To publish something is to make it generally known, to make it public (Webster’s Dictionary 1828).
Isaiah described the joy people feel when a messenger with good news comes running over the mountains:
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7).
This passage is quoted multiple times in the Book of Mormon:
- Nephi saw in a vision that the writings of his descendants would one day be made available to the world. When that time comes, he said, “whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be” (1 Nephi 13:37).
- When the prophet Abinadi called the priests of King Noah to repentance, they read him this passage and asked him to explain it (Mosiah 12:19-24). Perhaps they thought it was too complicated for him, or perhaps they wanted to contrast his gruff and unpleasant message with the happy news prophesied by Isaiah. But Abinadi was undeterred. After explaining the role of the Savior, he began to identify people who fit Isaiah’s description of peace-publishers: the holy prophets, past, present, and future, and the Savior Himself (Mosiah 15:13-18).
- After Alma and the sons of Mosiah were called to repentance by an angel, they began to preach the gospel, “zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church.” Mormon tells us that they were blessed, “for they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth” (Mosiah 27:35-37).
- Jesus Christ also quoted this passage during His visit to the American continent. He said that, during the gathering of Israel, many people would express their gratitude and admiration for the people who published the gospel message of peace to them (3 Nephi 20:40).
Today, I will strive to “publish peace.” I will find ways to share the good news of the gospel with the people around me. I will remember that bearers of good news can bring great joy, and there is no better news than the gospel of Jesus Christ!