"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
October 29, 2014
Isaiah: Messenger of Salvation
by Kathryn Grant

“The Lord is salvation.” That’s the meaning of Isaiah’s name, and it couldn’t be more fitting. Isaiah taught and prophesied concerning a wide variety of topics, but without a doubt his key message and witness is of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah foretold the Savior’s birth with these words, which have become so beloved: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6.)

Isaiah also penned these words describing the Lord’s mission of mercy, written in the first person as if the Lord were speaking: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord....” (Isaiah 61:1–2.)

More than seven hundred years later during His mortal ministry, Jesus introduced Himself and His mission by quoting these very words of Isaiah’s, telling His hearers that the scripture was fulfilled in their ears. (Luke 4:18–21.)

Then we find in Isaiah 53 one of the most poetic and poignant descriptions of the Savior’s life, suffering, and triumph over sin and death. It’s a chapter worth reading again and again, which could be well summarized by these verses:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4–5; see also Mosiah 14.)

In a similar spirit Isaiah wrote, “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Isaiah 63:9.)

Finally, the Lord once again quotes Isaiah to paint a vivid picture of His return and the gratitude of those whom He has saved through His sacrifice:

And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? And he shall say: I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save....

And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever. (D&C 133:46–47, 52; cf Isaiah 63:1, 7.)

Isaiah speaks joyfully of messengers who publish salvation and declare that God reigns (Isaiah 52:7-10). Perhaps he knew he was among those messengers. No wonder Jesus has encouraged us more than once to study the words of Isaiah (3 Nephi 23:1–3; 3 Nephi 20:11).

Isaiah’s words have been preserved to enable and encourage us to “see the salvation of our God” through our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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