11: “Strengthen the Church” (Doctrine and Covenants 23–26)
Imagine giving up your home, your family, and, at times, your safety. Then imagine losing children, seeing loved ones beaten and imprisoned, and enduring unrelenting persecution. This is just a glimpse into the life one of the Restoration’s greatest heroes. And as we study Doctrine and Covenants 23–26, we’ll come to understand how sacred revelation given to this individual can be related to us as we go through our own trials and triumphs.
Title of Section 23: Specific Duties
A series of five revelations given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Manchester, New York, April 1830, to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith Sr., and Joseph Knight Sr. As the result of earnest desire on the part of the five persons named to know of their respective duties, the Prophet inquired of the Lord and received a revelation for each person.
"Thou art under no condemnation" repeated in verses 1, 3, 4, and 5 to Oliver, Hyrum, Samuel, Joseph Smith, Sr., but not to Joseph Knight, Sr.
6 Behold, I manifest unto you, Joseph Knight, by these words, that you must take up your across, in the which you must bpray cvocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places (Doctrine and Covenants 23:6).
What does it mean to take up your cross?
18 But, behold, the arighteous, the bsaints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the ccrosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall dinherit the ekingdom of God, which was prepared for them ffrom the foundation of the world, and their gjoy shall be full hforever (2 Nephi 9:18).
Quote: "If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart" —Socrates
Story of Newel Knight:
Background of sections 24, 25, and 26:
"Immediately after conference I returned to my own house, and from thence, accompanied by my wife, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer and David Whitmer, went again on a visit to Mr. Knight, of Colesville, Broome county. We found a number in the neighborhood still believing, and now anxious to be baptized. We appointed a meeting for the Sabbath, and on the afternoon of Saturday we erected a dam across a stream of water, which was convenient, for the purpose of there attending to the ordinance of baptism; but during the night a mob collected and tore down our dam, which hindered us from attending to the baptism on the Sabbath. We after ward found out that this mob had been instigated to this act of molestation by certain sectarian priests of the neighborhood, who began to consider their craft in danger, and took this plan to stop the progress of the truth; and the sequel will show how determinedly they prosecuted their opposition, as well as to how little purpose in the end. The Sabbath arrived, and we held our meeting. Oliver Cowdery preached, and others of us bore testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, the doctrine of repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, etc. Amongst our audience were those who had torn down our dam, and who seemed desirous to give us trouble, but did not until after the meeting was dismissed, when they immediately commenced talking to those whom they considered our friends, and tried to turn them against us and our doctrines" (History of the Church Volume 1: Chapter 9, pg. 86).
"Before the baptizing was entirely finished, the mob began again to collect, and shortly after we had retired, they amounted to about fifty men. They surrounded the house of Mr. Knight—whither we had retired—raging with anger, and apparently determined to commit violence upon us. Some asked us questions, others threatened us, so that we thought it wisdom to leave and go to the house of Newel Knight. There also they followed us, and it was only by the exercise of great prudence on our part, and reliance in our heavenly Father, that they were kept from laying violent hands upon us; and so long as they chose to stay, we were obliged to answer them various unprofitable questions, and bear with insults and threatenings without number.
The Prophet Arrested.
"We had appointed a meeting for this evening, for the purpose of attending to the confirmation of those who had been the same morning baptized. The time appointed had arrived and our friends had nearly all collected together, when to my surprise, I was visited by a constable, and arrested by him on a warrant, on the charge of being a disorderly person, of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, etc. The constable informed me, soon after I had been arrested, that the plan of those who had got out the warrant was to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different sort of person from what I had been represented to him. I soon found that he had told me the truth in this matter, for not far from Mr. Knight’s house, the wagon in which we had set out was surrounded by a mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the constable; but to their great disappointment, he gave the horse the whip, and drove me out of their reach" (History of the Church Volume 1, Chapter 9, pg. 88).
Daughters of Mr. Stoal as Witnesses; The Acquittal.
. . . Several other attempts were made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in Broome county, were brought forward, but these my lawyers would not admit of as testimony against me; in consequence of which my persecutors managed to detain the court until they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broome county, which warrant they served upon me at the very moment that I was acquitted by this court (History of the Church Volume 1, Chapter 9, pg. 90).
Newel Knight vs. Lawyer Seymour.
In this frivolous and vexatious manner did they proceed for a considerable time, when, finally, Newel Knight was called up and examined by Lawyer Seymour, who had been especially sent for on this occasion. One Lawyer Burch, also, was on the side of the prosecution; but Mr. Seymour seemed to be a more zealous Presbyterian, and appeared very anxious and determined that the people should not be deluded by any one professing the power of godliness, and not “denying the power thereof.”
