About a third of the book of Isaiah (21 out of 66 chapters) is quoted in the Book of Mormon. Here is a list of those chapters with a brief description of each:
Isaiah 2 (2 Nephi 12) – There will be a great division in the last days: Many people will ascend to God’s house in “the top of the mountains,” while the proud will be forced out of their towers and will hide in “the caves of the earth.”
Isaiah 7 (2 Nephi 17) – Isaiah meets King Ahaz and warns him not to be afraid of the kings of Israel and Syria. Their attempt to dethrone him will fail, and they will be taken captive by the Assyrians.
Isaiah 10 (2 Nephi 20) – The king of Assyria will claim credit for his victories, not recognizing the hand of the Lord. After he conquers Syria and Israel, he will believe he is invincible. But when he attempts to attack Judah, He will suffer a catastrophic defeat.
Isaiah 14 (2 Nephi 24) – The king of Babylon, who Isaiah calls “Lucifer, son of the morning,” will be brought low. Everyone who observes the destruction of this king will conclude that the Lord will take care of His people.
Isaiah 29 (quoted with significant revisions in 2 Nephi 27) – The voices of God’s people will “whisper out of the dust.” He will bring forth a book which will help people to see clearly and “learn doctrine.”
Isaiah 48 (1 Nephi 20) – God reminds Israel that He has revealed significant events to them before they occurred. He did this so that they would learn to trust Him. He has the power to redeem them and to deliver them from Babylon.
Isaiah 49 (1 Nephi 21) – Isaiah questions his effectiveness as a prophet, but God reassures him. He is speaking words of comfort to prisoners who will eventually be set free, even if they are unresponsive today. God will always remember His people.
Isaiah 52 (Most of the chapter appears in fragments: 2 Nephi 8:24-25, Mosiah 12:21-24, 3 Nephi 20:36-38, 40-45, 3 Nephi 21:29) – God tells his people to rejoice in their deliverance from captivity. All will “break forth into joy” and will “sing together” when the Lord redeems them by His power.
I see the following themes in these chapters:
- God is powerful. We should not to be intimidated by people who may seem powerful, but who are nothing compared with God.
- God is patient with us. He sends us invitations and provides evidence of His love for us, but He often waits in vain for us to respond appropriately to those invitations.
- We will pass through different forms of captivity in this life. The Savior suffered so that we can be set free from all of them.
- God’s grace can not only rescue us from bondage but can also protect us and help us to prosper.
- When we obey the guidance we receive from God’s servants, we are building on a solid foundation. When we become focused on worldly things, we are on unstable ground.
Today, I will be grateful for God’s constant love for His children. I will remember that He is both willing and able to save us. I will put my trust in Him, knowing that He is far more powerful than any human being.