“I Jacob, Saw That I Must Soon Go Down to My Grave”

D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner

Many have pointed out the curious use of a French word at the end of the book of Jacob. The Book of Mormon is translation literature. Jacob concluded with his personal good-bye, which in older English is a contraction of “God be with ye”—a perfect salutation to end his writings. Joseph Smith considered the well-known French word, by that time also an English word, to be the best translation of Jacob’s ancient expression. Adieu means literally “to God,” a shortened form of a dieu (vous) commant, “I commend (you) to God.” The Spanish adios means the same—otherwise, vaya con Dios, meaning “go with God.”

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon: Vol. 1