“Beside Me There Is No Saviour”
Isaiah teaches that the Savior is incomparable.
Isaiah describes the Savior's incomparable qualities.
The world (Babylon) competes with the Savior for our devotion.
Isaiah describes the mission of latter-day Israel.
A study of this lesson will help us understand that Jesus Christ is
incomparable in his devotion to his people and that he has a great work for them
Scripture references for study: Isaiah
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 38 Handout (PDF
Events Of The Last Days - Isaiah 40
Prophetic Period 4.
ISAIAH 40:1-5. The glory of the Lord shall be
ISAIAH 40:11. A picture of a loving Savior to
WHEN WILL THE LORD'S PEOPLE BE COMFORTED? WHEN IS THE WARFARE OF
JERUSALEM ACCOMPLISHED? (see v1-2)
At the time of the Lord's Second Coming.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Through Isaiah
the Lord speaks of comfort to Jerusalem that shall be fulfilled after the
Second Coming." (The Millennial Messiah, p.336)
TO WHOM IS VERSE 3 MAKING REFERENCE?
Consider this reference to John the Baptist: "As
it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The
voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight." (Luke 3:4)
ISAIAH 40 SPEAKS OF THE LATTER DAYS. HOW DO WE EXPLAIN JOHN THE BAPTIST IN
THE MIDST OF LATTER-DAY PROPHECY?
Luke 3:5 goes on to make reference to events of the latter days when it
says, "Every valley shall be filled, and every
mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways shall be made smooth."
John the Baptist was also a forerunner in the last days (his appearance
to Joseph and Oliver and their ordination to the Aaronic priesthood).
Joseph Fielding Smith: "Malachi [as does
Isaiah] speaks of the Lord sending his messenger to prepare the way before
him, and while that does have reference to the coming of John the Baptist,
it is one of those prophecies in the scriptures that has a double fulfilment.
It has reference also to the coming of the Prophet Joseph Smith, because
that messenger which was to come and prepare the way before him, was to
come in this day....
Joseph Smith was the messenger whom the Lord sent to prepare the way before
him. He came, and under direction of holy messengers laid the foundation
for the kingdom of God and of this marvelous work and a wonder the that
the world might be prepared for the coming of the Lord." (Doctrines
of Salvation, 1:193-195)
"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain
and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and
the rough places plain." (v4)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Great changes
are in store for the earth and all things on its face when our Lord comes
in glory. 'Not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to
and fro as a drunken man.' (D. & C. 88:87)." (Mormon Doctrine,
Elder McConkie: "The changes in men, all
forms of life, and the earth itself, which will be incident to the new
order of things, will take place in the day of that coming."
(Mormon Doctrine, p493)
Elder McConkie: "Three natural changes in
the earth -- all apparently growing out of one transcendent happening --
are here named as attending our Lord's Second Coming. They are:
"1. Earth's land
masses shall unite; islands and continents shall become one land.
"2. Every valley
shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low; the rugged terrain
of today shall level out into a millennial garden.
"3. Such an earthquake
as has never been known since man's foot was planted on this planet shall
attend these changes in the earth's surface and appearance.
"And, fourthly, as
recorded elsewhere, the great deep -- presumably the Atlantic ocean --
shall return to its place in the north, 'and the earth shall be like as
it was in the days before it was divided.' (D. & C. 133:21-24)."
(Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:544)
Verse 5 is a reference to the Second Coming of Christ in glory.
ISAIAH 40:31. They that wait upon the Lord shall be
This will be a comfort for those of us who endure the difficult times
ahead in these last days.
"Wait" in Hebrew means to hope for or anticipate (see Bible footnote).
This might be another way of saying endure to the end.
WHAT IS THE BLESSING? IS THIS A SPIRITUAL OR PHYSICAL BLESSING?
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed;
for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I
will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah
HOW HAS THE LORD RENEWED YOUR PHYSICAL AND/OR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH?
Events Relative To Judah - Isaiah 43
Prophetic Period 2 - Primarily 635-535 B.C.
- This chapter addresses the Babylonian captivity.
ISAIAH 43:5-7. Bring my sons from far and
my daughters from the ends of the earth.
ISAIAH 43:14. Judah sent to Babylon for
Even though Judah was to be taken captive by Babylon, Judah and Israel
would be gathered together once again.
ISAIAH 43:22-26. Israel has forgotten the
Lord. The Lord pleads to be remembered.
WHAT BENEFIT WOULD THERE BE IN SENDING JUDAH TO BABYLON?
To humble the proud and the wicked.
Helaman 15:3 teaches: "...yea, the people of Nephi hath he loved, and
also hath he chastened them; yea, in the days of their iniquities hath
he chastened them because he loveth them."
The captivity of Judah also provided a reason for destroying the wicked
nation of Babylon.
