Part One – The Words of Isaiah to those at the “last day”
The LDS people (Mormons), have been taught the “words of Isaiah are of great importance to those of the last day.” In the Book of Mormon it is clearly stated “he who esteems Isaiah's words as words of naught, to him I speak particularly, for his words (Isaiah) will condemn you at the last day.”
2nd Nephi 25 (Book of Mormon)
7 But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.
8 Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposes that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them.
28 And now behold, my people, ye are a stiff-necked people; wherefore, I have spoken plainly unto you, that ye cannot misunderstand. And the words which I have spoken shall stand as a testimony against you; for they are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.
And again, deeper into the Book of Mormon we read:
3nd Nephi 23 (Book of Mormon)
1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
2 For surely he spoke as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles.
3 And all things that he spoke have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spoke.
So what is the urgency of Isaiah's words? Why are they targeting “those of the last days?”
If you ask 99.9% of the LDS membership, church leadership included -- what is the great "message of Isaiah” they will acknowledge that they do not know. Isaiah’s words are “like Greek” to them—is a familiar saying.
Perhaps Isaiah’s word are not “plain and precious” (as the prophet Nephi wrote) to them because it is about them. It is a scathing message to them – meaning, those who claim to be “the Lords people;” those who “call themselves of the “seed of Ephraim.”
First, a little about this famous olden prophet of the Old Testament:
Isaiah is perhaps the most quoted of the “prophets of Israel," even by Jesus himself in the New Testament. Isaiah lived and taught in the 8th century BC, during the days of Hezekiah, King of Judah (the Jewish Kingdom). Judah was one of the sons of Jacob (Israel) -- hence, Judah was one of the “twelve sons/tribes of Israel." His grandfather was Isaac, and great grandfather was Abraham--through Sarah.
For 4000 years, the most bitter enemies of the Jews/Israel has been their cousins -- those descendants of Abraham's concubines, Hagar and Keturah. It started as a simple case of "who were the "chosen" and who had the legal "birthright" to Abraham's land and wealth? Was it the concubine's children (truly the firstborn) or Sarah's one and only child--Isaac, born in Abraham's later years? We can see great division in today's world over the self-same family feuds.
The people of Judah were quite in power over the “land of Israel” in those days of Isaiah. As happened often in Israel’s history, they would revert back to the heathen ways of materialism and idol worship and would forget their directive from “father Abraham” to be the torch-bearers of the One God.
Hence, the whole Old Testament, and the Torah, is an accounting of “the law” (from Moses) and “the prophets” (the many “prophets of Israel”— Isaiah being one of the most noted) that were sent to Israel/Judah calling them to repentance.
Mormonism maintains they are not of the “house of Judah” but are of the “house of Israel" by either literal descent, or through adoption into -- the "house of Joseph” through the loins of Ephraim, Joseph’s son. Joseph was the brother of Judah, the "coat of many colors" guy that was sold by his envious brothers as a slave to some traveling gypsies who in turn sold him to Egypt where he ultimately rose to rule over all Pharaoh's lands. This was about 3900 B.C.
According to Mormonism, around 600 BC, just before Jerusalem was destroyed, one such Ephraimite, Lehi, was warned to flee the land of Israel with his immediate family, and was led to the Americas where they set up a “new Zion” often referred to "the new Jerusalem" in the “land of promise” of which Isaiah prophesied. They brought with them the “brass plates” which were chiefly – the writings of Isaiah.
Lehi, and his son Nephi, led the exodus and started a detailed writing which ultimately became known in today’s world as the “Book of Mormon” from which “today’s Ephraimites” are nicknamed -- Mormons. To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church) the words "Mormon" and "Ephraimites" are synonymous.
About 400 A.D. one of the later authors of the Book of Mormon, Moroni, had this to say about his accumulation of history, which included so much of the words of the olden Isaiah:
Mormon 8: 12 And whoso receives this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.
The Book of Mormon discloses that, like the Israelites of the Old World, the Ephraimites of the New World often reverted back to materialism, pride and arrogance. There are many recorded episodes of the righteousness of one generation which completely metamorphosed into a full of pride corrupt people the next.
On a side note, there are several cities in Utah today that were named after these Book of Mormon prophets – Lehi, Nephi and even Moroni – a 4th century A.D. new world prophet. Moroni’s father was Mormon—from which the book derived its name.
The Book of Mormon has much to say regarding the importance of Isaiah’s words, and Isaiah had much to say regarding those who would be gathered at the last days at the “tops of the mountains” (one could say—Salt Lake City?) and who would be called by the name of Ephraim.
In truth, there is no people on earth today who call themselves “of Ephraim” but the Mormons. The only other of the 12 tribes of Israel that has identification today, is the house of Judah—the Jewish nation—which not until the 20th century B.C. were able to reclaim back their land—Israel.
Why is this Examination so focused on this Ephraim? Because Isaiah has much to say about those who call themselves Ephraim at the last days, and the LDS Church claims they are the "seed of Ephraim." Where Christianity asserts there are eleven “lost tribes of Israel.” Mormonism asserts there are only “ten lost tribes of Israel” because the "house of Joseph" ended up in the Americas.
In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel it is written about two records that would, in the latter days, merge hand-in-hand as one testament of God -- the "stick of Judah" (scrolls of Judah, the Bible) and the "stick of Ephraim" which Mormons claim is the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism and translator of the Book of Mormon, taught that the “lost ten tribes of Israel” are “in the north country” and that they would “come forth in the last days” just before, or in conjunction with, the second coming of Jesus. They would come to Ephraim--the house of Joseph--just as the 11 sons of Jacob came crawling to Joseph of Egypt 4,000 years ago, seeking refuge.
As the reader will note, this Examination of the Words of Isaiah is not particularly favorable to present day Ephriamites—which may answer why Mormons of today do not accept or understand Isaiah’s words. Perhaps it is because his words are “to them” and in fact "condemns them." It is stipulated throughout scripture that “where much is given, much is expected.”
Therefore, did the “house of Ephraim” pollute their inheritance in light of today’s materialism, and “pride of their hearts” claiming they are the “only true and living church of God?” Many scoffers contend the LDS Church’s elaborate, massive and impressive City Creek shopping mall opposite Temple Square, for example, paints them with a broad brush of materialism and pride. One need only attend a "Fast and Testimony Meeting" to learn that they are "the only truth Church" and are "the chosen."
Any people of today’s world must wonder just who Isaiah’s finger is pointing at, for his words are quite scathing. The Mormon influence, in today’s economy and on the political stage, is quite impacting, good or bad, but is Isaiah's finger pointing at them?
In conclusion of Part One of this series on the words of Isaiah -- is the below words of Isaiah a reference to Old Jerusalem—the Jews? Or the new world’s Jerusalem – Mormonism’s Salt Lake City; or both? Just who are “the daughters of Zion?” As we will Examine in Part Two, Isaiah's words were chiefly regarding the "house of Ephraim."
16 Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.
24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.