From Feast upon the Word (http://feastupontheword.org). Copyright, Feast upon the Word.
The Book of Mormon > Jacob > Chapter 1
 Verse 1
- Why are these plates described as "small"?
 Verse 2
- Why is Jacob commanded only to write "a few of the things...considered to be most precious"? What are the limitations on writing in these plates? Is the writing limited by the size of the plates or is there some other consideration?
- Why is Jacob commanded not touch "save it were lightly" the history of the community?
- What do we know about "this people which are called the people of Nephi"? Who are they? Are they only members of Lehi's original party, or are there others included in the group now? Why are they called the "people of Nephi"?
 Verse 3
- Why does Nephi command Jacob to maintain this spiritual record within his lineage? What might that indicate about hereditary social roles among the community? Are Jacob's descendants expected to hold the same priestly position within the community as held by Jacob? What might this tell us about the organization of early Nephite society?
 Verse 4
- Jacob says that he has been instructed to record the dominant and important parts (heads) of any sacred revelation, preaching, prophecy, etc...He states at the end of the verse that he should do this for the sake of his people (Nephites, I assume) and for Christ's sake. Why does he say that this should be done for Christ's sake, when the Nephites would be the principle beneficiaries of the recorded prophecies?
- What is meant by "heads" here?
- Jacob is commanded to write only "a few" things on these plates (v.2), yet he is also commanded to write "as much as it were possible" about them. How are we to reconcile these commands? What do they mean and what does that tell us about how these teachings were to be valued and recorded?
- How much sacred preaching, revelation, and prophesying is ultimately recorded in these small plates? How well did Jacob's descendants fulfill this commandment?
- What does it mean to "touch upon" sacred things?
- What does Nephi mean when he tells Jacob to record these things "for Christ's sake"? In what ways might recording these things be for or in behalf of Christ?
- How might these records be recorded "for the sake" of the people?
- What is Nephi saying about the community when he refers to it as "our" people? Why doesn't he just say "our family" or "our descendants" or "our seed"? Is this an acknowledgement that there are more lineages incorporated into the community than just the original Lehites?
 Verse 5
- Why are Nephi and Jacob so anxious about their people?
- What does anxiety mean in the context of this verse? Is a similar anxiety found in other scriptural accounts where revelation is received?
- Why do Nephi and presumably Jacob have so much anxiety about the future of their people? Is their anxiety for the possible downfall of their people the source of the vision that Nephi recorded about his posterity, or is the vision itself the source of the anxiety?
- Isn't anxiety an expression of fear? If so, how do we reconcile that fear with the faith mentioned here? Was it that faith led to Nephi's original vision, which then brought fear because of what it showed about the future of his posterity?
- Does this anxiety about the future of the people at some point become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy? What is the role of anxiety or fear in motivating spiritual teaching and preaching? Can preaching motivated by fear or anxiety ever transcend that fear?
 Lexical notes
 Verse 5
The words great anxiety are surprisingly strong and we may wonder if anxiety at the time the Book of Mormon was translated had less edge than it does today. In fact though Webster's 1828 dictionary definition seems to be just as harsh
- concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasin[ess]. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.
Click the edit link above and to the right to add exegesis
 Related links
- Click the edit link above and to the right to add related links