BoM 10—2 Nephi 10-24 Isaiah!!!! Israel, Israel, God is Calling-7
Three Witnesses The small plates constitute 143 pages in the Book of Mormon. The writings of Nephi, Jacob and Isaiah make up 135 of those 143 pages!!! Why? What’s so great about their writings? (2 Nephi 11)
For a wise Purpose I am suggesting that Nephi, Jacob, and Isaiah are three early types and shadows of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris—witnesses positioned right at the front of the book where Oliver, David, and Martin (who in spite of their later difficulties remained true to their testimony) would later be positioned. But Nephi, Jacob, and Isaiah bore a very special witness—they testified of the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, he who would be the central, commanding, presiding figure throughout the Book of Mormon. We could make a pretty obvious case that the primary purpose of the small plates was to preserve the testimony of these three witnesses. After all, their writing constitutes a full 135 pages of what is only a 145-page record. These three are who they are and saw what they saw and are positioned where they are in the book for a very “wise purpose” indeed. It would be exciting if the 116 pages of manuscript turned up some day, but I would never trade them for the material in the small plates of Nephi. I love these “greater views” given through the grand prophetic sentinels who stand at the gate of the book as we now have it. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘For a Wise Purpose’,” Ensign, Jan 1996, 12)
Isaiah—Book of Mormon/KJV Please make note of footnote 12:2a in 2 Nephi. It lets you know how the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon compare to the Isaiah chapters of the KJV.
Group Work--Isaiah Please get in your groups and work through these Isaiah chapters together, sharing ideas, comments and insights. Try to really understand what he’s teaching and why it is so important that he would be included as one of the three key author/witnesses of the small plates.
2 Nephi 12 Verses 1-4, 11 clearly talk about the millennial day. Share insights from these verses. Note the picture on the right. It is a bronze statue at the United Nations building in New York. What verse is it depicting? Verse 5-10 describe the wicked state of Jacob (the scattered house of Israel) before the millennium. Discuss how modern Israel sins in each of the regards in verses 6-8. -What was Israel’s sin in being “replenished from the east”? (6) From what incorrect places do we, modern Israel, seek to be replenished? -Whom do we hearken to today rather than God? (6) -What does it mean to please themselves in the children of strangers? (6) Hint-”strangers” are non-Israelites -Is the land today full of silver and gold? (7) Explain. -What are the chariots that there is no “end of” in our day?(7) -What idols and “workmanship of our own hands” do we worship?(8) Verses 13-16 list all of the high and mighty things of Isaiah’s day; Isaiah taught the fall of worldliness by saying these things would be “made low” (v. 17). Re-write verses 13-16, substituting the high and mighty things of our day.
“In the Top of the Mountains” Ever since the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated, we have interpreted that scripture from Isaiah, repeated again in Micah (see Micah 4:1-2), as applying to this sacred house of the Lord. And of this place, since the day of its dedication, an ever-increasing number from across the world have said in effect, “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He might teach us of His ways, that we might walk in His paths.” I believe and testify that it is the mission of this Church to stand as an ensign to the nations and a light to the world. We have had placed upon us a great, all-encompassing mandate from which we cannot shrink nor turn aside. We accept that mandate and are determined to fulfill it, and with the help of God we shall do it. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 82)
Daughters of Zion Read 2 Nephi 13:16-26; 14:1 What curses shall come upon the worldly, prideful daughters of Zion (members of the Church) in the last day? Discuss in your group how you see evidences of verses 16 and 18-23 in the Church today. Now read 2 Nephi 14:2-4. Who are “them that are escaped” (v.2) or “they that are left in Zion” (v.3)? What did they escape? (v. 4) What time period does this refer to?
Daughters of Zion (2 Nephi 13:16-14:4) Speaking to the women of the Church nearly a century ago, President Joseph F. Smith said: “It is not for you to be led by the women of the world; it is for you to lead the . . . women of the world, in everything that is praise-worthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and . . . purifying to the children of men” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 184). It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of “perilous times” that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:1, 6). Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves. And so, my dear young women, with all my heart I urge you not to look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors. Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow. Model yourselves after them, not after celebrities whose standards are not the Lord’s standards and whose values may not reflect an eternal perspective. Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. Listen to her. She may not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page. But when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge. As you approach the time for marriage and young motherhood, she will be your greatest source of wisdom. No other person on earth loves you in the same way or is willing to sacrifice as much to encourage you and help you find happiness—in this life and forever. (M. Russell Ballard, “Mothers and Daughters,” Ensign, May 2010, 18–21)
A Song/Parable about Israel Read 2 Nephi 15:1-7, a parable. What does the vineyard represent? (v. 7) Who is God’s Well-beloved? What do all of the actions done by the Well-beloved for the vineyard in verse 2 represent? After all of those efforts by the Well-beloved, what kind of fruit did the vineyard bring forth? (v. 4) What does that mean? So what did the Well-beloved do? (v. 5-6) How can we liken this parable to the modern day vineyard (Israel)?
Do you yet feel to say “Great are the words of Isaiah”? (3 Nephi 23:1)