The Atonement

Excerpt from Isaiah, A Prophet's Prophet

The Atonement of Christ brings everyone back into the presence of God for “judgment unto truth” (see 2 Nephi 2:10; Revelation 20:11–15). Because of the Atonement, Christ was not immune to blows and suffering. Because He “suffered all,” He knows how to run to our aid in our moments of weakness and doubt (see Alma 7:11–12).


He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Verse 4 gives a broader meaning to the passage by declaring that the work of the servant will not “fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth,” meaning that the mission of the servant is not ended until the judgment has ended in victory. The verse concludes with the declaration that “the isles shall wait for his law.” The Anchor Bible (20:36) uses the word “instruction” in place of “law” and adds this informative note: “Here the meaning seems to be wider, almost equivalent to revelation.” Again, the “isles” have reference to the restoration of Israel in the Americas, where she will become the servant to fulfill the work which was commenced by the Savior in the meridian of time. (Nyman, Great Are the Words of Isaiah, 156).


Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Isaiah’s frame of reference shifts from the Father’s relationship with His Son to the Savior’s relationship with covenant Israel, particularly with those who would respond to the gospel invitation and be qualified to sing the song of the exalted (both living and dead). (Compare Isaiah 49:7–12; 1 Nephi 21:7–12; Revelation 14:1–3; Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:269–70; 1 Peter 3:18–21; 4:6; John 5:28.) (Old Testament Student Manual, 183)


I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Keep (Heb. nâtsar )—to guard, watch, watch over.

The verbs in this verse are “have called,” “will hold,” “will keep,” and “give.” God has called each of us to be His servants (see D&C 4:3). With each call, we are invited “in righteousness” or “for a righteous purpose.” God accompanies us in our call from Him (see D&C 84:88). God is there to “guard us” against evil and to “watch” for opportunities to help us as He “watches over” us. We are asked to be “the light of the world” (see Matthew 5:14–16) and a symbol of the covenant of the people. “Every covenant person becomes a light to the world by holding up the light of the Savior through faithfully living his commandments (see 3 Nephi 18:24; see also Acts 26:17–18)” (Old Testament Student Manual, 183).


To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.