From 'Old Testament Prophets: Isaiah'

2014 Ensign September

Anotated by Don R. Hender

    'ISAIAH WAS ONE of a number of prophets of God who were given to see [at least a guided tour] the Vision of All. It was the vision received by the brother of Jared, Nephi, John the Apostle, and a number of others.' ~ 1 Nephi 14:26

    "Isaiah is by every standard the messianic prophet of the Old Testament and as such is the most penetrating prophetic voice in that record."1 — Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

There is an affinity between the prohets who have seen the Vision of All. Whether each were specifically and specially 'guided' through the vision accompanied by a messenger of God, and whether each grasped the whole of it, they each seemed to have been given particular assignments of writing prophetically from it. Nephi understood and appreciated Isaiah because both saw the same vision and were writing from the 'vision of all things' according to their assignment. John the Revelator did also. He did see the vision and wrote his assigned portion of it, which included the events of this earth's end of times. Nephi saw what John saw but was told not to write John's assigned portion. Yet Nephi was free to write that which Isaiah had written. Nephi had access as it was part of the plates of brass.

[This Section Is Given As if Isaiah Is Narrating His Story]

   I am the son of Amoz, and my name means “the Lord is salvation.”2 I labored as a prophet in Jerusalem for 40 years, from 740–701 b.c. I prophesied in Jerusalem during the reigns of four kings, and I was the chief adviser to King Hezekiah, which gave me great religious influence.3

I not only prophesied of events relevant to my own time and people but also prophesied about future events affecting the whole human family. I foretold of the Savior’s birth: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”4 I proclaimed that Jehovah was anointed “to preach good tidings unto the meek; … to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”5 I also prophesied that after His Second Coming, “the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”6

My use of symbolism and poetry veils my teachings from those who are not prepared to understand or follow them. However, those who diligently study my teachings with the aid of the Holy Ghost can understand my prophecies.7

I was the last of the major prophets to teach the Israelite tribes before they began to be scattered from the Holy Land.

"AND now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
"For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles.
"And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake."

Jesus Christ ~ 3 Nephi 23:1-3

Understanding Isaiah:

Isaiah did not give an account of his visionary experience. In chapter 1 verse 1 Isaiah introduces his writings as "The vision of Isaiah". We are left to suppose that it is a lengthy vision as it spans the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Understanding the nature of the 'Vision of All', that it can be embedded in and impressed upon the mind and then readily referenced there over the passage of time, one begins to understand that the vision was applied from Isaiah's mind over the time of the various reigns of the various kings of Judah. Isaiah does not discribe the actual visionary experience but he does write what he did learn from the vision. And he was able to write from 'the vision' all his writings and prophecies as was given him to write over a span of time. That is as long as it took him to write the whole of Isaiah.

With this explanation, it becomes understood that Isaiah speaks from just 'one' singular vision. It is the emplanted 'Vision of All' from which he can refer to in his mind and write from that embedded knowledge of the whole of it as he would later require. I guess it is a matter of what has been called 'photographic memory' or at least the impressed memory of all things could be recalled from it. Whether Isaiah would 'lapse' into a comtemplative attitude when he would access the vision, or just how it did work that he would draw from it as needed in order to write his lengthy book, some 66 chapters of scripture, is not exactly known. Like that 'sea of glass' that is ever before God to view the 'eternal now' of past, present and future as one eternal round ever before him, so it does seem that Isaiah had such access ever available to him as it was ever before him to consider.

  [Fact/Information Box: Isaiah]

  • Names: Isaiah, ID: Often referenced as 'the prophet' in a manner that it is just presumed that it would be known who is being spoken of.
  • Birth date: lived in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah
  • Age at time of death: not specifically known
  • Genealogy: son of Amoz
  • Mortal roles: saw and prohesied from having received the 'Vision of All Things' such as was required of him to write.
  • Postmortal role: Isaiah was one of the great ones as seen by President Joseph F. Smith in the vision he relates as section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenant (D&C 138:42). So he lives on in his role as a prophet of God in the righteous 'dead' assembled in paradise and Christ's ministry among them.

[A Prophet’s Prophet]

In scripture, Isaiah is the most frequently quoted of all the ancient prophets.

  • Thirty-two percent of the book of Isaiah is quoted in the Book of Mormon; another three percent is paraphrased.8
  • The Savior quotes Isaiah in the New Testament at least 7 times and the Apostles quote Isaiah at least 40 times.9
  • The Doctrine and Covenants makes at least 100 references to the writings of Isaiah;10 sections 113 and 133 offer interpretations and clarifications of some of Isaiah’s prophecies.
  • Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith on September 21, 1823, and quoted Isaiah chapter 11, “saying that it was about to be fulfilled.”11
A Vision of All 
Revelation comes in many ways: personal visitation, manifestations, visions, dreams and so forth; even down to the whisperings of the spirit in a still small voice. The 'Vision of All' is actually available to all, or at least that portion for which we have prepared ourselves to recieve and obtain by the power of the spirit according to our need and perhaps according to our 'pay grade'. There is an avenue available to that vision for all people. That which has been given unto all men is the scriptures, the Word of God, which we are commanded to read and study. And we learn from their pages, and with the added help of the Spirit of Truth that attends such devoted study and learning. It is that same Spirit of Truth that attends all revelation from God. Eeach of us can build line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little—there a little, until we come to a 'visionary perspective' of the whole of the Plan of Salvation', that is God's Plan of Happiness, sprouting, growing and building within ourselves unto an everlasting tree of life of understanding the things of God from beginning to end as a 'Vision of All'.
Reference Notes:

1. Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon (1997), 75.

2. Bible Dictionary, “Isaiah.”

3. See Guide to the Scriptures, “Isaiah,”

4. Isaiah 7:14.

5. Isaiah 61:1; see also Luke 4:16–21.

6. Isaiah 24:23.

7. See Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings-Malachi, 3rd ed. (Church Educational System manual, 2003), 131-35.

8. See Old Testament Student Manual, 131.

9. See Boyd K. Packer, “The Things of My Soul,” Ensign, May 1986, 61.

10. See Old Testament Student Manual, 131.

11. Joseph Smith—History 1:40.

" And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him. ~ 2 Nephi 11:2                                                       'Come Unto Jesus'

~ All Art the Same Unto God ~