The Covenant Path Unveiled in the Book of Mormon: The Witness of Jacob

In a previous 5-part series entitled, “The Covenant Path Unveiled”, we uncovered the Savior’s personal teaching of what His true saving doctrine is (3Nephi 11-26).  Though the term “covenant path” is not found in scripture, His saving doctrine is referred to by other names in scripture including “my doctrine,” “the doctrine of Christ,” “the gospel” and others.  He teaches some important characteristics of His doctrine.  He also includes the very few, yet essential steps or milestones that you personally have to fulfill or receive.  If you have not yet studied through that 5-part series, I encourage you to do that first before studying this additional witness.

The purpose of that 5-part series was to clarify what the covenant path really is, to unveil the simplicity and beauty of the true covenant path so that it does not lose its meaning, and that you might know the true way to personal redemption.  As I stated about the Savior’s own teachings (3Nephi 11-26),  my witness is that any other teaching of what the covenant path is or might be is rooted in darkness to frustrate your personal journey “in and through Jesus Christ.”

More Witnesses of the True Covenant Path

In addition to the Savior’s own teachings we there are other Book of Mormon prophets that add their own witness of the true covenant path. We have recently unveiled the additional witness of Nephi and in this post we will unveil the witness of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, son of Lehi. Again, Nephi and his brothers knew of the true covenant path because his father fulfilled it and then taught it to his family.

The following is an index from 2 Nephi 9 and Jacob 1-7. I always invite you to first read it on your own and use the spirit of the Lord to help you see the doctrine of Christ with new eyes. Use the spirit to discern any of my message as the Lord will help you discern. The index that I compiled is only there to help clarify the simplicity and beauty of Christ’s saving doctrine.  The outline will follow the exact format from the 5-part series.  As always, study these chapters and verses yourself beyond what is listed for more context and personal understanding.  Brothers and sisters, this is the doctrine (path) of personal salvation and complete redemption.

IMPORTANT:  Sometimes, in order to understand what somethings is, it can be helpful to also identify what something is not.  With that in mind, just as you did with the teaching of the Savior (3Nephi 11-30), as you study Jacob’s witness here, identify what the covenant path is not or at least what it is not compared to what you thought it was or what you have been previously taught that it is. In other words, salvation and exaltation do not come through any institution or person other than personally in and through Jesus Christ.

“O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.”

2 Nephi 9:19-20

Synonymous Terms:  Names or Terms Used for the Covenant Path By This Witness

First, note the synonymous names or terms used by Jacob to teach or describe the doctrine of Christ.  These are important because when you are reading the scriptures it will provide more context and understanding.

Straight and Narrow WayJacob 6:11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. 12 O be wise; what can I say more?  2 Nephi 9:41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

The Doctrine of ChristJacob 7:2 And it came to pass that he began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ.

The GospelJacob 7:6 And it came to pass that he came unto me, and on this wise did he speak unto me, saying: Brother Jacob, I have sought much opportunity that I might speak unto you; for I have heard and also know that thou goest about much, preaching that which ye call the gospel, or the doctrine of Christ.

The Covenants2 Nephi 9:1 And now, my beloved brethren, I have read these things that ye might know concerning the covenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with all the house of Israel—[there is a little mystery in this]. 53 And behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel.


Step 1 in His Path (Doctrine):  Hope & Faith

Sufficient hope (belief, trust) exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (seeking for revelation from God and acting on it) which is only possible with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

2 Nephi 9:18 “But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. 23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. 24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. 30 But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also [No hope or faith in God]. 31 And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish [No hope or faith in God]. 32 Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also. [Will not look to the Lord] 33 Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart, for a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day [no hope or faith in God]. 42 And whoso knocketh [exercising faith to get the Lord’s attention], to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.

Jacob 1:7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness. 8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.

2:19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted… 21 Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.

4:4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us. 5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son. 10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.”


Step 2 in His Path (doctrine): Repentance

2 Nephi 9:23 “And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. 24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. 33 Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart, for a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day. [Those whose hearts are unclean, who refuse to repent.] 34 Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell [twisting truth and will not repent]. 35 Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die. [refuse to repent] 36 Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell [refuse to repent]. 37 Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for the devil of all devils delighteth in them [to not repent and to place any person or thing above God]. 38 And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins [those that refuse to repent]. 45 O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation [the perfect definition of repentance]. 46 Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not shrink with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty—but I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery. 47 But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you according to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?

Jacob 6:5 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you [this is what it means to truly repent]. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts. 11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.”


Step 3 in His path (doctrine): “Baptism in the name of the Son”

Together, a “baptism of repentance (water)” and a “baptism of fire (blood) and Holy Ghost (Spirit)” are a complete baptism and is known in the scriptures as “a baptism in the name of the Son.”  When “baptism” is used by itself in the scriptures related to salvation, more often than not it is referring to a “baptism in the name of the Son.”

2 Nephi 9:23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. 24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.

