Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Isaiah 2

Temples and Zion

Growing up in the Church, the phrase "mountain of the Lord" has always been synonymous with temple. In fact, the first image I have in my mind when I think of that phrase is that of the Salt Lake City Temple.

I believe that the Saints who built the temple in Utah literally fulfilled the prophecy regarding the "mountain of the Lord's house" being established in the top of the mountains.

Many nations already are flowing unto the temple. Indeed many may say today, "let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." The verse continues, "for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3).

Before President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, he said this, "As I contemplate this marvelous structure, adjacent to the temple, there comes to mind the great prophetic utterance of Isaiah:

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. …

“O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isa. 2:2–3, 5).

I believe that prophecy applies to the historic and wonderful Salt Lake Temple. But I believe also that it is related to this magnificent hall. For it is from this pulpit that the law of God shall go forth, together with the word and testimony of the Lord." (Gordon B. Hinckley, “This Great Millennial Year,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 67–71).

Modern Idolaters to be Humbled

Isaiah next describes the endless treasures we possess and our worship of them.

Indeed, our nation as well as many nations of the world have vast amounts of treasures … gold, silver, homes, cars, boats, planes, electronics and the list goes on and on. Some are obsessed with taking care of their things and they do not focus on serving others - they forget the fatherless and widows. When our possessions own us, then we are worshipping idols.

In his timeless article, Spencer W. Kimball said this to the Saints, "The Lord has blessed us as a people with a prosperity unequaled in times past. The resources that have been placed in our power are good, and necessary to our work here on the earth. But I am afraid that many of us have been surfeited with flocks and herds and acres and barns and wealth and have begun to worship them as false gods, and they have power over us. Do we have more of these good things than our faith can stand? Many people spend most of their time working in the service of a self-image that includes sufficient money, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, property, credit cards, furnishings, automobiles, and the like to guarantee carnal security throughout, it is hoped, a long and happy life. Forgotten is the fact that our assignment is to use these many resources in our families and quorums to build up the kingdom of God—to further the missionary effort and the genealogical and temple work; to raise our children up as fruitful servants unto the Lord; to bless others in every way, that they may also be fruitful. Instead, we expend these blessings on our own desires, and as Moroni said, “Ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not.” (Morm. 8:39.)" (Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship,” Ensign, Jun 1976, 3)

As my dad and I were discussing the other day, we really do not own anything. We are born into this world with nothing and we leave this world with no possessions. The only thing we take with us are the memories and experiences and knowledge we have gained in this life - those things that moths and rust cannot corrupt (see Matt. 6:19-20, 3 Ne. 13:19-20; 27:32)

If we are not careful and do no repent of our sin of idolatry, then we will be among those the Lord will humble. "For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low" (Isaiah 2:12).

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