Fasting with Purpose

I am impressed with the feelings and the desires which motivated Ezra and Nehemiah to fast. When Nehemiah learned firsthand of the state of Jerusalem—walls broken down, gates burned, and the people "in great affliction and reproach"—he was devastated. "When I heard this," he wrote, "I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I... Continue Reading →

It Fell on a Day

Three events from the life of a Shunnamite woman are introduced with the phrase "it fell on a day:" The first time she saw the prophet Elisha and persuaded him to eat dinner at her home (2 Kings 4:8).When Elisha and his servant came to stay at her house, and he promised that she would... Continue Reading →

Gleaning

The law which God gave to the Israelites included a provision for caring for the poor among them: When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave... Continue Reading →

Fasting: How Long and How Often?

Moses fasted for 40 days. Twice. Let me say up front that I'm not recommending that. In the book of Exodus we read that Moses spent 40 days with the Lord on Mount Sinai, where he received stone tablets with the law inscribed by the finger of God (Exodus 24:18, Exodus 31:18). After destroying those... Continue Reading →

Judah’s Transformation

When Joseph's brothers found him in Egypt, they had all matured, but none more dramatically than Judah. About twenty-two years earlier, Judah had pleaded with the other brothers not to kill their younger brother Joseph. Reuben, the oldest, had tried to save Joseph's life "to deliver him to his father again," but Judah had proposed... Continue Reading →

Givers

Adam Grant, a professor of organizational psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied the affect of interpersonal styles on professional success. He divides people into three categories, according to how they approach interactions with others at work: Givers are willing to help others without expecting anything in return.Matchers help others selectively. They try to... Continue Reading →

Pandemic Lessons

Behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.1 Nephi 20:10, Isaiah 48:10 Last April, President Russell M. Nelson invited us to make a list of lessons we have learned during the pandemic. "Adversity is a great teacher," he said. "What have you learned in the past two years that you... Continue Reading →

“Ye Cannot Go Amiss”

Last week and the first part of this week, I was on vacation. So when I logged on to my work computer yesterday, I had a large number of emails to work through. My first instinct was to create a plan. Should I sort the emails by sender or by date? Should I handle the... Continue Reading →

“A Portion of His Spirit”

When the sons of Mosiah and a small number of their friends embarked on a mission among their enemies, the Lamanites, they knew they couldn't accomplish their objectives alone. They would need God's help. To that end, they "searched the scriptures diligently" and "[gave] themselves to much prayer, and fasting." As a result, "they had... Continue Reading →

Stewardship

I wrote earlier this week about the importance of acting "as for years"—treating your home, your job, and your other responsibilities as if you would have them forever, and investing for the long term. I quoted Brigham Young saying that he would continue to spend money to improve his home until the very last day... Continue Reading →

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