Jacob 6

Jacob 6:3 how blessed are they who have labored diligently

"In this verse, Jacob bestows a benediction upon the servants of the Lord who have been zealous and who persevered in His service in the vineyard of our Lord. It reminds us of the words of the angel, who, in speaking for the Lord, said to Nephi, 'And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the lamb;...'(1 Nephi 13:37)" (Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 1, p. 484)

Few would doubt that men like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and a hundred others were foreordained to the great work of the Restoration. Joseph F. Smith said of these men, before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men (DC 138:56). Sometimes, we underestimate the importance of an event because of our proximity to it. The Restoration of priesthood keys, saving ordinances, and temple worship is the key to saving the entire earth from destruction. This destruction would come with the Second Coming of the Lord. Joseph Smith was told what would happen without the Restoration, If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming (JS-H 1:39).

Jacob 6:3 the world shall be burned with fire

Jacob is referring to the last verse of the allegory which speaks of the time when the Lord burns the vineyard. The events described are to occur after the Millenium. This is important because of the similarities between events which attend the Second Coming and those which occur during the little season when Satan is loosed after the Millenium. Both time periods have destruction by fire, both time periods have a battle of Armageddon, both time periods are characterized as bringing forth a new heaven and a new earth.

Jacob's record, though is clear; this burning of the vineyard will occur after the Millenium. This has reference to the sanctification of the earth in preparation for its celestial glory. It does not refer to the wicked being killed by fire. By this time, all the wicked have been resurrected already and there can be no more physical death. There can only be spiritual death-when those who are filthy still are cast out into their own place!

Jacob 6:4 he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long

When the Lord stretches out his hands to his people, it can have one of two meanings. It is either an expression of the unending nature of his mercy and love, as in this passage, or he is stretching out his hand in judgment. The latter interpretation is commonly seen in the prophecies of the Old Testament, For all this his anger in not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (Isa 10:4).

Jacob 6:5 come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God

The scriptures teach that the Lord has no interest in someone who comes to him with reservations, qualifications, or exceptions. He expects us to love him with all our might, mind, and strength. But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul (Josh 22:5). If we cannot keep this first and great commandment, we are of no use to him. As the Lord told the Laodiceans, I know thy words, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth...be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Rev 3:15-20).

"To cleave unto God," means to hold on fast. It is the verb used to describe the appropriate relationship between husband and wife, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Gen 2:24). In our marriage relationship, as with our relationship with the Lord, we are to be constantly faithful, ever cleaving unto our beloved. There is no allowance for occasional excursions away. The Lord does not want us to try another partner for a while or to turn from the Lord for a season. Such is the nature of enduring to the end.

Mark E. Petersen

"Any married man who pays attention to any woman other than his wife, to that extent is in rebellion against Almighty God, and any woman who is married and receives attention from any other man is flying in the face of Providence and violating the law of heaven." (Conference Reports, Oct. 1954, p. 18)

John Taylor

"In regard to the work in which we are engaged, we all feel to a certain extent interested therein, and there are many points that it will be necessary for us to reflect upon. One is, that it is 'not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.' And it is for us to square our lives according to the principles laid down for all of us...and for every man to magnify his calling with singleness of heart before God, and to feel that God demands of us righteousness, truth and integrity in our hearts; that we cleave unto him, observe his laws and keep his commandments; and if we do this, then the blessings of which we have heard are ours; if we do not we shall not possess them." (Conference Reports, Apr. 1880, p. 30)

Orson Hyde

"Brethren and sisters, I rejoice in the Lord our God, that he has moved graciously in favor of the Latter-day Saints; and inasmuch as we will forsake all evil and cleave unto him we shall find that his words unto us will be fulfilled, where he declares, 'I will fight your battles.' I would rather live near to God and serve him with all my heart and soul, might, mind and strength, than fight my own battles." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 14)

Jacob 6:8 deny the good word of Christ...and the gift of the Holy Ghost

Jacob is describing the sons of Perdition. The context of verse 3 shows that the topic is those who are cast out into their own place-or in other words, those who are the sons of Perdition. The key reason why an individual is worthy of such a punishment is because they choose to deny the Holy Ghost. As the Lord said:

   'Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

   And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.' (Matt 12:31-32)

The language of this chapter is reminiscent of the language used in DC 76 to describe the sons of Perdition. To make a mock of the great plan of redemption is similar to the phrase in DC 76, having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame (DC 76:35). Both phrases describe a disdain for the great atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The reward for both groups is the lake of fire and brimstone.

Jacob 6:9 stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God

One concept that is repeatedly taught in the Book of Mormon is that the righteous who have fallen away from the truth will be faced with the truth before the bar of God. While looking the Savior in the face, their pangs of guilt will be piercing. This is eloquently expressed in the following passages:

'Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.' (Mosiah 2:38)

'The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.' (Alma 11:43)

John Taylor

"God has made each man a register within himself, and each man can read his own register, so far as he enjoys his perfect faculties. This can be easily comprehended.

"...Let your memories run back, and you can remember the time when you did a good action, you can remember the time when you did a bad action; the thing is printed there, and you can bring it out and gaze upon it whenever you please.

