Flattery of Sherem – Jacob 7:1-27

1 And now it came to pass after some years had passed away, there came a man among the people of Nephi, whose name was Sherem.

2 And it came to pass that he began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ. [I think it is amazing that the Doctrine of Christ was taught in its purity to a group of Jewish remnants within 50 years of having left Jerusalem. They still lived the Law of Moses, but clearly had more knowledge than the Jews because of the faith of Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob.]

3 And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch that he did lead away many hearts; and he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me. [Sherem’s power was created by a vacuum of unbelief that had been creeping into the Nephites for a long time. An underlying current of disdain by some for the power that the Gospel of Christ had over the people.]

4 And he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil. [People can be very influenced by others, especially those that have strong personalities, that seem smart, witty, attractive, and popular. I have never seen it worse than it is today with our internet social network culture.]

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. [It is a strange thing to stand before a person who is fully confident of their position and you know because of your experience they are deceived. What do you say to them? I see many former believers of Christ that for whatever reason have abandoned their faith in Christ, or embraced some new age philosophy because their hearts have been led down forbidden paths. It is heart breaking.]

6 And it came to pass that he came unto me, and on this wise did he speak unto me, saying: Brother Jacob [He uses his language skills to imply that he feels affection and concern for Jacob.], I have sought much opportunity that I might speak unto you; for I have heard and also know that thou goest about much, preaching that which ye call the gospel, or the doctrine of Christ.

7 And ye have led away much of this people that they pervert the right way of God, and keep not the law of Moses which is the right way; and convert the law of Moses into the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence. [There are always those who will say you are deceived because you go too far.] And now behold, I, Sherem, declare unto you that this is blasphemy; for no man knoweth of such things; for he cannot tell of things to come. And after this manner did Sherem contend against me. [It is a common strategy of the Adversary to accuse the righteous of the very thing they are guilty of themselves.]

8 But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words. [Never contend with the wicked until you feel the Spirit fill you with the words to speak. Before the words come, listen, ask questions, and be meek.]

9 And I said unto him: Deniest thou the Christ who shall come? And he said: If there should be a Christ, I would not deny him; but I know that there is no Christ, neither has been, nor ever will be. [This is a lie, because all the prophets had testified of Christ.]

10 And I said unto him: Believest thou the scriptures? And he said, Yea.

11 And I said unto him: Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.

12 And this is not all—it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.

13 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Show me a sign by this power of the Holy Ghost, in the which ye know so much. [A common tactic of the Adversary is to tempt the righteous to perform a miracle, or provide historical, scholarly evidence to prove their position. Even when such things are provided they do not care. When I am confronted with these people I pause, listen to the Holy Spirit, and usually am given a series of questions to prepare their mind for what the Lord desires to teach them.]

14 And I said unto him: What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the thing which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny it, because thou art of the devil. Nevertheless, not my will be done; but if God shall smite thee, let that be a sign unto thee that he has power, both in heaven and in earth; and also, that Christ shall come. And thy will, O Lord, be done, and not mine. [These words given to Jacob by the Spirit.]

15 And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth. And it came to pass that he was nourished for the space of many days. [He suffered a stroke.]

16 And it came to pass that he said unto the people: Gather together on the morrow, for I shall die; wherefore, I desire to speak unto the people before I shall die. [Sherem had many followers.]

17 And it came to pass that on the morrow the multitude were gathered together; and he spake plainly unto them and denied the things which he had taught them, and confessed the Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of angels.

18 And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the devil. And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment.

19 And he said: I fear lest I have committed the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God; for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they truly testify of him. And because I have thus lied unto God I greatly fear lest my case shall be awful; but I confess unto God. [He had not committed the unpardonable sin.]

20 And it came to pass that when he had said these words he could say no more, and he gave up the ghost.

21 And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth. [The Lord in His mercy enveloped them in His Spirit, this because they had a change of heart.]

22 Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.

23 And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man. [Searching the scriptures is the best way to approach our study. Don’t just read the words of the book like a novel. The scriptures are like digging for gold. Find the precious gems that the Lord wants you to see. Treasure them up in your mind and formulate questions so that the Lord can teach you. This is the power of scripture for you, like your own personal seer stone it will guide you in your revelatory experiences as you seek clarification from God.]

24 And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaimand restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually. [This verse has relevance for all who might have enemies, or even family members who we desire to help and teach, yet their hearts are hardened against us. What do you do? We must remember that the Lord controls the timing of this, not us. Be patient, continue to pray for them, and trust in the Lord. You can’t force it or like the Nephites in this verse it will be in vain.]

25 Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies. [In this case they made preparations to defend themselves.]

26 And it came to pass that I, Jacob, began to be old [Jacob was about 20 years younger than Nephi.]; and the record of this people being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days. [Life is “like a dream.” It goes so quickly and all we have is a memory. I find that most of my experiences with the Lord are more real than my physical life experiences, and the memories far more vivid.]

27 And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu. [Imagine the things that Enos heard and witnessed as the son of Jacob. His uncle was Nephi and his grandfather was Lehi. The legacy of faith here was profound. You too have an incredible legacy of faith. What does this mean? Never in the history of recorded civilization has there been more scripture and knowledge available for the seeker of Christ. This is the perfect stage for the pure in heart to awake, arise, and go forth.]

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4 Responses to Flattery of Sherem – Jacob 7:1-27

  1. [Life is “like a dream.” It goes so quickly and all we have is a memory. I find that most of my experiences with the Lord are more real than my physical life experiences, and the memories far more vivid.]
    Thank so much for inspiring & beautiful word from above!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. S Silver says:

    Vs 2: Do you know of the type of things preached by Sherem (or other false prophets) that were “flattering to the people”? What types of messages are these? The idea that everyone will be save no matter what? What other false teachings? I want to be aware of these! [There is an endless number of damning doctrines that false prophets can teach the people. In our day a popular one is that love is the means to salvation, nothing else. That all religion leads to the similar end result. Or, that exaltation comes by association and receiving living ordinances. This is common amongst certain sects, including the various Mormon denominations. PR]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When the people ‘searched the scriptures’ what did this look like practically speaking, what access did they have to the written word in their homes? Or did they have communal records they shared? Thank you! [There was communal access and if someone had the money they could pay a scribe to copy the scriptures for them. PR]

    Like

  4. Matt Owens says:

    Why do you think Nephi gave the record keeping responsibility to his brother rather than his children? [The first answer is that the Lord commanded him to do it that way. There was probably some dynamic with his children that we are not aware. PR]

    Liked by 1 person

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