Isaiah 51, 52:1-2 – The Servants – 2 Nephi 8:1-25

1 Hearken unto me [Listen carefully], ye that follow after righteousness. Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged. [from the source from where you were created]

2 Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, she that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him. [made covenants with him]

3 For the Lord shall comfort [come to] Zion, he will comfort all her waste places [restore all her ruined places]; and he will make her wilderness like Eden [a place close to God], and her desert like the garden [temple] of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody [song].

4 Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me [hear the spirit of my words], O my nation; for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light [standard] for the people.

5 My righteousness [perfect plan] is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm [power] shall judge the people. The isles [branches of Israel] shall wait upon me [seek my blessing], and on mine arm shall they trust.

6 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. [at the Lord’s coming]

7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness [my ways], the people in whose heart I have written my law, fear ye not the reproach [rude words] of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings [accusations].

8 For the moth shall eat them up [they shall go away] like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool. But my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.

9 Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord [those who bear the power of the Lord]; awake as in the ancient days [days of Enoch]. Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab [overcame the world], and wounded the dragon [defeated Satan]? 

10 Art thou not he who hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed [God’s people] to pass over?

9 Awake, awake! Put on strength, those who will bear the power of the Lord; awake as in the days of Enoch. Are you not the one who overcame pride and the world to defeat Satan? [A call to the 144,000]

10 Are you not the ones who has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that has made the depths of the sea a way for God’s people to pass over? [This has been done by 4th estate in the past (Enoch, Moses) and will be done by the Lord’s servants in the future.]

11 Therefore, 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. [gathering of Zion]

12 I am he; yea, I am he that comforteth you. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man [Why should you be afraid of men?], who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass [shall be resurrected]?

13 And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and [and still you] hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?

14 The captive exile hasteneth [those in spirit prison await the day], that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit [be damned], nor that his bread should fail [his eternal blessing be withheld].

15 But I am the Lord thy God, whose waves roared [whose power is mighty]; the Lord of Hosts is my name.

16 And I have put my words in thy mouth [given you my laws], and have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand [watched over you], that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion: Behold, thou art my people. [the purpose of this earth, to save the seed of Adam, the House of Israel]

17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury—thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out [you have experienced a great tribulation]

18 And none to guide her among all the sons she hath brought forth [None other kingdoms have come to your defense.]; neither that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up [of all kingdoms that have been].

19 These two sons [Two servants (prophets)] are come unto thee, who shall be sorry for thee—thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword—and by whom shall I comfort thee ? [And by them shall I not be with thee?]

20 Thy sons have fainted, save these two; they lie at the head of all the streets; as a wild bull in a net, they are [shall bring] full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God. [refer to Revelation 11]

21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, and not with wine:

22 Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God pleadeth the cause of his people; behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling [cursing], the dregs of the cup [tribulation] of my fury; thou shalt no more drink [experience] it again.

23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; who have said to thy soul: Bow down, that we may go over [harm you]—and thou hast laid thy body as the ground and as the street to them that went over. [And your bodies laid on the ground in the street and people shall walk over them.]

24 Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised [those who are not of God] and the unclean.

25 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck [oppression], O captive daughter of Zion. [captive people of Zion who have departed from my ways]

This is a direct prophecy of Isaiah regarding the two Servants that were spoken by John in Revelation 11, who will fight against the oppressors of Israel in the coming battle of Armageddon. These men will include the Davidic Servant, and the Lamanite Prophet. Both will be destroyed in the streets of Jerusalem by an explosive weapon. The enemies will celebrate for three days followed by the two prophets miraculous resurrection.

These scriptures also refer to those who will assist them, the 144k who must still awaken to their calling and election. The words of Isaiah included in the Book of Mormon are there for these servants, to call them out of their slumber.

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Isaiah 50 – Christ – 2 Nephi 7:1-11

1 Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away [told you to leave], or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? [Where is the proof of your broken covenant?] To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I sold you? [How did I release you?] Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. [You broke the covenant.]

2 Wherefore, when I came, there was no man [no man worthy]; when I called, yea, there was none to answer. O house of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink because the waters are dried up, and they die because of thirst. [can offer victory over Satan’s kingdom, eternal blessings]

3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. [I cover the knowledge of Heaven from their view, and I remove their glory.]

4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O house of Israel. When ye are weary he waketh morning by morning. [He shall be taught by the Spirit and know the Law.] He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned.

5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. [Will not turn away from His mission.]

6 I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair [of His beard]. I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

7 For the Lord God will help me [Yeshua], therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint [with resolution], and I know that I shall not be ashamed [confounded].

8 And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me [fulfills the law]. Who will contend with me [prevent Christ]? Let us stand together [in battle]. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I [Christ] will smite him with the strength of my mouth.

9 For the Lord God [The Father] will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up. [shall go and be forgotten]

10 Who is among you that feareth [listens to] the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant,  [or] that walketh in darkness and hath no light?

11 Behold all ye that kindle fire [seek God], that compass yourselves about with sparks [seek spiritual awakening], walk in the light of your fire [but walk in the spirit of your own making] and in the sparks which ye have kindled [your own knowledge]. This shall ye [receive] have of mine hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow. [find only sorrow]

It is interesting to me how clearly Isaiah described the scenario and optics of how the Messiah would reveal Himself to the Jews. He would be rejected, like the scapegoat of the temple. His hair plucked from his cheek and spat upon and shamed. And all those who sought the light of God shall be left with nothing. I can sense through Isaiah’s words a great sorrow and lamentation of the Lord for how the House of Israel has rejected His covenant to them. This is truly a sorrowful chapter of Isaiah.

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Redemption of the Jews – 2 Nephi 6:1-18

1 The words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, which he spake unto the people of Nephi:

2 Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things. [Jacob had been set apart by Nephi, after the order of the priesthood, to be a priest unto the people. His ordination was from before the foundation of this world, and the Lord revealed Himself to Jacob when he was still in his youth.]

3 Nevertheless, I speak unto you again; for I am desirous for the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has been. For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you the words of my father; and I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written, from the creation of the world. [The people of Nephi showed signs early on that concerned both Nephi and Jacob of their propensity for sin.]

4 And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things which are, and which are to come; wherefore, I will read you the words of Isaiah. And they are the words which my brother has desired that I should speak unto you. And I speak unto you for your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your God. [A deep love for Isaiah was fostered by Lehi amongst his sons. Both Lehi and Nephi included commentary in their writings and so will Jacob.]

5 And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for ye are of the house of Israel. And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel.

6 And now, these are the words: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles [power given unto the Gentiles], and set up my standard to the people [point of gathering]; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

7 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers [You will be helped by kingdoms and principalities.]; they shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet [honor thee] ; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they [House of Israel] shall not be ashamed [not disappointed] that wait for me.[Isaiah 49:22-23]

8 And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words. For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem, from whence we came, have been slain and carried away captive.

9 Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that they should return again [the Jews]. And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel who spake it unto me. [Very specific prophecy regarding the Messiah’s way of death.]

10 And after they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against the Holy One of Israel, behold, the judgments of the Holy One of Israel shall come upon them. And the day cometh that they shall be smitten and afflicted. [Again they shall be dispersed from  their homeland. (70 AD destruction under Titus)]

11 Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro, for thus saith the angel, many shall be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish [The Jewish Diaspora], because of the prayers of the faithful; they shall be scattered, and smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them, that when they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance. [This has been occurring since about 1917, over 100 years.]

12 And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfil his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things. [There are many Christians that have allied themselves with the Jews and the commitment to their returning to Israel. This is prophetic to our day.]

13 Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet [honor thee]; and the people of the Lord shall not be ashamed [shall not be dissapointed]. For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah. [Jews are still waiting for their King Messiah to save them.]

14 And behold, according to the words of the prophet [Isaiah], the Messiah will set himself again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies, when that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none will he destroy that believe in him. [This is a reference to the final battle of Armageddon when He shall appear to them on the Mount of Olives.]

15 And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by fire [from volcanic and heavenly fire], and by tempest [storms], and by earthquakes, and by bloodsheds [war], and by pestilence [disease], and by famine. And they shall know that the Lord is God, the Holy One of Israel. [Some of the disasters that shall plague the earth at His coming.]

16 For shall the prey [blessings] be taken from the mighty [faithful], or the lawful captive delivered? [or the guilty be unjudged?]

17 But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them that contendeth with thee—[the prisoners of the Adversary shall be released, and the victims of the evil enemy shall be delivered; for I will fight for those who fight with thee, and I will save thy children.]

18 And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh [And I will cause those that oppress you to destroy themselves] and they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine [fall from their own demise]; and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. [Isaiah 49:24-26]

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People of Nephi – 2 Nephi 5:1-34

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren.

2 But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life.

3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over this people. [For many years this was the constant bitterness that festered in their hearts, given to them by the Adversary.]

4 Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.

5 And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me [by revelation], that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.

6 Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words. [There were fewer that went with Nephi than remained with Laman and Lemuel.]

7 And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.

8 And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.

9 And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the people of Nephi.

10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.

11 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.

12 And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written. [Laman accused Nephi of stealing what he considered to be his and taught this to his posterity.]

13 And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land.

14 And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people.

15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

16 And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.

17 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.[The land of Nephi is in the area of the state of Tennessee.]

18 And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.

19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they [the Lamanites] sought to take away my life.

20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.

21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint [cannot change their mind]; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. [This is both physical and spiritual in its meaning. How this physically occurred, I do not know. I will need to ask the Lord.]

22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. [It occurred not gradually.]

24 And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety [cheating and stealing], and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey. [did not plant crops]

25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.

26 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate [set apart and bless] Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests [in the temple] and teachers over the land of my people.

27 And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness. [Industrious, keeping the commandments of God, and no poor among them.]

28 And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem. [Nephi has been in the promised land just over 20 years. Almost fifty years of age.]

29 And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made, of my people thus far.

30 And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me: Make other plates; and thou shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of thy people. [These plates contain much of what was included in the Book of Mormon.]

31 Wherefore, I, Nephi, to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, went and made these plates upon which I have engraven these things.

32 And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.

33 And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my people they must search mine other plates.

34 And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away, and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.

Nephi is a unique prophet in the Lord in that he was much like Moses. His leadership and revelations were critical to the family’s safe arrival to the Promised Land. He wrote much of the history and the revelations which had a profound impact upon his people. He also organized their cities, industry, temple worship, preparations for defense, and continually admonished his people to keep the commandments of the Lord.

What was it about Nephi that made him such a powerful instrument in the hands of the Lord? First, he continually cried unto the Lord in behalf of his brethren. He sought their welfare. The Lord blessed him will critical revelation. But where Nephi excelled was he never wasted time in implementing what the Lord instructed him to do, no matter how unconventional or extreme – he took action! There is much we can learn from Nephi’s example.

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The Psalm of Nephi – 2 Nephi 4:1-35

1 And now, I, Nephi, speak concerning the prophecies of which my father hath spoken, concerning Joseph, who was carried into Egypt. [These are not included in our current Bible.]

2 For behold, he truly prophesied concerning all his seed. And the prophecies which he wrote, there are not many greater. [Perhaps only Adam, and the words of the Brother of Jared.] And he prophesied concerning us, and our future generations; and they are written upon the plates of brass. [The previous chapter, Lehi’s references to Joseph, was regarding their posterity.]

3 Wherefore, after my father had made an end of speaking concerning the prophecies of Joseph, he called the children of Laman, his sons, and his daughters, and said unto them: Behold, my sons, and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my firstborn, I would that ye should give ear unto my words. [Only his grandchildren of Laman.]

4 For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.

5 But behold, my sons and my daughters, I cannot go down to my grave save I should leave a blessing upon you; for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it.

6 Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you, that the cursing may be taken from you and be answered upon the heads of your parents. [a beautiful merciful act of the Lord]

7 Wherefore, because of my blessing the Lord God will not suffer that ye shall perish; wherefore, he will be merciful unto you and unto your seed forever. [This was an act of faith on Lehi’s part, he received revelation to this and acted upon it.]

8 And it came to pass that after my father had made an end of speaking to the sons and daughters of Laman, he caused the sons and daughters of Lemuel to be brought before him.

9 And he spake unto them, saying: Behold, my sons and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my second son; behold I leave unto you the same blessing which I left unto the sons and daughters of Laman; wherefore, thou shalt not utterly be destroyed; but in the end thy seed shall be blessed. [Lehi truly loved his children and grandchildren.]

10 And it came to pass that when my father had made an end of speaking unto them, behold, he spake unto the sons of Ishmael, yea, and even all his household.

11 And after he had made an end of speaking unto them, he spake unto Sam, saying: Blessed art thou, and thy seed; for thou shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother Nephi. And thy seed shall be numbered with his seed; and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother, and thy seed like unto his seed; and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days. [A testament to the loyalty of Sam. Not much is spoken about Sam in the record, but he trusted in his brother Nephi and lived righteously.]

12 And it came to pass after my father, Lehi, had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heart and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, he waxed old. And it came to pass that he died, and was buried. [He grew older and had he not given the blessings when he did, it would have been difficult to do it.]

13 And it came to pass that not many days after his death, Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry with me because of the admonitions of the Lord. [Nephi had confronted them regarding their actions, which were sinful in the sight of God.] 

14 For I, Nephi, was constrained to speak unto them, according to his word; for I had spoken many things unto them, and also my father, before his death; many of which sayings are written upon mine other plates; for a more history part are written upon mine other plates.

15 And upon these I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them [Nephi continually thinks upon the words written by the prophets and the revelations.], and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. [Nephi does much writing after reaching the promised land.]

16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard. [After someone has conversed with angels and the Lord, it is difficult to have a single day go by where you do not ponder upon what you have seen and heard. It never leaves you.]

17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. [This is such an honest reflection of Nephi’s heart. Our bodies are weak and it is a frustration that we cannot always be perfect in every thought and desire. If anyone thinks that a prophet is perfect in every moment they do not understand. The Lord knows this too. I have often expressed my frustration to the Lord for my weakness and he he simply smiles and assures me that he understands. It is only through Him that we can be made clean. He chooses us to do His work according to our faith, which is the desire we have to seek His revelations and to act upon them.]

18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. [Every righteous servant is accompanied by familiar spirits of the Adversary which tempt us according to our weakness.]

19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. [These spirits will remind us that we are weak and unworthy, yet we must trust in the Lord.]

20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. [Remember what the Lord has done for you and why you are of great worth.]

21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. [The baptism of fire you received.]

22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. [The protection from both physical and spiritual enemies.]

23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time. [Answers to prayers via revelation, visions, and dreams.]

24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me. [The gifts of the Spirit, including the ministering of angels.]

25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them. [Nephi ascended to the Throne for his full Second Comforter, Calling and Election Made Sure.]

26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? [If the battle is won by Him and for me, why should I sorrow?]

27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? [Nephi does a serious self reflection of his own weaknesses of the flesh. All men and women have weakness because of the flesh. This can include food, sleep, laziness, anger, jealousy, sexual appetites, bitterness, false judgment, impatience, and an endless host of appetites. However, the Lord knows our weakness and looks upon the heart as the seat of our desires. As we work toward harnessing these desires and temper of our flesh, we allow the Spirit to work upon us and we find peace to our souls.]

28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. [Overcoming sin is like awakening from a slumber. We rise up, leaving behind the sin and get to work. It is comfortable to stay where we are, but the Lord is calling YOU to awaken.]

29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. [Don’t allow others to determine your peace.] Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. [Do not lose faith.]

30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. [Praise God during your afflictions, remember His promises to you.]

31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? [Ask the Lord for that which you desire.]

32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! [When we fully submit to the Lord’s will for us Satan has no more power over us.] O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, [open the gate of revelation] that I may walkin the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! [fill me with the Holy Ghost] O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. [Stumbling blocks are often there to teach us or because we did not hearken to the Spirit. This may be part of the process the Lord gives us to learn faith. It doesn’t necessarily mean we have sinned, yet it is appropriate to ask the Lord to remove them as we do His work.]

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. [This is the single most important advice that a prophet of God will give you from any of the previous six dispensations – Trust in the Lord.]

35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally [without restraint] to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss [true intentions]; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

This chapter is a good synopsis of how Nephi feels about himself and the process of coming to know the Lord. If we can honestly access ourselves as Nephi, we will have a very realistic view of what it takes to have a prophetic relationship with the Lord as he did. 

The entire Book of Mormon is a series of witnesses of different prophets sharing their experiences for how they came to know the Lord. The words of Nephi by themselves carry a complete blueprint for how to come unto Christ. The forthcoming witnesses simply add upon it.

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