The Presence of the Lord (pānîm)

My mother was a woman who learned to hear the Lord’s voice. She never presided in a Church organization; she was most comfortable behind the scenes. Even though she didn’t want any recognition, she found great joy, year after year, in arranging flowers for the chapel on Saturday evenings and then, on Sunday evenings, taking the arrangement to someone in need. Toward the end she gradually lost her ability to be out and doing. She was on dialysis the last ten years of her life, and while she remained physically active for many years after she started dialysis, as time went on repeated infections left her weaker. After a couple of extended hospitalizations, she had to regain her ability to walk and looked decades older than the early sixties that her birthday reported.

As we seek deeper holiness we keep climbing toward his presence.As we seek deeper holiness we keep climbing toward his presence.

Not only did she have limited ability to walk in these years, but she had also lost her cherished independence since she could no longer drive. She became dependent on the thoughtful sisters in the ward who helped her get to her dialysis appointments three times a week. Much of what she had done earlier to serve was no longer an option. There had been a time before she went on dialysis that she worked tirelessly as the director of the stake family history center. She had encouraged, taught, and helped many, many people with family history throughout her life. But toward the end, her concentration and energy were waning. It was hard for her to go online and do family history work. She was gradually losing the ability to do each of the acts of service that had characterized her life.

We can seek and find the Lord when we are busy on his errand, but watching my mother and spending time with her in her declining years helped me learn that there is another, more internal way of seeking and worshipping the Lord. In the Book of Mormon, we read the Lord’s invitation: “Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely” (Alma 5:34). All are invited to come and partake of the love of God. Seeking out the presence of the Lord moves us from focusing not only on what we do to obey and sacrifice, but what we are thinking and feeling, who we are. The invitation to partake of the fruit of the tree of life is an invitation to the presence of God—to be with him as we become like him.

One thing that I observed in my mother was purity of heart. In her last year, about all she could do was sit and watch television. She loved those cooking shows where you could really learn something and not just be entertained. As I watched her, I was consistently impressed by her sensitivity to anything that might offend the Spirit. Anything unclean or unkind was immediately passed over. She did not hesitate to change the channel. There was no room for it at all. No compromise. No equivocation or justification. No excuses.

Holiness and the Presence of the Lord

One of the most powerful teachings of the Book of Mormon is that no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. The doctrine of the presence of God is woven throughout all the teachings in the Book of Mormon, helping us understand not just what we must do but what we must become to be fit for the kingdom. Rather than framing the holiness of becoming clean in narrow, judgmental, or self-righteous terms as it is popularly seen and caricatured, the Book of Mormon presents a vision in which the holiness of being in the presence of God is the source of joy. Being at the tree and partaking of the fruit is being in the presence of God. It is white above all that is white. It is precious above all that is precious. It is sweet above all that is sweet.

When Lehi saw in his dream that his sons Laman and Lemuel did not accept his invitation to come and partake of the tree, he “feared lest they should be cast off from the presence of the Lord” (1 Nephi 8:36). The invitation to come and partake is an invitation to come to the presence of the Lord. In the Old Testament the term presence is usually an English translation of the Hebrew word pānîm. It literally means “face”—as in one’s visage, the front part of one’s head—but its usage has a broader sense. When entering the court of a king, one came before his face—that is, came into his presence. The same was true in the temple passages of the Old Testament. The men of Israel were commanded to come before the face of the Lord three times a year during the three required temple festivals: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (see Exodus 23:14–17). Coming before the face of Lord in the temple described both formal worship in ritual activity and also seeking his presence in that holy place. “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:2) Longing for the presence of God is part of the quest for holiness.

Holiness and living worthy of being in the presence of God is often portrayed as “life denying.” Many would have us believe that enjoyment of life can be cultivated only when we live out our sexuality freely or indulge our senses in the many wonderful substances that bring pleasure. They seek to persuade us that embracing the natural world and our real nature means that we shouldn’t be limited by prudish, narrow-minded, or archaic constraints.

Growing up with my mother taught me to see through these kinds of claims. My mother was a free spirit. She sought pleasure in food, art, and nature. She was passionate about watching birds, finding wildflowers, and sitting on the beach and just listening to the sound of the waves. Even when she was in a hospital bed for months recovering from an infection and broken bones near the end of her life, she put up a picture of a beach and of the wildflower meadows to remind her why she was doing the physical therapy, why she wanted to walk again.

