Summary of Jacob

Summary of Jacob

                The Book of Jacob is the third book in the Book of Mormon. Jacob, the brother of Nephi, was given the responsibility of writing down the history of his people. The purpose of this book, in the words of Jacob was to; “…persuade them [everyone] to come unto Christ…” (Jacob 1:7). The book is mainly the teachings between Jacob and his people, which include a lengthy Parable of the Olive Tree: which is an allegory of the scattering and gathering of Israel.

Around 545 BC, Jacob was given the task of continuing the history of the golden plates. At this time Nephi was  soon to pass on, but the people revered him so much that they desired all the kings of the land to be like him and even named after him. The Jacobites, Josephites, and Zoramites all became the people of Nephi or the Nephites, while the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites became the Lamanites.

The Nephites began to be lifted up in pride because they had been so blessed by God, and this led them to do wicked things. But Jacob and his brother Joseph tried as hard as they could to teach the people not to do wicked things. Jacob went to the temple to teach the Nephites. This temple was a copy of the one Solomon made in Jerusalem. Jacob said the people had begun to search for gold and silver. Some were better at locating the gold and silver and because of this, some would show that they were better or of a different social class, so they enhanced their apparel to show off that they were more ambitious and competent that their brothers.

Jacob then prophesied about events which would be fulfilled at the end of the Book of Mormon, around 385 AD, when the Nephites would be completely fallen away from God and wiped out to the last man by the Lamanites.

After a number of years a man named Sherem went around saying there would be no Christ, and for Jacob to preach the gospel of Christ instead of adherence to the Law of Moses was blasphemy. Jacob asserted that every prophesy ever made was really about Christ, and that it was revealed to him that if Christ does not make atonement, all humanity will be lost. Sherem demanded a sign to prove what Jacob said was true. Jacob explained that he would not tempt God.

God smote Sherem, making him fall unconscious for many days. When he eventually regained consciousness, he asked for the people to be assembled so he could make his last sermon. He confessed Christ, and said he had been deceived by the devil, and retracted everything he said about Jacob. He said he feared that he had committed the unpardonable sin, which is lying to God. Then he died.

When Jacob finished writing on the plates he bequeathed them to his son Enos.

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Summary of 2 Nephi

Summary of 2 Nephi

Lehi opens Second Nephi with his prophecies concerning the future of his posterity. Lehi explains that Jerusalem will be destroyed, and he bestows a general curse and blessing upon Jerusalem.  We learn about the redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ, Lehi also speaks about how there is no good without evil and that everything has its opposite. Without the ability to choose for ourselves, there would be no point for us here on earth and without the Fall of Adam and Eve; we would not have had the ability to be saved by a Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Lehi speaks about Joseph, which included Joseph of Egypt. Lehi speaks about how the Lord would raise a prophet named Moses who would free the people of Israel. Interestingly, Lehi also speaks of a seer that would come forth in the Last Days to Restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this, he is referring to Joseph Smith.

Nephi continues the narrative of 2 Nephi by recording the death of his father, Lehi. After his passing, the brothers of Nephi (Laman and Lemuel) rebel against him and try to kill him. Because of this there is a division among the people and Nephi ends up forming his own land, where his people elect him to be king. The people of Nephi adhere to the Law of Moses and even build a Temple like the Temple of Solomon, they prosper exceedingly!

Nephi ordains his younger brothers, including Jacob and Joseph. Nephi puts them in charge of teaching the people. Throughout the remainder of the text for 2 Nephi is the teaching of both Nephi and Jacob. From chapters 6-10 they quote much of Isaiah, Nephi even explains how the words of Isaiah will slowly come to understanding as time goes on… for they are difficult to understand without the spirit.

Nephi ends his record by pleading with his people and the future readers to follow the Savior’s example and be baptized. Here, Nephi explains that there is more to baptism than just baptism. One must have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end in order to be saved in the Kingdom of God. He urges everyone to read the scriptures and pray daily!

Summary of Moses

Summary of Moses

The book of Moses is a small excerpt from Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible. It is a more complete record of Moses’s writings at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It contains many doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives additional information about the plan of salvation, the creation of the earth, and the Lord’s dealings with Adam and Enoch.

Moses 1:

The events described in Moses 1 are portrayed as taking place sometime after Jehovah spoke to Moses out of the burning bush but before Moses had returned to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel. Moses is given a description of God’s wonderful works and a confirmation of the work to which he had previously been foreordained as a “son of God.” Moses is then showed the creation of the World, Moses is given the opportunity to behold every particle of the earth and all of its inhabitants.  God then speaks with Moses face to face, explaining that His work [God’s Work] is to; “…bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)  Chapter one closes, by alluding to the Restoration of lost words of scripture (The Book of Mormon).

Moses 2-8:

These chapters (2-8) generally follow the first chapters of the Book of Genesis, but often provide alternative interpretations of the text or significant additional detail not found in the Bible. Among the notable differences are the following:

Moses 2 (compared to Genesis 1): The idea that all things were created “by mine Only Begotten” [Jesus Christ, in his premortal state] is made clear, as is the Son’s identity as the co-creator at the time when God said “Let us make man.” Otherwise the story of the Creation between Moses 2 and Genesis 1 are the same.

Moses 3 (compared to Genesis 2): God explains that He: “created all things… spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth.” (Moses 3:5) Again, Jesus Christ was a co-creator of the world. An example could be that Jesus Christ was the builder and God was the Architect. We learn in Moses 3:17 that God placed Adam and Eve in a situation where they were required to exercise freedom of agency in order to continue their progression through the experience of earth life. The Qur’an agrees with Moses and sees the transgression of Adam and Eve and positive and needed step to further mankind in this ‘preparatory school, in order to return to live with our Heavenly Father.

