To Give Light

Eight days after John the Baptist was born, his parents brought him to be circumcised. At that time, they named him, and his father Zacharias gave him a blessing, known commonly as the Benedictus. (See Bible Dictionary: "Hymns," "Zacharias.") The first part of that blessing speaks of the mission of Jesus Christ as a fulfillment... Continue Reading →

Unto Us a Child Is Born

Two of the most significant Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ focus on His birth. Both of these are in the book of Isaiah, and both also appear in the Book of Mormon: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14, 2 Nephi 17:14; see also Matthew 1:22-23 The people... Continue Reading →

The Sons of Jacob

Jacob had twelve sons. Each of them was unique, with his own strengths and weaknesses. In the Genesis narrative, as each son is born, we learn not only their name but also the significance of the name to Rachel or Leah (Genesis 29:32-35, Genesis 30:1-24, Genesis 35:18). Some of these boys were their literal children,... Continue Reading →

Breaking a Yoke

A yoke is a wooden beam placed on the necks of two animals so that they can pull together. That's the literal definition. Throughout the scriptures, the term is also used metaphorically to represent servitude or oppression. Perhaps that's because the Hebrew word for yoke—ol (עֹל)—is related to the verb alal (עָלַל), which means to... Continue Reading →

A House of Order

I've been listening to Supreme Court arguments the past couple of weeks. In each case, the attorneys are seeking a favorable outcome for their client. But because Supreme Court decisions influence outcomes in lower courts, the justices are focused on the broader implications of their decisions. What principles are they applying in this case, and... Continue Reading →

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