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 secrets of Godliness
I've heard some members who were born in the Gospel wish that they had been born outside the Church and then converted later in life. These members look back and say, "I wish I could have actually had fun in my youth– sow my wild oats, carefree, without worrying. Get married, hear the Gospel, join the Church, and then live all the rules after I've really enjoyed life." In the...
Letting God Prevail over Politics
An online forum asked Church members if the Church endorsed Republicans or Democrats. One member's highly-voted answer essentially said:
The Church stays out of politics. But when you look at our faith's teachings about family values, sexual morality, drugs, and self-reliance, it's no surprise that, in my experience, most Church members are Republicans like me.
Another highly voted answer showed a different perspective. Something like:
Trials that harden, trials that soften
2020 wasn't the dumpster fire everyone makes it out to be, but it has been a roller coaster year. COVID, lockdowns and their religious liberty concerns, and the most contentious election of my lifetime.
Thankfully, my ward has been less affected than many. Very few members got sick and no one died. Most members were able to work remotely. Our state eased restrictions earlier than others, allowing...
The easy way and the hard way
This may come as a surprise to many of you, but sometimes my children don't listen.
Take bedtime, for instance. At the end of the day, my 4-year-old son and I both know how things are going to end. If my son cooperates when it's "that time," his bedtime will be preceded by playtime, two bedtime stories, and a lullaby. If he throws a tantrum, he will simply be placed...
10 blockers to scripture study
In a previous post, I talked about our responsibility to learn to truly "treasure" the word of God like the Nephites did– specifically, that we need to do better at prioritizing our study of the Book of Mormon. We need to "level up" our study so that we're not just reading the words on the page like a novel, but truly study and dig deep.
This is all...
Faith to the last second
I am indebted to a wonderful sister in my ward for her testimony today. From the pulpit, she read these words of Nephi, describing his family's efforts to start settling once they landed in the New World:
And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had...
The Three Degrees of Scripture Study
The other day as I read in Mormon, I saw some really interesting wording that I thought would make a good blog post. But as I started writing about it, I realized that the only way to see the neat connection I saw was if you read the selection without regard to the verse markings. So I went on a tangent in my original post about how the verse markings...
Don't try to follow all the Lord's counsel at once
There are many things in our day to day, secular lives that we "ought" to do. Like putting the junk mail in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. Or opting for the salad over the meat lover's pizza. But we often don't do what we know we should. Why? Because we're lazy?
Maybe. But I think it's mostly because we see these "suggestions" as optional– like "extra credit"...
The remembrance cycle
I like listening to my dad tell stories from his time in the army. One thing he observed is that the drill sergeants he had were very much like the drill sergeants you see in the movies: insulting, swearing, and strict almost to the point of abusive. And he saw why. Although my dad was a married, returned missionary with 2 kids when he enlisted in the army, the rest...
I'm in the middle of the saddest part of the Book of Mormon. Throughout the latter half of 3 Nephi, Christ ushers in a period of peace and national righteousness that gives us modern readers a little preview of the Millenium. Then, 3 Nephi ends, and by the end of the very next chapter, the Nephites are largely corrupt and ripe for their final destruction. No gradual decline this time–...
It's never just a little
A few particular points of the law
In 67 or 66 BC, the Nephites had things pretty good. As far as the military goes, they'd been winning wars left an right. And they didn't even lose a single soldier in the most recent battle. Plus, things were great at home, too. They'd built a lot of cities and there were peace and prosperity in the land:
Exerting ourselves in our might to follow the prophets
Today, my stake joined with 108 other stakes in the Southeastern United State to enjoy a stake conference broadcasted from Salt Lake. Apparently, the South is in serious spiritual trouble, because they marshaled the General Authority A-Team. We enjoyed powerhouse talks by Elder Ulises S Soares, Sister Neill F. Marriott, Bishop Dean M. Davies, and Elder David A Bednar. It was a deluge of great teachings. Especially Elder Bednar's talk....
A New Years Resolution from Captain Moroni
It's New Years time again. That introspective time where we reflect over the past year and resolve that this year we are surely, most definitely going to start that novel, get that promotion, pay off that credit card, and lose that gut. Oh yeah, and world peace.
Like everyone else, I've been thinking about what I want to do this year. But more importantly, what I want to become this...
Another war chapter post today. Enjoy!
It was 62-63 BC. Captain Moroni had received a letter from the evil Ammoron, offering to exchange prisoners. But Moroni rejected Ammoron's offer, deciding instead to try and take his prisoners back by force. He found some Lamanite descendants among his army and sent them to the Lamanite soldiers who were guarding the city where the Nephite prisoners were kept. This...
Lessons on revelation from the five Nephite runners
Who were the Nephite runners?
Remember that time the Nephite chief judge was murdered? No, I'm not talking about the murder of chief judge Pahoran. Or his brother Pacumeni. Or Cezoram. Or Cezoram's son. Or Lachoneus. I'm talking about Seezoram.
Easier to maintain than to fix
When I was a teenager, my household chore was the burdensome task of cleaning the "tile area" of the house. This included the entire kitchen, the dishes, the bar area, the dining room, the table, and setting/clearing meals. The rule was that my chores were to be completed to perfection every morning before I left for seminary and school. My mother would inspect them in the morning when she woke...
Why we bridle
The other day I read this verse from Alma the Younger to his son Shiblon:
Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions…
I think this is one of the most oft-quoted verses in all the Book of Mormon, usually in a lesson targeted to young men and young women (you know the one I'm talking about). But...
Not to trifle with the words
Shortly before his death, the righteous prophet/king Benjamin gathered together all his people to give them the instructions he had received from God. As I read through the account of this Nephite General Conference, I was impressed by the similarities to our own General Conference.
Liberty which binds us
Yet another post about the battle of Captain Moroni v. Zerahemnah and friends. I can't seem to get out of these two chapters. I'm beginning to think I should have called this blog "Power in Alma 44." Anyways, here's the verse that caught my attention:
And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over...
Finding the Atonement in a war chapter
I know most readers usually breeze through the war chapters, but there is a lot we can learn from them. For example, just the other day I found some really powerful lessons on the Atonement in Alma 44– the second chapter of Moroni's battle with Zerahemnah and the Lamanites. First, let's recap what's going on:
To which we owe all our happiness
In a previous post, I talk about how one's word was paramount to the Nephites, using the battle of Moroni v Zerahemnah in Alma 44 as an example. This posts also covers a lesson I've picked up from that battle.