The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that in the Last Days the Lord would set up an “Ensign to the Nations.” I’ve always wondered what this Ensign would be. I think the prophet Nephi knew what it was and he told us using plainness.
“And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:” (Isa 5:26)
“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isa 11:12)
The Prophet Nephi was very interested in Isaiah’s words. I say “words” because understanding the Ensign requires an understanding of Nephi’s fascination with “words”.
This series of video’s helped me catch the fixation on Nephi’s “words”.
So Nephi is fascinated with words… “And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him. And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words. (2 Nephi 11:2–3)
Nephi knows what the Ensign to the Nations will be, it will be His words!
Nephi was a descendant of Joseph of Egypt… “For it sufficeth me to say that we are descendants of Joseph”(1 Nephi 6:2), and we learn that Joseph was promised that his seed would have their words preserved. This was done through Joseph Smith… a descendant of Joseph as well.
18 And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it. 19 And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith. 20 And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words. 21 Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers. (2 Nephi 3:18–21)
1 But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.13 And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come.14 And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day. (2 Nephi 33:10–14)
Hey! This is so weird because yesterday we talked about this same thing (watered down) in our Sunday School class. Jon and I went to Gospel Principles and the lesson was “The gathering of Israel.” It finally clicked that the stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah don’t necessarily represent the people but the BOM and bible, and their joining together-including such things as Nephi’s interpretation of the book of Isaiah. So even the gathering of Israel has to do with his words, not just his people….