“There is Save One Messiah”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

There is none other name given under heaven, Nephi taught, “whereby man can be saved” except the name of Christ (see v. 20). Among the apostate traditions common to the Jews was that of multiple messiahs.

The messianic prophecies of the Old Testament spoke of Christ as a triumphant king (having reference to his second coming—e.g., Isaiah 40:1-5) and as a suffering servant (having reference to his mortal ministry—e.g., Isaiah 53).

Those possessing the spirit of inspiration recognized that these prophecies would find fulfillment in the Son of God. Those who had lost the spirit of inspiration, having their hearts set upon the things of the world, sought a temporal salvation—one at the hands of a conquering hero like the ancient David.

Not being able to countenance a messiah who would suffer and die, they refused to associate the prophecies of Christ’s suffering with their anticipated national redemption.

Thus there developed among many Jews the idea that the suffering-servant prophecies would not be fulfilled by the same person as the prophecies which spoke of their liberation at the hands of the triumphant one.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1