Thursday, April 11, 2013
Jacob's Ladder: Thankful Thursday/A to Z Challenge
This quilt block is my version of the pattern called Jacob's Ladder. I hope that you can see the steps or rungs of the ladder in the block. I think that they show up best when done in just two colors, and some say that the traditional colors for Jacob's Ladder are blue and white. Just as with the Broken Dishes pattern, this block can be done in many colors, but I liked the traditional blue and white the best. It really needs to be pressed, but I think it turned out ok.
Many traditional American quilt blocks are based on the Bible, since religion has always been an important part of our American culture. (See Bible Quilts and Their Role in History.) Jacob's Ladder comes from the story of Jacob in the Old Testament. Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, had been sent by his parents on a journey to his mother's homeland to seek a wife who would have his own beliefs and values, as he had received the birthright and covenants promised to the family of Abraham as long as they were faithful. Along the way Jacob stopped for the night at a place in the land of Cannan called Luz.
"And he dreamed and behold a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached the heavens and behold the angels of God were ascending and descending on it."
Modern prophets have explained that the rungs of the ladder in Jacob's dream represent the steps that we need to take during our lives in order to return to heaven to dwell with God. Jacob was so impressed with his dream that he renamed the area where he had stayed Bethel, which means House of God. Bethel later became the religious center of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Many years later, another prophet lived who was the namesake of Jacob. This Jacob was the son of Lehi, a prophet who lived in Jerusalem in the days when Zedekiah was king of Judah. Lehi had been warned of God that Jerusalem was about to be destroyed, and was told to take his family and leave Jerusalem. Over the next several years he and his family traveled through the wilderness outside of Jerusalem. It was in this wilderness where Jacob and his younger brother Joseph were born. Eventually the family made their way across the ocean to the American Continent. Jacob lived a life filled with trials and difficulties and wars, but he was a good, faithful man who knew God and dedicated his life to teaching his family the right way to live. He also left a written record, which can be found in The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
. . and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.
For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.
Jacob 4:3, 4
I am grateful for prophets. I love reading the words of Jacob, a wise man who knew trouble, but who also knew the way to God and happiness. O be wise; what can I say more? Jacob 6:12