Feeble Knees

The right message at the wrong time can be incredibly unhelpful. When Job's friends learned about his tragic losses, they traveled to his home "to mourn with him and to comfort him" (Job 2:11). At first, they simply sat with him, without saying a word. (See Job 2:13.) When one of them finally spoke, he... Continue Reading →

Building a Wall

Walls are useful. I spend most days in a room surrounded by four walls and a ceiling, which shields me from adverse weather while eliminating (I think) a lot of distractions. Walls and fences can delineate land that is intended for a specific use. Walls can also serve a decorative function, allowing us to hang... Continue Reading →

Cyrus

About a hundred years before the Babylonian Captivity, Isaiah described how it would end. He named a specific individual who would send the people back to Jerusalem and support them in rebuilding the temple: Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb...That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to... Continue Reading →

“The Lord Looketh on the Heart”

As we grow closer to God, we learn to see other people differently. When Samuel met with Jesse in the small town of Bethlehem, he brought his own preconceptions and biases to the task of selecting a new king. The current king, which he had also selected, was tall and strong. He stood out in... Continue Reading →

Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu

When I think of Moses ascending Mount Sinai, I always envision him alone. So I've been struck recently by these descriptions of him ascending the mountain with other people: "And the Lord said unto him,... thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee" (Exodus 19:24)."And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab,... 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 →

His Hands Were Steady

Not long after the children of Israel escaped from the Egyptian army through the Red Sea, they confronted a new enemy. In a place called Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites. God told Moses to stand on the top of a hill and hold up his rod—the same rod that he had held over... 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 →

Jacob, Ammon, and the Prodigal Son

What could be more joyful than to be with loved ones? And when you've been separated for a time, how joyful is your reunion? After more than twenty years apart from his twin brother, Esau was enthusiastic to see him again. He had been angry the last time they were together, but his heart had... Continue Reading →

Bereaved

"Thou shalt live together in love," said the Lord, "insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die" (Doctrine and Covenants 42:45). And President Russell M. Nelson said, "The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life" ("Doors of Death," General Conference, April 1992). The word "bereaved" means deprived of... Continue Reading →

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