Three Stories


Three stories, My Redeemer Lives, Jesus Christ, Religious Studies


Ever since I was a small child, I have been in awe of stories. I am amazed by the power they have to ignite our imaginations, teach us truths, and help us feel. When I was asked to participate in this wonderful Easter Conference, I knew that I had to speak about something to do with the story of Jesus. Often when we study the scriptures, we focus on teachings that are directly conveyed by the Savior in sermons or in conversations with disciples and others. There is nothing wrong with carefully studying such passages, of course; we can learn much that is important when the Savior preaches directly to his listeners or indirectly to us readers, such as in the Sermon on the Mount. When we read “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7), we clearly understand the importance of mercy and realize that if we wish to have mercy extended to us, we need to extend it to others. However, we do not need to concentrate on the declarative in scripture at the expense of the narrative. While declarative statements in the scriptures certainly teach truth, we must remember that the stories teach truth as well. Such passages as the Sermon on the Mount are few and far between in the Gospels; most of what we are given is story. We can often learn more about mercy, for example, from experiencing a story of it in the Gospels than by reading statements about it.

Original Publication Citation

“Three Stories,” in My Redeemer Lives, editors Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Kent P. Jackson (Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah: Deseret Book and Religious Studies Center), 2011.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor