Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Friday, February 14, 2020

“We Rejoice in Christ”






Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog

Raise your hand if you have trouble understanding the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. I can imagine just about everyone reading this raising. Isaiah was visionary, and spoke in words and applications for his day, and even then, the people of his time had trouble understanding. Then just when we think we have gotten through the reading of his words and might have some mustard seed of grasp on his subjects, we breath a heavy sigh of relief opening up the Book of Mormon; and there is it again, Isaiah staring at us in 2 Nephi 11–25.

So what is the deal about Isaiah? Nephi taught that for his personal writing upon these plates he wished to include those things which are most plain and precious to the saving of souls, he therefore included some of the words of Isaiah because of their importance in developing a relationship with Christ. Precious they are indeed, but plain, still they are not and many struggle and even skip over these sections of the Book of Mormon out of fear.

Nephi taught that Isaiah’s words “are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy” 2 Nephi 25:4. The key to understanding Isaiah is to prayerfully read and study that you may be filled with a spirit of understanding. As you read, seek the spirit of prophecy by preparing yourself spiritually, listening to the Spirit, and recording your impressions. Then Isaiah can take on a whole new meaning and deepen your love and desire for a complete study of The Book of Mormon.

How can reading The Book of Mormon help you? Click here Boyd K Packer "The Things of my Soul

“The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is written in biblical language, the language of the prophets.

“For the most part, it is in easy-flowing New Testament language, with such words as spake for spoke, unto for to, with and it came to pass, with thus and thou and thine.
“You will not read many pages into it until you catch the cadence of that language and the narrative will be easy to understand. As a matter of fact, most teenagers readily understand the narrative of the Book of Mormon.

“Then, just as you settle in to move comfortably along, you will meet a barrier. The style of the language changes to Old Testament prophecy style. For, interspersed in the narrative, are chapters reciting the prophecies of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. They loom as a barrier, like a roadblock or a checkpoint beyond which the casual reader, one with idle curiosity, generally will not go.
"You, too, may be tempted to stop there, but do not do it! Do not stop reading! Move forward through those difficult-to-understand chapters of Old Testament prophecy, even if you understand very little of it. Move on, if all you do is skim and merely glean an impression here and there. Move on, if all you do is look at the words. … 

“… The Lord had a purpose in preserving the prophecies of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, notwithstanding they become a barrier to the casual reader.

“Those who never move beyond the Isaiah chapters miss the personal treasures to be gathered along the way” (Ensign, May 1986, 61).

History and Background

About Isaiah:  The Savior taught, “Great are the words of Isaiah,” and He has commanded us to study them (see 3 Nephi 23:1). Many of Isaiah’s teachings are symbolic of the mortal ministry and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. His words are so valuable that, in 2 Nephi 12–24, Nephi wrote them down so that the people who read them may “lift up their hearts and rejoice” 2 Nephi 11:8.

Isaiah served as prophet from 740–701 BC, almost 40 years! At the time of his calling, Isaiah might not have been the white-haired old man we often imagine. You can read about his calling in 2 Nephi 16.

He had a family. You can read about his wife, “the prophetess,” and the naming of his newborn son by the Lord in 2 Nephi 18:3.

He was chief adviser to King Hezekiah. Isaiah had a lot of influence in Jerusalem. How might that have helped him in his role as prophet?

Isaiah is the most frequently quoted prophet in scripture. Thirty-two percent of the book of Isaiah is quoted in the Book of Mormon; another three percent is paraphrased. (See Old Testament Student Manual, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 131.) What is your favorite verse from Isaiah?

The name Isaiah means “the Lord is salvation.” Isaiah certainly taught that! How does taking upon you the name of Jesus Christ guide your decisions? 
(Lihona Feb 2020)

The themes we see in these chapters from Nephi and Isaiah are that Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to extend salvation and peace to His children. We can trust God in any circumstance. Temples teach us about God.