When we were young, she would, from time to time, take us out of school for adventures, saying that we shouldn’t let school interfere with our education. She had a remarkable ability to live free of social constraint. She did try canning and bottling, but when none of us really enjoyed the products and we didn’t need it to get by, she went back to buying the fresh fruit that she loved. Once she had survived the years of picky children, her love of food and cooking blossomed. Something that she had always enjoyed became a dedicated pursuit of nuance, flavor, and texture. She was always finding and trying new recipes. She had great joy and pleasure in life.

At the same time, my mother always had a finely tuned sense of holiness. Her joy in nature and her enjoyment of beauty wasn’t hedonism. It was worship. She truly did “feel [her] Savior’s love in all the world around [her].”[1] She read widely and took us to the library weekly. She almost never watched TV when we were growing up but did enjoy the Olympics, National Geographic specials, and college basketball. She took us to museums and taught us to enjoy all kinds of art. She was not a prudish or narrow-minded woman. She was compassionate and open-minded.

But she could sense when things were not right, when they offended the Spirit. She never spoke ill of others. She stopped us if we tried to. From our youngest years, she corrected us when we did or said things that hurt other people. She had a sensitivity to unkindness that I learned, right near her death, may have been sharpened by arguments between her father and her stepmother. Her mother died when she was nine. What she missed in maternal nurturing she made up for in the way that she loved us and any others that came into her circle. From my mother I learned that enjoying the pleasure of the fruit of the tree of life is part of the plan. It is sweet and delicious. My mother tasted that fruit when she felt the Spirit of the Lord, and she lived so that she stayed worthy to be in the Lord’s presence to partake of it.

Symbolism of Temple Holiness

The Israelites lived in a world that was bounded and shaped by their covenant relationship with Jehovah. As part of the covenant relationship, the temple or tabernacle was established as the center around which their lives revolved. It was the center of holiness, the presence of the Lord on the earth. For the Israelites to live worthy to be in the land where the presence of the Lord was found, there were regulations in the law regarding their time, their bodies, their food, and their work. Many of the regulations in the law of Moses were designed to teach the principles of holiness.

The Israelites were tempted to be like their neighbors and to indulge themselves in practices that would betray their relationship with the Lord. In giving the holiness regulations, the Lord was trying to help them remember and be faithful to their covenant relationship. The Sabbath was to be kept holy. They were to separate the holy and the unholy in deciding which food they ate. Priests were held to especially high standards because when they came to the temple, they had to be holy—ritually pure. Touching anything ritually impure would make them ritually impure and unfit to officiate in sacred things. Likewise, the sacrifices offered in the temple were holy, to be eaten only by the priests.

Day after day, the Israelites had to watch themselves. They had to be careful about what they took into their mouths and what they did on the Sabbath day. The Lord gave many specifics in the law of Moses, but he also gave the overarching principle: “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). In particular, the temple or tabernacle was set up in such a way as to illustrate the holiness associated with the presence of the Lord. There was the boundary around the holy courtyard where priests and Levites officiated. There was the building (or tent for the tabernacle) itself, which was divided into rooms of increasing holiness. Priests could enter the Holy Place to pray and maintain the incense altar, showbread, and candelabra, but only the high priest could go into the Holy of Holies, and even he could enter only once a year after careful preparation, including sacrifices to cleanse himself and all of Israel.

The law of Moses was very specific about the criteria for priests who were to officiate in the temple because of the sacredness of approaching the presence of the Lord. The priests had to symbolically represent the Lord and also had to symbolically present the people to the Lord. They had to be ritually holy even as he was holy. The message of the holiness of the temple was reinforced with a focus on wholeness. In Hebrew the term for “perfect” was the same as the word for “whole” or “without blemish”: tāmîm. Just as the law required that the sacrificial animals be tāmîm, whole and unblemished, without any physical impairment, it required the same physical wholeness of priests as is outlined in Leviticus.

These requirements symbolically illustrated spiritual principles by outlining strict boundaries about who could officiate and approach the presence of God. In Leviticus 21 we read some of these prohibitions. Physically impaired priests were forbidden to “come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, . . . to offer the bread of his God, . . . [to] go in unto the veil, [or] come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them” (21:21–23). Those who were not whole were not able to serve in the Holy Place or come to the altar. There was a separation between them and the presence of the Lord. As with all things in the law of Moses, the nuanced requirements about the physical pointed to spiritual truths about the nature of God and the nature of holiness. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God (see 1 Nephi 10:21; Moses 6:57).

