The Old Testament is teeming with examples of the Lord delivering his true followers. The experiences of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Esther, and Mordecai are all inspiring testaments to God’s will and ability to save his faithful children.
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In 592 B.C., Ezekiel was taken in vision to Jerusalem where he witnessed the extent to which wickedness had consumed the hearts of the Jews. He also witnessed that their corruption caused the “glory of the Lord,” or the light of Christ, to withdraw from the city. The vision commenced with Ezekiel seeing through successive stages “increasingly greater acts of apostasy.”
It was a bleak and hopeless time. Scattered Israel had become the prey of spiritual wolves, and had become spiritually a “valley of dry bones.” But Ezekiel promised that the day would come when the Lord would “set up one shepherd over [Israel], and he shall feed them, even my servant David.”
The prophet Jeremiah provides us with a remarkable study in steadfastness in the Lord. From his premortal performance to his mortal ministry we are given an often painful portrait of what a prophet goes through to serve God in correcting his own people.
Isaiah was a prophet for many ages. He was first and foremost, however, a prophet for his own times. The first 39 chapters of his writings were primarily directed to the House of Israel in his own day as well as the surrounding nations. There are, however, scattered throughout these chapters prophesies regarding the future. Nephi urged his readers to apply these teachings to any time period in which Isaiah’s writings are read.
The book of Isaiah has been called a “fifth gospel” because it testifies in detail of the Christ who should come with power to save. Isaiah prophesied with remarkable precision how and why the Savior would bring about the Atonement; thus, the purpose of this lesson is to help us understand the meaning of His Atonement in our lives.