8: “We Rejoice in Christ” (Feb.17–Feb. 23)
Do you ever get to 2 Nephi 12, see “compare to Isaiah 2” in the heading and just want to skip past the next few chapters? You’re not alone, in fact, it’s no secret that the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon are difficult to understand—if you don’t know what this Old Testament prophet is really talking about. That's why in this week’s Sunday on Monday study group, we are going to dig into 2 Nephi 11–25 to discover the important messages Isaiah wants to share with us in the latter days.
How is everyone feeling about Isaiah? It’s almost like Nephi can anticipate our reaction to this Old Testament prophet so he comforts us with 2 Nephi 11:8:
“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.”
So, let’s do this! Let’s study Isaiah.
Read 2 Nephi 12:2-3
"Top of the mountain" in Hebrew is har ha bayit or “mountain of the house,” a common name for the temple in Jerusalem.
Interestingly enough, UTAH means “top of the mountains” or “people of the mountains.”
Mountains were among God’s first temples:
- Mount Sinai: Moses
- Mount of Transfiguration: “It appears that Peter, James, and John received their own endowments while on the mountain. [See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 2:165.] … It also appears that it was while on the mount that they received the more sure word of prophecy, it then being revealed to them that they were sealed up unto eternal life (2 Pet. 1:16–19; D&C 131:5)"
- Mount Shelem: Brother of Jared
- Mt Simeon: Enoch Nephi 1:11,
- Ensign Peak: Addison Pratt (Pratt missed the opportunity to receive his endowment in Nauvoo because he was away as a missionary in the South Pacific. In 1849, he was about to leave again on a mission to the Society Islands, or French Polynesia. Latter-day Saint leaders wanted him to receive that ordinance before he left, and Ensign Peak essentially became a temple for the purpose. Minutes of the event—published in the book "The Development of LDS Temple Worship 1846-2000"—record that on July 21, 1849, Brigham Young, six members of the faith's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other general authorities, met atop the hill with Pratt at 6 a.m.
Young prayed and "consecrated the spot for the present purpose of giving . . . Pratt his endowment that we might have power to erect a standard that should be glorified in the eyes of all its beholders, that no unholy thing might come here, that thy servants may come here to offer up prayers and obtain the ministration of angels."
Latter-day Saint historian B.H. Roberts wrote that the "action was in harmony with the instructions of the Prophet [LDS Church founder Joseph Smith] in Nauvoo when he said that these ordinances of the temple under certain circumstances might be obtained on the mountaintop, as Moses obtained them."
Devery S. Anderson, editor of The Development of LDS Temple Worship, wrote that Pratt's endowment is the only one documented to have occurred on Ensign Peak.
READ: 2 Nephi 12:3:
“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.”
Is it just me or does it sometimes feel like getting to the temple is the equivalent of summiting Mt Everest? What is the temple for you?
READ: 2 Nephi 12:5
"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."
Why do you need the temple?
The temple is where we learn about God and come closer to Him and our Savior. The overriding message of Isaiah is to repent and come unto Christ. The next two chapters are a description of what will happen if we don’t—or I like how President Hinckley described it in the October 1993 general conference. After apologizing for it being so warm, he added, “You’re not nearly as warm as you will be if you don’t repent.”
Many years ago at a summer Seminary and Institute training, Sister Linda Aukschun was assigned to teach us about 2 Nephi 13-14. She stood in front of an auditorium of mostly men and a few women and in boldness of speech said, “You are not to make this a modesty lesson. Don’t you dare berate the young women in your class and make this about what they should or should not be wearing. This lesson has nothing to do with that.”
I was shocked because that is exactly how I was planning to teach it. And to be honest, I had taught it that way during the Old Testament year two years earlier. I was amazed and a little bit embarrassed and then I filled my scriptures and journal with as many notes as I could take. If you are like me and are drawn to the same assumption that this chapter is about women, let’s discuss what this is could really be talking about within the context of the history and the Hebrew language.
I do appreciate that recently religious scholars, Hebrew scholars, and scripture commentators are now acknowledging that we aren’t really sure the old way was right, so here is a new way to look at these verses:
- The Daughters of Zion=Israel: There are over 58 references for Daughter of Zion or Daughters of Zion combined. How can all of these references refer to Israel, Judah, or Jerusalem “except” for this one?
- Bravery: In the Hebrew translation of the Bible, this word is tipharah which actually means "beauty, glory." It stems from the Hebrew root word paar, which means "to beautify, glorify." The word "bravery" is a mistranslation. This is the only instance in the Bible where this word is translated bravery, all other uses in the Bible means "beauty" and "glory." All of the items listed are symbols of the covenant, a bride’s clothing and trousseau (according to Hebrew definitions and Jewish sources).
- Nose ring: Jewelry given to Rebekah by Abraham's servant (Genesis 24:22, 47).
- 2 Nephi 14:1: Scholars agree that Isaiah 4:1 should actually be the last verse of Isaiah 3, making it Isaiah 3:27 and Isaiah 4 should begin with the existing verse 2.
"And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground."
"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach."
"In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel."
- 7: Seven women are often used to denote a “large” though “indefinite number” (Lev. 26:28, Proverbs 24:16, Zechariah 3:9).
- Husband: Just as the Church is often symbolized as a bride, Christ is symbolized as the husband. The parable of the 10 virgins uses the wedding to symbolize Christ and the Church during the Second Coming.
- One man: Christ
- 2 Nephi 24:1-2: The number seven in Hebrew represents being whole or complete. For example, the seven churches in Asia, seven times the Hebrews walked around Jericho, Christ refers to himself as the great “I Am” seven times in the Bible, seven clean animals taken on the ark, rest on the seventh day—the number seven is divinely perfect, unbreakable.
- “Women” are a symbol for Christs’ people: the 10 virgins, the virtuous woman, the whore of all the earth, which was used as the antithesis to Christ’s church. The seven women in this verse are referring to the Saints.
- Reproach: Who is the only one that can take away our reproach (Hebrew=disgrace)?
If Christ is the husband, what reproach are we asking Him to take away? We are asking him to take away our reproach or disgrace of sin. The covenant has been broken and we are asking for forgiveness and a reinstatement of the beauty/glory that comes from being covenant keepers, which has nothing to do with being married or having children. Being single and barren in this verse uses the Old Testament fear that was attached to these circumstances for women, causing the reader to empathize with their plight. The deeper meaning is that the worst thing that could happen is to be removed from Christ due to our choices.
If we don’t repent, we will divorce ourselves from the Lord (2 Nephi 7). We will beg for the saving graces of His atonement.
Luckily not all hope is lost. In the next two chapters, 2 Nephi 14-15, Isaiah foresaw the Lord’s cleansing and redemption of His people in the millennial day and tells us that the Lord would offer protection from the storms of life. Let’s study what that protection looks like.
Have you ever relied on something specific that would protect you and keep you safe from harm?
READ 2 Nephi 14:5-6: Look for things that protect us:
- Dwelling-place (house or home)
- Assemblies (places of congregation, such as branches, wards, or stakes)
- Tabernacle (temple).
- “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 (see Exodus 13:21–22).
- Isaiah also likened the temple to a protective shelter from the heat and a “covert,” or shelter, from storms and rain.
How have these items discussed been a shelter for you? Do you have a specific example?
This is such a great quote from Sister Elaine Dalton:
“Prepare now for the temple, the mountain of the Lord. Never allow the goal of the temple to be out of your sight. Walk into His presence in purity and virtue, and receive His blessings—even ‘all that he hath’ (Luke 12:44). Within His holy house you will be cleansed, taught, and endowed with power, and His ‘angels [will] have charge over [you]’ (D&C 109:22)” (Elaine S. Dalton, “Come Let Us Go Up to the Mountain of the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 122–23).
The Lord wants to protect us, and Isaiah was sent to do just that. Isaiah was sent to warn the people and told them what to do to be protected from being taken into captivity/slavery. But who gave Isaiah authority? How did he get the call? In the next chapters, what we’re going to study will specifically tell us how to be protected from spiritual captivity and slavery.
