“Forasmuch As This People Draw Near to Me with Their Mouth”

Bryan Richards

Nephi prophesies of the first vision for he declares the very words that the Lord will tell Joseph Smith at that time. This passage describes well the state of religion in the days of Joseph Smith. It also refers to the hypocrites in the days of Christ, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me (Matt 15:8).

This scripture also demonstrates the importance of what is in our hearts, not what comes out of our mouths. The person who is fake and phony in conversation, exhibiting a kindness that is more pretended than real, aptly demonstrates this principle. It doesn't matter how nice a person is if he or she is not willing to lift a finger to help another person. Members of the church are commonly guilty of this. They draw near to their fellowmen with their mouth but their hearts are far from them.

It should be noted that from verse 25 to the end of the chapter, Nephi is quoting the last half of Isaiah 29.