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Sacrificing cities

Amalickiah's first military campaign against the Nephites failed miserably. The Lamanites approached Ammonihah but found it too heavily fortified to attempt an attack, and they withdrew. The army's pride was smarting from that previous retreat, so they swore an oath to take the next city or die trying. But the next city was even more heavily fortified than the first. So, they went the "die trying" route. A thousand Lamanites...

When God redirects us

The converts of Ammon never cease to amaze me. These remarkable converts who "never did fall away" exemplified quiet yet determined discipleship. When the Lamanite armies came to exterminate them, they did the unexpected.

A new Title of Liberty

It was a time of social and political upheaval. Some of the population claimed they were born with a certain characteristic that the rest of society either ignored or even disparaged. These individuals chose to let this particular characteristic define their identities and soon insisted that the rest of society acknowledge and even celebrate them for this identity.

Although it started at the fringes, this radical movement was propped up...

The only glad tidings

In his address to the Nephite people, King Benjamin told of his recent visit from an angel of God. The angel woke up the righteous king, giving him the good news repeated everywhere from Isaiah to Luke to Romans to the Doctrine and Covenants. But while the Judean shepherds heard of "tidings of great joy," the angel who appeared to Benjamin worded his announcement slightly differently: "I am come...

The Prophet gave me a blessing today

You hear a knock on your door. You aren't expecting visitors, so you glance through the window first, and your jaw drops. In a daze, you open the door and greet the Prophet of God. He tells you he felt impressed to visit your house and give you a personal priesthood blessing.

The last calling we receive

Three weeks ago, my wife and I got a phone call. Hope, my 57-year-old mother-in-law, had run out of options for chemotherapy and was starting in-home hospice. Doctors estimated she had some weeks left. Hope wanted to hug her grandchildren again while she could, so we loaded the kids in the car and started the 8-hour journey to North Carolina.

2 hours away from my in-laws' house, we received another...

The work that is prayer

Like everyone else, my heart is broken watching Ukrainians stand alone against an evil dictatorship. Political leaders are debating about how involved we will be collectively, but God-fearing believers already want to be involved personally. But we individuals can't send military aircraft or fight alongside the Ukrainian soldiers. What can we do? We can follow our Prophet's example and pray.

If you think that sounds like a cop-out answer,...

Fleeing Babylon (without going anywhere)

Right now in Come, Follow Me, we are studying the journeys of Abraham and his family. His people, including his father, had turned from the Lord to serve other gods, even going so far as to sacrifice innocent children to their false gods. Soon, the sacrificial knife turned on Abraham himself. When God intervened, what was Abraham told to do? Get out of Dodge, of course!

Lord's Supper, party of one

Sacrament meetings are usually hectic for me. With three kids five and under, there's little opportunity for reverent reflection. Even when I do get a respite from the craziness, I find myself thinking more about the people I need to reach out to and the lessons I need to figure out than pondering on the words of the Sacramental prayers. But a few weeks ago, that all changed, and I...

The gift of our calling

It was five years, almost to the day, but if you saw a picture of that Bishop from the start of his term, you'd be forgiven for thinking 15 or 20 years had passed. The marital disputes, the midnight runs to the chapel to forestall eviction, and the last-second interviews had taken their toll on both his hairline and his beltline. "Busy as a man can be," indeed. But...

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