The Stem, the Rod, and the Root

After prophesying that Israel would be conquered, using a metaphor of a tree being chopped down or burned, Isaiah presents an image of rebirth: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. Isaiah 11:1, 2 Nephi 21:1 As he does frequently, Isaiah gives us two parallel phrases... Continue Reading →

“In My Name”

When the Savior's disciples on the American continent asked Him what they should call His church, He responded by reminding them that they had taken His name upon themselves: Whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it... Continue Reading →

“This Is the Gospel”

The word gospel literally means "good news" or "good message." We commonly use the term to refer to the teachings of Jesus Christ. During the Savior's ministry on the American continent, He emphasized to His disciples that they needed to be "built upon [His] gospel." Then, lest there be any doubt, He summarized primary components... Continue Reading →

Living Water

The ancient prophet Jeremiah bemoaned the spiritual state of his people, which he attributed to two poor decisions: Forsaking "the fountain of living waters"Building for themselves "cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah 17:13) Lehi, who was a contemporary of Jeremiah, had a dream in which he saw the tree of... Continue Reading →

A Physician

"They that be whole need not a physician," said Jesus, "but they that are sick." Then He added, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:12-13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31-32). The prophet Mormon used the same metaphor to explain to his son Moroni why small children do not need to be baptized: Listen to the... Continue Reading →

He Who Liveth

Today is Easter Sunday, when Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His triumph over death. "I am he who liveth," said the Savior when He appeared to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836 (Doctrine and Covenants 110:4). The Come Follow Me lesson manual... Continue Reading →

Son of God

It is ironic that we believe in an all-powerful Being called "the Son of God." Book of Mormon prophets repeatedly emphasize this irony as they discuss the birth of Jesus Christ. Just before describing an expansive vision he experienced, Nephi introduces the term "the Son of God" for the first time, explaining that the term... Continue Reading →

The Star

Why is a star such a powerful symbol for the birth of the Savior? Stars represent us. The Lord referred to stars to illustrate for the vast number of descendants he would have. "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy... Continue Reading →

Shepherds

King David declared, "The Lord is my shepherd" (Psalm 23:1). Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11), and He enlisted the help of His disciples in watching over His sheep. After His death and resurrection, three times in a row, He directed His senior apostle, Peter, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17). Who are... Continue Reading →

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