Have you ever been asked to serve in a calling that seemed overwhelming or that you wanted to run from? Well, you’re in good company with Isaiah.
READ 2 Nephi 16: Isaiah’s calling
It’s worth going through this chapter verse by verse because it is beautiful, and the Hebrew meanings of words make it incredibly rich.
To provide context for 2 Nephi 17–18, the nations of Israel, Syria, and Judah were being threatened by the much stronger Assyrian Empire. It may be helpful to turn to Bible Maps 1 (“Physical Map of the Holy Land”) and Map 5 (“The Assyrian Empire”) in the Bible Maps section. These maps show the geographical areas referred to in these chapters.
During the prophet Isaiah’s ministry in the kingdom of Judah, the kings of Israel and Syria wanted King Ahaz of Judah to join them in an alliance against the powerful empire of Assyria. The Assyrian kings and soldiers were famous for their brutality, which included torturing and cruelly murdering the people they conquered. Assyria had already threatened Israel and Syria and was forcing them to pay tribute or face destruction. When King Ahaz refused to join the alliance against Assyria, Israel and Syria attacked Judah in order to place another ruler on Judah’s throne who would support the alliance against Assyria (see 2 Nephi 17:1, 6).
In 2 Nephi 17:17–25, King Ahaz (and many of the people of Judah) chose not to believe Isaiah and did not trust in the Lord for protection. Isaiah prophesied that the Assyrians and Egyptians would attack, capture, and enslave many people from the kingdom of Judah.
Rather than trusting in the Lord’s protection, Ahaz plundered the temple treasury in Jerusalem and offered those resources to the Assyrians in an attempt to buy their protection and favor. However, the Assyrians attacked Judah anyway, thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy (See 2 Kings 16:8; 2 Chronicles 28:21).
2 Nephi 18:1–10: In the days of King Hezekiah—the son of Ahaz—Isaiah compared the Assyrian army to a river that would symbolically flood the land of Judah and “reach even to the neck”—meaning the walls of Jerusalem (2 Nephi 18:8). This prophecy was fulfilled when 185,000 Assyrian soldiers came to attack Jerusalem, stopping at the walls of the city.
2 Nephi 18:11–14: Describes what the Lord instructed Isaiah and the people of Judah to do during this crisis (The word confederacy implies joining with other nations.).
In 2 Nephi 18:13, to “sanctify the Lord . . . and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread,” means the people of Judah were to trust in the Lord and fear His power rather than fearing the power of their enemies.
King Hezekiah, unlike his father, Ahaz, chose to trust in the Lord and follow Isaiah’s counsel. As a result, the Lord defended the people in Jerusalem by sending an angel to destroy the attacking army. (See 2 Kings 19:32–35.)
2 Nephi 18:15–22: Isaiah admonished the house of Israel to look to the Lord rather than to false teachers for guidance.
See the full transcript below to learn the Hebrew symbolism and meaning of these verses.
Isaiah’s call/mission was discouraging to say the least. And then he had to see our day and warn us too. 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
- 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 (see 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.
Let’s dig into chapters 21-24 and read about some of these prophecies.
If you love genealogy then you will appreciate the imagery of 2 Nephi 21:1,10.
Rod=Joseph Smith: In D&C 113:1-5, the “Root of Jesse” is also Joseph Smith.
“Isaiah was the prophet foretelling the Restoration. Joseph Smith was the prophet fulfilling the prophecies of the Restoration. It should not surprise us, therefore, that Isaiah foresaw and wrote about the latter-day prophet who would be the Lord’s instrument in fulfilling his prophecies> In fact, Isaiah may have appeared to Joseph Smith” (Andrew C. Skinner, D. Kelly Ogden, Verse by Verse, the Book of Mormon: Vol.1, Deseret Book, 2011, pp.204).
Stem: Is like a tree trunk and represents Christ (D&C 113:1-2).
Branch=Jesus Christ: In Hebrew, branch is netzer some people believe that's where the word nazarene comes from.
Roots=Ancestors of Jesse and David: The phrase “root of Jesse” as used in this verse refers to a descendant of Jesse. (Jesse was the father of King David, see 1 Samuel 16.) While we sometimes use roots to symbolize ancestors in the Old Testament, the English word root is used in reference to ancestors and descendants.
JST of Exodus 34:2: "But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage. Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me, in the top of the mount."
2 Nephi 21:2–9: Isaiah then goes on to explain and teach us about some of the Savior’s characteristics and he testifies that His judgments are righteous. Isaiah also prophesied about the conditions during the Millennium—the thousand-year period of peace following the Savior’s Second Coming.
2 Nephi 21:23-24: Isaiah refers to Babylon, an ancient city that is often used in the scriptures to symbolize the wickedness of the world, to describe what will happen to the wicked at the Savior’s Second Coming. In 2 Nephi 24, Isaiah describes what the Second Coming will be like for the righteous.
2 Nephi 25:23-26: Nephi declares what he has done for his children:
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.
Something fun to do is start in 2 Nephi 25:12 and highlight all of the times you read or see any reference to Jesus in this chapter. There is a lot to highlight
2 Nephi 25:26 Rejoice in Christ
"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."
Is there anything specific that you do to teach, testify or prophesy of Christ in your daily life?
How do you “rejoice in Christ” in everyday life? What does this look like? Have you witnessed it done?
Alright, deep breath. Today we're discussing second Nephi chapters 11 through 25. That's 15 chapters and 13 of them are Isaiah. You heard that correctly -- 13 Isaiah chapters, but don't stress. We got this, I hope.
Listen, Nephi delights in these chapters, you know what, so will we by the time we're through. Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf plus original brought to you by LDS Living. Where we take the Come Follow Me lesson for the week and really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now you probably have this down by now, but for those of you who might be new to our study group this week, we want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So my favorite thing about this podcast is that it's broken up into six different segments, and they're about 8 to 10 minutes long. So what you could do is you could listen to the whole thing all at once, if you have an hour, or, I like this, you can listen 10 minutes a day, listen, write some stuff down, think about it, and then come back tomorrow. It's really cool. And what I want you to know is since it's Isaiah, you're probably going to need a little break, but however you do it, I believe in you.
Another awesome thing about this podcast is that every week I get to have some of my friends join us. And so today my friends are Jalyn Peterson and Karen Zelnick.
Hi, ladies. Oh, I'm so happy to have you here.
I'm so happy to be here.
Really? Even though you know, it's all Isaiah.
Seriously, what was your reaction when you knew it was all Isaiah?
I laughed out loud.
Well, I mean, it's Isaiah, what else do you do? Also, but for real. I like in college, I was like so set on becoming very good at Isaiah and I bought a book about it, and I was going to dive into and I was going to understand everything.
Did that happened, did it?
No, but you're gonna help me with that, right?
Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Perfect. Jalyn you ready for this?
Yeah, I guess. I mean, I'll tell you how I read these Isaiah chapters. I get to chapter 11 and I go, "Yeah, Jacob saw his redeemer. Uh huh. Yeah, this is good. I'm gonna read this." Then I get over, read the preview of the next chapter. "See compare Isaiah two." "Nope."
Even with the phone, you just swipe right. You just swipe right.
I read the cliff notes at the top and then skip, skip, "Oh, 25. Here we go, back to normal."
I think a lot of people do that. Everyone likes to swipe past the Isaiah chapter. That's why I had you guys on today because I knew you'd help me make Isaiah sing. There you go. So we just got done talking about Isaiah. And while some of you listening and you guys right here might be feeling a little trepidatious about it.
I mean, you're using words like Isaiah. Now, I don't even know what the into's about.
I'm studying it so much, I can't even speak normal English anymore.
What's the Hebrew root for that?
Yeah, yeah, good question.
Well, now you got me. Here's the good news. In second Nephi, chapter 11 verse eight. It's almost like Nephi understands how we feel about being a little apprehensive to study Isaiah's words. So let's just read verse eight. And Jalyn, will you read that out loud for us?
