God cares more about the way we fulfill our responsibilities than the scope of those responsibilities. In the Parable of the Talents, both servants who did well earned the leader's praise, even though one had five talents and the other only had two.
Jesus taught that leaders in God's kingdom do not place themselves above others. They focus on serving and ministering to those they lead. In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin and Ammon demonstrated this kind of leadership.
“As One Having Authority”
Jesus "taught...as one having authority." What does that mean? His study of the scriptures had brought Him close to God, and His power as a teacher came from that closeness. Ammon and his brothers also "taught with power and authority" as did Abinadi.
Repentance and Resolutions
January is a good time to repent. Setting resolutions can be part of a pattern of change which can lead to incremental improvement throughout the year. Here are some of my resolutions for 2023.
The Fast That I Have Chosen
"What's the point of fasting?" ask the children of Israel in Isaiah 58. "Why are we torturing ourselves when God doesn't even notice?" In response, Isaiah contrasts the way they are currently fasting with the way God wants them to fast: Current "Ye find pleasure." You do whatever you want during the fast. "And exact all... Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →