“For in That Day Shall They Understand Them”

Monte S. Nyman

The third way for us to understand Isaiah is an important one, and one that is often overlooked when Nephi’s admonition is read. According to Nephi, it is to live “in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled” (v. 7). This fulfillment will come in the last days (v. 8). The experience of Martin Harris taking the characters copied from the golden plates along with their translation to the learned Charles Anthon is a good example of Nephi’s third key. This will be discussed in a later chapter, but today neither Jews nor Christians understand Isaiah’s prophecy that coincides with this event. Neither would we if it had not already happened. There are other prophecies recorded by Isaiah that we do not understand because they have not yet come to pass.

The words of Isaiah are hard to be understood, but one can come to an understanding of his words by knowing the manner of prophesying among the Jews, by being filled with the spirit of prophecy, and by living in the day when the prophecies of Isaiah are fulfilled. Any one of these ways, or a combination of them, may bring an understanding of Isaiah, although it will probably come “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30; Isaiah 28:10). However the understanding comes, it will bring the modern reader to proclaim with the Savior, “Great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1).

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record