2 Nephi 12: Come to the Mountain of the Lord

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 45–46

The next thirteen chapters, 2 Nephi 12–24, are quoted from the book of Isaiah (see Isaiah 2–14 ). Nephi said he included Isaiah’s words because they contained Isaiah’s testimony of Christ and so that all who read them might “lift up their hearts and rejoice for all men” ( 2 Nephi 11:8 ; see also v. 2 ). Repeating what he and his brother Jacob had taught before, Nephi said to “liken” the words of Isaiah to ourselves ( 2 Nephi 11:8 ; see also 1 Nephi 19:23 ; 2 Nephi 6:5 ). We liken the scriptures to ourselves when we try to identify how something that happened in the scriptures has application in our lives today. After quoting from the book of Isaiah, Nephi wrote about understanding the message of Isaiah. You may want to read 2 Nephi 25:1–8 before reading 2 Nephi 12–24 and find what Nephi taught about the prophecies of Isaiah. Isaiah wrote in a different style from other writers in the Book of Mormon. He used poetry and symbolic language after the manner of the Jews to convey his message. As you look for the principles of the gospel represented by his poetry and symbolism and liken them to our day and to yourself, you will find many passages in these chapters that are very meaningful to you.When Isaiah prophesied, there were two kingdoms of Israelites—the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel (also called Ephraim). Many Israelites in both kingdoms had turned from the Lord and had put their trust in idols and in their own wisdom and strength. In addition, both nations were continually threatened by war with hostile neighbors, particularly the powerful nation of Assyria. Isaiah’s messages clearly identified the sins of the Israelites, the consequences of those sins, what the people could do to repent, and the tender mercies of the Lord available to them if they would repent. These messages may be likened to all covenant people who have strayed from the Lord.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 12

Exalted (vv. 2, 11, 17)Raised up high, put in a high place
Rebuke (v. 4)Call to repentance, reprimand
Be replenished from the east (v. 6)Take their spiritual nourishment from the pagan religions of Assyria and Babylon
Soothsayers (v. 6)People who try to foretell future events, fortune-tellers
Lofty (vv. 11–12)Proud
Haughtiness (vv. 11, 17)Pride
Utterly abolish (v. 18)Completely destroy
Cast (v. 20)Throw away
Cease ye from man (v. 22)Stop trusting in man
Accounted of (v. 22)Regarded, considered

2 Nephi 12:2–4—“The Mountain of the Lord’s House”

Salt Lake Temple

In Isaiah’s day, the phrase “mountain of the Lord’s house” specifically referred to the temple in Jerusalem. Prophets in our day have taught that it refers also to all temples, which become “mountains of the Lord” where people may come and learn of God’s ways so they can walk in His paths. President Howard W. Hunter taught that Isaiah’s vision applies both to individuals and to the whole world. After encouraging members to “make the temple, with temple worship and temple covenants and temple marriage, our ultimate earthly goal and the supreme mortal experience,” he gave the following invitation and promise:

“May you let the meaning and beauty and peace of the temple come into your everyday life more directly in order that the millennial day may come, that promised time when ‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more … [but shall] walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isa. 2:4–5)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88).

Howard W. Hunter

2 Nephi 12:12—“The Day of the Lord”

The day of the Lord” is a phrase that refers to a time of judgment. For the many Israelites, it was when the Assyrians and the Babylonians came to conquer. The Second Coming of Christ will be a “day of the Lord” when the wicked will be destroyed. On an individual level, the day of the Lord may be the day we die and return to God or simply a time when we realize our circumstances are beyond our control and we need the Lord’s help. As quoted in 2 Nephi 12:10–22, Isaiah dramatically described how earthly things that seem so valuable to some will mean nothing at that day.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study 2 Nephi 12.

Activity A iconPicture the Message

As quoted in 2 Nephi 12:2–4, Isaiah prophesied of the blessings that would come to Israel when they placed the temple and its ordinances and covenants above all earthly things. In 2 Nephi 12:5–9 is his description of what the people felt was important and what they trusted in instead of the Lord. Draw a picture that represents Isaiah’s message in 2 Nephi 12:1–9. You could draw it, make a collage using pictures from magazines and newspapers, or use a combination of both. Include what you think are modern examples of the idols and false ways of obtaining guidance that Isaiah spoke about in verses 6–9.