Sure. "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."
I like this because we're going to rejoice. By the time all is said and done, we're going to rejoice about Isaiah's words and we're gonna feel good about it. You trust me?
Mmm, I'm still on the fence a little bit.
Okay, we're going to rejoice.
I feel like 18 year old Karen coming out and being like, "Yeah!"
Alright girls. Okay, let's do this. Let's go to second Nephi chapter 12. And we are going to read verses two and three. This is Isaiah speaking. And this is early. This is Isaiah chapter two. So it's pretty important for us to recognize and understand. So Karen, will you read verses two and three.
Uh huh. "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. 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 the Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
Do those words sound familiar? "Top of the mountain." "Mountain of the Lord's house." What are we talking about in these two verses?
Yeah, perfect. And I want to point out what a couple of these words mean. In second Nephi chapter 12, verse two, it says, "And it shall come to pass in the last days when..." Highlight or mark that word "when." Look down below at "2a." This is important for us to notice and recognize as we study Isaiah, because the footnote says, "Comparison with the King James Bible in English shows that there are differences in more than half of the 433 verses in Isaiah," quoted in the Book of Mormon, well, about 200 verses have the same wording. This is one of the places where the wording is different. That word "when" in Isaiah chapter two, is the word "that in" so it would say, "It shall come to pass in the last days, that in the mountain of the Lord's house," but the meaning of "when" the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established is more prevalent to us.
Because it's talking about, like you said, "temples" and "temples being built." Now for those of us who live in Utah, this is a very prevalent, important verse, because this is what's kind of cool about it when it says, "...when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains..." Highlight "top of the mountains," because I thought this is pretty interesting. That word right there. The name Utah, in the Indian language means...
Does it mean "top of the mountain?"
It does! It totally does. It also means or "people of the mountains." So there's two meanings there, which is kind of cool.
That is interesting.
I found that fascinating. Now, Karen, you're not from Utah.
I'm not from Utah.
So people who aren't from Utah here are hearing this like, "All right, big deal," or is it a big deal?
I have no response to that.
I can tell you being from Utah though, like I didn't really appreciate the mountain. Like growing up here, it wasn't forefront. It wasn't until I lived in Hawaii for a while and I came back and being like, "Wow." I mean, you really don't realize you're in a desert when you grew up in Utah and then in the Wasatch Front, and then someone on the plane turned to me and he said, "I always just loved Utah because when you look over, it's just that city that sitting right up there in the mountains, like it's just..." and I was like, "Oh, yeah, that is really unique to have that city just sitting there. And at the heart of it all is the temple."
Well, and to think of that sitting right there is the temple. I really like this. This is where Hebrew comes in. So right there, where it says "top of the mountains," in Hebrew, "top of the mountains" is translated as "Har ha bayit," and "har" means "mountain," "ha" means "the," and "bayit" means "house," "mountain of the house." And whose house is it? It's God's house. And all throughout Scripture. There are so many examples where God uses mountains as his temples. And we'll put these references in our show notes. So you can see all these examples but we have Moses, we have Matthew chapter 17, the Sermon on the Mount or the Mount of Transfiguration, the brother of Jared was on Mount Shellem. We have Enoch who was on Mount Simeon. And then we have, this is my favorite one. So in Utah, there is a mountain right here above Salt Lake. It's a little tiny Hill. It's called Enzym Peak. When the saints first came to Utah, it was used as a place where people would hike to, to get their temple endowment.
I didn't know that.
I know. Isn't that facinating? Well, there's one.
I didn't know that either.
What's your excuse, I'm from Ohio.
Yeah, thank you. This is the one actually written down case where someone received their endowment. His name is Addison Pratt, and he received his endowment on Enzyme Peak. He was on his mission when the temple was finished in Nauvoo. And then all the saints came to Utah, and he didn't have a chance to receive his endowment. They didn't before they went on their missions. He came to Utah, and he was about to leave again to go on another mission. And so they with Brigham Young and 12 members of the quorum of the 12, at the time, hiked to the top of enzyme peak, where Addison Pratt received the endowment at 6am.
I know. It's really cool. And what I liked about this, I'm going to read this B.H. Roberts, Church historian, this is what he said about that experience. He said, quote, that the "action was in harmony with the instructions of the Prophet [LDS Church founder Joseph Smith] in Nauvoo when he said that these ordinances of the temple under certain circumstances might be obtained on the mountaintop, as Moses obtained them." Now, let me ask you this, because I don't know about you guys. Or maybe it's just me, but does it sometimes seem like getting to the temple is hiking a summit?
Oh, good point.
Like is it easy for you to go to the temple? What's it like?
First when you were saying that I was like, "No," and but then I think about it, and I actually I used to live in New York. I remember sometimes just getting on the subway and getting to the temple in time. It was just like, it was just like this race. And it was like, why is this impossible sometimes.
Like sometimes it feels like Mount Everest.
Or like when we drive to the temple, we drive to Chicago to go to the temple and so it really has kind of always felt like this is a concerted effort that I'm making and something that I want to do but yeah.
We always kind of have a joke about of like, "Uh uh, Satan not gonna get me down on the way there."
Not today, Satan.
Yeah because you just like you hit every traffic jam. Like, there are little things. And it's stupid because like I could throw a stone and hit about four different temples where we're sitting.
I mean, something always pops up, right? It is a lot of effort and work to get to the temple on so many levels, right? When we put it into context, that it's God's house, and that it will be built in the top of the mountains. Let's look at verse five, because I like this. The purpose of the temple is verse five, in second Nephi, Chapter 12. And Karen, will you read it for us?
"O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord; yea, come for you have all gone astray, everyone to his wicked ways."
And in verse three of that same chapter, it talks about walking. "He will teach us of his ways, we will walk in his paths," and I like how verse five says "walk in the light of the Lord." I know for me, it was hard to get to the temple when I had little ones. I didn't go to the temple probably for seven years, because I just didn't have time. When it came down to going to the temple or going to movies with my husband, I picked the movie. I mean, for me, the goal was just to have a temple recommend. Every year, as long as I could. What are your goals? Have you had a temple goal before?
I used to go once a week.
I used to go once a week too, I just confess that I'm not anymore.
Unknown Speaker 10:20
Unknown Speaker 10:21
Actually, actually, now I am again, going once a week.
My goal is now once a month.
Should we go to the temple once a week together?
We really should like...
I like that you just set a goal. Keep that in mind, because we're going to come back to that question later on in our discussion. So the temple is definitely where we learn of God's ways and we can come closer to God and our Savior and the overiding message of Isaiah is to repent and come unto Christ. That's what we have learned, as we've studied all of his words, repent and come unto Christ. But in the next two chapters, we're going to read a description of what will happen if we don't repent and come unto Christ. Or in the words of President Hinckley, in the October 1993 General Conference when he was apologizing for it being so hot in the tabernacle, he said, "I know it's warm, but you're not nearly as warm as you will be if you don't repent." That's one of my favorite President Hinckley moments. We'll discuss that in the next segment.
Let's go to second Nephi chapter 13. And I have to tell you a story about these verses. So when I was teaching seminary, I went to a training, we do summer seminars, right. And we were with the University of Utah Institute teachers. And so we've got like the who's who, like Michael Wilcox is there. And I mean, just all these great teachers, Margo Butler, who I adore, and there was a woman by the name of Linda Auction, and she was asked to teach about this specific chapter, second, Nephi chapter 13, and Isaiah chapter three, and I couldn't wait, because I'm new, and I'm going to teach this and I'd read it and I'd come prepared, and she stands up and she's probably in her I would say 50s, probably 50s or 60s, and she stands up in the first thing she says to a roomful of men and four women. She says, I want you to look at second Nephi chapter 13 and Isaiah three, and I want you to go to verse 16 that talks about the daughters of Zion walking with stretched forth necks. And then she said, "Don't you dare make this about modesty. Don't you dare berate your young women in class."
I mean, seriously, did you give her a standing ovation just right there?
