definition of an allegory. What did Elder Jeffrey R. Holland teach is the central meaning of the allegory?

Read the student manual commentary “Jacob 5:1: Who Was Zenos?” (page 122). Describe in writing what you learned about the prophet Zenos.

Read the student manual commentary “Jacob 5:3: ‘I Will Liken Thee, O House of Israel, Like unto a Tame Olive-Tree’” (page 123). Explain in writing why the olive tree was a good symbol of God’s love for the house of Israel.

Study the student manual commentary “Jacob 5:3–77: Symbolic Elements in the Allegory of Zenos” (pages 123–25). As you study Jacob 5, write into your scriptures the interpretations of the symbols listed in the student manual.

After reading Jacob 5, read Romans 11:17–24 and list any similarities of the allegory. Write one or two sentences of how these obvious evidences that the allegory of the olive tree existed in New Testament times, helps support the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Jacob 6 is his summary of the allegory of the olive tree. For each of the verses below, record a lesson that Jacob mentioned:

5.   Jacob 7. Sherem, the Anti-Christ

Some people wonder why the Book of Mormon contains several accounts of anti-Christs and their teachings. Read the student manual commentary “Jacob 7:1–23: Sherem, the Anti-Christ” (page 127). Write a few sentences summarizing what President Ezra Taft Benson said is the value of accounts in the Book of Mormon such as this one about Sherem.

Study Jacob 7:1–9 and make a list of the strategies that Sherem the anti-Christ tried to use to dissuade people from the truth. Write a paragraph explaining why you will be better prepared for the anti-Christs of today by understanding this chapter.

Review Jacob 7:5, 8, 10–12, 21–22 and the student manual commentary “Jacob 7:2–4: How to Avoid Being Deceived” (page 128). Write a paragraph describing why Jacob “could not be shaken” (verse 5) by Sherem’s learning or power of speech. What can you do to have similar strengths in your life?