Cruelty and Violence
Intolerance in Jacob
- God curses "the land" to punish humans, and he has cursed the Lamanites (Native Americans) "with a sore
- The Lamanites (Native Americans) are filthy and have dark skins because they were cursed by God. (But
at least they weren't polygamists, as were the Nephites.) 3:5
- If you don't repent, God will make your skin even darker than that of the Lamanites (Native Americans).
- God made the Lamanites (Native Americans) filthy and dark skinned "because of their fathers."
- "Jews were a stiffnecked people" who "despised the words of plainness," killed the prophets, and sought
understanding. For this, God has blinded them and "taken away his plainness from them" so "that they may stumble."
- God will curse some people and burn the world with fire. 6:3
- Those who "bring forth evil fruit" will be "cast into the fire." 6:7
- God will cast some people into a lake of fire and brimstone where he will torment them forever.
- Sherem, the first freethought martyr in the Book of Mormon [see the story of Korihor for another
(Alma 30)], tells Jacob he is misleading the people in by telling them
(ca. 500 BCE) that Christ will be coming "many hundred years hence." 7:1-7
- Jacob asks Sherem if he denies that Christ will come. Sherem answers that although he doesn't believe it now,
he could be convinced if Jacob could show him a sign. Jacob responds by saying, "Thou art the devil ... but if
God shall smite thee, let that be a sign unto thee." 7:9-14
- "He gave up the ghost."
God gives Sherem a little sign: he kills him. 7:15-20
- "This thing was pleasing to me."
Jacob is pleased that God killed Sherem. 7:22
- After God killed Sherem, things got back to normal. The Nephites were righteous and the Lamanites were wicked. So the Nephites built up their military to fight the Lamanites. 7:23-24