Jarom is Enos’s son. He talks about all that has to be done because his people are 1) hard-hearted, 2) spiritually deaf, 3) blind in their minds, and 4) stiff-necked.
“Nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land.” (3)
One theme that sticks out to me over and over again in the Book of Mormon is how merciful God is to His children. He gives them prophets to guide and lead them back to Him. He prospers them when they keep His commandments. He pricks their hearts and souls with guilt when they don’t, urging them to repent so that they won’t be miserable by following after the devil. Repeatedly, He gives His children chance after chance after chance to change and return unto Him if they go astray.
Communion with God
Jarom says there are still “many” among them who have revelations because “they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men according to their faith.” (4)
That is a great promise. It seems that if we don’t willfully rebel and stiffen our necks that we can’t turn to God, then He will commune with us.
In the book of Enos, he showed us principles for establishing a relationship with God, our Heavenly Father, by wrestling until our spirit overcomes our body and allows this heavenly communion to happen. And then keep seeking MORE.
Two hundred years have passed away. The Nephites have grown strong because they “observed to keep the law of Moses and the Sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme.” (5)
Two things are mentioned here that gave the Nephites strength. Keeping God’s commandments and honoring His holy day, the Sabbath.
Our prophets have given specific direction that we should do the same. Am I heeding the words of the prophets and keeping His day holy? Am I doing my best to keep His commandments and repenting when I fall short?
The Lamanites are more numerous than the Nephite nation, “and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.” (6) They still hate their brethren and have come against them to battle many times. But because of their faith in keeping the commandments and respecting the Lord’s day, the Nephites weren’t overcome by their enemy. They had Godly strength.
But our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance.”Jarom 1:7
When we choose God, we are blessed.
The Nephites also fortified their places of sanctuary. Fortify means to strengthen defensively to withstand attack.
I need to fortify my testimony—strengthen it through study, pondering, prayer and obedience to God’s words. This helps me be mighty in the faith of the Lord to withstand the enemy, having knowledge, wisdom, and revelation to defend myself.
The Nephites prosper materially and their prophets “labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering” (11) to convince them to be diligent and look forward to Christ and keep His commandments.
- Do I teach with long-suffering?
- Do I labor diligently to persuade (not force) others to believe in Christ?
Jarom and other church leaders “did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.” (12)
Do I allow the words of the prophets and Christ’s words in the scriptures to prick my heart and stir my soul up to repentance?
Repentance and laboring diligently to do God’s will brings us strength to face the adversary and the trials of life. Am I taking full opportunity to gain this power in my life?