Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book of Mormon Sunday II- Jacob

   The book of Jacob is short but it has powerful sermons. In my opinion Jacob is a no nonsense guy. He had a difficult childhood with trial and adversity due to his family's exodus from Jerusalem and due to his brother's conflicts. 

He states things as they are and is firm in his own convictions. Jacob saw the Savior, Jesus Christ and is his fervent witness. His messages are stern with a call to repent. He also testifies of the power of God to change lives.
   Jacob 3:1 "But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction."      
   As Jacob highlights the weaknesses of his people he assures them that in their weakness they will see the power of God more surely.
   Jacob 4:6 "Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things."
    Using an image of Isaiah, Jacob motivates his people to repent, today, while they can see the arm of God extended towards them. It is true that in a state of humility we see the power of God much more clearly. 
    Jacob 6:5 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts."
     In the last chapter of Jacob we have an account of his confrontation with Sherem, an anti-Christ. Jacob gives full credit to God in making him strong enough to combat the rhetoric of Sherem. 
    Jacob 7:5 "And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken."
    Surely Jacob demonstrates the power he receives through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of the ideas I have gathered so far in my reading.

Recap On the Strenghtening Power of the Atonement-
The Atonement of Jesus Christ gives:

Mighty power unto deliverance from physical and spiritual bondage
Physical and Spiritual Power to do God's will
Power to receive insight and revelation about things as they were and as they are, and as they will be.
Guidance to proceed through our trials
Ability to see God's love in our lives
Freedom to Act and Not be acted upon
Power to make us clean and sanctified
 Hope in the future, for us, and for our ancestors, and our posterity
Power into our soul to combat anti-Christian philosophy
Remission of sins and power to be free of the guilt

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