Isaiah wrote for “the end-time”; that is, the end of the world. His prophecy describes an end-time scenario that heralds the coming of the Lord: “Go now, write on tablets concerning them; record it in a book for the end-time” (Isaiah 30:8).
Not until the end-time will people understand the prophecies of Isaiah: “In the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass. Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly . . . for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them” (2 Nephi 25:7–8).
Word links in his prophecy determine that Isaiah is speaking about his own “book,” which the blind and deaf will comprehend: “In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book and the eyes of the blind see out of gross darkness” (Isaiah 29:18; cf. 30:8).
Without our personally searching Isaiah’s words, we can’t fully perceive how they show that events in Isaiah’s day repeat themselves in the end-time: “I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles. And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake” (3 Nephi 23:1–3; cf. Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Jesus, Nephi, and Jacob always locate the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies in the end-time: “Then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled, which say: Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God” (3 Nephi 16:17–20; cf. Isaiah 52:8–10; 3 Nephi 20:32–35).
The baring of the Lord’s “arm” constitutes his empowering his end-time servant to prepare the way before him: “I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations. Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel” (1 Nephi 22:10–12; cf. Isaiah 52:10).
His servant’s end-time mission results in the house of Israel—the Jews, Lamanites, and Ten Tribes—believing in Jesus and gathering from dispersion to lands of inheritance: “When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance. And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance. Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers” (2 Nephi 10:7–9; cf. Isaiah 11:10–12; 43:5–7; 49:22–23).
Those who profess to be the Lord’s people today come under condemnation, precipitating the judgments of God that come upon them and upon all nations following the pattern of ancient Israel: “Alas, a nation astray, a people weighed down by sin, the offspring of wrongdoers, perverse children: they have forsaken Jehovah, they have spurned the Holy One of Israel, they have lapsed into apostasy” (Isaiah 1:4; cf. 2 Nephi 30:1; 3 Nephi 16:10; 20:28; 21:11–12).
The Lord raises up an end-time “king of Assyria,” a tyrannical figure who personifies God’s “anger” and “wrath” and who serves as his “rod,” “staff,” and “hand” of punishment: “Hail the Assyrian, the rod of my anger! He is a staff—my wrath in their hand. I will commission him against a godless nation, appoint him over the people [deserving] of my vengeance, to pillage for plunder, to spoliate for spoil, to tread underfoot like mud in the streets. Nevertheless, it shall not seem so to him; this shall not be what he has in mind. His purpose shall be to annihilate and to exterminate nations not a few” (Isaiah 10:5–7; cf. 2 Nephi 10:5–7).
The Lord uses the king of Assyria and his military alliance from the North to destroy the wicked in God’s Day of Judgment: “Hark! A tumult on the mountains, as of a vast multitude. Hark! An uproar among kingdoms, as of nations assembling: Jehovah of Hosts is marshaling an army for war. They come from a distant land beyond the horizon—Jehovah and the instruments of his wrath—to cause destruction throughout the earth. Lament, for the Day of Jehovah is near; it shall come as a violent blow from the Almighty. Then shall every hand grow weak and the hearts of all men melt. They shall be terrified, in throes of agony, seized with trembling like a woman in labor. Men will look at one another aghast, their faces set aflame. The Day of Jehovah shall come as a cruel outburst of anger and wrath to make the earth a desolation, that sinners may be annihilated from it” (Isaiah 13:4–9; cf. 2 Nephi 23:4–9).
The Lord empowers his “arm”—his end-time servant—to lead a new exodus of God’s people out of bondage and out of a worldwide destruction to Zion in the pattern of Israel’s exodus out of Egypt: “Awake, arise; clothe yourself with power, O arm of Jehovah! Bestir yourself, as in ancient times, as in generations of old. Was it not you who carved up Rahab, you who slew the dragon? Was it not you who dried up the Sea, the waters of the mighty deep, and made of ocean depths a way by which the redeemed might pass? Let the ransomed of Jehovah return! Let them come singing to Zion, their heads crowned with everlasting joy; let them obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing flee away” (Isaiah 51:9–11; cf. 2 Nephi 8:9–11).
At the Lord’s empowering his (right) “hand” and “ensign”—his end-time servant—the spiritual kings and queens of the Gentiles restore from exile those whom the Lord acknowledges as his “sons” and “daughters”: “Thus says my Lord Jehovah: I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, raise my ensign to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosoms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, queens your nursing mothers” (Isaiah 49:22–23; cf. 1 Nephi 21:15; 2 Nephi 10:9).
God’s elect of the house of Israel gather to Zion in a new exodus out of the world to prepare for the coming of the Lord: “Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, Give up! to the south, Withhold not! Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth—all who are called by my name, whom I have formed, molded and wrought for my own glory” (Isaiah 43:5–7; cf. Isaiah 11:10–12; Matthew 24:31).
The Lord empowers his end-time servant to restore Israel’s tribes to lands of inheritance: “He said: It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore those preserved of Israel. I will also appoint you to be a light to the Gentiles that my salvation may be to the end of the earth. I have created you and appointed you to be a covenant of the people, to restore the Land and reapportion the desolate estates, to say to the captives, Come forth! and to those in darkness, Show yourselves! They shall feed along the way and find pasture on all barren heights; they shall not hunger or thirst, nor be smitten by the heatwave or the sun: he who has mercy on them will guide them; he will lead them by springs of water. All my mountain ranges I will appoint as roads; my highways shall be on high. See these, coming from afar, these, from the northwest, and these, from the land of Sinim” (Isaiah 49:6, 8–12; cf. Isaiah 43:2; 51:11; 1 Nephi 20:20–21; 21:6, 8–12; 22:17; 2 Nephi 29:13).
The Lord’s coming to reign on the earth occurs when the house of Israel has prepared to meet God and has established Zion among them as in Enoch’s day: “Jehovah has made proclamation to the end of the earth: Tell the Daughter of Zion, See, your Salvation comes, his reward with him, his work preceding him. They shall be called the holy people, the redeemed of Jehovah; and you shall be known as in demand, a city never deserted” (Isaiah 62:11–12; cf. cf. 3 Nephi 20:21–22); “From the west men will fear Jehovah Omnipotent, and from the rising of the sun his glory. For he will come [upon them] like a hostile torrent impelled by the Spirit of Jehovah. But he will come as Redeemer to Zion, to those of Jacob who repent of transgression” (Isaiah 59:19–20; cf. Moses 7:16–18).