Instruments of Revelation: Translating the Book of Mormon

scriptures

The translation of the Book of Mormon was a miracle of modern revelation. When most of us hear the word translation, we think of bilingual dictionaries, conjugation charts, and Google Translate. If we need to verify that something is translated correctly, we might ask a native speaker or someone who… Continue reading

The First Mormon Government: The Council of Fifty

desk with quill and paper

Before Joseph Smith ran for US president, he established an organization in Nauvoo to govern the temporal concerns of the Saints. He called the group “the Council of Fifty.”  I remember the first time I learned about Joseph Smith’s seer stones, polygamous relationships, and other uncomfortable tidbits of Mormon history. I… Continue reading

My Struggle with Scripture Study

person at desk with scriptures and pen in hand

Prioritizing scripture study is a choice that can heal us. I had been home from my mission for three months, and I was already having trouble reading scriptures. I had read scriptures for an hour every day on my mission and had promised myself upon returning home that I would… Continue reading

Understanding Instead of Fixing: Mourning with Those That Mourn

When others are sad, we want to take their sorrow away. But we need to try to understand their feelings rather than try to fix them.  When other people feel sad, our instincts tell us that we need to somehow make them happy again. Our society views sadness as a disease that… Continue reading

Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones: Coming to Grips with Troubling Information in Church History

sketch of Joseph Smith showing the golden plates to a group of men

Paradigm shifts can rock our world, but they can also bring greater understanding. Before 1697, Westerners believed the idiom “all swans are white.” But when a Dutch explorer discovered a black swan in Australia, his discovery “instantly demolished an apparent reality while also enabling a new, more informed state of… Continue reading

Four Words Can Transform Life’s Journey

butterfly on leaf

As we follow four important words in Alma 34:32, the purpose of life can become clearer, and our journey through life can become easier. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all that living the gospel entails. The long list of to-do’s can distract us from the true purpose of life.… Continue reading

Graduating Life with Honors

Decisions to take the higher road can make us feel disadvantaged; but when in doubt, consider what the Anti-Nephi-Lehies did.  In the Book of Mormon, Aaron presents his account of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies—a people who, when they had come to a knowledge of their Savior, promised never to lift their swords… Continue reading

Lessons Learned from a Broken Bow

When Nephi breaks his bow in the Book of Mormon, he teaches us by example how to deal with adversity. The first part of the Book of Mormon follows the journey of Lehi and his family out of Jerusalem, through the wilderness, and across the ocean to the promised land.… Continue reading

How Joseph Smith Preserved the Plates

Joseph Smith didn’t write much about how he protected the gold plates, but some people close to him left records of what really happened.  Many people are familiar with the account of the appearance of the angel Moroni in Joseph Smith’s bedroom  on the evening of September 21, 1823. It… Continue reading

Contest Winner: Of Ducks and Destinies

an orange duck standing on grass

Although we might prefer our lives be as neat and cozy as a duck pond in a manicured garden, we must navigate the wilderness of uncertainty guided by the Spirit if we are to discover our personal promised lands. While hurrying home one October day, I was struck by the… Continue reading