0:00:00 Tammy Uzelac Hall: I know very little about art, in fact, I used to brag that I made it through the Louvre in France in under three hours, 'cause I'd look at a painting and I'd think, "Hmm, that's nice." And then I'd move onto the next painting and think, "Yeah, I've seen that landscape before, next." Now, sometimes when I read my scriptures, I admit I kinda read them like I used to look at art. When I'd read a column, a chapter, or a verse, I'd think, "Yeah, I've already read that verse before," or "read that in the Bible." But as I've aged, I will come to admit that I have come to appreciate art in a whole new way and the same goes for scriptures, most of the time. Today we're studying 3 Nephi, chapters 20 through 26, and for me, it's like a painting that from far away, the picture may look nice, but when you get up close and carefully examine each individual brushstroke, you begin to understand that each stroke is intentional. In today's chapters, each word that the Savior spoke and the order that he spoke them in, you guys, it's intentional. If we take the time to go slow, we will see that there is purpose in these verses, it's a beautiful story about us, and it's really, really fascinating. I can't wait to share it with you today.
0:01:06 TH: Welcome to the "Sunday on Monday" study group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original, brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you guys are new to our group, I wanna just make sure you know how to use this podcast. You can listen to it all at once. It runs about an hour long and study your scriptures for an hour and be done for the week, or another cool thing about the podcast is it's broken up into six segments, and each segment is about 10 to 12 minutes each so you can study your scriptures for 10 to 12 minutes a day and be done for the week, just like friend Linda Morgan Morse and her family, that's what they do every night. Hi, Morse family! You'll hear a little bit of music like one of those storybooks when the segment is finished so listen for the music. Now, another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends and so it's a little different every week. So today, we have Robert Haworth and Trace Stanger. Hi guys!
0:02:01 Robert: Hello Tammy.
0:02:01 Trace: Hey, happy to be here.
0:02:02 TH: So Robert and Trace, I've known you guys for over 20 years, like such a long time because your wives are two of my very best friends, who've also been on the podcast, Susan Stanger and Holly Howarth, and then Robert, your daughter, Ellery, she also frequents our podcast. Trace and Robert, you guys have a fun story, you've traveled together, come on, you got some dirt on each other, what's a good story you can share?
0:02:25 Robert: Oh, gosh.
0:02:26 Trace: Right now, my job is to train him to do LoToJa. I'm not courageous enough to do it so I'm helping him in the mornings with my son, Ethan, training with Robert.
0:02:37 TH: What is LoToJa?
0:02:40 Robert: It's a horrible bike race from Logan, Utah, to Jackson, Wyoming, you do all in one day. It's a 210 miles about and people that don't love themselves do it.
0:02:54 Trace: Well-put.
0:02:54 TH: Oh ya-yay, well-put, that's funny. I'll say one of my favorite stories about you guys is, and it tells everything about Trace, how kind he is, and how, even-tempered he is because a bunch of... We all got together for a weekend getaway with all the husbands and wives, and all of the husbands got in the car to go pick up all of the food except for Trace. Trace stayed back, but Trace gave his credit card to the men and said, "Here put my portion on the credit card." And he stayed back and all the husbands went to get the food, and Trace was with us in the living room, and all of a sudden he gets an alert and he goes, "McDonald's? Why do I have a charge for McDonald's all of a sudden?" And within minutes, all the husbands walked in holding McDonald's cups and ice cream cones, and they had charge it to Trace's credit card, and he was such a good sport about it. It was so funny. So I just... I love that about Trace. He didn't fly off the handle. He thought it was hilarious so that's one of my favorite stories that we all have.
0:03:52 Robert: It was my idea to go to McDonald's on his card.
0:03:55 TH: Yeah. Well, it's a brilliant idea. I love it.
0:03:57 Trace: I'm glad you shot low.
0:04:00 TH: Well, I'm so excited to have you guys here today. Well, you can find out more information about my guests by reading their bios and seeing some of their fun pictures through our show notes, which is at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Now, you guys, Robert, Trace, seriously, how about these six chapters? It's like sitting down and trying to eat seven Big Macs in one sitting. Would you agree?
0:04:22 Trace: I would agree, yeah. When you gave us those chapters, they're intimidating because they are some of those purely doctrinal chapters of the Savior sprinkled with Isaiah and Malachi to make things even a little more difficult, but being asked to commentate or share stories is intimidating because these are some of my favorite chapters.
0:04:44 TH: Oh, I did not know that. That's great. Robert, what about you? Same thing?
0:04:50 Robert: Well, a little bit different. As a young boy, I was... The scriptures are hard, 'cause of "thees" and "thys" and "thous," and I was like, "Oh... I would really just want Jesus to talk to us 'cause it'd be so normal." And then I started reading the Book of Mormon when I was deacon and I got the Third Nephi, he's quoting Isaiah? Ugh, how am I ever gonna learn this stuff, but as I matured and I learned... You're right. It is really meaty, what we're talking about here. There's not a lot of scripture where we have the Savior speaking, that it is incredibly powerful when you think about the covenants that are being made and the hope that is provided in these chapters, it's amazing.
0:05:32 TH: It really is. And I have to tell you, I had to use my journal edition of the Book of Mormon because there was so many notes I had to take and things I had like, I just wanna show you, this is what it looks like in one of my pages.
0:05:45 Trace: I'm seeing a lot of notes and colors and annotations on the side so yeah, that's intimidating.
0:05:51 TH: Yeah, my college days served me well, apparently. My English teacher would have been very impressed. [laughter] So it is meaty, like you both said, there's so much to take in and so much to study so I am so excited for us to study 3 Nephi, chapters 20 through 26. So friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in, here we go. Okay, Robert and Trace, I asked you beforehand if you would come with a story about the sacrament that you'd be willing to share, and it could be any story you have, just something specific to you so go ahead. You guys got a story?
0:06:23 Robert: We went to church in Midway, Utah, and they have a big festival called Swiss Days that they do over the Labor Day weekend. So when you go to church that week, it's like going to a state conference, you got 800 people in the chapel. It took about 45 minutes and Jeffrey R. Holland, was at the meeting that day, and he got up to speak after the sacrament was done and he goes, "Oh, I wonder if any of you felt uncomfortable during that 45 minutes?" You know it just takes a long time, there's crying babies, all these commotions going on. And he goes, "I just want you to know it was the most wonderful 45 minutes of my life, it gave me a chance just to sit and to think." And it was really a special thing for me too because I sat there for 45 minutes and it was a wonderful time to think about the Savior, and when we do it at home now, during home church, it goes so fast. I just really appreciated that time. And I think that it helped me to think about the sacrament, not just as a thing I do for a few minutes during Sunday service, but the sacrament, how it affects me throughout the entire week. And so that really impacted me and made me want to keep the sacrament in my heart throughout the week.
0:07:37 TH: Wow, thank you, Robert. What about you Trace?
0:07:41 Trace: Well, I like what Robert said, he talked a lot about the feelings of the sacrament and how impactful they can be, and that, too was what I was reflecting on these last couple of weeks. And this good friend of mine who passed on recently, his name is Bill Peregrine, kind of a mentor and friend. He told me a story when he was 12 years old, and I don't know if this goes on in all wards of the church, but there's kind of this unspoken hazing that goes on where a new 12-year-old seems to be chosen to go up on the stand and give the sacrament to the presiding authority as if they're not scared enough, and in his particular ward, President David O. McKay was there. So he approached President McKay as a 12-year-old boy, he noticed there were tears streaming down his cheeks in preparation to receiving that sacrament, and then he took pause to examine that tray of bread, and it caused my friend to think that he must have been contemplating that each piece was broken individually, no two pieces were alike and maybe even considering, "Am I deserving of a small piece or do I need a bigger piece today?" and took that sacrament very thoughtfully, which made an impact on him, and he shared that story with me and gave me a goal to make sacrament a priority and a feeling-oriented ordinance that we take part of every week.
