Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Friday, October 19, 2018

“Beside Me There Is No Saviour”

*Scripture references have been highlighted in red and are hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window. Please click to read!    Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog.

Take a look at the following questions and ask yourself what do all these quotations have in common?   

“What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42).

“What manner of men ought ye to be?” (3 Nephi 27:27).

“Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? … Whom say ye that I am?” (Matthew 16:13, 15).

“Who is on the Lord’s side?” (Exodus 32:26).

“Have ye received his image in your countenances?” (Alma 5:14).

All of these are questions from the scriptures and each one helps us evaluate our testimony of the Savior as well as our commitment to be his disciples.  So Why do you think there are so many questions like these in the scriptures? Simply because they emphasize the greatness of the Savior thereby helping us to see what great things he has done not only for us personally for but the world.
Many times in scripture study, in teaching and preaching, when reviewing the Old Testament, most focus on "Apocalypse" the doom and gloom, the great and terrible.  However, if we slow down in our study just a bit and really take a deeper look at Isaiah for example, we find a richer meaning with many wonderful things.

Using the writings of Isaiah from the Old Testament we can come to understand these type of questions and realize that Jesus Christ is incomparable in his devotion to his people and has a great work for them to do.  Isaiah helps to fill our hearts and minds with the pure greatness and prophesies of the Lord Jesus Christ; as well we strengthen our testimonies and commitment to Him.  Thus our study of Isaiah texts continues to be of great importance.

Understanding Isaiah 
The writings of Isaiah are different from other prophets in the fact that due to the dangerous nature of the time in being a prophet, he had to hide much of his message in symbolism, in order to preserve his life and fulfill his mission.  This left the hearer or reader to interpret for themselves.  He used symbolism that he and his people were familiar with such as places and things of the time, so the people he actually spoke to had a better chance of understanding.  But for us we don't really know about his time, in fact the casual reader knows nothing of the manner of the Jews and is left to gain interpretation for oneself. 
In conjunction with this, at the time revelation was given to Isaiah and shared by him, it was perfect in its form; however; through translation and the interpretation of man much of the plainness of the scriptures have been removed and lost.  It is only with the help of the Lord that we can know the true interpretation. 
To help us Elder Bruce R McConkie was inspired to give a guide line that we may not have to worry about interpreting, but that we may understand the plainness the Lord wishes us to have.

"1. Gain an overall knowledge of the plan of salvation and of God's dealings with his earthly children. . . .

"2. Learn the position and destiny of the house of Israel in the Lord's eternal scheme of things. . . .

"3. Know the chief doctrines about which Isaiah chose to write. [These include]  (a) restoration of the gospel in latter days through Joseph Smith, (b) latter-day gathering of Israel and her final triumph and glory, (c) coming forth of the Book of Mormon as a new witness for Christ and the total revolution it will eventually bring in the doctrinal understanding of men, (d) apostate conditions in the nations of the world in the latter days, (e) messianic prophecies relative to our Lord's first coming, (f) second coming of Christ and the millennial reign, and (g) historical data and prophetic utterances relative to his own day. . . .

"4. Use the Book of Mormon. . . .Scholars have calculated that over 30 percent of the Old Testament writings of Isaiah are found in the Book of Mormon. A comparison of the King James version of Isaiah with that found in the Nephite record "shows that there are differences in more than half of the 433 verses of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon, while about 200 verses have the same wording as [the King James Version]." (2 Nephi 12:2, footnote a.)

"One reason why the Book of Mormon is such an excellent resource to help us understand Isaiah is that it preserves a better text. This text of Isaiah was taken from the brass plates of Laban and copied onto the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated; it is at least five hundred years older than the oldest manuscript of the Isaiah text available today. The discovery of the Dead Sea texts of Isaiah was very significant because it moved the date of earliest Isaiah manuscripts from a.d. 900 (the Masoretic text) to about 100 b.c., the date of the Dead Sea Scroll texts. The plates of brass from which Nephi copied the text of Isaiah would have been recorded by at least 600 b.c., when Lehi and his party left Jerusalem. This places the Book of Mormon text of Isaiah within 100 to 150 years of the time of the original writing, making it closer to the time of the original writing than any other Old or New Testament manuscript. Therefore, this text is probably more accurate than any other account of Isaiah, so retentions in the Book of Mormon text should be given prime consideration." 

