“Christ Should Come Among Those Who Are the More Wicked Part of the World”

Monte S. Nyman

In addition to his prior vision, an angel had spoken unto him during the night between his two speeches. The angel declared the name of the Messiah that “should come among the Jews.” The name was Christ. He was to be crucified among them because “there was none other nation on earth that would crucify their God” (v. 3). This should not be taken as an indictment of all the Jewish people. People do change through the generations. Joseph Smith said of his generation: “This generation is as corrupt as the generations of the Jews that crucified Christ; and if he were here today, and should preach the same doctrine he did then, they would put him to death” (TPJS, 328). Joseph’s statement is verified by that generation putting him to death. Our generation, speaking collectively, is probably worse than the generation of Joseph Smith.

One of the causes of the wickedness of the Jews was priestcraft (v. 5). Priestcraft is defined in the Book of Mormon, “priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion” (2 Nephi 26:29). There is no mention of priestcrafts in the Bible, probably because it was removed with other “plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book” (1 Nephi 13:29). Satan, the founder of the great and abominable church, who was responsible for those things being taken out, would certainly like to keep the source of Christ being crucified anonymous.

The scattering and gathering of Judah is foretold by Jacob (vv. 6–8). The gathering will come when they believe in Christ, and it will be a literal gathering, “restored in the flesh” (v. 7), they will come from various parts of the earth, especially from among the Gentiles.

The forepart of Jacob’s prophecy seems to be taken from other sections of Isaiah (chapter 52, see 3 Nephi 20), but the latter part is from Isaiah 49:22–23, part of which is quoted again by Jacob (v. 9). Nephi used these verses concerning the house of Israel in America. Jacob uses them in relationship to the Jews, another evidence of dual prophecy.

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record