Mr. Knight was sworn, and Mr. Seymour interrogated him as follows:
“Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jun., cast the devil out of you?”
“Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you?”
“And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done?”
“And did not he cast him out of you?”
“No, sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God, on the occasion. He commanded him to come out of me in the name of Jesus Christ.”
“And are you sure that it was the devil?”
“Did you see him after he was cast out of you?”
“Yes sir! I saw him.”
“Pray, what did he look like?”
[Here one of my lawyers informed the witness that he need not answer the question.] The witness replied:
“I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it, provided I be allowed to ask you one question first, and you answer me, viz., Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand the things of the spirit?
“No,” answered Mr. Seymour, “I do not pretend to such big things.”
“Well, then,” replied Knight, “it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it were I to tell you of it.
The lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture (History of the Church Volume 1, Chapter 9, pg. 92-93)
Title of Section 24: Magnify Thine Office
1 Behold, thou wast called and chosen to awrite the Book of Mormon, and to my ministry; and I have blifted thee up out of thine afflictions, and have counseled thee, that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies, and thou hast been cdelivered from the powers of Satan and from ddarkness! (Doctrine and Covenants 24:1).
3 aMagnify thine office; and after thou hast bsowed thy fields and secured them, go speedily unto the church which is in cColesville, Fayette, and Manchester, and they shall dsupport thee; and I will bless them both spiritually and etemporally; (Doctrine and Covenants 24:3).
9 And in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling. Attend to thy acalling and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine office, and to expound all scriptures, and continue in laying on of the hands and bconfirming the churches (Doctrine and Covenants 24:9).
6 Behold, I manifest unto you, Joseph Knight, by these words, that you must take up your across, in the which you must bpray cvocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places (Doctrine and Covenants 23:6).
Dusting of the Feet:
15 And in whatsoever place ye shall aenter, and they receive you not in my name, ye shall leave a cursing instead of a blessing, by casting off the bdust of your feet against them as a testimony, and cleansing your feet by the wayside (Doctrine and Covenants 24:14–15).
Quote: “. . . to ceremonially shake the dust from one's feet as a testimony against another was understood by the Jews to symbolize a cessation of fellowship and a renunciation of all responsibility for consequences that might follow. It became an ordinance of accusation and testimony by the Lord's instructions to his apostles… In the current dispensation, the Lord has similarly directed his authorized servants to so testify against those who willfully and maliciously oppose the truth when authoritatively presented (See D&C 24:15, 60:15, 75:20, 84:92, 99:4). The responsibility of testifying before the Lord by this accusing symbol is so great that the means may be employed only under unusual and extreme conditions, as the Spirit of the Lord may direct" (Elder James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 321).
Title of Section 26: All Things by Common Consent
What the Lord said to Joseph after he was imprisoned for the first time:
Quote: “My object is to let you know that I am right I should be like a fish out of water if I were out of persecution; perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble. The Lord has constituted me so curiously that I glory in persecution; I am not near so humble as if I was not persecuted" ("History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]," p. 58, The Joseph Smith Papers).
Title of Section 25: An Elect Lady
Emma's Early Life:
"Emma Hale, who had eight brothers and sisters, grew up in the untamed Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania. With her father, she enjoyed canoeing on the Susquehanna River and riding horses. Little did she know then that she would marry the great prophet of the Restoration" (Ryan Carr, "When Emma Met Joseph," New Era, October 2004).
"As a child, Emma developed a deep sense of religious conviction and devotion to God. Methodism became popular in the Susquehanna region in the early 1800s, and Emma began attending with her mother at the age of seven. A family tradition suggests that Isaac Hale overheard his young daughter Emma praying for him in the woods near their home and that this contributed to his spiritual conversion. Emma most likely attended the female seminary in Great Bend Township, and she later taught school2" ("Emma Hale Smith," Church History Topics, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
How Emma Met Joseph:
"He [Josiah Stoal] had heard something of a silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in Harmony, Susquahanah County, State of Pensylvania, and had previous to my hiring with him been digging in order if possible to discover the mine. After I went to live with <him> he took me among the rest of his hands to dig for the silver mine, at which I continued to work for nearly a month without success in our undertaking, and finally I prevailed with the old gentleman to cease digging after it. Hence arose the very prevalent story of my have <having> been a money digger.
"During the time that I was thus employed I was put to board with a Mr Isaac Hale of that place, ’Twas there that I first saw my wife, (his daughter) Emma Hale. On the eighteenth of January Eighteen hundred and twenty seven we were married while yet I was employed in the service of Mr Stoal" ("History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]," p. 8, The Joseph Smith Papers).
