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 teaches his son, Jacob, that the Savior’s redeeming power offers a path of freedom, hope, and eternal life (which otherwise would have been unavailable because of the effects of Adam and Eve’s Fall).
“…The Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil…” (2 Nephi 2:26-27)
-Has every child inherited inevitable physical death, and separation from God, from their parents (going all the way back to Adam and Eve)?
-Will physical death and physical separation from God be permanent for anyone now that Christ has come and redeemed all from these effects of the Fall?
-Will everyone who is resurrected and brought back to God’s presence be comfortable staying there?
-Will Christ save all from spiritual death? Or, does He protect every soul’s freedom to choose whether to accept and follow Him?
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?
Speaking to his son, Jacob, Lehi testifies of the following truths about Christ’s Atonement:
“[T]he way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.” (2 Nephi 2:4)
-Is there a difference between salvation and exaltation?
-In what ways is Christ’s salvation free? In what ways is it not free? Does it depend on how you define salvation? What was Lehi trying to emphasize when he referred to it as free?
-Did Christ free us from any lasting effects of the Fall that were brought about by the actions of Adam and Eve (physical death and separation from God)? Are there any conditions that need to be met before receiving these two elements of salvation from Christ? Is there anyone who will not receive them?
-Will everyone who is brought back to the presence of God—with a perfect resurrected body and, correspondingly, a perfect understanding of their status before God based on their choices during mortality—be comfortable staying in His presence?
-Is it accurate to think of a person as being saved if they cannot bear the presence of God and, therefore, will be separated from Him after mortality?
-What choices does a person need to make in mortality in order to be prepared to remain in God’s presence?