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 →

Machpelah: Paying Full Price

When Sarah died, Abraham wanted to give her a proper burial. Although he was wealthy and highly regarded among his neighbors, and although he had lived in Canaan for many years, he still felt like an immigrant. "I am a stranger and a sojourner among you," he said to his neighbors. "Give me a possession... Continue Reading →

A Book of Remembrance

Nephi opens the Book of Mormon by expressing gratitude to his parents for, among other things, the gift of literacy. He writes his record in his parents' language, which consists of "the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians" (1 Nephi 1:2). Nephi's nephew, Enos, also expresses gratitude that his father taught... Continue Reading →

The Living Christ and the Book of Mormon

The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles is a proclamation published by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 January 2000. The document speaks of the Savior's mission before birth, during His mortal ministry, and after His death and resurrection, including in our day. It also testifies that He... Continue Reading →

Tithed

After Abraham and his servants rescued his nephew Lot, they returned home, rejoicing in a successful mission. They were met by Melchizedek, King of Salem, who brought bread and wine and blessed Abraham. Grateful for his success, "Abraham paid [Melchizedek] tithes of all" (Genesis 14:20). A tithe is a tenth. (See Alma 13:15, Hebrews 11:1-10.)... Continue Reading →

Widows and Orphans

In April 1832, the Lord provided specific instructions to the church on caring for those "who have lost their husbands or fathers." If they lack the resources to support themselves, the combined resources of the church—the Lord's storehouse—is available to them. "The storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church," He said; "and widows and... Continue Reading →

“When I Make up My Jewels” – 3 Nephi 24:17

As the children of Israel stood at the base of Mount Sinai shortly after escaping from slavery, the Lord reaffirmed their importance to Him: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be... Continue Reading →

“Mine Ordinances”

There is power in choosing to do things the Lord's way. After the children of Israel were rescued from slavery in Egypt, the Lord emphasized that He wanted them to worship Him according to His instructions, not according to the religious traditions of their former taskmasters nor of their future neighbors: After the doings of the land... Continue Reading →

The Storehouse

When Hezekiah became king of Judah at the age of 25, he implemented a number of reforms to turn his people's hearts back to God. He repaired the temple. He organized the priests and Levites and reminded them of their duties. He reinstituted religious practices which had been neglected. And he gathered the people for... Continue Reading →

Elias

I've been thinking today about two Old Testament prophecies, both of which are associated with John the Baptist, but both of which have much broader applicability. Isaiah prophesied that, following the Babylonian captivity, there would be a voice in the wilderness, crying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a... Continue Reading →

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