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Home Book of Mormon Isaiah's prophecy of the sealed book.

Isaiah's prophecy of the sealed book.

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Isaiah 29:11
11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which [men] deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it [is] sealed:

Isaiah 29:12
12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

Isaiah 29:13
13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Isaiah 29:14
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.

Joseph Smith History 1:61
61 The excitement, however, still continued, and rumor with her thousand tongues was all the time employed in circulating falsehoods about my father's family, and about myself. If I were to relate a thousandth part of them, it would fill up volumes. The persecution, however, became so intolerable that I was under the necessity of leaving Manchester, and going with my wife to Susquehanna county, in the State of Pennsylvania. While preparing to start--being very poor, and the persecution so heavy upon us that there was no probability that we would ever be otherwise--in the midst of our afflictions we found a friend in a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris, who came to us and gave me fifty dollars to assist us on our journey. Mr. Harris was a resident of Palmyra township, Wayne county, in the State of New York, and a farmer of respectability.

Joseph Smith History 1:62
62 By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in Pennsylvania; and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my wife's father, in the month of December, and the February following.

Joseph Smith History 1:63
63 Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:

Joseph Smith History 1:64
64 "I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaid, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.

Joseph Smith History 1:65
65 "He then said to me, `Let me see that certificate.' I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, `I cannot read a sealed book.' I left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation."

It should be noted that the WORDS OF THE BOOK, not the book, were to be delivered to the learned. But the book was to be delivered to another who was not learned, and by him God promised to bring forth a marvelous work and a wonder in which the wisdom of the wise would perish and the understanding of the prudent would be hid. Nephi explained.

2 Nephi 27:6
6 And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered.

Within the sealed book would be

2 Nephi 27:7
7 a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof..

But these sacred disclosures would not be given to man in the days of wickedness, and for this reason part of the record would be sealed. As the work began in bringing forth that portion of the ancient record that God designed to give unto man before the day of millennial righteousness, Nephi observed.

2 Nephi 27:15
15 But behold, it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall say unto him to whom he shall deliver the book: Take these words which are not sealed and deliver them to another, that he may show them unto the learned, saying: Read this, I pray thee. And the learned shall say: Bring hither the book, and I will read them.

2 Nephi 27:16
16 And now, because of the glory of the world and to get gain will they say this, and not for the glory of God.

2 Nephi 27:17
17 And the man shall say: I cannot bring the book, for it is sealed.

2 Nephi 27:18
18 Then shall the learned say: I cannot read it.

2 Nephi 27:19
19 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned.

2 Nephi 27:20
20 Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.

There is some evidence that Martin Harris did not know of the scriptural implications of his visit to the east until after he had returned, when the prophet called his attention to the statement in Isaiah 29. See Metcalf, Ten Years before the Mast.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 10:47  

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