In the poem "The Theologian's Tale; the Legend Beautiful," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow relates a story of a monk who experiences a supernal vision in which he sees the Savior. During this experience, he hears the poor outside the gate of the convent, and he wonders whether he dares to leave the divine presence in order... Continue Reading →

“A Lively Member”

When Frederick G. Williams became a member of the First Presidency of the church, he also became part of an organization called the United Firm, which had been established to help fund the work of the church. After instructing existing members of the Firm to "receive him into the order," the Lord directed Brother Williams... Continue Reading →

“Ye Cannot Go Amiss”

Last week and the first part of this week, I was on vacation. So when I logged on to my work computer yesterday, I had a large number of emails to work through. My first instinct was to create a plan. Should I sort the emails by sender or by date? Should I handle the... Continue Reading →


The Hebrew word chayil (חַיִל) appears 224 times in the Old Testament. It is sometimes translated "army," sometimes "wealth" or "goods," and sometimes "strength," "might," or "valour." It carries a connotation of power or force that is used to accomplish a purpose. It is not latent power but active power—power in motion. Balaam prophesied, "Israel... 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 →


Mormon was 73 years old when he gathered his people for their final battle (Mormon 6:5). He had begun leading Nephite armies nearly 60 years earlier, at the age of 15 (Mormon 2:2). He had seen a lifetime of battles, and he knew the likely outcome of this conflict, but he believed that his people's... Continue Reading →

Alma’s Advice to Shiblon

I love the passages in the epistles of Paul where he offers rapid-fire advice: a series of pithy statements, any one of which would be worth a sermon, but which, taken together, describe the character of a disciple of Jesus Christ. Two examples of these passages are Romans 12:9-21 and 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22. Alma's charge to his... Continue Reading →


In Alma's analogy of the seed, we plant the word of God in our hearts. As it starts to grow, we recognize that it is good, because it begins to enlarge our soul, enlighten our mind, and be delicious to us (Alma 32:28). This is a good sign, but it is not the final goal.... Continue Reading →

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