Archives for the month of: September, 2014

21 And except they repent and turn to the Lord their God, behold, I will deliver them into the hands of their enemies; yea, and they shall be brought into bondage; and they shall be afflicted by the hand of their enemies.

22 And it shall come to pass that they shall know that I am the Lord their God, and am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of my people. Read the rest of this entry »

20 And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi;

In all ages of the world, God’s interactions with people follow the same pattern:  God sends messenger from His presence to preach repentance and teach truth.  If people take the invitation to repent, rise up, and receive God’s law, they will also be brought into God’s presence and saved (they will be redeemed).  A society composed of such people is Zion. Read the rest of this entry »

11 And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.

 The architecture of the temple reflected the hierarchy.  The chief seats would be comfortable, regal, and lifted up.  The priests would, from their comfort, preach doctrines they knew to be incomplete, misstated, shallow, and flattering to the people.  They would teach doctrine that was vain, without the capacity to produce saving faith, to flatter the people into remaining loyal.  The priests were flattered by their own supposed authority. The people were flattered by the priests.  Everyone got what they wanted. Read the rest of this entry »

 1 And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father.

The Book of Mormon earlier explains how Nephite kings conferred kingship by telling us the story of Benjamin passing the kingship and kingdom to Mosiah.   The new king was consecrated, or declared holy and sacred, because the kingship is also a priestly position (Mosiah 6:3).  The king was the spiritual leader of the society, with power to consecrate priests and oversee the religious life of the people (2 Nephi 5:26, 2 Nephi 6:2, Jacob 1:18, Mosiah 6:3, Mosiah 26:8).   For that reason, we can say that the king held “the keys of the priesthood”, in the narrow administrative sense with which the Latter-day Saints use the term today. Read the rest of this entry »

There are many ways to read the Book of Mormon.  It can be

  • A manual for redemption, showing us how to enter Christ’s presence
  • An exploration of morality during times of war
  • A commentary on 19th century American religious and political life in the genre of a biblical epic (especially for those who see it as a product of Joseph Smith)
  • An expansion of the Bible

It can be many other things as well.  One can read it many times, looking at various strains of thought, patterns, and motifs, and each time find a very different book. Read the rest of this entry »

This is what I would teach someone who is going to the temple for the first time to receive their own endowment. This is also a sketch of the material I would cover if I were teaching a Temple Preparation class to my children. It is also what I would teach any temple-going Latter-day Saint who desires to come unto Christ.


The temple is a ritual. It is like a rehearsal for something you are supposed to do in reality.

You will encounter actors playing, angels, a deceiver, the Son, and the Father. You will be clothed in fabric clothing symbolizing glory (intelligence) and fellowship with heaven (priesthood).
Read the rest of this entry »