No, my jaw dropped. And I was like, "Well, that's how I was going to teach it." Give me credit. Listen, it was a long time ago. I've evolved since then. I really was ready. I was going to teach the modesty lesson, telling all the girls that they shouldn't wear tank tops or short skirts. I mean, that's how it had been taught my whole life.
Really? I've never heard it that way.
Oh, tank tops and short skirts?
No, not from this. I'll tell you what happened in my seminary class. One of the cowboy kids, they're at the Wasatch High, who hadn't said two words like the whole class, raised his hand at this point when we get to this and he goes, "You mean to tell me, in the last days, I gotta take seven stinking bald women and take care of them?"
So we're going to talk about what these verses mean. And when I studied this in Hebrew, "Hello, game changer." I mean, complete game changer because I really was prepared to teach a modesty lesson. And then she went verse by verse and then I've since gone through verse by verse, and there's a couple of things that I think it's worthy of seeing it in a different light, a different perspective, if you are like me and thought that's exactly what it means. And that's exactly how I'm going to teach it because I want you to see some things that are interesting, and I really do appreciate that recently, there have been some religious and Hebrew scholar commentators who are actually acknowledging, "Mmm if might not mean what we thought it always meant." Like it might not really just be about women. So go to second Nephi, Chapter 13. And let's look at verse 16. The first thing I want us to look at is, it says, "Moreover, the Lord saith: because," now put a little equal sign because what Isaiah has done up to this point in Isaiah chapter one, two, and three is he has said to the people, "Listen, if you don't repent, you're going to be destroyed, the Lord is going to allow you to be taken away captive, and he's not gonna be able to fight your battles, because you're not gonna believe in him anymore." And he's giving this over and over again. And then he says, "...and he can't bless you if you're not going to believe in him." So he's setting the stage by saying the wickedness of the people is so horrific, that they can't even learn of his ways, or walk in His light. So that's what we're coming up to. And now we get to this, "Moreover, the Lord saith: because," this is an equal sign, now because of all that, that I told you, the "daughters of Zion." Let's mark that because this is what's interesting. I want you to know that that term "daughters of Zion" or "daughter of Zion," there are 58 references for that term in scripture, and all but this one, all 57, every commentator you will ask will tell you it means "the children of Israel" or the "children of Judah" That's what it means. And it's always meant that. It means all the saints, all the believers. Except for this one. Right here we're going to tell you it just means girls. That's not true.
I see what you did there.
You like what I did there?
It doesn't. This "daughters of Zion" is the same as all the others. It means the "saints." It means the "people of Israel."
Like the bride and the bridegroom, it's not just actually just the women.
Yeah, right. Exactly. So this is talking to everybody. So we can't even begin to say that this is just about how girls are gonna dress bad. And now the world's going to come to an end because of that. Seriously, because of a tank top.
Yeah, because of a tank top.
I don't know, people's hoops are getting mighty big.
We'll get into that. Okay so mark that about the daugthers of Zion.
I had hoops on earlier today actually.
Okay. So it talks about how the believers are "haughty," "walk with stretched-forth necks," "wanted eyes," "walking and mincing" as they go. What do you picture when you hear those words?
Just pride. Just women fancy and like strong?
Yeah, that's exactly what it means. It really does. It says the "Lord will smite them with a scab," like the imagery of that and they're going to lose their hair, which is absolute shame, and that the daughters of Zion or the people and the Lord will discover their secret parts. That meaning "discover their secret parts," means "put to shame." And then it says in verse 18, "In that day, the Lord will take away the bravery," can we please mark that word? Because here's where it changes. That word "bravery" in Hebrew. It is not "bravery" at all. It truly means "beauty" or "glory." In fact, if you look up every reference for that word in Hebrew, never is it "bravery" except here. And so when it was translated, it was just like let's just stick bravery and in the King James Version, let's take bravery, but it's actually beauty or glory. He's going to take that away. And then we start here because in that day starts a new idea because the Lord's saying, "he's going to discover their secret parts." He's going to put them to shame. And because of that, in that day, the Lord will take away the beauty or the glory. And then everything else you read, all of those things, the calls, the round tires like the moon, the muffers, the tablets, the crisping pins, the glasses, when you take each word and translate it into Hebrew, it's the temple clothing.
So mind blown.
Yeah. Because think about it, when we make poor choices, what are we not allowed to partake in anymore? The blessings of the temple, right? And that's the ultimate thing that could possibly happen to these people. Well, not only you're gonna be taken captive, you won't have the blessing of the temple anymore.
Wait, wait, wait. So rings and nose jewels. That's....
Isn't that fascinating.
Transalte that for me.
Yes, it really is. And here's a great example of that. If you go to the book of Genesis, when Isaac needed a wife, he sent his servant to go find him one. And that's where we get the great story. At the well, right? He says "whoever gives my camels water to drink, that's who the wife will be." And then in walks Rebecca, and then the servant recognizes that will be Isaac's wife...
....and gives her the bracelets.
Yes, if you keep reading he goes to the family and says, "Here are the bracelets, the rings, the nose jewels. Here's all of the jewelry. I'm going to give as a proposal to take her home to my master."
Everything you read about a bride during this time in Old Testament time, these were symbols of what you would wear. And it's just fun to read these in Hebrew and go, "Oh, wait a minute, fine linen?" I mean, you didn't wear fine linen on an everyday basis in Old Testament time. Fine linen was only worn in a temple. And it was only worn by the priests who went into the temple. So a woman wouldn't be wearing it because it was hot and she's linen pants. "The veils." I mean, just look at some of those words. And so this is really kind of fascinating because the Lord is saying, "You can't walk in my ways and learn of my ways. You have turned your back on me, and you are not afforded that anymore." And then in verse 25, "Thy men shall fall by the sword and I mighty in war." He's saying, "I can't fight your battles for you, because you don't believe in me, but if you would repent? You bet I will." Absolutely. And then here's the part that I love that we get into. Go to chapter 14 verse one, see how right up above it says verse 26. Create a new verse, verse 27. In the actual translation, Chapter 14, verse one is actually, verse 27 of chapter 13. And this goes to the boy who was like, "You're telling me I gotta marry seven women?" Okay, Chapter 14, verse one says, "And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying:" Now let's start here.
I have a whole sheet on a Hebrew numerical equivalent, like the meanings of different numbers. Seven is the "covenant number completion, fulfillment, sanctification and perfection."
That is correct.
Yay! Do I get a gold star?
Now think about this. We have this group of divinely perfect women, seven women, or divinely perfect people, Christ's people. Think of what the imagery could be. They will take hold of one man, saying "we'll eat our own bread and wear over apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach." Who is the only one man that we want to be called by that can remove "reproach?"
That's it. That's what this is saying.
Can I just say something? I was always taught that that was about polygamy. Oh, this is amazing.
This is amazing. I was taught...
I was always taught modesty and polygamy with it... I know.
Oh, I never got that. I got "last days, atomic war, we have nothing to wear, men are all gone in the battle."
No, I was taught that way too.
Yeah. And that like all the men were dead and the enemy is like so women would be like, "Let me say I'm married to you so I'm protected."
But also, like take away my reproach like the need to be married. Anyways, as a single person right now...
It does feel like that huh? But it's interesting because the word "reproach" in Hebrew means "take away our disgrace." And what do we really feel disgraced by?
And he's the only person who can take that away.
What's the whole meaning of "we're going to eat our own bread and wear our own apparel?"
That's a great question.
I mean, because I think what we're doing here is we're looking at the imagery. That's why it sets it up for the women for us saying, "Oh, it's a woman who wants to be married, who can't provide for herself," but the Lord provides everything. But we're saying, "Well, whatever it takes, we'll do whatever we can. We'll do it to get to you."
...take it away. And now look at verse. So now he's saying, "In that day," when these saints are saying, "We just want you, we want to be called by your name," then the beauty of the verses, "the branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, the fruit of the earth -- excellent." And you turn the page and you keep reading all these verses of the promises that the Lord will give us, if we return to Him. Again, it's never too late. The Book of Mormon is a book of hope, and so is Isaiah. So he's basically teaching us in these verses, "You can still come back. You can still receive the promises and blessings of the temple, no matter how far gone you are."
