I was reading in Jacob yesterday and I got side-tracked by this verse 1:8 :
“Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross, and bear the shame of the world….”
I started thinking…..
Believe in Christ: Yep. I do that. I know He is my Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I know (2nd Nephi 31:21) “….this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.”
View his death: Since there are no footnotes, I have to use my intellect. I think maybe this refers to the Atonement. Yes, I believe in it! I use it! I teach it! I try to remember it every day—what He did and what I am to do about it.
Suffer his cross: I was not sure, so I looked up the footnotes. Footnote c takes you to Luke 14:27 and with the JST (Joseph Smith Translation) sheds significant light:
27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Wherefore, that ye will do the things which I shall teach and command you.) JST
Ahhhhh……light and knowledge……we are to do the things which He commands us to, which if we do those things will surely put us in a place to
Bear the shame of the world: When we are obedient to His commandments and instructions, we receive (eventually) the mocking and scorn of the world. We are to bear it, to stand tall, to continue forward in faith. Not to shrink, as those partaking of the fruit of the tree of life (in Lehi’s dream 1st Nephi 8:28) did when they received the shame of the world from those within the great and spacious building.
Then I was drawn to this scripture:
“Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest…..” (Jacob 1:7)
Labor: expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory (Webster’s definition #1) (Topical guide see also: industry, toil, work, value of work, wages)
So, Jacob worked, diligently (characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort) among his people to encourage them to do these four things:
Believe in Christ
View his death
Suffer his cross
Bear the shame of the world.
Then in Chapter 2:5, Jacob tells the righteous, temple-going church members (see Jacob 1:17-18) they are beginning to labor in sin…..(So you can labor in righteous things and you can labor in wicked things, or sin. Hmmm)
Now this labor in sin that he is referring to is in the thoughts and intents of their hearts.
v. 6 “I must testify unto you concerning the wickedness of your hearts…”
v. 13 “…lifted up in the pride of your hearts….and persecute your brethren” (OK that is more of an act, but the attitude begins in their thoughts and hearts)…..
v. 23 “…they (the people) seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms” (basically desiring many wives and concubines), which
v. 24 the Lord says is abominable before me
Laboring in sin begins in the things we think about.
Then I wondered, ‘What other things do we labor in?’
Thes 1:3 refers to a …..labor of love (motherhood, for sure!)
Heb. 4:11 Let us labor to enter into that rest….(Oh you mean I have to WORK before I get to heaven?)
1st Nephi 17:41 the labor which they had to perform was to look (Seriously??! Looking is labor?? I guess it is when it requires FAITH.)
Jacob 1:19 by labor their blood might not come upon our hands (So when the prophets give us counsel and direction through their work, we then become responsible for our actions—we have been sufficiently instructed, even if we choose to only attend the Sunday morning sessions of General Conference, right?)
Alma 34:32 this life is the time for men to perform their labor (Our work, the work of change and repentance, needs to be done in mortality.)
D and C 18:15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days crying repentance unto this people (Wow–that seems like a long time to encourage people to come unto Christ, no vacations, holidays or weekends…)
And then I had this thought: