Skip to main content

"I and the Children", 2 Nephi 18:18

2 Nephi 18:18 reads like this:
Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.
"Behold," a call for attention to this statement which is one of the few times there is mention of family in the words of Isaiah.

"I and the children," A father to children relationship --the entity of the family. Mother was probably not included in this statement either out of respect (or reverence) for her place in the family, or perhaps, because of social customs that had evolved out of a patriarchal society. Though she is referenced at the beginning of the chapter as a "the prophetess".

"the children whom the Lord hath given me," Psalms 127:3 also reads, " Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. " These verses are a recognition of the truth that our children are not really ours, but are on loan from on our Heavenly Father. This reminder that the begetting of children is a blessing which the Lord extends to us. It is a small part of the creation which the Lord permits us to be a part of.

How profound is parenthood.

"... are for signs and wonders in Israel," These ideas are calculated to be perceived only by those who have eyes to see. At first reading, this would suggests that Isaiah and his children will be the means of some miraculous spectacle. But the full context contained within the verse seems to suggests otherwise. Isn't it obvious that what Isaiah is referring to in this verse is the same idea that in our days has been articulated like this: "The Family is central to the Creator's plan" (see the Family: A Proclamation to the World ).

The end of the verse helps me to understand and come to this conclusion even more. "...from the Lord of Hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion." Mount Zion in my mind becomes a symbolic representation of the temple, or a place were the Spirit of the Lord dwells continually, a holy place where only the pure in heart are to dwell.

The home, the family dwelling space, ought to also be like the temple, therefore Isaiah and his family are become signs for Israel of the type of life that the Lord would have his people to live.
They are become evidence of the true doctrine of Christ to a people that are turned completely backwards as to the true purposes of life. Their wonder is the calculated success of family life that in their times as well as ours was so very hard to achieve.

This deep discovery in a small verse from the Old Testament has had a profoundly enlightening effect upon me over the last several days. I was well acquainted with the doctrine of family life as found in our modern church, but there are very few evidences of this being taught at all in the church of antiquity. If the church is the same as the church in antiquity, why wasn't it taught to the Israelites. The answer is that it was, but they had a hard enough time abiding by the Law of Moses, that the Celestial law of family could hardly be comprehended. But here Isaiah states that he and his family are for a witness to Israel from the God that dwells in Zion of what Israel could have if they would turn to the Lord their God.

The doctrine of the family is eternal. That Isaiah understood this, as one of the great Biblical witnesses for Christ, reinforces even more the significance of family relationships in our Father in Heaven's plan of happiness for his children.


Popular posts from this blog

"Astonished Beyond All Measure," Alma 31:12-20

Alma 31:12-20

I'm starting this reading with the following assumptions:
The Book of Mormon is an ancient text written for a modern audience. This was written for my personal benefit in the period of world history where I presently reside. Satan takes truth and alters it for his destructive or deceptive purposes. The account of the Zoramites as found here is depicted according to the light of Christ and inspiration of the Holy Ghost that the author had at the time of making this account. That will bring particular insights that would not be otherwise available. It is a typical practice that when reading from the Book of Mormon, that if I find no personal application, I ask myself "Where is Christ in these verses?" Perhaps here, as a false worship practice is being depicted, the correct question to ask would be "Where isn't Christ in these verses?" Let's start our discovery.

In a sense, they had crafted a prayer that said: "God, we thank thee that tho…

"Your Ground is Barren," Alma 32:30-43

Alma 32:30-43

I am reading through the process of how to nurture the seed of faith. This morning, I am particularly interested in how I can continue to cultivate the principle of gratitude which I have recently made a dedicated study of. As I have studied gratitude and humility, I've found the application over this past week to be proof of the principles and their soundness. I'm past this first step of testing the seed.

Now I want the fruit, but I feel that the seedling is faltering a little. Verse 37 reads:
And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. I'm grateful that Alma didn't stop there though, and also addressed what happens if we neglect the seed. Verse 38 is a warning that if we neglect the seed, when the heat of the sun comes, which it w…

"Would Ye Not Behold Quickly?" Alma 33:18-23

Alma 33:18-23

This is the second time that this theme is repeated in the Book of Mormon. Nephi was the first to mention it back in 1 Nephi 17:40-41.

The idea of over-complicating truth is one of the main ideas that I get from this. Many would not believe that looking on the brazen serpent that Moses lifted up because it was too simple a thing to believe in. (The account in Numbers 21 does not point out that there were those who did not believe, and consequently died because of their disbelief.)

Alma points out that the reason that some of the Israelites perished was because they would not believe. Then he asked the Zoramites if they would choose to be healed by just looking, would they not do so quickly. But as he continues to inquire of them, I come to realize that Alma isn't saying: it worked for them, wouldn't that be neat if that were available to us? NO! What Alma is saying is: this type was available to them to help them understand how easy it was to be healed. The same …