Shortly after the death of his brother, Nephi, Jacob delivered this sermon. He didn’t enjoy delivering it, but he knew it was his responsibility to do so, because of his calling as a priest and a teacher (Jacob 1:17-19).
Jacob’s objective was to urge the people of Nephi to repent of two sins which were beginning to appear among them: pride and adultery.
- Introduction: I am under obligation to deliver this message to you (Jacob 2:2-11).
- Pride: “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance” (Jacob 2:12-19).
- Adultery: “There shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none” (Jacob 2:20-35).
- To the pure in heart: “Look unto God with firmness of mind…, and he will console you in your afflictions” (Jacob 3:1-2).
- To the impure: Follow the example of your enemies, the Lamanites, who are building strong families (Jacob 3:3-10).
- Final plea: Wake up and repent (Jacob 3:11).
This sermon is fundamentally about relationships:
- The Nephites had poor relationships among themselves because wealthy people looked down on those who were less affluent.
- Many of the men were harming their most valuable relationships by betraying the trust of their wives and children.
- Their extreme prejudice against the Lamanites, had caused them to overlook the positive characteristics of Lamanite civilization, including their commitment to building strong families.
Today, I will improve my relationships with other people. I will choose to see all people as equal—valued sons and daughters of God. I will take seriously the trust my family has placed in me as a husband and a father. And I will make an effort to learn from and celebrate the positive attributes of the people around me.