Moses 4 (compared to Genesis 3): Comparing Moses 4 to Genesis 3, one will see that four verses are added to the beginning of Moses version, which interrupts the flow of the story to give an account of heavenly councils where the nature and purposes of creation were discussed and decided. These verses coincide with stories from the Jewish Midrash recording that God took counsel with the righteous before the creation of the world. We are also told more about how Satan became the devil and how the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve and the Fall of Satan coincide as one story.

Moses 5 (compared to Genesis 4): The Book of Moses adds fifteen verses to the beginning of the Genesis account. We learn more about how Adam took to his new job of tilling the earth and how Eve took to replenishing the earth by bringing forth children. Both Adam and Eve were going to live a harder life outside of the Garden of Eden, because they chose to progress mankind.  We learnt that Satan made a murderous pact with Cain, which lead to the first establishment of “secret combinations” which would start the wickedness on the earth.

Moses 6 (compared to Genesis 5): Though the biblical account of Enoch’s life occupies only two verses, his story fills most of chapter 6 and all of chapter 7 of the book of Moses. From Moses 6 we also learn a lot about the Plan of Salvation, and how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father.

Moses 7-8: We learnt that Enoch teaches and leads the people and the city of Zion is established. Enoch sees a vison of the coming of Jesus Christ and His ultimate Atonement and crucifixion, which would give the inhabitants of the earth the ability to return to live with God, because of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Enoch sees that Zion would be removed from the earth to dwell in the presence of the Lord. Enoch also sees the Restoration of the Gospel in the Last Days and the return of Zion before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Moses 8 picks off around Genesis 7 with the Flood. We learn that Noah was called to be a prophet and that he tried to warn the people to repent, but they would not. Because the people were so wicked, God decided to flood the world… to cleanse it and give it a fresh start.

Summary of 1 Peter

Summary of 1 Peter

The book of 1st Peter was a series of letters written to all believers in general. The purpose of these letters was to encourage those who were suffering and persecuted to unite and remember why they believed.

In chapters 1-2: Peter explains that in this life we will sometimes suffer or have trials placed before us. He teaches that all Christians are to expect suffering; it is normal for Christians to suffer persecution and even imprisonment and death. Peter explains that we have been given a plan and part of that plan is Salvation, which was made possible by Jesus Christ. He made is POSSIBLE, but not secured. We still have to do our part by working hard to follow in His footsteps… then in the Day of Judgment it will be decided if we did enough to make it back to our Heavenly Father.

In chapters 3-5: Peter explains that part of being a follower is to be ready always to give an answer to those who ask. Therefore, if you believe something to be true and someone asks you the “what?”, or “why?” of your beliefs… you should be ready to give an answer to those who sincerely ask. We should strive to constantly share our beliefs and helps others to learn about Jesus Christ. We should not be surprised when we are faced with trials or heartache, this is all part of the life experience and it is part of being a follower of Christ. Satan is not happy, and knows that as a follower of Christ, we have chosen the correct side. Satan does not want us to be happy, because HE is not happy!

 

Philemon 1

Philemon 1: The Gospel Changes a servant into a Brother

The book of Philemon contains only one chapter, and was written to Philemon by Paul, while in he was in Prison.

Paul writes to Philemon and gives his greetings, appreciation and gratitude to him. Paul goes on to mention Onesimus, who was a runaway slave of Philemon who lived in Colosse (see Colossians 4:9) Paul writes to Philemon; “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds; Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me.” (Philemon 1:10-11)

Onesimus had run away and traveled to Rome where he met Paul. While there, Onesimus surrendered his life to Christ. Under Roman Law, Philemon could execute his slave for running away. Paul writes this letter to Philemon to plead with Philemon to accept his plea. However, Paul goes beyond this and asks Philemon to also accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ and to overlook his faults and errors. “For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him forever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specifically to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord?” (Philemon 1:15-16)

 

 

Summary of 2 Timothy

Summary of 2 Timothy

The book of Second Timothy is a letter from Paul to Timothy on how to guide the Church. He writes one last time before his death.

In Chapters 1-2: Paul explains that he has been faithful and strong and invites all followers of Christ to also remain faithful and strong. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:7-8) He goes on to explain that those who follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ WILL “…endure hardness…” (2 Timothy 2:3) But that we need to strive for the goal, and follow all the rules on our journey to that goal. He warns those who deny Christ, will also be denied by Him. We need to be filled with “…righteousness, faith, charity [and] peace…” (2 Timothy 2:22)

In Chapters 3-4: Paul explains that there will come a time of great wickedness and war, where wise men will never come to the knowledge of the TRUTH! He urges people to study the scriptures and know for themselves of the TRUTH of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul tells Timothy to remain faithful and “preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul tells Timothy to press on and be faithful, for he knows that his time to depart this life is rapidly approaching.

Summary of 1 Timothy

Summary of 1 Timothy

                The Book of 1 Timothy was written to Timothy from the hand of Paul, instructing a church leader on how to lead the church in a specific area.

In Chapter 1: Paul greets Timothy, then quickly turns to a warning against false teachings.

In Chapters 2-4: Paul declares that God desires salvation for everyone,”Who [God] will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4) Paul teaches that “…there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Paul urges the members to give heed to “…readings [and]… to doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:13)

In Chapters 5-6: Paul urges the members to take care of each other, especially those who are in need.  He also encourages the members to “Fight the good fight of faith…” (1 Timothy 6:12)