In addition to the limits on the impaired priests to “draw near” to the holiest places of the temple, there are other explicit connections between wholeness and holiness in the Torah for ordinary worshippers. Throughout the regulations of ritual purity, temporary impurity limitations were associated with things that we know are not sins, usually connected with procreation and death. Under the law of Moses, childbirth, menstruation, seminal emissions, and touching dead bodies could make individuals temporarily ritually impure. It seems as though the symbolism of these physical realities of life and death was very powerful, and contact required temporary separation from the presence of God in the temple. With time and certain ritual acts, individuals who had become ritually impure could be made ritually clean again. Likewise, leprosy also rendered individuals unclean, but a person who had been healed could again become clean through a specific temple ritual and offering.

Certain physical deformities, however, represented a permanent condition of being unclean and thus permanently excluded certain worshippers as well as priests from the temple. Here again, there seems to have been powerful symbolism tied to the forces of procreation: those with genital deformity or damage were separated from God’s presence. “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:1). So, in the world of the Old Testament, men who were eunuchs or who had genital damage would have been excluded from entering the temple.

While this very likely would have encompassed a small number of people, their personal trauma would never have ended. This was not something that would pass. Not only could these individuals not experience family life and posterity as other people, but they were also separated from the house of the Lord. To be categorized as different and unclean would be a sense of self that could not be avoided or wished away. Others could approach the temple to bring offerings on holy days, but not these individuals.

With these regulations of the law of Moses, we see both the symbolism of wholeness and holiness and also the limitations of the law. The healing and access to the presence of God provided by Jesus Christ is prophesied by Isaiah. In Isaiah’s prophecies we can understand the law’s symbolism of that which is imperfect being separated from the presence of the Lord, but we can also look ahead to the fullness of the redeeming and healing covenant that the Lord wants to establish with all his children. Because of this prophesy we can appreciate how “in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way” (Ether 12:11).

This moving passage in Isaiah 56 looks forward to the day when all will be invited into the presence of the Lord, based on their covenant faithfulness.[2] Isaiah speaks of a day when the eunuch who might say “Behold, I am a dry tree” shall hear the Lord’s assurance of inheritance and entrance into the temple. “For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 56:3–5; emphasis added).

Unlike in the law of Moses, the Lord promises that those who may see themselves as “a dry tree”—for example, those unable to be a part of a heterosexual marriage—are not permanently separated from his presence. Through Christ and the fullness of his gospel covenant, all those who “choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant” are welcomed into his presence. The Lord is aware of all individuals and all kinds of challenges. All are invited to “take hold of [his] covenant.” This amazing expression captures our side of a covenant relationship—he metaphorically extends his hand and asks us to take hold of his redeeming and sanctifying power.

Taking hold of his covenant is associated here with external obedience, represented by “keeping my sabbaths.” But there is also a sense that the Lord wants to be close to those who want to be close to him. Taking hold of his covenant requires not only obedience to the boundaries that he has set but also cultivation of the kind of heart that he has. Seeking to “choose the things that please [him]” is the deeper quest for holiness. When we accept that quest, we seek to become those who love holiness. As we seek to love what the Lord loves and “choose the things that please [him],” we are promised that we shall be given “in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” As we seek to increasingly love what God loves, we increasingly receive his name and nature. We increasingly enter into his presence.

Under the law of Moses many limitations of access to the presence of the Lord were independent of agency. People didn’t choose which tribe they were born into or whether they would have physical limitations that made them unfit to enter the presence of the Lord. Isaiah foresaw that those who choose the Lord and the things that please him would one day be able to enter into his presence. Isaiah’s vision points to deep truths about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who have been seen as “dry trees” shall be given “a place and a name better than of sons and daughters.” Rather than limitation they will experience abundance. The covenants and access to temple blessings in the latter days are now available to all.

Nephi emphasizes, “He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:33). The things that make us feel different from each other are not barriers in the eyes of God. Any human condition that we experience—race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability, or health condition—any difference of any kind of capacity that leaves us feeling different, alone, unloved, or misunderstood does not keep us out of the presence of God. All are alike unto God. He invites us all to come unto him and partake of his goodness.

All Are Invited

We can see how these principles play out in worthiness to hold a temple recommend. The question is not if we have experienced same-sex attraction or have a genetic addiction to alcohol but if we are keeping the law of chastity and the Word of Wisdom. Our struggles with any of the commandments associated with temple worthiness are why we have a Redeemer. He is there to bring us out of the captivity of any identity, attitude, addiction, weakness, predisposition, or sin of the natural man part of ourselves that would keep us from the abundant life that he wants to share with us. And in those situations when we, like Paul, ask to have a “thorn in the flesh” removed, he promises that his “grace is sufficient” to be able to continue faithful even when a weakness is not taken away (2 Corinthians 12:7, 9). Christ has paid the price so that we can be freed from the captivity of guilt for anything that we have done. We can walk away from that enslavement if we are willing to keep repenting, keep trying, keep seeking to “take hold of his covenant.”