"But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but
thou hast been weary of me, O Israel." (v22)
DO WE SOMETIMES FEEL THAT THE LORD HAS FORGOTTEN US, WHEN IN REALITY WE
HAVE FORGOTTEN THE LORD?
President Spencer W. Kimball: "I find that
when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that
no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far,
far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and
the spirituality returns." (Teachings Spencer W. Kimball, p135)
Events Relative To Judah - Isaiah 45
Prophetic Period 2 - Primarily 635-535 B.C.
ISAIAH 45:1-4. Cyrus told that the Lord
would go before him.
ISAIAH 45:15-25. Isaiah's testimony of
HOW COULD CYRUS, A PERSIAN KING, BE CALLED THE LORD'S ANOINTED?
There is no evidence that Cyrus knew the Lord.
The Hebrew translation of 'anointed' to English = 'Messiah'.
Cyrus was a type of the true Messiah.
Cyrus was the anointed one who delivered the people of Israel from their
captivity, as the true Messiah will lead us from captivity our of sin.
NOTE: Isaiah called Cyrus by name well over a hundred years before
Babylon is the Lord's symbol of a place or condition of wickedness.
"Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear
the vessels of the Lord." (D&C 133:5)
"Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon,
from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon." (D&C
Some notes on Babylon:
The Babylonians rose to power following the collapse of the Assyrians.
Babylon reached the summit of its greatness under Nebuchadnezzar.
They used slaves from all parts of the empire to build the greatest city
in the world.
Great wealth flowed into the city of Babylon.
A great wall was built around the city. Herodotus (an ancient historian)
claimed "...that this wall was eighty-four feet
wide and three hundred and thirty-six feet high. He also claimed that one-story
houses were built on the top of the wall on either side, and there was
even then space enough between the house to permit four chariots to drive
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were constructed during this time (one of the 7 ancient wonders
of the world).
Wickedness of Babylon:
Its inhabitants were notorious for their addiction to self-indulgence and
Nothing was more corrupt than their morals.
Money dissolved every tie. It was the god of Babylon.
Isaiah makes it clear that Jehovah is Jesus Christ.
He names the God of Israel as the "Savior" (v15).
He shall save Israel with an "everlasting" salvation (v17)..
There is no other name given by which man may be saved (v21-22).
Every knee shall bow and every tongue swear (confess) (v23).
He is the mediator for all the seed of Israel (v25).
Events Relative To Judah -
Prophetic Period 2 - Primarily 635-535 B.C.
Isaiah gave a warning that Babylon would be destroyed
because of its wickedness. These warnings can also be applied to
the eventual destruction of the world and its wickedness. Consider
the following warnings to Babylon and what they teach about the results
of seeking after the wicked ways of the world:
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE GIVE THEIR DEVOTION TO THE WORLD INSTEAD OF THE SAVIOR?
ISAIAH 47:1, 5. The world to be brought
down to the dust to become silent and dark.
ISAIAH 47:7-9. Despite the world's belief
that it is invincible, it will be destroyed and lose the things of greatest
value, symbolized by the loss of husband and children.
ISAIAH 47:10-11. Because the world declares
that it is greater than God, desolation will come upon it.
HOW ARE WE DOING? HOW CAN WE HELP OTHERS SEE WHAT THE SAVIOR OFFERS?
Hugh Nibley made an interesting comparison: "Babylon
is a state of mind, just like Zion. Like Zion, Babylon is a city"
(Approaching Zion, p324). Using Brother Nibley's comparison of cities,
we might consider two modern cities, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Many people are attracted to Las Vegas because of its glitter, its visual
enticements, its false promise of big winnings. It is an exciting
town. However, one rarely leaves the glitter of Las Vegas satisfied. Salt Lake City is a much quieter place. In the center of the city
we find Temple Square, a place where those who are spiritually thirsty
can drink from the fountain of truth. Unlike Las Vegas, those who
drink from the fountain can find the satisfaction for that which they are searching. Salt Lake doesn't offer the glitter and glamour of Vegas, but it offers
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "So here we are in
Eden, an Eden become Babylon! Perhaps we have grown too accustomed to the
place. Even if we decide to leave Babylon, some of us endeavor to keep
a second residence there, or we commute on weekends. To quote President
Marion G. Romney, some go on 'trying to serve the Lord without offending
the devil'." (A Wonderful Flood of Light, p47-p48)
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "Our capacity
as Church members to love and to forgive will be freshly and severely tested
as battered and bruised souls come into the Church in ever-larger numbers.
Some come in from the cold shivering. Others are breathless, having caught
what was for them the last train out of Babylon. Their own continued process
of repentance will be much aided if they see, all about them, more regular
emphasis in the lives of the rest of us on faith unto repentance."