I love that so much. It just changed the whole meaning. Now I like Isaiah. You did it.
She's rejoicing already and we're only on section two.
So this is kind of cool because in the next section we're going to talk about what the Lord offers us when we come back to him. He not only offers us the ability to return, walk in his ways, receive his light, but second Nephi chapters 14 and 15 are going to give us even more hope and talk to us about what the protection is the Lord will offer us. Jalyn and Karen, here's a question for you. What things have protected you in your life?
Do you mean physically, spiritually?
Many things. What do you got?
My parents, a seat belt, rain gear? I had a really great umbrella, the seethrough kind with the pink ribbon.
Very good. Okay, so we understand what that means when there's something that we need to be protected by right? Okay. I want you to go to second Nephi chapter 14. And I want you to look at verses five and six, and scan your eyes through those verses and call out any word you see that Isaiah uses that would provide spiritual protection.
"Dwelling place, flaming fire by night, glory of Zion."
You keep running with it.
"Tabernacle, place of refuge," and a "covert from storm."
All of those are excellent. Let's go back into those verses and we're going to mark some of them. And we're going to define what they mean. Because Isaiah is telling us in verse four he says, "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion," meaning the saints, the people, and "shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning," verse five, "And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, a flaming fire by night," and then I like verse six, "There shall be a tabernacle." Let's mark the word "tabernacle," because that word "tabernacle" means "temple, a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and a place of refuge, a covert from the storm and from rain." In these verses right here we have the word "assemblies" in verse five and "upon her assemblies," that word means "a place of corrugation," like a ward or a stake, where you meet together with members of the Church. We have a dwelling place at the beginning of verse five, and that means a "house" or a "home." I think it's interesting because I always think about my house, like is it a place where we just live? Or is it a dwelling place? Is it where they are safe? I always think that's so important that I want my house to be a safe place for my family. Not even physically but...
Right, but in so many other like, you can walk in someone else's space and like not feel the spirit. Missionaries talk about that all the time, of like going in and being able to discern like, well, something's not right here. So I think especially in today's world, like they have to be able to feel...
...to have a dwelling place. Yeah, the idea in here too where he says the "cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming by night." That refers to the protection and guidance that Moses and his people received from the Lord in the wilderness. And so cross reference for that would be Exodus chapter 13, verses 21 through 22. So, at this point, Isaiah is likening the temple to a protective shelter from heat, or a covert, a shelter from storms and from rain. So let me ask you this then, has the temple been a shelter for you, a place of protection?
For me it has especially in those times where I'm not going just to check it off the box, you know that I went that week that I'm going specifically to commune with Heavenly Father.
It's just that feeling a piece that you just can't get anywhere else, other than sitting in the temple in that quiet moment where you know, it's just you and your heavenly Father communing.
I actually really love that it's described here as sort of a refuge from the storm. You know, you hear a lot of the stories of like these amazing, revelatroy, profound experiences in the temple and I'm like, I've never actually really had one of those, people who are like, "What did you learn differently this time?" and I'm like, "I mean, it was the same," but it is always a refuge for me. And I love the dependability of that, even if it's not just like lightning bolts, I love that it's a refuge.
You know, I remember when I was at BYU in a singles Ward and our bishop's wife came to speak to us and they were a lot older, she'd raised her kids, she had grandkids. And I remember that she issued us a challenge. And she said, "My challenge to all of you is to attend the temple on a weekly basis, no matter what. You make that absolute in your life," and I hadn't been going at that time. I was home from my mission and I was like, "La la la, I'm gonna get married next." 20 years later...
How'd that go?
Yeah, I didn't.
So I, I remember sitting in there thinking, "every week?" But there was something in my heart, like, "do it." So I did. And I went weekly the entire time I was at BYU. But the reason why is because she said in that same challenge, "I went every week when I was single, and it filled my bucket. It filled my spiritual bucket because when I was a mom with little kids, I couldn't go, and I dipped into that reserve, that bucket the whole time I was raising little kids until I could go again." And I remembered that and I went, and then I did get married and I had kids and I can remember the times thinking I felt so bad. I couldn't make it to the temple. I would picture myself dipping into that bucket that I filled for all those years being single because I kept that up even after BYU. I tried to make it a goal to go and so I feel like for me, it was a protection after I got married, after I had kids.
I remember being very little and my mom talking about how she would go to the temple when she was single. And that was like, it was amazing. Just her testimony of the temple was a testimony builder for me. And when we were going on when we go on family vacations, when we were little, my dad would take us to the temple and we'd do baptisms then we eat in the cafeteria, which always felt like a special treat and now I'm like, "oh," no offense.
But and sitting in the temple and having that focus and being able to like you said, to be able to call on that bucket in times when I needed it. It's amazing the power that that actually has, and I know there are probably people listening to it being like, "I don't experience that." Hopefully they can if they go consistently and as often as they can.
I think even the knowledge to that you're helping someone on the other side, like I always love when I get that name, you know, you're just like, "Oh, wonder who they are and what they're..." you know? I mean, sometimes my mom taught me this trick if you you know, sometimes you get a little tired in there. I just like, "Okay, so and so, this is for you. You gotta keep me plugging here."
Well, I remember when my youngest finally went to first grade, let freedom ring, am I right? And that's when I was like, "I can finally go to the temple." And so I had some good friends. All of our kids were in school. And so now we we've started a thing where we call it Temple Tuesday. And so we go to the Temple on Tuesday. It's kind of a double feature.
Do you do Temple Taco Tuesdays?
No, we do Temple double feature Tuesday, we do an endowment or initiatory, and then we go to the movies, $5 Tuesdays. Anybody in Utah, meet me at the movies. It's the most delightful day of the week. I honestly think.
I love it.
Yeah. And so think about what your temple attendance looks like right now. If you're in a place where you can, go. Set a goal right now, whatever it is, get to the temple so that you can receive the blessings that come from that.
Okay, Tamra, stop yelling at me. I already feel guilty about it.
Enough, it's the temple,
Right, Jalyn? I mean, this isn't to make anyone feel guilty who's not going to the temple. And it might just be get a temple recommend. That was my goal when I had big kids, just keep a temple recommend. So it's not to make anyone feel guilty. Find out what your goal is and do something. That's what it's about. Except for you, Jalyn.
I know, okay.
I'm just kidding. Okay, so the Lord wants to protect us. Isaiah just taught us that. Prophets are continually teaching that. But here's the thought, who gave Isaiah the authority? And this is kind of fun, because this goes into some history about who Isaiah is. And in the next segment, we are going to discover Isaiah's mission call.
You guys, have you ever had a calling that you really did not want or tried to run from?
Yeah, single's ambassador. I don't know what you call it. My word, I don't even know the name.
Oh you're the singles ward rep? You're in a family ward, aren't you?
I was and I just said, "Look, this is the one calling I said I'd say no to."
Because it's your job to make sure all the single people in your family ward know when the dances are? And the activities, right?
Well, I think it was the older people.
I know, even worse.
The older people, let's face it, and they were like, "Let's do a picnic in the park." And I'm like, "Half of these people are in wheelchairs. And it's winter. Like who's bringing the walker," like, I don't know if it's that kind of a group at this point.
Yeah. Karen, do you have a calling anything you didn't want?
I do not want to be the ward chorister. I know it's easy, but...
Oh I would love that.
Standing up there like waving my arm around, it terrifies me. I would pass out.
I would demand a stick and a feather boa, and a robe.
Yeah, let's just turn it up in there.
Easter the musical. There's a lot of callings I will never get because people know this about me.
