Finding Favor

Luke tells us that as a young man, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:52). He was following in the footsteps of his mother. The angel Gabriel had assured her, "Thou hast found favour with God" (Luke 1:28-30). What is God's favor, and how can we find... 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 →

“In the Very Hour”

It is more important to be prepared than to have a plan. Plans rely on assumptions about things we can't control. The most brittle plans rely heavily on these assumptions, while more resilient plans allow for adaptation under changing circumstances. A good plan recognizes that the participants will be actors, not merely executors, and will... Continue Reading →

“Another Way” – Alma 22:4

When Aaron visited the father of King Lamoni, who was "king over all the land" (Alma 20:8), the king was initially disappointed. He had invited Aaron's brother Ammon to visit him and to teach him the gospel (Alma 20:27). He was willing to speak with Aaron, but he asked why Ammon had not come with... Continue Reading →

Lehi and Sariah’s Family

The Book of Mormon begins with a family. Not a blissful, idyllic family, but a troubled one. A family with sibling rivalry, parent-child discord, and even marital conflict. In other words, a real family. With God's help, this family achieved miraculous things: they escaped certain destruction in Jerusalem, traveled through the wilderness and across the... Continue Reading →

Go and Do – 1 Nephi 3:7

For many of our daily activities, we can be successful by simply doing two things: Showing up ("going") Participating ("doing") It sounds simple enough, but how easy is it to avoid attending the activity, going where the action is? And even when we do make it there, how easy is it to be passive and... Continue Reading →

What Does the Book of Mormon Affirm?

This is the second in a series of posts answering a set of questions recommended by President Russell M. Nelson. In yesterday's post, I discussed what the Book of Mormon is. Today, I will discuss what the Book of Mormon affirms. The Book of Mormon affirms many truths. As I've pondered this question today, I've... Continue Reading →

What Is Lust?

The Greek word epithumia (ἐπιθυμία) means strong desire, passion, or eagerness. The connotation is of a desire so strong that it overpowers reason and produces poor decisions. When this term appears in the New Testament, it is translated into English as either "lust," "desire," or "concupiscence." James identified lust as the reason that temptation leads... Continue Reading →

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