Earlier this week, I was reading in Jacob 2, and I came across something I thought was poignant.
Jacob was teaching the Nephites in the temple. The record is unclear whether this was a regular occurrence, or if this was a specific occasion when Jacob had called everyone together.
In verses 15 and 16 of Jacob 1, we learn that the NephitesÂ â€œbegan to grow hard in their hearts,â€ â€œindulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices,â€ â€œbegan to search muchÂ gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.â€
I found this interesting in itself. Jacob wasnâ€™t concerned for the Nephites because they were hard in their hearts, indulged in wicked practices, searched for gold and silver, and were lifted up in pride. He was concerned they were starting to do these things.
In verse 7 of chapter 2, Jacob says that he grieves to have to rebuke the fathers/husbands in front of their wives and children.
In verse 8, he suggests that many of the women and children had come hoping â€œto hear the pleasingÂ word of God; the word which healeth the wounded soul.â€ Presumably, many of them had wounded hearts that needed healing.
Despite this, according to verse 9, God gave specific instruction to Jacob to not â€œ[console] and [heal] their woundsâ€ or allow them to â€œ[feast] upon the pleasing word of God.â€ Rather he wasÂ â€œtoÂ admonish [the men],â€ â€œto enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded,â€ and to place daggers â€to pierce [the] souls and wound [the] delicate mindsâ€ ofÂ those who have not been wounded.
What a burden indeed.
Who, in their right mind, would rather enlarge the wounds of the wounded rather than offer them healing? Who would rather pierce the souls of the unwounded than allow them to feast on the pleasing word of God?
I can just imagine Jacob pacing his bedroom the night before grieving at this great and burdensome task (see verse 10).
I do not envy the role of the prophet.