04292_000_004“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).The ancient prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah and revealed much about His roles.
Several centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah recorded the things revealed to him regarding the circumstances of Christ’s coming. One such prophecy, found in Isaiah 9:6, gives us in just a few words a wealth of knowledge about the Savior and the roles He plays in our lives and in Heavenly Father’s plan. Here are some explanations of the ideas expressed in this verse.
A Child Is Born, a Son Is Given
The Savior was revealed to Adam, the first man, as the Only Begotten Son of God (see Moses 5:7, 9; 6:52, 57, 59, 62). Since then all the holy prophets have testified of the coming of the Son of God in the flesh to redeem His people (see Acts 10:43; Jacob 4:4).
What does Christ’s birth signify?
The angel who announced the Savior’s birth to the shepherds declared “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).
When Nephi saw a vision of the virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus, he was moved to affirm “the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men” (1 Nephi 11:22).
The Savior Himself declared that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Government upon His Shoulder
In ancient Israel, the priests and kings were clothed with a robe and wore the insignia of their office on the shoulder (see Isaiah 22:21–22). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came “as one having authority” (Matthew 7:29). And He will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords during the Millennium, when “he reigns whose right it is to reign” (D&C 58:22; see also Articles of Faith 1:10).
The word wonderful comes from the Hebrew word for “miracle,” suggesting both the Messiah’s miraculous birth and the miracles He would perform during His life. The word counsellor has to do with the commandments and teachings the Messiah would bring to guide us back to Heavenly Father. As the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob said, “[The Lord] counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works” (Jacob 4:10).
The Mighty God
“Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the greatest [figure] of time and eternity. Believe that his matchless life reached back before the world was formed. Believe that he was the Creator of the earth on which we live. Believe that he was Jehovah of the Old Testament, that he was the Messiah of the New Testament, that he died and was resurrected, … and that he lives, the living Son of the living God, our Savior and our Redeemer.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “Be Not Faithless,” Tambuli, Apr. 1990, 4; Ensign, Apr. 1989, 2.
The Everlasting Father
“Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ the Son of Elohim, is called ‘the Father,’ and even ‘the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth’ (see … Mosiah 16:15). With analogous meaning Jesus Christ is called ‘The Everlasting Father’ (Isa. 9:6; compare 2 Ne. 19:6). … Jesus Christ, being the Creator, is consistently called the Father of heaven and earth … ; and since His creations are of eternal quality He is very properly called the Eternal Father of heaven and earth.”
“The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 13; from Improvement Era, Aug. 1916, 934–42.
The Prince of Peace
“Perhaps we stray from the path which leads to peace and find it necessary to pause, to ponder, and to reflect on the teachings of the Prince of Peace and determine to incorporate them in our thoughts and actions and to live a higher law, walk a more elevated road, and be a better disciple of Christ.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “Finding Peace,” Liahona and Ensign, Mar. 2004, 3.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
From left: sky background © Digital Vision; The Prophet Isaiah Foretells Christ’s Birth, by Harry Anderson; For unto Us a Child Is Born, by Simon Dewey, courtesy of Altus Fine Art; sky background by Steve Tregeagle