Thursday, November 29, 2012

Painter of Light (2 Nephi 20)

Some books are harder to read than others.  Back in 1990-something I read my first book considered a classic.  It was Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper, for whom the city of Cooperstown, NY was named, which is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Anywayz, it was a hard read for me, & took me a few months.  I've read, or tried to read other classics since then.  Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Twain, Austen, Bronte, Cervantes, Dickens, Hugo, etc.  Les Miserables took me 6 months.

I was told A Tale of Two Cities was a very good book.  I got about 60 pages into it my first try, before I grew weary of the effort to stay awake.  I tried again the next year, and got over 100 pages in, but with the same result.  Third time's the charm, and I persevered to the end.  I really liked the last 20 pages or so.

Authors like these guys use language as an art form, and create paintings in the mind.  

Some paintings have a changing affect on my mind, on my mood.  Like these by Albert Bierstadt

There's something about the areas of sunshine and shade on the mountains that is familiar to me.  I have seen things like that in real life, and love to look at them.  The storm coming over the water nearly causes me to be able to feel the chilly breeze and smell the approach of rain. 

Of course, some paintings are pretty boring to look at, even priceless ones.  I've never had much use for Pablo Picasso.  I recognize that he had talent, and understand that my lack of interest doesn't mean his art is not interesting, just not to me.  This painting, The Head of a Woman, is valued at over $10,000,000.

No idea what I'm supposed to glean from this painting.  She looks like she oughtta be rushed to the hospital after what was obviously a serious car crash.

Nephi loved to read the words of Isaiah.  He knew they were of great worth to us, so he transcribed them on to the plates of Nephi.  Nephi admits, however, that his people had a hard time understanding Isaiah.  In 2 Nephi 25, to which it is my foremost goal in life to reach right now, Nephi says...

25.  Now I, Nephi, do speak somewhat concerning the words which I have written, which have been spoken by the mouth of Isaiah.  For behold, Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.
Isaiah is kind of like those artists and authors mentioned up there.  I know he's important, I know he writes truth, but there's so much that I don't understand, and I get bored.

2 Nephi 20 (compare Isaiah 10) is your basic "Israel's not doing what it oughtta, and so it will be scattered and lost, with the understanding that Israel will be gathered back in eventually."  Notwithstanding the difficulty of reading the entire chapter, a few verses stand out to me.  I'll hit them here, and say something dumb about them.

2 Nephi 20: 5-6
5.  O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is their indignation.

6.  I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

So, that's how The Lord plans to reek judgment on Israel, use its neighbor like an axe to knock 'em down a bit.

2 Nephi 20: 15
15.Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith?  Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?  As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood!
This verse seems to be talking about Assyria thinking they're tough because they beat up on Israel, while in reality, they were just The Lord's instrument in Israel's consequences.  It seems to be talking about that, but it's not really.  It's really talking to me.  It's telling me that I can do nothing without Him.  It's telling me that all that I provide for myself and for my family through any means available to me, it is really The Lord that provides those things.  Right?

Hint hint, nudge nudge.
This one's about me too...

2 Nephi 20: 16
16.  Therefore shall The Lord, The Lord of Hosts, send among His fat ones, leanness; and under His glory He shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
Here's a fat one back in 1980. Still waiting for the leanness.
Sorry about that.  Sometimes I sacrifice a good spiritual feeling just to get a laugh or two.  When I interviewed for Supervisor at work, my wife told me to have confidence in myself, and not spout out goofy stuff just 'cause I'm nervous. "Now be serious and don't joke around with them."  So, I got clear thru the interview without one goofy remark, and then as I'm leaving I says, "I hope I did ok, my wife told me not to be funny."  Then I slugged myself all the way home.

OK, back to seriousness.  The end of verse 16 up there says, "His glory He shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire."  Then read on to verse 17...

17.  And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame, and shall burn and shall devour his thorns and his briers in one day;
Always, always, always, the answer to life's darkness is The Light of Israel, His Holy One, Jesus Christ. Always.  And no matter how far we wander or how lost we become, we can follow that Light back to Israel, back to the promised land.

