I try hard to count myself as one that is pure in heart, so I apply what Jacob has to say to me.
These are the things I must do:
• Look unto God with firmness in mind.
• Pray unto Him with exceeding faith.
• Lift up my head and receive the word of God.
• Keep my mind firm forever.
If I do these things:
• God will console me in my afflictions.
• He will plead my cause.
• He will send down justice upon those who seek my destruction.
• I may feast upon His love- forever.
I love the simplicity and beauty of it.
Chapter 3 talks about how the Nephites think they have more knowledge than the Lamanites. That darn pride thing gets in the way.
The racial prejudice problem is linked to the immoral concern Jacob has. Jacob gives a prophecy here. “If you continue in this immoral behavior, the time will come when it will cause God to remove the righteous and then let the Lamanites destroy the rest of you!”
V3 is very interesting as well... Jacob uses the word “filthy” to describe the Nephite’s sexual immorality. Yet... vs. 5 ... the Nephites look down upon the Lamanites because of their darker skin and living conditions and consider THEM filthy. Yes, the Lamanites were dirty, unkempt, and lived in caves and tents... so perhaps they were culturally unclean. But in Jacob’s eyes and in the eyes of God, which filthiness is worse?
Vs. 6-7 The Lord says, “I’m going to preserve the Lamanites because they keep this commandment!” “This observance” and “this commandment” is referring to the fact that the Lamanites were not being sexually immoral.
They were heeding the commandment for husbands to be true and faithful to their wives; their families loved each other; they did not commit sexual sins.
Jacob disputes their problems and says that the hatred they learned is due to their having been taught it by their fathers.
Vs. 8-9 There is a great lesson here for our latter-days. America and western Europe are considered in the eyes of the world to be very clean nations (they use deodorant, mouthwash, etc.) But, for instance, looks at the Arab culture. They don’t do things quite the same way we do. Do we judge and revile them for their “darkness and filthiness?” Sadly, many of us do.
But in the eyes of God which people is filthier? God would say, “YOU (America and western Europe) are filthier than the others in My eyes, because at least they are family oriented and are committed to their families, morally clean, and trying to be true to that commandment!”
V 9 suggests how to overcome the prejudice problem... “Rather than focusing on the mote in eyes of the Lamanites, start focusing on beam in your own eye, you Nephites! And remember that their filthiness came because of the actions of their fathers... YOURS didn’t!”
Vs. 10 There is another warning in this verse. “The things you hate in them can also be passed down to your own children through your own filthiness. Be careful that YOUR filthiness doesn’t do terrible damage to YOUR children and their sins will then be on your heads! So stay virtuous and clean, if for no other reason than for the impact your looseness may have on your children!”
What did you learn?