"5. Use latter-day revelation. . . .

"6. Learn how the New Testament interprets Isaiah. . . .

"7. Study Isaiah in its Old Testament context. . . .

"8. Learn the manner of prophesying used among the Jews in Isaiah's day. . . .

"9. Have the spirit of prophecy. . . .the key ingredient to understanding the writings and prophecies of Isaiah, or any other prophet, is to receive the guidance of the Spirit. The apostle Peter cautioned, "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:20-21.)

"10. Devote yourself to hard, conscientious study." 
When the Lord commanded the Nephites to study Isaiah’s words, He told them how to study those words. He said, “Search these things diligently” (3 Nephi 23:1; emphasis added). It is not sufficient to merely read Isaiah’s writings. To come to an understanding of the book of Isaiah, one must diligently study and search by prayerfully pondering Isaiah’s teachings, analyzing them, and relating them to other scriptures. Individual phrases and verses must be studied carefully in the broad context of the gospel and the prophecies of the latter days.

For more information on Isaiah personally, his writings and his time period click here:
The Glory of Zion Will Be A Defense
 Thou Hast Done Wonderful Things

Symbols used by Isaiah
Isaiah’s words are similar to the parables of Jesus in their manner of teaching. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him why He taught in parables, He said: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them [the people in general] it is not given. … Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. … For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart. … But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:11, 13, 15–16.)

Many of the people of Jesus’ time were spiritually immature and unprepared to receive the doctrines He taught. Through parables He was able to teach the more spiritually mature and at the same time veil His teachings from those who were not prepared to understand or follow them. In that manner He kept many from being condemned for having a knowledge of principles they were unable to live (see Alma 12:9–11; Jacob 4:14). A similar charge in teaching was given to Isaiah (see Isaiah 6:9–10). For this reason, Isaiah also veiled his teachings in language that preserved his teachings for those who would understand with their heart. Spiritually speaking, Isaiah’s writings are meat, not milk (see 1 Corinthians 3:1–3; Hebrews 5:13–14; Isaiah 28:9). It requires spiritual maturity to understand them.

Note how Isaiah repeatedly used blindness as a symbol of wickedness and spiritual ignorance (Isaiah 29:10, 1832:342:6–7, 16–1843:844:9). As you ponder these verses, remember that the Savior often proclaimed that he was the Light of the World (John 8:12). Isaiah Also repeatedly used images of water (Isaiah 12:332:241:17–1843:19–2044:3–448:18, 2149:10).  the Savior teaches that he is the source of living water (See John 4:7–14.)

Isaiah 40-49 Overview 
Beginning in Isaiah 40  Isaiah speaks about the Messiah and tells us to Prepare ye the way of the Lord. He further teaches that the Lord will feed His flock like a shepherd and that Israel’s God is incomparably great.  Chapter 41 is Isaiah teaches Israel that the Lord says Ye are my servants; I will preserve you, Idols are nothing and there is One who will bring good tidings to Jerusalem.
Moving to Chapter 42 Isaiah speaks about the Messiah telling that The Lord will bring His law and His justice, and will be a light to the Gentiles, freeing the prisoners, he then sings Praise the Lord.  In Chapter 43 To Israel the Lord says, I am your God; I will gather your descendants; beside me there is no Savior; you are my witnesses.
Then in Chapter 44 The Lord’s Spirit will be poured out on the descendants of Israel.  The Lord teaches through Isaiah that Idols of wood are as fuel for a fire  they are dumb and unlike them The Lord will gather, bless, and redeem Israel and rebuild Jerusalem.
Chapter 45 grows interesting as Isaiah tells us that Cyrus will free the captives of Israel from Babylon and all should Come unto Jehovah (Christ) and be saved.  To Him every knee will bow and every tongue will take an oath.
Chapter 46 is precise in its direction as it teaches that Idols are not to be compared with the Lord, He alone is God and will save Israel.  Further in Chapter 47 Babylon and Chaldea will be destroyed for their iniquities no one will be able save them.  Then in Chapter 48 The Lord reveals His purposes to Israel.  Israel has been chosen in the furnace of affliction and is to depart from Babylon (Compare 1 Nephi 20.)
And finally in Chapter 49 comes comfort, hope and revelations for the last days, or our days as The Messiah will be a light to the Gentiles and will free the prisoners.  Israel will be gathered with power in the last days and Kings will be the nursing fathers of Israel (Compare 1 Nephi 21.) 
As one can see when reading these chapters of Isaiah there is much going on.  He teaches and preaches not only for his day but for ours.  But in the end, through all that is going on in these chapters, the one focus that comes through, is that Jesus Christ is incomparable.