2 Nephi 20: 21
21.  The remnant shall return, yea, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
Peace be with you...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Washing dishes in the dark (2 Nephi 19)

Welcome to 2 Nephi 19 (Compare Isaiah 9).  In this chapter, Isaiah speaks Messianically.  What does Messianically mean?  The Blogger program that I'm writing this with uses a little, red, squiggley line to say that Messianically ain't a word (and ain't is?).


I'm not 100% sure what Messianically means, really.  Isaiah is either speaking as The Savior, to The Savior, about The Savior, or maybe a combination of these and other tricky Isaiah-type things. 

From Google...
Messianic [ˌmɛsɪˈænɪk]adj
1. (Christian Religious Writings / Bible) (sometimes capital) Bible
a.  of or relating to the Messiah, his awaited deliverance of the Jews, or the new age of peace expected to follow this
b.  of or relating to Jesus Christ or the salvation believed to have been brought by him
 Oh, OK.  That makes more sense.  Let's just look at a few verses and hope it works out...

Darkness into Light
My parents' house, looking from the kitchen toward the living room. About 2005.
So, I lived in my folks' house from 1999 to 2007.  I did so 'cause Ma was sick, and Dad needed help taking care of her.  She died in 2004, but by that time Dad was sick too.  He died in 2007.  Anywayz, look at how we lived.  I hated how dark it was all the time.  Mom & Dad had darkly painted walls (Ma had the inside of the kitchen cupboards painted black for goodness sakes), inadequate lighting, and some of those dark red drapes hiding the big front window.

From living room toward kitchen, with brother Irch, 2006.
2 Nephi 19: 2-4
2.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

3.  Thou hast multiplied the nation, and increased the joy -they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4.  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor.
So, here we have Israel living in darkness.  In other words, living under the burden of oppression.  Darkness can come from sources outside of our control, but also from our own choices.  Living in sin is living in darkness.

In 2008 I remodeled the house.  So much difference.

From the kitchen into the living room in 2008.
From living room toward the kitchen, 2008.
My first day in the house after the remodeling was finished, I did about 3 hours worth of dishes.  I didn't even notice that it was getting dark outside and I hadn't turned any lights on yet.  It was AWESOME.

Whether we are in darkness because of our own actions or because we were acted upon, the remedy is the same.  It is the unspeakable gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

2 Nephi 19: 6
6.  For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His Name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

A big part of my testimony of The Savior had its beginnings in listening to Motab sing this song.  I got the cassette tape from my parents when I graduated from my high school seminary program.  It still gives me chills.

3 More things, or maybe 1 more.

2 Nephi 19: 12
12.  ...For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
2 Nephi 19: 17
17.  ...For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
2 Nephi 19: 21
21.  ...For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
In other words, there is always mercy.

The Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives light to a dark world.  No matter what has made your world dark, remodel that house of yours, and let the Son shine in.

Peace be with you...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Wizard or The Word: Option B (2 Nephi 18)

A fool such as I could never pretend that I understand the book of Isaiah.  Some stuff is clearer than others, but it's them others that present an insurmountable obstacle (emphasis on 'stack') to me in my goal of writing a blog post about every chapter in the BOM.  I could buy me some books, or research some online helps for Isaiah, and pass on my findings to you, but that's not been my method.  These is my thoughts and reflections.

I'm on 2 Nephi 18 (see Isaiah 8) today.  In reading through this chapter, I find that I could tell you everything I get out of it in about 1 short, boring paragraph.  I have 2 verses highlighted, verse 2 and 3, and one phrase in the preamble highlighted: "peeping wizards".

The Richmond district in Beattyville, KY (circa 1987). That's me out front.

Although I have bought a couple or 3 new B's OM since my missionary days, I always highlight "peeping wizards" because of memories from goofing around and laughing during what should have been serious BOM study time with my companions.

Anyways, let's write a couple things...

2 Nephi 18: 2-3
2.  And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.

3.  And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived and bare a son.  Then said the Lord to me: Call his name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
These verses are kinda weird.  Does this mean that Isaiah took witnesses with him when he went to "see" the prophetess?  And who's the prophetess?  Is that his wife?  Like I says, I ain't no professor of ancient scripture, so I don't know.  My guess is, the prophetess is his wife, and the 2 witnesses came to witness the naming of the child.  I don't know much, but I know I love you..., er, I believe that it's a Jewish thing to have witnesses present at the circumcision and naming of a child. Anywayz, that's my opinion.

