We spent a study group looking at Jacob 1:19 and other verses in the Book of Mormon that talk about other people’s blood on someone’s garments unless they teach & preach.
We looked at the Old Testament passages that talk about the blood sacrifices in the temple, and especially the ones where blood is sprinkled on the priest.
Jacob’s calling/office would have been consecrated by blood, we assumed.
We also talked about the Day of Atonement, where one goat is killed to sanctify Israel and the priest, and the other goat is given all of Israel’s sins and then banished to wander in the wilderness.
We noticed that Cain & Abel fit that model (one is banished, one dies)
We also noticed that Judah & Joseph fit that too (Judah sends a goat to the prostitute, and Joseph’s brothers use goat blood to pretend that Joseph is dead)
We realized part way into our study that there’s a New Testament verse about shaking sins/blood from garments. In Acts 18:6, Paul shakes clothes to symbolize that he’s tried to teach Israel, then he goes to teach Gentiles.
We also thought it was interesting in some way that Paul says in Act 20:22 that he held clothes: “And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.”
Alma & Alma the Younger? Thyself destroyed, not on parents’ head?
Finally, we wrapped it up by talking about whether this talk of having blood of others on you unless you teach them was just for those in a certain priesthood office who had willingly taken on them the responsibility to teach, or whether through places like D&C 88 and D&C 68 this is now spread to every member of the Church?
We talked about stewardship and what that may mean and not mean.
We read D&C 121, which warns priesthood holders that it is tempting to use priesthood authority to force or control. If you think it’s your job to save everyone else so that you aren’t responsible, it could be tempting to use priesthood authority in the wrong ways. We thought it was particularly important that is says that you can’t go about your priesthood office in order to cover sins (don’t go around warning/judging/teaching others about their sin in order to distract from your own!) and that you can’t go about your office in vain ambition (don’t be so ambitious about preaching judgments on others! Don’t think you’re going to save them yourself!). D&C 121 seemed to us to be very applicable to our discussion.
We also noted that D&C 68 could be referring to those parents which teach children to not believe — that is, teach them that belief is not important, that repentance is not important, that faith is not important. This lines up with how the Book of Mormon talks about Laman & Lemuel in 2 Nephi 4 and how the Nephites began to dwindle in unbelief in 4 Nephi.
We also talked about the difference between works & grace here. If you think you have to teach everyone or else you’re out of heaven, you are working on a works model. It’s Christ who saves, not us! We thought about 3 Nephites who, out of love, wanted to stay on earth and keep teaching. That seems to be the idea here — people who willingly want to teach because of love.