Part 1:  Jesus Christ is incomparable 

With a study of these chapters mentioned we find the Lord repeatedly asked a certain question but did so in different ways.

What question is asked in each of the following verses?  

Isaiah 40:18 To whom then will ye aliken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
 (“To whom then will ye liken God?”)

Isaiah 44:8  aFear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no bGod; I know not any.
(“Is there a God beside me?”)  

Isaiah 46:5  To whom will ye aliken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
 (“To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me?”)

What is similar about each question? They all teach that the Savior is greater than any person or thing we could compare him to.

How would you answer these specific questions?

How are they answered in the book of Isaiah?   In each case the Lord asked these particular questions He was speaking to idolatrous people who manufactured their own false gods of silver and gold.  Note how he answered them through Isaiah: 

What is similar about the following questions with those above?

Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord; and abeside me there is no bsaviour.
(“Beside me there is no saviour.”)  The Lord (that is, Jehovah) is the only Savior, the Redeemer, the Holy One, the Creator, and King; he will make new ways for peace and end old wars (Isa. 43:11-17).

Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the Lord the aKing of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the bfirst, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
(“Beside me there is no God.”)  

Isaiah 45:5  aI am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
(“There is no God beside me”; see also verses 6, 14, 18, 21–22.)  In this theological revelation, Isaiah declared a number of the Lord's creative and redemptive works. Like the Father, the Son is uniquely God, and there is no other in his role (Isa. 45:5-6).

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the bformer things of old: for cI am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is dnone like me,
(“I am God, and there is none like me.”)

Why do you think these questions and answers are repeated so many times in the book of Isaiah?  People can be forgetful, and rebelious, at this time ancient Israel was in a deep idolotrus state and needed to be reminded over and over how and what their responsibilities were.
How are these questions and answers relevant to our day?  Though they may be different, we still have many Idols and rebellion in our day, and we need, like ancient Israel, to be reminded that Ï am God and there is none like me."

"The Lord God" is Adonai JHVH in the Hebrew text, that is, "My Lord Jehovah." Though many of Judah do not yet know it, the Lord is the Messiah and someday will say "Behold your God." He will reign, feed his flock, gather the lambs, and tenderly care for all (Isa. 40:9-11). Not at all like idols created by man, the Lord is the all-knowing and all-powerful Creator (Isa. 40:12-27). He is eternal and never fails; he can give power to the faint; they who hope for him and live his laws shall "run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and not faint" (Isa. 40:28-31 and fn.).(Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament Ellis Rasmussen)

2. Isaiah describes the Savior’s incomparable qualities.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that we need “a correct idea of [God’s] character, perfections and attributes” in order to have faith in Him (Lectures on Faith [1985], 38). Isaiah gives many beautiful descriptions of the Savior’s character and attributes. Read some of the passages listed below.  Which attribute of the Savior is mentioned in the passage?

Isaiah 40:13–14 Who hath adirected the bSpirit of the Lord, or being his ccounsellor hath taught him?

