When Ahab, king of Israel, asked Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to join him in battle against the Syrians, Jehoshaphat responded with solidarity: "I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses" (1 Kings 22:4, see also 2 Chronicles 18:3). However, Jehoshaphat insisted on consulting with a prophet first. Ahab... Continue Reading →
When Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, saw him judging the people "from the morning unto the evening," he said, "The thing that thou doest is not good." Moses explained to him that the people needed his help resolving disputes and that this was his opportunity to teach them about God's laws. Jethro replied, "This thing is too heavy for thee;... Continue Reading →
After their conversion, the sons of King Mosiah decided that they wanted to preach the gospel to their enemies. This was their idea. They weren't told to do it. But the Lord endorsed the plan. "Let them go up," He told Mosiah. He promised that they would have success and that He would protect them... Continue Reading →
Amulek exhorted the people of Ammonihah to be "watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil" (Alma 34:39). Moroni later used the same phrase to describe the role of the church in the lives of believers: They were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and... Continue Reading →
This life is a school of decision-making. The prophet Lehi taught his son Jacob that the reason we experience both good and evil is so that we can learn to choose the good: Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that... Continue Reading →
What would possess a group of people to invade and occupy their own Capitol Building while their elected representatives were conducting official government business on their behalf? How could they convince themselves that this action was morally acceptable, or that it was even helpful to their cause? The troubling events this week in the United... Continue Reading →
“Inviteth and Enticeth” – Moroni 7:12-13
In his sermon in the synagogue, before teaching his people how to "lay hold upon every good thing," Mormon provided some instruction about how to distinguish between good and evil: All things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him... Continue Reading →
What Are the Roles of Persuasion and Punishment in Motivating Good Behavior?
This is the third of three posts in response to a question I received last week. The first post discussed God's love for us. The second discussed why God would "inflict" things on us. Today's post discusses the roles of persuasion and of punishment from God's perspective. The questioner wants to understand why a loving... Continue Reading →
Why Were Laman and Lemuel Unable to Overcome Their Negativity?
It was difficult for Lehi and Sariah to lead their family from their comfortable home in Jerusalem to an undefined destination. Their two oldest sons, Laman and Lemuel, didn't make it any easier. According to their younger brother, Nephi: They did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and... Continue Reading →
What Is the Relationship Between Obedience and Agency?
Agency - the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power (Merriam-Webster, 2nd definition). Obedience - Compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another's authority (Oxford English Dictionary) The terms "agency" and "agent" do not appear in the Book of Mormon, but the principle is pervasive: We are agents. God... Continue Reading →