Jacob’s Purpose in Writing
2 And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.
3 For he said that the history of his people should be engraven upon his other plates, and that I should preserve these plates and hand them down unto my seed, from generation to generation.
4 And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.
5 For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them.
6 And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.
7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness.
8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote:
“Jacob seems to have been particularly committed to presenting the doctrine of Christ. Given the amount of space he gave to his witness of the Savior’s Atonement, Jacob clearly considered this basic doctrine the most sacred of teachings and the greatest of revelations.
“‘We . . . had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy,’ Jacob said, ‘wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.’ “‘Wherefore, we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ. . . .
“‘Wherefore, we would to God . . . that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world’ [Jacob 1:6–8].
“No prophet in the Book of Mormon, by temperament or personal testimony, seems to have gone about that work of persuasion any more faithfully than did Jacob. He scorned the praise of the world, he taught straight, solid, even painful doctrine, and he knew the Lord personally. His is a classic Book of Mormon example of a young man’s decision to suffer the cross and bear the shame of the world in defense of the name of Christ. Life, including those difficult early years when he saw the wickedness of Laman and Lemuel bring his father and mother down to their graves in grief, was never easy for this firstborn in the wilderness.”
(Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon , 62–63.)