Even if this is your first time reading the book of Isaiah, you might find passages that sound familiar. That’s because, of all Old Testament prophets, Isaiah is the one most often quoted in other books of scripture, including by the Savior Himself. Isaiah’s words also appear often in hymns and other sacred music. Why is Isaiah quoted so often?
Surely part of the reason is that Isaiah had a gift for expressing the word of God in vivid, memorable language. But it’s more than that. Isaiah has inspired prophets for generations because the truths he taught transcended his own generation—the Israelites living between 740 and 701 BC. His role was to open our eyes to God’s great work of redemption, which is much bigger than one nation or one time period. From Isaiah, Nephi learned that he and his people, though separated from the rest of Israel, were still part of God’s covenant people. In Isaiah, New Testament writers found prophecies about the Messiah that were being fulfilled right before their eyes. And in Isaiah, Joseph Smith found inspiration for the latter-day work of gathering Israel and building Zion. When you read Isaiah, what will you find?