Smooth Things

Isaiah reproved the children of Israel for being unwilling to hear hard things. He said they were the type of people who would "say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things." In contrast, they would request the easy stuff: "Speak unto us smooth things, prophecy deceits" (Isaiah... Continue Reading →

“Faithful in All My House”

What exactly was Moses' role? The people saw him performing miracles on their behalf. He gave them laws to govern their behavior, and he prescribed specific patterns of worship. Yet his goal was always to bring them closer to God, not to stand between them and God. "Enviest thou for my sake?" he asked when... Continue Reading →

All the Prophets

On the afternoon of the first Easter, two believers walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus, about 7.5 miles. A stranger joined them who seemed to know nothing about the events of the weekend in Jerusalem. When they shared their disillusionment at the death of Jesus and their bewilderment about reports that He was alive, the stranger... Continue Reading →

A Prophet

When God called Moses, He didn't say, "I will make you a prophet." Instead, He described the work He needed Moses to do: tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, and tell the children of Israel that God had sent him to lead them out of Egypt. (See Exodus 3.) He said, "I will be... Continue Reading →

They Hearkened Not

Before Noah boarded the ark, he warned his neighbors: Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon... Continue Reading →

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 →

A Solemn Assembly

Today is the Jewish holiday Shemini Atzeret, which falls the day after the seven-day festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. The word shemini (שמיני) means eighth, and atzeret (עצרת) is a "solemn assembly." The Lord commanded ancient Israel twice to observe this day: "Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto... Continue Reading →

“I Have Not Spoken in Secret”

Isaiah emphasized to his people that the Lord had communicated very clearly what they needed to know. "I have not spoken in secret," he said; "from the beginning, from the time that it was declared have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me" (Isaiah 48:16, 1 Nephi 20:16). Nephi added his own... Continue Reading →

A Light Thing

Overemphasizing trivial things can create unnecessary anxiety. But trivializing things that really are important can be much more dangerous. After the First Vision, Joseph Smith was surprised when a religious leader treated his experience "not only lightly, but with great contempt" (Joseph Smith—History 1:21). Joseph knew better than to deny or deemphasize his experience. He... Continue Reading →

“My Opinion”

As Alma counseled his wayward son Corianton, he discussed the doctrine of the resurrection, a topic that had confused and troubled Corianton (Alma 40:1). In this sermon to his son, Alma explores the boundaries of his knowledge about the topic. He says, "There are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But... Continue Reading →

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