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.