And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor,
and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.
And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth;
and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
(2 Nephi 30:9)
Here Nephi quotes Isaiah 11:4.
When I read this recently it occurred to me to notice the verbs used – judge, reprove, smite, slay.
Also, look at the order of the verbs. Do you see there is a progression in severity there? It starts with simply judging, then reproving, then smiting, then slaying. It gives us the sense that the Lord uses gentle means first, but if people ignore Him, He will use more extreme measures to try to get their attention.
Another thing I notice is that He does this all with His words. Even the smiting and slaying is done with His words. That’s pretty powerful.