Cross-posted over at Nickel on the 'Nacle
This chapter records Jacob's preaching. Jacob was still very young while they crossed the sea in a ship, and is perhaps a young adult by this point. He indicates that he was ordained by Nephi and not by Lehi (v. 2). He also mentions that the people look to Nephi as a king (v. 2). Jacob references previous preaching and it seems like he might be Nephi's protege (v. 3). Jacob is interested in Isaiah and says that he is reading to the people from that prophet's text (vv. 4 and 5). My guess is that Jacob is reading from the original brass plates and not a copy, though I guess there might be a copy on a roll or on other plates. Codices aren't in use at this time and their (perhaps) only model book is on plates of brass.
Jacob talks about bringing together of the Jews and the Gentiles (vv. 6-7). "Thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me" (v. 7). This verse stands out to me at this moment in my life. Periodically, and increasingly frequently these days, I become frustrated about gender issues in the church. And sometimes this frustration turns into anger and I start to lose my perspective.
This past weekend was one of those times. I made a decision in the middle of last week to start wearing pants/trousers to church. I was all geared up for nasty comments and minor pants-related drama, but that's not what happened. My husband reminded my late on Saturday that the following morning was Stake Conference, not regular church. I got up on Sunday morning, got the girls ready, put on my nicest (new) dress pants, and we headed out. We arrived just as it was starting and headed into an overflow room where the conference in the chapel was being broadcast via tv. It is easier for the girls if we're not in the same room with five hundred other people. For half an hour or so, we were the only ones in that little side room. No dramas, no comments on my dress pants. The girls were well-behaved as they read books, wrote and drew pictures in their journals, and played silently on the iPads. The opening talk grated on my feminist sensibilities, but I was particularly surprised by the thoughtfulness of the last two talks, which were genuinely helpful as I was trying to work through this frustration that had boiled over into real anger.
The two talks discussed things like slowing down and savoring the good in our lives, avoiding extremes, and finding greater patience. All three of these things related to the anger I was feeling and offered me a way through my intense feelings. Trying to change the direction of my thoughts wasn't about trying to forget my frustration with gender issues or pretending they don't exist, but trying to regain peace of mind and a sense of perspective.
It is easy to get carried away with a single issue. The development of this story, which played out in Facebook group and on LDS blogs, pushed one of my buttons. Stories like this make me want to shake my hands at the heavens, like Mary Magdelene in this painting (detail from Caravaggio's Entombment, 1602-03),
and yell "Why, oh, why, Heavenly Parents, are we dealing with this nonsense in 2013?" You can almost see Mary Magdelene asking this.
When the conference speaker quoted 2 Nephi 6:7 "Thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me", I was able to remember that, for better or worse, waiting is an important part of this. I feel that I've had numerous spiritual confirmations that change will come, but I know that the pace of change will be slow. But it will come. But it will be slow. It will come. It will be slow. Deep breath. Patience.