Summary: Judah and Jerusalem shall be punished for their disobedience. The Lord pleads for and judges his people. The daughters of Zion are cursed and tormented for their worldliness. (Compare Isaiah 3)
I needed some outside help on this chapter! But now it sort of makes sense for the first time in my life!
2 Nephi 13:1–12 is the continuation of Isaiah’s discussion of what would happen if the Israelites persisted in putting their trust in false religions. Isaiah called the Israelites the “daughters of Zion” (v. 16), which represents the idea that they are children of the covenant, and he likened them to a prideful woman who becomes humiliated. (B of M Student Manual)
In vs. 1, the punishment the Lord refers to is the "taking away of all of their support." (i.e. "The stay and the staff") (B of M student manual)
The other numerous symbols used in this chapter support the idea that the people of Israel have become completely worldly, only caring for worldly things. Since this was all I was able to glean from this chapter, I will focus my discussion on that. I found this thought in "The Latter Day Saint Woman." It says:
Our appetites and passions are like a spirited, powerful horse. If they are allowed to run wild, unharnessed and unbroken, they will take us where they please. They may take us to dangerous and harmful places. But we would not destroy a fine horse just because it is high-spirited. When bridled so that we become master, the horse can serve us well. Likewise, when we become master over our desires and feelings, we learn to redirect them within the bounds of the gospel. These feelings then become our servants. They can increase our ability to feel joy and love.
Here is another one:
Our kind, wise Heavenly Father gives us commandments because He loves us. He wants to protect us from unnecessary sorrow. He wants to help us gain self-mastery so that He can bless us. The law of fasting helps us learn to control our appetite for food. Then we can make our spirits masters over our bodies. The law of tithing helps us overcome our selfish desires. He gave us the Word of Wisdom partly to free us from the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. He gave us the law of chastity to help us control our physical desires.
With these thoughts in mind, I can't help but think how much I needed to learn more about this particular principle. I need to learn to control a lot of appetites in my daily life. Those include: sleep, eating, watching TV, and anger. I have been pondering this a lot lately. I literally feel like a slave to sleep, but I am not at all sure how to overcome that. The other one that has been threatening to enslave me is anger. There have been so many times lately where I have completely lost my temper in the heat of the moment. And I let little, insignificant things push me over the edge. I have been praying so hard to overcome this because it kind of scares me. What I have found that helps is to either walk away from the situation long enough for the anger to subside or find a way to laugh it off. I love the second quote--knowing that for all of the things that could enslave us and take our attentions away from the Spirit and our purpose in life, Heavenly Father has given us commandments to follow to help us control these appetites. How well He knows us and loves us! What "appetities" do you need to work on to make sure you are not consumed by worldliness? To tie this back to the chapter, let us always remember to put our trust in the Lord and keep our pride in check so that we will not become enslaved by worldly desires.