Beautiful upon the Mountains”
Isaiah speaks of messengers who bring glad tidings.
Isaiah prophesies of the Savior's atoning sacrifice.
Isaiah describes some of our responsibilities.
A study of this lesson will help us strengthen our testimony of the Atonement
of Jesus Christ.
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 39 Handout (PDF
D&C Official Declaration 2 (2nd paragraph of letter): "Aware
of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have
preceded us that at some time, in God's eternal plan, all of our brethren
who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness
of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long
and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many
hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine
"He has heard our
prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has
LUKE 18:1-5. Parable of the unjust judge.
PRIOR TO THIS TIME, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AS TO WHEN THE PRIESTHOOD WOULD
BE EXTENDED TO ALL WORTHY MALES?
Prior to this time I thought that this would not happen until near the time of
WHAT WAS THE CATALYST FOR CAUSING THIS EXTENSION OF THE PRIESTHOOD IN 1978?
Many Saints (particularly those prohibited from realizing
the full blessings of the priesthood) had plead
with the the Brethren to consult with the Lord on this matter.
I am sure that many of these same people had fasted and prayed that this
day would come soon.
President Kimball: "...we have pleaded long
and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many
hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine
WOULD THE PRIESTHOOD HAVE BEEN EXTENDED HAD NOT THESE STEPS BEEN TAKEN?
Probably not at that time.
It is important to note that the restoration of the Church and the deliverance
of modern scriptures has been the result of prayers and faithful living.
DO WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO ACCELERATE THE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY?
WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING CONCEPTS OF THE LATTER DAYS?
The building of the city of Zion or the New Jerusalem.
CAN WE HASTEN THE BUILDING OF ZION? HOW?
Purify our lives. Cleanse ourselves of unrighteous desires.
Live faithfully and do all that we can do to build Zion.
Share the gospel.
Prepare our children for missions and service.
Go the extra mile in the payment of tithes and offerings.
Demonstrate by the way we live our desire to commence the building of Zion.
Plead with the Lord in prayer and fasting.
WOULD THE LORD DENY US IF WE, AS LATTER-DAY SAINTS, PURSUED SUCH A COURSE?
Messengers Who Bring Glad Tidings
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet
of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth
good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion,
Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7)
WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT ISAIAH MADE REFERENCE TO THE FEET OF THOSE "THAT
BRINGETH GOOD TIDINGS"?
Anciently, important messages were often brought by runners traveling on
foot. For instance, according to legend, in 490 BC a Greek soldier
named Phidippides ran the from the site of the battle of Marathon to Athens,
where he died after announcing the Greek victory over the Persians. The modern marathon commemorates that feat. Isaiah is using the messengers'
feet to symbolize the messengers themselves.
WHO ARE THESE MESSENGERS?
According to Abinadi, "Yea, and are not the prophets,
every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into
transgression, I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began?
I say unto you that they are his seed.
"And these are they
who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have
published salvation; and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!....
"And behold, I say
unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the
feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea,
even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation
unto his people" (Mosiah 15:13-14,18).
WHAT IS THE MESSAGE?
It is that redemption that comes in and through the Holy Messiah (see
ARE THERE OTHER MESSENGERS?
The missionaries. This glorious message of salvation has been carried
by foot, door to door, by missionaries throughout the ages. The image
we picture of missionaries is that of going from door to door. Though missionaries now travel by car, bicycle, or mass transportation,
still they spend much of their time on their feet going door to door.
Every member a missionary.
- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THOSE THAT BROUGHT YOU THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION?
The Savior's Atoning Sacrifice
ISAIAH 50:5-7. The Lord made his sacrifice
by his own free will.
ISAIAH 51:6. Salvation shall be forever.
WHAT WAS THE SAVIOR'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE GREAT SACRIFICE HE WOULD MAKE
ON OUR BEHALF?
"And he went a little further, and fell on his
face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
As our Lord approached the time of his atoning sacrifice, the human element
was evident when he said to his Father, "if it be possible, let this
cup pass from me." Like any of us, the mortal Jesus did not relish
the thought of the mental anguish and physical pain that lay ahead. He had the agency to walk away from this mission. He did not. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, "he humbled himself, and became obedient
unto death" or we might say that he was obedient to the will of the
ISAIAH 51:22. The Lord to plead the cause
of his people.
According to Joseph Fielding Smith, the earth is a living body which must
die and become resurrected (see Doctrines of Salvation 1:72-73, Restoration
of All Things, p295).
HOW LONG WILL THE EFFECTS OF THE ATONEMENT LAST?
Longer than the temporal existence of this earth or beyond the time that
"the earth shall wax old." Isaiah tells us that the benefits
of the great atoning sacrifice will last forever.
Some years ago we took a trip from our home in Washington state, through Montana
and Wyoming. Every few hundred miles it was necessary to stop and fill our
Plymouth Voyager with gas. If we failed to take the time to fill the
tank, we would have become stranded on the plains of Wyoming or in the
mountains of Montana. Filling the gas tank had a temporary effect. Sometimes only a few hours.
Our home has a longer effect. It protects my family for many years.
But like the car, we must continue
to renew the house in order for it for its beneficial effects to continue. The
roof must be replaced periodically. If the siding is not painted every few
years it begins to crack, weather, and rot. The house requires continual renewal for its beneficial effects to last.
The effects of the atoning sacrifice do not
need continual renewal. It is as if we have a gas tank that never
needs filling or a house that needs no maintenance. The Atonement
and its benefits last forever. This is the fountain from which we can drink
and never thirst.
"He is the light and the life of the world; yea,
a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life
which is endless, that there can be no more death." (Mosiah
ISAIAH 53:2-4. He has born our griefs and carried
This verse is one of those prophecies that have multiple fulfillments:
Orson Hyde applied these verses to the persecutors of the Church in the
early days of the Restoration (see JD 10:73-74).
These verses also apply to those who come against Judah in the last days
(see Great Are The Words of Isaiah, p197).
These verses also apply to the Atonement.
FOR WHOM DOES THE SAVIOR PLEAD?
All those who accept him and strive to follow his commandments.
WHAT QUALIFIES THE SAVIOR TO PLEAD IN OUR BEHALF?
"Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father,
who is pleading your cause before him--Saying: Father, behold the sufferings
and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold
the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest
that thyself might be glorified." (D&C 45:3-4)
If I go before a court for legal proceedings, it is best that I have an
advocate. A lawyer is a trained advocate who can best plead my
cause before the court. He qualifies for this position because he or she
engaged in years of training and passed a the state bar exam.
Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father. He qualifies as our advocate because of his sinless life, his absolute
obedience to the Father, and his infinite and eternal sacrifice. None of us have lived a perfect life and we will need this
great advocate with the Father.
WHAT IS THE "CUP OF TREMBLING" THAT JESUS HAS DRUNK FOR US?
"Therefore I command you to repent--repent, lest
I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and
your sufferings be sore--how sore you know not, how exquisite you know
not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
"For behold, I, God,
have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they
would repent; "But if they would
not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering
caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain,
and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would
that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink--Nevertheless, glory
be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children
of men." (D&C 19:15-19)
WHAT MUST WE DO TO RECEIVE THE FULL BLESSINGS OF THE ATONEMENT?
"...they might not suffer if they would repent."
ISAIAH 53:5. Christ suffered for our transgressions.
WHAT DO THESE VERSES TELL US ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE SAVIOR?
"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground" (v2).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: " ...he grew up as a
choice and favored plant whose strength and achievement did not come because
of the arid social culture in which he dwelt; it was not poured into him
by the erudition of Rabbinical teachers; but it came from the divine Source
whence he sprang." (Promised Messiah, pp477-478)
"He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall
see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him" (v2).
Elder McConkie: "There is no mystique, no
dynamic appearance, no halo around his head, thunders do not roll and lightnings
do not flash at his appearance. He is the Son of the Highest, but he walks
and appears as the offspring of the lowest. He is a man among men, appearing,
speaking, dressing, seeming in all outward respects as they are."
(Promised Messiah, p478)
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (v3).
Elder McConkie: "Our Lord himself was 'a
man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief' (Is. 53:3-4; Mosiah 14:3-4),
meaning that he both suffered pain and had sadness and disappointment caused
by the unbelief of his fellow mortals." (Mormon Doctrine, p747)
ISAIAH 53:6-7. Christ came willingly, as
a lamb to the slaughter.
In speaking of the agony at Gethsemane, B.H. Roberts wrote: "He
felt the whole burden and mystery of the world's sin, and encountered the
fiercest assaults of Satan.... His sorrow did not spring from His own life,
His memory or His fears, but from the vicarious nature of the conflict.
The agony was a bearing of the weight and sorrow of our sins, in loneliness,
in anguish of soul threatening to crush His body, yet borne triumphantly,
because in submission to His Father's will." (The Seventy's
Course in Theology, 2:127)
ISAIAH 53:8-11. Christ was stricken because
of the transgression of his people.
WHAT QUALITIES OF CHARACTER DID THE SAVIOR DISPLAY WHEN HE WAS OPPRESSED,
AFFLICTED, AND MADE TO BEAR OUR INIQUITIES?
He was absolutely obedient to the will of the Father.
