Monday, November 23, 2009

The Primary Program--Isa. 3: 1-4

"For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,
The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them."

Sunday morning, my five-year-old daughter Kira climbed into our bed about an hour earlier than I had any intention of getting out of it. So we stayed in bed, and Nicole got to half-sleep while Kira sang softly to herself, asked for story after story about when I was a kid, and played morning games like she always does.

After a while, though, something (maybe in a primary song we sang?) made her decide she wanted to read scriptures, so she hopped out of bed and want to fetch them while I offered moral support in the form of a constant stream of reminders to be gentle and careful and not let her mother's bookmarks fall out (as you can tell, I'm a very helpful morning Dad).

She insisted on picking where we would read and happened to open the book to the passage in Isaiah quoted above. Thanks to her attention span, that's as far as we got at the time--a beautiful image of the proud and talented someday submitting to rule by children.

A few hours later, in sacrament meeting, the educated and experienced vacated the stand to make way for the primary program. How often, I wonder, do we fulfill prophecy without ever noticing it?


  1. I should note that the larger context in Isaiah makes pretty clear that he's talking about something much more apocalyptic than the primary program, and that in his formulation, being ruled by the children isn't necessarily a beautiful image at all. BUT I think sometimes passages of prophecy find worthwhile out-of-context resonance that they don't have if you read them only in light of the context.

    Maybe that's part of what revealed words can do: speak out of context through powerful inspired phrasing and images.

  2. thank you for an important thought..."and a little child shall lead them,"
    again taken out of context but i have experienced this sweet source of light many times. ccc

  3. A commentary I read in my Book of Mormon manual suggests that the Book of Daniel records one fulfillment of this prophecy.

  4. As it is written:
    "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
    And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
    And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
    Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans." (Dan. 1:1-4)



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