(Not My Will, But Thine, p74)
Events Relative To Judah - Isaiah 48
Prophetic Period 2 - Primarily 635-535 B.C.
- NOTE: This is the first chapter of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon
- 1 Nephi 20.
ISAIAH 48:10-11. Israel refined in the
furnace of affliction.
Every verse of this chapter in the Book of Mormon reads differently than
the King James version.
The Lord says he will not give his glory to another, that
Israel will not be forgotten (v11). He says he will do it (refine
Israel) for his own sake.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT THE LORD DOES IT FOR HIS OWN SAKE? DOES HE
TAKE PLEASURE IN SEEING ISRAEL SUFFER?
The Lord's sake = "This is my work and my glory to bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).
HOW DOES THE REFINER'S FIRE PREPARE ONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE?
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "The Lord has said,
'I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.' (Isaiah 48:10; 1 Nephi
20:10.) He knows, being omniscient, how we will cope with affliction beforehand.
But we do not know this. We need, therefore, the refining that God gives
to us, though we do not seek or crave such tribulation." (All
These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, p38)
Albert P. Rockwood (later to become one of the seven presidents of the
Seventies) wrote in his journal during the last days of the Missouri period
the following thoughts: "Finally are you
ready to be made perfect through suffering even as Christ[?] If you are
ready for all this you are fit subjects of Zion. You need not think to
come here & be wafted into the Celestial Kingdom on flowery beds of
ease. But remember that after much tribulation cometh the blessing[.] You
know but little about the refiners fire in Zion, therefore prepare for
the worst & hope for the best. Our troubles are blowing the chaff of
the Church to the four winds. And our prayer is she may be made clean evry
whit." (quoted in BYU Studies, vol 28, no 1, pg30)
WHAT BLESSINGS DOES THE LORD GIVE TO THOSE WHO SEEK HIM RATHER THAN THE
He provides us with directions for life and eternity.
We will be blessed with peace and righteousness.
Chapter 49 - Events Of The Last Days (Period 4)
Brother Monte S. Nyman wrote: "...chapter
49 is one of the most important chapters in the whole book of Isaiah, because
it also clearly foretells the mission of the Latter-day Saints and the
destiny of the land of America in connection with the house of Israel.
Nephi interpreted the chapter as foretelling that the land of America would
receive some of scattered Israel, while his brother Jacob applied it both
to the Jews in Jerusalem and to the Gentiles. Chapter 49 is of such importance
that it ought to be studied diligently by every member of the church."
(Great Are The Words of Isaiah, p173-174)
ISAIAH 49:5-6. Israel to be a light to
the gentiles, to be the Lord's salvation.
ISAIAH 49:19-20. The places of gathering to be
IF THIS SPEAKS OF OUR TIME, WHERE DO WE FIND ISRAEL BEING A LIGHT TO THE
"Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my
goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior
unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it" (D&C 86:11). According to this verse, wherever we find righteous bearers of the priesthood,
we will find modern Israel being a light to the Gentiles.
Look at the places of greatest gathering of Israel, the Mountain West and
nation of Israel.
The gathering of Israel continues to progress:
The accelerated growth of the church, now has surpassed the 15 million
The gathering of the Jews to Jerusalem. This gathering continues to gather Jews from
throughout the world.
The future of this gathering:
The gathering to America to resume.
In speaking of the New Jerusalem, the Lord said, "And
it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take
his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. And
there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it
shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another"
"And that the gathering together upon the land
of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from
the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon
the whole earth." (D&C 115:6)
The building of the New Jerusalem and its temple.
The ten tribes to return from the north to Zion (see
The gathering to Jerusalem to continue along with the building of a temple.
The ten tribes to return to Palestine.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
- We are blessed to live in this great latter day when we rejoice in the
blessings of the Lord and see the prophesies of Isaiah being fulfilled. Great events have yet to
occur as we approach the time of the Second
Coming. Will we be ready? Are we willing to turn away from
Babylon and fully dedicate ourselves to the Lord? If we follow the
Lord in obedience "then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness
as the waves of the sea" (Isaiah 48:18). Do we want the temporary
glitter of Babylon or the eternal peace found in Zion? As Joshua
stated so boldly, "choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua
- Record your thoughts on the teachings of Isaiah found within this lesson. How
can you better follow the Savior and avoid the temptations of the world?
Resources Used In This Lesson
A Wonderful Flood of Light of Neal A. Maxwell.
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience by Neal A. Maxwell.
Approaching Zion by Hugh Nibley.
Doctrinal New Testament Commentary by Bruce R. McConkie.
Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith.
Great Are The Words of Isaiah by Monte S. Nyman.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Not My Will, But Thine by Neal A. Maxwell.
Teachings Spencer W. Kimball.
The Millennial Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
11 September 2014