Exodus 7-13: “Remember This Day, in Which Ye Came Out from Egypt” (March 28-April 3)

The Fifth Plague of Egypt” (detail) by Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Plagues

Blood, frogs, lice, flies, cattle dying, boils, hail, locusts, three days of darkness, death of the firstborn. As the plagues escalated, I wonder if I would have responded sooner, or if I would have continued to harden my heart like Pharaoh. (See Exodus 7:3, 13, Exodus 8:15, 19, 32, Exodus 9:7, 12, 34-35, Exodus 10:1, 27, including Joseph Smith’s revisions, which clarify that Pharaoh chose to harden his heart.)

In 1832 the Lord told a group of church leaders in Kirtland, Ohio that their preaching would be followed by natural disasters, including earthquakes and hurricanes (Doctrine and Covenants 88:89-91). Howard W. Hunter taught that the difficulties we experience are intended to bring us closer to God and to motivate us to repent (“An Anchor to the Souls of Men,” Church Educational System fireside at Brigham Young University, 7 February 1993).

God gives us all experiences to bring us closer to Him. Some are challenging, like the plagues, while others are blessings in our lives. Either way, we benefit from these experiences to the degree that we recognize their meaning and respond appropriately. Here is a blog post about understanding and remembering these messages from God:

The Passover

“This day shall be unto you for a memorial,” said the Lord, “and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Exodus 12:14). The remarkable thing about this pronouncement is that the miracle they were memorializing hadn’t happened yet. The Lord explained to the Israelites how to celebrate their deliverance from captivity before they were delivered from captivity.

God wants us to look to the future with hope, not with dread, and to trust His promises. Here is a blog post on the topic:

The male lamb “without blemish” whose blood spared the firstborn of each Israelite family is symbolic of the redeeming blood of the Savior (Exodus 12:3-7, see also 1 Peter 1:18-19). Jesus introduced the ordinance of the sacrament at a Passover feast as He prepared to give Himself as a sacrifice to save us. (See Luke 22:1-18, John 13:1.) Here is a blog post on that topic:

In Haste

The Lord prepared the Israelites for a sudden deliverance by commanding them to eat quickly, with their shoes on and their staff in their hand, and to bake unleavened bread, because there was no time for it to rise (Exodus 12:11, 34). They were therefore prepared when, after the final plague, the Egyptians urged them to leave “in haste” (Exodus 12: 31-39). In contrast, Isaiah prophesied that the gathering of Israel in our day would be steady and unhurried. Here’s a blog post about that contrast:

Blog Posts: March 29-April 3


God led Abraham to the land of Canaan and promised that his descendants would live there (Genesis 12:5-7). Because of a famine, Abraham temporarily “went down into Egypt to sojourn there” (Genesis 12:10), presaging a much longer relocation to Egypt which his descendants would later experience. When he returned to Canaan, Abraham put down roots…

Hardened Hearts

Why would the leader of a nation continue to pursue a harmful course of action in the face of increasing punishments? I’m not talking about Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine in spite of severe international sanctions; I’m talking about Pharaoh’s unwillingness to let the Israelites go free while his country was pummeled by plagues.…

Three Days of Darkness

After the natural disasters which coincided with the death of Jesus Christ, some inhabitants of the American continent experienced “thick darkness upon all the face of the land” for three days: And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and…

The Passover

The tenth and final plague which afflicted the Egyptians and which resulted in the liberation of the Israelites was the death of the oldest child in each family. Israelite families were spared, but only if they followed Moses’ instruction to kill a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. The lamb had to be…

Performances and Ordinances

Even before rescuing the children of Israel from bondage, the Lord prescribed for them formal actions they should take each year to commemorate their deliverance. They should select a lamb, not just any lamb, but an unblemished male lamb in its first year. They should roast it with fire (not boil it) and eat it…

A Prophet

When God called Moses, He didn’t say, “I will make you a prophet.” Instead, He described the work He needed Moses to do: tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, and tell the children of Israel that God had sent him to lead them out of Egypt. (See Exodus 3.) He said, “I will be…

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