Neither to the Right Hand nor to the Left

As Moses prepared his people to enter the promised land, he warned them multiple times not to turn "to the right hand or the left," but to stay focused on keeping God's commandments (Deuteronomy 5:32, 17:11, 20, 28:14). After Moses' departure, the Lord reiterated this charge to Joshua, who extended it again to the Israelites... Continue Reading →

Being Created

First, three premises: To create something doesn't mean to bring it into existence. It means to organize preexisting materials in a new way. (See Joseph Smith's explanation of the Hebrew word bara' (בָּרָא) as recorded by William Clayton, General Conference, April 1844.)The Creation isn't an event that occurred in the past. It is ongoing. (See... Continue Reading →

Keeping Our Estates

In the Epistle of Jude, the author provides several examples of groups of people who suffered as a result of distancing themselves from God. One of those examples is heavenly rather than earthly: The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.Jude 1:6... Continue Reading →

Governed by the Law

"Let no man break the laws of the land," said the Lord in an 1831 revelation to Joseph Smith, "for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land" (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21). Jesus taught the same principle during His earthly ministry, "Render...unto Caesar the things which... Continue Reading →

“Let Them…Not Tarry”

I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.Psalm 119:60 There is power in doing what needs to be done as soon as possible, without unnecessary delay. When the Lord instructed Alma to return to the city of Ammonihah, “he returned speedily” (Alma 8:18). Sometime later, when Zeezrom asked Alma and Amulek to visit... Continue Reading →

“This Word of Wisdom”

Nobody likes to be told what to do. Maybe that's why the Lord so often teaches us gently and seeks to persuade rather than compel. In 1833, when the Lord provided guidance about how to care for our bodies, He called it "a Word of Wisdom," given by "greeting; not by commandment or constraint" (Doctrine... Continue Reading →

Governed by Law

I've been thinking today about the role of law in establishing a peaceful society and a happy life. In the Book of Mormon, happy times are associated with obedience and unhappy times with disobedience. Consider the following contrasting examples: "We did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in... Continue Reading →


Yesterday, I wrote about King David's final sermon, in which he acknowledged God's power and glory. Earlier in that sermon, he had a message for his son, Solomon, who was to succeed him as king: And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a... Continue Reading →

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