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Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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If it were symbolic, what would it be symbolic of?

I think her name was Margarita... :-? :D
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I dont doubt that she was destroyed, but as to being turned into a pillar of salt, could be symbolic. The story has deeper meaning. Elder Holland devoted a whole BYU talk to this. Here's an excerpt:

So, if history is this important—and it surely is—what did Lot’s wife do that was so wrong? As something of a student of history, I have thought about that and offer this as a partial answer. Apparently what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. It would appear that even before they were past the city limits, she was already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her. As Elder Maxwell once said, such people know they should have their primary residence in Zion, but they still hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon (see Larry W. Gibbons, “Wherefore, Settle This in Your Hearts,” Ensign, November 2006, 102; also Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 47).

It is possible that Lot’s wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. We certainly know that Laman and Lemuel were resentful when Lehi and his family were commanded to leave Jerusalem. So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin.


http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1819
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I watched that Holland talk, it was good.

I have also wondered about her turning to salt. Isn't salt a good thing because it preserves and adds savor?

Was salt symbolic of, or referencing the area they were in? Meaning if they left Sodom and outside the city walls they walked through a salt flat then her turning to salt would simply represent her body being destroyed and reduced to nothing. Or does a "pilar" of salt have greater significance. A pilar is visible right? Evidence of something that was once there but only a pilar remains? I would like to hear what others think.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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And if salt shall lose its savor...
22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I vote for literal. :-?
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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My 2cents: I think they were warned not to stop, and looking back was part of the warning because one had to stop to look back. The destruction came from heaven/the sky. They had to get their buns out of there to be a safe distance. She hesitated. She stopped. She turned around to watch, to look, to say goodbye, thus she was in line of fire of the thing that came from the sky and torched the city. I see no reason why it couldn't be a literal pillar of salt that she became.

I don't think she was condemned to hell for stopping; it was simply a mortal-life saving warning, and she did not heed it. "That truck's going to fall! Jump!" If you jumped, you were fine. If you stood there, you got squashed.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I vote for literal too.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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A Random Phrase wrote:My 2cents: I think they were warned not to stop, and looking back was part of the warning because one had to stop to look back. The destruction came from heaven/the sky. They had to get their buns out of there to be a safe distance. She hesitated. She stopped. She turned around to watch, to look, to say goodbye, thus she was in line of fire of the thing that came from the sky and torched the city. I see no reason why it couldn't be a literal pillar of salt that she became.

I don't think she was condemned to hell for stopping; it was simply a mortal-life saving warning, and she did not heed it. "That truck's going to fall! Jump!" If you jumped, you were fine. If you stood there, you got squashed.


I suspect you're right. I tried to think of another scriptural example but only came up with the charge for us to not turn to the right or left but keep going straight (Deut 5:32, Prov 4:27). I think it's important to point out that they were specifically commanded not to look back (Gen 19:17). Whether or not she looked back out of longing or not, she didn't do what she was told. The Lord tells us to do the same thing in our times (Luke 17:22-33).

Interestingly, as far as the longing for the old ways goes, the Israelites did the same thing as they were leaving Egypt and out in the desert (Exodus 16:3). They longed to eat what they did in Egypt and thought they would starve in the desert. God responded by sending them manna.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I have wondered myself if it was literal or symbolic. I do think that her looking back/desiring to go back/not really wanting to leave everything she had there and not heeding the Lord's warning to not stop was the cause of her death. I do like Hollands talk about it.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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gruden2.0 wrote:Interestingly, as far as the longing for the old ways goes, the Israelites did the same thing as they were leaving Egypt and out in the desert (Exodus 16:3). They longed to eat what they did in Egypt and thought they would starve in the desert. God responded by sending them manna.


