Isaiah prophesied of a period of great apostasy and the Restoration of the gospel, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. He prophesied that the Book of Mormon would correct false doctrine and bless those who read and live by its teachings.
Show students two wooden boards of equal length. Place one of the boards on top of the other, and nail them together at one end so the boards can swivel. (If you do not have boards and a nail, you could poke a single hole through two pieces of cardboard or paper and fasten a brad or a metal paper fastener in the hole so the two pieces can swivel.) Explain that the single nail represents the Bible, the bottom board represents the doctrine of Christ, and the top board represents how some people interpret the Bible. Move the top board to various positions.
Why are there so many different Christian churches if they all believe in the Bible? (Christian denominations interpret the Bible and Christ’s doctrine differently.)
How can you know the Lord’s true doctrine when there are so many ways to interpret the Bible?
Invite students to look for truths as they study Isaiah 29 that can help them know the Lord’s true doctrine.
Summarize Isaiah 29:1–12 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred because of the wickedness of the people who lived there. Isaiah also prophesied of the Great Apostasy, which would occur after the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles.
Explain that over time, people changed many gospel principles and ordinances and altered the organization of the Savior’s Church. Consequently, the Lord withdrew the authority and keys of His priesthood from the earth. Many of the “plain and precious” parts of the Bible were also corrupted or lost, and the people no longer had an accurate understanding of God (see 1 Nephi 13:26–29). Eventually many churches were established, but they did not have the authority to perform priesthood ordinances or to properly interpret the Bible. Isaiah also foretold the experience that Martin Harris would have with the learned professor Charles Anthon in New York.
Invite a student to read Isaiah 29:13 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord said people would do during the Great Apostasy.
What do you think it means that people “draw near [the Lord] with their mouth” but “have removed their heart far from [Him]”?
Explain that the phrase “their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” means that people’s worship of God would be corrupted by false teachings.
Invite a student to read Isaiah 29:14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord said He would do to overcome the effects of the Apostasy.
What did the Lord say He would do to overcome the effects of the Apostasy?
From your study guide lesson for day 1, what did Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles say is the marvelous work and a wonder that Isaiah prophesied about?
If students do not remember what Elder Nelson taught, invite a student to read his statement:
“Isaiah foresaw that God would do ‘a marvellous work and a wonder’ in the latter days (Isaiah 29:14). … That marvelous work would include the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel” (“Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 46, endnote 26).
According to verse 14, what effect will the Restoration and the Book of Mormon have on the wisdom of the world?
Write the following incomplete statement on the board: The Restoration of the gospel, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, is a marvelous work that …
According to Isaiah 29:13–14, how could we complete this truth? (Students may give many correct responses, but make sure they identify the following truth: The Restoration of the gospel, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, is a marvelous work that corrects false teachings and counters the wisdom of the world. Using students’ words, complete the statement on the board.)
Show students a second nail, and explain that it represents the Book of Mormon. Align the boards, and hammer the nail into the end opposite the first nail. Show students that the boards no longer swivel.
Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 3:12. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the joining of the Bible and the Book of Mormon will do for us.
How does the Book of Mormon help correct false doctrine and counter the wisdom of the world? (Share examples of how the Book of Mormon corrects false doctrine. For example, Moroni 8 corrects misunderstandings about infant baptism.)
Invite students to share with a partner some of the blessings they have received because of the Restoration of the gospel and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
Summarize Isaiah 29:15–17 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied that the Book of Mormon would come forth at a time when people would seek to hide their works from God and would not acknowledge the hand of God in their lives.
Show students a copy of the Book of Mormon.
What would you say to someone to interest him or her in reading the Book of Mormon?
Write the following phrase on the board: If we study the Book of Mormon, it can help us to …
Invite a student to read Isaiah 29:18–19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Book of Mormon can do for those who study it with a sincere desire to understand its teachings. You may want to suggest that students mark what they find.
What does Isaiah’s imagery in these verses teach about how the Book of Mormon can help us? (List students’ responses on the board to complete the principle.)
Invite a student to read Isaiah 29:22–24 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Isaiah prophesied the Book of Mormon would do for Jacob’s posterity. Explain that the phrase “house of Jacob” in verse 22 refers to the Lord’s covenant people.
According to verses 23–24, what would the Book of Mormon do for Jacob’s posterity in the latter days? (List students’ responses on the board.)
Point out the phrase “fear the God of Israel” in verse 23, and explain that it means to have reverential awe and respect for God and His covenants. Ask students to ponder the responses that complete the principle about the Book of Mormon on the board.
Which one of these promises would inspire you to read the Book of Mormon? Why?
You may want to write the following principle on the board: If we study the Book of Mormon, it can help us to have joy, revere God, and understand true doctrine.
Invite students to share with the class how the Book of Mormon has blessed their lives. You may also want to share an experience from your life.
Encourage students to make a commitment to read the Book of Mormon so they can receive these blessings in their lives. Consider encouraging them to give a copy of the Book of Mormon to a family member or friend and to explain the blessings Isaiah promised would come from studying this book.
Invite students to think about a time they felt alone because no one understood their struggles and challenges. Explain that in the next unit they will learn about the Savior’s Atonement and how He extends help and mercy to His people when they feel lonely, face challenges, and strive to overcome temptation and sin. Isaiah 53 contains some of the most tender words in scripture describing Jesus Christ’s humiliation and sufferings.