In the Book of Mormon, Jacob (Hebrew יעקב Yaʿăqōḇ "Holder of the heel; supplanter") is a younger brother of the prophet Nephi, and becomes the prophet himself after Nephi's death. The Book of Jacob is written by him.
According to the "First Book of Nephi", Jacob's father, Lehi recieved a revelation that he was to leave with his family to avoid the imminent destruction of Jerusalem around 600 BC. Being obedient, Lehi left with his wife, Sariah, and his sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. While in the wilderness, Jacob and Joseph, son of Lehi were born. Jacob and his family eventually travelled to the Americas via boat constructed by his brother, Nephi. Jacob went on to be a righteous leader, and succeeded Nephi as prophet. Jacob is the author of the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon.
Jacob taught many things to the ancient Nephites, including prophecies of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of the atonement (2 Nephi 9-10). He also taught the Parable of the Olive Tree, which talked of the scattering and gathering of Israel (Jacob 5). He clearly denounced the love of riches and the pride coming from having more than another. He taught "before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God". He condemns all forms of unchastity and taught that polygamy was not to be practiced by the Nephites, unless directed by God via revelation. He warns that we should concentrate more on repenting of our own sins rather than looking down on others for what we consider to be their weaknesses (Jacob 2-3).
In 2 Nephi chapter 9, Jacob gives a sermon which is perhaps the best discourse on the atonement of Jesus Christ found in the Book of Mormon. He teaches of the need for the resurrection and states how the resurrection will affect all people. He speaks of eternal judgment, the justice of God, and the respective states of the righteous and wicked. He speaks of "the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit". Regarding the atonement of Christ, he states "he suffereth the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men" (2 Nephi 9:21-22). He discusses the need for faith, repentance, and baptism. He explains how those ignorant of God's laws are restored to God through the power of the atonement. He condemns those who think they are wise and do not hearken to God's counsels. His discourse is interspersed with repeated statements of the goodness, knowledge, power, and holiness of God. He finishes with a lengthy exhortation about avoiding sin, shaking off the chains of the devil, and a call to be humble, faithful, spiritually-minded, and holy. One of the greatest witnesses of Mormon belief in the Savior and his atonement is found in 2 Nephi chapter 9.
Jacob continues his discourse in 2 Nephi chapter 10 where he prophesies of the crucifixion of Christ and the wickedness of those who crucify him. After further prophecies and exhortation, he ends with several important doctrinal points. He states "ye are free to act for yourselves - to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life...and remember that after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved."
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2 Nephi 6-11