"Emma was 21 years old when she met 19-year-old Joseph Smith at the end of October 1825. Joseph had come southwest from New York seeking employment in the Susquehanna Valley. His lack of education and resources contrasted with Emma’s respectable situation, but she was immediately impressed with his character and morals. They courted for several months while Joseph worked to improve his financial situation. Isaac and Elizabeth Hale were opposed to the relationship, disapproving of Joseph’s religious pursuits and his work for Josiah Stowell, who had hired Joseph to help him dig for purported lost Spanish silver in the area. Emma and Joseph eloped on January 18, 1827, in South Bainbridge, New York, and then went to live with the Smith family. They returned to Pennsylvania in December 1827 to live near her family and work on the translation of the Book of Mormon" ("Emma Hale Smith," Church History Topics, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
"Emma delivered a baby son who died soon after birth on June 15, 1828, when she nearly died herself. In September 1830, she and Joseph moved to Fayette, New York, to live with the Whitmer family. Emma left the Susquehanna Valley and the Hale family for the last time, never to see her parents and many other relatives again. She would eventually bear nine children and adopt two others, four of whom died at birth or shortly after, and two who died as toddlers" ("Emma Hale Smith," Church History Topics, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are aaccountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little bchildren, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
12 But little achildren are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a brespecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! (Moroni 8:10–12).
Emma Sewing Clothes for Missionaries:
"As soon as this revelaton was received, Emma, and several other sisters, began to make preparations to furnish those, who were set [p. 189] apart for this ministry mision, with the necessary clothing; which was no easy task as the most of it, had to be manufactured out of the raw material. Emma’s health was at this time quite delicate; yet she did not favor herself on this account; but whatever her hands found to do, she did with her might, untill she went so far beyond her strength, that she brought upon herself a heavy fit of sickness, which lasted for weeks. And, although her strength was exhausted, still her spirits were the same; which in fact, was always the case with her under the most trying circu[m]stances: (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, p. 190, The Joseph Smith Papers).
Quote: "I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has always done. ... She has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty; ... She has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, ... which have borne down almost any other woman" (Lucy Mack Smith, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, p. 190, Joseph Smith Papers).
President Nelson's invitation to read section 25:
"So, I invite you to study prayerfully section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants and discover what the Holy Ghost will teach you. Your personal spiritual endeavor will bring you joy as you gain, understand, and use the power with which you have been endowed" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Spiritual Treasures," October 2019 general conference).
1 Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto you, all those who areceive my gospel are sons and daughters in my bkingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 25:1).
Emma gathering women to pray for Joseph:
"We rode on till we came to the house of Hezekiah Peck, where a number of Mormon women had assembled, as I was informed, for the purpose of praying for the deliverance of the prophet of the Lord. The women came out to our waggon and Mrs. Smith among the rest. O my God, Sir, what were my feelings, when I saw that woman who had but a few days before given herself, heart and hand, to be a consort for life, and that so soon her crimson cheeks must be wet with tears that came streaming from her eyes; yes Sir, it seemed that her very heart strings would be broken with grief. My feelings Sir, were moved with pity and sorrow, for the afflicted; and on the other hand they were wrought up to the highest pitch of indignation against those fiends of hell who had thus caused the innocent to sufferr" (John S. Reed, "Some of the Remarks of John S. Reed, Esq., as Delivered before the State Convention," Times and Seasons 5, no. 11 (1 June 1844): 551.).
"Sister Elizabeth Revel, Emma’s nurse, explained that a few days earlier Emma had told her that Joseph came to her in a vision and said, 'Emma, come with me, it is time for you to come with me.' 'As Emma related it, she said, ‘I put on my bonnet and my shawl and went with him; I did not think that it was anything unusual. I went with him into a mansion, and he showed me through the different apartments of that beautiful mansion.’ And one room was the nursery. In that nursery was a babe in the cradle. She said, ‘I knew my babe, my Don Carlos that was taken from me.’ She sprang forward, caught the child up in her arms, and wept with joy over the child. When Emma recovered herself sufficient she turned to Joseph and said, ‘Joseph, where are the rest of my children.’ He said to her, ‘Emma, be patient and you shall have all of your children.’ Then she saw standing by his side a personage of light, even the Lord Jesus Christ' (Gracia N. Jones, "My Great-Great-Grandmother, Emma Hale Smith," August 1992 Ensign).
Emma elected as the first Relief Society president:
"President Smith read the Revelation to Emma Smith, from the book of Doctrine and Covenants; and stated that she was ordain’d at the time, the Revelation was given, to expound the scriptures to all; and to teach the female part of community; and that not she alone, but others, may attain to the same blessings ("Minutes and Discourses, 17 March 1842," p. 8, The Joseph Smith Papers).
