“I Would Speak Unto You More”

Brant Gardner

Sociological information: Why does Jacob end his speech? He has more to say, and the text of this sermon might take an hour, or perhaps a little more. Certainly audiences from Joseph Smith's time were easily used to much longer sermons than this, indeed rural life might have few entertainments, and so long speeches might actually be considered entertainment.

Thompson's suggestion that this is a covenant speech to a community festival provides the best answer. There are probably other events of the festival, and it is likely that the festival would normally be spread over multiple days.

In an agrarian society, having a large number of people gather away from their fields was unusual. Such occasions of mass departure from the fields would typically occur only when a scheduled event could serve as the focal point of their gathering. The rural farmers not living in the city must have had to travel some distance for the festival. Jacob would know that they were not yet returning to their farms, and that social convention (if not control) suggested that they be allowed to participate in the other events of the festival.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon