Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 22

We’re nearing the end of the Isaiah chapters, for which I’m so glad.  I’ve learned a good deal from writing these posts and delving deeply into the wonders that are the prophecies of Isaiah.  However, Isaiah is hard to read, so I’ll be glad when we get back to learning what happened to the Nephites.  That said, the sooner we finish studying 2 Nephi 22 (comparable with Isaiah 12), even considering how short it is, the better.  Let’s get to it!

If you’ll recall, the previous chapter discussed our day and the Millennium, wherein the Lord will rule personally on the earth and everything will be peaceful, like it supposedly was during the time of the Garden of Eden.  This chapter, however, is only six verses long.  All it talks about is how people will rejoice when that day finally comes.

There has to be more to it than that.

I know.  I know.  “But Sister Pratt, weren’t you just saying you wanted to be done with the Isaiah chapters?  Wouldn’t it be easier to just paraphrase everything and get it all over with?”  Yes, it would.  It would be easier.  But I’ve been told that easier doesn’t always mean better.  Plus I’m not sure Nephi would have left this in here if it wasn’t as important as the rest of it.  So let’s look at this thing verse by verse.  Let’s really put this thing through the juicer and get every last drop of celestial wisdom from it.  Are you with me? 

Still reading?  Great!

Verse 1 says that when the Millennium arrives people will praise the Lord, knowing that, although the Lord was angry with them for their sins, his anger is now turned away from them.  Instead, they are receiving comfort from him.  I think this doesn’t mean those who aren’t in the process of trying to repent of their sins.  Those who are trying to repent, but haven’t quite succeeded yet, will be dancing in the streets with the realization that the person who made personal redemption possible is now on the face of the earth.

Verse 2 continues, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; and he also has become my salvation.”  To me, this speaks about the power of repentance.  Those that are repenting know where their salvation comes from.  Give you a hint, it doesn’t come from people.  We have been told that, if we have faith in the Lord, it will replace our fear.  The Lord will take care of us.  He will make our weaknesses into strengths, so long as we remember where our salvation comes from and always keep it in our hearts and our minds.

Verse 3 recalls Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, when Jesus told her that, if she asked, he would give her a drink that would prevent her from ever being thirsty again.  Of course, she didn’t understand what he meant at first, but it’s clear that Isaiah’s rejoicing person does.  When we come to a realization that redemption is within our grasp, we’ll be excited to be drawing water from the wells of salvation, too.

In verse 4, our rejoicing person begins to broadcast his/her joy.  Think about this a minute.  You’ve just got your hands on the deal of the century.  You feel so giddy, you might worry that your neighbors will think you’re doing drugs or something, but you just can’t help it!  You want the whole world to share in your joy!  Those of you who have children or proposed marriage and been accepted know exactly what I’m talking about.  Can’t you just hear our rejoicer standing in his yard yelling to passers by, “Hey!  That JEHOVAH, isn’t he the best guy!  We need to tell everyone about the stuff he’s done for us.  Did I mention his name is exalted?”

Verse 5 allows our rejoicer to continue.  This person feels so good, they want to sing.  They know that the reason they’re rejoicing is because of the Lord and the “excellent things” he’s done for them.  I love the next part of this verse.  “This is known in all the earth.”  In short, we don’t have to tell people about all the excellent things the Lord has done for us.  Everyone already knows about it.

Finally, Isaiah finishes up with verse 6.  It gives a kind of party atmosphere to the entire thing.  I mean if you’re excited about something don’t you shout a little?  Why are we partying this time, though?  Because the Lord is with us.  Not just in Spirit, but in the flesh.  I don’t know about you, but if I got to be at that party, I’d be cheering and whistling until my throat was sore.