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TitleChapter 10: 2 Nephi 11–16
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication2009
Corporate AuthorsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Manual TitleBook of Mormon Student Manual
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsIsaiah (Prophet); Jacob (Son of Lehi); Nephi (Son of Lehi); Prophecy; Symbolism; Temple Worship

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote of the difficulty encountered by many readers of the Book of Mormon: “Most [readers] readily understand the narrative of the Book of Mormon.

“Then, just as you settle in to move comfortably along, you will meet a barrier. … Interspersed in the narrative, are chapters reciting the prophecies of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. They loom as a barrier, like a roadblock or a checkpoint beyond which the casual reader, one with idle curiosity, generally will not go.

“You, too, may be tempted to stop there, but do not do it! Do not stop reading! Move forward through those difficult-to-understand chapters of Old Testament prophecy, even if you understand very little of it. Move on, if all you do is skim and merely glean an impression here and there. Move on, if all you do is look at the words” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 76; or Ensign, May 1986, 61).

Both Nephi and Jacob specifically declared that Isaiah’s writings are to be “likened” to ourselves (1 Nephi 19:23; 2 Nephi 6:5). However, even Nephi’s people, who lived less than 100 years after Isaiah, found his writings difficult (see 2 Nephi 25:1–4). Remember that when Jesus Christ came personally to the Nephites in America He taught “great are the words of Isaiah” and instructed the Nephites that they “ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently” (3 Nephi 23:1; see commentary for 1 Nephi 20–21 on page 43.)

The following commentary will help you with the context, the dualistic nature, and the symbolism of Isaiah’s writings. Because of space limitations in the Book of Mormon footnotes, much of the footnote information concerning Isaiah is only in the Bible footnotes and was not repeated in the Book of Mormon footnotes. Therefore, to study 2 Nephi 12–24 and help in your understanding of Isaiah, use the LDS Bible footnotes for Isaiah 2–14. You should be diligent in trying to understand Isaiah’s words and seek the Spirit to guide you. If you have some difficulty, do not be discouraged. Over a period of time through study and prayer, the Lord will bless you and you will come to understand the writings of Isaiah.