Voices of Faith offers perspectives from religion columnists. This week’s question: Why is Isaiah your favorite prophet?
Cause and effect
The Rev. Duke Tufty, Unity Temple on the Plaza: I have chosen Isaiah as my favorite prophet because that is my stepson and 2-year-old grandson’s name. The second reason is that the prophet taught the most fundamental rule of the universe, the law of cause and effect.
Isaiah could tell the future. That doesn’t mean he was a psychic or magical; it does mean he was very wise. If a person or country was on a particular course of thought and action, Isaiah knew where they would end up.
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In one of his writings, Isaiah told of what he saw in the future: “The earth is laid waste. People will violate the laws of nature. The earth will be polluted, people will suffer and great cities will be in ruin.”
Another prediction: “The streams will burst forth from the desert, sorrow and suffering will flee. Parched land will burst forth with flowers and it will be a time of great joy.”
Isaiah was professing about two different outcomes that could happen based on the choices people made in the present. In every situation or circumstance, many possibilities exist for how we can act, react and treat other people.
Each of us is a prophet in our own right. To a certain degree we can determine what will happen tomorrow based on the choices we make today.
Elder Donald D. Deshler, Of the Seventy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Throughout time, God has called prophets to act as his messenger and make known his will to the people. Additionally, prophets are called to preach righteousness and to testify of Jesus Christ. For that reason, every prophet in every dispensation of time has been essential and the one to follow.
Often referred to as the great “Messianic prophet,” Isaiah wrote many things that clearly foreshadowed the birth, mission, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each of his prophesies regarding Jesus in the meridian of time has been fulfilled. Isaiah is the most quoted prophet by Paul, Peter and John (in his Revelation) in the New Testament. Jesus himself quoted or referenced Isaiah eight times.
“Great are the words of Isaiah ... all things that he (wrote) have been and shall be (fulfilled).” (3 Nephi 23: 1-3)
Isaiah taught many powerful truths that are relevant to guide our day-to-day actions toward others and the deity. Among them are how we exercise faith in God, how we should beware of and avoid worldliness, how we should fast for and give to the needy, how we should honor our covenants with God, and how important it is to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Of equal importance, Isaiah prophesied about the apostasy that would occur following the death of Jesus and his apostles; however, he also prophesied that his gospel would be restored in these, the latter days (Isaiah 32:9-29).
I witness that the restoration prophesied by Isaiah is, indeed, taking place currently and that God’s prophet on the earth today is President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.