Emma and the Temple:
Emma was the first woman to receive temple ordinances; she then initiated other women in these sacred rituals ("Emma Hale Smith," Church History Topics, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Quote: "The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized" (Joseph Smith, quoted in Sarah Granger Kimball, “Auto-biography,” Woman’s Exponent, Sept. 1, 1883, p. 51).
Quote: "In the beginning God created man male and female and bestow’d upon man certain blessings peculiar to a man of God, of which woman partook, so that without the female all things cannot be restor’d to the earth it takes all to restore the Priesthood. It is the intent of the Society, by humility and faithfulness; in connexion with those husbands that are found worthy. Rejoice while contemplating the blessings which will be pour’d out on the heads of the saints. God has many precious things to bestow, even to our astonishment if we are faithful. I say again I rejoice in the prospect of what lays before. It becomes us to prepare by striving for union one with another, that we may be prepar’d for the day of choosing— man will not choose but God will say who is and who is not worthy" (Newel K. Whitney, "Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book," p. , The Joseph Smith Papers).
Hebrew: Joseph = he will increase; Hyrum = my brother is exalted; Emma= Ema or mommy
Emma and the Plates:
“The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen tablecloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt of the plates as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.” (“Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, p. 290; spelling modernized.)
Emma about transcribing the Book of Mormon:
"When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote a part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word, and when he came to proper names he could not pronounce, or long words, he spelled them out, and while I was writing them, if I made any mistake in spelling, he would stop me and correct my spelling although it was impossible for him to see how I was writing them down at the time. Even the word Sarah he could not pronounce at first, but had to spell it, and I would pronounce it for him.
“When he stopped for any purpose at any time he would, when he commenced again, begin where he left off without any hesitation, and one time while he was translating he stopped suddenly, pale as a sheet, and said, ‘Emma, did Jerusalem have walls around it?’ When I answered, ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘Oh! [I didn’t know.] I was afraid I had been deceived.’ He had such a limited knowledge of history at that time that he did not even know that Jerusalem was surrounded by walls.” (Edmund C. Briggs, “A Visit to Nauvoo in 1856,” Journal of History, Jan. 1916, p. 454.)
Quote: Emma said Joseph, "could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter; let alone dictat[e] a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, … it is marvelous to me, ‘a marvel and a wonder'" (Emma Smith, “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, Oct. 1, 1879, 290).
The Lord's instructions to Emma:
5 And the office of thy calling shall be for a acomfort unto my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., thy bhusband, in his cafflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of dmeekness (Doctrine and Covenants 25:5).
- Expound: To explain; to lay open the meaning; to clear of obscurity; to interpret; as, to expound a text of scripture; to expound a law (Webster's 1828 Dictionary).
- Exhort: To encourage, to embolden, to cheer, to advise (Webster's 1828 Dictionary).
Quote: "As a righteous, endowed Latter-day Saint woman, you speak and teach with power and authority from God. Whether by exhortation or conversation, we need your voice teaching the doctrine of Christ. We need your input in family, ward, and stake councils. Your participation is essential and never ornamental!" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Spiritual Treasures," October 2019 general conference).
Quote: Sarah Leavitt after her baptism, "I had some[thing] of more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones” (Sarah S. Leavitt, Autobiography, 1875, 10, 15, Juanita Leone Leavitt Pulsipher Brooks Papers, 1928–1981, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City).
5 And the office of thy calling shall be for a acomfort unto my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., thy bhusband, in his cafflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of dmeekness (Doctrine and Covenants 25:5).
- 18 I will not leave you acomfortless: I will bcome to you (John 14:18).
- 43 And there appeared an aangel unto him from heaven, strengthening him (Luke 22:43).
- Meekness = power or self control
Relief Society Name:
"The first official meeting of the Nauvoo Relief Society demonstrated the authority given to female leaders. Men and women present discussed a proper title for the organization, debating between Benevolent Society and Relief Society. How are the two words—benevolent and relief—different? What does this teach us about speaking up? What does this teach us about the Relief Society’s connection to Jesus Christ?
"Emma Smith taught the women, “We are going to do something extraordinary . . . we expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.” Those relief efforts can be as simple as a smile or a kind note or a visit. How do you provide relief through ordinary actions? How have you received ordinary relief efforts? How do they become extraordinary? (“Something Extraordinary”: The Beginnings of the Relief Society," Church History, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
President Smith read the Revelation to Emma Smith, from the book of Doctrine and Covenants; and stated that she was ordain’d at the time, the Revelation was given, to expound the scriptures to all; and to teach the female part of community; and that not she alone, but others, may attain to the same blessings ("Minutes and Discourses, 17 March 1842," p. 8, The Joseph Smith Papers).
