The Most Important Old Testament Verse: Hosea 6:6

"Sunday Sermon" Rabbi Jacob Milgrom, Dean of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, concluded that Hosea 6:6 was the most important verse in “the Prophets” in the Old Testament. (See: “Jacob Milgrom,” Wikipedia.)    I was surprised, because I had no clue about Hosea 6:6. But he may have been right. Hosea 6:6: “For I … Continue reading The Most Important Old Testament Verse: Hosea 6:6

The Role of Counselors – Moses, Aaron, and Hur (Exodus 17:8-13)

"Sunday Sermon" Moses instructed Joshua, his military commander, to prepare the Israelites for battle against Amalek and his people. While Joshua fought in the plains, Moses oversaw the battle from a hill top. “I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.” Aaron and Hur accompanied Moses. … Continue reading The Role of Counselors – Moses, Aaron, and Hur (Exodus 17:8-13)

God’s First, and Most Important Questions, to Mankind

"Sunday Sermon"  Genesis Account: "Where art Thou?" In the Genesis account, after Adam and Eve transgressed by partaking of the forbidden fruit, God asked them the all-important question. “Where art thou?” (Gen. 3:9) In other words, “Where are you?”  God was not asking Adam and Eve where they were located physically.  He already knew that. They … Continue reading God’s First, and Most Important Questions, to Mankind

“It is Impossible for a Man to be Saved in Ignorance.” – D&C 131:6

Scripture Gem Doctrine and Covenants 131:6 -- “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” My Awful Misinterpretation When I first read this scripture as a youth, I thought it meant that "ignorant," “slow,” and “uneducated” people were doomed.   I equated the three degrees of glory with the three college degrees.  … Continue reading “It is Impossible for a Man to be Saved in Ignorance.” – D&C 131:6

“Be Wise as Serpents” (D&C 111:11) “Don’t be a Victim”

D&C 11:11 warns: “Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents and yet without sin.” The Lord is alerting us to the dangers of being naïve, gullible, and too trusting. “There’s a sucker born every minute.” (P.R. Barnum, 19th Century American showman.) Sadly, not every enough Latter-day Saint follows this counsel. For example, Utah has the … Continue reading “Be Wise as Serpents” (D&C 111:11) “Don’t be a Victim”

“We Believe in Governments” – D&C 134:1

Civic Duty is a Divine Commandment D&C 134:1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society. David O. McKay: “Let me assure you that someday … Continue reading “We Believe in Governments” – D&C 134:1

“Practice” Virtue and Holiness (D&C 38:24)

Scripture Gem In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord counseled, “practice virtue and holiness before me” (D&C 38:24) He didn’t say "be virtuous."  Nor did He say "be holy."  He said to “practice” being virtuous and holy. The Lord has challenged us to “be perfect.” (Matt 5:25; 3 Ne 5:28) “Perfect” in the scriptures means “complete,” “finished,” or … Continue reading “Practice” Virtue and Holiness (D&C 38:24)

Alma 50:23 – “There Never Was a Happier Time” – Happiness is a Choice

Scripture Gem “But behold there was never a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of [Captain] Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of judges.” The first time I read this verse, my heart was touched.  It … Continue reading Alma 50:23 – “There Never Was a Happier Time” – Happiness is a Choice

“Thoughts, Words, and Deeds” – Mosiah 4:30

Zoroastrianism is the religion of ancient Persia. It is the second oldest monotheistic religion, after Judaism.  It was founded about 1000 B.C. by the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra).  Zoroastrians worship the “one universal, transcendent, all-good, and uncreated supreme creator deity, Ahura Mazda, or the ‘Wise Lord.’” The official motto of Zoroastrianism is “Good Thoughts, Good Words, … Continue reading “Thoughts, Words, and Deeds” – Mosiah 4:30

A Formula for Special Blessings – Jacob 3:1

Scripture Gem I personally enjoy scriptures that contain checklist formulas. As we have studied the Book of Mormon this year, we have noticed that there are a lot of these formulas.  Jacob 3:1 is such a verse. “To the pure in heart: [If]:You look unto God with firmness of mind, andPray with exceeding faith[Then]:He will … Continue reading A Formula for Special Blessings – Jacob 3:1