Another Spirit

A shoe manufacturer sends two employees to a remote region to evaluate prospects for expanding its business. The first employee writes, "Situation hopeless. No one wears shoes." The second employee writes, "Glorious business opportunity! They have no shoes!" (Adapted from The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, Harvard Business School Press,... Continue Reading →

Hardened Hearts

Why would the leader of a nation continue to pursue a harmful course of action in the face of increasing punishments? I'm not talking about Vladimir Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine in spite of severe international sanctions; I'm talking about Pharaoh's unwillingness to let the Israelites go free while his country was pummeled by plagues.... Continue Reading →

Milk and Honey

I've been thinking about promised lands today. When God appeared to Moses on Mount Horeb, he promised not only to deliver the children of Israel from captivity but also to lead them "unto a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8). So before the Israelites even began their journey, they had a destination in mind. Lehi's... Continue Reading →

Your Birthright

Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage (Genesis 25:29-34). We all know this. We might have to be reminded that "pottage" is a soup or a stew and that the original meaning of "mess" was a meal. But what's a birthright? The word only appears ten times in the Bible, always referring to... Continue Reading →

A Land of Promise

Abraham recognized that it was time for a change. "I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence," he wrote (Abraham 1:1). God had promised to lead him by the hand (Abraham 1:18), and take him to "a strange land" where his descendants would become "a great nation" (Genesis 12:1-2). The... Continue Reading →

Going to Egypt

I've been reflecting today on Abraham's time in Egypt. God led him to the land of Canaan and promised that his descendants would live there, but shortly after, Abraham and his family moved to Egypt, seeking relief from a severe famine. (See Genesis 12:6-10, Abraham 2:18-21.) Abraham's grandson Jacob moved to Egypt years later, again... Continue Reading →

“Especial Care”

On July 9, 1841, Joseph Smith visited Brigham Young at his home in Nauvoo—a log cabin his wife had built in his absence while raising and caring for their children alone. Brigham had returned a week earlier from a mission to England and had immediately gotten to work helping her with a job which was... Continue Reading →

A Multiplicity of Blessings

God made the following promise to Abraham: In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.Genesis 22:17 The Apostle Paul later reminded the Hebrews that these promises weren't fulfilled all at once. The multiplication... Continue Reading →

Confounded

After prophesying of difficult days ahead, the prophet Isaiah foretold a time of prosperity and peace, when the children of Israel would be protected from both physical and verbal abuse: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of... Continue Reading →

Oblations

In ancient Israel, an essential element of worship was giving gifts to God. Worshippers would bring animals or grain to the temple—the very best they had—to offer as a sacrifice. The King James Version of the Bible most frequently refers to these gifts as "offerings," but it sometimes calls them "oblations." An oblation is a... Continue Reading →

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