DO YOU NEED SOME EXTRA HELP AND MOTIVATION TO STUDY THE UPCOMING ISAIAH CHAPTERS IN THE BOOK OF MORMON???
President Boyd K. Packer once gave a talk entitled, “The Things of My Soul”. During this talk, given in the April 1986 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Packer referred to the Isaiah chapters that are found in the Book of Mormon as “as a barrier, like a roadblock or a checkpoint beyond which the casual reader, one with idle curiosity, generally will not go.” President Packer then helped us to understand why it is so important to JUST KEEP READING! Please take a moment to view this short video clip or read his counsel to us below…
John Bytheway: Isaiah National Forest
The text from President Packer’s remarks in the video clip above:
“I speak to those who have never read the Book of Mormon. This includes many members who have started to read it several times, but, for one reason or another, have never finished it.
“My message may help those as well who have read the Book of Mormon once but have not returned to it.
“I have chosen as a title “The Things of My Soul.”
“Perhaps no other book has been denounced so vigorously by those who have never read it as has the Book of Mormon.
“Because of that, I hope to introduce the book in such a way that, in case you decide to read it, you will know beforehand what awaits you.
“Except for the Bible, the Book of Mormon is different from any book you have read. It is not a novel. It is not fiction. For the most part, it is not difficult to read. However, like all books of profound value, it is not casual reading. But if you persist, I assure you that it will be the most rewarding book you have ever set your mind to read.
“The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is written in biblical language, the language of the prophets.
“For the most part, it is in easy-flowing New Testament language, with such words as spake for spoke, unto for to, with and it came to pass, with thus and thou and thine.
“You will not read many pages into it until you catch the cadence of that language and the narrative will be easy to understand. As a matter of fact, most teenagers readily understand the narrative of the Book of Mormon.
“Then, just as you settle in to move comfortably along, you will meet a barrier. The style of the language changes to Old Testament prophecy style. For, 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.
“Soon you will emerge from those difficult chapters to the easier New Testament style which is characteristic of the rest of the Book of Mormon.
“Because you are forewarned about that barrier, you will be able to surmount it and finish reading the book.
“Perhaps only after you read the Book of Mormon and return to the Bible will you notice that the Lord quotes Isaiah seven times in the New Testament; in addition, the Apostles quote Isaiah forty more times. One day you may revere these prophetic words of Isaiah in both books. The Lord had a purpose in preserving the prophecies of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, notwithstanding they become a barrier to the casual reader.
“Those who never move beyond the Isaiah chapters miss the personal treasures to be gathered along the way. They miss the knowledge of:
• The purpose of mortal life and death,
• The certainty of life after death,
• What happens when the spirit leaves the body,
• The description of the Resurrection,
• How to receive and retain a remission of your sins,
• What hold justice or mercy may have on you,
• What to pray for,
• Covenants and ordinances,
• And many other jewels that make up the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“It is beyond that barrier, near the end of the book, that you will find a promise addressed to you and to everyone who will read the book with intent and sincerity.
“Let me read that promise to you, from the last chapter in the Book of Mormon:
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:4–5.)
“No missionary, no member can fulfill that promise—neither Apostle nor President can fulfill that promise. It is a promise of direct revelation to you on the conditions described in the book. After you have read the Book of Mormon, you become qualified to inquire of the Lord, in the way that He prescribes in the book, as to whether the book is true. You will be eligible, on the conditions He has established, to receive that personal revelation.
“I bear witness that the Book of Mormon is true—that it is another testament of Jesus Christ. I have read the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart, with intent, as a humble serviceman, and thereafter pled with the Lord. I received that revelation. Accompanying that revelation is the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, our Redeemer, and of Him I bear witness, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”