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Few laws are as misunderstood as consecration and stewardship. One thing is certain: Only by living the law of stewardship can we become Zion people and candidates for eternal life.

In the vocabulary of consecration, an agent is a steward.[i] The trust extended to a steward is a stewardship, which, according to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, is a “responsibility given through the Lord to act in behalf of others.” The concept of stewardship reminds us of the principle that “all things ultimately belong to the Lord, whether property, time, talents, families, or capacity for service within the Church organization. An individual acts in a Church calling as a trustee for the Lord, not out of personal ownership or privilege.”

When we receive a stewardship, whether as a calling, a trust, or an inheritance, we are “expected to sacrifice time and talent in the service of others,” which builds “a sense of community. When all serve, all may partake of the blessings of service. The ideal attitude toward stewardship suggests that it is not the position held but how well the work is done that counts.”[ii] One can readily see why stewardship is central to Zion and the law of consecration. Continue Reading »

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The words of the prophets contain powerful counsel and promises. I am constantly intrigued by the fact that they, like the Savior, often use economy of language to convey powerful principles. Sometimes a sentence or two can contain volumes of truth.

Take, for example, President Hinckley’s promise “When you are united, your power is limitless. You can accomplish anything you wish to accomplish” (“Your Greatest Challenge, Mother,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 97).

I wish every parent would post this quote by Marion G. Romney on his child’s wall before the child takes a class on evolution. Continue Reading »

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What do the Biak Tiger, the Bee Hummingbird and the Family all have in common? Each is an endangered species.

My wife, Buffie, and I just added two little grandsons to our expanding family. New life is such a miracle! A microscopic cell, carrying the DNA of the father and the mother, divides then divides again with programming that creates organs, the mind and circulatory system, hands, feet, eyes, nose, mouth, skin and myriad other body parts, all of which combine harmoniously to form a totally unique and independent person. Buffie and I feel incredible joy watching our girls become mothers and our boys become fathers.

Sometimes we stand back and wonder how we could be so blessed. In 1972, I was twenty-one and Buffie was nineteen, when we knelt at an altar in the Salt Lake Temple and made eternal vows to each other and to God. That beginning has now become a little kingdom with ten children. Seven married in temples, adding spouses to our family, and together, they have produced seventeen grandchildren. Thirty-six lives are now connected because of Buffie’s and my initial decision to marry and start a family.

And we are just getting started!

If each of our children and grandchildren average three children each, our posterity could approach 900,000 in the same period that the United States has been an independent nation. My calculator doesn’t have enough digits to calculate the size of our family by the end of the Millennium.

Abraham was promised seed in quantities that would eclipse the number of sands on the seashore or the stars in the heavens. Buffie and I received similar promises when we were married. We stand at the beginning stage of building our “kingdom,” but we are starting to see how those Abrahamic promises will come to pass. Continue Reading »

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For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).

I have many reasons to be grateful. This year I am remembering the astounding miracle of the Lord’s saving my son from AIDS and kidney failure.

On April 1, 1990, my wife and I rushed our fifteen-year old son, Matt, to the hospital because he was bleeding internally. The next day we were told that he had end-stage renal disease. Kidney failure. For an unknown reason his kidneys had stopped functioning. Continue Reading »

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Sister Nephi

One of my heroes in the Book of Mormon is the woman who married Nephi. I wish I knew her name and more about her. Nephi, like other prophets, points out that his record is limited to his ministry, revelations, teachings and testimony.[1] Imagine a bishop’s record of his ministry. We probably wouldn’t learn much about his family. From time to time, Nephi infers that there are other journals that probably detail family matters, so he resists redundancy and touches on those things only as they support the purpose of this particular record.

What I do know of Sister Nephi tells me that she, like Rebekah of old, was a woman of extraordinary courage and faith. There is no way that Isaac or Nephi could have carried the tremendous weight of their ministries without the love and support of their equally strong and faithful wives. We could learn valuable lessons from these sisters. I am writing this article for my children and grandchildren with the hope that they will seek a to marry a spouse who possesses these qualities, which I found in my eternal sweetheart. Continue Reading »

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Have you ever felt that oppression is your eternal companion and that you will never be rid of it? You might wonder, where is deliverance? You watch other people prosper, buy homes, enjoy good health, have babies. But you are stuck.

My friend has been stuck for several years. When Job’s friends struggled to guess why their once-prosperous associate had lost everything and was now consigned to live on the outskirts of the city in the refuse dump, they determined that such oppression could only be the result of Job’s bad choices. Continue Reading »

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A most sobering scripture is found in D&C 93:39: “And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.”[i]

The vampire of light and truth is Satan. He prompts us to either disobey or buy into his false teachings with the intent to cause a breach in our souls and drain us of light and truth. One of Satan’s tricks is to transform our questions into doubts. Whereas questions are healthy and the vehicle by which we progress, doubts retard progress and bring us to a standstill—even to regression. If we are not careful, Satan will turn our questions into doubts; then our testimony begins to topple. Continue Reading »

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Amen is one of the most common and misunderstood religious words. What does amen mean?

The answer might surprise you. Continue Reading »

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It is safe to say that the Hosanna Shout has not been heard in western Missouri since Adam gathered his righteous posterity to Adam-ondi-Ahman three years before his death.[i] Then, on May 6, 2012, the Hosanna Shout was heard there again. Like a great chiasmus, bookending the first and last dispensations, this last Hosanna Shout from the “center place”[ii] heralded an event that will change the course of history forever. Continue Reading »

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Millions of people have been converted by the Book of Mormon, but few people have been converted to the Book of Mormon. My friend and former stake president, Vern Sommerfeldt, taught me that. Continue Reading »

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