2 Nephi, Chapter 21

(Isaiah 11)

Is the thought of being judged by Jesus Christ a frightening idea or a comforting one?

Jesus-Portrait

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots (v. 1).  And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (v. 2); And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears (v. 3).  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked (v. 4).  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins (v. 5).”   We have an explanation for these scriptures found in D&C 113:1-2, “WHO is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?  Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.”  We learn also from Jeremiah 23:5-6, that the branch is also the Lord, Jesus Christ.  “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

The wicked are the only ones who need to fear the judgement of the Lord.  In D&C 45:3-5 we read, “Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.”  The righteous will be spared and have everlasting life.  Being included with the righteous is such an awesome goal.  If I can remember that every good choice that I make has eternal glories as the reward, I will not have a problem choosing them over the temptations that will come my way.

Who is the “rod” and the “root”?

In D&C 113:3-6 we read, “What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?  Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.  What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?  Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.”

When I read this, I think of the prophet Joseph Smith.  We know his lineage from earlier scripture.  He was the Lord’s servant, who restored the keys of the priesthood to the earth and started the gathering of Israel in these latter-days.  D&C 110:11-16 reads, “After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north (v. 11).  After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed (v. 12).  After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said (v. 13):  Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come (v. 14)—To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse (v. 15)—Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors (v. 16).”

The prophet Joseph Smith was talked about throughout the Earth’s history.  His purpose was great and he did all that the prophets foretold of him.  Now because the priesthood has been restored, we know that the Second Coming is near and those who are righteous need not fear the judgement that will come with it.

What will the Millennium be like?

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them (v. 6).  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox (v. 7).  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den (v. 8 ).  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (v. 9).”

During the Millennium, animals which we see as dangerous and wild in the world today, will be gentle.  No animal will kill another because every thing will know the Lord.  The world will be as it was in the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve.  The difference is that man will know all that was learned from life before the Millennium, where Adam and Eve did not have knowledge until partaking of the fruit.  I look forward to the day when I will not fear the death of my family from animals or other people.  What a glorious time that will be.

The gathering of Israel

“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his crest shall be glorious (v. 10).”  We have learned in earlier scripture that the church and gospel will be an ensign to the world in these latter days.  “And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea (v. 11).  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (v. 12).”  The ensign is the Lord’s way of gathering the children of Israel.  

“The envy of Ephraim also shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim (v. 13).  But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together; they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them (v. 14).  And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind he shall shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod (v. 15).  And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt (v. 16).”

In the world today, there is much fighting over lands because of a birthright given in ancient times.  When the tribes are gathered, they will no longer fight with one another.  Instead they will hurry to gather together as the children of God.  They will even cross over dry land where water was, just like those who crossed the Red Sea when Moses led them out of Egypt.  The second coming will be a time of wonderful miracles.  We have been told to help in the gathering of the Israel.  We can do this by remembering that we are all missionaries.  We need to live as an example of Christ and tell our friends, families, and neighbors about the gospel.  It is our job to do work in the temple for those who have died without a knowledge of the gospel, so that those who have passed on, will also be able to gather together as followers of Christ.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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