I have no idea how many times I have read the Book of Mormon and the Book of Isaiah, but to my delight I recently discovered, what I like to call, hidden gems. Without looking for it, Heavenly Father revealed a wonderful new hidden gem to me. This gem has been there for thousands of years, and available for all who will search for it, and I just found it. Today, I thought I might share it with you and hopefully encourage you on your own journey of discovering the hoard of hidden gems contained within the Holy Scriptures .
I love reading the scriptures, and Isaiah is a personal favorite. However, over the past few days I have attempted to read 2 Nephi 21 , ( Isaiah 11 ) several times, but each time I did so, I found myself very tired, with my mind wandering and not focused on the text. I wanted to read through it and move on, but somehow I never could. Then a few days ago I had an incredible experience when my eyes were opened to verses 1-5, with verses 2, 3, and 5 grabbing my attention like never before.
In my mind, these verses beautifully illustrate the magnificence of the Savior. He is described as no other I know of, with qualities I knew He had, but now saw in my mind in ways I had never seen before, with each attribute brilliantly apparent.
To simply quote each verse does not begin to express what I saw in my mind. It was like a painting of sublime beauty, continually bursting new scenes into view as I focused on a key word or phrase—each showing a divine attribute or glimpse of the Savior’s life. In each scene I vividly saw in my mind how the Savior used His gifts as He went about serving, loving, and teaching. I hope as I go through each verse you might see or feel some of what I now see and understand:
Verse One: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots .”
I saw how the rod represented the word and power of God, which came forth from the Savior, as a direct descendant of Jesse.
Verse Two: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; ”
I saw how the Spirit of Heavenly Father was with Jesus to a degree that His will was the express will of His Father in Heaven. I saw how His boundless love for His Heavenly Father consumed His every desire. He did not allow anything contrary to His Father’s will to be a part of His life.
I was amazed as I saw His infinite depth of wisdom and understanding with all that He said and did. I saw that whenever He learned of a person, event, or situation, His understanding was always complete. His comments, questions, and teachings typically stretched the listener’s soul in unimaginable ways. When He spoke, He did so with such profound wisdom that even His enemies were without retort. Every moment was a teaching experience for those around Him. However, He never flaunted His knowledge or wisdom, because boasting was never a part of His character.
I saw how His spirit of counsel blessed all who wanted to learn from Him. No problem was beyond His ability to solve. He spoke in a way that all who earnestly sought His counsel were able to understand and benefit if they followed it.
His might was beyond anything this world has ever seen—He commanded the very elements and they obeyed. By the power of His might, He healed the sick, raised the dead, and calmed the sea. By the power of His might He walked on water, changed water into wine, fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, and wiped away tears. All power was within His grasp, yet He never used His power for personal gain, but only to serve and bless others.
The greatest thing He did was also by the power of His might. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world took upon Himself ALL of our infirmities, pains, sorrows, and sins, because of His infinite love for us, so He could help us. He did not stop there, because He chose to die for each of us by willingly paying the penalty for each and every one of our sins, if only we choose to follow and obey Him. He did not do this for one, or for a few, but for ALL of us who accept and follow Him! And then by the power of His might, He broke the bands of death when He rose again. And by the power of His might, He Lives Today and invites each of us to live with Him too!
He recognized that by “the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” how all of His gifts, powers, knowledge, wisdom, and might originated from His Father in Heaven. He always deferred to His Heavenly Father by giving Him the honor and glory.
Verse Three: “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears .”
I saw how the Lord reiterates how He was quick to understand that all of His gifts were from His Heavenly Father, including His judgment. I also saw how His judgment will never be after the manner of men, and that His vision is always clear. Whenever the Savior judges any situation, He judges as it really is and not as it might appear to be. No matter how clever someone might be, Jesus immediately sees through all lies, deception, and hypocrisies; Jesus only sees truth and can never be deceived.
Verse Four: “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked .”
I saw how through Jesus’ perfect judgment He will right every wrong, make just every injustice, and wipe away all tears. Faithful, humble, and true disciples are assured salvation and exaltation, because of His righteousness. Jesus by the power of His word saves all who will be saved, and will end all evil. Those who choose to fight against Him will be powerless as soon as He speaks the word from His lips. Jesus holds the keys of death and hell, and none shall escape His wrath.
Verse Five: “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins .”
Finally, I saw how the goodness, purity, and righteousness of the Savior radiates outward from the deepest parts of His character. I saw how Jesus is always faithful and true—He never varies from who He is. He is always true to our Father in Heaven, to Himself, and to each one of us.
Despite having read these verses many times over the years, these once hidden gems of understanding are now personal treasures. The more I read and ponder over these gems, the deeper I can see into each one. These new gems are not to be hidden away, because now I can draw comfort, faith, and strength from them. The most important treasure I found within these verses is the increased understanding of several gifts of the Spirit that the Savior utilized during His mortal ministry. With this increased understanding, I am once again in awe of the magnificence of the Almighty Son of God. This reading has also been a good reminder of how my own gifts and talents are all gifts from our Heavenly Father—I must never take credit for any of them. Like Jesus, I must use my gifts and talents to bless and serve our Heavenly Father’s children. If my life has any meaning at all, then I want it to be used to help others come unto Christ and feast at His table.
At His table are many hidden gems, even hoards of eternal truth. These truths, found one-by-one, will light our way as we learn of Christ and walk in His path. My joy is feeling the Savior’s love as I share His message of love, hope, and eternal life.
( I claim full responsibility for any commentary in this article, and make no claims for establishing doctrine for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. )
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Painting: Worlds Without End, used with permission. Copyright © Greg Olsen
Painting: Abide With Me, used with permission. Copyright Greg Olsen © 2003
Painting: Peace On Earth, used with permission. Copyright Greg Olsen © 2007
Painting: The Lost Sheep (Modern), used with permission. Copyright © Liz Lemon Swindle
Painting: Forever and Ever, used with permission. Copyright Greg Olsen © 1997