Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How? The murmuring question of Laman & Lemuel

Laman & Lemuel have a pretty bad reputation in the Book of Mormon...and with good reason! But how often are we guilty of asking the SAME question they did while murmuring?

The question is:

Let me set this up.

In the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon, Nephi & his family leave Jerusalem, travel about 3 days before Lehi receives revelation in a dream that his sons need to travel back to Jerusalem and get the brass plates (basically the Old Testament up through Isaiah) from a wicked king.

Fast forward 3 day journey back and the boys try not once but twice to get the plates from the wicked king Laban. The second time they lose all their gold and silver and are chased off the property and nearly killed.

Screenshot from "Nephi and the Brass Plates" by Living Scriptures
Everyone's a little stressed out by the experience and Laman and Lemuel begin beating Nephi and Sam (why it's their fault I don't know but Satan has a way of making people think they'll feel better by blaming others...that's another story.)

So in the middle of Nephi and Sam getting beaten up, an angel appears to L&L and says (my words) "Hey! Knock it off! Don't you know you'll be bowing down to Nephi in the future?? Go back one more time and (actual words now) 'the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.'"

And this is where we are too often guilty of the murmuring attitude of Laman & Lemuel: v31 "How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands?" followed by a very logical excuse "...he can command fifty, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?"


We have a task in front of us or feel like we should do or pursue something and instead of pressing forward we ask "How is it going to work? What do I do when this happens? But how am I supposed to do this when I have all of this other stuff going on?" Blah blah blah.

INSTEAD, let us adopt the attitude of Nephi and say "Let us go up again...let us be faithful...[the Lord] is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban...?" Nephi doesn't ask how or need all the details from he beginning, he just decides to GO FOR IT!

Spoiler alert: Nephi gets the plates on his next attempt and everything works the way it was supposed to.

So next time we're tempted to question HOW, let's instead start and let the Lord reveal the how through the process.

See 1 Nephi ch 3
Animated depiction from the Living Scriptures if you get the 7-day free trial here

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Behold, your sins are forgiven you..."

"Behold, your sins are forgiven you..." -D&C 110:5

There are a number of times in the scriptures when a phrase such as this can be found. This particular one is found in the midst of a great vision had by the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland temple in April of 1836. Many others in scriptural history, however, have also received such promises. Enos is a second example of being told he has been forgiven of all his sins.

For whatever reason, I'm always amazed when I read such a saying. To think that an individual is forgiven of all their sins?! That's incredible!

This morning as I read this, however, I had a simple but powerful realization. I have the same opportunity to be forgiven in this way each week when I prepare for and partake of the sacrament. The power of the Atonement can have the same effect in our lives as it does in the lives of those in the scriptures if we will but partake of the sacrament having done all we can to repent. What a tremendous promise to us! What more motivation do we need to attend Church each week??

Monday, October 3, 2011

A New Favorite Scripture

"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." -Helaman 3:35

Tonight as I read this (and I've read it many times before) it just hit me how important this is!

What do you do? Fast and pray oft.
What happens as a result? You wax stronger in humility and firmer in faith, are filled with joy and consolation, and your heart is purified and sanctified.


Do you realize the magnitude of these blessings?!

When do we not need humility? Humility gives us the ability to accept the Lord's will and timing for our lives. Through humility, we receive more of His Spirit which in turn brings peace, joy, love, and all of the other qualities of the Savior. Through humility, we can be taught by the Lord and learn the direction that our lives need to take. If we waxing in humility, we are waning in pride and thus overcoming "the natural man."

Not to mention faith! Faith is the first principle of the gospel! Its upon this that everything else is built! Greater faith leads to greater obedience! It will lead to and allow more miracles into our lives! Faith will dispel our fears and give us strength in challenging times! Our faith in Christ will help shape us into the men & women God would have us to become.

Want more joy and consolation (comfort) in your life?! Here's the way! Are we not here on earth to have joy and to enable ourselves to later have eternal joy?! (2 Nephi 2:25) I know I don't need to sell anybody on this one.

The last: purification and sanctification; becoming clean and being made holy. To return to the presence of God, it is imperative that we be clean. The scriptures teach that "no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom" (3 Nephi 27:19). In other words, these things are ESSENTIAL.

And what's it cost?!

Fast and pray oft. Isn't it simple?? Time to recommit and to these simple, but profoundly important principles!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Joseph Smith, God's Student

The following was written to be posted on the blog of the Education in Zion website. Education in Zion is a gallery on BYU campus dedicated to church and BYU history. Its intended audience is BYU students but the principles apply to all.        
           The title above is that of one of the first displays in our gallery and has been quite intriguing to me. What an honor to be referred to as “God’s Student!” What qualified him to be given this title? Joseph’s learning came through a pattern of study, experience, and revelation. As we gain our education in this same way, we too can be God’s students.
            Joseph’s example of study was an incredible one. When he had questions, he did all he could to find the answers! When confronted with the realization that he knew not which church to join, he sought for answers by studying the scriptures, talking to his parents and family, attending various church services, and asking questions of the ministers and church leaders he met. Much of our learning will come in the same way. In fact, it often feels like that this is the only way we are to learn while here at BYU. We spend hours studying, memorizing, and doing all we can to learn and understand the material we will be tested on. While this is an important part of the learning process, it is only that: a part.
            To truly be God’s student, our learning must come in more ways than this. Upon studying and doing all we can, we will be given experiences that further our growth. This was certainly the case with Joseph. In the midst of his trials at liberty jail, the Lord told him that “all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7). Like him, there is much to be gained through our experiences at BYU. We too will have challenges and opportunities for the Lord to teach us. It is our responsibility to recognize these lessons.
            Lastly, we can be God’s students as we receive personal revelation. It goes without saying that Joseph learned largely in this way. We too, as we seek to be worthy and invite the Spirit into our lives, will be taught by revelation. The promptings we receive will put the things we are learning into perspective and help us see their relevance and application. I had such an experience recently as I read my American Heritage textbook. As I was reading about the tools the founders of our nation used in creating our government, I realized that these same principles ought to be used when founding and forming our families! My perspective of the things I’m learning in the class has now changed because of a simple prompting from the Spirit.
            May we always remember the way the Prophet Joseph was taught and always seek to learn in this way: through study, experience, and revelation.
-Kirk Perry, Education in Zion Gallery Educator

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why Chastity?

