1: “Hearken, O Ye People” (December 28–January 3)
And so it begins—our study of the Doctrine and Covenants! If you’re feeling a little wary, maybe a little intimated, don’t freight. If you feel like you already know everything there is to know about the Doctrine and Covenants, hold onto your hats because we are going study like never before. So grab your scriptures, and let’s dive into Doctrine and Covenants section 1.
Find full episodes of the Sunday on Monday study group here. Start your free trial of Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ here.
Tammy's favorite Doctrine and Covenants resources
Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price Journal Editions
Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants
A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 1
Saints, Vol. 1: The Standard of Truth, 1815-1846
"Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well-being and their everlasting salvation" (Introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants).
"The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days" (Introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants).
Quote: “The Book of Mormon is the ‘keystone’ of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter-day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone” (President Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants," April 1987 general conference).
"Finally, the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ—His divinity, His majesty, His perfection, His love, and His redeeming power—makes this book of great value to the human family and 'worth to the Church the riches of the whole Earth'" (see heading to D&C 70) (Introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants).
Talk: President Russell M. Nelson, "The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?" October 2017 general conference.
Quote: "Virtually every page of both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon teaches about the Master—His great love for His children and His atoning sacrifice—and teaches us how to live so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Gift of Modern Revelation” Oct. 1986 general conference).
Doctrine and Covenants Timeline:
November 1831: A special conference of Elders was called by Joseph Smith to discuss the project of printing the Revelations given from God. Some revelations were given to individuals rather than the church as a whole and were private. After much discussion, they finally agreed to make the revelations public. Joseph asked some of the Elders to write a preface to the Book of Commandments.
July 1833: The printing office where the revelations were being printed was attacked and destroyed.
September 24, 1834: A committee was appointed to “arrange items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, for the government of the Church of Latter-Day Saints” and was titled Doctrine and Covenants.
August 17, 1835: A special conference book of revelations was presented to the Church membership for acceptance.
September 1835: The Doctrine and Covenants was bound and sold $1 per copy.
(see Stephen E. Robinson & H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Introduction, 1-14, Deseret Book)
"Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on November 1, 1831, during a special conference of elders of the Church, held at Hiram, Ohio. Many revelations had been received from the Lord prior to this time, and the compilation of these for publication in book form was one of the principal subjects passed upon at the conference. This section constitutes the Lord’s preface to the doctrines, covenants, and commandments given in this dispensation" (Doctrine and Covenants section 1 heading).
7 For, behold, you should not have afeared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and bdespise his words—
8 Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and asupported you against all the fiery bdarts of the cadversary; and he would have been with you in every time of dtrouble (Doctrine and Covenants 3: 7–8).
8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this amystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.
9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my arest.
10 For, behold, the amystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am bendless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless cpunishment, for dEndless is my name. Wherefore—
11 aEternal punishment is God’s punishment.
12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment (Doctrine and Covenants 19:8–12).
10 Remember the aworth of bsouls is great in the sight of God; (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10).
1 aHearken, O ye people of my bchurch, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose ceyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together (Doctrine Covenants 1:1).
- Hearken and hear are said 138 times in the Doctrine and Covenants
Quote: “The very first word in the Doctrine and Covenants is hearken. It means “to listen with the intent to obey.” To hearken means to “hear Him”—to hear what the Savior says and then to heed His counsel. In those two words—“Hear Him”—God gives us the pattern for success, happiness, and joy in this life. We are to hear the words of the Lord, hearken to them, and heed what He has told us!” (President Russell M. Nelson, "Hear Him," April 2020 general conference).
Hebrew: Shema = Pay attention to or focus on.
33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard that I was ahated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name bSimeon (Genesis 29:33).
5 Now therefore, if ye will aobey my voice indeed, and keep my bcovenant, then ye shall be a cpeculiar dtreasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exodus 19:5).
- Peculiar = owned
To all the world = “. . . to the Catholics, to the Presbyterians, to the Methodists, to the infidel to the non-believer” (Joseph Fielding Smith, October 1919 general conference address).
122 Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let anot all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be bedified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege (Doctrine and Covenants 88:122).
Quote: “As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths.
“What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Hear Him," April 2020 general conference).
19 The aweak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man bshould not counsel his fellow man, neither ctrust in the arm of flesh (Doctrine and Covenants 1:19).
37 aSearch these bcommandments, for they are true and cfaithful, and the prophecies and dpromises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my aword shall not pass away, but shall all be bfulfilled, whether by mine own cvoice or by the dvoice of my eservants, it is the fsame (Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38).
19 The aweak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man bshould not counsel his fellow man, neither ctrust in the arm of flesh—
20 But that every man might aspeak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
22 That mine everlasting acovenant might be established;
23 That the afulness of my bgospel might be cproclaimed by the dweak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before ekings and frulers.
24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these acommandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their blanguage, that they might come to cunderstanding (Doctrine and Covenants 1:19–23).
13 And the aanger of the Lord is kindled, and his bsword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
- Sword bathed in heaven = destruction and judgement
14 And the aarm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the bday cometh that they who will not chear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his dservants, neither give eheed to the words of the prophets and fapostles, shall be gcut off from among the people; (Doctrine and Covenants 1:13–14).
- Arm of the Lord = Strength or power
16 They aseek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man bwalketh in his cown dway, and after the eimage of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth fold and shall perish in gBabylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall (Doctrine and Covenants 1:16).
- Babylon = wicked word; enemy of Zion; Satan's system
36 And also the Lord shall have apower over his bsaints, and shall creign in their dmidst, and shall come down in ejudgment upon fIdumea, or the world (Doctrine and Covenants 1:36).
- Idumea = wicked world
7 Wherefore, afear and btremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have cdecreed in them shall be dfulfilled.
8 And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to aseal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and brebellious;
9 Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the aday when the bwrath of God shall be poured out upon the cwicked without measure—
10 Unto the aday when the Lord shall come to brecompense unto every man according to his cwork, and dmeasure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.
11 Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:
12 Prepare ye, aprepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is bnigh;
13 And the aanger of the Lord is kindled, and his bsword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
17 Wherefore, I the Lord, aknowing the calamity which should come upon the binhabitants of the earth, ccalled upon my dservant Joseph Smith, Jun., and espake unto him from heaven, and gave him fcommandments; (Doctrine and Covenants 1:7–17).
- Calamity = Any great misfortune, or cause of misery; generally applied to events or disasters which produce extensive evils, as loss of crops, earthquakes, conflagrations (fire), defeat of armies, and the like. But it is applied also to the misfortunes which bring great distress upon individuals (see Webster's 1828 dictionary).
Quote: "Thus, the Doctrine and Covenants is a glorious book of scripture given directly to our generation. It contains the will of the Lord for us in these last days that precede the Second Coming of Christ. It contains many truths and doctrines not fully revealed in other scripture . . . it will strengthen those who carefully and prayerfully study from its pages" (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Gift of Modern Revelation” Oct. 1986 general conference).
23 That the afulness of my bgospel might be cproclaimed by the dweak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before ekings and frulers.
24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these acommandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their blanguage, that they might come to cunderstanding (Doctrine and Covenants 1:23–24).
30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have apower to lay the foundation of this bchurch, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of cdarkness, the only true and living dchurch upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well epleased, fspeaking unto the church collectively and not individually (Doctrine and Covenant 1:30).
Quote: “How shortsighted it is, then, to choose a single key and endlessly tap out the monotony of a single note, or even two or three notes, when the full keyboard of limitless harmony can be played.
“How disappointing when the fullness of the gospel, the whole keyboard, is here upon the earth, that many churches tap on a single key (President Boyd K. Packer, "The Only True and Living Church, October 1971 general conference).
Quote: “Our Father in Heaven, as fellow passengers on Thy planet earth, we humbly pray unto Thee. We thank Thee for life and all that sustains life. We thank Thee for the beauties of the earth, for order in the universe, the planets, stars, and all things of eternal significance. We thank Thee for Thy laws that protect and guide us. We thank Thee for Thy mercy and loving watchcare. We thank Thee for our families and loved ones who fill our lives with joy. We are grateful for all who are striving to combat the COVID pan-demic. Please bless them with protection and inspiration. Wilt Thou help us end this virus that has plagued so many of Thy children. We thank Thee for the leaders of nations and others who strive to lift us. We pray for relief from political strife. Wilt Thou bless us with a healing spirit that unites us despite our differences. Wilt Thou also help us repent from selfishness, unkindness, pride, and prejudice of any kind so that we can better serve and love one another as brothers and sisters and as Thy grateful children. We love Thee, our dear Father, and pray for Thy blessings upon us in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ” (President Russell M. Nelson, "President Russell M. Nelson on the Healing Power of Gratitude," November 20, 2020).
35 For I am no arespecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the bday speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when cpeace shall be taken from the earth, and the ddevil shall have power over his own dominion.
36 And also the Lord shall have apower over his bsaints, and shall creign in their dmidst, and shall come down in ejudgment upon fIdumea, or the world (Doctrine and Covenants 1:35–36).
Quote: “We live in a day of great challenge. We live in that time of which he said 'Peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion'" (President Ezra Taft Benson, "The Power of the Word," 1986 April general conference).