9 And thou needest not fear, for thy ahusband shall support thee in the church; for unto them is his bcalling, that all things might be crevealed unto them, whatsoever I will, according to their faith (Doctrine and Covenants 25:8–9).
Quote: "People wonder what we do for our women. I'll tell you what we do. We get out of their way and look with wonder at what they're accomplishing" (President Gordon B. Hinckley, National Press Club appearance, March 8, 2000).
Amanda Barnes Smith:
During this time, the family was forbidden to pray vocally. Unable to bear this “Godless silence,” Amanda Smith hid in a cornfield and “prayed till her soul felt satisfied.” As she left the field, she heard the words:
That soul who on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I cannot—I will not desert to its foes.
That soul, ‘though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.19
Willard recalled, “From that moment Mother said she had no further fear of the mob, and she inspired us children with faith that if we conscientiously did right, the Lord would shelter us from harm" ("Blessings amidst Tragedy," Church History, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Elizabeth Anne Whitney:
"On September 14, 1835, Whitney gathered with many others, most likely in the partially completed Kirtland temple, to receive a patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith Sr., the church’s patriarch. Whitney remembered the “great manifestations of power” at such meetings.7 Pratt commented that during this same time period “many persons were carried away in the visions of the Spirit and saw and heard unspeakable things; and many enjoyed the ministering of angels, and the gift of healing and of speaking in tongues.”8 In the blessing given to Whitney, Joseph Smith Sr. promised her “the gift of singing inspirationally.” Joseph Smith Jr. told her that she would never lose this gift if she used it wisely.9 After Whitney received her blessing, she stood and sang in tongues; her song was interpreted by Pratt. The words to Pratt’s interpretation of Whitney’s song were recorded by an unknown scribe. Whitney retained the original copy, and it was printed years later in the Woman’s Exponent" ( Kate Holbrook, Jennifer Reeder, "Adam-ondi-Ahman: Elizabeth Anne Whitney, Patriarchal Blessing Meeting House of the Lord, Kirtland, Ohio, September 14, 1835, At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women, www.churchhistorianspress.org).
"In order to sing by the Spirit, and with the understanding, it is necessary that the church of the Latter Day Saints should have a collection of “Sacred Hymns,” adapted to their faith and belief in the gospel, and, as far as can be, holding forth the promises made to the fathers who died in the precious faith of a glorious resurrection, and a thousand years’ reign on earth with the Son of Man in his glory. Notwithstan [p. [iii]]ding the church, as it were, is still in its infancy, yet, as the song of the righteous is a prayer unto God, it is sincerely hoped that the following collection, selected with an eye single to his glory, may answer every purpose till more are composed, or till we are blessed with a copious variety of the songs of Zion ("Collection of Sacred Hymns, 1835," The Joseph Smith Papers).
The first hymnbooks in the U.S. and Manchester:
What Joseph Smith said about Emma:
"On a Sunday, a beautiful day, Benjamin Johnson records, they were sitting in the dining room and in came two of his children 'as just from their mother, all so nice, bright and sweet.' Joseph said, 'Benjamin, look at these children. How could I help loving their mother; if necessary, I would go to hell for such a woman' (Benjamin F. Johnson Letter, p. 4, quoted by Richard L. Evans, "Joseph Smith Lecture 4: Joseph Smith and Trials," BYU Devotional, August 23, 1978).
6 And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe, while there is no one to be a scribe for him, that I may send my servant, Oliver Cowdery, whithersoever I will (Doctrine and Covenants 25:6).
Emma's last words: "Joseph! Joseph!" (Gracia N. Jones, "My Great-Great-Grandmother, Emma Hale Smith," August 1992 Ensign).
Brigham Young's last words: Joseph! Joseph! Joseph! ( D. Michael Quinn, "Brigham Young: Man of the Spirit," August 1977 Ensign).
[00:00:00] Tammy Uzelac Hall: You guys don't always hear this, but at the end of every episode, I always end up saying, "Okay, well that was my favorite." I am confident that I'm totally going to say that about this episode, for sure. If there was ever an episode to listen to, this is it. I am so excited today because we get to discuss my favorite person from church history with two Latter-day Saint scholars who know pretty much everything there is to know about this person.
They spent the last eight years researching and then writing a book about this person, and it's coming out this month. I promise you that today's study of Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 23 through 26 will not disappoint. Welcome to the Sunday on Monday study group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together.
I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. Follow the link in our description, and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week just like my friend, Lisa, who started a Sunday on Monday study group in California with all of her friends, Kate, Annie, Kira, and Missy. Hi, ladies.
