Luke's description of the growth of young Jesus provides a useful organizing principle for our goals and preparation throughout our lives. At the beginning of a new year, setting goals in these four domains—spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual—can help us find balance in our lives.
The Hebrew word mauz (מָעוֹז) means a place of safety or protection. In the King James Version of the Bible, it is usually translated "strength," sometimes "rock," "fortress" or "fort," and once, in the book of Nahum, it is translated "strong hold:" The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them... Continue Reading →
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 →
How long does it take to become spiritually mature? Answer: it is an ongoing process, and God guides us through that process by stages. The Lord led Abraham to the land of Canaan and promised that he and his descendants would live there. But immediately afterward, Abraham was forced to move south, to the land... Continue Reading →
The Hebrew word chayil (חַיִל) appears 224 times in the Old Testament. It is sometimes translated "army," sometimes "wealth" or "goods," and sometimes "strength," "might," or "valour." It carries a connotation of power or force that is used to accomplish a purpose. It is not latent power but active power—power in motion. Balaam prophesied, "Israel... Continue Reading →
Part of Heavenly Father's plan for our eternal happiness is to give us responsibilities and then to help us live up to the trust He has placed in us. Generations of record-keepers in the Book of Mormon conscientiously preserved and added to the sacred records containing the history of their people. When Alma passed those... Continue Reading →
“They Were Beloved” – Alma 53:2
What kind of relationships did Captain Moroni have with the people closest to him? We don't know much about his family, except that his son Moronihah succeeded him as commander of the Nephite armies (Alma 62:43). But we do see him interacting with other military leaders, particularly Lehi and Teancum. The following passage gives us... Continue Reading →
“They Never Would Shed Blood More” – Alma 53:11
The Lamanites who were converted by the preaching of Ammon and his brothers had previously been "a hardened people," quick to engage in violence (Alma 17:14). After their conversion, as a symbol of their changed hearts, they buried their weapons "deep in the earth" (Alma 24:17). And this they did, it being in their view... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean to Be Sober?
Throughout the Book of Mormon, people who are responsible, disciplined, and serious are referred to as "sober." Nephi and Jacob both tell us that they taught the gospel with soberness (1 Nephi 18:10, Jacob 6:5). Jacob explains that God expected him to "magnify [his] office with soberness" (Jacob 2:2). King Benjamin urged his people to... Continue Reading →
They Were About to Break the Oath – Alma 53:13-15
13 But it came to pass that when they saw the danger, and the many afflictions and tribulations which the Nephites bore for them, they were moved with compassion and were desirous to take up arms in the defence of their country. 14 But behold, as they were about to take their weapons of war,... Continue Reading →