Step 3a in His path (doctrine): Baptism in the name of the Son part one—Baptism of Repentance (Water)—Witnessing your repentance and willingness to follow the Savior

2 Nephi 9:23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. 24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. 11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate [if you have studied the witness of Nephi, you will understand this], and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.”

Step 3b in His path (doctrine): Baptism in the name of the Son part two—Baptism of Fire & Holy Ghost (Spirit)–Personal redemption/Remission of sins

There are many misunderstandings about this part of the baptism in the name of the Son.  Please study and ponder this very carefully.  Here are a few things to note as you study the Lord’s words about this part of baptism in the name of the Son.  First, there is a determined period of time between a person receiving their baptism of water and their baptism of fire and Holy Ghost.  That period of time is different for each person and is determined by the Lord.  The means of receiving the second part is only possibly through receiving and following personal revelation.  Also, the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost is not the same as being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is also not received when a person lays hands on your head and says “receive the Holy Ghost.”  The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide explains all of this and more.  Also, in the scriptures that follow, identify who performs this part of the baptism in the name of the Son (baptism of fire and Holy Ghost):

2 Nephi 9:23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. 24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. 47 But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you according to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?

Jacob 4:11 Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.


Step 4 in His path (doctrine): Starting a new personal relationship with the Savior by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, learn to be a servant by using the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the spirit–Which is to “Endure to the End”; Keep His commandments continually

2 Nephi 9:23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. 24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.

Jacob 7:5 And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken.


Step 5 in His path (doctrine): Receive the promise of eternal life, even to be received into the presence of the Lord

Jacob 4:6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea [the result of priesthood relationship within Christ’s doctrine or covenant path. See also JST Genesis 14]… 12 And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?

7:12 And this is not all—it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.

The True Path & The Covenant

Exactly as the Savior taught, we have just been taught the “path” milestones by Jacob as:

1. Sufficient hope and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

2. Repentance

3. “Baptism in the name of the Son”

3a. Baptism of repentance (water)

3b. Baptism of fire (blood) and Holy Ghost (Spirit) for the remission of sins

4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost that dwells in you and allows you to start a new relationship with the Lord (Mentor-Apprentice-type relationship)

5. Receive the presence of the Lord and the promise of eternal life

“… my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.”

Jacob 6:11

I invite you to ponder on the simplicity of Christ’s doctrine.  Notice how personal and individual it really is.  Ponder on what the Lord includes and does not include that you may have been previously taught.  Ponder on the wisdom of its progression.

What Did Jacob Say was His Purpose in Teaching the True Covenant Path?

To persuade people to come unto Christ” Jacob 1:7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness. 8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.

To not repeat the stumbling experience of the Jews” Jacob 4:14 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. 15 And now I, Jacob, am led on by the Spirit unto prophesying; for I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation.

Because there will some that will deny the doctrine of Christ or teach against it” Jacob 7:1 And now it came to pass after some years had passed away, there came a man among the people of Nephi, whose name was Sherem. 2 And it came to pass that he began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ. 3 And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch that he did lead away many hearts; and he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me.” [Consider the modern day application of this]

What Does Jacob Say is the Invitation Associated with the Covenant Path?

Jacob 2:18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

6:11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. 12 O be wise; what can I say more?”

Who or What Does Jacob Say Is the Central Figure of This Covenant Path?  In Whom Should We Put Faith?  In Whom Are We Actually Saved?  In Whom or What Are We Not Saved?

2 Nephi 9:19 O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. 20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it. 21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. 22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. 40 O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken. 51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

Jacob 1:7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness.

4:16 But behold, according to the scriptures, this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build.

6:5 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts… 8 Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?”

IMPORTANT: Just as you did with the teaching of the Savior (3Nephi 11-30), as you study Jacob’s witness here of the central figure and who is the means by which personal redemption is received.  Again, notice what the covenant path is and is not or at least what it is not compared to what you thought it was or what you have been previously taught that it is. In other words, salvation and exaltation do not come through any institution or person other than personally in and through Jesus Christ. In Jacob’s witness he leaves a stern declaration and even a warning related to the doctrine of Christ just like the Lord, Nephi did previously highlighted in the Book of Mormon:

41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

Conclusion

Jacob’s witness validates the Savior’s own teaching and yet it comes hundreds of years before the birth of the Savior.  Yet he was taught of the coming of the Savior that would fulfill the new and everlasting covenant.  Jacob saw our day and the knew his record would be revealed to Jew, Gentile and the seed of his brethren.  Therefore, he was commanded to teach it to us and leave his personal witness of the greatness of the true covenant path–the new and everlasting covenant.

For more understanding of this covenant path and its milestones taught throughout the scriptures, you are welcome to begin your personal study and your own journey in and through the doctrine of Christ through The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. Also, to help you increase your confidence in personal revelation and develop your own gift of discernment, I invite you to study The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.

– – –


JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on free, online study guides to help you learnbelievelive and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).

Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides.  Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation.  Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to literally “come unto Christ” while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org.

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