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"We Did Mourn Out Our Days," Jacob 7

Jacob 7

This chapter is well known for its one of the two accounts found in the Book of Mormon of an Anti-Christ. Sherem came preaching a variation on the scriptures, claiming that he believed the things that were written therein, but denying the foundational message of every prophet that had written: that Christ should come. Jacob countered his claims.
"...Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ." (verse 11)
 Jacob's personal commentary on the situation reminds me of the Prophet Joseph Smith's comments about how he responded to people who plainly refused to accept his account of the First Vision.  Jacob observes:
"And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken." (verse 5, emphasis added)
Jacob was blessed for his faithfulness and the Lord sent his Spirit to strengthen and guide Jacob in the presence of Sherem, "insomuch that [Jacob] did confound him..."(verse 8) Time does not permit me to elaborate further on the account, but it is curious to note that the end result of this story is a restoration of peace to the people and the love of God. (verse 23)

Jacob in his time felt an obligation towards the Lamanites, or those to whom the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not readily understood or accepted. Yet the net result of any effort that they made to reach out was returned with bitter hatred and violence. I find this nonetheless notable and interesting that a missionary spirit yet strove with them. (see verse 24)

In the second to last verse in this final chapter of Jacob, Jacob makes a summary of his lifetime by stating: "Wherefore, we did mourn out our days." (verse 26) There is something about this sober declaration of the reality of his existence that really strikes me as profound. I am old enough now that I can look back and realize that I have a history and a course of events that have taken me to where I am now. My life has been so much more richly blessed and easy, in comparison. But the thing that is above all most notable, is that even in a mournful reflection of a hard life, Jacob is confident in the terms and means of his salvation. This observation in no way lessens the end, perhaps it makes it even that much more enjoyable and rewarding when the end does finally come. Jacob's life then is excellent example of enduring to the end.


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