Chap 12 – Compare Isaiah 2
Once again, I want to insert in here that the Book of Mormon, and all scripture study, should be very personal. I’m posting my insights, but hopefully only so they can be a springboard for your own unique insights. God speaks to each of us and teaches every man/woman what they need to know. That is the power of revelation. So pray and ponder and don’t think that what I write is all there is to get out of these chapters. I’m skipping over tons of material. There is unique inspiration in the Book of Mormon for you—if you seek for it.
Now, let’s get to the meat of the chapter.
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.”2 Nephi 12:2
Many times, mountains represent God’s temples—sacred places where we can go to learn more about Him and the covenants we need to make in order to live with Him again. In that sense, temples are like universities of eternal life. When a student enrolls in college, no one forces him to attend classes or study to get good grades. That is on the student.
So it is with us. How often we go to the temple and what we put into preparing for those sacred experiences of higher learning is all on us.
Am I giving my all to my spiritual studies, so I can obtain the highest degree God has to give me—eternal life with Him?
The next verse goes along with this education theme.
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.”2 Nephi 12:3
“Come” suggests that we want to go to the temple. It is our desire to learn of Him and what He wants us to do. When we go with the right attitude, we will receive revelation and guidance to make life easier and joyful (even when troubles abound).
Another reason to go to the temple is that we need God’s light.
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.”2 Nephi 12:5
The temple gives us light to see our sins clearly. This helps us know what we need to repent of and how we can improve. It helps us see the true nature of God and our relationship with Him.
Temples dispel darkness and helps us see the path of happiness and light.
Isaiah bemoans the wicked state of the house of Israel. “…their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. / And the mean man boweth not down, and the great man humbleth himself not, therefore, forgive him not.” (8-9)
When anything becomes more important than God, that thing (no matter how good it may seem) becomes an idol…something we worship, or give our time and deference to, rather than God, our Father.
Are there things I give my time to that are distracting me from putting God first?
When Christ returns to the earth, only He shall be exalted. “And the idols he shall utterly abolish.” (18)
Wouldn’t it be better if we abolished our own idols before that day?
Chap 13 – Compare Isaiah 3
The Lord takes away the stay and staff from Jerusalem and Judah. I couldn’t really find a definition, but the context seems to support the definition that the stay and staff are supports of life—bread and water… “the whole staff of bread, and the whole stay of water.” (1)
Without these, men would die. They are vital to life.
It goes on to predict the destruction of Judah and how “The show of their countenance doth witness against them.” (9)
There is a distinctive light or darkness that can be seen in people’s countenances, depending on what they embrace and act upon. God’s light shines through those who choose Him, and vice versa with Satan—darkness clouds the countenance.
Every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone; it is not alone what he does. It is what he is. ..Every person radiates what he or she really is….It is what we are and what we radiate what affects the people around us.”David o. McKay
What type of influence do I wield or radiate to others?
Chap 14 – Compare Isaiah 4
This chapter brings hope after the last one which discussed the judgments of God upon those who turned their back on Him. When Christ returns to the earth, all will be set right.
In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the earth excellent and comely to them that are escaped of Israel.”2 Nephi 14:2
Those who escape the world and are numbered among the Lord’s followers will reap righteousness and joy. What a reward! His people “that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy.” (3)
Am I working to become holy? How can I do better?
The next verse gives us the first step towards holiness.
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.”2 Nephi 14:4
Washing away filth. Purging blood. Spirit of burning. These phrases call to mind the principle of repentance, made possible through Jesus Christ’s Atonement. He paid the price for our sins and all else that makes us fall short of His glory, and wants to wash away our filth, purge the evil from our very blood, burn away all weakness and darkness in us. Enable us to become holy.
Will I turn to Him for this precious gift?