In church yesterday, we had the greatest lesson on the Law of Chastity! It's difficult to try an sum up something so important and powerful in my own words but I'll sure try! My intent, however, isn't to summarize the commandment itself but rather to share some of the new thoughts I had about it.

1. The breaking of the Law of Chastity has consequences both before and after marriage.
I think too often we fail to remember the effects of our decisions to disobey God's commandments. When we break the law of chastity, we naturally begin to view others differently. We begin seeing others as objects of lust rather than pure and holy sons and daughters of God. The sacredness of relationships that should only be had after marriage is defiled.

The consequences, however, aren't all negative! We are blessed with greater trust in our relationships. We experience and feel a greater measure of the Spirit because we are pure and clean. We allow ourselves to give fully to our spouse (or future spouse)! We will find joy :)

2. The breaking of Law of Chastity is one of the most serious sins!
This is made pretty clear by Alma in Alma 39:3-5:
And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forske the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel. Yeah, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou was entrusted. Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?

Elder Holland, reiterates how serious the violation of this commandment is in his talk "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments:"

So partly in answer to why such seriousness, we answer that one toying with the God-given--and satanically coveted--body of another, toys with the very soul of that individual, toys with the central purpose and product of life, "the very key" to life, as Elder Boyd K. Packer once called it. In trivializing the soul of another (please include the word body there), we trivialize the Atonement that saved that soul and guaranteed its continued existence. And when one toys with the Son of Righteousness, the Day Star himself, one toys with white heat and a flame hotter and holier than the noonday sun. You cannot do so and not be burned. You cannot with impunity "crucify Christ afresh" (see Hebrews 6:6). Exploitation of the body (please include the word soul there) is, in the last analysis, an exploitation of him who is the Light and the Life of the world.

3. Keeping the Law of Chastity is essential to our eternal progression.
One of the members of the stake presidency noted 3 main things we learn by keeping this commandment: respect, selflessness, and self-control. These qualities are essential in fulfilling our potential as children of God to become like him! He perfectly demonstrates these qualities and has given us this law because he loves us and wants us to progress and inherit eternal joy.

The reasons for keeping the law of chastity are endless. It is of serious importance.

In 1972, Harold B Lee taught that "Satan's greatest threat today is to destroy the family and to make a mockery of the law of chastity and the sanctity of the marriage covenant." I believe this counsel still applies because of the eternal nature and importance of the law of chastity.

An important point to remember is that the Savior has already suffered for our sins! We can repent! We can be forgiven! We can be clean! I know this to be true! He has provided a way for us to overcome our sins, habits, guilt, shame, and all other negative things!

May we all seek to more fully keep this sacred law!

Monday, August 15, 2011

To My Audience

More than anything else I know, I know the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be true. I know that there are great blessings available to those who seek to live by and follow these teachings!

This blog is intended for other members of the Church to read. We have made covenants and promises with God to live a certain way. My posts are aimed at inspiring and encouraging you to do so!

Because this is the premise of this blog, I speak in a way that may not make sense to those who are less familiar with the Church and its teachings. I am, however, happy to answer any questions about the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ via email at There are also other websites with more basic information such as and

SO, to my intended audience:

May this blog give you faith as I share both personal experiences and my feelings about the teachings of the gospel. Its my hope that you'll take the time to read these posts and feel an increase of your faith in Christ and commitment to live by His teachings.

Friday, August 12, 2011

After the Trial of your Faith

Wow. This summer has certainly been a surprise to me. I naively thought that coming home from a mission was going to be a cake walk; as if the Lord somehow owed it to me for serving a mission. (I'd forgotten King Benjamin's words: "Are we not all beggars?" Mosiah 4:19)

The big trial of this summer has been the job hunt. I lost my first job, the second didn't work out the way I'd hoped, and the third was only temporary because of its hours. Let's not mention the countless applications I filled out and the numerous interviews I had. Time after time I got my hopes up and was let down after not receiving the position I'd applied for.

And now FINALLY I've gotten a job at the Education in Zion gallery at the JFSB on BYU campus and couldn't be happier. The hours, pay, longevity, and environment are all ideal. What a tremendous blessing!

I think all of our trials are this way though. Is the night not darkest just before the sunrise? Don't we need the character building that comes through disappointment, grief, and pain? Do not these things turn our hearts to the Lord?

I must admit, there have been plenty of times I've doubted. I've had times where I've wondered why I haven't received certain blessings when I've tried so hard to be faithful.

Sometimes we just need to wait.

To those of you who are in the midst of your own trials: ENDURE ENDURE ENDURE. The blessings will ALWAYS follow after the trial of your faith.


How? The murmuring question of Laman & Lemuel

Laman & Lemuel have a pretty bad reputation in the Book of Mormon...and with good reason! But how often are we guilty of asking the SAME...