0:09:09 TH: Wow. Thank you Trace for sharing that. Trace and Robert, what both of you shared is so perfect for what we're gonna read in 2 Nephi chapter 20, let's go there. And at the top of chapter 20, I want you to write "second sacrament." This is the second sacrament that the Savior is going to have with the people. And then I'm gonna give you a cross-reference, I want you to put underneath the words "second sacrament," put chapter 26, verse 13, because in chapter 26, verse 13, we read about how the Savior will then teach the people these things, but I like how verse 13 says, "I would that you should behold that the Lord truly did teach unto the people for the space of three days, and after that, he did show himself unto them off and did break bread oft and blessed it and gave it unto them." So we know of at least two times he did it, he may have done it more, but the beauty in this whole experience is what you guys shared. So let's go into 3 Nephi, chapter 20. The sacrament is given in verses 4-9, so in verses 4 and 5, they do the sacrament, but I really like verse 6. Robert read verse 6.
0:10:11 Robert: "Now, if there had been no bread, neither wine brought by the disciples, neither by the multitude."
0:10:18 TH: How about that verse? And I like how it's written as if Mormon would just assume that the reader would go, "Oh yeah, another miracle." Okay, so there's bread and wine, nobody knows how they got it, but then what's beautiful is in verse eight, and Trace, I want you to read this because it goes right in with the story that you shared. And as we do this, I want you to highlight the word "soul" every time you see in verse eight. Trace, go ahead.
0:10:42 Trace: And he said unto them, "He that eateth this bread, eateth of my body to his soul. And he that drinketh of this wine, drinketh of my blood to his soul, and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled."
0:10:58 TH: Let's read this quote by Elder Holland about that word. And Trace, will you continue? Will you read this quote for us?
0:11:05 Trace: "One of the invitations inherent in the sacrament ordinance is that it be a truly spiritual experience, a holy communion, a renewal for the soul. Jesus said to those Nephites, 'He that eateth this bread, eateth of my body to his soul, and he that drinketh of this wine, drinketh of my blood to his soul, and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.'"
0:11:31 TH: Thank you. Have either of you had an experience where you felt like at a time in your life, the sacrament did renew your soul?
0:11:40 Robert: I just remember, this was over 10 years ago, but I was... Had a tough patch there where I was trying to start my own company and financially, things were incredibly tight, and I was just struggling trying to figure out what I needed to do to support my family. And I had a business deal that went bad and that I had some bad feelings between me and some other people, and I felt like I must have really messed this up. And I was just thinking about it, maybe I shouldn't take the sacrament, maybe I'm not worthy. And as I went through that week, praying about it and thinking and going, "Ugh, I did the best I could." When it came time to do the sacrament, I felt that the Lord said, "You are enough." And I took the sacrament and I remember feeling so different that day that I was a son of God. Maybe I didn't do everything right, but I could do better, and I knew with the Lord on my side I could not fail.
0:12:44 TH: That was an absolute perfect example of having the sacrament renew your soul. Thank you for sharing that. Trace, did anything come to your mind?
0:12:52 Trace: I feel that void when you miss the sacrament and so it's a completeness that helps, not only with the Sabbath day, but for that next week, and even during this time of COVID, I'm grateful to have the priesthood and where we can administer and bless the sacrament in our home. It's been a blessing and helped keep that void filled.
0:13:17 TH: Wow, thank you so much. Thank you both of you. That was a great response. So after the Savior takes the sacrament with the people, he then teaches them about the Abrahamic covenant, and here's what you need to know about that in 3 Nephi, chapter 20. Just go to verse 25 and we're gonna mark some of this stuff super-duper fast. But in 3 Nephi, chapter 20, verse 25, here's my favorite way to remember the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant, it's the letters LDS, and they stand for land, deliverance, and seed. Those are the three promises you get through the Abrahamic covenant, lands of your inheritance, which means creation of worlds, deliverance from your enemy, who is Satan, and seed is posterity you'll be given that in the creation of worlds becoming a God. So he teaches that to them in 3 Nephi, chapter 20, and it's verses 16 all the way through 25. So on the side of my scriptures, I just wrote that little acronym LDS, and then he goes on to teach them some scriptures from Isaiah. So let's just mark those, turn the page, and I want you to mark 3 Nephi, chapter 20, verses 36 through 45, and put next to those verses this cross-reference, this is Isaiah chapter 52.
0:14:25 TH: Isaiah chapter 52 is the most frequently cited scripture in the Book of Mormon, and in fact, we went through it really in-depth in episode 18 with Robert, your daughter, Ellery. So if you wanna read and understand what Isaiah 52 is talking about in context of the Book of Mormon, go back to episode 18 'cause it's totally fun. So he cites Isaiah there and he talks of them about the beautiful people who are gonna prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ, and remember we talked about how the word beautiful is a verb? It's not an adjective, and there's two types of words for beauty in Hebrew. There is the adjective where things are pretty, but there's a verb, and it's the word where we get, nauvoo. And so that city of Joseph, city of beautiful, it's "nau," which is the specific word for beautiful, and "voo" means they. They are beautiful because of the work that they're doing. So Jesus Christ teaches all of this to the people after the sacrament. Now, go to 3 Nephi, chapter 20, verse 46. And Robert, will you please read verse 46?
0:15:18 Robert: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be a land of their inheritance."
0:15:36 TH: Thank you. At the beginning of verse 46, highlight, "all these things shall surely come," and all these things are what we just read in verse 46, the Lord will establish his covenant, he's going to bring in all of the lost tribes, expose everyone to the gospel, Jesus Christ, but four things have to happen before all of the things can be fulfilled. So in the next segment, we're gonna learn what those four things are.
0:16:10 TH: Okay, we're gonna go in 3 Nephi, chapter 21, and Trace when you read for us, 3 Nephi, chapter 21 verse 1, and just read the first sentence.
0:16:19 Trace: "And verily, I say unto you, I give unto you a sign that you may know the time when these things shall be about to take place."
0:16:29 TH: Perfect. So right at the beginning, it says, "I will give unto you a sign." There's actually four signs he's going to give us now, of things that have to happen before he comes again. So we're gonna mark these, we're gonna number them in our scriptures. So number one, put next to verse two, and Trace, I'm gonna have you keep reading and read all of verse two for us.
0:16:46 Trace: "And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign, for verily, I say unto you, that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob. And concerning this, my people who shall be scattered by them."
0:17:15 TH: Thank you. In verse two, at the beginning, when it says, "When these things," highlight that. That it was a phrase for the Book of Mormon, that's what it means, when these things. When the Book of Mormon, "which I shall to declare unto hereafter myself," and I like how he goes into, "shall also be known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people." So number one is the Book of Mormon has to be published and the gospel will be restored. Okay, the second sign. Robert, will you please read that for us, and it is in verse four, put a number 2 next to verse four.
0:17:47 Robert: "Whereas wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land to be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled, which he had come with his people, O House of Israel."
0:18:05 TH: The key in that verse is when he says, "Established in this land and be set up as a free people," that the United States of America is established to provide the freedoms needed for the Restoration, that's the second sign that we have to have happen. Okay, the third sign is going to be in verse six. So Trace, will you read for us 3 Nephi, chapter 21, verse six and put in number three, this is a third sign.
0:18:30 Robert: "For thus to behooveth, the father, that it should come forth from the Gentiles that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles. For this cause, that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O House of Israel."
0:18:52 TH: Highlight, "and know the true points of my doctrine," that's the third sign, is that the true points of the Savior's doctrine will come to the descendants of the ancient Nephites and Lamanites, and it will be established in this land among the free people. So that's number three, the third sign. Robert, will you please read for us 3 Nephi, chapter 21, verses 9 and 10, and put a number four next to verses 9 and 10. This is the last sign that we need before all things are established.
0:19:19 Robert: "For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work which shall be great and a marvelous work among them, and he shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore, they shall not hurt him, although, he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil."
0:19:44 TH: Who do you think this man or this servant is, that's gonna bring all of this forward?
0:19:49 Robert: I think Joseph Smith.
0:19:50 TH: You're totally right. And it's interesting in here because it says, "He shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him." I circled that because it's interesting. That actually means in an eternal sense, because ultimately we killed him, right?