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my aword shall not pass away, but shall all be bfulfilled, whether by mine own cvoice or by the dvoice of my eservants, it is the fsame (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38).
Talk: Elder Terence M. Vinson, "True Disciples of the Lord," October 2019 general conference
39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the aSpirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the btruth abideth forever and ever. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 1:39).
0:00:00.6 Tammy Uzelac Hall: You know last week, my daughter was talking to me while I was doing something on the computer, and this is what happened, she said to me, "Mom? Mom? Mom?" And I looked up at her, kind of, but I was still kind of typing, and she says, "Mom, let me see your eyes, so I know you're listening to me. Look at me." And I was like, "She just pulled a me on me." 'Cause I do that to my kids all the time, [chuckle] I was like, "You need to look at me, so I know that you're listening to me." And it just made me laugh because in today's discussion of Doctrine and Covenants section 1, God is doing the same thing to us. In this section, God will powerfully teach us what he wants us to do when we hear. Welcome to The Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take a "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week, and we really dig into those scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.
0:00:51.7 TH: Oh my gosh, Season Two. Wow! I just wanna take a big, deep breath. This is gonna be such an amazing year, and for two reasons: Okay, first, because it's the Doctrine and Covenants, and we get to study churches treat you, which is so amazing, and then number two is kind of selfish for me, but now we're only 365 days away from studying New Testament, which is my favorite book of all time. Now, if you're new to our podcast, welcome. There is going to be a link in the description for this episode that will explain how this podcast works and how to use it. We're so glad that you're studying with us, and if you're a regular like our friend, Katrina Maxton in Scotland, welcome back. My favorite thing about this podcast is that each week we're joined by two of my really good friends, and so it's always gonna be different. And today we have... Oh, I'm so excited. Today, we have Katie Lambert and Mary Ellen Edmunds. Hi, guys.
0:01:43.9 Mary Ellen Edmunds: Hi!
0:01:45.5 Katie Lambert: Hey!
0:01:45.9 ME: Hi.
0:01:49.6 TH: This is so exciting. So for those of you that don't know Mary Ellen, she is not only a fabulous Time Out for Women's speaker, but she also worked at the MTC as one of the very first women directors. And for those of you that were in the MTC when she was there and attended any of her meetings, you just know, like you know, it was amazing. And for those of you who don't know, Mary Ellen, tell us what your job was at the MTC.
0:02:11.5 ME: Toward the end, I was a director of training. I had all the welfare health missionaries. By the time I finished, I had all 12 Asian languages. During the years I was there, I supervised ASL, American Sign Language, Navajo, which is no longer taught, Rarotongan, which is no longer taught. But I really, really love Sunday mornings with all the sisters.
0:02:37.1 TH: Tell us about Sunday mornings. What was so great about the Sunday morning meetings? What was that?
0:02:41.6 ME: There was something magical about getting all the sisters together in a male community, the branch president, the district president, the mission president, the counselors, everybody was male, but I really enjoyed just talking about what it's like to be a sister missionary. You could always tell who was new, because when we started laughing, which we always did, they would be kind of like, "We can laugh? We can laugh as missionaries?" [chuckle]
0:03:12.4 TH: Right.
0:03:13.9 ME: I loved it.
0:03:14.9 TH: I'll forever cherish the Sunday mornings. I was in the MTC during Christmas, oh, Mary Ellen, what you did for my heart and my soul, God knew who put there, so it was amazing. And then Katie, I've been trying to get Katie on for a long time. Katie is our producer, so I'm so excited she finally agreed to be on the episode. So hi, Katie Lambert.
0:03:33.8 KL: Hey, Tammy. It's so nice to be here.
0:03:35.5 TH: How do you like the podcast? [chuckle]
0:03:36.0 KL: I love it. I can't say I'm biased about it, but I love it.
0:03:43.1 TH: No, not at all. Well, and I got to move with Katie for a couple of months, and then she left to have a cute little baby, and then she came back from maternity leave, so it's fun to be reunited with Katie. And your daughter is adorable.
0:03:54.0 KL: Oh yeah, having never seen you, she loves you already, 'cause I swore she heard your voice when you were recording when I was pregnant with her, and when I was on maternity leave, she would calm down whenever I played Sunday on Monday. So I have that ready every time she got fussy 'cause I was like, "Okay, it's Tammy's voice, it's Tammy's voice, you need to hear it."
0:04:13.4 TH: I don't know if that's a compliment or not. I have the ability to put kids to sleep. [laughter]
0:04:18.3 KL: 'Cause they love you. It's a calming presence.
0:04:19.5 TH: My voice is so soothing, I love it. Well, for those of you who are listening, if you wanna know more about my guests and see pictures of them and fun things, check them out at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday in our show notes, that's where it will be. Alright, you guys, here we go, Doctrine and Covenants and church history. There is so much to take in this year, and I'm really excited to just explore and discuss what I call book of questions and answers, 'cause that is exactly what it is, and hopefully, by the end of the year, you will come to know more strongly as I have, that this book is about a God who hears and answers and cares. That's my testimony of the Doctrine and Covenants. So friends, grab your Scriptures, and let's dig in. So I just barely said that for me, the Doctrine and Covenants is a book that taught me that God hears and answers and cares.
0:05:08.2 TH: So I'm just curious, Mary Ellen and Katie, what is the Doctrine and Covenants to you, or what has it been to you in your life?
0:05:14.3 ME: To me, it is a latter-day guidance for how to live as we participate in the restoration, all that has happened in the world and in the church, it's all been prophesied. It's amazing.
0:05:31.1 TH: Yes. Katie, what about you?
0:05:35.8 KL: I kind of have a relationship with the Doctrine and Covenants. I've read it a few times, and every time I just feel like it's a little bit different. Like the first time I read it went way over my head. The second time I read it was super spiritual, and I felt like the answers were there for me. And the third time I read it, I'm like, "Man, I don't know anything about church history. [chuckle] I need to dig into that, 'cause I don't know." But what I've always found is that Doctrine and Covenants, it is the book of answers. Even if I'm going through something completely different than the people these revelations were given to, I find something there for me every time.
0:06:09.2 TH: Absolutely. Thank you for sharing that, Katie. Well, let's go right into the introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants. Before we can even study section 1, we have to start with the intro. So turn to the introduction page, and we're gonna just read the very first sentence. And I want us to highlight and mark this first sentence. So Katie, will you read the first sentence for us?
0:06:30.9 KL: "The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days."
0:06:42.6 TH: There's a couple of neat things in that verse, and I liked when we read it, it stood out to me that it's two things, it's divine revelations and inspired declarations, and then the reason why for the establishment and regulation of the church. When we look at the Doctrine and Covenants as a whole then, and we have what it is, it's powerful because I really like this quote by Ezra Taft Benson about what the Doctrine and Covenants is for us today, and so let's read this quote. And Mary Ellen, will you read this quote for us, please?
0:07:15.5 ME: Ezra Taft Benson said, "The Book of Mormon is the 'keystone' of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter-day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone."
0:07:31.5 TH: Thank you.
0:07:33.1 ME: That's terrific.
0:07:33.4 TH: I have a picture for us, so this is what the capstone is, and for those of you listening, you can go to our show notes and look at this. So we have the keystone, which is the Book of Mormon. Also, something to note is that the cornerstone is Jesus Christ. So we have a couple of stones. We have the cornerstone, who is Jesus Christ, the keystone is the Book of Mormon, and then the capstone that seals everything together is the Doctrine and Covenants. And so it's really interesting when you put all three of these things together because... Let's go back into the introduction, and we're going to just connect everything now. So back in the introduction, I want you to count to paragraph number eight. So this is what's cool about this very last paragraph, it actually lays out for us all of the cool divine revelations and doctrines that we're gonna learn this year. So read through it, highlight it, it's so cool how it just says, "Here's what you get this year." But what I really want us to focus on is the very last sentence of this paragraph that starts with the words, "Finally, the testimony." So go ahead and find that and let's read that. Katie, will you read this for us?
0:08:34.6 KL: "Finally, the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ, His divinity, His majesty, His perfection, His love, and His redeeming power, makes this book of great value to the human family and of more worth than the riches of the whole Earth." I love that. It reminds me of that conference talk that President Nelson gave when he talked about how he gave a Book of Mormon to royalty, and the guy was like, "You just gave me something more precious than rubies," or something along those lines. I feel like that's what the Doctrine and Covenants is, is it's for everyone and it's so precious.
0:09:14.3 TH: Thank you. I'm curious to know, in your experience of studying the Doctrine and Covenants, how has it increased your testimony of Jesus Christ?
0:09:22.3 ME: In the missions that I've served and the places that I've been, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Africa, Nigeria, West Africa, they had no Book of Mormon, they had no Doctrine and Covenants, and it made me feel bad that I had not treasured these messages from the Lord more in my life. You can maybe imagine what it was like to hear people bear testimony, particularly of the Book of Mormon, and that's the first thing they translate, to bear testimony of it, to be baptized, and to look forward to reading it someday. One of the thrills of my lifetime was being in Indonesia when they received their copies of The Book of Mormon, and I had two Indonesian companions, and they slept with their Kitab Mormon under their pillow, and they said, "If a robber comes, he can take anything but not my scriptures."
