“Thou Shalt…Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day” D&C 87-92

From June 3 to June 6, 18311 the fourth conference of the Church was held in a log school house on the property of Isaac Morely in Kirtland, Ohio.  Right after this conference Joseph Smith received a revelation2 to send forth missionaries throughout the Western States (what was then the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri) preaching the gospel and building up congregations unto the Lord.  The elders were assigned to labor in pairs as they journeyed to “the borders of the Lamanites” on the western end of Missouri.3 By revelation, the Lord indicated that the elders were to hold a conference once they arrived in the land of Missouri.  Continue reading

  1. This conference had been convened based on revelation given to Joseph Smith in February 1831 and is now found in Section 44 of the Doctrine & Covenants. 

  2. This revelation is found in Section 52 of the Doctrine & Covenants. 

  3. The land of Missouri marked the furthest western border of the United States at that time.  What lay beyond was the Indian territory which had been the site of the first organized mission of the Church during the winter of 1831.  Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer were the four missionaries so designated by revelation (D&C 30 & 32) to preach the gospel among the Lamanites.  For a fascinating account of their journey and success see The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Revised and Enhanced Edition, edited by Scot Facer Proctor & Maurine Jensen Proctor (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), chapters 6-8. 

“A Kingdom, Which Shall Never Be Destroyed.” Daniel 2


Throughout the vast span of human history innumerable kingdoms have risen and nearly all of them have fallen into the dust until now they only exist as remnants of scattered memories.  These kingdoms are much like the human life—they are born, they grow and develop, they reach their maturity with a show of great might and splendor, and then they decay only to be replaced by another maturing kingdom.

As we study the fate of various mighty kingdoms, through the lens of Daniel 2, we will focus on two main themes: the sovereignty of God as the greatest and last ruler of The Kingdom which will fill the entire earth and the powerful impact one faithful and courageous individual can have in the face of great opposition. Continue reading

“I Will Write It in Their Hearts.” Jeremiah 16; 23; 39; 31


Jeremiah lived at the crossroads of troubled times and troubled places.  He stood as a witness and a representative of an old covenant dying away with the promise of a new covenant emerging.  His message was both timely and timeless.  It was directed to the people of his day.  It spoke to later generations of Israelites.  And it yet speaks to us today as we open our scriptures and our hearts.  In this lesson we will search the promises and covenants of the Lord, expressed through Jeremiah, which can be ours if we so desire, for the Lord has promised, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it” (Enos 1:15). Continue reading

“Besides Me There is No Saviour.” Isaiah 40-49

“And now I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their head and rejoice.” 2 Nephi 11:8


When we come to know the true nature of God our faith can increase, our joy can expand and our eye can be single to the glory of God.  Isaiah 40-49 represent a beautiful testimony of Isaiah’s understanding of the nature of God magnificently presented in symbolic language, metaphor, and poetry.  We learn from the Lectures of Faith

that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.  First the idea that [God] actually exists.  Secondly, a correct idea of [God’s] character, perfections, and attributes.  Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which [one] is pursuing is according to [God’s] will.1

Continue reading

  1. Lectures of Faith, compiled by N.B. Lundwall (Bookcraft: Salt Lake City), p. 33. 

“I Will Betroth Thee Unto Me in Righteousness.” Hosea 1-3; 11; 13-14.

“Set me as a seal upon thine heart.”

Song of Solomon 8:6


This article will be divided into two parts.  The first part will deal with the prophet Hosea and establish the historical background for his message.  The second part will discuss Hosea’s message of covenant fidelity to God and God’s everlasting mercy to His children.

The prophet

Hosea was active as prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel between 752 B.C.1 until the destruction of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians in 721.  We do not know as much as we would like about him because very few biographical details are offered in his record.  However we can surmise with relative accuracy the years of his prophetic activity, which are based upon the dates of the kings mentioned in the superscription to the book (Hosea 1:1).2 Continue reading

  1. All dates are B.C. but the symbol “B.C.” will not be indicated throughout this article. 

  2. Based on the writings of Hosea it is clear that he was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom (Israel) as opposed to a prophet in the Southern Kingdom (Judea).  What is interesting about the superscription is the mention of four Judean kings but only one king of Israel.  We would expect that the superscription would list all of the names of kings of Israel who were Hosea’s contemporaries (as we see in superscription to the Book of Amos).  Since the focus of the superscription is upon the kings of the Southern Kingdom (Judea) it is believed that this editorial superscription was composed by Judean editors (who were more familiar with Judean kings) some time after the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 721.