Based on: Psalm 84 Core message: Holy places on earth can prepare us to return to God's presence. Related Book of Mormon passage: Mosiah 2:41
Our greatest sorrows can give birth to our greatest joys. After God renewed his covenants with Jacob at Beth-el, Jacob traveled with his family toward a place called Ephrath or Ephrathah (אֶפְרָת), which means "fruitful." When they were almost to their destination, Jacob's wife Rachel went into labor and died in childbirth. Jacob named the... Continue Reading →
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 →
“And Thus We See…”
Periodically, as Mormon relates the history of his people, he interrupts the narrative to share a lesson he hopes we're learning. He often begins these editorial notes with the phrase, "and thus we see." Many of these editorial notes appear during the Lamanite mission of the sons of Mosiah. Here are some of them: "And... Continue Reading →
What Are the Purposes of Fasting?
Yesterday, I wrote about how the Savior's sacrifice sanctifies us—makes us holy. I also wrote that we receive the blessings of that sacrifice by offering our own sacrifices to him in a spirit of humility and contrition. Today, I've studied a specific kind of sacrifice which both predated the Savior's atonement and continues today: fasting.... Continue Reading →
What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Refugees?
The king of the Lamanites was troubled. His people had accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ after being taught by a group of Nephite missionaries. They had made a solemn oath never to fight again. Their own people had turned against them and were slaughtering them mercilessly. Now, Ammon, the leader of the missionaries, had... Continue Reading →
What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Diligence?
Today, I studied all 56 passages in the Book of Mormon which use some form of the word "diligent." To be diligent is to "[show] care and conscientiousness in one's work or duties" (Oxford English Dictionary). The word also carries a connotation of eagerness. It comes from the Latin word diligere, which means to "esteem,"... Continue Reading →
How Can I Be More Hopeful?
Hope is an expectation of a positive outcome. When we have hope, we believe that good things will come. Hope empowers us to persevere when we encounter obstacles and to avoid discouragement. In daily conversation, the word "hope" often conveys substantial uncertainty. "I sure hope that happens" often means "I doubt it will happen, but... Continue Reading →
What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Sadness?
Yesterday, I wrote about what the Book of Mormon teaches us about happiness. Today, I would like to consider what the Book of Mormon teaches us about sadness. 1. Sadness is a fact of life. Alma referred to mortal life as "this vale of sorrow" (Alma 37:45). Jacob said that he and his people "did... Continue Reading →
A Time of Solemnity – Alma 28:4-6
4 And now this was a time that there was a great mourning and lamentation heard throughout all the land, among all the people of Nephi— 5 Yea, the cry of widows mourning for their husbands, and also of fathers mourning for their sons, and the daughter for the brother, yea, the brother for the... Continue Reading →