A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Sherem

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SHEREM. The first of the many Anti-Christs, who, at various times, appeared among the Nephites and endeavored by their teachings to lead the people from the principles of the Gospel. He appeared in the land of Nephi towards the close of the life of Jacob, the son of Lehi, and openly taught that there would be no Christ nor necessity for atonement. He was a type of many who came after, for no matter how these apostates differed on lesser matters, they almost universally denied the coming of the Savior, and taught that the faith of the Nephites in His appearing was a snare and a delusion. Sherem was a man of many words, much given to flattery, and well acquainted with the language of his nation, and withal very zealous in spreading his pernicious doctrines, so much so that he was successful in misleading many. Full of deceit and presumption, he contended with Jacob, denied the Christ and blasphemously called for a sign. A sign was given him. On Jacob's praying to the Lord, Sherem was smitten to the earth by the power of God, and though he was nourished for many days he eventually died. The day before his death he called the people together and acknowledged his impiety and iniquity. He confessed Christ and told the people plainly that he had been deceived by the power of the devil, and had lied unto God. He died with the terrible thought haunting him that he had committed the unpardonable sin. His confession and death wrought mightily among the people; schism ceased for the time being, and the unity of the church was re-established.