Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jacob’s Witness of the Future


In 2 Nephi 6 we are given a talk Nephi recorded that Jacob gave to Nephi’s people.  In it we find out Nephi requested Jacob talk about some verses of Isaiah which prophesy of how the Gentiles would carry Israel’s sons and daughters in their arms and nourish them. 

In the verses directly afterward, if we’re alert, we can notice that Jacob seems to have had his own vision of world history similar to Nephi’s.  Notice how often he says the Lord showed him or an angel spoke to him.

8 And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words. For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem, from whence we came, have been slain and carried away captive.
9 Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that they should return again. And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel who spake it unto me….
11 Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro, for thus saith the angel… (2 Nephi 6:8-9,11)

Three times Jacob says the Lord showed him events that were to happen, and twice he speaks of things an angel told him. 

It seems to me that Nephi includes Jacob’s words as yet another witness that what Nephi saw in vision about the future of the house of Israel was true.  (Nephi also summarizes his father’s prophesies earlier on the same stuff, in 1 Nephi 10, to witness the truth of his vision.)

Thus, we see that Nephi is intent upon proving the truth of his words (as he said) with as many witnesses as he can gather who have also seen the future of the house of Israel.  (Perhaps somewhere there is a full account written of Jacob’s vision, but it would probably be very much the same as Nephi’s, though perhaps with instructions targeted to Jacob’s level of comprehension, whatever that might be.)

What are we to do with these prophecies?  They are to help increase our faith in the Lord that He knows the end from the beginning and that He will bring to pass the events that are still in the future for us, just as He has brought to pass the events so far that He showed to Lehi, Nephi, Jacob (and Isaiah).