Are We There Yet?
The road to Isaiah National Forest begins on I-775 and enters the forest on I-740. The "I" is for Isaiah, and 775 is because Isaiah was born in about 775 B.C., and 740 is because he began his ministry in about 740 B.C.
As you can see, there are four "guides" or personalities who quote Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. They are:
- Nephi (1 Nephi 20–21; 2 Nephi 12–24; 2 Nephi 27)
- Jacob (2 Nephi 7–8)
- Abinadi (Mosiah 14)
- Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 22, and in much of 3 Nephi 20).
I call them "guides" because not only do they quote Isaiah, but thankfully, they comment on what they've quoted. As we travel through Isaiah National Forest, we'll get off at these exits and see what they have to say.
I Think That I Shall Never See, a Poem as Lovely as a . . .
In this little book, we're not going to look extensively at individual chapters, or "trees" of Isaiah; there isn't time or space. There are many commentaries that do just that. They look at each tree, leaf by leaf. They get very excited about Hebraic poetic constructions, antithetic parallelisms, emblematic parallelisms, chaistic patterns, and other things I can't even pronounce. These commentators are experts on Isaiah National Forest because they've lived in there and studied the forest for years. I love them, and respect them, and have included their books in the bibliography.
But this author is not a forest ranger. I'm just a boy scout who loves visiting this forest and who wants to share what I've noticed with others. So we're going to step back and view the forest, or "look at the situation as a whole."
On our whirlwind tour of Isaiah National Forest, you're going to see four types of trees, and they all start with the letter "C." Or, put to the tune of the song, "Popcorn Popping," "You'll look out the window and what will you see? Four types of trees that all begin with 'C.'" These are the trees:
I suggest that any tree you see in Isaiah National Forest will be one of these, or more often a hybrid of these:
- Current Events (current to Isaiah's day)
- Coming Events
Just knowing about the existence of these four trees could forever change the way you approach Isaiah National Forest because anytime you encounter an Isaiah chapter, you'll be able to say with confidence, "Well, I know it's either going to be about Covenants, Christ, Current Events, or Coming Events." Armed with that awareness of the individual trees, you're less likely to be intimidated by the forest.