Yeah. No, no. Anyone out there who has ever had a calling where they're like, "Mmm, I don't think so," you're in good company, because Isaiah felt the same way when he got his call to be prophet. So let's turn to second Nephi chapter 16. And this is titled, "Isaiah's mission call." You can even write that at the top of the page. "Isaiah's mission call." And listen, I'm just gonna right here, give you a forewarning. I'm going full blown Institute on you. Okay, so I'm going to just go through this, tell you what words mean, why it's so important for us to understand everything in Hebrew and you can just mark your scriptures up, we're going to have a really great time. I mean, I love this kind of stuff. So let's start at the very beginning. Isaiah gets his mission call. And the timing of this is not the best. I mean, we've got people warring. The people that he's supposed to be preaching to are kind of in a dispute, because we have Israel and we have Syria who are being bribed by the Assyrians, and Israel and Syria want Judah to buy into this bribery so that they can be protected and Judah won't do it, and Isaiah's the Prophet over the people of Judah and Isaiah is like, "No The Lord will protect you, you don't have to buy into this bribery, you're going to be fine." And then Judah caves and Isaiah probably threw his arms up in the air and said, "I'm done with these people," and the Lord's like, "Oh, you're just getting started." So let's just start in second Nephi chapter 16 verse one.
Wait, you're telling me all this crazy stuff, all this is is a mission call? See that would've been nice to know too. I mean you're like, "What, one, six wings, what is happening?"
I know, I'm gonna tell you what the wings mean and everything you're ready for this?
It is Dr. Suess weird up in here.
It really is. But once you understand these words, then you can go, "Oh, this makes perfect sense." Okay, ready? Here we go. "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." Now in your mind, who else sits on thrones?
Right. So what does that word tell us about the Lord, he is a king. He's royalty, and it says he's "high and lifted up" which is another sign of royalty, and "his train filled the temple," now I love the idea of this because when you think about a bride's train, and especially the long, long, long one from Princess Dye...
Or like Maria Von Trapp in the movie?
Yes, is the train in front of the bride or behind?
It's following her. And this means the "followers of Christ." Think about this, the followers of the Lord fill the temple there were so many of them. And, above it, above the throne stood "seraphim." Now when you read the word "seraphim" mark that because it means "angelic ministers," and we read a lot about them in the book of Revelation. And it says that each one had six wings. And it's kind of cool because when you read about angels having wings, in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith in a revelation received the answer that "why wings?" Because the wing is the ability to move to and fro as the Lord wills. To do what the Lord is asking these angelic ministers to do. And so they have these wings. And it's interesting because they break them down into twos. With two, he covered his face. With two, he covered his feet. And with two, he did fly. So the two that he covered his face face with, he did because he's not worthy to be in the presence of deity. So he's covering his face, and the two he covered with his feet. We know this when you enter into the temple, what are you asked to remove? Yeah, your shoes because it's on holy ground. So the angel is standing on this holy ground, and then with two he did fly. And the cross reference for that ability to move to and fro is Doctrine and Covenants, section 77, verse four, do you want to put that in there? So verse three, and one cried unto another and said, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts." And we've talked about this before, but in Hebrew, when you see something in threes, that means it's "the most." So it's kind of like a superlative. Good, better, best. This would be "holy, holier, holiest, is the Lord." He's the most holy you could possibly be. When we talk about the number seven, which we talked about, which is the most perfect number, right, the number of deity. This is interesting, Karen, the number six is the most imperfect number in the Hebrew language.
I know I was just reading that and I was like, when is she going to get to the fact that actually means like, evil and apostasy and incomplete and like without God.
Now think for a second. In the world we live in, what's the numeric code for Satan?
The most evil.
Oh repeated in three's.
So then why did they have six wings if that's...
Isn't that interesting? Yeah, that three.
Well they're broken into two's though. Two, two, two, which means unity and opposition. So they're unified with the Lord.
I love this stuff.
Yeah. Isn't this fun?
I'm trying to rein it in and be cool.
Who was it in last General Conference who said, "Every day, every day every day."
Oh, yeah. That was a great talk.
Okay, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord." So he's the holiest, the Lord of hosts. "The whole earth is for all of his glory." Go to verse four. "And the posts of the door moved and the voice of him cried, and the house was filled with smoke." This is really cool. A great cross reference for the word "smoke" is Doctrine and Covenants section 98, verse 13, because that word dates back to the tabernacle when the incense was constantly burning in the tabernacle and the smoke was raising...
That was a really good talk.
Rising up to God right, so prayer.
Yeah that's exactly what it is. So when it says the "smoke fills the temple,"
I think you read Isaiah book.
It may have worked. It may have worked.
So Karen tell me then...
No, this is great because if the smoke fills the temple, what's really filling the temple?
The prayers of the saints.
I love that.
Boy, ain't that the truth, and you know what my favorite thing is right now, is they finally put a prayer role in the baptistry. How great. My sweet little 12 year old, we went and did baptisms a while ago, and I was like, "Lily, look at this. Let me tell you what this table is." And every time she goes now she sits there and just writes names and her friends do. I mean teaching our 12 year olds, that your smoke can fill the temple, your prayers will fill the temple.
Okay, verse five. "Then said I:" and this is Isaiah saying, "Then said I: Wo is unto me!" now when you read the word "wo," It means "destruction" or "damnation." There's just one "wo," so he's not the most destructive, or the most damned, but just a little bit like all of us, right? So he says, "Wo is unto me!" and then I like this, "For I am undone;" That meaning is "spiritually undone." Because like how many missionaries have said that? "I'm not ready. I'm spiritually undone." Then he says, "Why?" "Because I am a man of unclean lips; I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." This unclean lips is the idea of good and evil in man. Like what we speak is what's in our hearts. And he's just like, "I am a unclean lips. There's a lot about me that's not good. There is some that's good and there is some that's evil," and then look at six, "Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal," highlight that word, "live coal." That word is a symbol of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In his hand, which he had taken with the tongs off the altar. That's the altar that's being burnt outside of the tabernacle, the altar of sacrifice, which is symbolic of Christ's atonement. And then look what he does with it in verse seven, "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." How amazing when you think about the repentance process? Is it sometimes painful? Yeah. Is it painful as a coal on your mouth? Maybe, but it's giving this idea that "yeah, it's painful, and it's doable." And then look at verse eight. "Also, I heard a voice of the Lord saying: Whom shall I send?" Does that sound familiar?
"And who will go for us," then I, Isaiah said, "Here am I, send me." Wow. I mean, think about where he went from, "I'm a man of unclean lips" to "here am I, send me." Like what kind of process did he go through to get there?
Personally, I think it's that it wasn't that he got to a point where he's like, "Okay, yeah, I've got this," like, "send me like, done." I think it was like, "Oh, I saw God working with me, and I went through this beautiful process with the Savior and I know that he's with me and walking through this with me so like, I'm willing to do whatever you need me to do. I'm imperfect. And I'm like, I'm willing to try." I feel like that a lot, like, not really ready, definitely gonna mess up sometimes and say stupid things. But I will try. My heart's in the right place. I've seen God walking with me through callings or through ministering or whatever that might be.
And I think a lot of us we don't feel worthy when we're first called just like, "Are you sure? You might want to go pray? Is this just putting my name in a blank spot on the word directory?" I think people feel that...
But I think they go alphabetically.
Yeah, exactly. So I think he knew that like, it's such a very physical action to have like, he came and he touched his lips. And I think at that point, it's it just reminds me that story of Gordon B. Hinckley, who, when he was called, and his daughter laughed and said, "Well, guess the Lord's just gonna have to work with who he's got doesn't he," like, it's that. Like you said, like, I don't think we're always like confident that you know, I'm the one but if this is what the Lord wants me to do, and if he's gonna give me the strength to do it and the cold to my lips, the fire in me then I'm good to go.
And isn't it interesting? Or maybe I'm just like trying to read too much into this but where it's like he's like, "I'm a man of unclean lips," and then the cold touches his lips. So that's kind of like God meets us where we are.
So even Isaiah is like, "Here am I, send me, I can do this." We see the human in him because the Lord tells him what he's going to do in verse nine. "Go and tell this people," and it says, "Here ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not." Like people who are too deaf and too blind to hear meaning "spiritually deaf, spiritually blind." But then we see the human side of Isaiah because looked down at verse 11, after he says, who he's going to serve, in verses nine and 10. What does Isaiah say?
