“There Shall Be a Place”

Does it matter where we worship? As the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, they carried a portable sanctuary, called the Tabernacle. Their worship was undoubtedly affected in many ways by their transient state. But as they approached the promised land, God explained to them that some things would need to... Continue Reading →

Sojourners

God led Abraham to the land of Canaan and promised that his descendants would live there (Genesis 12:5-7). Because of a famine, Abraham temporarily "went down into Egypt to sojourn there" (Genesis 12:10), presaging a much longer relocation to Egypt which his descendants would later experience. When he returned to Canaan, Abraham put down roots... Continue Reading →

Beth-El

As Jacob followed his parents' guidance and traveled to Padan-Aram, he stopped for the night at a place called Luz. While he slept, he had a spiritual dream in which he saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder. The Lord Himself stood at the top and reaffirmed to Jacob the promises He had made... 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 →

The Fall and the Temple

By partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve introduced not only physical death but also spiritual death into the world: they were immediately separated from God's presence. He would no longer walk in their garden and have periodic face to face conversations with them. Alma said, "It was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed... Continue Reading →

Happiness

When Nephi and his people found it necessary to leave their first home on the American continent, they worked hard to establish a new city of peace and security. Nephi lists the activities that kept them busy: Planting crops and caring for livestock (2 Nephi 5:11)Forging weapons to defend themselves (2 Nephi 5:14)Constructing buildings, including... 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 →

Patterns

When the children of Israel constructed the tabernacle in the wilderness, they built it according to a pattern which the Lord revealed to Moses. "Look that thou make them after their pattern," the Lord said, "which was shewed thee in the mount" (Exodus 25:9, 40). The objects in the tabernacle, such as the candlestick, were also made "according... Continue Reading →

Governed by Law

I've been thinking today about the role of law in establishing a peaceful society and a happy life. In the Book of Mormon, happy times are associated with obedience and unhappy times with disobedience. Consider the following contrasting examples: "We did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in... Continue Reading →

A House of Prayer

Through the prophet Isaiah, God made the following promise to all those who reverence sacred things: "Them I will bring unto my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer" (Isaiah 56:7). Years later, the prophet Jeremiah stood at the doorway to the temple and denounced the wickedness of the people, who... Continue Reading →

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