Sunday, April 10, 2011

Introduction: my fascination with Isaiah

  • Most of my familiarity with the words of Isaiah comes from the Book of Mormon.  In my personal and family scripture study, I read over Isaiah's words without understanding much.  Sometimes I can pick out parts that teach that Jesus is the Christ and sometimes I pick out parts that persuade personal righteousness.  More meaning than that has been difficult for me to grasp.  

    During my full-time missionary service (1996-1998) and since, I attained a strong understanding and testimony of the truths taught in the Book in Mormon; yet, the majority of Isaiah's words continue to befuddle me.  A few scriptures periodically rap at the door in the back of my mind:  

    2 Nephi 25:7

    7 But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.
    This scripture tells me that as Isaiah's prophecies are fulfilled, I can know of a surety exactly what Isaiah was talking about; therefore, though it may not be requisite to understand all of Isaiah's words which have not been fulfilled, I should know and understand his words which have already come to pass.

    3 Nephi 23:1

    1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
    This commandment is from the risen Lord himself to the righteous Nephites who were spared from the great destruction that occurred at the time of His death.  The Book of Mormon was written for our day and for our benefit; is it not wise for us to heed the words of the Lord  and to search the great words of Isaiah diligently? 

    2 Nephi 25:4

    4 Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel, and give ear unto my words; for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy. But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me from the time that I came out from Jerusalem with my father; for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn.
    I hold the priesthood, so why not be filled with the spirit of prophecy at times?  Why should I not be able to understand ALL of Isaiah's words after diligent searching?  Like Nephi's soul, my soul also delights in plainness.  There have been times when I think I understand Isaiah's words, but then I re-read the same words and my previous understanding is gone from me much like a dream that I forget just seconds after waking.  This blog will be a way of recalling and building on my understanding of the great words of Isaiah.
    This blog  for my personal benefit; although, if others can benefit from it, all the better.  I expect it to be very piece-mealy rather than ordered either by chapters and verses or by chronological fulfillment of prophecy.    I will analyze just one idea at a time in no particular order.  I plan to analyze the pure meaning rather than attempt to draw out spiritual implications of the meaning.  Maybe I will order these notes after I have discovered most of the meaning.

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