0:10:22.7 ME: And now they have the Doctrine and Covenants, they have the triple combination, they have everything in all these places that I've been, and it was something that taught me, I should have valued it more through my whole life.
0:10:37.6 KL: I love that, Mary Ellen. 'Cause I'll be honest, Doctrine and Covenants, it doesn't get me super psyched, but hearing that, that just called me to repentance, 'cause it's like, this is so important for you to read, for you to study, for you to incorporate in your life, I love it.
0:10:55.0 TH: Yeah, when both of you were saying this, it takes us to this quote by Ezra Taft Benson in a talk he gave in 1986, and I love that he said this, "Virtually every page of both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon teaches about the Master, His great love for His children and His atoning sacrifice, and teaches us how to live so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father." I had never considered that almost every page in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants will teach us about Jesus Christ. And it kind of challenged me to look for that this year as I'm studying the Doctrine and Covenants, what I can learn about him throughout this whole section. And it was kind of funny, Katie, when you said you weren't incredibly psyched about learning the Doctrine and Covenants, I think for a lot of seminary and institute teachers, we're not incredibly psyched to teach the Doctrine and Covenants. Now listen, some people are, don't give me any hate mail, [chuckle] but it's always kind of a hard thing to teach because there's no main storyline unless you know the church history and know it well, which is hard for a first time...
0:11:52.1 TH: That was my first year teaching seminary was Doctrine and Covenants. I didn't know what I was doing. Oh my gosh, I'm trying to teach the doctrines and the covenants and church history? I'm giving the Old Testament any day obviously, I love that. So it's gonna be really fun to this year really learn the stories behind the doctrine. And in the next segment, we're gonna jump into that, and we're gonna learn these revelations were actually for specific individuals in the early history of the church before they were ever for us.
0:12:29.0 TH: Okay, for this next segment, I have four pictures that I'm gonna show you guys, and I wanna see if you can tell me who these people are. Here's the first person. Who's this?
0:12:36.0 KL: Emma Smith.
0:12:37.0 ME: That looks like Emma.
0:12:39.5 TH: Yeah! Katie, you know your girl. Alright, Emma Smith, very good. Here's our next person.
0:12:43.6 KL: Oh, Joseph.
0:12:45.6 ME: Joseph. [chuckle]
0:12:47.1 TH: Yes, very good. So far you guys are two for two. Okay, here's another one.
0:12:53.2 ME: It looks like Oliver.
0:12:53.3 TH: Oliver Cowdery, and here's our last...
0:12:54.5 ME: I recognize that tie that he has on. [chuckle]
0:12:57.1 KL: It's a nice tie.
0:12:58.2 TH: Yeah, it is a nice tie. It is a nice tie. And here's our last person.
0:13:02.9 KL: Mary, do you have this? I don't.
0:13:05.3 TH: Okay, yeah, me neither. Actually, I would have never known who this guy is. I actually found his picture in the "Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants," the book that I use. Now, here's what all four of these people have in common. Let's go to the explanatory introduction. And Mary Ellen, will you read halfway down the first paragraph of the introduction, starting at the word, "although"?
0:13:27.1 ME: "Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well-being and their everlasting salvation." That is just magnificent.
0:13:53.9 TH: Why?
0:13:56.3 ME: Because that makes this book just absolutely critical to the whole human family. And as it says in this explanation, it's of more worth than the riches of the whole Earth.
0:14:10.4 TH: Mary Ellen, when you just talked about that, and I love that you love that sentence so much because those are four people who revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were directed at. And what's interesting about this is this was kind of a source of contention when it was decided upon that they were gonna take all of the revelations and put them in what they would call a Book of Commandments.
0:14:29.8 TH: On November 1st of 1831, Joseph Smith called a special meeting, a conference in Hiram, Ohio, and this special conference was to discuss the ideas of putting all of the revelations that Joseph Smith had received up to that point in what we're gonna call The Book of Commandments. And several of the brother in there were like, "No, no, no, we can't do that because some of these revelations were for specific people. They weren't for the church as a whole." And so that was a big source of debate that they had, and at the end of that conference, they finally decided, "Okay, we all agree, we're gonna make the revelations public."
0:15:00.4 TH: Now, that was in 1831. So many things are gonna happen between 1831 and 1835, when they finally are able to print the Doctrine and Covenants. The name will change, 'cause it was originally a Book of Commandments, and then it's gonna change to the Doctrine and Covenants. The printing office is going to be attacked in 1833. They started to print the Book of Commandments, and then the Missouri mobs come in and destroy WW Phelps's printing office. And then we have a bunch of other meetings that had to take place, and finally, they come together, and in 1835 of September, the Doctrine and Covenants is bound and sold for $1 per copy. How cool is that?
0:15:37.5 KL: $1.
0:15:41.2 TH: $1...
0:15:41.3 ME: That's awesome.
0:15:41.2 TH: For a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants, yeah. And so at this meeting in November though, I think this is what's so interesting, at the meeting in November of 1831, they decided they were going to do this book, and Joseph Smith said to several of the men there, "Okay, will you come up with just the opening title page, however it should look, just write up something that the saints can read before they read the revelations?" And then the meeting ended, and they took a break. And during that break, Joseph Smith received revelation, and he came back, and he said, "Actually, I know what we're supposed to put," and that is Doctrine and Covenants section 1. So before you go there, actually, let's go to the chronological order of contents, 'cause this is pretty interesting. You kind of notice that they're not all in chronological order. The very first revelation given is section two in 1823, and Doctrine and Covenants section 1 isn't given until 1831. So now let's go to Doctrine and Covenants section 1...
0:16:40.2 KL: Wait, Tammy.
0:16:40.6 TH: Yeah, Katie.
0:16:41.1 KL: I've always wondered this, why did they print them out of order? I mean, I look at this page, and it just seems like, "Yeah, section 10, we'll do that for the third one. And yeah, section blah, blah, we'll do that for the sixth one." And I'm like, why did they do that?
0:16:53.2 TH: That's a great question. Mary Ellen, what do you... I wanna know what Mary Ellen says. Mary Ellen, what do you got?
0:16:58.4 ME: Because it was logical to do that, but on section 1, it was because the Lord said this was the prelude, this was the preface to the then called Book of Commandments, but section 1 is, it's a wonderful beginning to an incredible book.
0:17:18.3 TH: Well, Mary Ellen, I love what you said because in all of my research that I did, why are a few of them out of order is exactly what Mary Ellen said, it was logical to do, because all of those sections are concerning the same thing, and so they took his revelation and put it in with that one. And there are only two or three that are kind of out of order, like section 10's kind of out of order, but when you put section 10 in context, it makes sense of where it is. So yeah, I love that you said that, Mary Ellen, that's what I found also. It just made sense logically.
0:17:47.8 KL: So they kind of build on each other, that's why.
0:17:50.3 TH: Exactly, yes. I like how you said that. They do, they absolutely build on each other. That's a great way to put it. Okay. So let's go to section 1. Now, Mary Ellen, I like how you said that this is what the Lord had to say. In fact, at the top of the page where it says, "The Doctrine and Covenants", put "The Lord's Preface", that's what this section is called. And Mary Ellen, can I have you read the sub-heading under section 1, please?
0:18:14.1 ME: "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet during a special conference of elders of the Church, held at Hiram, Ohio, November 1st, 1831. Many revelations had been received from the Lord prior to this time, and the compilation of these for publication in book form was one of the principal subjects passed upon at the conference. This section constitutes the Lord's preface to the doctrines, covenants, and commandments given in this dispensation."
0:18:48.7 ME: One thing that's just interesting to me is, one of the unique things about the Doctrine and Covenants is that it is not translated from ancient records, but it is translated into, I'm gonna say hundreds of languages.
0:19:06.7 TH: I like that you said that because it's one of the things that my Hebrew teacher pointed out, and one of the reasons she loves the Doctrine and Covenants is because she said it's never been re-translated. We have a firsthand account, first language account, it hasn't passed through anybody else's hands. And so, for her, the richness of it and the wording is just... She loves it so much. And a few years ago, when she taught that to me, I was like, "I had never considered that. You're right." Because when we talk about how we believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly, yeah, boy, as studying Hebrew, there's a lot of things that are kinda mistranslated. But there's no mistranslations here. This is straightforward, it is what it is, and here's what you need to know, and we don't mince our words. And Joseph Smith makes no apologies for some of the harsh revelations, 'cause some of them are. Oh my gosh, when I read some of them given to these people, I'm like, "Ouch, oh, I'm so glad none of my revelations are privy to anyone else. What the Lord... " There have been times when the Lord has called me out, and I don't want anyone reading about that, right?
0:20:08.7 ME: May I share a little story?
0:20:10.5 TH: Please.
0:20:11.5 ME: When I was transferred from Taiwan to Hong Kong, the president of the branch in Taiwan also had moved to Hong Kong. He was a wonderful early member of the church. And I happened to be in the offices one day there in Hong Kong, and they were working on the Doctrine and Covenants, translating it. And he showed me a page of characters and I said, "Oh, which section is this?" And he smiled, and he said, "This is consecration. We're working on the word, the concept, the truth about consecration." And that just struck me, that they were working on the meaning of consecration...
