“Thy Words Were Heard”

Prayer is an act of faith because we don't see or hear the One we are talking to. When I participate in a conversation, I am constantly monitoring the reaction of the other person to the words I say. I pay attention to their responses, even non-verbal ones, to understand how my words are being... Continue Reading →

Rachel Weeping

In the middle of a message of hope and optimism, Jeremiah pauses to paint a picture of a devastated mother observing the suffering of her children: Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Jeremiah 31:15 Ramah was a... Continue Reading →

The Fast That I Have Chosen

"What's the point of fasting?" ask the children of Israel in Isaiah 58. "Why are we torturing ourselves when God doesn't even notice?" In response, Isaiah contrasts the way they are currently fasting with the way God wants them to fast: Current "Ye find pleasure." You do whatever you want during the fast. "And exact all... Continue Reading →

Fasting with Purpose

I am impressed with the feelings and the desires which motivated Ezra and Nehemiah to fast. When Nehemiah learned firsthand of the state of Jerusalem—walls broken down, gates burned, and the people "in great affliction and reproach"—he was devastated. "When I heard this," he wrote, "I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I... Continue Reading →

Restitution

The Hebrew word shalam (שָׁלַם) means to make something complete or whole. It is sometimes translated into English as "make restitution." The word appears many times in the context of our obligation to repair the damage we do. Consider the following specific examples: ReferenceActionConsequenceExodus 22:5If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be... Continue Reading →

Fasting: How Long and How Often?

Moses fasted for 40 days. Twice. Let me say up front that I'm not recommending that. In the book of Exodus we read that Moses spent 40 days with the Lord on Mount Sinai, where he received stone tablets with the law inscribed by the finger of God (Exodus 24:18, Exodus 31:18). After destroying those... Continue Reading →

50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10

Why would a perfect God allow imperfect people to influence His decisions? Surely He knows the best course of action, and surely He wants what is best for each of us. Why tarnish impeccable decisions by accommodating our preferences? This question has been on my mind today as I pondered an unusual exchange between God... Continue Reading →

The Living Christ and the Book of Mormon

The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles is a proclamation published by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 January 2000. The document speaks of the Savior's mission before birth, during His mortal ministry, and after His death and resurrection, including in our day. It also testifies that He... Continue Reading →

Angels

An angel is a messenger. The Greek word aggelos (ἄγγελος) is probably derived from the verb agó (ἄγω) which means "to bring," so an angel is someone who brings a message from God. Near the beginning of the Book of Mormon, Nephi sees an expansive vision narrated by an angel. (See 1 Nephi 11-14.) Jacob... Continue Reading →

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