CLICK HERE to read Jacob 2.
Jacob begins his ministry, following the death of Nephi, taking very seriously the Lord’s charge to rid himself of the responsibility of the sins of the people (verse 2). This he does by teaching and by testifying.
We are responsible to do the same, as we should be “weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of (the) souls” of those we love (verse 3).
This, Jacob says, is part of being obedient (verse 4).
We know this is obedience to the premortal covenant, when Jehovah promised to atone for us and we promised to testify of Him.
But Jacob, as the priesthood holder – as the Prophet – for these people, did understand what was happening with them, even where their weaknesses were and what danger it brought them. He said, “I can tell concerning your thoughts, how that ye are beginning to labor in sin, which sin appeareth very abominable unto me” (verse 5).
It’s a big deal, he says.
“Yea, it grieveth my soul and causeth me to shrink with shame before the presence of my Maker” (verse 6). What grieves him? That the truth he must testify of is the wickedness of our hearts.
Wickedness earns justice.
Righteousness receives mercy, because of that great exhange. We give up what is not of God, and so are able to receive mercy because we are filled with His righteousness.
But when we do not stay righteous, and when we choose wickedness, then we put those we love and those who hold priesthood over us, we cause them to “use so much boldness of speech”. When we do not want to hear it, we think it is “hard” (as Nephi gave examples of). When we think the message is hard, we try to ignore it by discrediting the messenger or getting rid of the messenger in some way.
But, Jacob says, there is hope, because “the word of God… healeth the wounded soul” (verse 8).
So Jacob has a hard job to do, to speak words the people don’t want to hear.
In fact, he is straight up commanded, he says, “to admonish you according to your crimes” (verse 9).
And he does it through “the truth according to the plainness of the word of God” (verse 11).
But then he begs, “O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your soul” (verse 16).
Instead of destruction, we should be creating.
Instead of hating, we should be loving.
Instead of contention, we should be loving and healing and rescuing.
“Think of your brethren like unto yourselves…” ( verse 17) and “do good – (to) clothe the naked, and (to) feed the hungry, and (t0) liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” (verse 19).
Love is what is most important.