Let's just say these ladies know how to be a study group. They actually made me this really cool hoodie that is a Bible study hoodie. It's so cool. I love them so much for it. Thank you ladies and hi. Now another awesome thing about our study group is that each week we're joined by two of my friends. It's going to be different, but these two friends are the scholars that I was talking about. Today, we have Jenny Reeder and Chere Clarke. Hi, ladies.
[00:01:33] Jenny Reeder and Chere Clarke: Hi.
[00:01:35] Tammy: I'm so grateful that you could come back again. You've been on before, so people are familiar with who you are and your voices. Thank you so much for being here. I can't think of two other women more prepared or educated on this topic, right?
[00:01:47] Jenny: Oh, I'm so excited. This is my favorite topic.
[00:01:51] Chere: Emma's the best.
[00:01:53] Tammy: You just gave it away. All right. There it is, we're talking about Emma Smith. She is the best. Speaking of Emma, I'm just going to just ask both of you, why Emma?
[00:02:04] Jenny: Emma had the most incredible mission and such an integral part of the restoration that I think we don't realize how much she did to assist and support Joseph and all that he did. He couldn't have done what he did without Emma.
[00:02:25] Chere: Well, and she's so misunderstood. She should be a hero of the Church. She's awesome. We want to make sure people understand that.
[00:02:36] Tammy: Well, and the great thing about the book that you wrote is it advocates Emma, I just love what you've written about her, and it's real, but it's so good. I cannot wait. I cannot wait. It portrays her in the most beautiful light. It's real, though. You will just come away loving her.
[00:02:52] Jenny: I think one of my very favorite things about writing the book was that I really wanted to make her real, so I really tried to show all the different sides of her: the side that people complain about and the side that people put her on a pedestal for. I mixed those together, and all of a sudden, she becomes the most real woman, and I understand and see why she made the choices that she did and how she acted the way she did.
[00:03:22] Chere: I think more people can relate to her, too. After they read this book, they will be able to relate to the things that she's going through.
[00:03:31] Jenny: Well, then it's not only that, but that's huge, and that's super important, but it's also that they put themselves in her place and realized that they, too, are people of God and that they can do the things that they are called upon to do.
[00:03:48] Tammy: What amazed me with your information about Emma isn't like you didn't just go to the Church History Museum and read about it. You went to Missouri, you went to Independence. You got to read letters that the Community of Christ owns, and they let you in to read letters. You really did a lot for this.
[00:04:06] Jenny: It was really cool to be in places where she had been and to feel what she must've felt, but also one of my favorite experiences was standing on the ground where the Temple in Independence was supposed to be built. Right now, it's owned by the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), the Hendrickites, but there are so many different groups that have broken off from the Church of Jesus Christ that claim that land and claim Joseph and claim Emma, but to stand there and feel that she is part of this gathering just as much as Joseph is and that these people are all aching to be gathered into one again.
[00:04:47] Tammy: I love that, Jenny. Thank you. Well, for those of you listening, before we can even get to Emma, we got to go forward with some other chapters, but if you want to know more about my guests and read some of the information about them so you can know that they are authorities on this, you can find information about them in our show notes which are at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. I highly recommend checking out their cute photos and their bios.
Here's a little background about the sections we're going to study today. Tuesday, April 6th, 1830, the Church was organized. Then right after that meeting, several people were baptized, including Joseph Smith's parents, Martin Harris, and Orrin Porter Rockwell. Then after that, five men came up to Joseph to ask a question. Let's read who these five men were and what they asked. Friends, grab your scriptures, and let's dig in.
Ladies, throughout your careers, here's my question for you, or even in your religious experience, is there a specific duty that was part of your job, an interesting duty? For example, I was a CNA in high school. It's how I paid for college. One of my jobs as a CNA is when my patients would pass away, I'd have to repair their bodies so that their family members could come in and see them. That was crazy. I never thought I'd do that in my lifetime. Do you guys have any duties?
[00:05:59] Chere: I worked as a legal secretary and paralegal at a law firm, and one of my duties was whenever we went to trial, I had to sit there and watch the jurors and see how they were reacting to different testimony and their body language. Then we'd go back and discuss them and decide how they were reacting and feeling about the arguments and the case and deciding, do we move forward, or do we settle, or what do we do? That was interesting, and it was a lot of pressure because you're trying to read what they're thinking just by their body language.
[00:06:39] Tammy: With the jury.
[00:06:40] Chere: Yes.
[00:06:41] Tammy: Oh, that's cool, Chere. That's awesome.
[00:06:44] Jenny: I think my favorite calling I had a couple of years ago, I was this communications person in my ward, but my bishop really wanted me to do a ward Facebook. I chose the day every week with a different topic or a different purpose. We had Good News Minute Tuesday, and Wonder Wednesday where we would introduce a new person in the ward. We had Throwback Thursday, so I would do some church history thing.