0:20:03 Trace: Yes.
0:20:03 TH: So what we're talking about here is they're not gonna hurt him ultimately in an eternal sense, he's in my hand, I got him covered. And then the word marred, according to the Ogden Skinner book that I use, that word actually means martyred, and I do like, appreciate the cross-reference down below, which takes you to Section 135, the martyrdom. So it's interesting that that's the last sign, the fourth thing. Now, any thoughts, any...
0:20:26 Robert: I always have thought about Joseph Smith and it's always been hard for me to think about Liberty Jail and section 122 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and finally, the Lord has told them, "Hey, you don't have any worse than the Savior," and so when you wanna talk about being healed, yes, certainly, being martyred is horrible, but in the eternal scheme of things, his soul is with the Savior and our Heavenly Father in exaltation, and certainly nothing is greater than that.
0:20:55 TH: Yeah, exactly. Did you guys have any thoughts about the connection of the timing of America being free in the coming forth of The Restoration?
0:21:04 Robert: Yeah, I've thought a lot about it because, at the time when the United States was created, the principles and what actually occurred have never been done before. No other place could have been the incubator for the Church, and then still Satan did all he could to stop it, but this ability that we need to have is something that I think about a lot, too because to get the promise of Nephi that if you keep my commandments, you shall prosper in the land, and I hope more people are keeping the commandments than what I see in the news.
0:21:35 TH: Thank you, that's perfect. Trace, what about you?
0:21:41 Trace: Yeah, I think it's interesting to contemplate how America was hidden, so to speak. I've read some economic books that give a little bit of enlightenment to the choiceness of the land by having these intricate waterways. We don't often think of these things, but the rivers and how they connect to one another and are able to deliver goods and services throughout the land, north and south, and east and west, we have these diverse climates that are ripe for growing grains and fruits and vegetables, that we have two ocean borders that keep us safe, and it's remarkable how safeguarded and rich with resources and economies, and was able to catch up with the rest of history of the other countries that were more established and become this beacon of light and hope and resource to send out these missionaries throughout the world.
0:22:36 TH: Yeah. Well, and when I was doing the math, which we know I'm not good at, but I thought it's really fascinating that when we became a nation in 1776, we're free. So then 1776 happens, and then Joseph Smith's vision, 1820 so that's about 40 years, I thought that was really interesting. And here it is in the Book of Mormon as two of the signs that have to happen before he comes again. Robert, you look pensive.
0:23:01 Robert: No, I think a lot about the timing is pretty incredible and Tracey's right, everything kinda comes together. And it is a testimony builder when you realize how difficult it is to start something like this, that certainly there was a divine nature and involved there to make that happen. And I think it's so important that we do all that we can as citizens of this land to try to create a place of safe haven for everyone to be able to worship as they please and to build this kingdom of God.
0:23:37 TH: Wonderful, thank you. Thank you, both of you. Those are great comments. So let's go to 3 Nephi, chapter 21, and we're looking at verses 12-21. Specifically, I want us to start in verse 13. So Trace and Robert, here's what I want you guys to do. Scan your eyes over verses 13-20 and highlight every time you see the phrase, "cut off," okay? Go. And those of you listening, go through it, highlight every time you see, cut off, and tell me how many times you found it. And we'll play some music right here, and we'll just like tada, tada, tada.
0:24:15 Robert: So I think I counted five.
0:24:17 TH: Five times?
0:24:18 Trace: I got six.
0:24:19 TH: Six?
0:24:21 Robert: Oh, Trace.
0:24:21 TH: Well, quite a bit, huh, for those verses.
0:24:22 Trace: Maybe there's more.
0:24:24 TH: Okay, that phrase... Well, it's important to know that that phrase, cut off is... He says it over and over and over again, and we read it a lot through the Book of Mormon. So what are your feelings or thoughts about being cut off or that phrase, "cut off"?
0:24:37 Robert: I struggle with the harshness of the Old Testament, things like that. I've always felt love is the most powerful thing in the world, and being cut off just seems so harsh, but at the same time, I feel like if you're going to be cut off, it's not because... It's because you chose to be.
0:24:55 Trace: Yeah, I spent four years teaching at the Salt Lake County Jail as a Church assignment to teach the men. And one of the questions I would post these men was, "I challenge you to go back to your cells later in the day and when it's appropriate, say a prayer and in that prayer, I want you to ask one single thing, and that is, how do you feel about me? Ask your Heavenly Father how he feels about you right now," and typically, the room would be full of tears. They knew they weren't cut off. They were in the lowest state perhaps of their lives, but they still knew that there was this warm spirit and love that engulf them.
0:25:43 TH: Thank you, Trace and Robert. Thanks for sharing those honest opinions about this because in here Christ is quoting a little-unknown Old Testament prophet. So he's quoting Micah, and Micah uses this phrase often about being cut off. So here's a little bit of information about Micah, who he is, and why we need to study him. First of all, he's an Old Testament prophet, he was a contemporary of Isaiah, which I think is so cool. According to the Jews, he's one of the 12 minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. In spite of Israel's destruction, the Lord through Micah, promises that he will again assemble all of Jacob and gather in my remnant, Israel, which is why Jesus is quoting him here because Micah talks about this quite often. And then like Isaiah, his prophecies are dual. That means they apply to the people who are from Israel, but then they also apply to us right now. So as scary as being cut off may seem or as final as cut off may seem to us, there is hope. So there's a really wonderful scripture chain, and I'm gonna include this in our show notes so I highly recommend you go there and follow through the sequence of all of the scriptures because this phrase about being cut off is repeated in all of the standard works so it must be important.
0:26:50 TH: But what's so unique about it is the very last time it's repeated or said is when Moroni comes to visit Joseph Smith. Moroni is gonna quote scripture about being cut off and then he'll say something interesting, which is, no one has been cut off yet. And I think it's important for us to recognize that when we read this because the Lord is quoting Micah, because he wants us to know that he's coming and that we need to be ready, and Trace, just like you said to those prisoners, which I thought was so beautiful, these verses show us how he feels about us, how Christ feels about us, and it's that he loves us and he wants us to return to him. And by us, I mean everyone, the living and the dead, no one's been cut off, that's so important for us to recognize as we read these verses. So in the next segment, we will discover what will happen after the events in Chapters 20-21, and what a barren woman has to do with Christ's people. So I even said I wrote this down 'cause I thought I hold onto your knickers because there's so much in 3 Nephi chapter 22.
0:28:02 TH: We're just gonna dig into 3 Nephi, chapter 22. We're gonna go institute-style, 'cause I'm just gonna go through and tell you what every word means because as soon as you start reading it, you're like, "Barren woman, tent, covenant, blah," like, "What do all these things mean? And a fatted calf there's just so much stuff." And Trace and Robert, as we go through this, just butt in, if you have any thoughts, comments, questions, whatever it is, okay? 'Cause I can be sometimes like a freight train and I'm just gonna go so, please.
0:28:28 Robert: Don't you worry, Tammy, we'll butt in.
0:28:32 TH: You know how to butt in. You know me long enough. Alright, here we go. Verse one, he starts out by saying, and he is quoting right here, Isaiah chapter 54, "Sing, O, barren," Highlight the word, "barren." Barren in this context means Israel. And the reason why it's Israel is because Israel is without child or believers, Israel is empty at this time because of the 10 tribes who've been lost and those people who've stopped believing. "Thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child." So basically again, going, she's barren, everybody's left, she can't find one single believer anymore. "For more are the children of the desolate." Highlight that, that means the Gentiles. So there are more of the Gentiles, "than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord." Now, we believe that the word married wife is a symbol of the covenant people, so he's saying right here, there are more Gentiles than there are children of the covenant people. That's how many people have left. Now, I like this because I know something about you both, you love to camp and so you can give us some insight on verse 2, "Enlarge the place of thy tent."
0:29:38 TH: So the Lord is basically saying, there's not going to be enough room to hold all of the people once I start gathering when they all come in, all the Gentiles, all the covenant people, "And let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitation: Spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes." What is the point of stakes when you build a tent? Tell me about that.
