Nephi tells us that he read to his brothers from the books of Moses, “but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah” (1 Nephi 19:23).
Just before quoting thirteen chapters in a row by Isaiah, Nephi tells us why: “For he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him…. Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ” (2 Nephi 11:2, 4).
And after quoting those chapters, Nephi explains that his purpose in writing is “to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ,” so that they might know “to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:23, 26).
All of which raises a big question: How do these writings from Isaiah help Nephi achieve that goal? How does Isaiah point us toward Christ and help us understand Him better?
1. You don’t care about a Savior if you don’t realize you need to be saved.
“The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!” (Isaiah 3:9, 2 Nephi 13:9).
“All hands be faint, every man’s heart shall melt;
“And they shall be afraid; pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames” (Isaiah 13:7-8, 2 Nephi 23:7-8).
2. God is powerful and capable of saving us.
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. But my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished” (Isaiah 51:6, 2 Nephi 8:6).
3. God is willing to save us.
4. God loves us and is willing to suffer for our sake.
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49:15-16, 1 Nephi 21:15-16).
5. God can help us achieve genuine and permanent peace and happiness.
“The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11, 2 Nephi 8:11)
Today, I will be grateful for the greater appreciation I have for the Savior as a result of the writings of Isaiah. I will remember that I need His help, that He is both willing and able to save me, and that He will enable me to not only overcome my trials but also to achieve sustainable peace and joy.