Chapter Summaries

 2 Nephi 11–16
Isaiah described ancient Israel’s pride and wickedness and the judgments that awaited them. He also prophesied of a temple to be built in the last days and taught that God establishes temples to teach us of His ways and help us walk in His paths. Isaiah saw the Lord and was cleansed from sin. From Isaiah’s experience, we learn that we can be cleansed of our unworthiness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

2 Nephi 17–20
Isaiah chastened the kingdom of Judah for failing to put their trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We also learn that God will be with us when we trust in Him, even during times of difficulty and fear. Isaiah described the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming and taught that Jesus Christ is a God of judgment and mercy, and His mercy is extended to those who repent and keep His commandments.

2 Nephi 21–24
Jesus Christ will judge in righteousness and eventually, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord would restore His gospel and His Church to gather His people in the last days. Nephi also delighted in Isaiah’s prophecy that during the Millennium, the earth will be a place of peace because it will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. 

2 Nephi 25
As Nephi summarized the main messages of the writings of Isaiah, he reviewed simple truths concerning God’s work among the children of men: Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven “whereby man can be saved” 2 Nephi 25:20, and Jesus Christ is the only source we can look to for a remission of our sins.

Imagine you have a friend who struggles to find anything meaningful or inspiring in the writings of Isaiah. What verses would you share with this friend?


Part One: 2 Nephi 11–24 Isaiah testified of Jesus Christ.
It can be easier to understand Isaiah’s prophecies when we know why they were written. One reason Nephi recorded the words of Isaiah, found in 2 Nephi 11–25, was to magnify the name, ministry, and Atonement of Jesus Christ in the lives of those who would read Nephi’s words.

Search chapter 11 and find several of Nephi’s purposes for quoting Isaiah so extensively. 

1 And now, Jacob spake many more things to my people at that time; nevertheless only these things have I caused to be written, for the things which I have written sufficeth me.
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.
4 Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.
5 And also my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.
6 And my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.
7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.

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. Now these are the words, and ye may liken them unto you and unto all men.

2 Nephi 11 contains some of Nephi’s explanation for his inclusion of the prophecies of Isaiah in his record, thus serving as an introduction to the words of Isaiah in 2 Nephi 12–24.   2 Nephi 16 contains Isaiah’s account of being cleansed of his sins and called as a prophet when he “saw … the Lord sitting upon a throne” 2 Nephi 16:1; see also verses 5–8.


In reading this chapter we see the Lord calls prophets to be His special witnesses to the world.

How can studying multiple prophets’ testimonies be a blessing to us?

According to these verses, what did Nephi, Isaiah, and Jacob experience that enabled them to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ?

According to verse 3, why was Nephi going to send the words of Isaiah and Jacob to his children?

What principle can we learn from these verses concerning how we can strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ?  By studying prophets’ testimonies of Jesus Christ, we can strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. 

Because Isaiah used so much symbolic language, it can be easy to overlook his powerful witness of Jesus Christ.

How do each of these scripture references teach about Christ, what do you learn about Christ from each of them? 

13 The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.
5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain.


1 And then will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved, touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.
2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes.
5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard—I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down;
6 And I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
7 For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant; and he looked for judgment, and behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry.


1 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I: Wo is unto me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips; and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said: Lo, this has touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.


14 Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign—Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.


6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.
8 The Lord sent his word unto Jacob and it hath lighted upon Israel.


1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.


2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.

The prophecy in 2 Nephi 19:6 lists several titles of Jesus Christ what are they? 
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Why is each of these titles is a fitting description of the Savior? 

How has He fulfilled these roles in our lives? 

In 2 Nephi 16 Isaiah is called to serve as a prophet and contains Isaiah’s account of a vision in which he received the call to be a prophet and become a witness of Jesus Christ.  This account testifies boldly of Jesus Christ and Isaiah's personal feelings as he receives the call.  As you read this account note that that seraphim are angelic beings that minister in the courts of God (see Bible Dictionary, “Seraphim”). The wings of the seraphim are symbolic of their power to move or to act. As well when the angel in Isaiah’s vision touched his lips with the hot coal, it represented the Lord cleansing Isaiah of his unworthiness and forgiving him of his sins.