0:30:00 Robert: Well, I know that we went backpacking to Dead Horse Lake several years ago, I took the two dogs and all the kids, and I had just one tent, and I forgot our stakes. And the rain fly kept the flying off. And it was the worst, most miserable night of my life but I really could have used some stakes.
0:30:17 TH: Well, what would the stakes have done for you?
0:30:20 Robert: Would have held us safe. We would have been secure. With all the wind and the rain and the hail beating down on us, we would have had a pleasant, pleasant night.
0:30:27 TH: Perfect. Yes, so the word stakes here, it is two-fold. So the word stakes does mean the security, and I like all the words that you used to describe that. And then it also means the stakes of our church. I thought this is interesting, that according to the last general conference (April 2020), we had a number of 3,437 stakes, and I researched and I hope I did right, but there's an average of five to 10 wards in each stake, 3,500 stakes. So he's saying, "Enlarge your tent," but what I like in verse 2, look back again, because I want us to highlight the action words there involved with enlarging the tent and using the stakes, let's mark those. He says, "Enlarge the place of thy tent, let them stretch forth the curtains of the habitations: Spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes." Those action words, enlarge, stretch forth, spare not, lengthen, and strengthen. These are command words that we're being asked to do right now, and I'm just curious what do these words look like to you?
0:31:30 Trace: I think for me it's... In our family, we always try to look out for the underdog, for those who need a friend, and there is room in the tent. And sometimes we feel like we've occupied, we don't have enough room in our house. We don't have enough room in our classroom, or a ward, or stake, but we do. We can make room, we can get another chair, we can have that person feel comfortable. And it also suggests that there are storms ahead of us and we need to take in those that are a little bit shy or sad, they need to be pulled in and protected.
0:32:04 TH: Oh, I like that, Trace. And I thought, too, when you were saying that people that are different, people that maybe aren't like what we've normally considered campers, so thank you. I love that you said that. Robert, what about you?
0:32:17 Robert: Being a good ministering person, it's hard for me because I grew up in Texas and in California, we used to travel long distances with my dad to go and do our home teaching, and I was always so impressed, but now, I lived in Utah for the last 20 years and my people are next door and down the street, and I do a very poor job compared to my dad. And so I think for me, I've got so many wonderful opportunities through callings and assignments in the Church to have these action words in my life, and I'm grateful for that. I don't live up to it all the time, but I sure try.
0:32:50 TH: Wow. No, that's a great example. Thank you both of you for sharing that. When I was looking back over this first, I thought it was interesting, the order of them, "enlarge, stretch forth, spare not, lengthen," and to me, I thought, and then you'll be strengthened. Even though strengthen could be something you still have to do, but I thought, "Maybe once I do all those things, I will be strengthened to do what the Lord needs me to do among his stakes." So thank you, those were great. Okay, verse 3, "For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left," highlight that. That means is Israel will grow and it will expand in all directions. That's the meaning of those words. "And thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited." Yeah, we will inherit the Gentiles, because we talked about earlier when you become baptized, you are adopted into the house of Israel. So these Gentiles, which are non-believers, that's what it means, once they're baptized, they will be adopted in and we will take them in, we will inherit them. Now, we have verse 4, and what something we need to know is verse 4 and verse 6 are connected.
0:33:48 TH: So going back to verse 1, when I mentioned before that the married woman is a symbol of the covenant people, Isaiah and the Savior uses imagery of a woman here to invoke emotion. The words they use in these verses of scripture, such as shame, grief, reproach, all of that, they're trying to have us feel some emotion because, during the Old Testament time, women felt shamed for being unmarried and childless. Okay, or maybe it's not just during Old Testament time, maybe some of us exactly know how this feels, but the Savior wants us to understand that the feeling of being forsaken and then grieving, it's not permanent because the Lord or our husband... And we talked about this, we become married to Christ through covenants, he's going to help us. Look at verse 5, and I want you to highlight, "God over the whole earth." There's an important reason why verse 5 comes in between verse 4 and verse 6, because as final is those verses sound like the sadness that you feel as you read those, that phrase, God over the whole earth. This is so significant, I really like it.
0:34:48 TH: Idol worshippers often felt that the earth had many Gods that held jurisdiction over a limited area of the earth, but here we are being taught that he is the God over the whole earth, and with his power, verse 7 then tells us that because of our wickedness we may be forsaken for a small moment, but with his great mercies, the God over the whole earth with all power, and with his power, verse 7, then tells us that because of our wickedness, we may be forsaken, but just for a small moment it teaches us, but with great mercies, he will gather us. That's what these verses are trying to teach us. verse 8, "And in a little wrath, I hid my face from me for a moment," I highlighted that because the reason he hid his face was because of their wickedness. He couldn't look upon the wickedness with the least degree of allowance as we read in scripture, but here we go, so in verse 10, "For the mountains," now, highlight the word mountains and mark it means stability, that's important to know in this section, in this context, "For the mountain shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee." Now, highlight that "my kindness shall not depart from me." Because I really like the way the NIV interprets this verse.
0:36:06 Robert: What's the NIV?
0:36:07 TH: That's a great question, Robert. So one of the things that I think it's important for us to know as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it's okay to use other translation of scripture such as the NIV, which stands for the New International Version. And what it does is it just sort of adds a new understanding, a new enlightenment to what we are already studying. So you wanna stick with your main scriptures with the King James version, but then I think sometimes it's important to go in and just see how else it could be translated and will be... I know for sure that Hebrew changes the meaning of everything. Once you know what Hebrew words mean, the meaning in the King James version changes. So here's how the NIV translates, "but my kindness shall depart from thee." They have it as "but my unfailing love for you shall not depart from thee." Kinda changes it, doesn't it?
0:36:53 Robert: Definitely.
0:36:56 TH: How does it change it for you Trace, knowing his unfailing love for you versus kindness?
0:37:01 Trace: I actually, not to disagree, but I like the kindness word. I like the word kind 'cause it's a soft love, and it's one that we share with our younger kids like, be kind, be gentle. And I do use the NIV for additional interpretations and adjectives and how they work with the scriptures, but I kind of like kindness. I think kindness is a nice word. And love is just kind of not overused, but it's a big word, and sometimes we have to be selective when using it, but kind in this context, makes me feel that there's a gentleness to this mercy.
0:37:34 TH: Oh, I like that. It's great insight.
0:37:37 Robert: That's very thoughtful, 'cause I think about it, undying. That's what I wanna hear, the undying love of my wife or whatever, that's all I ask for.
0:37:45 TH: Exactly, like sure, be kind of me, but your unfailing love for me, that's a great... I love that Robert, thank you. So we have that with verse 10, and then he also says... And this is kind of neat so mark this. In verse 10, it says, "Neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed." Circle the word, peace. But Joseph Smith's translation actually translates that were differently, and Joseph Smith said, "It's the word people." And I just think it's beautiful, this idea of the peace that it will bring so I think you could kinda use those interchangeably. And then he goes into verses 11-14, "O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted." I underline that in big bold color because I felt like, "Boy, that is me today." I feel that so many of our brothers and sisters today afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted. And look what these beautiful words are that he offers us. So Robert, will you please read starting with the word "behold," and read it to the end of verse 14.
0:38:39 Robert: "Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires, and I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shall thou be established. Thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear and from terror, for it shall not come near thee."
0:39:07 TH: And then go down to verse 17, Robert.
0:39:10 Robert: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."
0:39:23 TH: Thank you. So in verse 11 and 12, he beautifully lays out just how beautiful it will be, the colors, the stones, the beauty of it all, and he's setting it up for how wonderful it'll be to be with him as covenant people. But I love verse 17, "No weapon is formed against thee shall prosper, and every time thou shall revile against thee in judgment shall be condemned." I love the way that one of the commentaries put this verse and they said, "We will withstand gossip, slander, accusations in a court of law." That's what that means. Nothing can come against you. No matter what people say about you or against you, you are a covenant child, God will protect you. Tracey, I love your face. What are you thinking?
0:40:04 Trace: Some people don't know the truth. Some people don't know what your motivations or why you do certain things. It's nice to know that through your covenants and through your relationship with your Heavenly Father, through the Savior, that you are understood.
0:40:19 TH: Absolutely. Oh, my gosh, I got so excited to just jump right into 3 Nephi, chapter 22 that I forgot to ask you guys, I wanted you to think of what would be a theme or a main idea when we got done studying, and I didn't so I'm gonna ask you now. 'Cause you guys are smart, you can totally do this, but what do you think is the theme or the main idea of these verses of scripture? Why would the Lord want to teach Isaiah 54 right here, and to us?
0:40:43 Robert: Well, I think it's completely relevant to them, and then to think that this was written 500 years before the Savior came to the people of Israel so it was relevant to them, it's relevant to the Nephites, it's relevant to us now. But the theme for me is hope is that "Hey, there is a covenant, things are in place, don't worry. It's gonna work out if you will just do your part, do the things that you know you ought to be doing, follow the Spirit, you will be fine." And that gives me the hope to know that I'm a part of this covenant and that as I keep this covenant, that the blessings that are inherent are mine.
0:41:19 TH: Perfect, perfect theme. Thank you. Trace?
0:41:23 Trace: It seems like these are the last days and we're encouraged to read our scriptures every day, and it does remind me that covenants are important, that there has been much given to this gospel, this Church, this kingdom, this land and continent and much is required and so there's peace there, too, being spoken and shared with us that through all these goals and these things required of you and me, that the glue are the covenants, that will be bonded together and there is an avenue of peace that we can pursue each week with the sacrament and through the temple.
0:42:03 TH: Yeah, perfect. Thank you Trace, that was great. Great themes, you guys. That is excellent because when I thought about the theme for me, it was exactly along the same lines as you, and it stood out to me when he says that the stability of these strong mountains will depart and these hills will be removed, but he won't be, and it just kinda just made me feel like, "You know what? God really is in charge, and he loves us." He loves every single one of his children and his promises will be sure. They absolutely will. And it made me think even as a stubborn and a broken people were remembered, the same goes for us. And he is absolutely aware of the muck in all of our lives like he sees it, he knows about it. And he's gonna love us through it and sometimes in spite of it because he's love. And to those of us who wander and then maybe wonder like, "Really? Am I still counted? The next segment is going to teach us one guaranteed thing that we can do to come back and allows us to be able to stand when Christ comes again.
0:43:09 TH: So I have a question for the two of you. I wanna know why is a child that leaves the gospel of Jesus Christ so hard for parents to handle? What is it about the word wayward or lost when you apply it to a kid?
0:43:24 Robert: I have real experience with this. So you just said that it just hurts my heart a little bit right now as you talk because I have, our oldest son, is not a part of the gospel right now. And why is it hard? Because I know I have a testimony that is based on experiences and feelings and things that have happened that I cannot deny that it's true, and on all the happiness that I have in my life is because of eternal families and what the gospel blessings offer me. To think that our oldest is not partaking in those things and can't have that happiness, that real joy, that is so hard as a parent, it kills me. I have to push it out of my mind not to let it just overwhelm me sometimes. Yeah, I love him with all my heart and it doesn't matter what he does, our Savior and the Heavenly Father love him more than I do, but it's not over. There's still a lot of life left to go.
0:44:38 TH: Wow, thank you, Robert. And I didn't even expect you to be able to respond that way. I didn't even write that question. Truly, I did not write that question thinking about you, it just popped into my head. Thank you. Trace, do you have any thoughts?
0:44:51 Trace: I think of that painting with Christ holding the black sheep, sometimes we are each the way we're a child at some point.
0:45:00 TH: Well, and Trace, the fact that you said that is perfect because that's what I want us to look at. Let's go to 3 Nephi, chapter 24 verse 7, and read about the wayward child in all of us. Let's read 3 Nephi, chapter 24, verse 7.
0:45:13 TH: "Even from the days of your fathers, ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye say, 'Wherein shall we return?'"
0:45:26 TH: Okay, thank you. I want you to circle the word, "wherein," and in Hebrew, that is actually translated "in, what way shall we return?" So now here we are, the Lord's calling us out and we're like, "Okay, well then in what way shall we return?" And then, boom, we get the classic chapter 24, verses 8-12, Robert, what are these verses about?
0:45:46 Robert: Tithing.
0:45:47 TH: Tithing, Yes. Okay, here's the classic Malachi tithing scripture. So now the Lord is going to quote Malachi, and he's going to say, "How are you gonna return? Well, let me tell you, the one thing you need to do, pay your tithing." That's what these verses are totally about. Now, we're not gonna take a lot of time on these because we know these verses of scripture, at least the majority of us do. If you don't go and read in Malachi and here in 3 Nephi about the beauty of paying tithing, and the promise. In verse 10, it says, "Prove me now herewith." It's the only commandment where the Lord even says to us, "I dare you prove me wrong, let's see what happens, try it." There's no other commandment where the Lord challenges us to prove him wrong, and then he says, "He'll open you the windows of heaven." Now, what I'm fascinated about these is because here's what I wanna know, why would the Lord recommend tithing as a way for us to return? He could have said anything, why tithing?
0:46:37 Robert: I like it because it is a simple thing to do, but it's also difficult, and I know that I don't covet as much. I don't look at other people and think, "Oh, I want that or I need this," I'm happier with my circumstances when I pay my tithing.
0:46:49 TH: Give me the real answer. Why is tithing hard to pay?
0:46:54 Robert: I think a lot of people think about, what can I be doing with this money, otherwise, "Hey, we're going on a great family vacation," whatever, I don't know. And so I can tell you from experience that paying your tithing does open the windows. It doesn't make life easy, but I know that I was blessed, I was given everything that I needed.
0:47:12 TH: Yeah. So Trace, what are your thoughts on tithing?
0:47:15 Trace: Well, sometimes I think of tithing as simply a unit of measurement and it is quantifiable, it's exact, it's paid in varying amounts, but that's not the purpose. It could be small, it could be large. And so I think it's something that is a lens for us individually and for maybe even our Church leaders to go to our Heavenly Father and ask for those blessings of temples and buildings that are all part of the kingdom.
0:47:45 TH: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you Trace. So I wanna go back into the scriptures because I wanted us to put ourselves in the position of these Nephites, okay? So just imagine right now you're sitting around and you're listening to the Savior. So we just had the sacrament with the Lord and we gave glory unto Jesus for that sacrament as the scriptures tell us, then he tells us about all the blessings of being covenant people and how we will gather these people and bless them, too. Then he tells about his coming and what we should watch for and then what we can do to help him strengthen others, and what we are all about. Now, I imagine as he's giving these speeches to us and he's sharing these scriptures with us, we're all nodding our heads in agreement like, "Yep, we can do that, we believe that we believe every word." Then he asks, "Who's gonna be able to abide his coming?" And I'm imagining that we all raise our hands like, "Of course, I could totally be there, I'm gonna be there. You can count on me." And he points out that we may struggle like he said, and we read that scripture earlier. We may stray, we may go away from his ordinances and so to get back, he recommends pay your tithing, but then this happens, you guys, these next words that he quotes from Malachi.
0:48:44 TH: I feel like it's the Savior, he was looking at the audience. He scanned the audience and then he saw a little me, sitting in the back of the group, and he knew the question that I didn't dare ask. The Savior knew I needed some assurance because kinda just lately has seemed like the people who don't keep covenants or pay tithing are a lot better off than me. And so the Savior continues to quote Malachi. I really, really love these verses, and Trace, will you please read verse 14 and 15?
0:49:17 Trace: "Ye have said, it is vain to serve God: And what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts. And now, we call the proud happy, yea, they, that work wickedness are set up. Yea, they that tempt God are even delivered."
0:49:38 TH: Okay, look back at those verses, basically saying, "Yeah, but what's it like? Okay, so we pay our tithing, but what's the point?" Maybe it's just me, but is anyone else ever gone through this thought, thinking, "Gosh, what is the point of covenants and tithing when people who don't do any of this just seem happy, if not happier or they are wealthier and life looks pretty good." Have you guys ever felt that before?
