Isaiah foretold the destruction of both Assyria and Babylon, which can be likened to the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming. He prophesied of the latter-day Restoration of the Church and its role in gathering Israel. He also prophesied of the destruction of Moab.
Write the word woe on the board, and ask students to recall what it means. (Intense sorrow or suffering.) After they respond, invite a student to read Isaiah 10:1–2 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for what actions would bring intense sorrow and suffering upon Israel.
What actions would bring suffering upon Israel?
Summarize Isaiah 10:3–4 by explaining that because the leaders and people of Israel had turned away from the Lord through their wickedness, they would be punished and not have the Lord’s help.
Who would the Lord use to punish Israel?
Summarize Isaiah 10:7–19 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied that after the Assyrians had fulfilled the Lord’s purposes in punishing Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Lord would destroy the Assyrians as well because of their pride and wickedness. This destruction is symbolic of the destruction the proud and wicked will experience at the Second Coming.
Summarize Isaiah 10:20–34 by reminding them that Isaiah foretold that the Assyrian army would destroy many cities as it marched toward Jerusalem; however, Jerusalem would be miraculously spared (see 2 Kings 19).
Invite a student to come to the board. Ask another student to read Isaiah 11:1, 10 aloud while the first student draws what is read. After the drawing is complete, ask the class if they understand what Isaiah was talking about. Also ask the student who drew on the board to remain at the board and adjust the drawing as needed to match the explanations that will follow.
Explain that sometimes we can better understand the meaning of symbols in the scriptures by referring to explanations found in other scriptures or in the words of modern prophets.
What objects did Isaiah refer to? (A rod, a stem, a branch, roots, and an ensign.)
Explain that the word stem in Isaiah 11:1 is translated from a Hebrew word that can refer to the stump of a tree that has been cut down. Ask the student at the board to revise the drawing to include a tree stump, if needed, and to write Stem near the stump. Then ask the student to add roots, if needed, and label them Roots.
According to Isaiah 11:1, what comes out of the stem? (A rod. In other words, new growth.)
Ask the student at the board to draw new growth coming from the stump, if needed, and to label it Rod.
Point out that the Prophet Joseph Smith’s explanations of what the stem, rod, and roots represent are recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 113. Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–6 silently, looking for the meanings of these symbols.
According to Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–2, whom does the stem of Jesse represent?
Invite the student at the board to write Jesus Christ on the board next to the word Stem. You may want to suggest that students write the meanings of these objects in their scriptures. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles clarified that the branch Isaiah mentioned also represents Jesus Christ (see The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ , 192–94; see also Jeremiah 23:5–6).
Explain that Elder McConkie suggested that the rod and the roots could both represent Joseph Smith (see The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 339–40). Invite a student to write Joseph Smith on the board next to Rod and Roots.
Explain that after Isaiah described some of the conditions of the Millennium (see Isaiah 11:5–9), he prophesied of Joseph Smith and the latter days.
Invite a student to reread Isaiah 11:10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Isaiah said that describes Joseph Smith.
What did Isaiah say that the root of Jesse would be for the people? (An ensign.)
What is an ensign? (A flag or banner that an army may sometimes gather under or march behind.)
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:9 aloud.
What is the standard, or ensign, that the Gentiles will seek after? (The everlasting covenant, or the gospel of Jesus Christ.)
How is establishing an ensign similar to what the Lord did through Joseph Smith?
Invite a student to read Isaiah 11:11–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for what Isaiah prophesied would happen in the last days.
What did Isaiah prophesy would happen in the last days?
Explain that the phrase “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people” in verse 11 refers to the Restoration of the Church and the latter-day gathering of Israel (see D&C 137:6).
Explain that because of latter-day revelation, we understand that the phrase “he will set up an ensign for the nations” in verse 12 refers to the Restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Write the following phrase on the board: The restored Church is an ensign to …
Based on verse 12, how would you complete the phrase? (After students respond, complete the phrase so that it states the following truth: The restored Church is an ensign to gather scattered Israel back to the gospel of Jesus Christ.)
What does it mean to “gather” scattered Israel back to the gospel of Jesus Christ? (To help others join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [see Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 3:255].)
What can we do as members of the Church to help gather scattered Israel to the Lord?
Summarize Isaiah 11:13–16 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would use miraculous means to help gather Israel again.
Invite students to read Isaiah 12:1–3 silently, looking for what these Israelites will do during the Millennium because they have been brought to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Why do you think they will praise the Lord and have great joy?
Invite students to think of someone they know who is a convert to the Church. Ask a few students to describe how that person felt when he or she joined the Church. Summarize Isaiah 12:4–6 by explaining that those who are gathered into the gospel of Jesus Christ will praise the Savior during the Millennium.
Ask students to imagine that they have the opportunity to join one of two teams. One team is led by a captain who cares very much about his team and wants each team member to succeed. The other team is led by someone who promises great victory and success, but the captain only cares for himself.
Which team would you join? Why?
Explain that these teams can represent the Lord’s side and Satan’s side. Write on the board: The Lord’s side and Satan’s side. Invite students as they study Isaiah 13–16 to look for gospel truths that will help them know why they should choose to be on the Lord’s side instead of Satan’s side.
Summarize Isaiah 13:1–10 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Babylon and that these events can be seen as a type or similitude of the destruction of the wicked that will take place at the Second Coming of the Savior.
Invite a student to read Isaiah 13:11 aloud. Ask the class to look for what the Lord said He would do to the wicked in Babylon.
If the punishments described in this verse are a type or similitude of what will occur at the Second Coming, what can we learn about what the Lord will do to the wicked when He comes again? (Using students’ words, write the following truth on the board: When the Lord comes again, He will destroy the wicked.)
Summarize Isaiah 13:12–22 by explaining that Isaiah continued to prophesy about the destruction of Babylon.
Invite a student to read Isaiah 14:3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for what the Lord will do for His people after Babylon is destroyed.
If the events described in this verse are a type or similitude of what will occur at the Second Coming, what can we learn about what the Lord will do for His people when He comes again? (Using students’ words, write the following truth on the board: When the Lord comes again, He will be merciful to His people and give them rest.)
What kind of rest do you think the Lord’s people will receive?
Summarize Isaiah 14:4–11 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied of the downfall of the Babylonian king and compared this to the downfall of Lucifer, or Satan. Invite a student to read Isaiah 14:12–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Satan desired.
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Isaiah 14:15–20. Ask the class to follow along and look for what will ultimately happen to Satan.
According to verses 15–16, what will ultimately happen to Satan? What will people say about him? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: Satan will lose his influence and power over mankind, and he will be cast out forever.)
How might the truths written on the board help us choose to be on the Savior’s side and not Satan’s?
Why do you think Satan succeeds in luring some people to his side, even though he will ultimately lose?
Encourage students to remember the fate of Satan and his followers when they are tempted to leave the Lord’s side.
Summarize Isaiah 15–16 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Moab. You may want to conclude the lesson by testifying of the truths discussed in this lesson.