We would do Feminists Friday where I would share a story of a woman. Then we would do Saturday as a special day, it's the day to get ready for Sunday, where I described what the lessons were. It was just so much fun to come up with content that was funny and that people would engage with and knew what was going on.
[00:07:31] Tammy: Oh, that's so fun. Both of those are great duties. Well, the reason I asked this question is let's go to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 23. The title for Section 23 is called Specific Duties. That's what we're calling Section 23 because there were five separate revelations given in this one revelation. They were given to five men who wanted to know what the will of the Lord was with their respective duties in the Church. Let's just read the section heading, and we're going to underline who these five men were that received this specific revelation. Jenny, will you read the section heading for us?
[00:08:05] Jenny: "A series of five revelations given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Manchester, New York, April 1830, to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith Sr., and Joseph Knight Sr."
[00:08:19] Tammy: Perfect. Thank you. Just go ahead and mark those names. Now we're going to get into this section, and here's what I love about this is that the fact that these five men would come to Joseph and ask him for a revelation, it indicates to me that they were convinced that God spoke through Joseph Smith. Otherwise, why would they have ever asked to inquire of the Lord, "What is our specific duty?"
They believed, they were believers. Let's just talk about these verses, ladies. What did you find that was interesting about some of these specific duties for these men? Did anything stand out to you?
[00:08:50] Jenny: I love that they were all so different. There's five men, they all are significant in supporting Joseph and in building up the Church, and they all had such different responsibilities or duties.
[00:09:05] Chere: Well, and I really loved how Joseph Knight, who had done so much for the Prophet and been so kind to him, still was trying to decide, "Do I join this church? What do I do?" Christ just said, "Take up your cross and do the work, and don't be shy about it anymore."
[00:09:25] Tammy: Yes, Chere. In fact, we're going to talk about that verse. Before we get to verse 6, something cool when Jenny talked about how they're all different, it was interesting how in verses 1, 3, 4, and 5, all of those men were told, "Thou art under no condemnation." You'll see that in each one of those verses repeated. Joseph's Knight doesn't say that. It's like you said, Chere, he wasn't sure.
He had not been baptized yet. He wasn't sure if he was going to join the Church, and this phrase, "take up your cross," is so interesting. Jesus Christ told his apostles that they needed to take up their cross in Matthew 16: 24-26. It's really interesting because when he had said that to as apostles to "take up your cross and follow me," when they heard that, they were like, "Wait, what?" because, during New Testament time, the only person that would ever take up a cross with someone who was convicted of a crime, and crucifixion was their punishment.
They would have to carry their cross or the crossbeam through the city to the place where they were going to be crucified. For the apostles to hear that, they were hearing the scripture going, "Well, of course, we'll follow you, but we're not going to take up a cross. None of us are guilty of a horrible crime like that." The Savior alluding to what will happen to him, and he's saying to them, "Do like I'm doing, take up your cross."
This idea of taking up your cross, what is our cross? What exactly are we talking about, then? What do you think he means? What is my cross today or your cross? What do you think those are?
[00:10:51] Chere: Well, definitely our duties, our ability to stand up for Christ and be his disciple, not to be shy about things, but to do what Christ would have us do, to be that example.
[00:11:05] Jenny: I think it goes a little bit deeper, as well. I think it is like our Abrahamic sacrifice in a way. I think it is something that is so hard and requires all of us, every part of us, individually, every part of me to do that because that was Jesus's ultimate mission, and it was the heaviest thing he carried. I think it's my whole being, it's everything of me.
[00:11:34] Chere: Maybe your might, mind, and strength kind of idea.
[00:11:37] Tammy: Yes. I like that a lot. It makes me think of the scripture in 2nd Nephi 9:18 that talks about how many of us will be asked to bear the crosses of the world, meaning the burden that we feel with doing what's right in a world that condemns you for trying to do that. I just think it's just tough, and when you consider all the crosses there are that people bear, it's like that quote by Socrates that if you were to heap everybody's trials into one pile and everybody could go pick out the one they wanted, everyone would probably pick out the one they had to begin with. When the Lord says to us, "Take up your cross," he's like, "Just come on, you can do this. I did it, you can do it. Let's do it together."
[00:12:19] Jenny: I think everyone has something. I think that's significant, too, because I think that's a huge part of mortality and why we chose to come here. I think of Paul when he talks about the thorn in his eye. I think we all have something that's going to pierce us to our very center.
