Acts 10-15. Continuing Revelation

Early in this last dispensation a resounding call went forth through the Prophet Joseph Smith that the message of the gospel should be preached to all people.

Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.1

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  1. This was put into writing by Joseph Smith in the Wentworth letter of 1842.  Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2d ed. rev., 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-51), 4:540. 

Matthew 25. Preparing for the Kingdom of Heaven

Imagine walking into a packed theater at a moment when the show is most dramatic and exciting.  Everyone sits on the edge of their seat, ears attuned to every uttered word lest they miss something of great importance.  The intensity of the moment is palpable.  But alas, you, my friend, missed the first act and so you have no clue as to why this moment, this dialogue on stage is of such import and intensity.  Yet you dare not interrupt anyone to receive contextual clues or for a review of the first act lest you or they miss the climax of the performance. Continue reading

Matthew 18 and Luke 10. What is the Kingdom of God?

“And who is my neighbor?” This is the great question of the Good Samaritan story, a story that we have all listened to carefully many times, studying the different characters, the plot line and ultimately the loving compassion and mercy that one human shared with another.  When we view this timeless question from the perspective of it its surrounding context, the richness of Christ’s message is enhanced.  The stories and passages neighboring the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10 are focused on building the Kingdom of God through preaching the Gospel and gathering souls.  In this context, the Good Samaritan story is more than just a parable about being neighborly or showing loving compassion.  It is a parable about the Kingdom of God, or at least the type of individual who is invited into the Kingdom of God.  Similarly, Matthew 18 is a chapter that focuses on the conditions that mark the Kingdom of God and the characteristics of those who comprise that kingdom. Continue reading

Matthew 11 and Luke 7, 11-13. Coming Unto Christ and Learning of Him

“He descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth” (D&C 88:6)

Christ came to save us from our sins.  He came to show us by word and deed how we might live lives of joy and happiness, despite the afflictions we all experience, so that we might taste the bitter and know to prize the sweet.  His invitation is simple yet profound. Continue reading

Luke 4-6 and Matthew 10. Faithfully Responding to God’s Call


Early chapters of the Gospels share various aspects of Jesus Christ’s divine mission: Messianic prophecies, glorious birth, precocious youth, exemplary baptism and the spread of gospel truths.  Christ was not to be alone in his mission, however, except in his suffering.  So we turn to the events surrounding Christ’s public proclamation of his mission, the call of the Twelve Apostles, and the preparation they received to follow in his footsteps.  What we will see in these chapters is that Christ taught his apostles by example how to be true disciples engaged in the work of righteousness. Continue reading