1 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I: Wo is unto me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips; and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said: Lo, this has touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me.
9 And he said: Go and tell this people—Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes—lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted and be healed.
11 Then said I: Lord, how long? And he said: Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate;
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, for there shall be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

13 But yet there shall be a tenth, and they shall return, and shall be eaten, as a teil tree, and as an oak whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves; so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

Why might Nephi have chosen this chapter to include with his writings, how does it testify of Jesus Christ?  

After reading about Isaiah and his call, what kind of before-and-after effect do you think the Savior could have on a person?  As we are forgiven of our sins, we have a greater desire to serve the Lord and to help others draw closer to Him and become clean as well.

When Isaiah received his call from the Lord, he expressed his feelings of inadequacy by saying that he was “undone,” or unqualified. People today, including prophets, may feel the same sense of inadequacy. President Spencer W. Kimball described the telephone call in which President J. Reuben Clark Jr. of the First Presidency informed him that he had been called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“‘Oh, Brother Clark! Not me? You don’t mean me? There must be some mistake. I surely couldn’t have heard you right.’ This as I sank past the chair to the floor. …“‘Oh, Brother Clark! It seems so impossible. I am so weak and small and limited and incapable’” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr., Spencer W. Kimball: Twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [1977], 189).

Through these chapters Nephi continued to quote the words of Isaiah, who spoke of the blessings of the temple and condemned the wickedness of the people of his day as well as the wickedness of many people in the last days. Isaiah also taught how we can receive or lose the Lord’s protection.

Nephi also records an account of Isaiah trying to persuade the king of Judah and his people to trust in the Lord rather than in worldly alliances. Using types and shadows, Isaiah prophesied concerning events of his own day, the birth of Jesus Christ, and the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming of the Lord.

And to help us even more, many of Isaiah’s prophecies in the Book of Mormon are about the last days. He prophesied about the Restoration of the gospel, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Second Coming, and the destruction of the wicked. He foresaw that the Lord would “set up an ensign for the nations” to gather His people in the last days 2 Nephi 21:11–12. Isaiah also testified that the Lord would triumph over Satan and usher in the Millennium, an era of peace and joy.

Keeping this in mind what did the Lord tell Isaiah about how the people would respond to his message?  The Lord explained that the message would not be easily understood or accepted by the spiritually unprepared. Many people would hear and see the Lord’s message through Isaiah but would reject it.

Part Two: 2 Nephi 12:2–5; 21:10–12; 22 In the latter days, God’s people will be gathered and enjoy peace.
Certain parts of Isaiah’s prophecies are especially relevant to us because they describe aspects of God’s latter-day work which describes an “ensign” (standard or banner) that will be raised to gather God’s people. 

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks—nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord; yea, come, for ye have all gone astray, every one to his wicked ways.


10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

1 And in that day thou shalt say: O Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.
3 Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day shall ye say: Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.


What verses from 2 Nephi 12–24 teach about Scattering of Israel, Gathering of Israel, and Prophecies of Christ?  

On September 21–22, 1823, the angel Moroni appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith five different times. In four of the five visits, among other instructions, Isaiah chapter 11 was quoted with the declaration that it was about to be fulfilled (see Joseph Smith—History 1:40). Within a few years the Prophet Joseph Smith was given the priesthood keys necessary to begin fulfilling this prophecy (see D&C 110:11).

11 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

The Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–44) taught that the time for the second gathering of the house of Israel is specifically reserved for the last days:

“The time has at last arrived when the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has set His hand again the second time to recover the remnants of his people, which have been left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea, and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, and establish that covenant with them, which was promised when their sins should be taken away. … This covenant has never been established with the house of Israel, nor with the house of Judah. …

“Christ, in the day of His flesh, proposed to make a covenant with them, but they rejected Him and His proposals, and in consequence thereof, they were broken off, and no covenant was made with them at that time. …

“Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ and His proposals, the heralds of salvation said to them, ‘Lo, we turn unto the Gentiles;’ and the Gentiles received the covenant, and were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off”
(History of the Church, 1:313).