While that's true, there's also what came later, that indicates the real problem they had (they lusted for meat, and were ungrateful/rejecting of the Lord's way). Initially they were worried about not having enough to eat, but that wasn't the underlying issue, as can be seen over and over again. In Exodus 16, the Israelites were upset about a lack of food (ostensibly), but moreso about the flesh pots. Then the Lord provided the children of Israel with manna, and they started bemoaning their state of deliverance because they wished that they had the food they had previously had in bondage, which murmuring cause Moses to wish the Lord would kill him, and which incurred God's wrath which resulted in the deaths of many Israelites. Feel free to refer to the entire chapter, but here's what happened in a nutshell 1) God Deliver the people and gave them manna; 2) The people lusted for their old food/circumstances (flesh, specifically, I might add), 3) God became angry and sent them quail that dropped dead for (I assume) miles in every direction (It says a day's journey, 2 cubits (a couple of feet) deep, 4) The Lord visited with them with a plague, and many people died. 5) The people then again complained (Numbers 21) about a lack of food (manna still came daily, except on the sabbath, so obviously it was not a lack of food, but a lack of their desired food (they say this when they mention "Light Bread," which was obviously the manna), and the Lord sent the fiery flying serpents to kill the people if they did not look to God to be their staph and stay (The bread of life, manna, symbolizing Christ and daily dependence on Him, and later as the brass serpent, symbolizing Him as their their healer). 6) The Lord then sent fiery flying serpents that bit the Israelites causing them to die; 6) Moses raised the serpent of brass (type of Christ), that the people were cured if they looked upon (some didn't):

Exodus 16:
2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

4 ¶Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:

7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord; for that he heareth your murmurings against the Lord: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?


Numbers 11:
4 ¶And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

***
10 ¶Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.

11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
***
18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
***

31 ¶And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.


Numbers 21:
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

7 ¶Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.


1Nephi 17:
41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.


Thus, the problem wasn't really with a lack of food (or fear thereof), but moreso the lack of their favorite vice, and general ingratitude to God. In general God's benevolence is only exceeded by man's ability to be ungrateful, because no matter how benevolent God is, someone's always murmuring against his chosen servants (murmuring against Him, actually, as expressed in Exodus 16), or complaining that they'd rather have their slice of Babylon.
Although there will not be another general apostasy from the truth,we must each guard against personal apostasy by keeping covenants,obeying the cmndments,following Church leaders,partaking of the sacrament,&constantly strengthening our testimonies...
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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jdawg1012 wrote:
gruden2.0 wrote:Interestingly, as far as the longing for the old ways goes, the Israelites did the same thing as they were leaving Egypt and out in the desert (Exodus 16:3). They longed to eat what they did in Egypt and thought they would starve in the desert. God responded by sending them manna.


While that's true, there's also what came later, that indicates the real problem they had (they lusted for meat, and were ungrateful/rejecting of the Lord's way). Initially they were worried about not having enough to eat, but that wasn't the underlying issue, as can be seen over and over again. In Exodus 16, the Israelites were upset about a lack of food (ostensibly), but moreso about the flesh pots. Then the Lord provided the children of Israel with manna, and they started bemoaning their state of deliverance because they wished that they had the food they had previously had in bondage, which murmuring cause Moses to wish the Lord would kill him, and which incurred God's wrath which resulted in the deaths of many Israelites. Feel free to refer to the entire chapter, but here's what happened in a nutshell 1) God Deliver the people and gave them manna; 2) The people lusted for their old food/circumstances (flesh, specifically, I might add), 3) God became angry and sent them quail that dropped dead for (I assume) miles in every direction (It says a day's journey, 2 cubits (a couple of feet) deep, 4) The Lord visited with them with a plague, and many people died. 5) The people then again complained (Numbers 21) about a lack of food (manna still came daily, except on the sabbath, so obviously it was not a lack of food, but a lack of their desired food (they say this when they mention "Light Bread," which was obviously the manna), and the Lord sent the fiery flying serpents to kill the people if they did not look to God to be their staph and stay (The bread of life, manna, symbolizing Christ and daily dependence on Him, and later as the brass serpent, symbolizing Him as their their healer). 6) The Lord then sent fiery flying serpents that bit the Israelites causing them to die; 6) Moses raised the serpent of brass (type of Christ), that the people were cured if they looked upon (some didn't):


Excellent point. It goes to show if we complain too much sometimes God will give us what we ask for - and what we deserve.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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Thought this was interesting from a Jewish perspective . . .

