Jacob 1: A Prophet's Duty

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 61


When we love someone, we are concerned about that person’s welfare. The prophet Jacob described the love he felt for his people as “anxiety.” He had a prophetic understanding of the plan of salvation and knew the consequences that would come upon them if they continued in their sins. Note how the Lord blessed Jacob because of his “faith and great anxiety” (see Jacob 1:5–6).

Understanding the Scriptures

Jacob 1

Engraven (v. 1)Cut or scratched into metal
Heads (v. 4)Most important parts
Anxiety (v. 5)Worry, concern
Distinguish (v. 14)Identify
Indulge themselves (v. 15)Yield to, gratify their desires in excess
Concubines (v. 15)Legal wives of lower social status and with fewer rights than a regular wife

Jacob 1:1—The Small Plates

Jacob wrote his sacred record on the small plates of Nephi. (For an explanation of the various plates that became the Book of Mormon see “The Main Sources for the Book of Mormon,” p. 12.)

Jacob 1:7–8—“The Provocation … in the Wilderness”

After the Lord, by many great miracles, brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, they angered Him by their disobedience. As a result, that generation was not allowed to enter the promised land.

Jacob 1:17–19—“We Did Magnify Our Office”

Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, explained why we need to magnify our callings and how we do so:

“President John Taylor cautioned us, ‘If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.’ …

“How does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 61; or Ensign, May 1996, 43).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Jacob 1.

Activity A iconFind Jacob’s Preview

In this first chapter, Jacob gave us a preview of what he would write about in Jacob 2–3. Find answers to the following questions in Jacob 1:

  1. 1.

    What “wicked practices” (v. 15) were the Nephites getting involved in?

  2. 2.

    How do those sins compare to wicked practices in the world today?

Activity B iconWrite a Letter

Suppose you are a leader in your priesthood quorum or Young Women class and you were asked to give counsel to a member of your group who was not fulfilling his or her calling. Use what Jacob taught in Jacob 1:17–2:3 and write a letter to this person to help him or her understand the importance of doing our duty in our callings (see also the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Jacob 1:17–19).