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“I Will Praise Thee” – 2 Nephi 4:30

In the middle of Nephi’s psalm, after lamenting his susceptibility to temptation and after commanding himself to do better, Nephi begins to talk directly to God. To me, this is the turning point in the psalm—the moment when he acknowledges that he can’t do this on his own, that he needs help. Notice how his… Continue Reading →


Psalm 118 contains the following poignant expression of adoration and pleading: Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. (Psalm 118:25, New Living Translation) This pleading is followed by an expression of confidence in the one who can provide this salvation: “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord”… Continue Reading →

The Arms of Mercy

All 26 verses of Psalm 136 end with the same phrase: “For his mercy endureth forever.” Here is one of the verses from that psalm, which celebrates the Lord’s power to deliver the children of Israel from captivity in Egypt: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for… Continue Reading →

Justice and Mercy

Today I’ve been pondering the relationship between two of God’s attributes: justice and mercy. Multiple Book of Mormon prophets teach us that God is both just and merciful, including Lehi (2 Nephi 2:12), Nephi (2 Nephi 11:5), Jacob (Jacob 4:10), King Benjamin (Mosiah 5:15), Alma (Alma 42:15), and Mormon (3 Nephi 26:5, Mormon 6:22). It’s… Continue Reading →

“He Suffereth It” – 1 Nephi 19:9

I’ve been thinking today about one of Nephi’s prophecies. After lamenting that people often ignore or even reject things of great worth, Nephi explained that the Savior would be persecuted during his mortal life but would willingly suffer rejection and abuse because of His love for us: And the world, because of their iniquity, shall… Continue Reading →

“Which Easily Doth Beset You” – Alma 7:15

The word euperistatos (εὐπερίστατος) only appears once in the Greek New Testament. The word means “to easily surround,” “to encircle,” or to “thwart.” It carries the connotation of something that overpowers you, grabs hold of you and prevents you from moving forward. In the King James Version, this word is translated “beset.” Here is the… Continue Reading →

“He Was Despised” – Mosiah 14:3

Today, I was pondering a prophecy of the Savior written by Isaiah and later quoted by Abinadi (Isaiah 53:3-6, Mosiah 14:3-6). I was thinking about the contrast between worldly power and spiritual power as illustrated by the Savior’s experience. Isaiah dramatizes it by juxtaposing the Savior’s experience with our natural response to it: What He… Continue Reading →

“Their Language Had Become Corrupted” – Omni 1:17

My nephew, who is currently serving as a missionary in Idaho, wrote today about Omni 1:17. In this verse, the prophet Amaleki describes the state of a group of people called the Mulekites when King Mosiah and his people found them. The Mulekites had left Jerusalem at about the same time that Lehi and his… Continue Reading →

How Were the Small Plates of Nephi Preserved for So Long?

Nephi created two sets of plates. One set contained a record of the history of his people (the large plates) and the other set contained a record of his ministry (the small plates) (1 Nephi 6:3-6, 1 Nephi 9:2-4). Before Nephi’s death, he delivered the small plates to his younger brother Jacob, with instructions to… Continue Reading →

“I Do Not Know All Things” – Words of Mormon 1:7

When Nephi was asked a difficult question, he responded first with something he knew—”I know that [God] loveth his children”—but then followed up with an acknowledgement of his limitations—”nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things” (1 Nephi 11:17). When Ammon asked King Lamoni if he believed in God, Lamoni answered, “I do… Continue Reading →

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ

In March, 2019, I studied 20 different names or titles of Jesus Christ which appear in the Book of Mormon. I was particularly interested in the way each name was used, both in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.

Sermon Summaries

In 2018, I wrote summaries of many of the sermons in the Book of Mormon. Each summary describes the setting, the purpose, an outline of the sermon’s content, and my takeaways from the sermon.

Preparing for General Conference

General Conference is coming up on April 4-5, 2020. President Nelson has promised that, if we are prepared, we will have an unforgettable experience. Here are some thoughts to help you prepare.