Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Isaiah 18

America - The Land Shadowing with Wings

There is not much to write about this very short chapter. It is only seven verses long. According to Ludlow, this chapter has perplexed Bible scholars and translators "as much as any other Isaianic chapter" (203). Despite all this confusion, we have a few modern day prophets who leave little doubt as to this mysterious "land shadowing with wings" (Isaiah 18:1).

In the April 1844 general conference, Hyrum Smith referred to Isaiah 18 when he said, "North and South America are the symbols of the wings" (HC 6:322).

Joseph Fielding Smith said the following in the April 1966 General Conference, "America was discovered because the Lord willed it. The gospel was restored in America, rather than in some other land because the Lord willed it. This is the land "shadowing with wings" spoken of by Isaiah that today is sending ambassadors by the sea to a nation scattered and peeled, which at one time was terrible in the beginning (Isaiah 18:1-2). Now that nation is being gathered, and once again they shall be in favor with the Lord." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1966, pp. 12-15).

Missionaries - Ambassadors by Sea

One of the most important roles of the restored Gospel is that of gathering Israel (D&C 110:11). Isaiah saw that America would be the land of the restored Gospel and from it he saw thousands of "ambassadors" who scoured the earth gathering Israel.

Today, there are more than 50,000 missionaries worldwide who are gathering Israel. One by one, the lost of Israel are coming to accept the restored Gospel and are coming back into the fold. Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a wonderful talk on the gathering of Israel. He said, "Here on earth, missionary work is crucial to the gathering of Israel. The gospel was to be taken first to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:6; 15:24) Consequently, servants of the Lord have gone forth proclaiming the Restoration. In many nations our missionaries have searched for those of scattered Israel; they have hunted for them “out of the holes of the rocks”; and they have fished for them as in ancient days. (Jeremiah 16:16)." (Russell M. Nelson, “The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 79–82)

What is expected of the world? The Lord plainly proclaims to the world, "when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye." (Isaiah 18:3). We would hope that everyone would sincerely listen to the restored Gospel message.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored Gospel on the earth today. It is the ensign to all nations (Isaiah 18:3).

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