The book of Isaiah ends on a happy note: a new heaven and a new earth, with joy and peace among those who have been faithful to God. But the text is also tinged with sorrow for those who have not been faithful. Twice, the Lord utters the following lament: "When I called, ye did not... Continue Reading →
Gifts and Callings
We all have capabilities (gifts), and we all have opportunities to serve (callings). The apostle Paul encouraged the members of the church in Ancient Rome to be patient with their friends who were non-believers. Perhaps these friends were not currently using their gifts and fulfilling their callings, but "the gifts and calling of God are... Continue Reading →
“Preach Nothing Save It Were Repentance” – Mosiah 18:20
When Alma organized the church at the waters of Mormon, he ordained priests to teach the people. What were they to teach? The same things he had taught, and the same things prophets before him had taught: "He commanded that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had... Continue Reading →
Gifts and Callings – Moroni 3:4
Near the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni describes how priesthood authority was given. After explaining the process, he adds two significant points: It was done "according to the gifts and callings of God unto men."It was done "by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 3:4). When Joseph Smith was instructed to establish... Continue Reading →
What Is a “Remission” of Your Sins?
The word aphesis (ἄφεσις) appears 17 times in the Greek New Testament. It literally means "letting go" or "setting at liberty." When Jesus reads the prophecy from Isaiah 61 that the Messiah would "preach deliverance to the captives, and...set at liberty them that are bruised," He used the word aphesis twice. (See Luke 4:18 on biblehub.com.)... Continue Reading →
What Is an Elder?
When Moses saw the burning bush on Mount Horeb, God commanded him to return to Egypt and lead his people out of slavery. Moses was somewhat concerned about fulfilling this assignment alone. But God explained that he wouldn't be alone: Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean to Be Ordained?
We generally think of order as a good thing and its opposite—disarray, mismanagement, or chaos—as a bad thing. Most of us work hard to organize our lives and to fulfill our responsibilities in an orderly way. Furthermore, when we participate in an organization, we want to see evidence that things have been thought through, that... Continue Reading →
What Is a Priest?
The Bible Dictionary explains that a priest is a mediator between his people and God. The priest fulfills this role by: Performing religious ceremonies (ordinances) Preaching the gospel Receiving revelation on behalf of the people, and Blessing the people in the name of the Lord At the beginning of the Book of Mormon, religious observance... Continue Reading →
What Are “Gifts and Callings of God?”
Near the end of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni provides a mini-handbook for how to administer the church. Among other things, he explains how priesthood authority is given, how to bless the sacrament, and how to conduct church meetings. In his discussion of priesthood authority, he uses the phrase "gifts and callings:" And... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean to Endure to the End?
Throughout the Book of Mormon, we are encouraged to endure to the end. The prophet Nephi heard the voice of the Father declaring, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved" (2 Nephi 31:15). Jesus Christ made the same promise during His visit to the American continent (3 Nephi 15:9). Near the... Continue Reading →