0:50:00 Robert: Yeah, you always look at people and think, "How on earth are they getting by? Why are they getting ahead?" You sit there and think, "I do all these things right and things never seem to go right for us." We're always going from one emergency to another, putting out one fire to another. But I guess it all comes back to what I was saying before when I was talking about our son, we have the rich blessings of having a covenant and that peace and hope, knowing that if we do our part that we will inherit and have all of the blessings of heaven, but at the same time, I've already got them. I've got that in my life today because of these covenants, and because of paying tithing, I have in my heart a song, and it wouldn't be there without it.
0:50:42 TH: Robert, what's the song?
0:50:44 Robert: It changes. It's never the same. But I'm cheesy, there's a lot of Vocal Point going on, I guess.
0:50:55 TH: Not ACDC?
0:50:57 Robert: No, there could be some Guns N' Roses every now and again, I love the '80s.
0:51:00 TH: I love that. Trace, what about you throughout your career or your life, have you had this moment where you're like, "But I pay my tithing," and it seems like everything else seems to work out for everybody else?
0:51:13 Trace: I think life's been pretty good to me, but I look at verse 15, and it says, "And now we call the proud happy." It's a small little sentence there but it causes me to think about Instagram and some of these social media platforms where we frame only happiness. I'm a photographer and I've taken a lot of pictures around the world, and then I backed off of Instagram for the mere fact that everyone started to just think that I was only happy and only traveling. And I didn't want that framing to be, I'm just happy. I'm not.
0:51:46 TH: But I think what's interesting is how in Malachi, we often teach the tithing scripture and then we end at verse 12. We just teach tithing, and if we could teach tithing in conjunction with these verses, that's powerful because you know what? You're gonna pay tithing and it's not gonna look fair. You're gonna pay your tithing, and there will be people who don't pay tithing that do so much better off than you or it appears to be that way. And so I love the promise and blessing that the Lord follows all of this up within verses 16 and 17. So let's read these verses and I'm gonna have you mark a couple of things in them. Verse 16 says, "Then they that feared the Lord," highlight the word "feared." Any time you read that in context with fearing the Lord, it means to honor or revere, that's what the word fear means. It doesn't mean to be afraid of him. "So then they that honored or revered the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and the book of remembrance was written before them for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name."
0:52:40 TH: I love that, just thinking upon his name. That book of remembrance, you can cross-reference Revelation chapter 20 verse 12, that talks about how a book of remembrance will be written for you, your book of remembrance will be open and you'll be judged out of your book of remembrance, and then verse 17, "And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts. In that day when I make up my jewels and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serve with him." Highlight, make up my own jewels. That phrase, make up...
0:53:09 Trace: That's my favorite scripture, right there.
0:53:11 TH: Well, tell me why it's your favorite, Trace.
0:53:11 Trace: Make up my jewels is profound to me, and it means the process of making a diamond is under pressure, it's under excruciating trials, and it's future tense, "when I make up my jewels." I've looked at every reference and it says, make. And it's daunting, but it's encouraging. We are jewels, but we are in the process of being made and that takes suffering.
0:53:35 TH: Oh my gosh, Trace. That's perfect because, in the Hebrew context of this word, my jewels is translated into the Hebrew word of segullah or segullah, however, you wanna pronounce it. And what that word means in Hebrew is possession or property. Like the jewel is so great that he does not wanna get rid of it. You become his possession, you become the Lord's property, this beautiful property, this jewel that he has created. And it actually also means a peculiar treasure. So whenever you hear that we're a peculiar people, that's the word segullah, which means owned. We're not weirdos, peculiar, we're owned. We are treasured. We are his jewels.
0:54:16 Trace: Oh wait, can we go back to verse 18 in 3 Nephi 24 because we ended with 17, but 18 has a little bit there as well, I think. Let me just read that, it says, "Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God in him that serveth him not." That shows that we'll have perspective so we may not know everything how it works right now, and how these trials and suffering and pressure work, but we do know that we're treasured and that we will have that promise of discernment and perspective later.
0:54:50 TH: Perfect. Thank you Trace, that was awesome. So then as his jewels, he knows the pressure, he knows the trials and all of the muck that it took to become such. So in the next segment, Christ is going to teach us about an aspect of the Gospel that will make the process of becoming his jewels totally worth it.
0:55:21 TH: So Robert and Tracey, how important is insurance?
0:55:24 Trace: When my daughter was 16, she got in a pretty bad accident with every curtain and bag went off, and it was a brand new car, and insurance stepped in and replaced that, but without it, yeah, that would have been devastating.
0:55:39 TH: Thanks, Trace. Okay, well, you know what, let's go to 3 Nephi, chapter 25 verse 1, and we're gonna read about an "insurance" that we are going to need when Christ comes again. So Robert, will you please read for us 3 Nephi, chapter 25, verse 1, again, the Savior here is quoting Malachi, and so here's what he has to say to us.
0:55:56 Robert: "For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly shall be stubble. And the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them either root nor branch."
0:56:11 TH: Okay, let's put doctrine and covenants section 64 verse 23 next to that verse because here is the insurance that we need from being burned at his coming. And Robert, will you read that for us?
0:56:25 Robert: "Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the son of man, and barely it is a day of sacrifice and a day for the tithing of my people, for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming."
0:56:37 TH: Thank you. Like we just studied tithing, and now we see another blessing of tithing, it's sort of like this insurance when he comes again, those who pay tithing will not be burned. You know my husband and I... And you guys help me out with this, we were trying to think of all the analogies we could about insurance and when Christ comes again. Like for an example, I just said, "And when Christ comes, his insurance is immediate and the co-pay is covered." right. [chuckle]
0:57:00 TH: Think of all the benefits there could be for Christ's insurance. Do you have any others?
0:57:05 Robert: Yeah, I mean...
0:57:07 TH: What else?
0:57:08 Robert: Insurance is so different than when I had my first baby, I paid $20 copay on the first visit, and then everything else was paid, my last baby cost me $10,000 and I had the same level of insurance.
0:57:17 TH: Geez, How about that... Yeah, the terms never changed with Christ.
0:57:21 Robert: No, never. I paid the same amount out of my pocket.
0:57:21 TH: Mm-hmm. You know exactly what you're getting from the get-go, and it's always gonna be the same with him right now.
0:57:26 Trace: I've often told my kids, there's just no insurance for having bad days or being sad or having bad things happen to you. That you can't insure against everything, even if we try. But we do have the gospel and the Savior and through his victories in his Atonement, we have some insurances there, and they are deep and abiding with us.
0:57:48 TH: And going back to what you said, Trace it goes so well with this good quote from Dr. Carlfred Brodrick, and he's a former president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists. And he writes this beautiful book, and in it, he says, "The gospel of Jesus Christ is not insurance against pain, it is the resource in the event of pain." And I've always felt that way about covenants, that keeping covenants is not insurance from bad things happening, keeping covenants is the insurance you want when bad things do happen. So we have this idea in Malachi and in 3 Nephi, chapter 25, that if you pay your tithing, you're not gonna be burned. And then he goes into teaching is something so important about him and about his coming. So let's go back into 3 Nephi, chapter 25, verse 2. And Robert, will you continue to read for us and read verse 2, 'cause this is such a fun verse, and this is, like I said at the beginning, if you look at the verse, it's a nice painting, but when you dive deep and look at each brushstroke and figure out what the words mean, it changes the way that this verse is understood, so go ahead.
0:58:49 Robert: "But unto you, that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and you shall go forth and grew up as calves in the stall."
