There's an interesting refrain in Amos 4. Five times, the Lord describes calamities which the children of Israel have experienced, and five times, he repeats the same words of lamentation: "Yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord" (Amos 4:6-11). It's an interesting pattern, and it says something about the Lord's motivation in allowing us to... 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 →
A Standard for My People
Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would one day erect a standard which would attract people from all nations: Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.Isaiah 49:22, 1 Nephi 21:22, 2 Nephi 6:6 Nephi... 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 Did Humble Themselves” – Mosiah 21:13-14
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929-1932 (1973),... Continue Reading →
What Can We Learn from Teancum’s Assassinations of Two Lamanite Kings?
During an extended war between the Nephites and the Lamanites, one of the Nephite commanders, Teancum, bravely enters the camp of the enemy on two occasions to take out their leader. The first of these events occurs near the beginning of the war. The Lamanites have invaded Nephite lands and have taken possession of numerous... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean to Harden Your Heart?
Shortly after Nephi's family left their comfortable home in Jerusalem and began camping in the wilderness, Nephi prayed to understand "the mysteries of God." In response, he tells us that God visited him "and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did... Continue Reading →
How Should We Respond When Others Threaten or Attack Us?
As I wrote yesterday, we need to forgive others in order to be forgiven by God. That's because an unforgiving heart is unable to receive God's healing power. But what should we do when we, or the people we are responsible for, are in danger? How can we protect and defend ourselves and them without... Continue Reading →
Notwithstanding Their Riches – Alma 62:49-51
49 But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him.50 Yea, they did remember how great things the Lord had done for them, that he... Continue Reading →
They Did Humble Themselves Before God – Alma 62:39-41
39 And thus ended the thirty and first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; and thus they had had wars, and bloodsheds, and famine, and affliction, for the space of many years.40 And there had been murders, and contentions, and dissensions, and all manner of iniquity among the people... Continue Reading →