"Maher-shalal-hash-baz" means: Destruction is imminent.  Either Isaiah suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (I've heard that the acronym is not the commonly known OCD, but rather CDO, so that the letters can be in alphabetical order, as they should be) or the Scattering and Gathering of Israel is an important subject.  I'm gonna go with option B. 

2 Nephi 18: 18
18.  Behold, I and the children whom The Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from The Lord of Hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.

"I'd like you to meet my sons.  This is Destruction is Imminent, and this is A Remnant Shall Return."
I wonder if it used to frighten Destruction is Imminent when he was a child, until he learned that this was a prophecy for the house of Israel, and not a warning for when his Dad got home from work.

Need Answers?

If you need a message from heaven to give you knowledge or comfort or whatever, there are lots of suggestions in the world.  You can, Option A: Read the stars, the tea leaves, your palm, tarot cards, your horoscope, or even your Crazy 8 Ball.  Or Option B: You can pray, read your scriptures, live your life so that the Spirit of The Lord is with you, go to the Temple, listen to The Prophet, or anything that is lovely or of good report or praiseworthy.  I would choose option B myself.

If your choice is to seek answers from a 
Peeping Wizard, like Zoltar here....

That's a Big mistake...

2 Nephi 18: 16, 19-20
16.  Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

19.  And when they shall say unto you:  Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter -should not a people seek unto their God for the living to hear from the dead?

20.  To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Bind up the testimony (Have faith in Jesus Christ)
Seal the law (Obey the commandments)
Seek unto God (Come unto Christ)

Option A: Wizards that peep and mutter.
To the law and to the testimony
If not, there is no light in them

Option B: The Word of God
Go with option B.

Peace be with you

Friday, October 19, 2012

A plague of briars, a promise of thorns (2 Nephi 17)

To me, 2 Nephi 17 (compare Isaiah: 7) is one of the more difficult of the Isaiah chapters.  There is a great and wonderful verse about The Savior in it, but the rest talks about cows and sheeps and arrows and prophecies of the affliction of Israel by way of thorns and briars and wars and stuff.

In the map up there, you can see where Syria and Ephraim are located.  Judah down to the south didn't like the idea of Syria being confederate (or allies) with Ephraim.  That's cool and everything, but I'm just going to write about 3 things out of this chapter:

  1. The Lord shaves with a razor
  2. Shearjashub
  3. Mary Christmas
2 Nephi 17: 20
20.  In the same day shall The Lord shave with a razor that is hired.
I used to stop reading there and giggle a little bit.  As a younger dude, I thought The Lord shaving presented a funny image, but really was figurative of some different meaning that I couldn't guess.  Later on I finished the verse.  You should always finish reading the instructions before you start your bird house.  Can't tell you how many times I've put a bookshelf together backwards twice before reading the instructions.
20.  ...hired, by them beyond the river, by the king Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard.
Ahhh, so that's what Isaiah means, or what I think he means:  The Lord will shave the head and beards of the men of Judah, and do it through the alliance of Ephraim and Syria (or Assyria) coming to battle against them.  I think that means that the people of Judah are going to forget their covenants.  It's all part of the scattering thing.  What do you think?  


2 Nephi 17: 3
3.  Then said The Lord unto Isaiah:  Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool of the highway of the fuller's field.
That's quite a name you got there, dude.  I pronounce Shearjashub like it's spelt, but I'm sure I'm butchering it.  Anyways, Sheer-jay-shub translates as "A remnant shall return".  This is one of Isaiah's two major themes:  The scattering and gathering of Israel and the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

They probably called him Shub for short.  I don't know what they called Shub's brother, Maher-shalal-hash-baz.


 2 Nephi 17: 14
14.  Therefore, The Lord Himself shall give you a sign -Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Over 700 years before the birth of our Savior, Isaiah prophesied of Christ's miraculous birth, His life full of miracles, the malicious treatment he would receive at the hands of those He came to save, and His loving sacrifice for all mankind. 

Christ With Thorns, by Carl Bloch

Isaiah's references to the coming of the Son of God are scattered throughout his writings, even in places where it is not clear what Isaiah's talking about.  My favorite Isaiah chapter on the Atonement of Jesus Christ is Isaiah 53, but we'll talk about that in 3 1/2 more years when I get to Mosiah 14.

