Some things we can learn by observation, but others are learned only by personal experience. Jesus taught, "If any man will do [God's] will, he shall know of the doctrine." Discipleship requires practice. We learn by doing.
Jesus told Jairus and his wife to "give place" for the miracle He was about to perform. Alma invited the Zoramites to "give place" for the word of God. We also need to make room in our schedules and in our hearts to receive God's grace.
Poor in Spirit
The Greek word ptóchos (πτωχός) means literally one who crouches or cowers. God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him. Are we spiritually poor but unaware of it? Have we not yet become ptóchos, crouching and seeking help from Him?
“In Spirit and in Truth”
Sacred times and places are important, and we benefit from treating them with reverence. But as Jesus taught the Samaritan woman, and as Alma and Amulek taught the Zoramites, the ultimate goal is communion with God.
Being Good Ground
In the parable of the sower, Jesus describes four kinds of ground which a seed might experience: The way side (the road) Stony places, with very little soil Thorny places Good ground (See Matthew 13:3-8.) The first three are not conducive to growth. Only the fourth enables the seed to flourish. Alma uses a similar... Continue Reading →
It's Christmastime, and there is a large tree in my house covered with lights. I'm sure many of you have one of those as well. As I've observed our tree, I've thought about the symbolism of trees in the scriptures, particularly in the Book of Mormon. Near the beginning of the Book of Mormon, a... Continue Reading →
“The Just Shall Live by Faith”
We’re not supposed to know everything. Not knowing is uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that we work hard to avoid acknowledging it. We look for evidence that our opinions are right. We ignore evidence that they are not. We place ourselves in familiar environments, where we have some expertise. We avoid unfamiliar environments, where other people know... Continue Reading →
He Revealeth His Secret
The prophet Amos asked the people in the kingdom of Israel a series of rhetorical questions to illustrate their lack of awareness: "Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?" "Does a lion ever roar in a thicket without first finding a victim?" "Does a young lion growl in its den without first... Continue Reading →
As the children of Israel prepared to enter the promised land, Moses promised them that God would bless them in their new home, including providing the moisture needed to grow crops: It shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with... Continue Reading →
But If Not…
Faith isn't faith if it demands specific outcomes. Faith does invite miracles, but it does not guarantee that we will receive the exact miracles we want exactly when we want them. King Nebuchadnezzar was proud of a gold statue, about 90 feet tall, which he had commanded to be built. He wanted everyone in the... Continue Reading →