0:21:00.0 TH: Oh, wow.
0:21:00.6 ME: For the Doctrine and Covenants.
0:21:03.7 TH: Thank you. This tells me how the Spirit has guided Mary Ellen because she is ahead of the mark every time. I don't know if you noticed, Mary Ellen, but you have answered every question I'm about to ask.
0:21:17.5 ME: I have?
0:21:18.4 TH: Yes, you have.
0:21:21.2 ME: How many points do I get?
0:21:21.3 TH: So far, you're winning.
0:21:22.1 KL: All of them.
0:21:22.5 TH: Oh my gosh, all of them, because you already shared, like the story you just shared about consecration is the answer to that. "Is there one that's significant to you?" And then she comes in and says, "Can I tell you a story about the law of consecration?" And then she already read the thing about the people, the revelations given to the people. I should just turn this over to Mary Ellen. Just teach us about section 1, Mary Ellen.
0:21:42.2 KL: Mary Ellen.
0:21:43.3 TH: The Spirit has been guiding her. Holy cow. Okay, well, I love the story you shared. Is there another section in the Doctrine and Covenants that is significant to you, Mary Ellen and Katie?
0:21:52.9 ME: In section three, Joseph Smith is reprimanded because the 116 pages have been lost, and Joseph is reminded that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of man. Joseph is reminded that he's been entrusted with these sacred records and how strict were his commands. In verse seven, he's told, "You should not have feared men more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise His words." And I think about myself, and then I get to that verse eight. This is the part that grabs me. I'm just going to preface it again, "Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise His words. Yet you should have been faithful." I just think there are times in my life when I have been told, "Everybody else is doing this or that, but you should have been faithful." That is a pretty strong lesson from Heaven, to be told, "Doesn't matter what others were doing. You should have been faithful." It's a heart-stopper.
0:23:09.3 TH: Well, and going back to the idea that these revelations were given to people, I love how Joseph didn't keep anything out. He could have so easily kept that section out because it doesn't put him in the best light, and he's like, "No, we're putting it all in." The human in him, the mortal man would have been like, "Yeah, let's cut that." What a beautiful... And the lesson that we can learn from those verses and from what you shared, Mary Ellen, is so powerful. Thank you for sharing that.
0:23:33.7 ME: Don't you love what follows?
0:23:35.6 TH: Oh, I do, go ahead.
0:23:37.3 ME: Said, "You should have been faithful, and He would have extended His arm and supported you against the fiery darts of the adversary. And He would have been with you in every time of trouble." That is a great learning experience for me. Not just once. [chuckle]
0:23:55.9 TH: But then his life, and Doctrine and Covenants proves, that he got back on track and that the Lord really was there in every time of trouble. It wasn't a one-and-done, like, "Well, that's too bad, it's unfortunate. See ya."
0:24:09.0 ME: I agree.
0:24:09.9 TH: I love that. What about you, Katie?
0:24:12.4 KL: Well, let me just say, if there have been times when Mary Ellen has not been faithful, then I don't know if there's any hope for me. [chuckle] I don't think there is.
0:24:20.9 TH: I know. And Mary Ellen's got a direct line to God. So I was thinking the same thing, Katie.
0:24:20.9 KL: 'Cause Mary Ellen... Yes, she's like one of his favorites, for sure. Everyone's His favorite, but I think Mary Ellen's favored.
0:24:30.4 TH: Capital F Favored.
0:24:33.5 KL: Yeah, yeah, I love how we talked about how these build on each other, 'cause my favorite section is section 19, and I read this at a time when I have a couple of family members who are not a part of the church or don't have testimonies at the church, and I've always really struggled with that because I love them so much, and I always beat myself up 'cause I'm like, "What can I do more to help them? Who can I be to help them more?" And I really want them to be with me forever, and I don't wanna lose them. I really... Like you said, some of these revelations are a little harsh and I always kinda struggle with the harshness of that 'cause I'm like, you know them, you know, that they just have things that are really hard for them. But I love this section because I was reading it when I was thinking about that.
0:25:23.8 KL: And if you go to the top where it explains what each of the verses are about, and you look at 6 through 12, that says eternal punishment is God's punishment, and I love that part, section 19, verse 8, where it says, "Wherefore I will explain unto you this mystery... " and he's talking about eternal punishment being God's punishment, "for it is meet unto you to know, even as mine apostles, I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest. For behold the mystery of godliness, how great it is. For behold, I am endless and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment. For endless is my name wherefore endless punishment is God's punishment. Endless punishment is God's punishment."
0:26:09.6 KL: He says it twice. And to me, that means that he will see the things they had to go through, and he will know why they made the decisions they made, and he'll have mercy on them, and he will give them a punishment. I think punishment's strong. But he will give them what they need to be at a place where I can be with them again. Anyway, that's why I love that. And then in section 18, it talks about how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, and so I love how those two kinda build upon each other.
0:26:45.0 TH: Oh, Katie, thank you for sharing that, those tender feelings and thoughts of your heart about the people that you love the most. Thank you. I love how in section 19, in verse 23, and it's such a classic scripture we often use, but the beauty of it, "Learn of me, and listen to my words, walk in the meekness of my spirit, and you shall have peace in me." And the beauty of that for me is the word listen there, because it's so significant in the Doctrine and Covenants and what it means and how we can have peace in him, and everyone we know and love can experience his peace by learning about him, which we talked about earlier, every page will teach us of Jesus Christ, but listening to his words. That word, listen, is so significant. And in the next segment, we're gonna talk about what that means. According to Doctrine and Covenant section 1.
0:27:43.4 TH: Okay, ladies, at the very beginning, I talked about being heard, so here's my question, how do you know if someone's really listening to you? Do you have a thing that you say, look at me... Look at me, look in my eyes. How do you know if someone's listening to you?
0:27:58.5 ME: I suppose they're looking at me, but not necessarily. I can just see them thinking and there is some kind of response coming, maybe it's not visible, maybe it's a feeling, but if somebody is not listening, then I quit talking.
0:28:16.5 KL: I love that, Mary. [chuckle] I'll just do that from now on.
0:28:21.9 TH: I just imagine her talking, and then she just trails off...
0:28:24.4 ME: And then they start listening.
0:28:26.8 TH: Yeah, like, "What happened?" [chuckle]
0:28:29.7 KL: People will stop talking.
0:28:30.1 TH: I love it. That's good, that's good. What about you, Katie?
0:28:32.7 KL: It's hard to put into words, but it's like you know when someone's listening to you because you feel it. You can see it too, they're kind of glazed over, they're not really paying attention or whatever, but you also feel like, "Oh, there's no connection here. We're not being listened to."
0:28:47.6 TH: Well, is there anything you guys do to listen to people? Is there anything you have to do in your brain or anything so that you are listening?
0:28:55.4 ME: I have to make sure that I'm not finding what I'm gonna say when they take a pause, and I'm waiting for a little pause so I can butt in. I have to be careful about that, but one thing that it has taught me is when I'm praying, I want Heavenly Father to know that I'm really listening, I'm praying with intent, and I'm listening with intent, and I have a BB brain, a busy, busy brain. And so I have to consciously, intently listen or I don't hear what He wants me to know.
0:29:36.6 TH: Mary Ellen, and I love that you brought that up, that idea of listening and intently knowing because there's something significant about that word, and I want us to go to Doctrine and Covenants, section 1, verse 1 because the very first word... Let's look at that. Mark it. What's the very first word that the Lord says to us in his preface?
0:29:58.2 KL: Hearken.
0:29:58.3 TH: Hearken, highlight that. Circle it, put stars around it. Whatever you wanna do. This is really important, that this is the first word. In fact, so important that in April of 2020, our Prophet actually mentions this. Let's read this quote from his conference talk, President Nelson said this about that word hearken, and Mary Ellen, will you read that for us?
0:30:22.2 ME: "The very first word in the Doctrine and Covenants is hearken. It means "to listen with the intent to obey." To hearken means to 'hear Him', to hear what the Savior says and then to heed His counsel. In those two words, 'Hear Him', God gives us the pattern for success, happiness, and joy in this life. We are to hear the words of the Lord, hearken to them, and heed what He has told us!" That's good.
0:31:01.1 TH: It's so good. Now, this is one of my favorite Hebrew words. It's the word for hearken. So of course I'm gonna take some time to tell us a little bit about this, so in Hebrew, the word for hearken or hear is Shema. It means to pay attention to or focus on, and now I'm gonna give you such a cool example of this in scripture, where we see this. So the very first person to really kind of use this in a name is Leah. So you remember the story about Jacob and Leah and Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he was kind of tricked into marrying Leah, and then he worked for more time to marry Rachel. Well, Leah knew she wasn't really loved a lot by Jacob, and so because of that... Let's go to Genesis chapter 29, verse 33. I just have to show you this 'cause it's so cool. So turn to Genesis, chapter 29, verse 33, it says this, it's talking about Leah, and it says, "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard... " Now in Hebrew that word heard right there is Shema, it's what we're talking about, "Because the Lord hath Shema that I was hated," and it's not really hated in Hebrew, it actually means unloved, so you can mark that and change that.
