Jacob 1:16 - 1:19
Jacob 1:16 Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.
They were also taking pride in their riches such as gold and silver. They were using the among of riches they had to measure their importance and rank among the people.
Jacob 1:17 Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.
Jacob seeing this alarming trend and having the backing of the Lord taught the people concerning what he was seeing. He was giving his sermon on the steps of the Temple with would indicate a general conference of sorts on one the Jewish festivals such as Passover or Hanukah, my guess being Hanukah or New Year’s day.
Jacob 1:18 For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been consecrated priests and teachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi.
Jacob and Joseph, Nephi’s younger brothers, have been made priests and teachers to the Nephites.
Jacob 1:19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.
They took their callings seriously. They each, in their own hearts, said that the people’s sins would be on them if they did not teach and testify of the Gospel with all their might. They did so that the people’s sins could not be put on them because they failed to carryout their duty.