“Will Ye Reject These Words?”

Brant Gardner

Culture: The conflict between the people of Nephi and Jacob is crystal clear in this passage. Jacob declares that Yahweh’s word is the doctrine of the Messiah, apparently in response to a criticism of the doctrine concerning the slain-Messiah/triumphant-Messiah. Jacob is declaring and defending Yahweh through his prophetic office. What cultural pressures would raise such a question?

In spite of Jacob’s powerful preaching, it is apparent that he is speaking to an unrepentant audience. This is not the first time he has called them to repentance, but his urgency and anguish are extreme. The conclusion of this address suggests sad resignation for Jacob. His people have, during his lifetime, changed from a community built on faith in Yahweh, one that follows Nephi’s inspired leadership, to a secular community following the customs and practices of the world. Even more painful to Jacob is his inability to sway them from the dangerous course they have chosen.

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