Compassed

As Jonah lay in the belly of a fish, he prayed to God, acknowledging his own distress but expressing faith that God hadn't abandoned him: I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the... Continue Reading →

“Thy Words Were Heard”

Prayer is an act of faith because we don't see or hear the One we are talking to. When I participate in a conversation, I am constantly monitoring the reaction of the other person to the words I say. I pay attention to their responses, even non-verbal ones, to understand how my words are being... Continue Reading →

If With All Your Hearts

God will answer your prayers. Jesus promised that in the Sermon on the Mount: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7, 3 Nephi 14:7). Moses taught the same principle to the children of Israel. After prophesying that they would one day turn away from... Continue Reading →

“The Lord Bless Thee, and Keep Thee”

While the Israelites lived in the wilderness, God instructed Aaron and his sons to offer the following blessing on the people: The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.Numbers 6:24-26 I've been focused... 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 →

The Red Sea and Real Intent

There were chariots behind them, sand dunes on every side, and just a lot of water immediately ahead. He needed information all right—what to do—but it wasn’t a casual thing he was asking. In this case it was literally a matter of life and death.Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Case Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," Brigham... Continue Reading →

Wrestling

As Jacob prepared to meet his estranged brother the next day, he spent the night alone. The biblical record says that he wrestled with a man all night and persisted even when his thigh was knocked out of joint. At daybreak, he told the man he would not let him go until he received a... Continue Reading →

50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10

Why would a perfect God allow imperfect people to influence His decisions? Surely He knows the best course of action, and surely He wants what is best for each of us. Why tarnish impeccable decisions by accommodating our preferences? This question has been on my mind today as I pondered an unusual exchange between God... Continue Reading →

Call Upon His Name

In Genesis 4 there is a potentially confusing passage. After reporting that Seth had a son named Enos, the author writes, "then began men to call upon the name of the Lord" (Genesis 4:26). Joseph Smith's revision of this passage adds a critical word: "Then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord," his version... Continue Reading →

Why?

When God showed Moses the earth and its inhabitants, Moses replied with a question: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?Moses 1:30 In response, God explained that this earth was created by His Only Begotten Son, that it is one of many worlds which He has... Continue Reading →

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