"...Man sleeps the sleep of death, but the spirit lives where the record of his deeds is kept--that does not die--man cannot kill it; there is no decay associated with it, and it still retains in all its vividness the remembrance of that which transpired before the separation by death of the body and the ever-living spirit. Man sleeps for a time in the grave, and by-and-by he rises again from the dead and goes to judgment; and then the secret thoughts of all men are revealed before Him with whom we have to do; we cannot hide them; it would be in vain for a man to say then, I did not do so-and-so; the command would be, Unravel and read the record which he has made of himself, and let it testify in relation to these things, and all could gaze upon it. If a man has acted fraudulently against his neighbor--has committed murder, or adultery, or any thing else, and wants to cover it up, that record will stare him in the face, he tells the story himself, and bears witness against himself. It is written that Jesus will judge not after the sight of the eye, or after the hearing of the ear, but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity the meek of the earth. It is not because somebody has seen things, or heard anything by which a man will be judged and condemned, but it is because that record that is written by the man himself in the tablets of his own mind--that record that cannot lie--will in that day be unfolded before God and angels, and those who shall sit as judges." (Journal of Discourses, pp. 77-9)

Jacob 6:10 the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied

The sons of Perdition are the only ones who are not redeemed by the atoning sacrifice (DC 76:38). This means that although they are resurrected they do not receive a kingdom of glory. They are the only ones whom the mercy of the Lord cannot reach. This is because they have effectively denied the mercies of the Holy One. Therefore, the demands of justice are in force. No one else will feel the power of justice as forcefully as these unfortunate souls. Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God...mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment (Mosiah 2:38-9).

Jacob 6:10 lake of fire and brimstone

The lake of fire and brimstone is so frequently talked about in the Book of Mormon that it would be a mistake if the reader thought this phrase is used literally. The interpretation is figurative as the teachings of Joseph Smith clarify.

Joseph Smith

"A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner.  Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.  The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.  I say, so is the torment of man." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.357)

Jacob 6:10 What is endless torment?

   'And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.

   Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.

   Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.

   Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name's glory.

   Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.

   I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.

   For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore--

   Eternal punishment is God's punishment.

   Endless punishment is God's punishment.' (DC 19:4-12)

Jacob 6:12 O be wise

Marvin J. Ashton

"I carry in my daily date book a few brief memo sheets....One sheet almost worn out now has nothing more on it than Jacob 6, verse 12: 'O be wise; what can I say more?' Be wise enough to accept appropriate discipline and guidelines. Be wise enough to say the right words at the right time to the right person....Ever bear in mind that Jesus was the wisest of the wise, even brilliant, in his relationships with people....President Spencer W. Kimball, on one occasion a few years ago asked me to accompany him to the Utah State Prison....I learned much from a prophet who was wise....We were greeted by the warden and taken to his office....Two inmates were invited to come in and meet with us. They were in their prison garb and looked hard. I felt very uneasy when the steel door closed behind them and we were left with the two of them....President Kimball shook their hands before we all sat down. This was followed by a brief period of intense silence. The prisoners were looking at the floor. President Kimball was looking at them, and I was looking at him. After this awkward period of silence was over, President Kimball started off with what seemed to me to [be] an unusual approach. The thought crossed my mind that he could say: 'What are you in here for? Why did you do it? When do you get out? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves,' or 'What is your previous record?'...He looked at the one, and said to my surprise: 'Tell me about your mother.' The prisoner responded and told President Kimball and others of us assembled about his mother....President Kimball finally looked at the other prisoner and said: 'What does your father do for a living?' He too responded with comments, and the Prophet gave complete attention and listened intently....They looked at him, responded, and looked in his face while he gently listened....Word had spread that President Spencer W. Kimball was at the prison visiting, and some of the media were outside the doors waiting for pictures and conversation with President Kimball. [He]...invited some of the press into the room with a cameraman. One reporter said, 'President Kimball, we'd like to have a picture of you talking to these two inmates.' President Kimball granted the interview by standing up promptly and getting between the two prisoners as the picture was taken. I recall as though it were yesterday what he said after the picture was taken. He shook one hand and then the other and said, 'Thank you, boys, for letting me have my picture taken with you.' One of these hardened prisoners was in for murder and the other one for grand larceny. To say they were touched and responsive is an understatement. I will never forget the impact of this visit upon me and my future. A wise, gentle prophet conducted his interview without embarrassment, without ridicule, and without condemnation...interviewing, counseling, instructing, and touching lives with wisdom." (BYU University Conference, Aug. 24-5, 1992 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 187)

Jacob 6:13 I shall meet you before the pleasing bar of God

Jacob promises to meet us at the judgment bar of God. He will apparently be there with Nephi, Moroni, and many other prophets. Nephi declared, I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat...and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things (2 Ne 33:7,11). Moroni also will be at the judgment-seat, we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood (Ether 12:38).

"It is worthy of note that the four persons who contribute the most as writers in the Book of Mormon-Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni-all certify that one's acceptance or rejection of that which they have written by the power of the Spirit will be a crucial issue at the judgment bar of God.  'And if they [his words in the Book of Mormon] are not the words of Christ,' Nephi challenged, 'judge ye-for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness' (2 Nephi 33:11; see also Mormon 3:18-22; Moroni 10:27)." (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 2, p. 82)