Sunday, May 16, 2010

Isaiah 53:11

Isaiah 53:11 states:

"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."

The One who shall see the travail is the Father.  The Father will be "satisfied" that the suffering of the Son, the payment made for mankind's debt of errors, has been sufficient to then inform the Son about salvation.  Without descending below, the Son would have been unable to comprehend what mankind needs to overcome.  Therefore Christ's suffering needed to be complete.

Upon receiving the full "wrath" of sin, Christ was then able to know how to overcome all that mankind must overcome to return to the presence of the Father.  It is "by His knowledge" that Christ is able to "justify many." He possesses the knowledge, has the experience and suffered "for all" so that they might be instructed by Him. (D&C 19:16-17.) He knows. He comprehends. By the things He suffered, He gained all that is needed to redeem, comfort and succor any man or woman in their extremity. (Heb. 2:18.)

This great burden was, however, merely His preparation; and not His completion. (D&C 19:19.)  He now uses His "knowledge" to "succor" and tutor each soul who will permit Him to minister to them. (Alma 7:11-12.)  The most complete description of what He suffered and what He gained is set out in my testimony in Come, Let Us Adore Him.

Christ has gained "knowledge" which will save each of us, no matter what we are called to pass through, if we will come to Him, heed what He tells us, and follow His encouraging counsel. There is no depth we descend to which He does not already comprehend, having been there before us.  (D&C 122:7-8.)

To overcome all sin ourselves, we must accept His guidance and counsel.  His comfort alone will rid us of our guilt. He knows how to shed the pains of sin, because He has first shed them, and therefore knows what must be done. Only in this way can we relieve ourselves of the suffering which is felt when an unclean person is exposed to God's presence. (Mormon 9: 4-5.) He can lead you to cleansing, because He has been made completely filthy and covered with the wrath of God. (D&C 19:15-18.)

His "preparations" are complete. He can "succor" you back to God's presence. But you must choose to allow Him to use this hard won "knowledge to justify you" before the Father. He has borne your infirmities before you bear them.  He knows how to heal from them. There is nothing which you are called to pass through that He does not already comprehend. It is this great "knowledge" which renders Him the greatest, "most intelligent of them all."  (Abraham 3:19.)  He now has no perplexity from sin.


  1. This was beautiful. Denver, as I was pondering about one of your Isaiah posts this morning after waking up, I marveled at all of the scriptures references that accompany your expounding on the verses. So, dumb question perhaps, but are all of those scripture references just in your head, or are you doing cross referencing. I sincerely want to make my scripture study more effective. Just want to gain more insight to the "how to" study the scriptures more effectively....and why did you only teach at Education Week for a couple of years? Would love to have you teach there again.

  2. In my head. I've read the scriptures for so long, and listened to them on cd while I drive about, that I find my mind reverts to their language when I have idle time to think. I've also put about 15,000 cross references into my scriptures which are not included in the current editions or Topical Guide. I've added a few additions to the Topical Guide in my set, too.

    I forget the name of the fellow who was in charge of Education Week at the time, but he lived in my stake way back when. (I lived in Pleasant Grove then.) Anyway, I got signed up to teach through his efforts, and he's since retired and I never attempted to return. I was busy. Still am. I have no ambition to return.

  3. Denver, I noticed in our Sunday School class today thatin Joshua 1 Moses was called "my servant" several times by the Lord.... do you suppose there is any parallels with that 'servant' and "my righteous servant' in verse 11?

  4. Yes, I do. Isaiah may be speaking of the Messiah, but all of those who serve the Lord are His "servants" and entrusted with the work of redemption. Even though the Messiah's ministry was singular, that service is only effective in saving His sheep when the Lord sends other "shepherds" to continue crying repentance. Without an authoritative and entrusted servant serving at all times, there is no redemption actually taking place.

    To the extent a servant has been sent, they will also share in some extent with the "suffering servant" description found in Isaiah's prophecy here. As they treated the Master Servant, so they also treat in a lesser degree the other servants whom He sends.

  5. Denver,

    I'm not sure how "Katie Danner" commented and asked a question. It was me (her Dad) that asked.... I must have been reading her blog and then switched to yours.... I don't know how it happened that the question seemed from her... sorry. I wish she had asked the question. She and I occasionally have gentle conversations about the Savior. Although she was baptized at 16, she is now following the Bahai beliefs of her Mom.... so we have a difference of views about Christ and His divine mission. I will always love my daughter... I do bear testimony to her about Christ...both privately and publicly... I will always protect her agency (even when we disagree)... in patience and by gentle persuasion, I hope she will someday have a firm testimony of Christ too. :)



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