This chapter is full of doctrinal nuggets.
Some things I noticed this time around which I haven't noticed before are the following:
- Verses 6-8 are primarily about the importance of revelation. We are told this importance is denounced by our time's people in 2nd Nephi 28:5-6. I had never made that connection before.
- Interesting in verse 9, that it could easily be construed as saying that God has the power to control us ("the workmanship of his hands"), that free agency is a myth. It is, however, in fact making much of the same statement as Helaman 12: 7,8 is. "Man is less than the dust, because the dust moves when the Lord commands it." Verse 10 in this chapter comes at it from the angle of, "If God can command everything he made and everything he made obeys (except us), wouldn't it be a good idea to obey, and not try to tell God what to do?"
- Verse 12 states that it would be a good idea to attain unto a perfect knowledge of the atonement of Christ. It then likens the knowledge of the atonement to the knowledge of the resurrection and the next world. Not 100% sure if it's correct, but I can't help but to wonder if attaining a perfect knowledge of the atonement would lead to ones perfect knowledge of himself being saved? Something to ponder...
- Verse 14 has an illustration of pretty much precisely what Alma 29 verses 4 and 5 states about God giving us what we desire. The Jews wanted stuff they couldn't understand, so God gave it to them. Very interesting that the footnote takes us to 2nd Nephi 25:1, which references the difficulty in understanding Isaiah. God gives people what they desire. That, my friend, is a lesson for another day.
Verses 13 and 18 have always interested me.
First, verse 13 - thank heavens Jacob wrote what he did.
This is quite possibly the best explanation of that to which the Holy Ghost testifies. I love this verse, and reference it often.
Verse 18 interests me with Jacob's writing of his apparent nervousness at maintaining the Spirit with him. The word "over anxiety" is used in conjunction with losing the power of the Spirit. This tells me that lots of things, other than sin, can attract, or detract from the Spirit.
My guess for this is the fact that the Spirit can testify of nothing but truth, and the more truth you converse about / live / think about / etc... The stronger the Spirit is.
I also perceive that it might have had to do with something about Jacob's personality and demeanor. He might have been the passionate type. I can relate to that.