Monday, September 21, 2009

Jacob 7

Chapter 7 recounts the confrontation between Jacob the prophet and Sherem who was determined to teach the people to deny the promise of a Messiah. Sherem was "learned." And his approach was to use eloquence, persuasion, and flattery. A demagogue gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people. He flatters them by telling them that if they listen to him they must be really smart -- much smarter than those fools who follow the simple truths of the gospel or who exercise faith in something to come.

But this approach would not work on Jacob.

5 And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken.

Jacob's faith and testimony were not rooted in intellect, although he was intelligent and could speak with great power. His faith did not rest solely in his understanding of the scriptures, although he was clearly a student of the word of God and knew the prophecies and teachings of those whose prophecies were in the record they had brought with them. He had heard the voice of the Lord, seen the Savior, and received the ministering of angels. He could not be "shaken" from the faith because he had received his own personal revelation. Everyone can and should know for themselves that the gospel is true. We can do this through prayer. The Savior has promised repeatedly throughout scripture, "Ask, and ye shall receive." It is written this way in section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
64 Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I find that a lot of intelligent people believe a lot of ridiculous things. They succumb to notions of "revolutionary" thought because they believe it somehow makes them special. I get that a lot in my classes. I have come to realize that they can't see what I see because their motives are not the same. Their motives are rooted in pride even if they deny it.I get a lot of that in academia. We are supposed to be some sort of "authority" on things. My best teachers are the ones that are willing to listen.