In Matthew's gospel, Jesus gave his final public teachings in chapters 21 through 23, shortly after arriving in Jerusalem just ahead of the Passover celebration. Matthew structured these teachings as three parables of judgment followed by four interactions. These seven pericopes represent a perfect final public engagement before turning his time solely to his disciples.
A testimony in the spiritual sense is the sum of the things we have seen, heard, felt, or otherwise experienced. It is our witness of how God has been active in our lives.
For many years after the Book of Mormon first appeared in 1830, many read it with the idea that Lehi and his group were the only ones on the American continents. Of course, there were the Jaredites, but Ether's record seemed to indicate to them that those people were all destroyed not long after Lehi … Continue reading They Were Not Alone: The Book of Mormon and Others
How the various accounts of the First Vision enhance our understanding of that event.
Over the years, I have heard more people ask questions about the Book of Abraham than any other of Joseph Smith's scriptures. For many, it's the first 'critical' thing they run into. But the critics are very dishonest here in their approaches. Because of this, those struggling with Abraham are caught up asking the wrong … Continue reading The Book of Abraham
“Jesus is back! His ship just came into the port!” I heard this cry from my room as it echoed through the streets. My heart leaped; it was time to put my plan into action. Did I have the courage to do it? Did I have the faith? I hesitated, but then took a deep … Continue reading Two Women Touched by Jesus
Recently I was asked to visit with someone who had questions about the Church. We had a friendly chat but she is now unwilling to talk more. I was supposed to then meet with someone else but that got cancelled with no future opportunities. In both cases, it got me thinking about what the difference … Continue reading Continuing to Believe
Christmas is almost here, a wonderful time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But when was he really born? For many Latter-day Saints, an answer came from James E. Talmage's book Jesus the Christ. Published in 1915 under the direction of the First Presidency, this book has been a staple of missionaries, Seminaries, … Continue reading When Was Jesus Born?
Having lunch with a new friend recently, we chatted briefly about how the Book of Mormon was translated. I thought as a result of that, I would say a few things about Joseph Smith's use of seer stones and interpreters. By now, unless you've been hiding under a rock or living without Internet access for … Continue reading Seer Stones and Interpreters
My friend, Heather, asked for my thoughts about John 20:1-2, 11-18, the story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb. As I started to compose a reply, I thought it might make a good blog, so Heather, here you go! John 20:1-2: Mary's first visit to the tomb Mary Magdalene came to Jesus' tomb early Sunday morning, "when … Continue reading Mary Magdalene: The First Apostle
In the scriptures, there are often comparisons built into the text. In some cases, it's clear that an author intentionally did it to bring our attention to the contrast. For example, the two creation stories in Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 and Genesis 2:4-25; the contrast between Cain and Abel and then Cain and Lamech in … Continue reading A Tale of Two Cities—and Three Prayers
The Nephite sons of Mosiah went among the Lamanites and achieved great success, baptizing thousands and finally bringing them back among the Nephites as the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi or the people of Ammon (Alma 17-27). Their sons became the famous stripling warriors (Alma 53, 56-58). But how is it that they were able to have … Continue reading Opening the way for missionary work among the Lamanites