Today it's 2 Nephi, chapter 10. Jacob is still the one preaching. A lot of the things he says in this chapter have been said before, but I had a few thoughts.
In v.2, he reiterates what Nephi has said: that their descendants will fall away but later on come back. I just marvel at their faith. These men knew hundreds of years in advance that their posterity would fall away. They knew their brothers' posterity would destroy theirs. Wouldn't that seem so unfair to you? It reminds me a little bit of how Joseph Smith, the prophet of the Restoration, didn't have any children or grandchildren be apart of the church. Only now are some of his descendants joining the church. But Hyrum (who, unlike the Lamanites, was righteous) had many of his descendants stand strong in the gospel, including several prophets. What makes the difference? To me, this just goes to show that we need to teach our children the right way, but ultimately, they have to make their own choices. And if you knew that in a few generations, all of your family would have fallen away, would that make you stronger or less strong in the gospel? I think it made Jacob and the other prophets even more determined to be as righteous as possible and to leave these records so that as many of their descendants as possible would be righteous too.
In the next verses Jacob states that no other nation would have crucified their God. I have always wondered about this. Of course, we can't know for sure, because Christ was among the Jews, and not any other nation. But I guess that it holds true for them the same as it does these days--the more righteous and blessed we are, the more wicked and hard-hearted we become when we fall from the right path.
In v. 14 the Lord says that there shouldn't be kings upon this land, or else they will perish. I pondered on the meaning of this a little while, because at this point, the Nephites have a king. They have one all the way until Mosiah. But in rereading that, it says the "whosoever will raise a king against me will perish." I think the key here is that the Nephites considered the Lord to be their king, so their monarchy was allowed. In the history of our country, we know the aversion that the Founders had to kings. However, the promised land spoken of in the Book of Mormon applies (I think) to all of North and South America. I don't think any of the countries are still monarchies. Does anyone else know whether that's true? I know that there are several countries with virtual dictatorships, like Venezuela, but history shows that those governments eventually fail. I think it's remarkable that the American continents really have stayed pretty free of monarchies. Though Canada is part of the British Commonwealth. It gets a little complicated when you try to analyze everything literally! That's why the Lord is in charge of judgments, not us!
I like how in v.21-22, Jacob tells them that the Lord has led away other parts of the House of Israel at various times throughout history. We know for sure about two other groups--the Mulekites and the Jaredites. I wonder who else?
My thoughts feel a little scatterbrained, but I hope they made some sense!