“We Shall Have a Perfect Knowledge of All Our Guilt”

Brant Gardner

Jacob explains that a natural division between the unrepentant and the righteous will occur even before the formal judgment. By using “we,” Jacob includes himself with the audience among those that will “have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt.” This inclusion is only a rhetorical device, since Jacob surely knew he would be in the second category—the righteous who “shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment.”

This verse establishes the continuation and perfection of knowledge after death. Human consciousness and self-understanding will continue past death; but out of the body, our knowledge will be perfect (v. 13). Perfect self-knowledge reveals us to ourselves as God sees us, making clear our position relative to God. We will see ourselves as either full of guilt or “clothed with purity.”

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2