Thoughts to Keep in Mind—Prophets and Prophecy from”Come, Follow Me,” With SearchIsaiah.org

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Statue of Isaiah in Rome
The prophet Isaiah statue on the Column of the Immaculate Conception by Salvatore Revelli 1816 - 1859 on Piazza Mignanelli square

For the 2022 “Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament” study guide, here we offer several curated directories of SearchIsaiah.org. These lists are designed to help with your personal and family study of The Prophet Isaiah during September.

But before we begin the actual study, let’s turn to September’s introductory section:

Thoughts to Keep in Mind—Prophets and Prophecy

In this section of “Come, Follow Me,” Church curriculum writers explain that beginning with Isaiah and ending with Malachi, this part of the Old Testament is called “the Prophets.” It constitutes about a quarter of the entire Old Testament and records the words of those prophets from about 900 and 500 BC.

In speaking with God in vision and sharing His word, these prophets played a major role in the religious life of the Jews. But for those of other faiths who see prophets as exclusive to Old Testament times, we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ, “see them as something we have in common with Old Testament times” explained the curriculum committee. “Still, reading a chapter from Isaiah …might feel different from reading a general conference message from the current President of the Church” and yet among these ancient prophets, Isaiah remains the most quoted of them at General Conference.

And it should not be lost on us as Church members that Nephi, Mosiah, and Christ himself, quote Isaiah more often than any other old testament prophet. So while it may seem difficult to understand his writings, Isaiah must have something to say to us, which makes this study “worth the effort—and it does take effort—to read the words of ancient prophets.”

Do Ancient Prophets Still Witness Christ To Us Today?

As an example, “Isaiah could not only warn people of his day about their sins—he could also write about deliverance for Israelites living 200 years in the future and simultaneously teach of the deliverance that all God’s people seek,” the curriculum team writes. But “he could write prophecies that, even today, are still awaiting their complete fulfillment—like promises of ‘a new earth’ (Isaiah 65:17) that is ‘full of the knowledge of the Lord’ (Isaiah 11:9), where the lost tribes of Israel have been gathered and where ‘the nations’ do not ‘learn war any more’ (Isaiah 2:4). Part of the joy and inspiration that comes from reading the words of Old Testament prophets like Isaiah is realizing that we play a role in the glorious day they envisioned.”

One way to understand what Isaiah and the other prophets have to say, is to “see yourself in them, or ‘liken them unto [yourself],’ as Nephi put it,” in 1 Nephi 19:23–24. As we try to liken them, we may “understand that a prophecy can be fulfilled in multiple ways.”

Consider this prophecy in Isaiah 40:3: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” To the Jews in Babylonian captivity, it could have offered hope for a leader to return them to Jerusalem; but for Christ’s apostles, it was John the Baptist, “who prepared the way for the Savior’s mortal ministry,” who fulfilled this prophecy; and “Joseph Smith received revelations that this prophecy is still being fulfilled in the latter days in preparation for Christ’s millennial ministry. In ways we’re still coming to understand, ancient prophets did speak to us.”

Since the published Old Testament Reading Schedule doesn’t include every chapter in the Book of Isaiah our team has not curated all resources from our site. But we have made this workable directory for your five-week study of this important book in the Old Testament in a total of seven curated posts:

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Search Isaiah is a resource for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to dive into the book of Isaiah. By sharing a vast range of resources including study guides, articles, podcasts, and more, we hope to provide readers with ways to search the book of Isaiah.

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