Saturday, December 31, 2011


I tend to abuse the word "favorite," but when it comes to Book of Mormon prophets, I truly do have just one favorite above all others: Jacob, the brother of Nephi.

For as long as I can remember, I tend to turn to his writings for comfort and guidance. The Spirit often uses his words to teach me because Jacob the prophet and I share some ways of thinking. That's a bold comparison, putting myself with a cannonized prophet, but I say this because his personality comes through so strongly in his writings that I can see how it matches my own.

Jacob was also a writer. Nephi commanded him to write—to write of great prophecies and revelations, to write of what he knew, to write of truth—all for a people who only sometimes listened. "Wherefore, we would . . . that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfill the commandment of my brother Nephi" (Jacob 1:8).

Jacob speaks often of responsibility, at times with a certain resignation. He accepts his calling to invite his people unto repentance, but he seems so sad about it. The cruelty and unfeelingness of his people is directly opposite to the soft heart he bears to them. You can see that he feels personal sadness for those he teaches. He  cannot bear seeing them suffer and hurt each other. In this respect, he is a man after my own heart. He is anxious about people and eager to heal them. He keeps fighting a battle he may be losing with faith that good will always come of it.

I'm grateful to him for his writings, for every letter engraven in a plate of brass in the hopes of bringing someone unto Christ. I respect his courage to keep writing and to remain unshaken.

Before I say adieu, I would highly recommend this article on Jacob, which brings out the story of a man who was also a prophet.

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