Lot's Wife: Midrash and Aggadah
by Tamar Kadari

The Bible does not mention Lot’s wife by name, but the Rabbis referred to her as “Idit” (Tanhuma [ed. Buber], Vayera 8). This woman’s sorry end teaches of her life: even though she was rescued from the upheaval of Sodom, she was stricken together with the other inhabitants of the city, from which the Rabbis conclude that her actions, as well, were no different from those of the rest of Sodom’s populace. Jealous of others, she offered no hospitality to guests. The angels did not initially want to be her guests, but rather those of her husband Lot, since he was more righteous (Num. Rabbah 10:5); she even tried to bar their entry to the house. Lot’s wife divided their house into two parts and told her husband: “If you want to receive them, do so in your part” (Gen. Rabbah 50:6). Lot wanted the members of his household to participate in the meritorious act of hospitality, as had Abraham, and he asked his wife to bring them salt. She responded: “Do you even wish to learn this bad habit from Abraham?” (Gen. Rabbah 50:4). She finally complied with her husband’s request, but she acted cunningly in order to remove the guests from her house. She went to her women neighbors to borrow salt. They asked her: “Why do you need salt, why didn’t you prepare enough beforehand?” She answered, “I took enough for our own needs, but guests came to us and it is for them that I need salt.” In this manner all the people of Sodom knew that Lot was harboring guests. They stormed his house and demanded that he hand them over to the townspeople (Midrash Aggadah [ed. Buber], Gen. 19:26). Because she sinned through salt, Lot’s wife was punished by being turned into a pillar of the same material (Gen. Rabbah 51:5).

Another explanation for Lot’s wife being transformed into a pillar of salt is based on her having four daughters, two married and two betrothed. The two married daughters and their husbands remained in the doomed city, as did her two future sons-in-law (Gen. Rabbah 50:9; see also “Lot’s Daughters”). When Lot and his wife were saved from the destruction of the city, she took pity on her married daughters who had remained in Sodom and looked behind her. As soon as she saw the back of the Shekhinah (Divine Presence), she was transformed into a pillar of salt (Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer, ed. Higger , chap. 25).

The pillar of salt was left by God as a memorial for all time (Yalkut Shimoni on Esth., para. 1056). Moses saw the pillar of Lot’s wife when God showed him all the land of Canaan before his death (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Masekhta de-Amalek, Beshalah 2). Anyone who sees Lot’s wife is required to recite two blessings. The first, “Blessed be the One who remembers the righteous,” expresses thanksgiving and praise to God for having remembered Abraham, by the merit of whose righteousness He saved Lot and his wife from the upheaval; this blessing relates to the miracle that was performed for Lot. The second blessing, “Blessed be the true Judge” (that is recited upon hearing of someone’s death), is recited for the punishment visited on Lot’s wife (BT Berakhot 54a–b). A late aggadah relates that Lot’s wife stands in her place to the present; every day passing oxen lick her feet and every morning she rises once again to her previous shape as a pillar of salt (Sefer ha-Yashar, Vayera 39).
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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Etosha wrote:Thought this was interesting from a Jewish perspective . . .