0:32:10.4 TH: See, Old Testament's gonna be so much fun. So it says, "Because the Lord hath Shema that I was unloved, he hath therefore given me this son also: And she called his name Simeon." And now, this is the cool part. The name Simeon in Hebrew is Shimon. That's how you say it. And it's from the Hebrew word Shema. She named him that because she felt like the Lord had heard or hearkened to her prayer, because when we talk about having the Lord hear us, I don't think anyone out there is praying thinking, "Well, I'll say this prayer and God will put it in his filing cabinet under my name, and then just close the door." I think we all pray thinking, "Oh, I really hope He hears and responds and does something," which is another meaning of the word Shema. Now, this is kind of cool because the word Shema in Hebrew, there is no separate word in Hebrew for the word obey, isn't that interesting? In fact, the only word that we use for obey in Hebrew is Shema.
0:33:10.9 TH: It's the same word. So when the Lord says, Shema, it's "I will listen and do what you say." So here's what I want us to do. Go to Exodus chapter 19, verse 5, let's look at this, this is a really great verse. Katie, will you read chapter 19, verse 5, please?
0:33:26.3 KL: "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: For all the earth is mine."
0:33:38.1 TH: Thank you, Katie. Now, this is pretty cool because in that verse where it says, "If you will obey my voice... " Circle the word obey. In Hebrew, the Hebrew translation is, "if you will Shema my voice indeed, and keep my covenants... " The word keep is also Shema, so if you will Shema my voice and Shema my covenant, if you will hear and obey my word, and if you will hear and obey my covenant, then you will be a peculiar treasure. And we have done peculiar treasure, that's such a fun word in Hebrew because it means owned, it means His precious jewels, it doesn't mean a peculiar weirdo, it means you are... You are his own by shemaing everything he says and shemaing all of the covenants that you have entered into. So knowing this, let's go back to section 1, because it goes back to verse 1, where he says, "Hearken, o ye people of my church."
0:34:35.9 TH: And now what I want us to notice about this word is in the Doctrine and Covenants, the word hearken or hear is going to be said a combined total of 138 times. So this is the word of the Doctrine and Covenants. It's gonna be our... Probably our word of the year. To hear or to hearken, I love this word. But look at verse 2, "Who that... " he's not just talking to members of the church though, he's not saying just this Doctrine and Covenants is just for people who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-Day Saints. Verse 2 says, "For verily, the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape," and then look at verse 4, "And the voice of warning shall be unto all people by the mouths of my disciples." All people, all men, and Joseph Fielding Smith in a conference report in 1919, so a long time ago, this is what he said about all people and all men. "It's all the world, to the Catholics, to the Presbyterians, to the Methodists, to the infidel, to the non-believer." That's who he's talking to. Every human being who lives on the Earth is going to learn by hearkening, is going to learn by listening and obeying. And there's so much power in that.
0:35:45.2 ME: You have reminded me of something that taught me a big lesson and helped me to make some changes in the way I related to people. This is in section 88. It's got quite a few verses and starting in verse 122, "Appoint among yourselves a teacher and let not all be spokesmen at once, but let one speak at a time, and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege." Isn't that wonderful?
0:36:31.8 TH: Yes, tell me why you like that. Why did you emphasize all?
0:36:36.8 ME: Because I can learn from anyone, anywhere. And the verse that follows, "See that ye love one another." And it's very loving to give people a chance to say what they feel. I think we've all been in groups where you could see that someone kind of wanted to say something but were never called on, or no one ever noticed, or perhaps they didn't think they would have anything to add. This is a guide to how to listen and why, because you have things to teach me that I don't yet know, and I would be a better person if I would listen to you.
0:37:18.9 KL: I love this idea of all because I know that sometimes I get caught up in... I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ's Latter-day Saints. And with that, I know a lot of things and I feel a lot of things, and a lot of things are for me and things like that, but I forget that they're also for everybody. It's not just me that all these things are happening for, they're for everybody. So when I look at there is "none to escape," it reminds me of this story that was on "This Is the Gospel" one time, and it was about this guy who had lived a rougher life, and he had reached a breaking point, and he asked his friend who happened to be a Latter-Day say if he would give him a blessing, and during the blessing, he said, "God has always been aware of you, God always knows where you're at," and I feel like that's what he's saying here, like, "I know where you're at. I know you, you're my child, and I'm going to tell you this because you need to know this now." And that's what I love about how this is directed at everybody, it's not just for the church, it's for everyone of his children, 'cause he knows where everyone is at.
0:38:25.0 ME: I've had a chance to Zoom to missionaries a little bit, [chuckle] it's been really fun. But one thing that I remind them about is, every single person we meet or just pass on the street or in a store or any place, every single one of them shouted for joy with us, so our work is to try to remind them, to share with them in such a way and to pray for them in such a way that it's not necessarily like a memory comes, "Oh, remember the pre-earth life," but that something is familiar. If we are really sharing from our heart, then maybe something in their heart will say to them, "This feels more than sounds perhaps. This feels familiar."
0:39:19.1 TH: So this idea of everyone shouting for joy, I love this because we did, we shouted for joy in the pre-earth life. And as hard as this year has been, we can still shout for joy today. That is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is a consequence of hearkening. Listen to this awesome quote by our prophet about the blessings that we can receive if we Shema or if we hearken. "As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths. What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life."
0:40:26.6 TH: As I read that, what were some of the promises or blessings that stood out to you? Which ones are significant?
0:40:32.6 KL: I love that we're promised with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness, because I know that, especially during COVID, I feel like it's been really hard to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness without the strength of the temple and without meeting with everybody once a week. And I love that Heavenly Father is aware that things like that will happen in our lives, or maybe there will be times where we can't have the additional strength that we need, and so he's like, "Hey, guess what, if you do these things, you'll still have that. You might not be able to go to the temple once a week or once a month, or whenever you go, but you'll be able to have the additional power if you do this."
0:41:14.1 ME: It's been an interesting year, there's been a lot of turbulence, and I have felt a lot of joy, and I've tried to help others feel joy. I like that part of it.
0:41:27.6 TH: Thank you. I think for me, the part that stands out the most that I really appreciate is the promise that he gave that our marriages and our families will be blessed, and our family relationships. Because I've always said this that being a mom is so hard, it is so hard, and I've also said marriage, I love, I love being married, and I could also use some extra blessings in both departments definitely, especially since COVID, it's been hard on everybody and hard on relationships. And so I think the promise of hearkening and being blessed in our families, in our marriages, that to me just seems like a win-win. And so in the next segment, we're gonna discuss what the Lord wants all people to know and understand and to hear and obey.
0:42:21.8 TH: So I asked the two of you to come prepared with verses you could share, or anything that stood out to you in section 1. There's so much good stuff in here.
0:42:33.8 KL: Okay, I just have to tell you a story. So the scriptures I'm using today are the scriptures that I got from my baptism, and I have lost them for two years, and then my dad was cleaning out his garage and was like, "Hey, do you want these?" And I'm like, "Of course, I want these." [chuckle] Anyway, so they're all marked up and ready to go.
0:42:52.2 TH: Well, that's perfect. What do you got marked in section 1?
0:42:55.6 KL: So I have marked section 1 verse 19, and it says, "The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh." I just feel like that is the epitome of all the scriptures. We don't give the people like Moroni and Mormon and Nephi and Joseph Smith enough credit. They were weak. We're all weak. I can't even imagine writing an email to an English professor, let alone like writing something so personal that millions of millions and millions of people are gonna see. And I just love how something so weak can break down something so strong, and then it can show that God is there for us and that we should trust in Him.
0:43:38.9 TH: Oh absolutely. That's a great one. What do you got, Mary Ellen?
0:43:43.1 ME: Mine is towards the end, verses 37 and 38. "Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." That's such a powerful statement, and it brought to mind listening to a prophet, give us a message about gratitude in a time of pandemic and trouble, and then pray, with millions listening, a very tender, honest prayer. That touched me so deeply, I have to keep watching it again. [chuckle] Anyway, I love this, that whether by His voice or by those whom He speaks to and asks them to teach us, it is the same.
0:44:56.2 TH: Mary Ellen, I love what you just shared. In fact, we're gonna talk about that more in segment six, so I'm gonna come back as we talk about that prayer that the prophet prayed for us. So thank you for sharing that, that was powerful. I love that those are the verses you marked, incredible. Thank you for sharing both of you what you marked and what you came prepared with. Mine is in section 1. It's going to be verses 19-23, but more specifically, verse 24. I just love verse 24 so much because the Lord tells us what he's gonna do to help us in the last days. And then verse 24 says, "Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding." And just the idea that he just says, "Behold, I'm God, I've spoken it," like, "Look, this is me, here's the deal, it's me, I've said it, so it's gonna happen." And I just... That's how I kinda re-translate it in my head. "I'm God, I've spoken it, there you go." It's kind of like a drop mic for me in that verse.
