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A Library Tour through Jacob 7
1. And now it came to pass after some years had passed away, there came a man among
the people of Nephi, whose name was Sherem.
2. And it came to pass that he began to preach among the people, and to declare
unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were
flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine
3. And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch
that he did lead away many hearts; and he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ
who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me.
4. And he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people;
wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the
power of the devil.
“Because the Book of Mormon is a 531-page epic contest between good and evil, there
are bad guys who provide plenty of opposition and drama. . . Villains rebel because
they lust for power, hold an exaggerated opinion of themselves, allow their hearts
to harden against truth, or succumb to the vain things of the world, all of which
can be summed up with one word – pride. They are charismatic, smooth-talking flatterers
whose intent is to deceive. Each bad guy in the Book of Mormon has a distinctive
personality, but all follow a pattern of thinking that they are above the law and
that the consequences of evildoing will not happen to them.”
5. 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.
6. And it came to pass that he came unto me, and on this wise did he speak unto
me, saying: Brother Jacob, I have sought much opportunity that I might speak unto
you; for I have heard and also know that thou goest about much, preaching that which
ye call the gospel, or the doctrine of Christ.
7. And ye have led away much of this people that they pervert the right way of God,
and keep not the law of Moses which is the right way; and convert the law of Moses
into the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence. And
now behold, I, Sherem, declare unto you that this is blasphemy; for no man knoweth
of such things; for he cannot tell of things to come. And after this manner did Sherem
contend against me.
8. But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did
confound him in all his words.
9. And I said unto him: Deniest thou the Christ who shall come? And he said: If
there should be a Christ, I would not deny him; but I know that there is no Christ,
neither has been, nor ever will be.
10. And I said unto him: Believest thou the scriptures? And he said, Yea.
[excerpt from] Question #21: Believest thou the scriptures?
It’s interesting that Jacob asked, “Do you believe the scriptures?” rather than “Do
you believe in the scriptures?” . . .
A person might say, “I believe in the Book of Mormon.” But do we really believe
the Book of Mormon and recognize that its promises are real for us? When we read
the account of Alma praying for strength and then being strengthened by the Lord
(Alma 31:31-38), do we say, “I believe in that account. I believe that Alma was
a real person and this happened to him”? Or do we say, “I believe that I can pray
for strength and the Lord will strengthen me”?
The authors have selected 52 of the 543 questions asked in the Book of Mormon, to
thoughtfully consider and apply to our lives. Some of the questions we may easily
recognize as worthy of pondering. Others we may have considered rhetorical, and
brushed over them. Each question is carefully considered, often illustrated with
anecdotes and other scriptural references.
This is a good weekly devotional book. “Only as we spend the time to think deeply
about the questions asked in the Book of Mormon will the Spirit help us find answers
– answers that, when internalized and acted upon, have the power to help us grow
and change our lives.”
11. And I said unto him, Then ye do not understand them, for they truly testify of
Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied,
save they have spoken concerning this Christ.
12. And this is not all -- it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and
seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost;
wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.
13. And it came to pass that he said unto me: Show me a sign by this power of the
Holy Ghost, in the which ye know so much.
14. And I said unto him: What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign
in the thing which thou knowest to be true?Yet thou wilt deny it, because thou art
of the devil. Nevertheless, not my will be done; but if God shall smite thee, let
that be a sign unto thee that he has power, both in heaven and in earth; and also,
that Christ shall come. And thy will, O Lord, be done, and not mine.
15. And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of
the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth. And it came to pass that
he was nourished for the space of many days.
16. And it came to pass that he said unto the people: Gather together on the morrow,
for I shall die; wherefore, I desire to speak unto the people before I shall die.
17. And it came to pass that on the morrow the multitude were gathered together;
and he spake plainly unto them and denied the things which he had taught them, and
confessed the Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of angels.
18. And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the
devil. And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment.
19. And he said: I fear lest I have committed the unpardonable sin, for I have lied
unto God; for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they
truly testify of him. And because I have thus lied unto God I greatly fear lest my
case shall be awful; but I confess unto God.
20. And it came to pass that when he had said these words he could say no more, and
he gave up the ghost.
21. And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about
to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of
God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth.
22. Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father
who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.
23. And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the
people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this
24. And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaim and restore the Lamanites
to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and
bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought
by the power of their arms to destroy us continually.
25. Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and
with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore,
they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies.
26. And it came to pass that I, Jacob, began to be old; and the record of this people
being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring
that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time
passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream,
we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born
in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and
contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days.
27. And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto
my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi
had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end
of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader
I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.