O Come, O Come Immanuel

Merry Christmas.

Peace be with you

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taking the bus to Kolob (Comments on The Family Proclamation)

Note:  Hi.  I'm John Barney.  I interrupt my BOM Blog to bring you the following hiatus...

That's me with college friends Laura, Serena, Kelly & Jocelyn next to our newly built church building back in about '95.  I'm the one that ain't pretty.  I've since had to gain a few pounds and start dying my hair gray in order to remain humble.

Today I'm doing a guest post on Jocelyn's blog.  I know Jocelyn from college days at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio back in the mid-90s.  Jocelyn asked me and some others to write a little some'm about The Family Proclamation, which the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published in 1995.  She left it up to each of us to do our own thing.  Here's mine...

Let's get it started....

It's only been in the last 3 years or so that I've started to really know my wife, Emilie.  At my age (45), you might be surprised at that, but considering the lillies of the fiel... er... considering Emilie and I only met a week before I turned 42, I think you'll understand. 

In the LDS subculture, being divorced has somewhat of a negative stigma attached to it, though that's becoming less so, which is actually sad because that probably has a lot to do with the growing number of divorces.  Nevertheless, that stigma is not nearly so stigmatic as being a life-long, single, LDS man of 42.  In the past, when people would ask me about my non-existent wife and kids and grand kids (that's the gray hair's fault) in my life, their reaction at learning of my "menace to society" status was always, "No way!"  This was taken partly complimentary, since I was happy that they saw me as marry-able, and partly devastating because it reinforced the loser self-image that was constantly trying to fight its way into my head. 

When accused of being too picky, I would tell people I had only 2 requirements in choosing a wife.  They'd say, "What are they?"  This was said in a very "expecting something unreasonable and/or funny" tone.  I'd tell them:


I must love her


She must love me


They must happen at the same time

Glad that worked out for me

I can tell you from experience that it is not easy to remain steadfast in the gospel without being yoked to a supportive partner.  Lots and lots of people do it, but it ain't easy.  Enduring to the end was meant to be a team effort.  My testimony was never rocky ("Yo, Adrian!!"), but my enthusiasm lacked enthusiasm every now and again. I used to quote the giant turtle in "Neverending Story":  When Atreyu asked him if he cared about anything, he says, "We don't even care that we don't care."  I went innactive for 7 weeks once (a new record) and lost my calling as youth Sunday School Teacher.  I really felt bad about that one.  Nevertheless, I am still here.  I will always be here, inside the fence.  That's a promise I made to myself and to The Lord a long time ago when things got somewhat challenging.  My Heavenly Father and I would take some long walks together back then, and discuss the matters (like, what was the matters with me?).

A few years back I was asked to give a talk in Stake Conference (in front of a couple thousand people) on the topic "Enduring to the end in a non-traditional family."  There sure are a lot of people that fit into that label.  Singles, divorced, widowed, part member families, part active families, unable to have kids, not to mention (and we often don't) same sex attraction issues.  It's a long list.  People lined up after the meeting to let me know they appreciated me for representing them and giving them a voice.  One of those people was my friend Lynsie, who sat in the audience thinking that I would make a good match for her sister, Emilie.  You just never know The Lord's plan.  I honestly used to think that The Family Proclamation didn't so much apply to me.  Like the photographer in a family, I just wasn't in the picture.  I hate it when truth is only truth for somebody else. What a dumb thing to think. 

There are two doctrines (of many) contained in The Family Proclamation that have given me strength to lean on in order to be able to continue my activity in the Gospel of Jesus Christ when I'd start to feel paralyzed.

One:  Heavenly Father loves me.

I can't deny that there were times during my lonely sojourn that I felt some bitterness toward God.  I felt that I must have missed my opportunity to have a family due to some sin on my part, or maybe just because I was too shy at the wrong moment.  It ticked me off to think there was some point along the way that the person I was to marry was there, but for lack of being able to hear the whispering of the Spirit, missed her because of being somewhere between sin and repentance, especially being privy as I was to some of my happy friends' past dirty laundry.  I tried to not believe this was the case, but those unhealthy and unholy thoughts oozed through the fissures in my mind like lava, boiling my brain into a nasty batch of self-pity soup.