14 With whom took he acounsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of bjudgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
(No one counsels or instructs him.)

Isaiah 40:28–31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
(He is never weary; he strengthens us.)

Isaiah 40:12, 21–22, 2645:12, 18 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
 18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.
(He planned and created the universe and knows every part of it.)

Isaiah 41:17–18 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
(He hears us when we are in trouble and blesses us abundantly.)

Isaiah 42:1, 4 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
(He will not fail or be discouraged till his purposes are fulfilled.)

Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
(He lights and straightens the way for his people who are lost.)

Isaiah 43:1–4 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
(He will help his people through their trials.)

Isaiah 43:25–2644:21–23 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.
 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
(He blots out our sins and remembers them no more.)

Isaiah 44:2–4 Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
(He pours out his Spirit on our families like water on dry ground.)

Isaiah 46:3–4 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:
4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
(He carries his people from birth to old age.)

Isaiah 49:14–16 But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
(He will never forget us. We are “graven” in the palms of his hands.)

How does knowing of these attributes help increase your faith in the Savior?  

What experiences have strengthened your testimony of any of these attributes of the Savior.?  

Part 3: The world (Babylon) competes with the Savior for our devotion

 To whom is Isaiah 47 directed? Babylon and Chaldea.  Babylon was a powerful city of the ancient world that was destroyed for its wickedness. In the scriptures, Babylon is often also used as a symbol for the wickedness of the world so this is directed not only to Babylon of ancient but also of today.  

In Isaiah 47, Isaiah warned that Babylon would be destroyed because of its wickedness. These warnings can also be applied to the eventual destruction of the world and its wickedness. 

What do the following passages from this chapter teach about the results of seeking after the wicked ways of the world?

Isaiah 47:1, 5  Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. 5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.
(The world will be brought down to the dust and become silent and dark.)

Isaiah 47:7–9 And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.

8 Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:9 But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.(Despite the world’s thoughts that it is invincible, it will be destroyed and lose the things of greatest value, symbolized by the loss of husband and children.)
Isaiah 47:10–11  For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.(Because the world declares that it is greater than God, desolation will come upon it.)

In Isaiah Isaiah 47:8, 10, what claim does Babylon (the world) make that is the same as the Savior’s declaration about himself?  Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:

9 But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.  ( “I am, and none else [is] beside me.”)
What can the world offer in comparison to what the Savior offers? Absolutely nothing.  There is nothing comparable to what the Savior can offer.  

Why do so many people give their devotion to the world instead of to the Savior? They may have been deceived and/or don't have the knowledge or faith they need to trust in Him. 

How can we help others see what the Savior offers?  Share the gospel and all we know.   
In Isaiah 48:17–18, the Lord promised great blessings to those who seek him rather than the world.  

17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea

How do these promises make you feel about following the Savior with all your heart?  For me, it gives me hope, it brings great joy and peace into my life for I just cannot imagine living without this knowledge, I long for the safety of the Lord.  I rejoice in following the Savior with all my heart.

4. Isaiah describes the mission of latter-day Israel.

Isaiah 49 contains many prophecies about the mission of latter-day Israel. These prophecies can help us understand the important work the Lord has for each of us to do. 

Monte S. Nyman observed that “chapter 49 is one of the most important chapters in the whole book of Isaiah, because it also clearly foretells the mission of the Latter-day Saints and the destiny of the land of America in connection with the house of Israel. Nephi interpreted the chapter as foretelling that the land of America would receive some of scattered Israel, while his brother Jacob applied it both to the Jews in Jerusalem and to the Gentiles. Chapter 49 is of such importance that it ought to be studied diligently by every member of the Church.” (“Great Are the Words of Isaiah,” pp. 173–74.)  

Click the links and read the passages listed below.  

When reading, can you identify what each passage teaches about our responsibilities in these latter days? (Note that many of the prophecies apply both to the work of the Savior and to the work of his servants, the house of Israel [Isaiah 49:3].)

