Lesson 39: “How Beautiful upon the Mountains”

Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2001), 187–89


Purpose

To strengthen each class member’s testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study the passages from Isaiah 50–53 that are discussed in this lesson. They center on the Savior’s atoning sacrifice.

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Mosiah 14–15.

  3. 3.

    If you use the attention activity, assign two or three class members to choose a favorite hymn about the Savior’s love and sacrifice and prepare to tell the class about the message of the hymn and how it has influenced them. You may want to tell about one of your own favorite hymns about the Savior.

Suggested Lesson Development

Attention Activity

You may want to use the following activity (or one of your own) to begin the lesson.

Explain that many Church hymns help us understand the love the Savior showed for us through his atoning sacrifice. Invite each of the assigned class members to tell of a favorite hymn about the Savior’s love and sacrifice. Since music can help invite the Spirit of the Lord into the class, you may want to ask class members to sing one of the hymns that was discussed.

Explain that this lesson will discuss some of Isaiah’s prophecies about the life and mission of the Savior.

Scripture Discussion and Application

As you teach the following scripture passages, discuss how they apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

1. Isaiah speaks of messengers who bring glad tidings.

  • In Isaiah 52:7, Isaiah poetically described people bringing a great message. Why do you think Isaiah referred to the messengers’ feet? (In the ancient world, before electronic communications were available, important messages were often brought by runners traveling on foot. Isaiah uses the messengers’ feet to symbolize the messengers themselves.) How did Isaiah feel about these messengers?

  • How did Isaiah describe the message that is being delivered? (It is a message of good tidings, a message of peace and salvation.) The Book of Mormon prophet Abinadi explained that the messengers described by Isaiah include the prophets and also the Lord himself (Mosiah 15:13–18). What great message of peace and salvation have these messengers brought? (See 2 Nephi 2:6–8.)

  • Who else brings the message of the gospel to the world? You may want to ask class members to tell about experiences they have had with sharing the gospel message. You may also want to ask class members to tell how they feel about those who brought the message to them.

2. Isaiah prophesies of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice.

Discuss the following prophecies about the Savior’s atoning sacrifice and the blessings it provides us.

  • Isaiah 50:5–7. What does this passage teach about the Savior’s attitude toward the great sacrifice he was to make in our behalf? What do Matthew 26:39 and Philippians 2:8 teach about the Savior’s attitude as he faced great suffering?

  • Isaiah 51:6. What comparison is made in this verse? How long will the effects of the Atonement last? (See also Mosiah 16:9; Alma 34:10, 14.)

  • Isaiah 51:22. For whom does the Savior plead? How does the Atonement allow him to be our Advocate? (See D&C 45:3–5.) What is the “cup of trembling” that Jesus has drunk for us? (See D&C 19:15–20.) What must we do to receive the full blessings offered through the Atonement?

  • Isaiah 52:3. What does it mean to be “redeemed without money”? (See 2 Nephi 26:27–28; Isaiah 55:1–3.)

  • Isaiah 53:2–4. What do these verses tell us about the life of the Savior? Why can he understand our sorrows and our grief? (See Alma 7:11–13; Hebrews 2:16–18; 4:15.) How have you sensed that he understands your sorrows and grief?

  • Isaiah 53:5. Why was the Savior willing to suffer the pain of being wounded, bruised, and scourged? (See 1 Nephi 19:9.)

  • Isaiah 53:6–7. What qualities of character did the Savior display when he was oppressed, afflicted, and made to bear our iniquities? How do we sometimes “turn [our] own way” rather than submit to Heavenly Father’s will? How can the Savior’s example help us submit to Heavenly Father’s will?

  • Isaiah 53:10. What did Isaiah mean when he said that “it pleased the Lord to bruise” the Savior? What do we learn from this passage about Heavenly Father’s love for us? (See also John 3:16–17.)

  • Isaiah 53:8–11. Explain that the Book of Mormon prophet Abinadi gave a powerful commentary on these verses when he was speaking to the wicked priests of King Noah (Mosiah 15:10–13). According to Abinadi, who will be the seed of the Savior? (See also Mosiah 5:7–8.)

  • Isaiah 53:12. Explain that at the end of a battle, the leader of the victorious army divides the fruits of victory among his followers. What are the fruits of Christ’s victory over sin and death that he is willing to share with us? (See Romans 8:16–17; 2 Timothy 4:7–8.)

3. Isaiah describes some of our responsibilities.

  • As recorded in Isaiah 51 and Isaiah 52, what responsibilities do we have as those who have accepted the Savior’s Atonement?

    1. a.

      Isaiah 51:1, 4, 7. Listen to and obey the Lord; do not fear the revilings of men.

    2. b.

      Isaiah 51:12–13. Remember the Lord, who is the Creator. Do not fear Satan.

    3. c.

      Isaiah 52:1–2. Awake and put on the strength of the priesthood (see D&C 113:7–8). Put on the beautiful garments of righteousness (see Revelation 19:7–8). “Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck” (see D&C 113:9–10).

    4. d.

      Isaiah 52:11. Depart from the wickedness of the world. Do not touch unclean things; be clean.

  • How can we better fulfill each of these responsibilities?

Conclusion

Review Mosiah 15:18, in which the prophet Abinadi describes the Savior as a messenger whose feet are beautiful upon the mountains. Explain that one reason his feet are beautiful is that they bear the prints of the nails, the tokens of his atoning love. Bear testimony of how the teachings of Isaiah have strengthened your love for the Savior and your desire to be worthy of the blessings of his atoning sacrifice. Ask class members to share how their testimonies have been strengthened as well.

Additional Teaching Ideas

The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use one or more of these ideas as part of the lesson.

1. Walking in the light

Review Isaiah 50:10–11 and point out the choice Isaiah gives us in these verses. If we choose to fear the Lord, obey the voice of his servants, and trust him, we will have his light to guide us and will not walk in darkness (John 8:12; 12:46). If we choose to walk in our own light, which is compared to the light of sparks, the Lord warns that we will “lie down in sorrow.”

2. Missionary work

If Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277) is available, you may want to show “Missionary Work: Our Greatest Duty,” a five-minute segment, as part of the lesson.