How fascinating to make note (in verse 1) that this allegory is actually Jacob rehearsing (for the next 76 verses!) the teaching and testimony of Zenos, a prophet “of old,” (Alma 33:3).
In fact, looking back, we see that Nephi quoted at length from Zenos’s prophesies of Christ’s life (1 Nephi 19:9-16). And years later, Alma quotes Zenos, who testified that “redemption cometh through the Son of God” (Alma 34:7). And Nephi, the son of Helaman, testifies of Zenos’s boldness in testifying of Christ, and tells us that Zenos was slain for doing so (Helaman 8:19).
And how amazing and humbling to realize that Zenos’s great vision, rehearsed here by Jacob, is something that Jacob and all the great prophets of the Book of Mormon knew in such detail. How true it is that every prophet in Christ’s kingdom–even to the least of the Saints–stands upon the shoulders of God’s word to and through the prophets before them.
Just as Nephi cherished the words of Isaiah, and Jacob, Alma and 3 Nephi cherished the words of Zenos, it is my joy and my song to cherish the words of our Prophet today, President Russel M. Nelson. I find myself returning and rereading his testimony of our privilege to “counsel with the Lord in all our doings,” and to look unto our dear Savior for counsel and comfort directly and most personally.
I pray we may all cleave to the example of all the great prophets in the Book of Mormon and like them, read and reread, listen and re-listen to the prophets before us, until the words of Christ through them are etched in our hearts. Thus we may each learn to live by the Spirit of prophesy and revelation–the Doctrine of Christ.