We have observed a new religion seeping into the membership of the Church over the past decade. This religion is a deconstructed imitation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It copies the culture, vocabulary, and standard works of the Gospel, but waters down (and sometimes rejects outright) the foundational truths of the Gospel. If the Gospel is the healthy cows of Pharaoh's dream, then this alternate religion is the sickly...
What's up with Jesus's hands?
We have three kids ages 6 and under. Time out as a couple is rare and fleeting. Movie theaters are virtually out of the question. But when the first two episodes of The Chosen hit the box office last month, my wife and I made sure to go. I loved it. Watching those episodes was a wonderful experience.
Until I ruined it.
Spoilers ahead, you've been warned.
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 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 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:
#GiveThanks and #AskNothing
On Friday, the Prophet invited us to "turn social media into your own personal gratitude journal. Post every day about what you are grateful for… flood social media with a wave of gratitude that reaches the four corners of the earth."
That invitation couldn’t have come at a better time, and I’m grateful to accept it. However, I was also prompted to add a little something extra to my search...
The Lamanite, the lock-down, and our Liberty
This week in Come Follow Me, we studied the discourse of Samuel the Lamanite on the wall of Zarahemla. Take note of the reaction of the people. In the first few verses of Helaman 16, we read that there were two different and completely opposite reactions to his message: One group believed in his words and sought baptism by those who were authorized to administer in the ordinances of the...
What REALLY gets the prophets in trouble?
It's no secret that the world rejects the prophets. I mean, after all, a prophet's job is to share the uncomfortable truth about what we're doing wrong and call us to repent, right? Not exactly a comfortable message. But looking in the Book of Mormon, time and time again, you see that the threats and the condemnation and the calls to repentance are usually not the main reason people get...
Christ gave His chosen Twelve Disciples in both continents a rare opportunity. One by one, he asked them "What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father?" Eleven of the Jewish Disciples and nine of the Nephite Disciples asked for the same thing:
We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called...
Hello, my name is Moroni
This all started a few weeks ago when our primary president came to me with an interesting request. She wanted the kids to meet a very special visitor: the great Nephite prophet, Moroni. So I found myself this morning standing in front of a bunch of kids, wearing a white nightgown, holding a homemade aluminum foil leaf of the Gold Plates, and telling them "my story."
The restoration was messy (and that's OK)
Years ago, I heard a Bishop say: "Brothers and sisters, the restoration was messy." I didn't think much about his wording at the time. But over the few years following (including my mission), I encountered a lot of people wanting to "educate" me about early Church history. Joseph Smith was the most common target, of course. They cited all sorts of stories about him that seemingly "proved" he was a...
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–...
That time Pres. Nelson fulfilled a prophecy
A little while ago, I stumbled across this prophecy of Isaiah, repeated by Christ to the Nephite multitudes. Foretelling the expansion of the Gospel during this last dispensation, He quoted:
And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
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....
Just men and women are just men and women
WARNING: SCRIPTURES TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT AHEAD. Do not attempt at home.
One of the obstacles missionaries run into when teaching the Gospel is the fact that the general population is largely unfamiliar with the old "King's English." Since most of all our Standard Works are written in the English of the King James Bible, this becomes a problem when trying to teach the Gospel as missionaries. Investigators often...
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.