What does 2 Nephi 21:10–12, describes concerning the gathering?  An “ensign” (standard or banner) that will be raised to gather God’s people.

How have we seen the Lord gather His people spiritually?

What makes you want to gather or unite with God’s people in the Church?

How do we help with the gathering?


Early on Sunday morning, 24 October 1841, Orson Hyde climbed the Mount of Olives and found a suitable place at its summit. There, “in solemn silence, with pen, ink, and paper,” he “wrote and delivered the prayer dedicating the Holy Land for the return of the Jews and for the building of a temple in the future” (Howard H. Barron, Orson Hyde, p. 128). What historical events preceded Elder Hyde’s dedication? Why had he been sent to Palestine by the Prophet Joseph Smith? How important to a complete understanding of the gospel is an understanding of the scattering and the gathering of Israel?  Lets take a look.

The Scattering: 

Ancient Israel was scattered throughout the earth because the people rejected God’s covenant.  Moses is honored today by all Israelites. Under his leadership, several hundred years of Israelite bondage ended, the tribes of Israel were united in their exodus, and a national identity emerged. Through Moses the Lord promised Israel, “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests [and kings], and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6).

 In 721 B.C. the Northern Kingdom was taken captive by Assyria.  2 Kings 15:29 and 17:6–18, 23. What justification is given in the scriptures for the destruction of the Northern Kingdom? Israel had walked after the statutes of the heathen, burned incense in all the high places, and served idols. Israel would not believe in God and had rejected his covenants and commandments 1 Nephi 22:3–5

The Babylonian captivity occurred over a period of years. 2 Kings 24:10–16; 25:1, 7, 11; 1 Nephi 10:3. Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians during the reign of King Jehoiachin (about 600 B.C.). The temple was pillaged, captives were carried into Babylon, and Zedekiah was enthroned as a Babylonian vassal to replace Jehoiachin. Within two years Judah was crushed, Jerusalem’s walls were toppled, the temple was destroyed, and thousands were deported to Babylon.

Lehi in the scattering: 
To what extent was Lehi’s family a part of the Babylonian scattering? At times the scattering of Israel was the result of invasion and captivity, but at other times the Lord removed the righteous from a wicked environment. The Nephites considered their colony a branch broken from the main trunk of Israel  1 Nephi 15:12; 19:24

In the meridian dispensation, the Savior prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the Jews would be scattered. Luke 21:20–24, noting specific details of the prophecy:

Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies.
It would be a time of great distress and wrath.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem would fall by the sword and be led away captive.
Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles.
Jacob testified that these calamities would come upon Jerusalem because the Jews will “stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified” 2 Nephi 10:5
Jesus’ words were completely fulfilled.

The following information can be used to provide supporting historical data for the prophesied scattering.

This phase of destruction began with a revolt against Rome in A.D. 64. Roman legions under Titus finally conquered Jerusalem in September of A.D. 70. The last of the Zealot revolutionaries held out in the fortress of Masada until A.D. 73. When Roman troops finally breached the fortifications at Masada, they discovered that nearly one thousand defenders had taken their own lives rather than be captured.

Emperor Hadrian’s attempt to build a Roman city, Aelia Capitolina, on the ruins of Jerusalem resulted in another Jewish revolt in A.D. 132. Led by a charismatic leader named Simon bar Koseba (bar Kochba), the rebels were momentarily able to free much of Judah and the city of Jerusalem from Roman control. The Romans returned in strength, however, and reconquered the land until only a small area around Jerusalem remained free. In A.D. 135 bar Koseba and all his men were killed. A Roman military colony replaced Jerusalem, and the land was renamed Palestine. In every sense, the prophecy of Jesus had been fulfilled.
(Harry Thomas Frank, Discovering the Biblical World, pp. 268–75.)
The Gathering: 

Through his prophets God promised to gather scattered Israel once again.  Throughout the centuries Israel has been scattered throughout all nations. The gathering, then, is from all the earth. Jeremiah 31:8; 32:37; Deuteronomy 28:64–65; 2 Nephi 10:8–9.

