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.
In describing to us the great anxiety he felt for his people, Jacob borrows several phrases from the following passage from Psalm 95:
To day if ye will hear his voice,
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest (Psalm 95:7-11).
This same passage from Psalms will later inspire two chapters in Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews (chapters 3 and 4), an extended discussion in Alma’s sermon to the city of Ammonihah (Alma 12:33-37, Alma 13) and a reference in a modern revelation on the priesthood (D&C 84:23-24). The message is straightforward: Don’t miss out on the great blessings God wants to give you. If you continually resist, if you make it clear that you don’t want His help, then He may withdraw it from you for a time, and you will not enjoy the peace and confidence that comes from knowing that you are aligned with Him.
Today I will remember Jacob’s anxious desire for the welfare of his people. I will strive to persuade others, including my children, to “come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into His rest.”