“Plain Unto All Those That Are Filled with the Spirit of Prophecy”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

Nephi, a native of Jerusalem, understands the manner and customs of the Jewish people. Not only does Nephi know from personal experience the lands and conditions that Isaiah describes, but he is also blessed with a prophetic view of the unfolding of Israel’s future experiences—including the birth and crucifixion of the Redeemer at the hands of the wicked. He has experienced the same visionary view of God’s dealings with the covenant people that Isaiah has witnessed. Thus, Nephi is able to identify the key to interpreting Isaiah’s writings: “they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy” (2 Nephi 25:4). Like the sons of Mosiah, who give themselves to much study, fasting, and prayer to obtain “the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation” (Alma 17:3), we too can come to understand more fully the words of Isaiah and those of all of God’s prophets through diligent study and faith.

Thus, Nephi issues his confirmation of God’s design with respect to the geopolitical flow of history: No nation, no people, no generation can escape the judgments of God. The scattering and gathering will proceed on the basis of God’s purposes for mankind, according to their responsiveness to the word of truth as proclaimed by God’s emissaries.

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1