Jacob teaches that seeing and acting as led by the Spirit of God is the way to eternal life with God. When translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith was prompted to translate some of Jacob’s message in language very similar to the King James version of Paul’s words as found in Romans 8:6.
“…Remember the awfulness in transgressing against the Holy God, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one. Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.” (2 Nephi 9:39)
-What characteristics and actions result when a person is controlled by carnal desires? (see Wo Unto All Those Who Die in Their Sins)
-If the path of least resistance in this fallen world is to be carnally-minded, how does one become spiritually-minded?
-Are most of the popular trends and opinions in the world based on a carnally-minded perspective?
-What can one do to become more spiritually-minded? (See links below for a sampling of what the Book of Mormon teaches in answer this question.)
Lehi, in counseling his sons to choose Christ, also teaches about the most important choices all must make.
“…I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; and not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.” (2 Nephi 2:28-29)
-How can a person look to Jesus Christ in his or her day to day life?
-What does it mean to be faithful to His words?
-How is keeping God’s commandments a path to greater freedom away from captivity?
-What is the will of the Holy Spirit? Can one’s will become one with the Holy Spirit’s will?
Lehi teaches his son, Jacob, about how God structured mortal life so we would be free to choose between the good and the evil.
“…There is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” (2 Nephi 2:14-16)
-Do you believe there is a God? If so, why?
-Is there is a Spirit that testifies to the heart and soul that God exists? If so, when and how does this occur?
-Do you have a worldview that allows for good and evil? If so, are those categories of good and evil defined by you or by God?
-Do books such as the Bible and the Book of Mormon help define God’s standards of right and wrong through the commandments and teachings found in them?
-If God has defined good and evil, what happens if men and women create their own separate definitions of what belongs in these categories?
As he recounts (somewhere around 588-570 B.C.) how his son Jacob had come to know Christ, Lehi focuses on the power and consistency of the Spirit, who is the third member of the Godhead, in testifying of Christ.
“…I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men. And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” (2 Nephi 2:3-4)
-Did the Spirit have the power to testify of Christ in ancient times, before He came to the earth? Was the Spirit’s testimony in any way vague or indirect? Or, was it a clear manifestation without ambiguity?
-Did the power of the manifestation depend on the faithfulness and spiritual strength of the individual to whom the witness came?
-Is it possible for us, who live after Christ’s coming, to receive a clear manifestation, without ambiguity, that He was (and is) who He said he was?