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 →

“The Girdle of His Loins”

Immediately after prophesying of the destruction of the wicked and the gathering of Israel, Isaiah proclaims the coming of the Messiah: 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 Isaiah often writes in synonymous parallelisms, saying the same thing twice using different words. Jesus Christ... Continue Reading →

A Standard for My People

Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would one day erect a standard which would attract people from all nations: Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.Isaiah 49:22, 1 Nephi 21:22, 2 Nephi 6:6 Nephi... Continue Reading →

Promises to Covenant Israel

Nephi told us that God "loveth those who will have him to be their God." As an example, "he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made" (1 Nephi 17:40). In August of 1830, Joseph Smith received a revelation in... Continue Reading →

Knowledge and Peace

A good friend of mine says that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the people you love, and the people you don't know. If that is true on an individual level, it is also true, tragically, on a large scale. Why do many Christians fear Muslims? Why do many Republicans and... Continue Reading →

What Is Meekness?

Mormon identified meekness as the foundational virtue: [A man] cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and... Continue Reading →

How Will the Meek Inherit the Earth?

Why do dishonest, unkind, and undisciplined people succeed in life? All around us, we see decent, hard-working people with more than their fair share of suffering, while people who should be penalized for their actions appear to get off scot-free. This temporary injustice has been a cause of consternation throughout history. King David warned his... Continue Reading →

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