The Mercy Seat

The Hebrew word kaphar (כָּפַר) means "to cover," but it can also mean "to make an atonement" or "to make reconciliation." The imagery is powerful: someone "covers" whatever is causing the rift, so that the relationship can be healed. In everyday English we sometimes use the word "cover" in a similar way. We may "cover... Continue Reading →

Unhewn

After delivering the Ten Commandments to Moses, the Lord provided a rather surprising instruction regarding formal worship: If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.Exodus 20:25 Hewn stones are stones that have been cut or shaped.... Continue Reading →

In Paradise

One of the thieves who was crucified with the Savior made a desperate final request: "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." In response, Jesus promised, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43). The Greek word paradeisos (παράδεισος) in that passage comes from two Persian roots: pairi- "around" and diz "to make,... 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 →

The Bitter Cup

King David described the agony of having no one to comfort you in your adversity: I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.Psalm 69:20-21 Jesus repeatedly spoke of a cup filled with bitter liquid... Continue Reading →

Your Healer

At a place which the children of Israel called Marah ("bitter"), because the water was undrinkable, the Lord taught Moses how to make the water sweet. He didn't have Moses use his rod or simply speak some words. Instead, He showed Moses a tree, which when placed in the water, made it sweet. Moses then... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

“Be Not Grieved, Nor Angry with Yourselves”

Joseph's brothers had plenty of reasons to be unhappy with themselves. They had treated Joseph badly—threatening him with death and selling him into slavery—and had never fully reckoned with the consequences of their actions. The guilt they carried with them colored their reaction to the adversity they were now experiencing in a time of famine.... Continue Reading →

Water, Spirit, and Blood

What does it take to be born again? When Jesus warned Nicodemus that we can't enter the kingdom of God without being reborn, He specified that we must be "born of water and of the Spirit" (John 3:3-5). We usually associate this instruction with the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, but is that sufficient? According... Continue Reading →

Brokenhearted

The Greek word syntetrimmenous (συντετριμμένους) means crushed, shattered, or broken into tiny pieces. So when the Savior read Isaiah's prophecy, declaring that God had sent Him to "heal the brokenhearted" (iasasthai tous syntetrimmenous ten kardian) (Luke 4:18, see also Isaiah 61:1), he wasn't talking about a small injury or a minor bruise. He was talking... Continue Reading →

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