The Nephites considered Nephi their “great protector” (Jacob 1:10). He had defended them against attacks from their enemies, and he had warned them about spiritual dangers. Now he was gone, and the task of leading the Nephites spiritually fell to Jacob, whom Nephi had consecrated to be a priest and teacher of the people (see Jacob 1:18). By inspiration, Jacob perceived that his people needed to be taught with “much boldness,” for they were “beginning to labor in sin” (Jacob 2:7, 5). These sins were much like what people struggle with today: love of riches and sexual immorality. And yet while Jacob felt that he had to condemn this wickedness, his heart also ached for its victims, whose hearts had been “pierced with deep wounds” (Jacob 2:35). Jacob testified that healing for both groups—the sinner and the spiritually wounded—comes from the Savior Jesus Christ. Jacob’s message, like the message of Nephi before him, was a call to “be reconciled unto [God] through the atonement of Christ” (Jacob 4:11).
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