2 Nephi, Chapter 25

(Just a note:  When I opened to Chapter 25 and realized it was no longer words from a chapter in Isaiah, I actually was sad.  This time through, the words of Isaiah have been a true blessing in my life and I hope to remember the things that I have gotten out of these past several chapters.  I have truly come to love the words of Isaiah)

Why is Nephi easier to understand than Isaiah?

“Now I, Nephi, do speak somewhat concerning the words which I have written, which have been spoken by the mouth of Isaiah. For behold, Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews (v. 1).  For I, Nephi, have not taught them many things concerning the manner of the Jews; for their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations (v. 2).  Yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah, for I came out from Jerusalem, and mine eyes hath beheld the things of the Jews, and I know that the Jews do understand the things of the prophets, and there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews (v. 5).  But behold, I, Nephi, have not taught my children after the manner of the Jews; but behold, I, of myself, have dwelt at Jerusalem, wherefore I know concerning the regions round about; and I have made mention unto my children concerning the judgments of God, which hath come to pass among the Jews, unto my children, according to all that which Isaiah hath spoken, and I do not write them (v. 6).”

Nephi understood Isaiah’s words because he knew the things that the Jews were doing.  Nephi had lived in Jerusalem and he knew the land and people that were there.  Just as we have a way we speak today, the Jews had a different way of speaking than the Nephites and Nephi knew how the Jews had spoken.  When we learn more about Jewish customs and culture, we can understand Isaiah’s words better.  We are so privileged to live in a time when it is so easy to learn about pretty much anything.  The Nephites did not have this luxury.  We should take advantage of this, so that we can learn more.

“Wherefore, I write unto my people, unto all those that shall receive hereafter these things which I write, that they may know the judgments of God, that they come upon all nations, according to the word which he hath spoken (v. 3).  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 (v. 4).  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 (v. 7).  Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them (v. 8 ).”

Unlike Isaiah, Nephi writes plainly so that the common person can understand his prophesies.  Nephi suggests that we read the words of Isaiah with the spirit of prophecy, so that they will be plain to us.  We can have personal revelation given to us through the spirit if we want it.  What is personal revelation?  In Revelations 19:10, we read, “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  Therefore,if we have a testimony of the Savior, we will have the spirit of prophecy.

Nephi also says that those who are in the last days will know what is meant by Isaiah because His prophesies will be fulfilled.  I think that is why it has been easier for me to understand them this time.  I feel that in the last few years the world has changed in ways that prove the second coming is truly close.  Isaiah’s words are applicable to our lives today.

How accurate are the Lord’s prophecies?

“Wherefore, it hath been told them concerning the destruction which should come upon them, immediately after my father left Jerusalem; nevertheless, they hardened their hearts; and according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are carried away captive into Babylon (v. 10).”  Babylon destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews were taken captive into Babylon.

“. . . And notwithstanding they have been carried away they shall return again, and possess the land of Jerusalem; wherefore, they shall be restored again to the land of their inheritance (v.11).”  The Jews were freed and returned to Jerusalem.

“. . . and when the day cometh that the Only Begotten of the Father, yea, even the Father of heaven and of earth, shall manifest himself unto them in the flesh, behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks (v. 12).”  Jesus was born and they rejected him.

“Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead. . . (v. 13)”  Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

“And behold it shall come to pass that after the Messiah hath risen from the dead, and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name, behold, Jerusalem shall be destroyed again. . . (v. 14)”  Jerusalem was destroyed again, but by the Romans.

“Wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered among all nations; yea, and also Babylon shall be destroyed; wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered by other nations (v. 15).”  The Jews were scattered and Babylon was destroyed.

“And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind—and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things (v. 16).”  The Jews are being persuaded to believe in Christ through missionary work today.

“And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men (v. 17).”  The saints of God are being gathered together as they repent and come unto Him.

In verse 9, Nephi tells of us a promise the Lord gives us.  “And as one generation hath been destroyed among the Jews because of iniquity, even so have they been destroyed from generation to generation according to their iniquities; and never hath any of them been destroyed save it were foretold them by the prophets of the Lord.”  We need to heed the words of the prophet, because we have been told to prepare.  We have been given signs that will occur before the wicked our destroyed and the second coming occurs.  In D&C 87:8 we read, “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.”  We need to be prepared, by being righteous.  We must stand firm and immovable in the faith, as the prophets have told us in these days because the Lord’s prophecies will be fulfilled.

“The purpose of the law of Moses”

Jesus-Portrait

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do (v. 23).  And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled (v. 24).  For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments (v. 25).” Since they believed in the coming of Christ and His sacrifice, the law had become “dead” to them.  The Law of Moses was fulfilled by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

“And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out (v. 29).  And, inasmuch as it shall be expedient, ye must keep the performances and ordinances of God until the law shall be fulfilled which was given unto Moses (v. 30).”  The Nephites were to continue to give their sacrifices until the law was fulfilled, because that was the commandment of God.  Once the law was fulfilled, they did not need to follow the Law of Moses and perform the sacrifices it called for, but instead give a personal sacrifice to the Lord as we do today.  We can take the sacrament each week to remind ourselves of the sacrifice that Christ gave for us.

We should continue to keep Christ in our lives and the lives of those around us.  “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins (v. 26).”

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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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