0:58:58 TH: Thank you. Okay, a couple of things in this verse, "But unto you," we know what the word fear means, "Unto you that honor and revere my name shall the Son... " Now, in Hebrew and the Hebrew version, the word son is S-U-N, not S-O-N, So right there, it means the sun of righteousness. Then it plays on the word arise, so that would make sense. It arises with healing in his wings, and he will, he will heal us. That is one of his promises that as part of his insurance in the end. And ye shall go forth and grow up... Highlight, "grow up," because in Hebrew is actually, they shall go forth and fat, so instead of grow up, it's grow fat in Hebrew as calves in the stall in Hebrew, it's translated as calves stall-fed. Now, why is this important? Here's why the whole point of stall-fed was to get these calves fat and get them strong. They would be placed in a yoke or a collar, and they would be equally yoked with another calf, and the point was to then they would thrash the floor where corn was, that was their job was to thrush the corn.
1:00:04 TH: And as they thrashed this corn, they were allowed to eat from the floor also, so they were eating the corn and getting fat, they didn't have to go out and find all of their own food, and so as they grew fat and as they grew strong by being equally yoked. Look what they do in verse 3. So Trace, will you please read verse 3 for us?
1:00:22 Trace: "You shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the souls of your feet in the day, then I shall do this, say at the lord of hosts."
1:00:32 TH: Highlight, "you shall tread down the wicked" and then right above that word write "together." Those two calves equally yoked have become fat and strong, they will tread down the wicked, we will do that, equally yoked as members of The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints that have spent our time becoming calves in the stall or calves that are stall-fed. The Lord needs us and we're gonna tread down the wicked, and I just think that is so powerful in those two verses. So my question is, this idea right here of the Lord and being fed to the doctrine in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I wanna know for both of you, what are some of the ways going back to those calves that were equally yoked, what are some ways that we can be equally yoked, especially in a time when there's so much inequality. What does that look like for us today?
1:01:20 Robert: Wow. I think about equally yoked, and I think... I want to equally yoked with the Savior, obviously, I think that he and I together we're an unstoppable force. And I think about having the Savior as a partner that way really helps me to be more thoughtful of other people. I get very selfish, I am self-centered and thinking about what I gotta do, and so when I am yoked with the Savior, it changes the way that I go about my day. It makes me more thoughtful of other people and what I could be doing to lighten the burdens of others, and I think that's an important part of that.
1:01:57 TH: Oh, definitely is, I like that. I like the way you said "to lighten the burdens of others." Perfect. Trace, what about you, how can we be equally yoked?
1:02:05 Trace: Yeah. I agree a lot with Robert that maybe as a reminder for us to turn our attention from just ourselves, and I think this COVID pandemic has really slowed everyone down and our geography of travel and what we do. But it's forced us to take a look at one another, and we are different, that's what makes us unique, and it's beautiful, but there are plights and there are groups that need to be heard and understood and loved. And there are good causes out there that we need to embrace and support, but it takes a conscious effort and sometimes it takes even a pandemic to slow, not just a community, but the entire world down to love one another and serve one another.
1:02:55 TH: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, now I wanna take what both of you said, and we're just gonna turn it up a notch. What about being equally yoked with family members? Because here's what's interesting, we just got this idea of being equally yoked, he's quoting Malachi, look at the two verses that come right after it, look at verse 5 and 6, classic Malachi scriptures. What is it referring to?
1:03:17 Robert: Elijah. Genealogy.
1:03:18 TH: And what is the whole purpose of this genealogy and Elijah?
1:03:24 Robert: Well it's just to bind us all together. Our ancestors out there are relying on us. There's something incredible about being like a parent that your kids rely on you, that you're just like, "Oh no, I've got to step up my game, I've got ancestors that are relying on me. And people that are relying on us," And so we need to live in a way that we're worthy to go to the temple and have a desire to go to the temple, and any time you do that, your life is so immensely blessed.
1:03:51 TH: But what about when it happens, when this pertains to people who are alive now? My ancestors... Great. Let's do the work for 'em, I'd love to see 'em, seems like fun to see them again, but there's some people in this life... "No, thanks, I don't need to see you again. I don't even wanna be equally yoked with you or close to you ever again for the rest of my life. [chuckle]
1:04:08 Robert: Probably going to be yoked with someone that you have a hard time with it. That'd be tough.
1:04:15 TH: Right. That's what I'm saying, because when we talk about Elijah and we talk about the sealing keys, and this idea of how we're gonna be all be one big happy family sealed and we're gonna live together up in celestial kingdom, think about that. And I even... In my mind, I'm like, the logistics are absurd, there's no way I'm living with my entire family in a house, so let's just... Can we all just get rid of that thought right now? It's not about living with your parents in a house for eternity, 'cause that sounds terrible. No offense, mom and dad, but I don't think that... You know, my mom and dad, they don't wanna live with us for eternity. So the whole point of the sealing ordinance, the whole point of Elijah is so that we are all sealed back to the family of Jesus Christ and Trace, I wanna know your thoughts on this.
1:04:58 Trace: My thoughts are personal today, my grandmother... I'm 51 and I still have a grandmother as of this morning, but she passed away, she was nearly 101 years old...
1:05:07 TH: I'm sorry.
1:05:09 Trace: And it was her time, and she has a sister that's 103, they're stubborn and fighters, but she passed away. So my heart is turned to her, especially today, and it's tender. I'm 51 and I've lived with her my entire life but now my heart is turned to her beyond the veil. There were some thoughts and some words spoken this morning of reunions and that gives me hope. And we are very hopeful that her reunion today is special, there are so many people, and she's a single widow for over 40 years, and so this is a delightful day in a sad day for me.
1:05:52 TH: Oh, I'm sorry for your loss. But that homecoming is glorious I bet.
1:05:58 Trace: I agree.
1:06:00 TH: Glorious. Thank you, thank you for sharing that. So in 3 Nephi, chapter 25, when the Savior talks to us about the work that we will do and how we'll be strong together, and how we'll usher in and help as Elijah brings these keys back to the earth. And for us to be restored or sealed to the family of Christ, that's what all of this is about. It's about saving each other 100%. And so in the next segment, Christ will continue to teach the people, and he will point out how significant these past chapters and words of Micah, Isaiah, and Malachi really are to all of us.
1:06:43 TH: So we just spent this episode marking and studying the words of Isaiah, Micah, and Malachi. Now, why did Jesus teach these specific words to these people? Let's go to 3 Nephi, chapter 26, we're gonna read verses 1-2, and Trace will you please read 3 Nephi, chapter 26, verses 1-2?
1:07:01 Trace: "And now it came to pass that when Jesus had told these things, He expounded them unto the multitude, and he did expand all things unto them, both great and small, and He sayeth these scriptures, which he had not with you the Father commanded that I should give unto you, for it was wisdom in him that they should be given unto future generations."
1:07:22 TH: Thank you. Go back in verse 2 underline these scriptures and put Isaiah, Malachi, and Micah, specifically Malachi and Micah. Malachi, he won't even come until 200 years after Lehi leaves Jerusalem. And so right here, he's saying, "Heavenly Father told me you don't have the words of Malachi and you don't have the words of Micah. So I was supposed to share them with you." That was the important reason. I just think that's so powerful. So go and study the words of Micah, I highly recommend everyone does that. Then we go to chapter 26. Robert, will you please read verses 3-4, and I want us to find out what he specifically taught them with these things.
1:07:58 Robert: "And he did expand all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory, Yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the Earth, even until the element on melt with fervent heat and the earth should be wrapped together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away, and even into the Great and last day when all people in all kindreds and all nations, in time shall stand before God to be judged with their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil."
1:08:26 TH: Yeah. Basically, what did he teach them?
1:08:29 Robert: We're gonna come to a point where everyone's going to have to have that time where you're going to have to stand in deliverance and say, "This is what I've done."
1:08:37 TH: Yeah. And he rehearsed everything to them from the beginning to the end. Here's everything you guys are gonna need to know. And then here's what's so cool, let's go to verses 9-11 because, in verse 6, he does say, "And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people." There it is, that hundredth part again. So there's still so much we don't even have written in here that he teaches the people, but then here's why. And so let's go to verses 9-11 and Trace, can you please read those for us.
1:09:06 Trace: Sure. It says, "And when they shall have received this which is expedient, that they should have first to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things, then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things. Then shall the greater things be withheld from them unto their condemnation. Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraved upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it saying, I will try the faith of my people."