0:45:57.6 TH: So in order to understand Doctrine and Covenants section 1, there are a couple of verses that you read, and you're like, "Wait, what does that mean?" So there's a couple of phrases that just need some clarification, maybe a translation, but not really translating, but we're gonna clarify what this means. So the first thing is in verse 13. Let's go there. And verse 13 says, "And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven." Let's Let's highlight "sword is bathed in heaven". What that means, and you can write to the outside of your scriptures, is it's a way of describing destruction and judgment, that's what he's saying, and the anger of the Lord is kindled and his destruction and judgment will come, and it will fall upon the inhabitants of the Earth.
0:46:38.0 TH: And in verse 14, it says, "And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed." Let's mark that, "the arm of the Lord shall be revealed". We studied this a little bit last year, but during wartime, when there would be someone on a horse, and they'd be galloping in to fight, what they would do is they would take their cape and throw it over their shoulder and show their arm, and it would be a revelation of strength or power. It's a sign of strength.
0:47:00.7 KL: It could just be like some guy out there with his big old arm like, "Yeah, you can see it." And you can see God being like, flexing like, "Yeah, I got you."
0:47:12.9 TH: Yeah, he's the strongest.
0:47:13.0 ME: He can say, "Yeah, I see your puny arm."
0:47:15.7 TH: Yeah, exactly, the puny arm of man, and then we have the arm of the Lord. It's exactly what it is. So it's a symbol or sign of strength. So that's what it's saying, "The arm of the Lord or the strength of the Lord will be revealed." You bet it will, absolutely. Okay, then go to verse 16. We see this a lot in scripture, and this is a good one, it's at the very end of the verse, and it will say, "Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall." Let's highlight that word "Babylon", it says it twice there. And what we need to know about Babylon is it is a symbol of a wicked world. It is literally the archenemy of Zion in scripture. So anytime you read Babylon in scripture, just know it's the opposite of Zion, it's the enemy of Zion. And I like how one religious scholar described it, it's Satan's system of things upon the earth. That's what Babylon means, it's Satan's world, it's his system.
0:48:07.7 TH: And then we have another word that we need to define, and this is in verse 36. Let's go there. And in verse 36, it says, "And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world." Now, that word, "Idumea", this is interesting, I really like this word, this word is a word from the city of Edom in Old Testament times. So it's the New Testament term for the Old Testament nation of Edom, which was once really rich in flocks and strong fortresses and extensive commercial relations. And what's interesting about Edom is that it's also wicked. So when you see Idumea, it's a scriptural symbol for Satan's realm, it's a scriptural symbol for a very wicked world, in fact, so wicked that I thought it was interesting that in Jesus's day, Idumea or Edom is where King Herod's from.
0:49:08.3 TH: Okay, so knowing all those terms, it's going to help us put into perspective a little bit better some of the things that the Lord's trying to say to us. So in Doctrine and Covenants section 1, there's a lot of calamities. In fact, starting in verse 7, all the way until verse 13, lots of hard stuff is going to happen, a lot of trials. In fact, he comes out and he just says that... It's just a lot of stuff, and it's all gonna be fulfilled, and it seems a little bit scary when you read those verses. And the word that the Lord uses to describe all of that yuck, let's read the word He used to describe it, it's in verse 17. And Mary Ellen, can you read verse 17 for us, please?
0:49:47.4 ME: Sure I can. "Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments."
0:50:03.8 TH: Thank you. What word did the Lord used to describe all the yuck?
0:50:06.1 ME: Calamity.
0:50:08.4 TH: Yes. Why do you giggle? [chuckle]
0:50:12.1 ME: It's just funny, the different way people use the word calamity. Sometimes it's, "I just peeled the egg, and it fell on the floor. Oh, that was a calamity." This is a bigger word.
0:50:25.7 TH: Yes, it is. I like that you said it's a bigger word.
0:50:29.3 ME: It's a big word.
0:50:30.3 TH: It is a big word. And especially in context of Doctrine and Covenants section 1, I looked up the word "calamity" 'cause I love that you said people use it in so many different ways, so I thought that, and I'm like, "What does it exactly mean?" And according to Joseph Smith's 1828 verbiage in the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary that we use a lot, this is what the word calamity would have meant to him, "Any great misfortune or cause of misery generally applied to events or disasters which produce extensive evils, loss of crops, earthquakes, conflagrations, which is fire, defeat of armies and the like, but it's applied to the misfortunes which bring great distress upon individuals."
0:51:08.0 KL: Well, that's like almost 2020, [laughter] almost every single one. Wow.
0:51:14.9 TH: The year of calamities, that's what we could call 2020. I'll refer to that when I'm a grandma. "Grandma, what was it like in 2020?" "Oh, the year of calamities? Let me tell you." [laughter] We should stamp it as the year of calamities for sure, right? Yeah, so these calamities, but here's the goodness of it. And Mary Ellen, you read it, the Lord knew that we would have these calamities, and so he provided a way for us to overcome them, and he's gonna teach that to us in Doctrine and Covenants section 1. Now, we have to read this quote by Ezra Taft Benson. Katie, will you please read this quote?
0:51:48.2 KL: "Thus, the Doctrine and Covenants is a glorious book of scripture given directly to our generation. It contains the will of the Lord for us in these last days that precede the Second Coming of Christ. It contains many truths and doctrines not fully revealed in other scripture... It will strengthen those who carefully and prayerfully study from its pages."
0:52:06.9 TH: Thank you. At the end, he says, "It will strengthen those who carefully and prayerfully study from its pages." The Lord provided a way for Joseph Smith to prepare us today to be strengthened during this time of calamities. How have you seen that happen? Mary Ellen, go ahead.
0:52:22.3 ME: I think I'm ignorant of some of the people who are suffering calamities. I just think sometimes I'm not as aware as I should be and want to be of the calamities that so many of Heavenly Father's children suffer with and from, but I think of people whose burdens are so heavy, and I think of people who are homeless, feel hopeless and helpless, people who are really suffering in ways that I can hardly handle thinking about it, and I find my prayers are for those who need the most, whoever they are.
0:53:08.4 TH: Thank you, Mary Ellen, for sharing that. Mary Ellen, as you were speaking it, the verses in Doctrines and Covenants 1:23 and 24 reminded me of you and your experience, all that you've experienced in your life and the missions that you've served because the whole point of section 1 is to help us understand that it's gonna be hard, and it has been hard. And there are calamities, and you're right, there are so many calamities we don't even know of. But the Lord has provided a way, and the way is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is Him, it is by hearkening to the things that He has said. And I love verse 23 and 24. I wanna go back to these. I read verse 24 before, but let's do it one more time because it's so profound. He says that "The fullness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers." Just the idea of the fullness of His Gospel might be proclaimed, that is the answer. That is the answer for all of us.
0:54:04.3 TH: But here's what's cool, verse 24, here it is again, "But I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me and were given unto my servants in their weakness after the manner of their language that they might come to understanding." And Mary Ellen, you speak so many languages. How does that verse strike you when it says after the manner of their language that they might come to understanding?
0:54:28.8 ME: I remember once in the Philippines, I decided I would attempt to bear my testimony in Tagalog, and it was such a tender experience because, as I began and was trying to say things, they would call out the words and help me through it. It was just unforgettable.
0:54:49.4 TH: Will you bear your testimony to us in Tagalog?
0:54:52.9 TH: I don't know that I can still do it in Tagalog, I could in Indonesian. [chuckle]
0:54:56.9 ME: Do it, do it in Indonesian.
0:55:51.8 TH: Wow, I felt the Spirit beautifully, just a peaceful, beautiful feeling as you shared that. Thank you so much. What's so cool about what you just did is in the next segment, we're gonna discuss something else that the Lord has done to strengthen us in these last days, which has a lot to do with the experience we have with your testimony, so thank you, Mary Ellen.
0:56:22.7 TH: So we're still kind of in the festive mood. We just finished Christmas. And so here's what I wanna know, what kind of Christmas tree person are you guys? Live? Fake? What are we talking about? Big? Little? Tell me about your Christmas tree.
0:56:34.0 KL: Big and fake. Big, fake. Because, okay, I've had the real Christmas tree experience and it's so pokey. Have you ever tried to cut down a Christmas tree before?
0:56:44.8 TH: You go to a Christmas tree stand, and you just pick it out.
0:56:45.1 KL: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, that's the easy way. You have to do it the hard way. You have to find a Christmas tree and chop it down and bring it back to your house, and it's pokey.
0:56:54.5 TH: Okay, I love it, Katie. Fake Christmas tree for Katie. What about you, Mary Ellen?
0:56:58.1 ME: Mine is real, and it's in the yard, and I might hang a little something on it.
0:57:04.8 TH: Oh, you keep it outside. You don't have a tree in your house?
0:57:06.6 KL: That's how you do it.
0:57:07.0 ME: There are trees all around me, Christmas trees, and I'll pick one. There's one I call PK Pine, and I'm going to put a little ornament on PK Pine today.
0:57:20.6 KL: Why do you call it PK Pine? [chuckle]
0:57:25.2 TH: Yeah.
0:57:25.3 ME: My dad's initials are PK, okay, Edmunds. So it's PK Pine...
0:57:30.7 TH: Your dad's tree is PK Pine?
