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TitleChapter 16: Jacob 5–7
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication2009
Corporate AuthorsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Manual TitleBook of Mormon Student Manual
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsAllegory of the Olive Tree; Apostasy; Gathering of Israel; Jacob (Son of Lehi); Scattering of Israel; Sherem; Zenos (Prophet)

Zenos’s allegory of the olive trees reveals God’s personal involvement in the history and destiny of the house of Israel (see Jacob 6:4). President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) encouraged us to ponder the depth of Jacob 5: “The parable of Zenos, recorded by Jacob in chapter five of his book, is one of the greatest parables ever recorded. This parable in and of itself stamps the Book of Mormon with convincing truth. No mortal man, without the inspiration of the Lord, could have written such a parable. It is a pity that too many of those who read the Book of Mormon pass over and slight the truths which it conveys in relation to the history, scattering, and final gathering of Israel” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 4:141).

After recording the allegory, Jacob concluded his writings by relating Sherem’s attempts to lead the people away from Jesus Christ. Learning how Jacob exposed Sherem’s arguments as deceptions from the devil can help you fortify yourself against anti-Christs in our day (see Jacob 7:2–22).