After arriving in the promised land, Lehi gave a series of sermons to his family, giving them his final words of counsel before his death. This sermon was directed primarily to one of his younger sons: Jacob.
Lehi’s purpose in addressing Jacob was to persuade him to function as an agent, acting for himself instead of being acted upon.
- You have endured much, because you were born in the wilderness and because of the “rudeness of thy brethren.” But God will “consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain,” and you have been redeemed by the Messiah because “thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory” (2 Nephi 2:1-4).
- The Messiah will make intercession for us, by offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin. It’s important for everyone to know this (2 Nephi 2:5-10).
- Opposition is an essential part of God’s plan. Righteousness is meaningless without wickedness, happiness only exists in contrast with misery, and so on (2 Nephi 2:11-13).
- God created things to act and things to be acted upon. His children are meant to act for themselves, and they can only do this if they face meaningful choices between good and evil (2 Nephi 2:14-16).
- The devil tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. This was according to God’s plan. The journey of mankind toward happiness began with opposition and with a decision (2 Nephi 2:17-25).
- Because the Messiah redeems us from the fall, we are free to choose liberty and eternal life or captivity and death (2 Nephi 2:26-27).
- The admonition: Look to the great Mediator. Choose eternal life, not eternal death (2 Nephi 2:28-30)
God intends for us to be agents: to make decisions, to take action, to make things happen. That’s Lehi’s message for Jacob. There are two types of creation: things to act and things to be acted upon. God’s children are supposed to act, not merely to be acted upon. That’s why we encounter opposition, and that’s why we face difficult decisions. These circumstances motivate us to use our agency.
Adam and Eve’s decision made our mortal lives, and ultimately our eternal joy, possible. Like them, we need to make decisions, accept the consequences of those decisions, and look to our Savior, who can help us receive liberty, eternal life, and happiness.
I will respond to Lehi’s message by being an agent. I will be active. I will speak up. I will make decisions and accept the consequences of those decisions. Above all, I will look to the Savior for guidance and support, knowing that He will assist me as I learn to use the freedom He has given me.
Blog Posts About Lehi Teaching Jacob
- What Does It Mean for Jesus to Be Our “Redeemer?” (3/10/2019)
- Which Fruit in the Garden of Eden Was Bitter, and Which Was Sweet? (2/9/2019)
- What Is a “Probationary State?” (2/8/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Fall of Adam and Eve? (2/6/2019)
- What Does It Mean That the Savior Is “Full of Grace and Truth?” (2/2/2019)
- How Is the Word “Atonement” Used in the Book of Mormon? (1/30/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Grace? (1/28/2019)
- Enticed by the One or the Other – 2 Nephi 2:16 (10/24/2018)
- The Great Mediator – 2 Nephi 2:27-29 (8/16/2018)
- Enticed by the One or the Other – 2 Nephi 2:16 (8/15/2018)
- He Shall Consecrate Thine Afflictions – 2 Nephi 2:1-2 (10/4/2017)
- That They Might Have Joy – 2 Nephi 2:25 (10/3/2017)
- To Act for Themselves – 2 Nephi 2:26 (10/2/2017)
- He Is Full of Grace and Truth – 2 Nephi 2:6 (12/28/2016)
- The Father of All Lies – 2 Nephi 2:17-19 (9/5/2016)
- Thou Hast Suffered Afflictions – 2 Nephi 2:1-2 (8/11/2016)
- That They Might Repent While in the Flesh – 2 Nephi 2:21 (2/4/2016)
- The Work of Justice Could Not Be Destroyed – Alma 42:15, 2 Nephi 2:13 (1/4/2016)
- 2 Nephi 2:26 To Act for Themselves (2/5/2015)
- 2 Nephi 2:15-16 He Was Enticed By the One or the Other (2/5/2015)