I always wonder how Joseph Smith felt as he read about the very book he was translating, and about himself.
Vs. 1 ~ “This land” means the land of the Nephites. Notice that it is the apostasy which makes the world drunken with iniquity. “These prophecies are most often interpreted literally. I do not mean to suggest it should be otherwise, but usually prophecy has both a symbolic, or figurative, meaning and a literal one.” (Wilcox, “Hope: An Anchor to the Soul,” p97-98.)
The image of apostate Church/Christianity is always portrayed as a woman with a cup in her hand. The woman is portrayed as a harlot, and the drink she has in her hand is wine. Wine in the Old Testament was symbolic of doctrine, commandments, laws, and the gospel. If the woman is drinking grape juice wine then it is healthy for her.... it nourishes her. But she isn’t drinking grape juice. She has let the grape juice go bad. What happens when you let grape juice go bad? It turns into an alcoholic drink. She has let the grape juice turn bad and now she grows drunken in iniquity. The apostate church now gives it’s people wine which has gone bad... it gives them many lies, untruths, falsehoods. And if I drink in these teachings which are not true, then I become so drunk that I cannot walk a straight path. What is one of the first things a police officer checks to see if he believes someone is driving under the influence of alcohol? He has them get out of the car to see if they can walk a straight line. It is the same principle here. Lucifer lets some of the gospel truths remain... be distorts just enough to bring about apostasy. So, if some of the teachings are not true, then the Lord has to put back the TRUE doctrines.
Vs. 2-3 ~ Nephi is starting to quote Isaiah now. We read that Lucifer does not want the restoration to come, and he isn’t going to let it come without a fight. But all the nations trying to distress and fight against Zion are being fooled if they really think they can keep the restoration from coming forth.
Vs. 4-5 ~ What are the “eyes” of the Church? Paul compared parts of the body to the Church, and the eyes were the seers... (the “see-ers”... those who see far beyond what we see... the prophets and seers. ) How have they closed the eyes of the prophets? They have rejected and killed them.
Vs. 6 ~ “Since you won’t listen to the prophets anymore, the prophets are going to speak again to you through a book, and the restoration of the gospel will hinge on that book.”
Vs. 7 ~ What is in the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon? A vision of the of the beginning to the end of the world. The brother of Jared saw this vision. Nephi saw it. John the Revelator saw it. As a matter of fact, John said, “If you want to know what’s in the sealed portion, read the book of Revelation!” But what do we say? “But we want the plainer version!”
After having been translated, the book must be sealed up again. Isn’t it interesting how chapter 27 seems to give us all of the details concerning most of the Book of Mormon and the restoration?
In the end of verse 23 is a very powerful phrase : according to their faith. The Lord offers so much to us- everything to us. BUT- our receipt of these things- of salvation- and all the assistance to obtain that salvation, is up to us. IT IS OUR CHOICE. It is our choices. Do we choose to have faith? If so, we will be rewarded and allotted thusly.
Vs. 24-25 ~ It’s interesting that the Savior, in the Sacred Grove, said this very thing. Any time we hear the Lord repeating Isaiah or any of the other prophets, it’s an immediate signal to sit up and take notice!
Vs. 26 ~ Of course, the marvelous work and a wonder is the entire restoration and the Book of Mormon.
Vs. 27-30 ~ The whole restoration and the Book of Mormon is going to allow the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the joy of the meek to increase.
Vs. 31-35 ~ These last verses are just reiterating the fact that NOTHING will stop it from happening. Regarding v31-32, what does “who watches for iniquity? and “offender for a word “ mean? It is talking of those who are always looking for ways to discredit the Church and its doctrine ... those who listen carefully to the Brethren’s conference addresses, trying to find flaws, or just a word or phrase to twist around, distort, and condemn... They may even go through the lives of the Brethren searching for any tiny little flaw they can find. They go through the Book of Mormon, scrutinizing it and trying to find any word that will discredit it. They search for a flaw in Joseph Smith’s character and because the Prophet Joseph wasn’t perfect (as Jesus Christ was) they are willing to throw out the whole Book of Mormon.
Nobody can live up under the standard of the offender for a word, no matter who they are.
What did you think/learn today?