Joshua and the Book of Mormon

This week, I reviewed the book of Joshua, summarizing the content of each chapter and identifying related Book of Mormon passages. The book can be divided into four parts: The children of Israel prepare to enter the promised land (chapters 1-5)With divine intervention, they conquer various cities in the land of Canaan (chapters 6-12)Land is... Continue Reading →

Performances and Ordinances

Even before rescuing the children of Israel from bondage, the Lord prescribed for them formal actions they should take each year to commemorate their deliverance. They should select a lamb, not just any lamb, but an unblemished male lamb in its first year. They should roast it with fire (not boil it) and eat it... 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 →

All Things

When Alma testified to Korihor that "all things denote there is a God," he listed a number of things which most of us don't pay much attention to during a typical day: "the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form" (Alma... Continue Reading →

Freedom of Religion

When King Mosiah proposed to his people that they abolish the monarchy and establish a new government consisting of judges appointed "by the voice of the people," one important feature of this new system was the protection of each citizen's rights: Now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this... Continue Reading →

“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 →

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