1. Jacob magnifies his calling from the Lord.
Jacob 1:2 The things which I considered to be most precious
‘How often we read the record primarily as a history of a fallen people, failing to remember that it was compiled by inspired prophets for the purpose of helping us come unto Christ. The major writers of the Book of Mormon did not intend it to be a history book at all. In fact, Jacob said that his brother Nephi commanded him that he “should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people” Jacob 1:2
Each time we read the book we should probably ask ourselves: “Why did these writers choose these particular stories or events to include in the record? What value are they for us today?”’ (L Tom Perry, General Conference, October 2005)
Jacob 1:18 Consecrated priests and teachers
“The Nephites officiated by virtue of the Melchizedek Priesthood from the days of Lehi to the days of the appearance of our Savior among them. It is true that Nephi ‘consecrated Jacob and Joseph’ that they should be priests and teachers over the land of the Nephites, but the fact that plural terms priests and teachers were used indicates that this was not a reference to the definite office in the priesthood in either case, but it was a general assignment to teach, direct, and admonish the people” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 1:124).
Jacob 1:19 Magnify our office
“If we do not do our duty in regard to missionary service, then I am convinced that God will hold us responsible for the people we might have saved had we done our duty.” (Spencer W Kimball, Ensign, Oct. 1977, p. 5.)
2. Jacob warns against the love of riches, pride, and unchastity.
Jacob 2:5 Ye are beginning to labor in sin
“The sins of the people in Jacob’s day were not inadvertent transgressions; they had begun to ‘labor in sin’ in the sense that sin had become their obsession and their preoccupation. They had begun to flirt with that spirit which characterized the wickedness of the days of Noah: ‘And every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually’ (Moses 8:22).” (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 2, p. 11)
Jacob 2:12-16 Let not this pride of your heart destroy your souls
“First of all, Jacob said the men had begun spending more and more time searching for gold and silver and other precious ores which abound in this land so plentifully. In these mining adventures, the men had been blessed with remarkable success. However, some had obtained more riches than others and thought this made them somehow superior to those with less. Therefore they were lifted up in pride and wore stiff necks as they smugly strutted about showing off the costliness of their fine apparel. They even began to abuse or persecute the more humble brethren who had not been quite so fortunate.
Jacob challenged them. They stood condemned by Almighty God and unless they repented of this stupid sense of pride and false superiority, Jacob predicted the judgment of God would descend on them speedily. At the rate things were going, Jacob felt the sooner something happened to these men, the better it would be. Jacob wished they could realize that with a single glance of his eye, God could smite them in to the dust. Jacob longed to have something happen to them so that their silly pride would not destroy their souls.” (Cleon Skousen, Treasures from the Book of Mormon)
Jacob 2:19 Ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them
“The Lord expects us when he blesses us with the good things of this earth to remember those who are not so fortunate. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, comfort those who mourn, and minister unto those who are poor and needy, and thus become of that class to whom the Lord, when he shall come, shall say: ‘Come, ye blessed of the Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'” (George F Richards, Conference Reports, Oct. 1939, p. 109)
Jacob 2:22-23 Because of the things which were written concerning David
“At this point Jacob said he had presented all he intended to say about pride. In fact, he said he would rejoice if that was all the admonishing that he was required to give them during this conference. Unfortunately, however, he said it was now necessary to speak of the grosser crimes being committed among the people. This is the part of his sermon which Jacob was most reluctant to cover. The admonition on pride would not have been like daggers to the souls of the women and children, but this next part of his sermon would be.
Jacob said that what the Lord had revealed to him concerning their grosser crimes was a great burden to him. He said he had learned that they were beginning to commit whoredoms (in secret, apparently) and justifying themselves by quoting from the brass plates concerning David and Solomon.” (Cleon Skousen, Treasures from the Book of Mormon)
Jacob 2:28 Chastity
“God requires chastity. We stand for a life of cleanliness. From childhood through youth and to the grave, we proclaim the wickedness of sexual life of any kind before marriage, and we proclaim that everyone in marriage should hold himself or herself to the covenants that were made.
“In other words, as we have frequently said, there should be total chastity of men and women before marriage and total fidelity in marriage. The fact that so-called sex revolutionists would change the order and change the status is repugnant to us. We abhor, with all our power, pornography, permissiveness, and the so-called freedom of the sexes, and we fear that those who have supported, taught, and encouraged the permissiveness that brings about this immoral behavior will someday come to a sad reckoning with him who has established the standards…
“Chastity is of great value. Chastity and virtue are ‘most dear and precious above all things’ (Moroni 9:9), more valuable than rubies or diamonds, than herds and flocks, than gold and silver, or than automobiles and land. But, sadly, in many cases they are on sale at the cheapest shops and at the cheapest prices.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 264-5)
Jacob 2:31-35 Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives
“In the sermon on chastity, it is particularly revealing that Jacob is so sensitive to the women in his audience. Whether or not that was a result of having seen his mother in anguish over the wickedness of her eldest sons we cannot know, but it is interesting that in his unflinching declaration against sexual transgression Jacob quotes a communication from heaven as follows: [Jacob 2:31-33,35]
“…That is a poetic, profound, ‘piercing’ indictment, and we have the feeling here that Jacob understood then what we unfortunately understand now-that it is usually (but not always) the woman who suffers most in the tragedy of unchastity and that usually (but not always) it is the transgressing man who causes the ‘sobbings of the [women’s] hearts to ascend up to God.'” (Jeffrey R Holland, Heroes from the Book of Mormon, pp. 41-2)
3. Jacob testifies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Jacob 4:5 The law of Moses
“The law of Moses was the type, Jesus the antitype; he was that toward which all creation looked and waited. The law was the symbol, Jesus the ultimate reality toward which it pointed. The law was the means, Jesus the end. These simple but pertinent verities are all but lost in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. Only through the clarifying and illuminating lenses of the Book of Mormon do we come to know that the law was anything more than a schoolmaster or teaching device. The law of Moses-including the intricate system of animal sacrifices-was the prophecy; Jesus was the grand fulfillment of the prophecy.
“‘Behold,’ Nephi stated, ‘my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him’ (2 Nephi 11:4). After having explained the need for ‘the great and last sacrifice’ of the Son of God, Amulek said, ‘this is the whole meaning of the law [of Moses], every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal’ (Alma 34:14).” (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 2, p. 34)
Jacob 4:10 Seek not to counsel the Lord
“Jacob has presented a God who is interested in us and whom we can understand only through prophets. We must understand Yahweh to know how to properly interact with him. Such interaction is on Yahweh’s terms, not ours. We do not counsel Yahweh but receive counsel from him. That is the proper interaction. Furthermore, we may take comfort in knowing that Yahweh is motivated by love and mercy in what he requires of us. Therefore his requirements are not onerous.” (Brant Gardner, Second Witness: Analytical and Cultural Commentary on the Book of Mormon)
Jacob 4:14 Looking beyond the mark
‘“Looking beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14) means that the Jews were looking for something other than Jesus Christ to save them. Jacob prophesied that the Jews would reject the Messiah, the “stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation” (v. 15). He then referred to scriptures that say He would still become their “only sure foundation” (v. 16; see Psalm 118:22;Matthew 21:42). If we do not build on Jesus Christ, we will not receive the promised eternal joy with Him.’ (Seminary Student Manual)