What a melancholy Jacob we see in this farewell. At the end of Jacob's life he reflects not on the triumphs of the new community, but rather on the sadnesses of tribulation. Jacob concludes his own record. As a man of two worlds, the old and the new, it is no wonder than he sees his life passing away as if a dream. What a tremendous range of experiences Jacob has seen. The young of the community know of no other life, but Jacob remembers well that they are outcasts from Jerusalem. While he himself was "born in tribulation," he nevertheless had his family members to describe the extent of what they had lost. For Jacob, this would not be the wealth of the family in Jerusalem, but the company of Jerusalem, and, as a good Jew, probably the loss of the temple in Jerusalem. While they have built a temple in the new world, it might not have had the symbolic significance of the Jerusalem temple.
Jacob's life began in tribulation, and he fought tremendous battles to hold his people together in the Lord. On top of those internal battles, they have had to war with the Lamanites. Jacob may be excused if he views his life as mourning out his days.