Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Jeremiah by Rembrandt                                                                            

  • The meaning of his name is uncertain.  It may mean, The Lord exalts or the Lord throws down.  The essence of his name may be found in Jeremiah 1:10 See, I  have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull-down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.  
  • His ministry began 626 B.C.  and ended 586  B.C.
  • He was preceded by the Prophet Zephaniah and concurrent with Lehi, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, Daniel, Urijah, and possibly Obediah, and Hulda (Prophetess).
  • He was told that he was called and ordained in pre-earth life (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
  • His best friend was his scribe Baruch who would also publicly deliver/read Jeremiah's prophecies. 
  • Commanded not to marry in this place (Jeremiah 16:1-4)
  • Known as the weeping Prophet (Jeremiah 4:19, 9:1, 10:19-20, 23:9, and Lamentations).
  • Put in stocks (Jeremiah 20:2-3; imprisoned and thrown in a miry pit (Jeremiah 37-38).  He may have spent the entire time of Zedekiah's reign in prison which was eleven years.
  • He was a Priest from the town of Anathoth and of the household of Hilkiah.
  • He struggled with his calling and role in life.  He seemed to be timid.  He wrote six confessions of how he felt: Jeremiah 11:18-23, 12:1-4, 15:10-21, 17:12-18, 18:18-23, 20:7-18.
  • The following are dramatizations that typified his message:
  1. The ruined sash Jeremiah 13:1-12
  2. Smashed clay jar Jeremiah 19:1-12
  3. Yoke and crossbar Jeremiah 27
  4. Large stones in brick pavement before Pharaoh's home
  5. He was not allowed to participate in funeral meals or feasting Jeremiah 16:5-9
  6. The potters clay Jeremiah 18:1-10
  7. The two baskets of figs Jeremiah 24
  8. Told not to marry in this place Jeremiah 16:1-4
Six discourses were given in Jeremiah chapters 2-20:
  • Jeremiah 2:1-3:5
  • Jeremiah 3:6-6:30
  • Jeremiah chapters 7-10
  • Jeremiah chapters 11-13
  • Jeremiah chapters 14-17
  • Jeremiah chapter 18-20
Moroni quoted several verses from Jeremiah to the Prophet Joseph Smith:

Jeremiah 30:18-21; 31:6, 8, 9, 27-28, 31-33

Important covenant imagery is found in Jeremiah 34:8-22 which finds a latter-day reference in D&C 6:2; 11:2; 12:2; and 14:2.

Monday, October 4, 2010

We Have Moved Too Far To Mainstream.

Let us love the Lord, yes, with all our strength and power. And let us also love our neighbors. Let us banish from our lives any elements of self-righteousness. Many regard us with suspicion, as having only one interest and that is to convert them. Conversion is more likely to come as a consequence of love. Let us be friendly. Let us be helpful. Let us live the Golden Rule. Let us be neighbors of whom it might be said, “He or she was the best neighbor I ever had.”
And as we move forward into a wonderful future, there are what some may regard as the lesser commandments but which are also of such tremendous importance.
I mention the Sabbath day. The Sabbath of the Lord is becoming the play day of the people. It is a day of golf and football on television, of buying and selling in our stores and markets. Are we moving to mainstream America as some observers believe? In this I fear we are. What a telling thing it is to see the parking lots of the markets filled on Sunday in communities that are predominately LDS.
Our strength for the future, our resolution to grow the Church across the world, will be weakened if we violate the will of the Lord in this important matter. He has so very clearly spoken anciently and again in modern revelation. We cannot disregard with impunity that which He has said.
We must observe the Word of Wisdom. As we read our newspapers, as we watch the television news, these remarkable words first spoken in 1833 come to life before our very eyes: “In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you” (D&C 89:4). People are becoming increasingly health conscious. We have a running start on the world, a code so simple and easily understood. Not long ago I met Dr. James E. Enstrom of the University of California at Los Angeles. He is not a member of the Church. He speaks with complete objectivity. His studies indicate that actuarially speaking, Latter-day Saints live about 10 years longer than their peers.
Who can set a price on 10 years of life? What a remarkable and wonderful blessing is this Word of Wisdom.
Reporters whom I have met simply cannot believe that we pay 10 percent of our income as tithing. I explain that this is a spiritual phenomenon. We pay because we are obedient to the commandment of the Lord. We pay because we have faith in His munificent promises. Let us teach our children while they are yet young of the great opportunity and responsibility of paying tithing. If we do so, there will be another generation, and yet another, who will walk in the ways of the Lord and merit His promised blessing.
Perhaps our greatest concern is with families. The family is falling apart all over the world. The old ties that bound together father and mother and children are breaking everywhere. We must face this in our own midst. There are too many broken homes among our own. The love that led to marriage somehow evaporates, and hatred fills its place. Hearts are broken, children weep. Can we not do better? Of course, we can. It is selfishness that brings about most of these tragedies. If there is forbearance, if there is forgiveness, if there is an anxious looking after the happiness of one’s companion, then love will flourish and blossom.
As I look to the future, I see little to feel enthusiastic about concerning the family in America and across the world. Drugs and alcohol are taking a terrible toll, which is not likely to decrease. Harsh language, one to another, indifference to the needs of one another—all seem to be increasing. There is so much of child abuse. There is so much of spouse abuse. There is growing abuse of the elderly. All of this will happen and get worse unless there is an underlying acknowledgment, yes, a strong and fervent conviction, concerning the fact that the family is an instrument of the Almighty. It is His creation. It is also the basic unit of society.
I lift a warning voice to our people. We have moved too far toward the mainstream of society in this matter. Now, of course there are good families. There are good families everywhere. But there are too many who are in trouble. This is a malady with a cure. The prescription is simple and wonderfully effective. It is love. It is plain, simple, everyday love and respect. It is a tender plant that needs nurturing. But it is worth all of the effort we can put into it.
Ensign, November 1997, p 69