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

Bryan Richards

The following is an appropriate tribute to this great Book of Mormon prophet—Jacob.

Jeffrey R. Holland

"Jacob, the believer. Jacob, the foe of the anti-Christ. Jacob, the unshakable. By definition all Book of Mormon prophets had great faith and were unyielding in their convictions. All had a deep witness of the mission and divinity of Christ. But in a life only sketchily documented (Jacob's teachings are limited to thirty-one pages in the Book of Mormon, and many of those are devoted to the quotations of other prophets), and although he considers his contribution to the Book of Mormon to be small (see Jacob 7:27), nevertheless this prophet comes to us in word and deed as absolutely rocklike, solid, invincible, unshakable.
"Indeed it is Jacob, at least as much as any other in the Book of Mormon, to whom Helaman's great declaration applies: 'Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall' (Helaman 5:12)…
"Another element of Jacob's steadfastness is the fact that such concern for the salvation of both immediate and extended family has created in him a kind of special sensitivity to-or more accurately a deep aversion to-the temptations of the world and the serious effects of sin. His forthright response is evoked even when the people were only beginning to labor in sin, when their 'thoughts' were unholy even though in behavior and performance they were still obedient to the commandments Jacob had given them (see Jacob 2:4–5).
"As one student of Jacob has counted, of the seventeen times such phrases as 'grieveth me' and 'burdeneth my soul' are used in the entire Book of Mormon, eleven of those utterances are by Jacob." (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, pp. 33-38)