Tough Questions Answered

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Run And Not Grow Weary?

 Post Author: Darrell 

Isaiah chapter 40 is among my favorite chapters in The Bible.  A large portion of the chapter is devoted to contrasting the Lord’s greatness with the meekness of man. Verses 6 and 7 say, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them.”  Verses 22 and 23 liken men to grasshoppers while verses 25 and 26 say of the Lord:  

To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? . . .  Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength,  not one of them is missing. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

We truly have an incredible God!  He knows and names each and every one of the billions of stars, yet He was willing to condescend Himself in order to lift us up!  The promise at the end of chapter 40 in verses 29 – 31 speaks to the great love the Lord has for us:

He [the Lord] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint [emphasis mine].

If we place our hope in Him alone, He will renew us, strengthen us, and lift us up!  There is nothing we can do to receive this promise; rather, it is something that He does in response to our trusting in Him.  What a wonderful promise!

One of the Mormon Church’s four canonized scriptures, The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), carries this exact promise in Section 89, also known as the Word of Wisdom.  Among other things, the Word of Wisdom commands Mormons not to partake of coffee, tea, or alcohol.  This commandment is considered so important that obedience to it is a requirement for entering the Temple to receive one’s endowment, an ordinance required for admitance to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom (Mormon Heaven). 

One of the surprising differences between the promise in Isaiah and the promise in D&C 89 is what one must do to receive it.  While The Bible says that all one must do is hope in the Lord, Section 89 says that complete obedience to the Word of Wisdom is required.  Verses 18 – 20 say:   

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings [the commandments in the Word of Wisdom], walking in obedience to the commandments . . . shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint [emphasis mine].

Why the difference in requirements?  Did the Lord change His mind and decide that He would require more in order to receive this blessing?  Fortunately, we know the answer to that question is an emphatic “No” as The Lord never changes His mind.  Unfortunately, this is just one more example of how Joseph Smith plagiarized The Bible.  There are numerous places throughout Mormon scriptures where Joseph Smith took portions out of The King James Version of The Bible and made blatant changes.  Stay tuned.  I will cover more of these later.


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Comments

  • Soy Yo

    An interesting point that I had never thought about. Drawing a direct line between key phrases in the Bible and then comparing them to where they are stated in Mormon scripture would be a great study that I’m sure would expose many other twists like this one.

  • Stephanie

    Great points, Darrell.

    I have a friend who is LDS but kind of in transition right now. She has a lot of issues with the LDS church. One of them is the way the Mormon church treats the Bible. She told me that she thinks that when Mormons say that the Book of Mormon is “another testament of Jesus Christ” what they really mean is that the Bible is another testament of the Book of Mormon. While this may not be true for all LDS, I have noticed that Mormons appear to place greater emphasis on their own Scriptures over the Bible. It concerns me very much to think that LDS would read this promise from Isaiah and interpret it through the “lens” of the Word of Wisdom. How can a promise have two such totally distinct conditions?

    Stephanie

  • mrs. smith

    How sad and misleading this post is.

    The Lord does require us to use works coupled with our faith.

    Abraham’s works in the near sacrifice of his son Isaac is an example of this. Noah building the ark is another. God didn’t build it for him, but gave him the strength and wisdom to do it, though it was possible only through the faith Noah had.

    Jesus said, “21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7: 21

    The Lord gave us commandments to obey them. They offer promises as well if we do them, such as honoring one’s parents, and you will be blessed with prolonged life. Deuteronomy 5:16

    He also said in Proverbs 3:1 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments”

    He has repeated over and over again to keep his commandments, and that blessings will come to those who do. How many times in the Bible did he withdraw his blessings because his people did forsake him?

    He also speaks that “faith without works is dead”.

    It is interesting to read in articles such as these that THOSE scriptures are never talked about.

    The Book Of Mormon talks a lot about faith and hope in God, the whole scripture is about that.

    And yes, Stephenie, we read and love the Book of Mormon equally as we red and love the Bible. Each year we rotate the themes in Sunday school and seminary. One year it is The Old Testament, the next year it is The New Testament, the next year is The Book of Mormon and the year after that is The Doctrine and Covenants, though we read and study each book every year.

    One reason we put a lot of emphasis on the Book of Mormon, is because most converts and members are already familiar with the Bible and so we teach the Book of Mormon as well to help them learn. We also truly believe it is a restored book and love it’s messages.

    Also, Stephenie, about the Word of Wisdom, we believe that keeping our bodies healthy is a blessing and a responsibility. It has been medically proven that healthy bodies live longer and are less like to be weary. We are in no ways replacing what Isaiah said in this meaning.

    And yes, Isaiah 40 is a beautiful chapter, full of hope and strength. Remember the context however, He is talking to his people who are preparing the way for Him. He is offering his followers comfort and strength. Such a promise is great for their hope and preparations for Him. This promise of hope is not made to the dissentors, nor the tormentors of his followers.

    God requires works. I Peter 1:15-16 charges us, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'”

    The Bible has to be read in entirety to understand these passages, not just little segments that people like you like to select on a whim. Only through understanding all the passages and God’s view on hope and faith and preservering and enduring to the end, we will see how his promises come to pass to those who remain worthy, faithful and hopeful of them.

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