Two:  It's His Plan.  I accepted His Plan.  His plan is that I come to earth and obtain a huge physical body, and gain the earthly experience I personally need to progress toward perfection and Eternal Life.  And, it is also true that my wife Emilie needs to gain the experience that she personally needs to progress toward perfection.  Since Em and I were always meant to always be together, always, who the crap am I to say when our meeting should have taken place?????  Who am I?????

Jean Valjean knows who he is - From Les Miserables.

Ooooh, I'm driving my life away, looking for a sunny day...
-Eddie Rabbit, 1980

After graduating from Miami University in 1996 at the ripe old age of 29, and working here and there for a couple of years, it became necessary to move home and help my Dad take care of my Mom.  I landed a desperation job driving a city bus.  It was supposed to be a temporary job, but I stayed. 

Now, one doesn't need a BA Degree in History and Psychology from Miami University to become a bus driver, so it was difficult not to constantly question my life, especially when I struggled to pay my outrageous student loan payments.  BYU and UVU students who rode my bus would often try to encourage me to go to school so that I could get a real career.  They were trying to be encouraging.  They were being dumb.

The "I'm a loser" thoughts often used their CDL -Class B licenses to drive through my brain as I carried folks to & fro.  Refer with me once again to the 2nd doctrine above... "...gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection...and Eternal Life."  Can I progress toward Eternal Life in a bus?  You betchya!

Em's and mine's first date was actually on the bus.  She rode with me on my last northbound trip one night, and then came to my house to watch a movie.  In fact, one of our songs is that one by Norah Jones that says, "Come away with me on a bus."  Did I mention that Em lived in Cedar City, Ut at that time (200 miles south)?  Did I mention that her car had been totalled the day before she was to travel to her parents' house for Thanksgiving?  Did I mention that she rented a car to go, but then there was a big snow storm in the mountain pass between Cedar City and her parents' house?   So, Em drove the 200 miles up to where I live in Spanish Fork to ride with her sister Lynsie, and they left a day later than planned.  That's the day we went for our bus ride.  

I honestly don't know how to express, in a blog post or in any medium, the strength of my conviction that Heavenly Father loves me, that Jesus Christ died for me, that Jesus Christ now lives.  I'm grateful to know of my own Divine Nature and Destiny, as well as my wife's Divine Nature and Destiny.  I'm grateful that our two Destinies are sealed for Eternity.  I'm not really a loser; never was one, the Proclamation says so.  But, and this is a big but, Emilie is the proof that I needed in order to know for sure.  Sad, but true. 

This is me not falling for Emilie.  Taken at Cedar Breaks NM, Utah -by my brudder-in-law  Parker Grimes
In conclusion:

Em's & mine's date to Kolob Canyon (part of Zion National Park).
His plan doesn't necessarily match my plan
When I planned my life out as a young feller, I was quite sure of the following: 
  1. I would go on an LDS mission to Japan at age 19 (I went to Kentucky at age 20)
  2. I would go to BYU from age 21-25 (I went to Miami of Ohio from age 25-29)
  3. I would marry in the Temple at age 23 and have 5 or 6 kids (Married at 43; she has 3 kids)
  4. I would work for IBM, or someplace like that, and make over $50,000/year (Nope)
When things didn't work out like I planned, it was all I could do to maintain hope for family happiness until I was 41.  At that point I really and truly gave it up.  No kidding.  I gave up.  A year later I met Emilie and everything changed.  The Family Proclamation is alive and well and hanging on my wall. 

This is me & my family. The oldest got married in June. They are (L to R): Sydnie, Weston, Ashley, McKay, Emilie & yours truly.  This was also taken by Em's brudder Parker.  He's the guy I was telling you about that's never in the picture.
And so...

My advice for those of you getting close to, or having already passed, your give up point: 
  • Your Heavenly Father loves you.
  • It's His plan.  You accepted it.  You need whatever experience you need to progress toward perfection and obtain Eternal Life.
Closing hymn...

The wheels on the bus go round and round, unless you get a flat; it happens;
The driver on the bus says, "shut the heck up," or at least thinks it;
And that's how the bus took me to Kolob.

