Shortly after Nephi and his people separated themselves from the families of Laman and Lemuel, Nephi’s brother Jacob spoke to them. He told them that Nephi had asked him to explain some of the words of Isaiah.
Jacob’s purpose in delivering this sermon was to help the people understand the gathering of Israel and to recognize that it was relevant to them.
- Introduction: I’m anxious for your welfare (2 Nephi 6:2-5).
- Jacob quotes and explains Isaiah 49:22-23: “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and…queens thy nursing mothers.” The people in Jerusalem have already been taken captive. Eventually, God will bring them home, and the Gentiles will help (2 Nephi 6:6-15).
- Jacob quotes Isaiah 49:24-26, 50, 51, 52:1-2: God has power to deliver you. Don’t give up on Him (2 Nephi 6:16-18, 7, 8).
- These blessings will come to your children. Through the Atonement, the Savior will overcome both physical and spiritual death (2 Nephi 9:1-27).
- But those who harden their hearts, including the rich and the learned, will fail to receive the blessings God is offering them (2 Nephi 9:27-38).
- The invitation: turn away from your sins, and turn to God (2 Nephi 9:39-49).
- Jacob quotes Isaiah 55:1-2: God wants to bless you (2 Nephi 9:50-54).
- [Day 2] How the gathering applies to us: God’s promises extend to all those who are scattered, including those of us who are on “the isles of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:1-22).
- Conclusion and admonition: Reconcile yourselves to God’s will so that you can be saved by His grace (2 Nephi 10:23-25).
What does the gathering of Israel mean to me? As Jacob taught his people in this sermon, the prophecies of Isaiah on this topic are not merely abstractions about a distant people in another time. They are applicable to my life today. After reviewing Jacob’s words, I can think of at least three ways to apply these prophecies in my life:
- Every time I help another person grow closer to God, I am participating in the gathering of Israel. President Russell M. Nelson recently told the youth of the Church, “Anytime you do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel. It is as simple as that.” (“Hope of Israel,” Worldwide Youth Devotional, 3 June 2018). I can participate in the gathering by inviting other people to take actions which will bring them closer to God.
- God sometimes scatters some of His children so that He can gather others. When I find myself in uncomfortable circumstances, I can ask myself, “Why has God placed me here? Whom can I serve?” I can have confidence that God has the power to save me and the people around me.
- The scattering and gathering of Israel are symbolic of the effects of the Fall of Adam and Eve and the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives. I am subject to physical and spiritual death, which have distanced me from God. But like scattered Israel, I can remember that, through God’s grace, I can be reconciled to Him. As Jacob teaches in this sermon, I need to overcome pride, which would hold me back from accepting God’s help.
Blog Posts about Jacob’s First Sermon
- That Which Will Give Them the True Knowledge of Their Redeemer – 2 Nephi 10:2 (6/11/2018)
- And Also from Everlasting Death – 2 Nephi 10:25 (6/10/2018)
- They Who Have Endured the Crosses of the World – 2 Nephi 9:18 (6/9/2018)
- That Ye Might Know Concerning the Covenants of the Lord – 2 Nephi 9:1-3 (6/8/2018)
- Look unto the Rock from Whence Ye Are Hewn – 2 Nephi 8:1-3 (6/7/2018)
- He Waketh Morning by Morning – 2 Nephi 7:4-5 (6/6/2018)
- Shall the Prey Be Taken from the Mighty? – 2 Nephi 6:16-18 (6/5/2018)
- In Their Arms, and…Upon Their Shoulders – 2 Nephi 6:6-7 (6/4/2018)
- Put on Thy Strength – 2 Nephi 8:24-25 (9/10/2017)
- Who Art Thou, That Thou Shouldst Be Afraid of Man? – 2 Nephi 8:12-13 (9/9/2017)
- All Ye that Kindle Fire – 2 Nephi 7:10-11 (9/8/2017)
- Who Will Contend with Me? – 2 Nephi 7:6-9 (9/7/2017)
- We Are Not Cast Off – 2 Nephi 10:20-22 (8/26/2017)
- Come Buy and Eat – 2 Nephi 9:50-51 (8/25/2017)
- I Am Desirous for the Welfare of Your Souls – 2 Nephi 6:3 (8/24/2017)
- That Which Cannot Satisfy – 2 Nephi 9:51 (9/2/2016)
- The Way for Man Is Narrow, but It Lieth in a Straight Course – 2 Nephi 9:41 (2/27/2016)
- They Who Are Righteous Shall Be Righteous Still – 2 Nephi 9:15-16 (2/24/2016)
- He Suffereth the Pains of All Men – 2 Nephi 9:21-22 (1/13/2016)
- He Executeth All His Words – 2 Nephi 9:17 (1/10/2016)
- My Salvation Shall Be Forever – 2 Nephi 8:6 (1/8/2016)
- 2 Nephi 10:24 Reconcile Yourselves to the Will of God (2/19/2015)
- 2 Nephi 10:20 We Are Not Cast Off (2/18/2015)
- 2 Nephi 9:54 On the Morrow (2/18/2015)
- 2 Nephi 9:42-43 The Wise, and the Learned, and They That Are Rich (2/16/2015)
- 2 Nephi 9:25 Where There Is No Law Given, There Is No Punishment (2/16/2015)
- 2 Nephi 9:41 He Employeth No Servant There (2/15/2015)
- 2 Nephi 9:16 They Who Are Righteous Shall Be Righteous Still (2/14/2015)
- 2 Nephi 8:6-8 But My Salvation Shall Be Forever (2/14/2015)
- 2 Nephi 7:1-3 Is My Hand Shortened at All That I Cannot Redeem? (2/12/2015)
- 2 Nephi 6:3 I Am Desirous for the Welfare of Your Souls (2/11/2015)