Yeah, how long do I have to do that?
What time frame are we were looking at Lord?
We talking a week here?
Yes, and the Lord says "as long as it takes," like that's his answer until every single person, until everything's utterly desolate.
I love when we get to point out the humanity in the scriptures. Like when Job is like what's going on here?
Or like Isaiah being like, "So how long?"
I love that they were human and we get to be human.
Yeah, absolutely. And now that we've learned this about Isaiah, let me go back to the question I asked you first, is there a calling that was hard or you didn't want? How does what we know about Isaiah maybe change? Does it change you? Does it make you think differently about callings?
I think it's what Karen said of that, you know, you see the humanity in it. And that's just kind of the natural man piece to be like, "I'm not good enough for that." And I think that's what Satan would have us believe. But the Lord qualifies whom he calls so I always try and remember that in the back of my mind, too. It's not necessarily me. You just have to let God work through you to do this.
All right, Karen. So if you get called to be the chorister, you can ask for a stick?
And a feather boa.
And then I'll give it to someone else.
Well, and guess what, you know, Isaiah wasn't the only prophet who had questions about his calling. In second Nephi, chapters 21 through 24, we get to see another prophet who probably felt the same way when he was like, "Wait, really? You're picking me? Are you sure?" So we'll talk about that Prophet, and what Isaiah had to say about him in the next segment.
When it comes to going to the temple, I have a friend who isn't really necessarily the most fond of going to the temple, but she does a ton of Temple work. Tons of names. Indexes like crazy. I don't do that. Never have, don't like it. Don't know how to do it. Couldn't find a name if my life depended on it. What about you guys? How do you feel about indexing?
I've done it before.
I don't think I ever have actually. I was trying to think about all the times I've been invited to index for a singles ward and like "pizza and indexing!"
I'd go for the pizza. I'm not gonna lie. When is it next? I'm starving. You know when my kids were going on treck, they were told to find a family name that they could go on treck for and that we could do the work for. And so my mother in law who is an indexer came, looked, couldn't find anything. So now in some of the family wards, they're calling youth to do indexing as a calling. And so our ward had a kid, and I went up to him and his dad, and I said, "I got to tell you, the spirit of Elijah is dead in my house. I can't find any names. So I think we're gonna be out, there not gonna be able to get any names." And the dad said, "No, no, my son will come over, we'll come over today, we'll look on it." I was like, "No, really, all the works been done. You're not gonna find any." They show up an hour after Sarament meeting. They get on our computer, this 14 year old boy, clickety, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, he turns around, he goes, "I found 77 names."
And I looked at him and I go, "get out."
Do not click anymore. We can't. Don't tell anyone what you saw here today.
Well, if anybody out there likes to do indexing and loves the genealogy work, you're going to love the imagery of this next section. It's in second Nephi chapter 21. And this is going to introduce us to some really cool ideas and words about another prophet who probably didn't think he could do it. Karen, will you read second Nephi chapter 21 verse one.
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots."
Easy, isn't it? You can understand that right? So in second Nephi, Chapter 21, verses one and two, there's a lot of confusion about what these words mean. We have a rod, we have a stem of Jesse, branches, roots, all sorts of crazy stuff. So I think in order for us to really understand what Isaiah is trying to teach us, put the cross reference above that verse, Doctrine and Covenants, section 113. And let's turn to Doctrine and Covenants section 113. And we're going to read what these answers are, because I like Doctrine and Covenants. It's a book of questions and answers. That's exactly what Joseph had. He's like, "Wait a minute, what do you mean by rod? What do you mean by stem?" And so he's going to ask the Lord, "What is this?" And so somewhere on your journals, or in your scriptures, you can mark, mark the words "rod, stem, branch" and "roots." And let's find out what the Lord taught Joseph Smith in section 113. So Karen, we're going to start with you. Will you just read in Doctrine and Covenants section 113 verse one? Just start there for us.
"Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah? Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ."
Okay, so we have this "Stem of Jesse," and the "Stem of Jesse" is Christ. Now who's Jesse? Jesse is David's father, David and Goliath "David," David and Bathsheba "David." So his dad is Jesse. So that's what we need to know when we hear the stem of Jesse. And so that stem then is Jesus Christ. So Karen, keep reading in verse three.
"What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse? Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power."
Okay, that is Joseph Smith. And so now next to that word when you have rod you, write, "it's Joseph Smith." And so he does, he comes from that line Ephraim the house of Joseph, and he does have much power. And when we go back into second Nephi, we will read what the power is the Lord will give him, and I'm sure when I think about him, and we know this, we think about how he relates to Isaiah. Like, "Really? You want me to do this?" We know that Joseph had doubts and concerns.
That's what I was just thinking like, he's translating this and then he asked those questions and that must've been daunting to come on him and be like "what?!"
"That's me?" Yeah.
Yeah. Especially when you read all those verses after like, wow.
Now let's read what the root is. So Karen, keep reading in verse five and six.
"What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter? Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days."
Perfect. There's some pretty great things about this verse. When it says right there, "the keys of the kingdom for an ensign," that "ensign" is Joseph Smith. He's a symbol. He's a standard for the people. He is who we looked towards and still do for guidance and instruction like we're receiving right now. And so when we talk about the "roots," these are any of the ancestors of Jesse and David, all of the people that came before them to pave the way. Ruth, would be a great example. That's where we get Jesse because Ruth married Boaz and they have a son named Obed, and then Obed, will have Jesse. And then Jesse will have David. So that's kind of cool I know. Little side note, "Obed" in Hebrew means "servant" or "serving one." Isn't that fascinating to think of the realtionship between Ruth and Naomi how they served each other? Then she gets married and has a son and they name him "serving one." You probably had to serve Naomi, take care of her because she died.
Can we just have a podcast where Tammy just shares facts like that.
Boy I love the Old Testament, well the Old Testament is my favorite. Can't wait to get there.
Okay, so that's what we have. Those are our words. That's what we need to know. And then you also read about a branch and the branch can also be Jesus Christ. But it's kind of interesting because the word branch in Hebrew is "Netzer." And some people believe that's where the word Nazarene comes from. And they believe that maybe Christ was not necessarily a Nazarene in the respect of the Book of Numbers where it talks about the law of the Nazarite. It just means he came from Nazareth. So I think that's kind of cool that they're teaching us that about him. So now that we know, kind of these fun words and what everything means and how we can ask questions and get answers, Jalyn, will you read second Nephi chapter 21 verse 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."
And then mark the word "rest." I really like this word because the word in Hebrew means "presence." It also means a "resting place." And so when we think about how "to it shall be to the Gentiles seek; and his resting place shall be glorious," where we end up with him because of following the Prophet, because of following the words of Joseph Smith, and I just...
I love that.
Tell me why you love that?
Well, I maybe it's because my life can often seem so chaotic. And so again, as we're talking about the temple to that respite and that rest, just thinking about your soul, being able to rest with the Lord. I love that imagery. And I love it when I have those moments where I can feel that. And so just talking about it even makes me feel more peaceful and calm, and I love learning about Joseph Smith. That's really interesting information. Love trivia.
I like the idea of these roots. And when you think about everything that played into Jesus's genealogy and all the good that came out of it, it was pretty sorted. Like there were a lot of characters in Christ genealogy that you would think of as, "Oo, really...?" It's amazing to me when you figure out these stories, but you can see the goodness that still can come from all of it.
So when when Isaiah is talking about like in verses two through 10, and saying about how the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him and his wisdom and understanding, he shall judge with righteousness, all that stuff, we're speaking of Joseph Smith, but isn't that also messianically speaking of Christ?
It is. That's exactly what it's doing. It's speaking of Christ. And that's exactly what Isaiah is supposed to do as a prophet. That's one of our basic beliefs that we have a doctrinal belief is that a prophet will speak of Jesus Christ. So in the next segment, we're going to talk about Nephi fulfilling the role of a prophet by solely talking about Jesus Christ.
