“Sealed Up in a Book”

Brant Gardner

Text: Ludlow suggests that verse 17 is a Book of Mormon addition to Isaiah. While this is a possibility, the verses that follow do not match Isaiah, but rather Nephi’s specific prophecy. Rather than see “thus saith the Lord God” as an addition to the Isaianic text, I argue that it constitutes Nephi’s declaration of his authority to alter Isaiah’s context. Nephi uses Isaiah’s language as a touchstone but completes the vision with a prophetic declaration of the real authority behind his vision.

Narrative: Even this new declaration recasts Isaiah’s language (Isa. 29:11). Nephi mentions the “sealed book” which, at this point, he simply links to the voice “from the dust.” He will later quote more from this passage of Isaiah, but here he simply connects his prophecy about recording “the words of the righteous” and the promise that “those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not be forgotten” (v. 15). This story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is heavily dependent upon Isaiah. Nevertheless, it is the same theme as presented in a different way in 1 Nephi 13:34–36.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2