“Yet Have Ye Not Returned Unto Me”

There's an interesting refrain in Amos 4. Five times, the Lord describes calamities which the children of Israel have experienced, and five times, he repeats the same words of lamentation: "Yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord" (Amos 4:6-11). It's an interesting pattern, and it says something about the Lord's motivation in allowing us to... Continue Reading →

The Spirit of Heaviness

Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would replace negative things in our lives with positive ones: ashes with beauty, mourning with joy, and "the spirit of heaviness" with "the garment of praise" (Isaiah 61:3). The word "heaviness" is a translation of the Hebrew word kehah (כֵּהָ֣ה), which means literally dim or faint. Other English translations render... Continue Reading →

Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord

Based on: Psalm 55 Core message: God will ease our burdens as we draw nearer to Him. Even if He doesn't take them away, He can make them seem light. Related Book of Mormon passages: Mosiah 24:14-15, Alma 33:23

Consoled, Restored, Refined

When we are passing through difficulties, what kind of assistance can we expect from God? As Elder Dale G. Renlund has pointed out, we can expect at least three things: Consolation: The prophet Jacob assured his people that God "will console you in your afflictions" (Jacob 3:1).Restoration: At the end of the book of Job, we read, "The Lord gave... Continue Reading →

“I Will Gather Them from Thence”

While serving in the palace of the king of Persia, Nehemiah was devastated to learn of the sorry state of the city of Jerusalem. The people who were left there were "in great affliction and reproach." The walls of the city were broken, and the gate had been burned. As Nehemiah pleaded with God for... Continue Reading →

Forty Years

How long does it take to become spiritually mature? Answer: it is an ongoing process, and God guides us through that process by stages. The Lord led Abraham to the land of Canaan and promised that he and his descendants would live there. But immediately afterward, Abraham was forced to move south, to the land... Continue Reading →

Acquainted with Grief

Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3, Mosiah 14:3) The word translated "sorrows" in this passage—makobot (מַכְאֹב֖וֹת)—means literally "pains," and the word translated "grief"—choli (חֱלִי)—means "sickness," so the passage is as much about physical suffering as it is about emotional anguish. Alma's reference to this passage... Continue Reading →

Ephrath

Our greatest sorrows can give birth to our greatest joys. After God renewed his covenants with Jacob at Beth-el, Jacob traveled with his family toward a place called Ephrath or Ephrathah (אֶפְרָת), which means "fruitful." When they were almost to their destination, Jacob's wife Rachel went into labor and died in childbirth. Jacob named the... Continue Reading →

“All the Plenty Shall Be Forgotten”

When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, he explained not only the events which the dreams foretold but also the effect of those events on the people. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten... Continue Reading →

“Iron Hath Entered His Soul”

Lehi told his son Jacob, who had "suffered afflictions and much sorrow," that God would "consecrate [his] afflictions for [his] gain" (2 Nephi 2:2-3). Lehi had learned from the example of one of his ancestors that negative experiences could result in positive outcomes: Lehi...was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son... Continue Reading →

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