0:57:31.7 ME: And it's very beautiful, and it's very tall, and it's not gonna die and spread needles all over the house.
0:57:38.7 KL: So that's how you do it. That's... Mary Ellen's got it.
0:57:41.7 TH: Bingo. There you go. Because as you said, it's not gonna die and spread needles, I'm like, "Yeah, that is our tree." We get a live tree every year, and it is the bane of our existence to keep that tree alive for at least a week. I mean it's dead by Christmas, it's so sad, and then the needles start to fall. You're totally right. And we have every kind of contraption to keep water in it, like we have a hose with a funnel at the top, and my husband gets on his back and then my daughter pours the water down, and inevitably somebody ends up wet. I mean it's just, words are said and... No, I'm just kidding.
0:58:15.0 TH: It's just so hard to keep it alive. And it just made me think of this because when I was reading section 1, that word "living" or "alive" really struck me, so we have to read this. Let's see what this living or live tree has to do with Doctrine and Covenants section 1 verse 30 because I love this, it's really struck me. So here we go. Doctrine and Covenants section 1, verse 30 is God's testimony of the church. You can even write that to the outside of your verse, God's testimony of it, and he's gonna speak to us, and here's something significant he has to say to us in verse 30. And Mary Ellen, will you read that for us?
0:58:48.9 ME: "And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually."
0:59:16.3 TH: Okay, so look at what Mary Ellen just read, there's something powerful about this verse, because here's what he says about the church, that it came out of obscurity and out of darkness, and it is the only what?
0:59:28.5 KL: True and living church.
0:59:31.1 TH: Let's mark those two words. And I wanna know, how do you think the church is a living church?
0:59:38.0 ME: When you think about all that's happened to a group of people that started with six and now is worldwide, and a living prophet, 15 prophets, seers, I used to say it like seers, like Sears, Roebuck, but that's... They are seers, prophet, seers and revelators, the action, the activity, the growth, the expansion, the additional light, and truth, it's just astonishing to be part of it and to be aware that it's a time of continual revelation, and it's just a wonderful time to be alive.
1:00:21.3 KL: I totally agree. I have a baby right now, so everything is baby-focused. And she's only eight months old and looking at her from when she was born to now where she's eight months is completely different. So I mean, of course, the church is gonna change, it's the living church, it's gonna grow, and it's gonna progress, and then it's gonna get bigger, like you were saying, Mary Ellen, and it's gonna change.
1:00:41.4 TH: Well, Katie, I love the analogy you just gave because have you changed? Has the way you do things on a daily basis changed as your baby grows?
1:00:50.1 KL: Oh yeah, like I can't... I don't sleep.
1:00:54.6 TH: Sure, sure. You can't just come and go as you please anymore right?
1:00:58.3 KL: No, my house is never clean.
1:01:02.2 TH: Yes, yes, 'cause you're living, you're living in it. I like that analogy so much about your baby. 'Cause when I read these, I always think of me when I would get up in bear my testimony, and I was the kid who loved bearing my testimony. In fact, I used to say to my dad every Sunday, I can remember this conversation, "Is today fast Sunday or slow Sunday?" 'Cause fast Sunday meant I can bear my testimony, and all the rest were slow to me. 'Cause he would say "Why?" and I go, "'Cause I always wanna bear my testimony." I loved... I ran up there as fast as I could, and I would always say it this way, "I wanna bear my testimony, I know this church is true, I love my mom and dad." But how significant? I know this church is true and living. Like that changes everything because there's a lot of churches that have truth, right? We believe that, don't we? All churches have truth. And I think that's important for us to understand. People who were raised in different religions were raised to believe good things, so we can't discount that. And I love...
1:01:56.6 TH: There's a great talk by Boyd K. Packer, and he actually says that, that there is truth in every church, in every religion. But it's kind of fun 'cause he says he likens the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the keyboard of a piano, that with a full keyboard, there's a selection of keys on which someone who's trained really well, they can play a variety of songs without limits, like a ballad to express love, and he goes on to say all the different ways that they can play. Then he says this, "How shortsighted is it then to choose a single key and endlessly tap out in monotony a single note, or even just two or three notes, when you have this whole keyboard, it creates this beautiful harmony for everyone to enjoy?"
1:02:34.2 TH: And then he says, "How disappointing when the fullness of the gospel, the whole keyboard is here upon the earth, and many churches tap a single key?" When I read that, it made me think of just me and my own life, because at the end of this verse he says he's pleased with the church as a whole collectively but not individually, and it made me think, "How many times have I just tapped on one key? How many times have I limited my beliefs to just one part? If we just take it all, and we learn how to play that keyboard, how beautiful our lives would be."
1:03:10.0 ME: It would be kind of like having a chorus with all altos, or an orchestra with all tubas. When I think about a true and living church, it lives everywhere, it lives in places we've never seen or heard of. And people love the Book of Mormon, and they love the Savior, and it's wonderful to be surrounded even if we don't know everybody or see them, by people who believe the way we do and are true and faithful.
1:03:42.0 TH: Absolutely. Highlight the word "living" there if you haven't already. Let's define that a little bit 'cause it's so powerful. That word "living" is significant because it is the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the gift of revelation. It is the priesthood. It is God's power on Earth. That's what that word "living" means. And so when we talk about how it's the true and living church, it's just like you both have said, it's ongoing because of those things. And I'm curious to know, in your own life, what makes the church living for you?
1:04:15.3 KL: If we were stuck back in when it was first established, and we only had those resources, we would be ill-equipped. Living means that we have everything we need to face the times now because we have prophets who are speaking us to it today, we have scripture that's coming up for us today, we have the Doctrine and Covenants, we have the Book of Mormon, we have the scriptures, it means that we have everything that we need. That's what it means for me, I think.
1:04:38.4 TH: Oh, I like that Katie. I like that in context of church history, I think that's beautiful. And the idea that Joseph Smith began the restoration, he didn't finish it. And so that's the living part. Mary Ellen, what about you?
1:04:52.9 ME: On an Easter Sunday in, I think it was 1985, I was in Africa, and there was a little girl that I used to pick up and take with me to the front of our little chapel [chuckle] and just hold her, and I had an interesting experience, the opening hymn was, "I know that my redeemer lives," and I had a strong impression to sing it to her. And so by saying, "I know that your redeemer lives," and all through the song, it was just as if I was telling her, "You will conquer death." Everything that is in that beautiful hymn, I sang to her. And a living church is blessed to have a living savior who has made some promises, if we'll be good enough, we have the chance to live forever and to live with him and our Heavenly Father and many, many loved ones. Won't those reunions be amazing? Anyway, I love the idea of, it's living, it's alive, it's real, it's priceless.
1:06:16.4 TH: Going back to that priceless, greater than all the money in the world. Thank you, Mary Ellen, thank you, Katie, for sharing that. The beauty of all of this and everything that you shared is in the next segment then. We're going to discuss this idea a little bit more of living, but specifically, what keeps this living church going? And I can't wait to talk about this next.
1:06:46.5 TH: Back in November, on a Friday morning, it was morning time for me here in Utah, the prophet spoke to us, and I wanted to share with us really quickly as a reminder, the prayer that he prayed. And as we listen to this prayer, Mary Ellen, you already alluded to this in a segment or two ago, but I want us to listen to this prayer one more time, and then I want us to talk about it. And I want you to share with me what that experience was like on that Friday, or even now, as we re-hear what the prophet prayed for. So for those of you listening, I included the prayer in our show notes, and I would recommend going there and following along and seeing the words as you hear the words of the prayer that the prophet prayed for us.
1:07:26.7 President Russell M. Nelson: Our Father in Heaven, as fellow passengers on Thy planet earth, we humbly pray unto Thee. We thank Thee for life and all that sustains life. We thank Thee for the beauties of the earth, for order in the universe, the planets, stars, and all things of eternal significance. We thank Thee for Thy laws that protect and guide us. We thank Thee for Thy mercy and loving watchcare. We thank Thee for our families and loved ones who fill our lives with joy. We are grateful for all who are striving to combat the COVID pandemic. Please bless them with protection and inspiration. Wilt Thou help us end this virus that has plagued so many of Thy children.
1:08:16.4 President Russell M. Nelson: We thank Thee for the leaders of nations and others who strive to lift us. We pray for relief from political strife. Wilt Thou bless us with a healing spirit that unites us despite our differences. Wilt Thou also help us repent from selfishness, unkindness, pride, and prejudice of any kind so that we can better serve and love one another as brothers and sisters and as Thy grateful children. We love Thee, our dear Father, and pray for Thy blessings upon us in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen."
1:09:03.9 TH: Amen. Tell me what that experience was like for you, either on that Friday or even right now, as you followed along and heard that prayer.
1:09:11.5 ME: I hadn't a feeling, what would it have been like if it had been announced that Moses was going to give a message to the world, how many Mormons have tuned in, and then I remembered something from the Doctrine and Covenants section 84 verses 91 and 92. "And again, the duty of the president of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church and to be like unto Moses. Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church." He's remarkable, he's a very remarkable prophet.
