After prophesying of difficult days ahead, the prophet Isaiah foretold a time of prosperity and peace, when the children of Israel would be protected from both physical and verbal abuse:
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.Isaiah 54:17
The word “condemn” in this passage might seem unusual, but given the context, the meaning seems clear: Those who try to attack you with words will fail. You will be able to thwart those attacks. Other translations of the Bible render this phrase differently. For example:
- “You will refute every tongue that accuses you.” (New International Version)
- “You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.” (New Living Translation)
- “You will have an answer for anyone who accuses you.” (GOD’S WORD Translation)
The Savior quoted this passage and reiterated this promise during His ministry on the American continent. (See 3 Nephi 22:17.)
And in 1831, when harsh criticisms of the church were being published in newspapers in Ohio, the Lord reaffirmed this promise to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, as He instructed them to speak up and share the truth:
There is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time.Doctrine and Covenants 71:9-10
Confounded means “proven wrong” or “defeated” (Oxford English Dictionary). Numerous prophets in the Book of Mormon were able to confound their antagonists with God’s help:
- Lehi and Nephi confounded Laman and Lemuel (1 Nephi 2:14, 1 Nephi 17:52).
- Jacob confounded Sherem (Jacob 7:8).
- Abinadi confounded the priests of King Noah (Mosiah 12:19).
- Nephi and Lehi confounded a group of dissenters living among the Lamanites (Helaman 5:17).
- Five Nephites confounded a group of judges who were accusing Nephi of a crime (Helaman 9:18).
Isaiah recognized that the Lord had helped him overcome verbal attacks:
For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.Isaiah 50:7, 2 Nephi 7:7
Today, I will remember that the Lord can help me overcome both physical and verbal threats. I will trust in Him to help me respond appropriately to inaccurate or unkind words and to be persuasive in sharing the truth.