Nephi and Isaiah: The Plain Truth

    “Nephi and Isaiah: The Plain Truth,” New Era, Feb. 2020, 11.

    Nephi and Isaiah: The Plain Truth

    Nephi loved plainness. And Nephi loved Isaiah. Here’s why that makes total sense.

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    Nephi’s Soul Delight

    In 2 Nephi 25, Nephi tells us:

    • “My soul delighteth in plainness.

    • “My soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah.

    • “My soul delighteth to prophesy concerning [Jesus Christ]” (2 Nephi 25:4, 5, 13; emphasis added).

    Here’s how Nephi’s “soul delights” line up with one another:

    • Nephi knew that “the words of Isaiah are not plain unto” everyone (2 Nephi 25:4), especially those unfamiliar with their context (like culture and geography).

    • But Nephi also knew Isaiah’s words “are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy” (2 Nephi 25:4).

    • “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

    So here’s one key to understanding Isaiah’s words: If you have a testimony of Heavenly Father’s plan and the Savior’s role as Redeemer and promised Messiah, you can understand them better than you otherwise would. You may never feel that the language and symbolism are exactly easy, but you’ll have a key and be better able to understand and the spirit of the message.

    The Great, Plain Words of Isaiah

    Like Nephi, the Savior Himself also quoted Isaiah. He commanded the Nephites to study his words, “for great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1; emphasis added).

    The Savior also explained why Isaiah’s words are great. He said they tell us about “all things concerning [the Lord’s] people which are of the house of Israel” as well as “the Gentiles” (3 Nephi 23:2). In other words, Isaiah tells us about the scattering of Israel and about their gathering and redemption through Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. This is also what Nephi delighted in, and it’s going on today. The Book of Mormon is a big part of it too. And so are you.

    President Russell M. Nelson has told youth that the gathering of Israel “is the most important thing taking place on earth today. … And if you choose to, if you want to, you can be a big part of it” (“Hope of Israel” [worldwide youth devotional, June 3, 2018], 8,

    So, in a way, Isaiah was also talking about you. And that’s just plain awesome.