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A Library Tour through Jacob 2-3
1. The words which Jacob, the brother of Nephi, spake unto the people of Nephi,
after the death of Nephi:
2. Now, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, according to the responsibility which I am
under to God, to magnify mine office with soberness, and that I might rid my garments
of your sins, I come up into the temple this day that I might declare unto you the
word of God.
3. And ye yourselves know that I have hitherto been diligent in the office of my
calling; but I this day am weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the
welfare of your souls than I have hitherto been.
4. For behold, as yet, ye have been obedient unto the word of the Lord, which I
have given unto you.
5. But behold, hearken ye unto me, and know that by the help of the all-powerful
Creator of heaven and earth I can tell you concerning your thoughts, how that ye
are beginning to labor in sin, which sin appeareth very abominable unto me, yea,
and abominable unto God.
6. Yea, it grieveth my soul and causeth me to shrink with shame before the presence
of my Maker, that I must testify unto you concerning the wickedness of your hearts.
7. And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning
you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly
tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;
8. And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of
God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul.
9. Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the
strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your
crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling
and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting
upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound
their delicate minds.
10. But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict
commands of God, and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the
presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the
piercing eye of the Almighty God.
11. Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word
of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying:
Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall
give thee unto this people.
12. And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that
many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of
precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to
your seed, doth abound most plentifully.
13. And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have
obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than
that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff
necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your
brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.
14. And now, my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold,
I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his
judgments must speedily come unto you.
15. O that he would show you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his
eye he can smite you to the dust!
16. O that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, O that ye would
listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy
17. Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free
with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.
18. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek
them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good -- to clothe the naked, and
to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick
and the afflicted.
20. And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of
you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud
in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you, what say ye of it?
21. Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh?
And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the
dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments
and glorify him forever.
22. And now I make an end of speaking unto you concerning this pride. And were it
not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice
exceedingly because of you.
23. But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus
saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures,
for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things
which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.
24. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was
abominable before me, saith the Lord.
“There are those who claim that the Book of Mormon, Jacob specifically, forbids the
practice of plural marriage. In justification of this view they point to these words
“Offhand, these words seem to bear out the claim as made. But it should be kept
in mind that Jacob was emphasizing the failings of his own peope and therefore had
a tendency tdo press the misdemeanors of David and Solomon. The acts of David and
Solomon in taking wives and concubines were not abominable to the Lord until they
broke his law governing plural marriage. When David had Uriah murdered and took
over this loyal man’s wife Bathsheba, the Lord was of course indignant and commanded
his servant, Nathan the prophet, to rebuke him. Could Jacob have been ignorant of
these words of Nathan to David?
“And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave
thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that were too little, then would I
add unto thee so much more. (2 Sam. 12:8, Jewish Publication Society translation.)
“I doubt it. Nor is Jacob very likely to have been ignorant of these words condemning
Solomon for taking foreign wives who turned his heart to other gods, as found in
the Book of Kings:
“Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharoah, women
of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning
which the Lord said unto the children of Israel: ‘Ye shall not go among them, neither
shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their
gods’; Solomon did cleave unto these in love. (1 Kings 11:1-2. Jewish Publication
“This passage is self-explanatory. We conclude then, that Jacob was simply denouncing
plural marriage among the Nephites; his references to David and Solomon had to do
with their violations of the principles of plural marriage as understood by the ancient
Hebrews. He used these violations to drive home the lesson he was giving to his
own people. “For,” said he, “If I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto
me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” (2:30)
That people have to be given permission by the Lord before they may enter into plural
marriage is in the plain teaching of Jacob.”
25. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land
of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous
branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
26. Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto
them of old.
27. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there
shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have
28. For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an
abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
29. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts,
or cursed be the land for their sakes.
30. For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command
my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
31. For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the
daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my
people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.
32. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters
of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto
me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.
33. For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their
tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for
they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.
34. And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our
father, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation;
for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done.
35. Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye
have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children,
because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend
up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh
down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.
1. But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto
God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console
you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon
those who seek your destruction.
2. O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing
word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
3. But, wo, wo, unto you that are not pure in heart, that are filthy this day before
God; for except ye repent the land is cursed for your sakes; and the Lamanites, which
are not filthy like unto you, nevertheless they are cursed with a sore cursing, shall
scourge you even unto destruction.
4. And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent they shall possess the land
of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among
5. Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness
and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for
they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father
-- that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none,
and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
6. And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance,
in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful
unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.
7. Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands;
and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their
hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much
better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator?
8. O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins
will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of
9. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile
no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile
against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness,
and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.
10. Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts
because of the example that ye have set before them; and also, remember that ye may,
because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins
be heaped upon your heads at the last day.
11. O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake
yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from
the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that
lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death.
12. And now I, Jacob, spake many more things unto the people of Nephi, warning them
against fornication and lasciviousness, and every kind of sin, telling them the awful
consequences of them.
13. And a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, which now began to be
numerous, cannot be written upon these plates; but many of their proceedings are
written upon the larger plates, and their wars, and their contentions, and the reigns
of their kings.
14. These plates are called the plates of Jacob, and they were made by the hand
of Nephi. And I make an end of speaking these words.