“Strong Reasons”

When the Lord instructed Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon to confront their critics in Kirtland, Ohio, He used a phrase from Isaiah to explain the approach they should take. "Let [your enemies] bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord," He said (Doctrine and Covenants 71:8). In other words, instead of bearing the full burden... 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 Sound of Rejoicing

A few years ago, I had the responsibility to recruit some volunteers to help a family move between Christmas and New Year's Day. Knowing that it was a time of year when people are spending time with their families, and being somewhat self-conscious about making this request on short notice, I emphasized the negative aspects... Continue Reading →

King-Men and Freedom of Speech

Words matter. Words have an impact, for good or for evil. Jesus said, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36). And Alma warned the people of Ammonihah, some of whom were guilty of deceiving others, "Our words will condemn us" (Alma 12:24).... Continue Reading →

Korihor and the Closing of the Nephite Mind

When I think of a teacher, I think of someone who expands people's knowledge, who helps them open their minds to new possibilities and new paradigms. But Korihor, a popular teacher among the Nephite people about 75 years before the birth of Christ, was entirely focused on debunking myths and questioning beliefs. His view of... Continue Reading →

“I Always Knew” – Alma 30:52

We know more than we realize. After Korihor was struck by the power of God, he began to see things differently. He acknowledged that he had been teaching falsehoods. He did so "because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind." Over time, his mind was blinded by the approval he received from others: "I taught... Continue Reading →

Why Are Ordinances Important?

Yesterday, I wrote that to be ordained is to be set in order. An ordinance is the mechanism used to create order. It is an action that is formally prescribed by God which we perform to show our devotion to Him and draw closer to Him. The prophet Nephi urged his people to "keep the... Continue Reading →

What Is a High Priest?

After leading the children of Israel out of slavery, Moses consecrated his brother Aaron and Aaron's sons to serve as priests. They were given special clothing to wear, but Aaron's clothing was distinct from the others. He wore a vest or apron called the ephod (אֵפוֹד). He wore a breastplate which contained the Urim and... Continue Reading →

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