In the period AD 29 to AD 30, wickedness was so rampant among the people of the land that they no longer had a central government. “And the regulations of the government were destroyed, because of the secret combination of the friends and kindreds of those who murdered the prophets”. A form of interdependent tribal management had evolved, each separate tribe caring for its own needs and relating to other tribes according to whatever advantage lay in store for them. Mormon observed the degraded state of society, commenting that “six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire”.
The man selected by the secret brotherhood to be their leader and king was Jacob, “one of the chiefest who had given his voice against the prophets who testified of Jesus”. The strategy adopted by Jacob and his followers was to retreat to their northern strongholds until their numbers were sufficiently enhanced by dissenters from the tribal organizations to enable them to contend against those same tribes. Meanwhile, in the period AD 31 to AD 32, Nephi, son of Nephi, was performing miracles and attempting to bring the people back to the Lord. Many were converted and baptized.
Then came the natural disasters at the time of the Crucifixion of the Lord. Cities were destroyed and many people perished. “And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared”. During the Lord’s cleansing of the earth, the followers of secret combinations, including Jacob, were destroyed.
And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their wickedness, which was above all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of their secret murders and combinations; for it was they that did destroy the peace of my people and the government of the land; therefore I did cause them to be burned, to destroy them from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me any more against them.