A major part of discipleship is letting things go. Jesus told his apostles what not to pack, how not to plan for speeches, and how to move on when treated badly. The principle is simple: find joy by focusing on the most important things.
Is fear a choice? God told Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, and Jacob not to be afraid. (See Genesis 51:1, 21:17, 26:24, 46:3.) An angel gave the same direction to Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and a group of shepherds in Bethlehem. (See Luke 1:13, 30, Matthew 1:20, Luke 2:10.) And the prophet Isaiah several times gives us the... Continue Reading →
Why would a person vote to eliminate their own freedom? I've been intrigued the past couple of weeks by the children of Israel, who insisted on having a king, even after the prophet Samuel warned them of the terrible consequences of this decision: Their children would suffer, they would lose control over their possessions, and... Continue Reading →
Breaking a Yoke
A yoke is a wooden beam placed on the necks of two animals so that they can pull together. That's the literal definition. Throughout the scriptures, the term is also used metaphorically to represent servitude or oppression. Perhaps that's because the Hebrew word for yoke—ol (עֹל)—is related to the verb alal (עָלַל), which means to... 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 →
“You Have Censured Me, But It Mattereth Not.” – Alma 61:9
When Captain Moroni learned that reinforcements had not been sent to Helaman, he immediately wrote to Pahoran, the chief judge, requesting assistance. Shortly after, the city Nephihah fell to the enemy because reinforcements had not been sent there either. Moroni became gravely concerned about the state of the war and the lack of support from... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean to “Stand Fast in the Liberty Wherewith God Hath Made Us Free?”
For a period of time, Alma taught the gospel in secret, in a place called the waters of Mormon. He challenged the people to be baptized there. He organized them into a church there. They began to meet weekly to teach one another and to worship God. The group steadily grew until the king became... Continue Reading →
Was Captain Moroni Right to Chastise Pahoran so Harshly?
I wrote yesterday about the difference between complaining and raising issues. I shared Helaman's letter to Captain Moroni as a good example of raising in important issue without complaining. One of my readers responded with another good example: a subsequent letter from Captain Moroni to the Pahoran, the chief judge, requesting more troops be sent.... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean for Jesus to Be Our “Redeemer?”
The Hebrew word "go'el" is sometimes translated "redeemer" and sometimes "near kinsman." When we enter a covenant relationship with Jesus, He becomes the "near kinsman" who will deliver us from bondage, even bondage of our own making.
I Was Somewhat Worried Concerning What We Should Do – Alma 61:19-20
19 And now, Moroni, I do joy in receiving your epistle, for I was somewhat worried concerning what we should do, whether it should be just in us to go against our brethren. 20 But ye have said, except they repent the Lord hath commanded you that ye should go against them. (Alma 61:19-20) When... Continue Reading →