Thanks for stopping by...
Peace be with you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sin can cause heartburn (2 Nephi 16)

In 2 Nephi 16 (compare Isaiah 6) Isaiah records a vision he had of the throne of God.  As far as the Isaiah chapters go, this is one of my personal favorites.  This is mostly because it's a cool, visual story, with angels and hot coals and stuff.  According to verse 1 where it says that this happened the same year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw this vision around the year 740 B.C.

What I really like about this chapter is its depiction of repentance and forgiveness.  If you'd like to read it for yourself, it ain't very long.  I'll probably only quote a couple 9 verses of it here. 

I identify with Isaiah's feeling of unworthiness, and his declaration that he is not clean enough to be in The Lord's presence.  I'm pretty sure I've done far more dumb stuff than Isaiah ever did.  He probably did his Home Teaching every month.

So, here we go...

2 Nephi 16: 1-7
1.  In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also The Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

2.  Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

3.  And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is The Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.

4.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

5.  Then said I: Wo is unto me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips; and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen The King, The Lord of Hosts.

6.  Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;

7.  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said: Lo, this has touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8.  Also I heard the voice of The Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me.

9.  And He said: Go and tell this people -Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not.

Hey, wanna get dazzled?  See the Japanese writing above where it says Golden Curry?  That's a phonetic alphabet used for foreign words called katakana, and it says go-ru-da-n ka-re.  Sound it out and you'll understand it.

Now, I don't much care for spicy foods.  I don't dig the unquenchable fire in my mouth, nor the heartburn soon after.  But I can't imagine eating a hot coal...

This being more metaphorical than literal, I'll try to get back on the subject...

So, here we have God calling for a messenger to teach Israel that they're not getting it.  Isaiah has the desire, but doesn't feel worthy.  He declares to The Lord that he has unclean lips.  The Lord's angel takes a hot coal off of the altar with tongs and places it on Isaiah's lips to purge his sin and make him clean.  Let's talk about some general steps of repentance...

Repentance:  Acknowledge your mistake, and that it was a sin.

Repentance:  Feel sorrow for your sin.

Repentance:  Be humble, sincere and contrite.

Repentance:  Ask for forgiveness

Repentance:  Make the changes necessary.

"A live coal, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar."
I need to go back and interject something here, even though I sent this post to the presses days ago.  I forgot to mention something about the altar in Isaiah's vision.  In The Church's temples there are altars.  These altars signify the covenants that we make in the temple.  A covenant is a binding promise between ourselves and our Heavenly Father.  An example of one such covenant is obedience.  We promise to be obedient to The Lord's commandments.  A covenant is a two-way promise.  For His part, The Lord promises us blessings in return for our obedience.  We may fail to keep our part of the covenant, but He will never, no never, no never forsake His end of the deal.  Part of repentance is turning away from whatever sin it is, and making a covenant to not repeat that sin.  Many's the time that I have had to repeat that same repentance process over the same dumb thing, over and over.  One of the greatest, most wonderfullest things about our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, is that their capacity for love and forgiveness has no end.  The apostle Paul experienced this first hand when he had to repent of some very serious sins.  He was forgiven.  Then Paul says to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 3: 14-19
14.  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15.  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

16.  That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.

17.  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18.  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19.  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Repentance:  Have faith in Jesus Christ.

Even to Paul, the love of Christ "passeth knowledge", or is beyond his ability to comprehend.  Keep that in mind if you keep making the same mistakes over and over, like I have, and try not to beat yourself up too bad.  Just keep swimming.

Repentance:  If you make another mistake...

At least, that's the lesson I get out of this chapter.  There is another mention, of course, of the scattering of Israel and how a "remnant shall return".  My guess is, we'll hear that a few more times before 2 Ne 25.

One more thing...

Angels are nearly always depicted in art and literature as having wings.  Chapters like this are the reason for that, I suppose.  The Church teaches things differently.  Angels are either spirits who are living in God's presence waiting their turn to be born, or spirits who have already gone through mortality and have returned to His presence, or resurrected beings who have already gone through mortality.  Having said written that, I think it's fine if people choose to envision winged messengers as angels.  I love this picture, which I'll end with.

The scriptures tell us that we can come and buy milk and honey without price, but the forgiveness that comes from true repentance cost our Savior dearly.  I love that an angel was sent to comfort Jesus in Gethsemane in answer to His prayer.  I think that Carl Bloch failed to realize that even this angel depended on The Savior for his salvation.

Peace be with you...