Book of Mormon Primary Lessons

Lessons from the Book of Mormon as taught by S.J. Hollist, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

Lesson 8 - Jacob Confronted by Sherem

“Lesson 8: The Prophet Jacob Is Confronted by Sherem,” Primary 4: Book of Mormon, 25

Having a testimony of Jesus Christ will help us have power to withstand evil influences.

Read Jacob 7:1–23 also read 1 Nephi 18:7, 2 Nephi 2:1–4, 2 Nephi 11:2–3, and Jacob 1:17–19.

Breaking a string is easy, but to break the rope is much harder. Our testimonies start like single pieces of string, but we can strengthen them until they become unbreakable. We can all develop strong testimonies that will help us when others try to challenge us and our beliefs or try to deceive us. This lesson is about Jacob, whose testimony was unbreakable, and Sherem who tried to break it. Jacob was one of Nephi’s younger brothers. They lived on the American Contients around 500 B.C.

Jacob knew about Jesus Christ, who had not been born yet, because Angels had ministered to him, and he had read the revelations within the scriptures. (Jacob 7:5, 10–12). Sherem tried to convince the people that Jesus Christ would not come. "He preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ" (Jacob 7:2–4). Flattery means to give insincere or excessive praise, a form of dishonesty.

Sherem "had been deceived by the power of the devil" (Jacob 7:4, 18). How does Satan try to influence us? Read about some of Sherem’s lies in Jacob 7:7, 9–10, 19.

Jacob withstood the evil influence of Sherem because he had "heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto [him] by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, [he] know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost" (Jacob 7:5, 8, 10–12). Although we may not see angels or hear God’s voice, we can be strong when people tempt us to do wrong. The Holy Ghost can testify to us of the truth of things, and help to strengthen our testimony.

Sherem asked to be shown a sign, but Jacob replied saying: "What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the thing which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny it, because thou art of the devil." (Jacob 7:13–14). Seeking signs is not a good way to gain a testimony of Christ, because "he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation . . . But, behold, faith cometh not by signs . . ." (D&C 63:7–12). Signs may come after we demonstrate faith and obedience, but we should not seek them. Review from past lessons Laman and Lemuel’s lack of faith even though they had seen signs: 1 Nephi 3:29–31, 1 Nephi 16:39, 1 Nephi 17:45, and 1 Nephi 18:20.

Sherem is given a sign, but at the cost of his life. He confesses his deception that was of the devil, then dies. "And when the multitude had witnessed that he spoke these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth" (Jacob 7:21–23).

Why do we need to have strong testimonies of Jesus Christ? How can we gain and strengthen our testimonies of the Savior? How can we share our testimonies with others? Why do our testimonies grow stronger when we bear them to others? Use the lesson to help you answer these questions. Also read Alma 5:46 and Alma 37:35. In these scriptures you can find ways to strengthen your testimonies of Jesus Christ.

Your friend goes with you into a store and tries to get you to steal some candy. Based on Exodus 20:15 or Mosiah 13:22, what should you do? Someone offers you a taste of an alcoholic beverage. Based on D&C 89:7, what should you do? You are tempted to stay home and not go to church. Based on D&C 59:9, what should you do?

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