(January 22, 2014)
I don’t think it was an accident that Lehi gave this as one of his last, great sermons to his sons. And I don’t necessarily think that Jacob was Lehi’s intended audience, either. He begins by speaking to Jacob, and telling Jacob of his trust that he is righteous and will be saved. He then goes on to speaking about the reasons why Jacob has been saved.
What is interesting is the grouping again of the three main aspects of our religion – the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. Verses 11-15 give an outline of the Creation, while the Fall is described in verses 18-25. Verses 26-29 speak of the Atonement. If we think of how often we experience that same grouping (Creation, Fall, and Atonement) I do not think it was an accident.
Lehi was trying, through his lessons to Jacob, to teach Laman and Lemuel about the realities of the Gospel and things that they would have otherwise learned in sacred places (could they have already learned them?). He was either teaching, or reminding, them of what was really important and how they too could partake of the same blessings that Jacob had. Once again, this makes me feel like the beginning of the Book of Mormon is the story of Laman and Lemuel as much or more than it is the story of Nephi. Lehi was once again giving them a chance to change and remember covenants (made already or to be made in the future). Laman and Lemuel saw Jacob’s example and chose differently from him. We can likewise see Laman and Lemuel’s example and choose differently from them – we can choose to follow the path established by Jacob.