Leaders of integrity or infamy found in The Book of Mormon provide the fodder for spiritual growth and self-improvement. It was made for us.
Which Jacob is This?
Many parents give their children names that represent some greater meaning in life other than simply a way to identify their children. Jacob, the son of Lehi is a descendant of Jacob, the father of the House of Israel. His father, Lehi, did not give him the designation of Jacob lightly. Lehi wanted his son to have a name that represents greatness. What greater honor than to have the name of the man who produced the sons who fathered the 12 Tribes of Israel?
Jacob is of the tribe of Joseph through Manasseh. Lehi and his family fled Jerusalem during the regal rule of Zedekiah, before it was destroyed and its inhabitants carried captive to Babylon. God commissioned Lehi as one of His prophets contemporary to Jeremiah; though, Lehi did not have his name mentioned specifically in the line of prophets in the Bible. God in revelation told Lehi to take his family and another family with them away from Jerusalem to receive an inheritance in a land of promise to further God's purposes, when the Jerusalemites rejected Lehi's preaching of the coming destruction.
Another son of Lehi, Nephi, recorded, "For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land."
Following their exodus from Jerusalem, Lehi and his followers spent 8-plus years in the wildernesses of Judea where he fathered additional children with his wife Sariah, Jacob being the first. Hence, at some point during their journey on the Arabian peninsula, Jacob came into the world amid the hardships of nomadic life until by the hand of God the group made it to the American continents to build a community of Saints.
Why is Jacob, Son of Lehi, Important?
Before the death of Lehi after making it to the promised lands in the Americas, he spoke to those who followed his prophetic call to bless and counsel them.
Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren. Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.
And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free. 
This man became a spiritual leader among his people teaching some of the most profound doctrines of salvation from a period where many would not assume those teachings were had and in a place where many would argue that Judaism could not have existed. Two things of significance we learn about Jacob from Lehi's final counsel and blessing:
- Jacob saw in vision "that in the fulness of time" Jesus "cometh to bring salvation" to all of humanity.
- Jacob saw in his "youth" the glory of God making him "blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh."
...Jacob saw unfold the history of the world from Adam to the Second Coming...
Jacob's Discipleship to Jesus Christ
Jacob testified of the doctrine of a Savior to mankind and a Plan of Salvation of the human family in the Americas. His source materials other than his own revelations from God were the writings of Isaiah. The things that he taught are preserved in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ revealing to the world that centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ Jacob knew that there was a need for an eternal atonement--that the sacrificial laws revealed to Moses by Jehovah were not the end, but the beginning of the salvation to come to humanity.
Jacob is important because he is another witness that God's plan to send Jesus as the Savior was not because Israel as a nation did not succeed, but a continuation of the original plan from the beginning using Israel as a cultural and spiritual vehicle to make sure His plan went forward.
Jacob testified of the doctrine of a Savior to mankind and a Plan of Salvation of the human family in the Americas!
Fullness of Times
Full as in "complete" is the meaning here. The Fullness of Times is when all truths culminate in the final days before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to save the Saints. The Book of Revelations has ample material on what will happen during these times and it is more than war and horror.
The Fullness of Times is the restoration of all the blessings of Heaven ever proclaimed on the Earth by God resulting in a flowering of knowledge and culture ushered in by Jesus Christ's return to subdue the world. Jacob witnessed this vision as did Moses, John the Revelator, Nephi, Lehi and many other prophets privileged to see.
Because others saw the Fullness of Times, the assumption Jacob saw unfold the history of the world from Adam to the Second Coming I assert comfortably. Lehi was aware of Jacob's visions. The assumption that Jacob saw a panoramic view of the history and future of humankind makes sense because he would not know what the Fullness of Times meant without an understanding of the Fall of Adam and Eve in the beginning of mortality and the Birth, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Meridian of Time.
The fulness of times will see the accomplishment of specific and unique events, including the rebuilding of the old Jerusalem; building the New Jerusalem; preaching the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; the gathering of Israel; and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Everything necessary to usher in the Millennium comes under the purview of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which will continue until Christ has subdued all his enemies and has perfected his work. 
Jacob, the son of Lehi, saw in vision the prophet Joseph Smith Junior seeing God and Jesus Christ as a youth, the translation and distribution of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ and priesthood authority, the building of temples and spreading of temple ordinances around the world, and missionary work on a scale never before ushering in the Second Coming. That is the Fullness of Times.
Few people have seen the glory of God and lived, but it is possible.
Witnessing God's Glory
Jacob's older brother Nephi wrote in his record that he loved the words of Isaiah for the expressed reason that Isaiah saw Jesus Christ. Nephi included Isaiah's words in his record to testify of Christ. He also included the words of Jacob to testify of Christ. Why do those things?
"And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah," Nephi recorded in what became the 11th chapter of his second book. "For my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him."
To justify putting his brother Jacob's words in his record, Nephi added, "And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words. Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ." 
Few people have seen the glory of God and lived, but it is possible. Moses, Adam, king Lamoni (Alma 19), Nephi, and Jacob are a small example of people who saw God by visions or in person and testify of His reality and divinity. This is seeing the Glory of God--to be able to testify of the reality and divinity of the existence of God beyond faith and belief alone. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Each person with a true witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ received that witness by revelation from God.
In the Meridian of Time, Jesus taught His disciple Simon Peter who testified of His divinity as the Son of God that "flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."  Jacob received by revelation that Christ is the God of Salvation 600 years before His birth. He beheld the Glory of God.
Jacob extends a blessing to his listeners when he spoke to them and I repeat his sentiments to all who read here:
Cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen. 
- 4 Steps to Know Truth About Book of Mormon
Christians and others need to know the truth of "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ" because it is a second witness of the divinity of Christ with the "Holy Bible." It supports the Bible record as authentic and verifies ancient sto
- What The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ Proffers
The Book of Mormon testifies that Jesus Christ IS truly the Savior of all mankind and not just a man who led a small cult of people away from traditional Judaism. This is part one.
- Great Are the Words of Isaiah
Isaiah is the most quoted of all the prophets in the scriptures because his words are meant for all of humanity, let alone the House of Israel.
- 1 Nephi 7:14 1
- 2 Nephi 2:1-4 2
- Dispensation of the Fulness of Times 3
- 2 Nephi 11:2-4 4
- Matthew 16:17 5
- 2 Nephi 10:23-25 6
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Rodric Anthony Johnson
Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on February 16, 2020:
Ruby, thank you for so saying. The Book of Mormon has been the source of much faith for me since I read it almost 30 years ago as a teenager. It definitely converted me to Jesus Christ.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 15, 2020:
This is a wonderful example of God's love for mankind. I have a book of Mormon and I will read it more. Thank you for spreading God's message.