Isaiah 29: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 145–146

Sometimes people who are familiar with the Bible and are not members of the Church will ask us something like “If the Book of Mormon is such an important part of the work of God, why is it not mentioned in the Bible?” There are several answers to that question, and one of them is “It is!” Isaiah 29 is one place in the Bible where the Book of Mormon is referred to, even though it is not mentioned by name. As you read this chapter, look for prophecies of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the impact this book will have on the world.

Understanding the Scriptures

Isaiah 29

Ariel (vv. 1, 3, 7)Jerusalem 
Distress (vv. 2, 7)Trouble 
Heaviness (v. 2)Sadness 
Camp against thee (v. 3)Set up an army against you 
Lay siege against (v. 3)Attack 
One that hath a familiar spirit (v. 4)Someone who invokes the dead to speak 
Terrible (vv. 5, 20)Those who are mighty, powerful, and wicked 
Chaff (v. 5)Light outer coating of a kernel of grain 
Munition (v. 7)Forts, strongholds 
Appetite (v. 8)Hunger 
Stay (v. 9)Wait or delay 
Stagger (v. 9)Stumble while you walk 
Covered (v. 10)Blocked the sight 
Forasmuch as (v. 13)Since 
Precept (v. 13)Rules 
Perish (v. 14)Be destroyed 
Prudent (v. 14)Wise and intelligent 
Counsel (v. 15)Plans, decisions 
Esteemed (vv. 16–17)Considered 
Potter’s (v. 16)Belonging to a person who makes objects out of clay 
Obscurity (v. 18)Darkness 
Meek (v. 19)Humble and obedient 
Brought to nought (v. 20)Becomes nothing 
Scorner (v. 20)One who mocks 
Consumed (v. 20)Destroyed 
Lay a snare (v. 21)Set a trap 
Reproveth (v. 21)Corrects 
Nought (v. 21)Nothing 
Wax pale (v. 22)Lose its color 
Erred (v. 24)Made mistakes 

Isaiah 29:11–12, 18–24—What Is “the Book” Referred to in This Chapter?

Those familiar with the restored gospel will probably see that Isaiah 29 refers to the Book of Mormon and the role it plays in the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:

“Few men on earth, either in or out of the Church, have caught the vision of what the Book of Mormon is all about. Few are they among men who know the part it has played and will yet play in preparing the way for the coming of Him of whom it is a new witness. …

“… The Book of Mormon shall so affect men that the whole earth and all its peoples will have been influenced and governed by it. …

“… There is no greater issue ever to confront mankind in modern times than this: Is the Book of Mormon the mind and will and voice of God to all men?” (The Millennial Messiah [1982], 159, 170, 179).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Isaiah 29.

Activity A iconProphecy Fulfilled

  1. 1.

    Isaiah 29:1–6 tells about a group of people who “speak out of the ground” after the destruction of Jerusalem. Isaiah said they would be “visited … with earthquakes, and great noise, with storm, and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:6). Read 2 Nephi 26:15–17; 33:13; 3 Nephi 8:2–19; and Mormon 8:23, 26, 34–35, and write about ways the Book of Mormon fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 29:1–6.

  2. 2.

    Read Joseph Smith—History 1:61–65 and tell how the event recorded was a fulfillment of Isaiah 29:11–12. You may also want to read 2 Nephi 26:9–22 and see how these verses explain more about this prophecy.

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Isaiah 29:13–14

Apostasy means “a falling away,” and we refer to “the Apostasy” as the time when the fulness of the gospel and the priesthood authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel was taken from among men on the earth. “The Restoration” refers to the fulness of the gospel and priesthood authority being brought back to the earth.

  1. 1.

    Read the following verses in Isaiah 29 and tell whether they are about the Apostasy or the Restoration, then explain what the verses teach about the Apostasy or the Restoration: vv. 9–10, 13–14, 15, 18–21, 24.

  2. 2.

    Compare Isaiah 29:13–14 to Joseph Smith—History 1:18–19. What do you think the “marvellous work and a wonder” is? (see also vv. 33–34).

  3. 3.

    Isaiah 29:11–12, 18–24 tell about a book that will play an important role in the “marvellous work and a wonder.” List the truths those verses say this book will do, and then tell what book you think it refers to.