Esau Sells His Birthright for a Mess of Pottage
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
President Dallin H. Oaks said:
“The contrast between the spiritual and the temporal is . . . illustrated by the twins Esau and Jacob and their different attitudes toward their birthright. The firstborn, Esau, ‘despised his birthright’ (Genesis 25:34). Jacob, the second twin, desired it. Jacob valued the spiritual, while Esau sought the things of this world. When he was hungry, Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. ‘Behold,’ he explained, ‘I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?’ (Genesis 25:32). Many Esaus have given up something of eternal value in order to satisfy a momentary hunger for the things of the world.”
(“Spirituality,” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 61.)