The Voice of the People

When the prophet Samuel was old, he tried to appoint his sons to succeed him as leaders over Israel. But the Israelites were not willing to follow his sons, and they requested that he appoint a king. Samuel was troubled. He didn't think it wise to give one person that much power, and he thought... Continue Reading →

Moses Besought the Lord

Some of the work of a leader is done out of sight, away from the people he or she leads. Even before Moses descended from Sinai and saw the golden calf, he had an opportunity to advocate on behalf of his people. The Lord told him what was happening at the bottom of the mountain:... Continue Reading →

Govern Ourselves

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 →

Taskmasters

Are we increasing other people's burdens or lightening them? That's a pretty good heuristic for many of the decisions we make. Jacob and his family thrived in Egypt, with the support of his son Joseph, who was governor over the land, second only to Pharaoh. (See Genesis 41:40-41.) But a few generations later, a new... Continue Reading →

Sequential Creation

God created the earth in stages. That's how He described the process to Abraham and to Moses. Here is His description of the process, as given in Genesis 1, Moses 2, and Abraham 4: Stage (Day)Task(s)Scripture References1Create lightDivide light from darknessGenesis 1:3-5Moses 2:3-5Abraham 4:3-52Create an expanse or firmament (the atmosphere) Divide waters on the ground... Continue Reading →

“Build Up Cities”

When the Lord warned Nephi to flee from his brothers, he did not go alone. He took with him everyone who "believed in the warnings and the revelations of God" (1 Nephi 5:5-6). They traveled many days in the wilderness and chose a place to settle, where they constructed buildings, planted crops, and established a new community.... Continue Reading →

Be a Light

Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). To His disciples on the American continent, He phrased it as an imperative: "I give unto you to be the light of this people" (3 Nephi 12:14). God had previously given a similar message to the prophet Isaiah: I will also give thee for... Continue Reading →

Gifts and Callings – Moroni 3:4

Near the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni describes how priesthood authority was given. After explaining the process, he adds two significant points: It was done "according to the gifts and callings of God unto men."It was done "by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 3:4). When Joseph Smith was instructed to establish... Continue Reading →

The Jaredite Generations

Thirty generations in fifteen chapters: in the Book of Ether, Moroni provides a sweeping history of the rise and fall of a civilization. At first glance, the book appears to be the story of the Jaredite people from the perspective of their kings. But upon closer consideration, it becomes clear that the narrative follows a... Continue Reading →

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