Four Guides to the Book of Mormon Isaiah Chapters

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In a recent post, I explained how in the past I have outlined, compared and contrasted translations, looked up footnotes, read commentaries and yet, I still feel like I don’t quite grasp  Isaiah. So I am going trying something new this year. I am going to take just the parts of the Book of Mormon that quote Isaiah and combine them what I learn in this blog.

I hope that you’ll comment and share your ideas along with my thoughts too.

To begin, I just purchased Isaiah for AirHeads, (a Kindle version just to get me started). The author, John Bytheway, says, “there are four ‘guides’ or personalities who quote Isaiah in the Book of Mormon.

I like that bit of structure because the Isaiah chapters seemed shoved into the Book of Mormon. This lets me stop and consider the four authors and why they might have included Isaiah in their teachings.

The Guides are:

Byetheway calls “them ‘guides’ because not only do they quote Isaiah, but thankfully, they comment on what they’ve quoted.”1

In his overview above, Byetheway shows that each prophet and the Savior himself used the Book of Isaiah to teach and promise the descendants of Abraham future blessings. The focus, however according to Monte Nyman, is this, 391 of the 425 verses of Isaiah that are quoted in the Book of Mormon “deal with the ministry and attributes of Jesus.”2  This, of course, points to the main reason any prophet quotes Isaiah,  that they “might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer” (1 Nephi 19:23).

But in addition, in 2 Ne. 11:2–3, & 8, Nephi wrote:

2  And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words.  For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.
3  And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true.  Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word.  Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.

8  And now I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice for all men.

If Nephi says that he delights in the words of Isaiah, maybe I need to try to lift up my heart and rejoice in his words too. To do that, I am going to have to slow it down and try to understand this book the Savior commands us to read:

 …I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. — 3 Nephi 23


Bytheway, John. Isaiah for AirHeads, Kindle Locations 88-93. Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
Nyman, Monte. Great Are the Words of Isaiah, p 7. Deseret Book Company

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

1 COMMENT

  1. When I posted this, I looked at the organization of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon with four guides, Nephi, Jacob, Abinadi and the Savior. Each of these guides used Isaiah for their purposes. But Victor Ludlow divides the Book of Isaiah into two main collections:

    Chapters 1–35 prophecies of judgment
    Chapters 40–66 promises of redemption
    Interestingly the Book of Mormon quotes from both collections: Chapters 2–14 and 29 from the first collection and chapter 48–54 from the second collection.1 

    1 Ludlow, Victor, Unlocking Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, pp. 5–6. Deseret Book Company

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