7 Reasons Why Christ Called Isaiah’s Words Great

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Why Would Jesus Call Isaiah’s Words Great?

The LDS Bible Dictionary describes a major theme of the Book of Isaiah: “God requires righteousness of His people, and until they obey Him they will be smitten and scattered by their enemies. But in the end, Israel will be restored; the barren land will be made fruitful and able to support a large population; and the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, will dwell in the midst of His people, who will be called Zion.”

That entry in the dictionary ends saying, “The reader today has no greater written commentary and guide to understanding Isaiah than the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. As one understands these works better, he will understand Isaiah better, and as one understands Isaiah better, he more fully comprehends the mission of the Savior and the meaning of the covenant that was placed upon Abraham and his seed by which all the families of the earth would be blessed.” (Bible Dictionary, “Isaiah.”)

Speaking of the words of Isaiah, Jesus commanded, “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” (3 Nephi 23:1). Here are eight reasons why Christ called Isaiah’s words “great”:

  1. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles writes, “Isaiah is by every standard the messianic prophet of the Old Testament and as such is the most penetrating prophetic voice in that record” (see Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon).
  2. Nephi used Isaiah’s writings to “more fully persuade [his brethren] to believe in the Lord their Redeemer” (1 Nephi 19:23).
  3. Isaiah is the most often quoted prophet by Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John than any other Old Testament prophet. The Savior quotes Isaiah in the New Testament at least 7 times and the Apostles quote Isaiah at least 40 times.
  4. Similarly, Isaiah has been quoted by Church authorities more than 4,215 times in this dispensation. According to BYU’s Citation Index, Isaiah is bested only by Matthew, John, and Luke, putting him in fourth place for scripture quotes in conference talks.
  5. Likewise, the Book of Mormon quotes from Isaiah more than from any other prophet; the Book of Mormon quotes 32% of the book of Isaiah and paraphrases an additional 3%.
  6. The Doctrine and Covenants makes at least 100 references to the writings of Isaiah; specifically, sections 113 and 133 offer interpretations and clarifications of some of Isaiah’s prophecies.
  7. Isaiah understood our times, the last days. He wrote about many of the signs for which to look before the Second Coming of the Savior, so that faithful people could recognize God’s plan, be warned, and prepare. These include:

 

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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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Amen good brother..Amen. Isaiah sheds so much light on what is happening in our world today and gives us almost a road map of what to look toward happening in the near future…but most of all….Keep the Commandments and follow Christ’s example. Love all your posts!!

    • Troy, I am happy for your cheerful view of Isaiah. Often as I study I get focused on the doom and gloom. Mostly as I compare my life to people Isaiah is getting after, but he is every bit a prophet of hope right along with the prophet of warning. Thanks for reminding us all.

  2. I have studied Isaiah many times, and like you have been (am now again) a Gospel Doctrine teacher. And still Isaiah eludes me. I never minimize the importance but I confess to mostly feeling bemused. Your words though strike a cord in me. Glad I found this site. Perhaps armed with even more tools, I can restudy Isaiah and understand more. Somehow I think I will understand it all in the Millennium if I am so honored to be there. We can just to Isaiah lol.

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