2 Nephi 19 reminds us that there will be times when we feel surrounded by darkness, confusion, and evil–either personally or as a nation. In these times of despair and doubt, heroes remember that there is a light shining on us and do all they can to seek and see a great light (see 2 Nephi 19:2). Heroes search the word of the Lord given to us through his prophets and the holy scriptures to lighten our minds and give us direction (see 2 Nephi 19:8). Most importantly, heroes know that our loving Father in Heaven sent his Only Begotten Son to earth to individually bring us everlasting light and peace through the power of the atonement and the resurrection. “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).
Isaiah believed. Isaiah knew that Jesus Christ was the great leader and unseen hero of the Lord’s army who had and would continue to defeat the enemies of the house of Israel as long as they walked in his light (see Isaiah 2:5). Isaiah’s prophecy of Christ’s birth noted the many ways Jesus leads us to greater light and peace. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of government and peace there is no end” (2 Nephi 19:6).
Jesus Christ is the great light and hero who enables individuals and nations walking in darkness to increase in joy by enlightening their minds with truth, helping carry their burdens, and defeating their enemies. His life was a shining example of governing himself according to the laws and will of God. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Isaiah prophesied that the government would “be upon his shoulders.” As we ask for his help to keep God’s laws, bear our burdens, and withstand our temptations, we will receive his grace and guidance to govern ourselves, our families, and our countries in righteousness and truth. This will result in greater freedom and peace as individuals and as nations.
Isaiah warned us that our leaders, including personal mentors, religious leaders, and/or government leaders, may cause us to err and our nations to flounder when they are evildoers and hypocrites (see 2 Nephi 19:16-17). Isaiah named the leadership roles of Jesus Christ noting that joy and peace are the promised blessings to all who acknowledge and accept him as “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland elaborated on the ways our Savior leads and guides us out of darkness into his light and love.
“As ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ he will be our mediator, our intercessor, defending our cause in the courts of heaven. ‘The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people,’ Isaiah (and Nephi) reminded earlier (2 Nephi 13:13).” He is our advocate with the Father and will plead that those who believe on his name receive everlasting life (see D&C 45:3–5). Elder Holland noted that Christ is not only our advocate, but our judge “(see Mosiah 3:10; Moroni 10:34; Moses 6:57). It is in that role of judge that we may find even greater meaning in Abinadi’s repeated expression that ‘God himself’ will come down to redeem his people (Mosiah 13:28; see also Mosiah 13:34; 15:1; Alma 42:15). It is as if the judge in that great courtroom in heaven, unwilling to ask anyone but himself to bear the burdens of the guilty people standing in the dock, takes off his judicial robes and comes down to earth to bear their stripes personally. Christ as merciful judge is as beautiful and wonderful a concept as that of Christ as counselor, mediator, and advocate.”
The “‘Mighty God’ conveys something of the power of God, his strength, omnipotence, and unconquerable influence. Isaiah sees him as always able to overcome the effects of sin and transgression in his people and to triumph forever over the would-be oppressors of the children of Israel.” When we follow Isaiah’s counsel and accept the Lord’s invitations to ally ourselves with him for counsel and aid we are blessed with the unconquerable power, strength, and influence of “The Mighty God.” Like Elisha and Elijah, we will see a great light and fear not “for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:11-23).
“‘Everlasting Father’ underscores the fundamental doctrine that Christ is a Father—Creator of worlds without number, the Father of restored physical life through the Resurrection, the Father of eternal life for his spiritually begotten sons and daughters, and the One acting for the Father (Elohim) through divine investiture of authority. All should seek to be born of him and become his sons and his daughters [see Mosiah 5:7].” Much like an earthly father teaches his children right from wrong and helps them grow up unto God, Jesus came to earth to walk with men, teach them, and lead them to their Heavenly Father. When he was with his disciples they were surrounded by his light and his love. He promised if they would continue to believe in him they would become his sons and daughters filled with light and the promise of eternal life. “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light” (John 12:35-36, see also 3 Nephi 9:14-18; Ether 3:14-16).
Isaiah prophesied that Christ will come to earth a second time to defeat “the rulers of darkness” (Ephesians 6:12), establish peace among all the nations, and reign in Zion. “And behold, according to the words of the prophet, the Messiah will set himself again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself unto them in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies, when that day cometh when they shall believe in him; and none will he destroy that believe in him” (2 Nephi 6:14, see also Isaiah 11:11). Elder Holland concluded: “with the phrase ‘Prince of Peace,’ we rejoice that when the King shall come, there will be no more war in the human heart or among the nations of the world….Christ will bring peace to those who accept him in mortality in whatever era they live, and he will bring peace to all those in his millennial and postmillennial realms of glory.”
We can receive peace in our hearts now by believing in Christ and accepting him as our Lord of Lords, and King of Kings (see Revelation 17:14). We can be warriors of peace by reflecting his light, his life, and his love in our words and actions. “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Nephi 18:24). As others see the light of Christ in us they will be inspired to receive greater light, joy, and peace in their own lives by “seek[ing] the Lord of Hosts.”
*How can we more fully seek the light of Christ in our lives?
*How can we be a light to those around us?
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