1:09:39 TH: This is why we don't have the rest. It's so interesting, 'cause in verse 9, he says believe twice in 9 and 10. Highlight the word "believe" in those two verses. The idea of this word believe means to act on doctrines and principles that God has revealed, not just merely believing their true, but having an action to perform so that they can be believed by the person who's doing these.
1:10:02 TH: There's a great quote by Neal A. Maxwell, and here's what he had to say about the reason why we don't have the rest of the scriptures, and Robert just read this.
1:10:08 Robert: "We must first feast worthily upon that which we already have."
1:10:12 TH: Amen. Trace and Robert, how do you feast upon the scriptures? What does that look like for you individually?
1:10:20 Robert: I mean, the first time I ever feast on the scriptures, I was in high school and I read the Book of Mormon cover to cover for the first time. And that was the first time where I just... I didn't wanna stop. Today as I feast on it, it's just... I think I've had enough life experiences this now that... Things mean more to me. I thought I knew everything I was 18, 19, but you know now, I know nothing. And I just grasped the scriptures and think, "The answers to everything I need in my life are here." And so I read the scriptures now, and there's so many wonderful things that are taught to me that I wouldn't have appreciated 25, 30 years ago.
1:10:58 TH: Absolutely, thank you. That's great. How do you feast Trace?
1:11:02 Trace: I guess there's two ways to feast. There's the buffet where there's all you can eat, and I'm not that guy. I'd probably rather go to the fine dining and have something more particular and less on quantity, but the quality of the reading, applying them to life experiences, and that to me is a feast to apply them to my life, not so much in quantity, but maybe just quality.
1:11:26 TH: And when you said that, I thought, "Yeah, I'm no respecter of feasts." So there been times when I for sure sat and just shoved as fast as I could, like I'm at a buffet, and I'm on a supermarket sweep, I have 15 minutes to eat and I've gotta do it fast. And then there are times when I've enjoyed the fine dining experience where I'll just sit and maybe just chew on a verse for 30 minutes. I appreciate how you said that. That was awesome. And then what's so cool is that in verses 9 and 10, he says the word "believe" twice, and it's important for us to understand this word believe doesn't just mean like, "Oh, I really hope it's true. That sounds nice." It's an action word, and there is action required to be able to believe... I know why you kind of think about that in your own life, now think about all the things you've done, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is there one specific belief that because of your actions became stronger? Something where you tested it, or something where you did it and you were like, "That really did work"?
1:12:24 Robert: There's lots of things that come to my mind, but the most powerful pointing is eternal marriage. I can tell you that the thought of getting married as I was younger, I always wanted to be great, but now that I am sealed to my wife and for time and all eternity. It ups the game a little bit there, but what it's done for me as I've really considered the covenants I made there, it's made me appreciate and love my wife more, not just as a little bit I was in or a daughter of God. And I have an incredible marriage with the most wonderful woman in the world, and you can say that. But, I really believe it because I feel like it's because I've got those covenants and I have an awakening to understanding who my wife really is, and that is such a beautiful thing.
1:13:15 TH: That's beautiful. What about you Trace...
1:13:17 Trace: I don't know if I can top that.
1:13:19 TH: Try.
1:13:20 Trace: But my thoughts were turned to the temple as well, it's often a sacrifice of time to get dressed, maybe on a hot day, there's all those things that go into it, the traffic. But I can't say that I've been disappointed in a temple ordinance or attending the temple in any fashion. Those sacrifices pay off and they are insightful and you always leave enriched and a better person. So I would say that along with scripture study is seen that also enlighten and lifts your day, brightens it. And those are just principles and things that I haven't been disappointed in making that sacrifice.
1:14:03 TH: Thank you, I appreciate both of your answers, those were great. Those are really great, especially Trace when you said the part about you haven't been disappointed in sacrifice, I think that's pretty powerful in light of what we've talked about today, so thank you. So for those of you listening, I want to take a minute and just write in your journal, the challenge for all of us this week is to feast and to see and decide what that looks like for you. But then to also think, is there a principle that you need a little more belief in? Is there a principle that you need to act on a little bit more so that you can believe as those scriptures say? And I want you to think about that this week, 'cause I think we all have something that we're just maybe not quite sure of, and we'd love to have that idea or thought strengthened, so... Thank you. Thank you, Robert. Thank you, Trace, for joining me. That's it, that's the end of our podcast...
1:14:48 Trace: Likewise. Thank you for having us.
1:14:48 TH: Wow.
1:14:51 Robert: Hey. This was great.
1:14:51 TH: This was great. So thank you, thank you. You guys are awesome. Okay, so tell me what was your big takeaway? What's something you learned from our discussion today?
1:15:00 Robert: You know, I don't know if I learned it, but I know this is something that you really struck my heart when we talked about fear. I talked earlier about the harshness of some of the scriptures and you know fear always was so harsh. But honor and revere. I think this life is a lot about respect, you respect for each other, but more so respect for the opportunity that we've been given to come here to this Earth and to have this opportunity to learn and to return and have all the blessings of the heavenly Father, I certainly honor and revere my heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ.
1:15:32 TH: Beautiful takeaway. Thank you.
1:15:34 Trace: I wrote two things down, the first was in 3 Nephi 21, verse 10. It said, my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. And that really jumped out to me today as a phrase of comfort and peace, that we do live in an age of a very cunning devil but just saying, my wisdom is greater than that cunning of the devil is very impactful and gives me great hope and peace. And the other one was in 3 Nephi 22, 8 and 10. It makes reference to that word kindness, and it says everlasting kindness. And I just love that word, I think Susan, my wife, loves that word, kindness, and has been wonderful in teaching our children how to be kind. And I like that our heavenly Father and the Savior, I think of them as kind individuals. They love us in very personal and unique ways, and they have paid the price, and there are those pieces of bread that are some small and some large, and I love that he extends that token of kindness to me.
1:16:39 TH: Wow, thank you, Trace. I love that you brought up the word kindness 'cause I think we all agree, those of us who know Susan, she is the most kind person. So I totally get where you're coming from with that word. So thank you for your takeaways. My takeaway today was our discussion at the beginning on the sacrament, it was just really cool to hear both of your stories and your perspectives on that. Robert, when you talked about how the sacrament has been good for your soul, that personal story about work and not wanting to take the sacrament, that really struck me. And then Trace, you brought it up again, but just the idea, I've never, ever considered how big of a piece of bread do I need, and I will never think of the sacrament the same away again. Well, thanks guys, I love you both, and I love your families, and I love your wives, and this was such a delightful day. So I would love to hear... And good luck at LoToJa Robert, geez. You're leaving in an hour to ride a 200-mile bike race.
1:17:32 Robert: I'm only doing half of it.
1:17:34 TH: Alright. Well, it's still a lot. I could barely ride my bike to the 7-Eleven for a Slurpee. Okay, well, for those of you who are listening, we would love to hear what your takeaway was from this episode. Now, if you have not already joined our discussion group on Facebook, and if you're not following us on Instagram, you guys need to go there 'cause it's such a great place to ask questions as you study throughout the week. If it has been so fun, I mean this week somebody asked a really great question, and it was fun to be able to write the answer and just get other people's opinions and input on what they wanted to know. So go and find us, join the groups, and join the discussion. Now, every week, at the end of the week is usually on a Sunday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to the lesson and let us know what you've learned. And I read every single one of them. It's just the best part of my Sunday, 'cause I love to read what you guys are learning. And then I share on Monday morning a take away that really struck me. So make sure you share those.
1:18:25 TH: You can go to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to our show notes for this episode on ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. It's not a bad idea to go there anyway because that's when we have the links to all of the references that we use today, as well as a transcript of this entire discussion. So check it out. The "Sunday on Monday" study group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original. And it's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall. And today our incredible study participants were Robert Howarth and Trace Stanger. And you can find more information about these men at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by KaRyn Lay with post-production and editing by Kate Lambert. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios, and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here, we'll see you next week. And His unfailing kindness is for every one of you because you are God's favorite.