Did you guys do this when you were little, like me when you were a kid or a teenager? Did you ever say, "Well, when I'm a mom, I'm going to..." or, "When I'm a mom, I'm never going to..." in comparing to your own parents.
I don't think I did actually. I never did. We're the worst students.
Every single day I would be like, "When I'm a mom, I'm gonna let my kids have slumber parties anytime they want, every single day if they wanted to," because I loved slumber parties.
I mean, we can ask my mom but I don't remember ever saying it.
What did you say about your mother?
Everything. I mean, it wouldn't surprise if I had a clipboard in my hands and I was checking off how good my parents were doing. You know, actually, that's kind of true. Becuase one I time I did. I did say this to my dad one time, I'm like, "You're not doing a very good job as a dad." And he really wasn't in my estimation to being eight years old. I said that I'm like, "You know, you're not doing a very good job of being a dad," and he looked at me and he put his fingers in my face and he goes, "Listen, I've never been a dad before. I don't know what I'm doing." It was an epiphany. I went, "What?" Like I thought my dad was born a dad.
That's when the clipboard and the checklist came out. Oh, they don't know what they're doing.
They didn't. Okay, well think about this then because you guys don't have children yet. Is there anything for sure you're going to do when you have kids?
I think my priority is going to be just being a very safe space for them and knowing that they can always come and talk to me, and having that relationship with them.
I like that. In second Nephi, chapter 25, Nephi, is very clear about what he's done with his kids, and he kind of gives us this vision of like, "This is what you need to do, do this. If you do nothing else, this is what you should do." One of the fun things to do about second Nephi chapter 25, is just to take some time, starting in verse 12, and with a red pencil, going through and highlighting every reference there is to God or Christ. Like you guys, go to verse 16, and scan your eyes to all these verses. I mean, how many times do you see, "Lord, God, Christ, Messiah, Messiah, Lord, God, Son of God."
Yeah, there's so many. It's one of my favorite chapters when I would teach seminary, it's the first thing I'd make my kids do, no matter what we were studying. I'd say go to Second Nephi chapter 25, I'd give them a red pencil, and I'd say highlight every reference you have. And they would, and it would take a while. And it was fun, because then they would try to, you know, chase, see who could do it first, who could count the most. "Well, you didn't count he," or you know, whatever. It's really a fun thing to do. But the point of doing this is to go to second Nephi, Chapter 25, in verse 23, Jalyn, would you read, second Nephi chapter 25, verse 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. 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. 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."
This is the best one right here.
If it says it, highlight it.
"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."
Why do you say "there it is?"
Because it's just like, it's the whole religion in a nutshell. Like, that's what we're here for them. That's our whole msission here is to do that, is to talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, preach of Christ to anyone and everyone who will listen.
How do you do that Jalyn? On a daily basis? What does that look like for you?
That's such a good question. Because, you know, without getting too personal, like it's very specific in my patriarchal blessing that, you know, I'm supposed to let that light of Christ shine through me so that other people will feel that. And so, I mean, it just kind of boils down to being kind and inclusive, and making sure that everyone, you know, feels comfortable and that they're valued. And they're not believing all of that crap that Satan would have us believe about ourselves, that everybody knows their of worth, and that regardless of where they're at on their path, that we've got space for them on whatever path we're on too. Like, you know that that we can take them along and we need people here. We need that. I keep thinking you said the word "assemblies" like that's one of the biggest protections that we have is each other.
Like being that refuge from the storm for other people.
Yes, that's exactly what it is.
What is being the "refuge from the storm" look like for you? Like, do you have any experiences where someone has helped you in that way?
One thing I try to be conscious of is just acknowledging the good in my life. So calling out that good. And so when something good happens, or when I feel like I've been blessed, just like actually acknowledging that and not being afraid to voice that. And also, again, just going back like to loving people and walking with them and listening to them and making sure that they know that the God could care about them if humans they interact with could care care about them, and that's what it looks like most to me.
That's powerful the way you said that. Say it again?
I think I just said that they're able to know that they are able to understand and comprehend that a God could care about them if humans that they interact with care about them.
Yeah. At the top of your scriptures, I want you to write this scripture reference. Phillipians 1:21. So phillipians chapter one, verse 21. I love this verse of scripture because all it says is "for me to live as Christ." Now he goes on to say "to die is gain." And when Paul is saying this, he's basically saying, "Listen, if I die tomorrow, win, win. Like I get to be with Christ, like I'll die." But for him to then say, but "for me to live as Christ." That's powerful to me, because then I was thinking, like, "Do I live that way? Do I really like to live as Christ? Like everything I do." Not really. I think that sometimes I'm not as good as I could be at that for me to live as Christ. When you go visit the Bible Belt and you go down south and every other word is "Praise Jesus, I love the Lord." I kind of feel like I don't work him enough into my conversation. And I think it'd be perfectly appropriate to end with second Nephi chapter 25 verse 29. I love this verse, and Karen will you read verse 29, for us?
"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."
I kind of like want an exlamation point at the end of that one. Like "yes!" To think the right ways to believe in Christ. That's, that's what we're all about.
I so love this scripture, because you've just like, you know, you've gotten through all the Isaiah stuff, which you have like broken down and blown my mind with, like the real meaning of that, but to get through all that stuff, and then he just boils it down. And he's just like, "Look, all of that. I glory in plainness and here's what I'm telling you. I'm telling you exactly like the right way is to believe in Christ."
Yep. And that's all you got to do. We're going to teach our kids that. We're going to be examples of that. And whether or not you have kids, it doesn't matter. You can still do that. In all that you do and say.
Wow, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts today.
No, thank you!
No, really, thank you.
It was a fun time. So I want to ask you this then, think back to everything we've discussed. What is your takeaway? Like what did you learn today? What would you teach someone that you learned?
We covered a lot.
I was like, I will be talking a lot about this, especially the, which was it 14 chapter 14, where we talking about like, "Hey, this isn't just all about..."
The Daughters of Zion.
I think that is like the most poignant takeaway that I've had.
How much of this was about the temple, and finding refuge and peace and believing in Christ like to me, like, it's all like, make sure you keep those temple covenants, and that you're going to the temple because he very explicitly laid out what would happen if you don't, and then, the right way is to believe in Christ.
My takeaway too is that refuge and one thing that Isaiah uses a lot is that line, like "his hand is stretched out still." And I think that's the overwhelming feeling I have from this whole lesson, is that refuge because of that, because his hand is always stretched out to us.
Absolutely. I think my takeaway is on the same lines is that, you know, as I've studied Isaiah over and over again, Isaiah is like, “Just repent and come back. It's never too late. It's never too late. Just do this, do this, do this.” And you know, Nephi spent the time and Jacob spent the time to teach us Isaiah’s words. And then for Nephi to sum it up that perfectly, “Listen, at the end of the day, just believe in Christ. That's it. That's all you can do. And that looks different for everybody at different places in their life. But it's doable for every single human being.
And whether that be, and I talked about this last week, but whether you be in prison, to my sweet women that I taught in prison, you better believe they believed in Christ. Absolutely. And the ability to feel the Spirit in that prison was powerful, and so everyone can believe. So that's kind of my takeaway. I really love how the Nephi just ends up there. So, thank you.
I loved being here.
I love having you guys with me. I love hearing takeaways. That's probably my favorite part at the end when I get to hear everybody's takeaways.
If you're listening, I really want to know what your takeaways are. I want to hear what you learned throughout this week as you studied the scriptures, share that with me.
You can get both to our Facebook and our Instagram by going to the show notes in this episode at ldsliving.com/sundayonnonday, and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway because that's where we have all the links to the references from everything we've shared today as well as a complete transcript of this discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Desert Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall. And today our awesome study group participants were Karen Zelnick and Jalyn Peterson and you can find out more information about these ladies at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by KaRyn Lay with post-production and editing by Katie Lambert. It's recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. And we'll see you next week and remember, you're God's favorite.