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Enochscion

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Jacob's family
« on: March 11, 2020, 12:48:37 pm »
As I was reading Jacob 3 today, I was thinking of Jacob's likely personal experiences, and how they would have impacted his teachings/preachings.

One thing that really stands out to me is how upset he seemed with the Nephites for their negative feelings towards the Lamanites. From the first time he brings them up to contrast their (in this case more righteous) behavior with that of the Nephites in the end of chapter 2, he keeps calling them "our brethren" and "your brethren".

In verses 7-9 he seems to be filled with emotion as he rebukes them for their hatred of the Lamanites.

I'm not sure this is just a matter of comparing and contrasting and telling them to pay more attention to themselves and stop judging others.

Most of these people Jacob was preaching to by this point had never met Laman, Lemuel, and their children. Most of these people probably weren't even related to them. But Jacob was.

We know that Laman and Lemuel weren't wicked all the time. I can imagine Jacob having good experiences with his big brothers. He grew up with their children, his nieces and nephews that were about the same age as him. Maybe Laman taught him to hunt, Lemuel taught him to fish, and one of their wives made him delicious treats. Maybe his best friend was Laman's firstborn son. We get the impression Lehi's family was pretty isolated in their Old World travels. His family would have comprised his entire social experience throughout his formative years.

Then they had to leave these people he loved (and at least some of which probably still loved him) because they wouldn't keep the commandments. His brothers whom he loved were dragging his nephews and nieces (more like siblings and cousins due to the age and proximity) away from the Lord.

The separate societies formed, but he knew that mixed in with that enemy population were his family, his dear friends.

I see that sort of thing in his preaching there. I see the emotion in him as he views this people hating their brethren, his brethren who they don't even know personally, who are just faceless enemies to them. Imagine what that would feel like to him. When he speaks of the loving relationships in the Lamanite families, you can just imagine him essentially saying, "You keep reviling them, but you don't even know what you're talking about. You weren't there. You don't know anything about them. You don't really get it."

And when he transitions into the bad example they are setting for their children, and how they need to repent of that lest their children end up damned because of that example--he must have been thinking of how his brothers' failure to set a righteous example is what caused his nieces and nephews to depart from righteousness.

This just seems like such a personal address for Jacob.
 
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dyany

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Re: Jacob's family
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2020, 06:27:54 pm »
Quote
Most of these people probably weren't even related to them.

Um, no, they were ALL related to them. Not as siblings and probably no descendants, but as nieces and nephews and such.

Otherwise, it's an important thing to notice. It's easier to hate and vilify them whom we do not know. It's one of the things that makes the shrinking of the world, the ubiquity of impersonal social media, and the reducing of people to numbers, demographics, or political parties so destructive.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Jacob's family
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2020, 07:56:58 pm »
Quote
Um, no, they were ALL related to them. Not as siblings and probably no descendants, but as nieces and nephews and such.

Not that it's essentially important, but demographically and historically, it actually makes a lot of sense that the Lehites would have already met up with and joined with an existing native population prior to the Nephite/Lamanite separation. Brant Gardner has made the great observation that the scriptures Nephi and Jacob cited in their sermons in reference to Gentiles have some additional immediate relevance in this context of the two groups working and coming together.

(Also: The speech specifically against multiple wives and concubines kind of implies there's a lot more women available outside of closest-kin groups than seems likely without a larger population)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 09:24:01 am by Taalcon »
 
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TurkeyLurker

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Re: Jacob's family
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 10:59:55 am »
Enochscion, thank you for those thought-provoking thoughts.  I have cousins who don't live the gospel, but who I love dearly.  I am so grateful that I am able to associate with them still.  Of course, they aren't threatening to kill me or anything (usually).   :D

I had never really thought about what Jacob and his family had to give up to finally separate from Laman/Lemuel. 

Yes, very, touching and thought-provoking.
 
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Jason

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Re: Jacob's family
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2020, 10:05:46 am »
It is easy to make an outside group an enemy if you dehumanize them. They become an unknown monster in the dark, something to be feared. I think this is why experiencing other cultures, through exchange programs, or travel, or missionary service works so well to create feelings of love for people beyond one's own borders.

On the other hand, no one can hurt you like a close family member, or even close co-workers, or close church congregations.
 
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