According to the Old Testament, what will the spiritual condition of scattered Israel be when the gathering begins? A spiritual rejuvenation will take place among the house of Israel. The following scriptures detail this spiritual awakening:

Deuteronomy 4:29–31. They will be seeking the Lord and turning to him.

Jeremiah 50:4–5. In humility they will seek God and Zion, striving to be a covenant people.

Ezekiel 11:17–20. Detestable things will be put away; they will walk in the statutes and keep the commandments.

To what extent is acceptance of Christ and his gospel involved in the gathering of Israel:

2 Nephi 10:7–8. The Jews will begin to believe in Christ.

2 Nephi 9:2. They will be restored to the true Church.

2 Nephi 25:15–16. They will be persuaded to believe in Christ.

2 Nephi 30:5–7. Both Lamanites and Jews will begin to believe in Christ.

1 Nephi 10:12–14. Israel will come to a knowledge of the true Messiah.

In the fullest sense, as Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote, the gathering takes place when Christ and his gospel are accepted: “The gathering of Israel … consists, first, of receiving the restored gospel and of joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Next it consists of assembling to whatever places are appointed for the worship of the Lord and the receipt of the fulness of his blessings.” (The Millennial Messiah, p. 198.)
Nephite prophets taught the people that they were a part of the scattered remnant and that the gathering prophesied in scriptures referred to them Alma 46:23, 27; 2 Nephi 20:20–23

Has God promised that every descendant of Israel would be gathered? Isaiah 10:20–22; 11:11; Jeremiah 23:1–4.  
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them, but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 The remnant shall return, yea, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return; the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
23 For the Lord God of Hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in all the land.

Would such a gathering violate the concepts of free agency and personal accountability? 

What does it mean when we read that a remnant will return? 

Is it possible that many in Israel may choose not to be gathered? 

Elder McConkie’s stated: “The gathering of Israel results from the Holy Spirit of God working in the hearts of contrite souls. ‘Ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel’ Isaiah acclaimed. (Isa. 27:12.) Converts come one at a time; people are baptized as individuals; every person must make his own decision.” (Millennial Messiah, p. 201.)

What role does the Church have today in the gathering? 3 Nephi 21:26–29
26 And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.
27 Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.
28 Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.
29 And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

Preaching the gospel is the beginning of the gathering of the house of Israel. The restored Church is an ensign, or a banner, around which scattered Israel gathers. 

“By and by the Jews will be gathered to the land of their fathers, and the ten tribes, who wandered into the north, will be gathered home, and the blood of Ephraim, the second son of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, which is to be found in every kingdom and nation under heaven, will be gathered from among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles who will receive and adhere to the principles of the Gospel will be adopted and initiated into the family of Father Abraham, and Jesus will reign over his own and Satan will reign over his own” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 121–22).

“Why is it that you are here to-day? and what brought you here? Because the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the earth have been committed to Joseph Smith, and he has conferred those keys upon others that the gathering of Israel may be accomplished, and in due time the same thing will be performed to the tribes in the land of the north. It is on this account, and through the unlocking of this principle, and through those means, that you are brought together as you are to-day” (John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 25:179).
“It is essential in this dispensation that Ephraim stand in his place at the head, exercising the birthright in Israel which was given to him by direct revelation. Therefore, Ephraim must be gathered first to prepare the way, through the gospel and the priesthood, for the rest of the tribes of Israel when the time comes for them to be gathered to Zion. The great majority of those who have come into the Church are Ephraimites. It is the exception to find one of any other tribe, unless it is of Manasseh.
“It is Ephraim, today, who holds the priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is Ephraim who is building temples and performing the ordinances in them for both the living and for the dead. When the ‘lost tribes’ come—and it will be a most wonderful sight and a marvelous thing when they do come to Zion—in fulfilment of the promises made through Isaiah and Jeremiah, they will have to receive the crowning blessings from their brother Ephraim, the ‘firstborn’ in Israel” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:252–53).
again.
“The sufferings of Israel have been but necessary chastening by a grieved yet loving Father, who planned by these effective means to purify His sin-stained children. …

