General Conference, The First Presidency and Isaiah

April 2018 Solemn Assembly LDS General Conference

The members of the new First Presidency have spoken many times in General Conference. Among ancient prophets, their common choice has been Isaiah. President Russel M. Nelson has quoted him more than forty times focusing most often Isaiah’s messages of the Book of Mormon as a voice from the dust, family history work and the blessing of the fast. Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor, has quoted Isaiah fourteen times on subjects like fasting, the Savior’s atonement, and mission, and facing affliction. Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor, has quoted Isaiah five times again most often about fasting and offerings.

Below you will find a sample of their talks. but can check them all out at the LDS Scripture Citation Index. Just click on each name for listings: President Russel M. Nelson,Dallin H. Oaks,  and Henry B. Eyring.

In October 2007, then Elder Russel M. Nelson in an address entitled Scriptural Witnesses asked, “How do scriptures of the Restoration clarify the Bible? Many examples exist. I will cite but a few, beginning with the Old Testament.” then he cited this from Isaiah 29:4:

Isaiah wrote, ‘Thou shalt … speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.”

Could any words be more descriptive of the Book of Mormon, coming as it did “out of the ground” to “whisper out of the dust” to people of our day?

In the footnotes of his address he included this:

“Isaiah foresaw that God would do ‘a marvelous work and a wonder’ in the latter days (Isaiah 29:14). Those words of Isaiah echoed in the ears of inhabitants of ancient America: ‘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’ (2 Nephi 25:17). That marvelous work would include the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel. Isaiah was quoted frequently in the Book of Mormon. A study of those quotations may be tedious, but it is not repetitious. Of 433 verses of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, 234 differ from their biblical counterparts.”—NOVEMBER 2007, SCRIPTURAL WITNESSES

In October 2015, thenof the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, addressed conference attendees with a message entitled, “Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” In it he said:

Isaiah taught that the Messiah would bear our “griefs” and our “sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). Isaiah also taught of His strengthening us: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:10).

He continued: “Thus, we sing:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, …
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.“
—How Firm a Foundation,” Hymns, no. 85

In April 2015, President Henry B. Eyring, spoke of fasting. He said,”Your fast offering will do more than help feed and clothe bodies. It will heal and change hearts.” In his address, he also said, “We do not know all the reasons why Jesus Christ went into the wilderness to fast and to pray. But we know at least one of the effects: the Savior completely resisted Satan’s temptations to misuse His divine power.

“The brief time we fast every month and the small amount we offer for the poor may give us only a small part of the change in our natures to have no more desire to do evil. But there is a great promise, even as we do all that we reasonably can to pray, to fast, and to donate for those in need:

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.

“Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.”—Isaiah 58:8–9

“I pray that we will claim those great blessings for ourselves and for our families.”

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  1. So they used Isaiah to teach about The Book of Mormon, The Atonement, and Fasting… I love it. Those are some of… if not THE most crucial and fundamental parts of my testimony.

  2. Jacob
    There were five other General Authorities that referenced Isaiah.1-Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy was the first speaker at conference to quote Isaiah. He referred chapter 48:10; 1 Nephi 20:10.
    2-Elder Taylor G. Godoy of the Seventy said this: “In the Old Testament we read the story of Hezekiah, king of Judah. The prophet Isaiah announced to Hezekiah that Hezekiah’s life was about to end. When he heard the prophet’s words, Hezekiah began to pray, plead, and weep sorely. On that occasion, God added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life. (See Isaiah 38:1–5.)”
    3-Elder Taniela B. Wakolo of the Seventy: Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, “the earth also is defiled … because they have … changed the ordinance” (Isaiah 24:5;
    4- Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, referenced See Isaiah 41:10 when he said, “God will strengthen, help, and uphold us;”
    5- Elder Dieter Uchdorf said: He gives “power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”Isaiah 40:29.


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