Roots Deeply Planted

How did Esther find the strength to risk her life on behalf of her people? She found it partly by broadening her perspective, remembering that God had given her specific missions to perform. Mordecai reminded her that she was in a unique position to help: "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as... Continue Reading →

Preparing My Heart

Samuel spoke to the Israelites before a significant battle against the Philistines. "Prepare your hearts unto the Lord," he said, "and he will deliver you" (1 Samuel 7:3). When King David's people donated materials to build a temple, he asked God to help them remember that day and "prepare their heart unto thee" (1 Chronicles... Continue Reading →

A Solemn Assembly

Today is the Jewish holiday Shemini Atzeret, which falls the day after the seven-day festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. The word shemini (שמיני) means eighth, and atzeret (עצרת) is a "solemn assembly." The Lord commanded ancient Israel twice to observe this day: "Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto... Continue Reading →

“In Wisdom and Order” – Mosiah 4:27

After instructing his people to give generously in order to retain a remission of their sins, King Benjamin adds a warning: "See that all these things are done in wisdom and order." Don't try to do more than you can; don't try to give more than you have. That's neither productive nor sustainable. For example,... Continue Reading →

Expound and Exhort

I've been thinking today about two verbs that appear repeatedly in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants: "expound" and "exhort." Elders, priests, teachers, and deacons are all instructed to do both. (See Doctrine and Covenants 20:42, 46, 50, 59.) Several sections later, the Lord directs Emma Smith to "expound scriptures, and to exhort the... Continue Reading →

“Out of Obscurity and Out of Darkness”

Isaiah prophesied that God would do a marvelous work among His children in response to widespread hypocrisy and cynicism. An important element of that work would be a book which would enable people to overcome confusion and see clearly: In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind... Continue Reading →

“Cut Off from Among the People”

Relationships are essential for happiness. When Nephi's brothers trivialized his spiritual experiences, the Lord explained to him that those who keep His commandments will prosper, while those who rebel will be "cut off from the presence of the Lord" (1 Nephi 2:18-21). Later, Nephi quoted a prophecy of Moses to his brothers to emphasize the... Continue Reading →

“Meet Together Oft” – Moroni 6:5

Once you've started on the path of discipleship, how do you maintain your momentum? Believe it or not, part of the answer is meetings. As Nephi and his people organized a new city in the promised land, he consecrated his younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, to be priests and teachers (2 Nephi 5:26). Their responsibility... Continue Reading →

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