Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord

When Alma and his people prayed to be delivered from bondage, the Lord did not immediately set them free. But He did make life better for them. "I will...ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders," He said, "that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage." The promise was... Continue Reading →

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 →

Thorns and Thistles

Eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden had immediate consequences. One of them was that it became harder to eat. Instead of living in a garden full of beautiful trees with delicious fruit, Adam and Eve entered an existence which would demand more from them. "Cursed is the ground for thy sake," said God;... Continue Reading →

Deep Waters

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."How Firm a Foundation," Hymns, #85 When it came time for Jared, his brother, and their families to board the huge barges they had... Continue Reading →

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