“And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul.
Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds.”
I love how Jacob is aware that the Gospel can be a source of comfort or affliction depending on the circumstances.
Jacob understood that speaking about chastity and high moral standards would be painful to those whose husband’s had begun to stray. It would be hard to be taught about God’s ideal for marriage and family when their families had fallen short. It would be easier to simply teach comforting truths and ignore the things that would remind them of their suffering.
But Jacob also knew that his job as a prophet was to call the people to repentance. He knew that if he could lead even one soul to repent, his effort would be well worthwhile. And so he knew that he has to risk the possibility of offending. He had to risk making those who fell short feel inadequate. And he had to preach the uncompromising Gospel truth to them.