1:10:02.6 KL: I just love President Nelson so much that anytime he talks or anything, I get really excited. But I loved his prayer. I love the wording of his prayer. I love how he calls us "all fellow passengers on Thy planet earth". That just feels like so President Nelson to me, I'm like, "How I love you." He can just feel through his prayer, the relationship he has with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and it's so strong.
1:10:23.7 TH: Wow, thank you. Thank you both of you for what you shared. It takes us back, this whole idea of listening, this takes us back to the scripture that you shared, Mary Ellen, at the very beginning in the Doctrine and Covenants verses 37 and 38, specifically how verse 38 ends, when he says, "Whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same." And for me, I felt like God and Jesus Christ were praying for us. This is what they would say if they were here. And what struck me was the need, the powerful need for a true and living prophet on this earth, this idea of living, because Doctrine and Covenants section 1 tells us the kind of world that our prophet is living in right now and guiding us in, and we have to look at these two verses. Let's go to section 1, verses 35 and 36. Mary Ellen, will you read Doctrine and Covenants section 1 verses 35 and 36?
1:11:21.7 ME: "For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion."
1:11:40.9 TH: Let's highlight the end of that, when it says that "Peace shall be taken from the earth and the devil shall have power over his own dominion." Okay, I want you to mark that because in 1986 General Conference, the Priesthood Leadership meeting, President Ezra Taft Benson said, "We live in a day of great challenge. We live in a time of which he said 'Peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil will have power over his own dominion.'" We live in this time right now. It makes so much sense that we need a true and living prophet, because if we live at a time where Satan has power over his own dominion, then what I love is verse 36. So go ahead and read that, Mary Ellen.
1:12:21.8 KL: Real fast, Tammy, sorry.
1:12:23.5 TH: Yes, Katie.
1:12:24.7 KL: So Tammy, what does it mean when it says that the devil shall have power over his own dominion? What is his own dominion?
1:12:31.8 TH: Oh, that's a great question. In my mind, I'm thinking anything that gravitates towards him, his dominion, his people, his followers, and he's gaining more and more as it gets closer to Jesus Christ coming. What do you think, Mary Ellen? What would you say?
1:12:50.2 ME: It's like those over whom he has dominance who allow that, what a black hole.
1:12:55.7 TH: It is. And to think we live in this time. And I think we see it. It's so scary. But before we get so scared, and we go down that rabbit hole of fear, I love how verse 36 starts out. So go ahead and read that first, Mary Ellen, verse 36.
1:13:10.8 ME: "And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world."
1:13:22.8 TH: Thank you. And so right there, Katie, I like how it says that, as scary as that sounds, the Lord will have power over his saints, not even his dominion over his saints, those who follow him, and those who are his followers are his saints, and he will reign in their midst. That's not even talking about futuristically during the millennium, that means now, he'll reign in our midst now. We will see him in his miracles, and we will hear his voice when the prophet speaks to us, whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same, and I just love, love, love that. Mary Ellen, tell me in your life, 'cause I know you've had a lot of incredible experiences, I wanna know, is there a time when you felt like you heard the Lord's voice in the voice of his servants? Is there one specific time or anything that stands out to you?
1:14:10.2 ME: I was in a time of trouble many years ago, and I had occasion to have a blessing from a wonderful leader of the church, it was as if it was the voice of the Lord speaking to me, speaking peace to me. That's really all I can say about it. But it was... I don't know where I would be without that particular day and his willingness to heal me with his blessing.
1:14:44.1 TH: Wow, thank you. You can tell just from when you're sharing that how tender that experience was for you. What about you, Katie, is there a time in your life where you felt like the voice of the Lord was being spoken through his servants, one that stands out?
1:14:58.5 KL: Last year, there was no way that we could have figured out what 2020 would be like or 2021 would be like or anything like that. But in 2019, I would ride the train to work every day, and I would listen to General Conference talks on my last leg because I loved the feeling I got before I went to work. And I was listening to, I think it was the fair dinkum talk, and in the very first part of it, he quotes the scripture, and he talks about how will you stay in your comfortable houses when there's a temple. It's kind of like the God is telling his saints that you need to go to the temple more and stop spending so much time in your comfortable houses.
1:15:35.0 KL: And I was pregnant at the time, and I was like, I felt really strongly that I should go to the temple more, and I was like, "But I'm pregnant, I'm so tired." Most of the time I spent sleeping. I'm miserable going to the temple, I'm trying to stay awake. It feels like it's asking a lot, I'd rather go home and sleep. And so I didn't really heed that very much. I went to the temple a little bit, but I didn't go as much as I should. And then right when COVID hit, all the temples shut down. And I was like, "This is what he was trying to tell me. He was trying to tell me, 'Go to the temple because you might not be able to go for a long time.'" And I ignored that, and I feel really bad about that, but I was just making excuses about being in my comfortable home instead of going to a temple.
1:16:21.6 KL: But I feel like that's how God is with us all the time, he's giving us little hints through his servants, whether it's like Mary Ellen was saying, whether it's like a local leader or someone you know, or if it's like a church leader, he's telling you to do the things that you should be doing, you just have to listen, and I didn't at that time. But I've definitely made it a goal to listen every time after that, get out of my comfortable house and go to the temple or do whatever he wants me to do.
1:16:44.7 TH: Wow, absolutely, thank you for sharing that. I like how you pointed out that the servant can be even a local leader. It doesn't always have to be the prophet. But the prophet speaks for the church, I agree. But there are times when we can receive information from a bishop and state president, and I just thought that was great, and conference talks. So thank you, thank you both of you for sharing that. That is the powerful message of Doctrine and Covenants section 1, and I think as I have read this, I love that he ends, "Whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same," and then verse 39, "For behold and lo, the Lord is God and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen."
1:17:27.6 TH: And then here we go, Doctrine and Covenants, and it is going to be so incredible, and you will see over and over again how the record is true, and it will abide with us forever as we study every single one of these revelations. And it's going to be such a fun year to see all of these questions and answers, that's really what it was, Joseph Smith going and asking a question and the Lord giving the answer, whether it was for himself or someone else. But I like how Mary Ellen, you brought it at the very beginning, even though it was given to specific people, the words in these revelations are for all of us. It's for everyone. And that word "all", when you emphasize that, that was pretty profound. So thank you. So thank you for being here, ladies. That is section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
1:18:11.0 TH: Okay, so what we're gonna do now is I just wanna ask you, what is your takeaway? What's something that you learned throughout the course of studying today or something that stood out to you that you didn't come knowing previously?
1:18:20.0 ME: I want to be a better listener when I pray. I want to take time to listen and to feel what he wants me to know. That's a goal. We've talked kind of around it and about it today, and I want my prayers to be more meaningful and significant. I don't know the words to use, but just more real, with real intent, and I want to listen better.
1:18:52.3 TH: Very good. That's a great one. Thank you, Mary Ellen.
1:18:54.8 KL: My takeaway was, at the very end of that paragraph eight in the introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants where it talks about how it's more worth than the riches of the whole earth. And I know in the past that I've kind of been pretty flippant about the Doctrine and Covenants 'cause I feel like I don't understand all of the revelations, that I don't know the back history, so I don't feel like I have to dig that deep. But now that I know that it's worth more than the riches of the whole earth, I'm definitely going to try to pay the price to understand these revelations in Doctrines and Covenants more so that I can apply them more in my life.
1:19:28.4 TH: Beautiful, thank you. My takeaway was, Katie, when you made the connection between living and having a baby, and just that everything about your life has changed since you've had a baby, and that's okay, there's nothing wrong with that, you're never gonna be faulted for that, and that the church is constantly changing. It was a baby when it began, and the beauty of that is that it can change. And so I'm grateful for that knowledge and just that... I'll never forget that when I read that word "living" again, how it changes, and it's a good thing it changes. So, thank you. Thank you so much, ladies. This was such a great episode. I have loved talking about it. I can't believe that we're here. Doctrine and Covenants one. It's gonna be so much from this year. So for those of you who are listening, I really wanna know what your big takeaway was from this episode.
1:20:12.8 TH: And if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, you guys, you really should go there. Just sign up for an Instagram account because the community of people who belong on the Facebook group and Instagram is so empowering. It just is awesome to read people's comments and thoughts throughout the week, you just feel so lifted that by everything that everybody has to say. And then on Sundays, in the morning, we often post, asking what your big takeaway was. So comment on the post that relates to this specific lesson about what you've learned, and you can get to both our Facebook and our Instagram by going to our show notes for this episode on ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday.
1:20:48.1 TH: That's also where you can go to find all of the links to all the references we used, find our show notes, and bonus, you can get the entire transcript of this whole discussion, so you can follow along as you're listening. So go check that 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 group participants were Mary Ellen Edmunds and Katie Lambert, and you can find more information about these friends at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. 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 please remember now and throughout the rest of this year that you are God's favorite, with a capital F favorite, right, Mary Ellen? [chuckle]
1:21:32.8 ME: Right.
1:21:36.6 TH: What socks do you have on today?
1:21:39.5 TH: Yes, yes, I love it. That makes me...
1:21:46.3 ME: I have about 16 pairs, and they're all different.
1:21:49.8 TH: Yeah, I love your socks, beautiful.
1:21:50.7 ME: So you get in a different mood.