He knew his mission and did not allow distraction to cause him
to deviate from his destined course.
HOW DO WE SOMETIMES "TURN [OUR] OWN WAY" RATHER THAN SUBMIT TO HEAVENLY
HOW CAN THE SAVIOR'S EXAMPLE HELP US TO SUBMIT TO HEAVENLY FATHER'S WILL?
As we strengthen our testimony in the Savior, his life and his mission, we will
be strengthened to turn away from those distractions which would lead us away from
Isaiah was blessed to prophetically see the life of the Savior. As
he struggled amongst the wickedness of his time and beheld the wickedness
of future times, what comfort it must have been to know that in the battle
between good and evil, that righteousness would ultimately be victorious.
The prophet Abinadi enlarges on these verses, "And
now I say unto you, who shall declare his generation? Behold, I say unto
you, that when his soul has been made an offering for sin he shall see
his seed. And now what say ye? And who shall be his seed?
"Behold I say unto
you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy
prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord--I say unto
you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that
the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for
a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or
they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.
"For these are they
whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem
them from their transgressions. And now, are they not his seed?
"Yea, and are not
the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has
not fallen into transgression, I mean all the holy prophets ever since
the world began? I say unto you that they are his seed." (Mosiah
WHO WILL BE THE SEED OF THE SAVIOR?
Whosoever has heard the words of the prophets.
All those who have hearkened unto their words.
Those who believed that the Lord would redeem his people.
Those who have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins.
will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil
with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he
was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made
intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12).
WHAT ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS DESCRIBED IN THE FOLLOWING VERSES?
HOW CAN WE BETTER FULFILL EACH OF THESE RESPONSIBILITIES?
Isaiah 51:1, 4, 7.
Listen to and obey the Lord.
Do not fear the reproach and revilings of men.
Remember the Lord.
Do not fear Satan.
Awake and put on the strength of the priesthood.
"Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the
command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength,
O Zion--and what people had Isaiah reference to?
"He had reference
to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power
of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to
put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which
she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which
she had lost." (D&C 113:7-8)
Put on the beautiful garments of righteousness.
Loose thyself from the bands of they neck.
"What are we to understand by Zion loosing herself
from the bands of her neck; 2d verse?
"We are to understand
that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence
they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that he
will speak to them, or give them revelation. See the 6th, 7th, and 8th
verses. The bands of her neck are the curses of God upon her, or the remnants
of Israel in their scattered condition among the Gentiles." (D&C
Depart from the wickedness of the world.
Do not touch unclean things, but be clean.
John Whitmer: "Now if a man is clean, according
to the word of the Lord he will not be unclean in his person; he will be
neat and cleanly in his apparel; yea, he will keep all the commandments
of God, and then he will come into the presence of God, and 'Lift up clean
hands, and a pure heart without wrath and doubting.' It is in vain for
the disciples of Jesus to tell us that they can have the spirit of God,
when we can see nothing but filth and uncleanness about their dwellings:
God has declared that he did not dwell in unholy temples. Surely if we
are unholy we expect to come short of the celestial kingdom, unless we
reform and become as we should." (Messenger and Advocate, Sep.
President Spencer W. Kimball: "The Lord
said, 'Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.' (Isaiah 52:11.)
And we must state and restate and call to the attention of our children
and their children that chastity and cleanliness are basic in the Church.
Parents should teach their children in their home evenings and in all their
activities as they rear them that unchastity is a terrible sin, always
has been, always will be and that no rationalization by any number of people
will ever change it. As long as the stars shine in the heavens and the
sun brings warmth to the earth and so long as men and women live upon this
earth, there must be this holy standard of chastity and virtue."
(quoted in Companion To Your Study of the Old Testament, pp305-306)
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
- Isaiah prophesied many things about the mission of the Savior. We
now know that many of those prophecies have been fulfilled. How blessed
we are to live in a day when the glad tidings of the gospel are going forth
to the four corners of the earth. In gratitude for the sacrifice
of the Savior, we should follow the admonition of Isaiah to "be ye clean"
and put on the "garments" of righteousness.
- Record your thoughts on Isaiah's prophecies regarding the life and
atonement of Jesus Christ. How can you better fulfill your responsibility as a
follower of the Savior?
Resources Used In This Lesson
A Companion To Your Study of the Old Testament by Daniel H. Ludlow.
Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, by Joseph Fielding Smith.
Great Are The Words of Isaiah by Monte S. Nyman.
Journal of Discourses (JD).
Messenger and Advocate.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
The Promised Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie.
The Restoration of All Things by Joseph Fielding Smith.
The Seventy's Course in Theology by B.H. Roberts.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
30 September 2014