Lot's Wife: Midrash and Aggadah
by Tamar Kadari

The Bible does not mention Lot’s wife by name, but the Rabbis referred to her as “Idit” (Tanhuma [ed. Buber], Vayera 8). This woman’s sorry end teaches of her life: even though she was rescued from the upheaval of Sodom, she was stricken together with the other inhabitants of the city, from which the Rabbis conclude that her actions, as well, were no different from those of the rest of Sodom’s populace. Jealous of others, she offered no hospitality to guests. The angels did not initially want to be her guests, but rather those of her husband Lot, since he was more righteous (Num. Rabbah 10:5); she even tried to bar their entry to the house. Lot’s wife divided their house into two parts and told her husband: “If you want to receive them, do so in your part” (Gen. Rabbah 50:6). Lot wanted the members of his household to participate in the meritorious act of hospitality, as had Abraham, and he asked his wife to bring them salt. She responded: “Do you even wish to learn this bad habit from Abraham?” (Gen. Rabbah 50:4). She finally complied with her husband’s request, but she acted cunningly in order to remove the guests from her house. She went to her women neighbors to borrow salt. They asked her: “Why do you need salt, why didn’t you prepare enough beforehand?” She answered, “I took enough for our own needs, but guests came to us and it is for them that I need salt.” In this manner all the people of Sodom knew that Lot was harboring guests. They stormed his house and demanded that he hand them over to the townspeople (Midrash Aggadah [ed. Buber], Gen. 19:26). Because she sinned through salt, Lot’s wife was punished by being turned into a pillar of the same material (Gen. Rabbah 51:5).

Another explanation for Lot’s wife being transformed into a pillar of salt is based on her having four daughters, two married and two betrothed. The two married daughters and their husbands remained in the doomed city, as did her two future sons-in-law (Gen. Rabbah 50:9; see also “Lot’s Daughters”). When Lot and his wife were saved from the destruction of the city, she took pity on her married daughters who had remained in Sodom and looked behind her. As soon as she saw the back of the Shekhinah (Divine Presence), she was transformed into a pillar of salt (Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer, ed. Higger , chap. 25).

The pillar of salt was left by God as a memorial for all time (Yalkut Shimoni on Esth., para. 1056). Moses saw the pillar of Lot’s wife when God showed him all the land of Canaan before his death (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Masekhta de-Amalek, Beshalah 2). Anyone who sees Lot’s wife is required to recite two blessings. The first, “Blessed be the One who remembers the righteous,” expresses thanksgiving and praise to God for having remembered Abraham, by the merit of whose righteousness He saved Lot and his wife from the upheaval; this blessing relates to the miracle that was performed for Lot. The second blessing, “Blessed be the true Judge” (that is recited upon hearing of someone’s death), is recited for the punishment visited on Lot’s wife (BT Berakhot 54a–b). A late aggadah relates that Lot’s wife stands in her place to the present; every day passing oxen lick her feet and every morning she rises once again to her previous shape as a pillar of salt (Sefer ha-Yashar, Vayera 39).




Thanks for that post. It feels like it could be credible. Very interesting.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I believe we will find out it was a tremendous sorrow at leaving her kids and grandkids that made her look back longingly.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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I don't think God would turn her into a pillar of salt for that.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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Etosha wrote:I don't think God would turn her into a pillar of salt for that.


I don't know if He would or not. But there is this:

Matther 10:37:
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
Although there will not be another general apostasy from the truth,we must each guard against personal apostasy by keeping covenants,obeying the cmndments,following Church leaders,partaking of the sacrament,&constantly strengthening our testimonies...
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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To me it would have to be what her heart was set on - babylon.
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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Etosha wrote:To me it would have to be what her heart was set on - babylon.


Oh, I absolutely agree. I was just indicating that having a love of "family" more than God is still having other God's before God. All of us are God's children, regardless of the exclusions and inclusion we decide to toss around as mortals. Thus, when we pick one relationship to place above God, we are in fact choosing Babylon. God clearly states that loving anyone before him (possible exception of spouse, as covenant spouses are one creature, inseparable, to the Lord), makes us unworthy of Him. So the idea that Lot's wife loved her daughters more than the Lord still means she loved Babylon. I don't think that that was the case (the prophets seem to indicate otherwise), but I was just pointing out that it still is no excuse, if I'm explaining that correctly.
Although there will not be another general apostasy from the truth,we must each guard against personal apostasy by keeping covenants,obeying the cmndments,following Church leaders,partaking of the sacrament,&constantly strengthening our testimonies...
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Re: Lot's wife a pillar of salt?

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"Remember Lot's
Wife"

Jeffrey R. Holland

http://speeches.byu.edu/index.php?act=viewitem&id=1819
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