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Archive for the ‘Isaiah’ Category

See vision of the tree of life in 1 Nephi chapters 8 and 11.

1 Nephi 11

[33] And I, Nephi, saw that he (Jesus Christ) was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.
[34] And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord.
[35] And the multitude of the earth was gathered together; and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Behold the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
[36] And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

* * *

2 Nephi 4

[34] O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

* * *

2 Nephi 8:7 (See also Isaiah 51:7)

Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

* * *

Alma 5

[52] And again I say unto you, the Spirit saith: Behold, the ax is laid at the root of the tree; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire, yea, a fire which cannot be consumed, even an unquenchable fire. Behold, and remember, the Holy One hath spoken it.

[53] And now my beloved brethren, I say unto you, can ye withstand these sayings; yea, can ye lay aside these things, and trample the Holy One under your feet; yea, can ye be puffed up in the pride of your hearts; yea, will ye still persist in the wearing of costly apparel and setting your hearts upon the vain things of the world, upon your riches?

[54] Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance —

[55] Yea, and will you persist in turning your backs upon the poor, and the needy, and in withholding your substance from them?

[56] And finally, all ye that will persist in your wickedness, I say unto you that these are they who shall be hewn down and cast into the fire except they speedily repent.

[57] And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names of my people;

* * *

Alma 39:14

Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.

* * *

Mormon 8

[33] O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

[34] Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.

[35] Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

[36] And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

[37] For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

[38] O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies — because of the praise of the world?

[39] Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?

[40] Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

[41] Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.

* * *

Moroni 8:16-17

. . . and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear. And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love . . .

* * *

Moroni 10

[32] Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

* * *

See also:

Forsaking Worldliness: Old Testament

Forsaking Worldliness: New Testament

Forsaking Worldliness: Doctrine & Covenants

Forsaking Worldliness: Stories & Quotes

– Tom Irvine

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Hezekiah was the King of Judah, from about 715 to 686 BC.

He was a righteous king. He removed the idols from the Jerusalem Temple. He also restored worship of the Lord.

Isaiah 38

[1] In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
[2] Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
[3] And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
[4] Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
[5] Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

The Lord even gave a sign to King Hezekiah by making the sun to go backward ten degrees.

King Hezekiah then gave a song or psalm of thanksgiving in verses 9 to 20. He praised the Lord as follows.

[17] Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
[18] For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
[19] The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
[20] The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

See also: 2 Kings 20 & 2 Chronicles 32

* * *

There are some important lessons from King Hezekiah’s life.

1. We must destroy the idols in our life. In ancient times, people worshiped idols crafted from wood, stone, brass or gold. Today, people worship the idols of money, fame, pride and worldly pleasures.

2. We must worship the Lord.

3. Some prophecies may depend on our faithfulness and righteousness. We must take responsibility for our words and actions. The Lord changed the prophecy of King Hezekiah’s death after the King wept and prayed to Him.

4. We can pray for healing blessings. We must prepare ourselves to accept the Lord’s will, whatever it must be.

5. We will eventually die even if the Lord extends our life. One of the main purposes of our mortal life is to prepare to meet God. We must thus set our houses in order.

6. Like King Hezekiah, we must praise the Lord for the blessings he gives us.

Our lives are gifts from God to be used for His purposes.

Let us follow the example of King Hezekiah by walking before the Lord in truth and with a perfect heart, doing good in His sight.

– Tom Irvine

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Naaman was a captain of the king of Syria’s army. Naaman had leprosy, a terrible disease, according to 2 Kings 5.

The maid of Naaman’s wife said unto her mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet (Elisha) that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.”

The king of Syria then sent Naaman to the king of Israel, but the king of Israel was displeased.

Naaman next went to Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

But Naaman was angry, and went away, and said, “Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.” He further complained “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?”

Naaman’s servant then pleaded, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”

Naaman then went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to Elisha’s instructions. His flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

* * *

This story provides many lessons. Naaman needed faith, humility and obedience in order to be healed.

Naaman was not healed after dipping himself the first time. Nor was he healed the second time. He was still a leper even after the sixth time,

What if Naaman had become discouraged or impatient and left the river after the sixth time?