The only time when Christ’s ransom price fails to help us is when we don’t want to leave the prison. Abinadi’s witness of Christ’s redemption comes with this warning: “The Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins.” That is the one danger—our refusal. Abinadi explains that those “that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection” (Mosiah 15:26). We have to want to live in the freedom that he offers us. We show that desire by our choice to be obedient.

When we reject redemption, we risk dying in our sins, thus losing the desire to ever turn to Christ for life. But none of us have perished in our sins until we permanently lose the desire to repent and to change. Amulek describes this final spiritual death as being “subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you” (Alma 34:35). This state is the direct opposite of being fully redeemed and being sealed to Christ. For now, all of us are still in play. We are still choosing.

Christ wants us all back. He continues to plead with us not to rebel but to choose redemption and lives of obedience. Until the judgment day, Christ continues to extend his arm of mercy to all of Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil, pleading with us to accept the redemption price he has paid with his precious blood. Even in the spirit world, messengers are sent to “proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:31).

This amazing vision given to President Joseph F. Smith declares that “it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:35). Even if we have rejected him before, Christ invites us to choose him. In mortality, we perform vicarious ordinances in temples in hopes that those on the other side will choose faith in the redemption of Christ and accept a new covenant relationship with him. In the spirit world, the message of Christ’s redemption is brought “to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:32). We just have to want to change. We have to want to be holy.

The standards of holiness are applicable to all. Christ is inviting all to his presence. The choices that we make with our bodies, what substances to partake of and what relationships to have with other people, become a way for us to “choose the things that please [him], and take hold of [his] covenant.” When we choose holiness in body and mind, we choose the Lord. We make choices that enable us to enter into his presence.

Continually in His Presence

Another powerful insight into the presence of the Lord in the Book of Mormon is the idea that we can experience his presence always rather than just in temples or when we pass through the veil of mortality. We learn that we are supposed to be partaking of the fruit of the tree now and not just when we die. These insights make it clear that experiencing the presence of the Lord can be part of our covenant relationship on a daily basis and not just a distant promise designed to deny us the joys of mortality in favor of a distant reward.

It is true that many of the passages in which the phrase “the presence of the Lord” appears in the Book of Mormon emphasize judgment and the afterlife. However, some very significant passages with the phrase focus on our condition in this life. These passages are helpful because they show that we don’t need to understand being in God’s presence only as arriving in the celestial kingdom. These images connect being at the tree and partaking of the fruit as experiencing the presence of the Lord. They show us how the blessings of Christ’s Atonement give us access to the divine presence in mortality.

One of the earliest teachings of Lehi, found in 1 Nephi 2:21, explains the relationship of obedience and access to God’s presence. Nephi is told, “And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.” This is set up against the promise of prospering in the land. Later in the Book of Mormon we see a fulfillment of this warning as Alma reminds the people of Ammoniah: “Now I would that ye should remember, that inasmuch as the Lamanites have not kept the commandments of God, they have been cut off from the presence of the Lord. Now we see that the word of the Lord has been verified in this thing, and the Lamanites have been cut off from his presence, from the beginning of their transgressions in the land” (Alma 9:14). Over and over again choices are portrayed as affecting our access to the presence of God in this life. Prospering in the land is the opposite of being “cut off from the presence of the Lord.” This teaches something very powerful about the promise of prospering in the land—it’s not about being rich in money but about being rich in the Spirit.

While the warning of being “cut off from his presence” is a dominant theme in the Book of Mormon, there is a beautiful portrayal of the possibility of enjoying God’s presence in this life as well. In a letter from the prophet Helaman to Captain Moroni, we glimpse the way in which we can always enjoy the presence of the Lord. Helaman captures that hope with a simple prayer for Captain Moroni’s well-being: “May the Lord our God . . . keep you continually in his presence” (Alma 58:41). These Book of Mormon insights about being in the presence of God in mortality help us move from seeing the presence of God tied only to temples or the afterlife.

