Nephi’s Sermon on the Words of Isaiah – 2 Nephi 11-33



After telling the story of his family’s journey from Jerusalem to the promised land, sharing his father’s final words to each of his sons, describing the rift between him and his older brothers after his father’s death, and sharing a sermon by his brother, Jacob, Nephi turned his attention to his modern readers. His final 23 chapters (about 41% of his writings) consist of an extended written sermon to his readers, based on the words of Isaiah.


Nephi’s purpose in writing this sermon was to demonstrate that Christ would come to the earth and save His people. Nephi hoped that his readers would recognize the relevance of the words of Isaiah to themselves and to all people. He hoped that these words would cause his readers to “lift up their hearts and rejoice for all men” (2 Nephi 11).


  1. I’ve quoted Jacob, and now I’m going to quote from Isaiah to prove that my words are true. I delight in proving that salvation comes through Christ (2 Nephi 11).
  2. Words of Isaiah (2 Nephi 12-24, Isaiah 2-14).
    1. In the last days, people from all nations will go up to the mountain of the Lord to learn His ways. Those who don’t go up because of pride will be humbled, and will hide in the caves of the earth (2 Nephi 12).
    2. God will take away “the stay and the staff”—the worldly things we rely on for our stability instead of relying on Him (2 Nephi 13).
    3. When we have been washed and purged by Him, we will be holy (2 Nephi 14).
    4. The Lord is unhappy with His people because they have failed to respond to His nurturing (2 Nephi 15). Six “woes:” warnings to people who are committing seemingly minor sins:
      1. Accumulating temporal possessions at the expense of other people (2 Nephi 15:8-10)
      2. Focusing too much on entertainment and not enough on serious things (2 Nephi 15:11-17)
      3. Failing to believe God’s words until the evidence is irrefutable (2 Nephi 15:18-19)
      4. Spinning the facts to deceive others (2 Nephi 15:20)
      5. Placing too much confidence in their own wisdom (2 Nephi 15:21)
      6. Justifying the wicked for material gain (2 Nephi 15:22-23)
    5. Isaiah was called to warn the people, even though God knew they would reject his message (2 Nephi 16).
    6. When Israel and Syria threatened to attack Judah, Isaiah calmed the fears of the people, telling them that God would protect them (2 Nephi 17).
    7. Be patient: the Assyrians will destroy your two enemies (Syria and Israel) (2 Nephi 18).
    8. The Messiah will reign in peace. God will overthrow the enemies of His people (2 Nephi 19)
    9. The Assyrian Empire will be destroyed (2 Nephi 20).
    10. The Messiah will reign in righteousness and peace. Israel will be gathered (2 Nephi 21).
    11. Israel’s song of praise and thanksgiving (2 Nephi 22)
    12. Babylon will be destroyed  (2 Nephi 23).
    13. The king of Babylon will be dethroned, and Israel will be set free (2 Nephi 24).
  3. Nephi’s conclusions from these chapters from Isaiah (2 Nephi 25-30)
    1. Jesus is the Messiah (2 Nephi 25).
    2. God doesn’t work in darkness, and He invites all to come unto Him (2 Nephi 26).
    3. A book will help the world understand spiritual things in the last days (2 Nephi 27, Isaiah 29).
    4. In the last days, Satan will teach false doctrines (2 Nephi 28)
      1. Disbelief: There are no more miracles; God has done His work (2 Nephi 28:5-6).
      2. Fatalism: “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die” (2 Nephi 28:7-10).
      3. Prideful persecution of the poor (2 Nephi 28:12-15)
      4. Misguided priorities (2 Nephi 28:16-20)
      5. Complacency: “All is well in Zion” (2 Nephi 28:21-25).
      6. Willful ignorance : “We need no more of the word of God, for we have enough” (2 Nephi 28:26-30).
    5. “The testimony of two nations is a witness…that I am God” (2 Nephi 29).
    6. The words of the book will bring knowledge and peace to the world. All things will be revealed (2 Nephi 30).
  4. A few final words concerning the doctrine of Christ
    1. Follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. Then, endure to the end (2 Nephi 31).
    2. The Holy Ghost will show you “all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32).
    3. Conclusion: These words are true. I will meet you before the judgment bar of God (2 Nephi 33).

My Takeaways

I will respond to Nephi’s sermon on the words of Isaiah by:

  1. Humbling myself before God and remembering that I cannot save myself. I need His help to overcome the challenges I face, including my own weaknesses.
  2. Believing that Jesus Christ can save me. Rejoicing that He has made salvation available to me, and patiently waiting for His deliverance.
  3. Avoiding unproductive thought patterns like complacency and fatalism. Being willing to embrace positive change as it comes, and acknowledging God’s hand in my life and in the world.
  4. Listening to the voice of the Spirit of the Lord, which will help me know what I should do.

Blog Posts About Nephi’s Sermon on the Words of Isaiah

Lessons from Nephi’s Sermon on the Words of Isaiah


The Words of Isaiah

Nephi’s Commentary on the Words of Isaiah

Nephi’s Final Words

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