99 - Four Stages of the Nephite Prophetic View
Understanding Isaiah's writings in the Book of Mormon is difficult for many students of the scriptures. But becoming familiar with the way the Nephite prophets viewed the future can help reveal the profound insights of Isaiah. Nephi's writings in 1 Nephi 11–14 establish four basic elements that represent to some extent Nephite prophecy in general. These four elements, or stages of history, concern the coming of Jesus Christ, his rejection and the scattering of the Jews, the day of the Gentiles, and the restoration of Israel and ultimate victory of good over evil. When Nephi or Jacob quotes a section from Isaiah, it is because Isaiah is speaking about one of these stages. For example, as this chart shows, Nephi quotes Isaiah 48 and 49 in articulating stages 2 and 3 in 1 Nephi 20–21. Viewing the quoted Isaiah passages in this context helps readers of the Book of Mormon to understand better the meaning and importance of Isaiah's writings.