The prophet Nephi warns of serious consequences for those who do not humble themselves before God and His commandments in the last days.
“O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell! Wo be unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they that are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.” (2 Nephi 28:15-16)
-How many understand (or believe) that humility toward God is necessary for spiritual survival?
-Why would those who are steeped in the beliefs of elite intellectual circles and those that are wealthy be more likely to be prideful and “revile against that which is good?”
-How many would intentionally teach false doctrine? How many would resist the Holy Ghost in what they taught if it allowed them to stay in good standing with their intellectual peers?
-How many are willing to see sexual sin in terms of how God defines it (rather than how most of our contemporary societies define it)?
-How much of the suffering, evil, and depravity in the world is due to the perverting of the “right way of the Lord?”
-Are the groups that revile against that which is good further consolidating themselves (through the social “echo chamber” effect) into a state where they are fully ripe in iniquity?
Jacob testifies that those who humbly seek God’s influence and saving power in their lives will receive it, while those who embrace the wisdom and praise of the world will shut themselves off from God.
“…Whoso knocketh, to him will the [Lord God] open; and the wise and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them. But the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them forever—yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.” (2 Nephi 9:42-43)
-How can the fact that God loves all his children be reconciled with Jacob’s message that He despises those who are “puffed up” in the wisdom and praise of the world? Is it a case of God hating the sin but still loving the sinner? It is that He despises what they are doing to themselves and others by treating mankind’s wisdom and praise as being the most important?
-Have you experienced the Lord opening the doors of his love and wisdom to you?
-How does one go about knocking in order to seek these blessings from the Lord?
-Will seeking the Lord’s light and wisdom fail if one does not do so in the depths of humility?
Jacob teaches how having worldly riches can lead to a loss of the characteristics that are most important to God:
“…Wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.” (2 Nephi 9:30)
-Is it wrong to obtain riches if one’s heart is not set on them? (see Jacob 2:18-19)
-Does it make sense to envy the rich when riches can so easily lead to soul-cankering pride and loss of spiritual perspective?
-Do you feel you could keep your priorities straight in the eyes of God under the temptations that come with having worldly wealth? What would be the key to doing so? (see Jacob 2:18-19)