Isaiah 49:1, 5. “The Lord hath called me from the womb.” (We were called from birth to fulfill the Lord’s work in the last days; see also Jeremiah 1:5.)

Isaiah 49:2. “He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword.” (This image suggests speaking powerful words of truth—the words of the Lord; see also D&C 6:2.)

Isaiah 49:2. “In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me.” (The Lord has protected us and prepared us for our great responsibilities; see also D&C 86:9.)

Isaiah 49:2. “He hath … made me a polished shaft.” (Arrows with polished shafts will fly straight and true. We have been polished and prepared by the Lord to fly straight and true wherever he sends us.)

Isaiah 49:6. “Thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (The Lord has asked his servants to raise up and restore the remnant of Israel and to be a light to the Gentiles. In this way we can help bring salvation to the ends of the earth; see also D&C 86:8–11.)

Part 5:  Waiting Upon the Lord
What does it mean to “wait upon the Lord”? Isaiah 40:31  It means to keep the commandments, to live the gospel as He would have us live; to wait upon Him.

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 In what ways does the Lord renew the strength of those who wait upon him?  Isaiah 41:10.

10 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; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Speaking of the ultimate power given to those who wait upon the Lord, whose strength “the Lord shall renew,” the prophet Isaiah said they shall “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31). Elder Orson Pratt suggested that those who have been confined to the mortal sphere and its laws may be renewed with the light of truth and be enabled to move from place to place at accelerated velocity, even with the speed of light. (see Journal of Discourses, 3:104.)

The greater promise reserved for those who have been true and faithful in keeping the commandments by waiting upon the Lord is found in their being able to “run and not be weary” and to “walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31; compare D&C 89:18–21.)

Since everyone who runs far enough experiences some weariness, and anyone who walks long enough feels at least somewhat faint, it is evident that these promises apply also to the things of the Spirit, for the Lord “fainteth not, neither is weary” (Isaiah 40:28).

While there are those who “run” without being sent (see Jeremiah 23:21), the Lord’s servants are commissioned to run His errand. One called by the Lord to serve is engaged in a contest in which “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong” (Ecclesiastes 9:11); but the reward is to those who “endure to the end” (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13). To have the strength to run the race of life without becoming weary is a valuable promise; to be able to journey with safety and not faint or fall away from the truth is a great blessing. What consolation and encouragement it is to those who wait upon the Lord to be able to serve mightily and not weary of it, to walk with certainty and not fall away.  (Old Testament Student Manual)
6 “But thou hast not called upon me”
I know in my life,and I am sure in yours as well, there have been times when the feeling of being forsaken by the Lord is overwhelming and a great deep despair looms in the balance of things.
Why do some of us occasionally feel that the Lord has forsaken us?  Trials and tribulations can feel overwhelming, in the fight to endure sometimes feel alone and abandoned.  We feel unworthy or not good enough, we feel separate from God and with this many times we separate ourselves from God, we get caught up and forget to call upon him.

 If we feel the Lord has withdrawn from us, what is likely the cause? Isaiah 43:22–26Mosiah 5:13.) 

22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.
What can we do to feel close to him again?  President Spencer W. Kimball said: “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 135). 

In teaching the Gospel Doctrine class and studying each day I have found and can personally testify that the writings of Isaiah can help us develop a greater love for the Savior and a greater understanding of the work he has for each of us to do.  Jesus Christ in incomparable and he has a great work for us to do.  Let us make it our priority to not just read but to understand the words of Isaiah for they are the words of God and truly our salvation does depend upon them.  

Old Testament Student Manual
Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament Ellis Rasmussen
Teachings of Spencer W Kimball
Great are the Words of Isaiah
Studies in Scripture Kent P Jackson
Understanding Isaiah Tina M Peterson
Isaiah Plain and Simple Hoyt Brewster
Isaiah Prophet Seer Revelator Victor Ludlow
Understanding Isaiah Bruce R McConkie
Book of Mormon

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fall of Adam and Eve

  Scriptures are hyperlinked to Scriptures at Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end...