“Though smitten of men, a large part of them gone from a knowledge of the world, Israel are not lost unto their God. He knows whither they have been led or driven; toward them His heart still yearns with paternal love; and surely will He bring them forth, in due time and by appointed means, into a condition of blessing and influence befitting His covenant people. In spite of their sin and notwithstanding the tribulations that they were bringing upon themselves, the Lord said: ‘And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: I am the Lord their God.’ As complete as was the scattering, so shall be the gathering of Israel” (Talmage, Articles of Faith, 328–29).

“The restoration of the kingdom to Israel—that was the thing uppermost in the minds of Jewish Israel in our Lord’s day. …

“And so even the Twelve—after spending three years with Jesus in his mortal ministry; after associating with him for forty days as a resurrected being; and after being taught all that it was expedient for them to know to perform the labor that then was theirs—even the apostles sought yet to learn of the fulfillment of the prophetic word concerning Israel the chosen. ‘When they therefore were come together,’ at the time appointed for the ascension of Jesus into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, ‘they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ …

“… The kingdom was not to be restored to Israel in their day. Let them preach the gospel and save souls before the dire day of darkness that soon would cover the earth. The promised day of restoration, the day of Israel’s triumph and glory, the day of millennial glory—all this lay ahead. It was scheduled for the last days”
(McConkie, Millennial Messiah, 309–10).

Elder McConkie also wrote of the role missionaries have in the gathering of the Jews: “Israel is to be gathered by the power of God, by the authority of the priesthood, by the preaching of the gospel, by the servants of the Lord going forth two by two into all the nations of the earth. The Lord’s sheep hear his voice, and they follow him, and another they will not follow. Israel is gathered by the missionaries of the kingdom.” (Millennial Messiah, p. 201.)

Are the Gentiles part of the gathering? Gentiles become heirs to the promises of Israel by adoption through the waters of baptism. When they join the Church, they become “fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). They gather to the wards and stakes of modern Israel. 

“Now, we are concerned with the gathering of Israel. This gathering shall continue until the righteous are assembled in the congregations of the Saints in the nations of the world. This reminds us of the tenth article of faith, wherein the Prophet Joseph Smith said to his inquirer, ‘We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the new Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.’ …

“Now, the gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church and their coming to a knowledge of the true God. … Any person, therefore, who has accepted the restored gospel, and who now seeks to worship the Lord in his own tongue and with the Saints in the nations where he lives, has complied with the law of the gathering of Israel and is heir to all of the blessings promised the Saints in these last days” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 438–39). 1 Nephi 14:2; 3 Nephi 21:6, 22).

The spiritual gathering into the Church is a gathering that is now progressing, as evidenced by the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The gathering will also be a geographical one: the tribe of Joseph will be gathered to America to receive their land inheritance, and the tribe of Judah and part of the lost tribes will gather to the Middle East  Ether 13:3–11

The doctrine of the scattering and the gathering has at least three important elements. First, we see historically God’s dealings with the house of Israel as a consequence of their violation of covenants, which led to the dispersion. Second, the gathering is an ongoing movement evidenced today by the return of thousands of Jews to Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Even more significant is the spiritual gathering of millions into the restored Church and their identification as members of the house of Israel. Third, our individual role in the gathering includes our responsibility to carry the gospel message to the world and to provide an ensign around which modern Israel might rally.

Part Three:  2 Nephi 14:4–6  Our homes and “assemblies” of Zion can be places of safety and refuge
In 2 Nephi 14:4–6 Isaiah prophesied about the safety and peace that the righteous will enjoy after the Lord has “washed away” and “purged” their sins. Although these verses describe conditions that will exist in the Millennium, they could help us now as we seek spiritual safety in the midst of latter-day wickedness.

4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.
5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain.

