“The Confession of Sherem”

Sherem was smitten as a sign of the power of God and of the coming of Christ. The text does not say who nourished Sherem for many days, but from the context, we assume it was those who believed Jacob. Neither does the text tell us how Sherem knew he was going to die. Apparently it had been made known to him while he was being nourished. It appears that he was going through much tribulation during those many days. His confession confirmed what Jacob had told Sherem before he was smitten, he did know the things he had been denying were true. Whether he had committed the unpardonable sin is not known. The unpardonable sin is to “deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it.” (Alma 39:6). The text only says he feared that he had. However, his possible fate is a warning to us to beware of what can happen when we choose to follow Satan. His confession was not a death-bed forgiveness. He was repentant, but was beginning to suffer for sins he had knowingly committed.

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— [D&C 19:16–18]

Another request of God by Jacob was honored when the multitude was overcome (Jacob 7:21). As always, the Lord sustained his prophet in the eyes of the people.

Monte S. Nyman -

Monte S. Nyman

Book of Mormon Commentary: These Records Are True