Jacob provides keys to true joy.
“…Remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice.” (2 Nephi 9:52)
-Can prayer establish a connection with God and, thereby, help a person live in the joy and peace of His Spirit?
-Does the joy and peace that comes from the Spirit testify of God’s power to lift and save one’s soul?
-Does having that testimony from the Spirit help one to exercise faith in Jesus Christ day by day?
-In light of the above questions, how are prayer and gratitude related to both joy in this life and salvation in the eternities?
-What is keeping your heart from rejoicing?
-Is it freeing to know that according to God’s word we should let our hearts rejoice in the beautiful hope and truth of which the Spirit testifies?
After teaching about the power of Christ’s Atonement to bring about the Resurrection and a Last Judgment that will be both merciful and just (see They Must be Judged According to the Holy Judgment of God, O How Great the Plan of Our God!, and It Must Needs Be an Infinite Atonement), Jacob describes those who will inherit the kingdom of God.
“But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.” (2 Nephi 9:18)
-Who is the Holy One of Israel? (see Jesus Christ)
-What does it mean to be a saint of the Holy One of Israel?
-How is belief in the Holy One of Israel expressed in everyday life?
-What does it mean to endure the crosses of the world and despise the shame of the world?
-What does it mean to inherit the kingdom of God?
Lehi teaches his son, Jacob, that God was not taken off guard or thwarted in any way by Satan’s successful effort to get Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
“…If Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And [Adam and Eve] would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:22-24)
-Why were Adam and Eve unable to have children until after their fall?
-Will the difficulties of mortality help God’s sons and daughters truly appreciate the eternal blessings He has prepared for those who choose the path of joy?
-Can great joy be achieved during mortality as well?