What does it means to have “a cloud and smoke” and “a flaming fire” on their “dwelling-place” and “assemblies”?   Exodus 13:21–22

21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

What are some things that might be compared to the heat, storm, and rain mentioned in verse 6? The “cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night” (verse 5) refer to the protection and guidance that Moses and his people received from the Lord in the wilderness. Isaiah likened the temple to a protective shelter from the heat and a “covert,” or shelter, from storms and rain.

What are some things Isaiah mentioned that would provide spiritual protection?  Dwelling-place (house or home), assemblies (places of congregation, such as branches, wards, or stakes) and tabernacle (temple).

How can we find refuge? Doctrine and Covenants 115:6
6 And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.

Based on verses 5–6, how would you summarize as a statement of truth what the Lord has established to provide spiritual protection? The Lord has established the home, Church congregations, and temples as places of spiritual protection and refuge.

What ways can we make sure our homes and Church gatherings are places of spiritual protection?

When have you felt the Lord’s protection or guidance in your home or at church?

When have you found spiritual relief or protection in the temple?

Part Four: 2 Nephi 25:19–29 “The right way is to believe in Christ.”
More than likely each of us can relate to Nephi’s desire “to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ.”

19 For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.
21 Wherefore, for this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph, that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand.
22 Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand; and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of God; and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which are written.
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
24 And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.
25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.
28 And now behold, my people, ye are a stiffnecked people; wherefore, I have spoken plainly unto you, that ye cannot misunderstand. And the words which I have spoken shall stand as a testimony against you; for they are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.
29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.

How does Nephi teach us to “labor diligently” to accomplish this goal? 2 Nephi 25:23-27.
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
24 And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.
25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

Search 2 Nephi 25:19–29 to find truths about the Savior and His gospel that Nephi wanted his people to know:
19 For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.
21 Wherefore, for this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph, that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand.
22 Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand; and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of God; and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which are written.
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
24 And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.
25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.
28 And now behold, my people, ye are a stiffnecked people; wherefore, I have spoken plainly unto you, that ye cannot misunderstand. And the words which I have spoken shall stand as a testimony against you; for they are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.
29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.


How can you begin to use these truths to teach your family or friends?
By teaching the truth that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”

Commenting on Nephi’s words in 2 Nephi 25:23, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:

“I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase ‘after all we can do.’ We must understand that ‘after’ does not equal ‘because.’

“We are not saved ‘because’ of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace? …

“I am certain Nephi knew that the Savior’s grace allows and enables us to overcome sin [see 2 Nephi 4:19–35; Alma 34:31]. This is why Nephi labored so diligently to persuade his children and brethren ‘to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God’ [2 Nephi 25:23].

“After all, that is what we can do! And that is our task in mortality!”
(“The Gift of Grace,” Ensign, May 2015, 110).

 How have you helped others “rejoice in Christ”?

Conclusion
As we have discussed Understanding the writings of Isaiah quoted by Nephi requires diligent study and effort on your part. Use the commentary and your understanding of the gospel to apply the prophecies and visions of Isaiah concerning the last days preceding the Second Coming. Look for how the birth of Jesus Christ, His life and mission, and the destructions and judgments that will befall the wicked in the last days prepare the world for His coming. Pay close attention to those writings that describe the circumstances of the Restoration. In addition, identify the behaviors of the evil world as foreseen by Isaiah. Recognizing and identifying the prophesied iniquity of the last days will help you make righteous choices and avoid the great judgments that will befall the wicked.

For AN EXCELLENT and helpful commentary and explanation of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon Click here  Book of Mormon Commentary on Isaiah


Resources 
Book of Mormon Student Manual
Doctrines of the Gospel Manual
Ensign
Liahona
Conference Reports
Teachings of Spencer W Kimball
Millennial Messiah Bruce R McConkie
Doctrines of Salvation 
Journal of Discourses John Taylor, Brigham Young
History of the Church
Harry Thomas Frank, Discovering the Biblical World
Old Testament
New Testament
Doctrine and Covenants 
 

  

The Fall of Adam and Eve

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