But Naaman persisted. Finally, he was healed after the seventh time.

We should all consider ourselves as if we were Naaman. We must be persistent in obeying the Lord and patient while we await promised blessings.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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We quote the following verse when we celebrate Christmas:

[6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9

Jesus Christ is our everlasting Father.

* * *

The Bible gives us the following story.

[25] And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
[26] And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
[27] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
[28] For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
[29] And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
[30] And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
[31] And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
[32] And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
[33] But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
[34] And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Mark 5

What was the greatest blessing that women received? Was it the healing from her illness?

The greatest blessing was that Jesus loved her as his daughter. And his love gave her true peace.

* * *

Jesus Christ addresses Joseph Smith as “my son.”

Joseph Smith was not satisfied with the programs of redemption taught by the religious leaders in the community where he lived. After investigating the basic beliefs of various denominations, he stated that he “cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom” he could go. While calling upon the Lord, the young man testified, “I was filld with the spirit of God and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy way walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life.”

Milton V. Backman, Jr., Joseph Smith’s Recitals of the First Vision, Ensign, January 1985

* * *

King Benjamin taught his people:

[7] And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

Mosiah 5

* * *

Jesus taught in John 3 that a man must be born again, and born of water and of the Spirit in order to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ is the Father of our spiritual rebirth. We become sons and daughters of Jesus through faith and rebirth in his name.

Jesus loves us so much that he gave his very life for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross at Calvary.

But the third day passed, and Christ has risen from the dead! (1 Corinthians 15:4)

Now let us love our Father Jesus as he has first loved us as his own sons and daughters. (1 John 4:19)

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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The Messiah Jesus Christ was a suffering servant who sacrificed his own mortal life to redeem men from their sinful state.

Luke 4

[16] And Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
[17] And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
[18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
[19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
[20] And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
[21] And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

* * *

Jesus was referring to:

Isaiah 61

[1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
[2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
[3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

* * *

Jesus role as a suffering servant was prophesied by Isaiah as:

Isaiah 53

[1] Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
[2] For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
[3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
[4] Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
[5] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
[6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
[7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
[8] He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
[9] And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
[10] Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
[11] He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
[12] Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

* * *

When Jesus Christ returns, He will do so as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, prophesied by John in Revelations 17 & 19.

He will then bring justice to the Earth as foretold in Isaiah 42:1-4.

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Adversity is a common theme in the scriptures.

Jesus taught “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

James declared “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11)

Paul proclaimed “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3)

Paul further described his trials.

2 Corinthians 11

[25] Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
[26] In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
[27] In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
[28] Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
[30] If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

* * *
Over the years, I have struggled with and against my own set of tribulations. I have fallen vastly short of the heroic examples set by Job and Paul in patiently enduring adversity.

I have experience prolonged rumination over my own trials, especially those resulting from negative encounters with authority figures.

* * *
As Christians, we often pray to our Heavenly Father that He will deliver us from adversity. There is merit in these prayers.

But perhaps we should pray instead that the Lord will help us understand the purpose of our tribulation.

We should ask ourselves “What is the lesson to be learned from this vexing experience?”

When we understand and accept the purpose, then the trial may depart from us. But even if the adversity persists, we will at least have peace.

* * *
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
– William Arthur Ward

Our petitions to the Lord should be for guidance in adjusting our sails.

* * *
My wife and I recently completed a course for depression based on a program developed by Dr. Neil Nedley.

Dr. Nedley is both an M.D. and a devout Christian.

Yes, I firmly believe we should all exercise, eat properly, study scriptures, and follow the other steps which Dr. Nedley has wisely taught.

We should all try our best to lead happy and healthy lifestyles.

But I also believe that rumination can serve a useful purpose.

My own rumination has sharpened my mind and help me to define and develop my own value system.

I am beginning to be grateful for the painful experiences that I have had.

I would never have chosen these experiences, but I must have needed them in some way.

* * *
Aristotle taught in the fourth century B.C. “that all men who have attained excellence in philosophy, in poetry, in art and in politics, even Socrates and Plato, had a melancholic habitus; indeed some suffered even from melancholic disease.”

Jesus Christ himself was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)

He lamented:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37).

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