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Until the day I die

I loved the second area of my mission. The Bishop was engaged in missionary work, the ward mission leader was a rock star, and the members were warm and accepting. It was really awesome– definitely one of the highlights of my whole mission. I was there quite a while; I spent 6 months (and 5 companions) in that ward. But no matter how awesome an area is, you can still...

For the strength training of youth

Last month, Elder Uchtdorf announced an overhaul of the Church's pamphlet, "For the Strength of Youth." This pamphlet has long been the standard not just for teenagers, but for adults, in how to speak, dress, and act. The new version is very different from the one you and I grew up with, and in a good way. If sincerely applied, these new guidelines will be an enormous benefit...

Lessons from a dirty name tag

Do you know how many doors I knocked during my mission? I did the math. By my estimate, I knocked between 150,000 and 225,000 doors during my two years. I can only remember a handful of them.

One gentleman answered the door, barking, "Who is it? What do you want?" The man didn't give us a chance to respond. He shoved his head out the door and leaned close to...

Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin

Today's post has been eating away at me for a while. Several scriptures, thoughts, and connections have been speaking to me recently. But I don't have a nice way to wind it all up. So, like it or not, I'm just gonna throw it at you, stream of consciousness, and hope you get the gist.

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...

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