When I used to teach 2 Nephi 6-10 in class, I would spend about 10% of the time focused on Isaiah, and 90% of the time on Jacob. Then I had a colleague say to me, “It seems like we should be spending most of our time on Isaiah—students can understand other sections on their own, but they really need help understanding this great prophet!”
I decided to flip my approach and now spend most of my time focused on Isaiah when teaching 2 Nephi 6-10. But focusing on Isaiah doesn’t mean there is no fun. When you study or teach these chapters, here are a couple of suggestions to bring increased energy and understanding to the classroom:
- Use “The Isaiah Map” to understand the historical and geographical context of Isaiah’s words. It really works.
- Try using an alternate version of the Bible. For example, alongside 2 Nephi 7-8, read Isaiah 50-51 of the New Revised Standard Version. Does this help clarify any passages? It’s okay to read alternate translations, and sometimes it can be very helpful!
- Have fun! During a family study time where we focus on 2 Nephi 8:12-16, I like to show this video clip about peer pressure:
After watching this clip we can highlight the phrase, “Who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass? And forgettest the Lord thy maker” (2 Nephi 8:12–13) and discuss questions like the following:
“When has been a time that you have been more worried about what your peers think than about what God thinks?” OR “When has been a time that you focused on pleasing God instead of your friends?” OR “What could we do to focus more doing what God wants and worry less about what others will say?”
While watching funny videos shouldn’t be our main staple of studying Isaiah, it doesn’t hurt to mix in a little fun! 😊 For those interested in more detail about the Asch Experiment, it’s interesting to note that 75% of participants gave at least one wrong answer. It’s fun to ask people how they think they would respond.