An important insight in Psalm 51 can help to make explicit how we can continually enjoy the presence of the Lord in this life and thus “prosper in the land.” The Psalmist prays: “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). Sometimes we forget the covenant privilege that is ours with the gift of the Holy Ghost. By coming unto Christ with faith, repentance, and partaking of the cleansing power of baptism and the sacrament, we are made fit to be temples of God, to have the presence of the Lord literally within us through the gift of the Holy Ghost (see 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. When he is with us, we are experiencing the presence of the Lord. So, seeking to be in the presence of the Lord does prepare us for the next life, but it can also focus us on living worthy to be “continually in his presence” in this life as well (Alma 58:41).

Future or present, in any time frame, we must be clean to enjoy the presence of the Lord. We also must know that we can have no access to his presence on our own. “All are fallen and are lost” (Alma 34:9). Lehi reminds Jacob: “No flesh can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8). Whether we understand being at the tree and partaking of the fruit as enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost, partaking of the sacrament, entering into holy temples, or being worthy to dwell in celestial realms of glory, access to the presence of the Lord is made possible only in and through Christ’s Atonement.

Joy in His Presence

With this framework, the expectations of holiness in the commandments are not warnings about being cut off from some eternal destination. They are instead pointing us to a way of living now. Choosing holiness of mind and body is choosing to dwell in the presence of the Lord now. Choosing anything unclean or offensive to the Spirit of the Lord is choosing to cut ourselves off from the presence of the Lord now. Learning to find joy in holiness rather than experiencing it as the negation of pleasure and enjoyment is part of learning and embodying the deep holiness of becoming Saints.

Not just what we do but who we are becomes our offering to the Lord. We are not sacrificing pleasures of the flesh to please a jealous God, as is so often depicted in hostile caricatures. Holiness is not negative, but positive. Choosing holiness is cultivating the tree that brings forth the fruit that is sweet above all that is sweet. Choosing holiness is savoring the water springing up in us unto everlasting life.

We cannot separate a sincere and humble quest to live lives of holiness from the nature of the Holy One, his way of being. He is Holy. Because he is holy, he is asking us to be holy. We are asked not just to seek forgiveness for the sins that we have committed so that we can be clean, but to seek sanctification so that we increasingly lose the desire to sin. The covenant promise of the “baptism of fire” is given when we are really willing to take upon us the name of Christ (see 2 Nephi 31:13). When we really want to be like him, we have access to the power to become holy.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the means by which the sanctifying, purifying influence of Christ’s Atonement becomes available to us. When we choose holiness, we choose to invite that cleansing power into our lives. Becoming sanctified literally means becoming holy. Sanctus is simply the Latin term for “holiness.” As we seek to become Saints in thought and feeling, we are seeking to take his name and nature upon us in the deepest sense of the term. He is the Holy One. We are seeking to receive his nature and to become holy, even as he is holy.

Faith produces repentance. Part of the faith required in this quest for holiness is to believe that he wants us to be happy. Part of what we need to know as we increasingly seek holiness is a conviction that God’s nature is not only holiness, but also happiness. On this point, again, the Book of Mormon gives us the strongest witness. It warns us that if we don’t want what Christ is offering, we will never find what we thought we were looking for in life. Alma warned Corianton that we can’t fool ourselves that we will be “restored from sin to happiness,” because “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Alma had a lot of personal experience with getting out of the bonds of iniquity through faith in the redemption of Christ. He wanted to make sure that his son understood that it is our very way of being when we are unredeemed that makes us miserable. “All men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness” (Alma 41:11). Samuel the Lamanite also warned that unless we change and start wanting what God wants, someday we will know that “[we] have sought all the days of [our] lives for that which [we] could not obtain; and [we] have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head” (Helaman 13:38). Misery is an existential problem—the way we are is the problem itself; repentance and redemption through Christ is the existential solution—only he can change our natures.

Satan’s most potent lie is that holiness is contrary to happiness. Instead, as we seek to be worthy to be in the presence of the Lord, we find that being where he is helps us to become as he is. We come to find that as we become more like him, we have greater happiness. This quest to be worthy to enter the presence of the Lord opens up a better way of being, both in mortality and the eternities.

Amulek used an ancient image to describe what we are moving toward in our daily struggle for sanctification. He reminded us, “the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb” (Alma 34:36). The image of “sitting down” in his presence to go no more out may feel elusive in mortality, but as we think through the terms and images associated with “sitting down” in the presence of the Lord, we increasingly move our vision toward his exalted nature and what he intends for us.


[1] See K. Newell Dayley, “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” in Children’s Songbook (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1989), 74.

[2] I have been indebted for many years to Daniel Belnap for his insights on this Isaiah passage, now published as “‘The Lord God Which Gathereth the Outcasts’ (Isaiah 56:3–8),” Religious Educator 19, no. 3 (2018): 117–36.