“Unit 25: Day 1, Isaiah 24–29,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 25: Day 1,” Old Testament Study Guide
Isaiah prophesied that the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will receive great blessings at the Savior’s Second Coming. Isaiah also prophesied of a period of great apostasy and the Restoration of the gospel Jesus Christ in the latter days, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
In the 1970s a professor conducted an experiment where he showed young children a large marshmallow. He told them that they could eat that one marshmallow right away, or they could get two marshmallows if they waited a specific period of time (see Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 56).
Do you think you would have waited 15–20 minutes to eat the marshmallow when you were a young child? Why or why not?
What are some things the Lord has asked us to wait for?
As you study Isaiah 24–27, look for principles that will help you understand why it is important to be patient as you wait for the Lord to deliver the blessings He promises.
In Isaiah 24, Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Then in Isaiah 25, Isaiah poetically gloried in the blessings that the Lord will give to the righteous.
Read Isaiah 25:1–4, looking for what Isaiah said the Lord had been for the righteous.
Why do you think a feast is a good representation of the blessings that people who accept the gospel can receive?
The phrase “he will destroy … the veil that is spread over all nations” in verse 7 is a prophecy that refers to the time in which we live (see Moses 7:60–61). The “veil” of darkness that covers the earth represents a time of unbelief and a lack of knowledge of the kind of being God is and of His saving laws and commandments. The darkness is driven away by the light of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which will eventually penetrate all nations (see D&C 38:8; 101:23; 121:26–33).
According to Isaiah 25:8, what will the Lord do for His people during the Millennium?
Read Isaiah 25:9, looking for what the Lord’s people will say during the Millennium. You might consider marking the phrases “waited for him” and “we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
A principle this verse teaches is that if we wait for the Lord, then we can receive His salvation and rejoice.
Isaiah’s prophecy can also apply to waiting on the Lord for promised blessings.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained what it means to wait upon the Lord: “In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end” (“Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 72).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What are some things the Lord has asked us to wait for?
When have you had to wait for the Lord before receiving a blessing?
What did the Lord require from you before He blessed you?
Why was the blessing you received worth the wait?
On a piece of paper, write a goal stating how you will more faithfully wait for the Lord now so you can rejoice in the blessings that will come later. Put it somewhere to remind you of your goal.
In Isaiah 26 the prophet Isaiah explained that we can trust in the Lord forever. Consider marking Isaiah’s testimony of this truth in Isaiah 26:4. Isaiah also testified of the Resurrection. In Isaiah 27, Isaiah prophesied that Israel would blossom and the people be gathered one by one from the nations of the earth.
Isaiah prophesied that the Northern Kingdom of Israel would be destroyed because of the wickedness of its people. He also warned the Southern Kingdom of Judah about trusting in the strength of other nations to save them from the Assyrians.
Read Isaiah 28:16, looking for what Isaiah taught about the Savior.
From this verse we learn that the Savior is the only sure foundation upon which to build our lives.
You may also want to read Helaman 5:12 to see what blessings we receive by building our foundation upon the Savior.
One way we can build upon the foundation of the Savior is by following His prophets. What do you think happens when people do not have the direction of prophets, seers, and revelators?
As you study Isaiah 29, look for what Isaiah prophesied would happen without the divine direction of the Lord’s prophets and seers.
Isaiah 29:1–8 (see also Joseph Smith Translation, Isaiah 29:1–8 [in the Bible appendix]) contains Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred because of the wickedness of the people who lived there. Isaiah also referred to the Nephite nation, which would also be destroyed because of wickedness. The phrase “thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust” (Isaiah 29:4) is a prophecy referring to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which was translated from plates hidden in the ground by Moroni. In Isaiah 29:5–10, Isaiah also spoke of the conditions of the latter days (see also 2 Nephi 26:14–18).
Read Isaiah 29:9–10, looking for what Isaiah prophesied would happen after the Lord’s people fell to their enemies. Consider marking the phrases “the spirit of deep sleep,” “closed your eyes,” and “the prophets and … seers hath he covered.” These phrases refer to spiritual darkness and to a loss or removal of prophets and seers from the earth.
Isaiah’s words in verses 9–10 refer to the Great Apostasy, which would occur after the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles. Over time, people changed many gospel principles and the organization of the Church. In Isaiah 24:5–6 we learn that the people also transgressed God’s laws and broke their covenants. Consequently, the Lord withdrew the authority and keys of His priesthood from the earth. Plain and precious parts of the Bible were taken away or kept back (see 1 Nephi 13:26, 28, 32, 34), and the people no longer had an accurate understanding of God. Eventually, many churches were established, but they did not have the authority to perform priesthood ordinances or to properly interpret the Bible.
These verses teach that during a period of great apostasy, people were without divine direction from living prophets and apostles. You may want to write this truth in your scriptures.
Isaiah prophesied of events in the last days that would help end the Great Apostasy.
Isaiah 29:11 refers to a “book that is sealed.” When the Prophet Joseph Smith received the gold plates, a portion of the record was sealed, and the Prophet was commanded not to translate it.
Read Isaiah 29:11–12, looking for what Isaiah prophesied concerning the Book of Mormon. (A more detailed account of this prophecy is given in 2 Nephi 27:6–20.) Then read Joseph Smith—History 1:63–65, looking for the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
- In your scripture study journal, write down the following prophecies from Isaiah 29:11–12. Based on what you found in Joseph Smith—History 1:63–65, explain the meaning and fulfillment of each of these prophecies.
“the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned”
“and he [the one that is learned] saith, I cannot; for it is sealed”
“And the book is delivered to him that is not learned” (see Joseph Smith—History 1:59)
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think the Lord chose someone with little formal education, like Joseph Smith, to translate the Book of Mormon, rather than a scholar like Charles Anthon?
Read Isaiah 29:13–14, looking for what the Lord said He would do to overcome the effects of the Apostasy (see also 2 Nephi 25:17). Consider marking the phrase “a marvellous work and a wonder” in verse 14. (Isaiah 29:13–14 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught what the marvelous work and a wonder is: “Isaiah foresaw that God would do ‘a marvellous work and a wonder’ in the latter days (Isaiah 29:14). … That marvelous work would include the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel” (“Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 46, endnote 26).
You may want to write the following truth in your scriptures: The Restoration of the gospel, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, is a marvelous work that corrects false teachings and counters the wisdom of the world.
In Isaiah 29:15–24 we read that the Book of Mormon would come forth at a time when people would seek to hide their works from God and would not acknowledge the hand of God in their lives. Isaiah prophesied of the positive impact and blessings of the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon.
- In your scripture study journal, write a few reasons why the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon are marvelous and wonderful to you. Share what you write with a friend or family member. Ask this person why the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon are marvelous and wonderful to him or her. Add his or her response to your scripture study journal.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Isaiah 24–29 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: