As I continue to read, year after year, there always appear to be different little bits that jump out at me more than the last time. I assume it is circumstances, environment, and even a little degree of inspiration from time to time that point these out. As I have gone through some of the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi I thought I would share a couple that stand out.
“Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots. Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. And the mean man boweth not down, and the great man humbleth himself not, therefore, forgive him not (2 Nephi 12:7-9). Boy if that isn’t America, I don’t know what is. We surely worship the work of our hands, the work of others, no end to our cards, we bow not down, we do not humble ourselves. A nation is only made up of individuals. I do believe our elected representatives do mirror for the most part those who elect them.
“And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor; the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable.” (2 Nephi 13:5). I think we have a term for this called zoning. We not longer as or insist on moral or ettiquette, no we enforce it now by law. We have made a mock of the law by having it apply to the finest details of our lives. We want conformity and unity in everything forgetting each of us were created and endowed with separate gifts, capacities, and talents.
“Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.” (2 Nephi 15:13). This is the negative of the classic, “And truth shall set you free.” How often have we bound ourselves down with poor knowledge. Our society isn’t one that puts much of a premium on history, the classics, or even most of the liberal education.
“Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Wo unto the wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight!” (2 Nephi 15:20-21). This one doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation. Look at politics for this one. We see this with government, “I will tax thee, thou wilt tax me, and we will ascend together?” is completely false logic. The transaction cost is terrible and we lose money. That is if it was a straight tax. The rich are taxed, but wisely are shifting the burden to corporations, which ultimately is right back on you and me. Back to the no knowledge line….
Lastly, “And he said: Go and tell this people – Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not. Make the heart of this person fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes – lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted and healed.” (2 Nephi 16:9-10). Back to the old no knowledge problem. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is back on earth, restored, with prophets, apostles, gifts, and so much more. Yet most go on in ways of ignorance, conformity, feel good, entertainment focused wasy. But this extends to so many more ways than just the gospel. In fact, in what doesn’t it apply?
The more and more I read Isaiah, the more I appreciate him. Moreover, Mormon and Nephi surely must have seen great value in Isaiah to quote such long tracts from his words. Mormon surely must have seen the importance to make sure entire segments were available in our day. Too many cry he is too difficult to understand. It doesn’t really seem to be the case, it is just whether they are willing to apply themselves.
All is not lost though, we have the truth. If we live it, it will set us free!