[00:12:38] Chere: Well, and I liked the idea that they went to Joseph Smith and asked him, "What is it that I need to do?" It's the same with us. We can always go to our patriarchal blessings and see, "What is it that I need help with?" You look at where, with Oliver, you said, "Beware of pride." We, as we look at his whole life, what pride did to him. It made me really think about, "I need to go back and just really look at that blessing and see the things that I need to worry about or be careful about."
[00:13:13] Tammy: That's a great idea, Chere. I like that. Check out your patriarchal blessings, a great example, a great place to go to find out and not only what your cross is but how you're going to manage that. I think that's what a patriarchal blessing does.
[00:13:25] Jenny: Oh, totally.
[00:13:26] Tammy: Thank you. Well, that was great. It's such a short section. Here's what we need to know after this. Five days later, on Sunday, April 11th, 1830, a meeting is held in the Whitmer home. This is where Oliver Cowdery delivers his first public discourse to a crowd. Throughout April and May, Joseph continued to preach. I love this. He actually performed the very first miracle on record. He cast the devil out of Newel Knight, and it's a crazy story.
If you want to read about that miracle, I'm going to highly recommend you check out History of the Church Volume 1, page 82 or 83, and Joseph Smith Papers because it's such a good story. We don't have time to go into that, but I wanted to mention it because I'm going to bring it up a little bit later. Now, in June of 1830, we also have the very first general conference, and it's held in Fayette.
Many were baptized and received the Holy Ghost. In the next segment, we're going to find out what happened after this conference and the purpose for Sections 24, 25, and 26. [silence] Ladies, here's my question. I'm wondering, have either of you ever been accused of something you didn't do? I don't want to have you bring up something as an adult that could put you in jail but in your childhood.
[00:14:44] Jenny: Well, I was thinking about this, and I thought of something that I was rewarded for something I didn't do.
[00:14:52] Tammy: Oh, that's fun.
[00:14:53] Jenny: It was this: I have always hated green beans my whole life. I used to spend hours at the dinner table until I would eat my green beans. One time I waited long enough that my dad left the kitchen, and I threw the green beans in the garbage. He came back in and was so proud of me for eating them that he made a cake.
[00:15:20] Tammy: What?
[00:15:22] Jenny: Yes. I never told him.
[00:15:22] Tammy: Do you think he was mind games with you?
[00:15:26] Jenny: Yes. No, I never told him that I threw them away, and I never ate them. I just ate the cake.
[00:15:35] Tammy: I love that. I would totally have done the same thing. That's a good story.
[00:15:40] Chere: I was thinking about the same thing. It made me think about when I was young, my dad would ask my sisters and I to weed. We had a section of the garden that we'd have to weed all the time. We hated that so much. This one Saturday, we all were sitting there together reading, and we were coming up with stories of what our life was going to look like later.
We were laughing so hard and having so much fun, and my dad came over, and he was mad. He's like, "You guys, aren't working hard enough. Nobody could work hard enough if you're laughing that hard." Then he looked at what we were doing, and he said, "Oh, wait, you are working hard." he went ahead and went away, but that's one of my favorite childhood memories is working and having so much fun and dad thinking, "No, it can't be."
[00:16:35] Tammy: That's a good story.
[00:16:35] Jenny: I love that.
[00:16:36] Tammy: I like that, too. Oh my gosh. When I was a kid, all my siblings and I, we blamed each other for everything. In fact, I can still remember my parents, mostly my mom, she would be like, "Who did this?" We would all answer, "Not me." My mom would always say, "Well, not me doesn't live here, so who did this?" Inevitably, we'd just point a finger at each other. We were the worst.
Oh my gosh, we were the naughtiest kids. I don't know how my mom did it. Seriously, we were out of control. You know the Girl Scout cookie story, I tried to get away with that because I could. There's that. My whole point in asking this question is this kind of a setup for these next three chapters because, seriously, you need to know about this. After the first general conference, Joseph went with Emma, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, and David Whitmer to Colesville, where many were starting to believe and reading the Book of Mormon, and they wanted to be baptized.
They planned a really special meeting for Sunday. They actually created a dam in the river where they were going to baptize everybody who wanted to be baptized, but it was torn down by a mob, so they completely dismissed the meeting. The next morning on June 28th, 1830, they fixed the dam, and 13 people were baptized by Oliver Cowdery, including Emma Smith.
That's when she got baptized. Can we just stop here for just a second? I just want to jump ahead a little bit. Jenny, why do you think she didn't get baptized when the Church was organized? I've always wondered this.
[00:17:54] Jenny: I think this is so interesting because I had always assumed that Emma would be there when the Church was organized, but from all of my research, it doesn't look like Emma was even there at the organization of the Church in Fayette on April 6th, 1830. I've always assumed that she was, so I really jumped into the sources. She's not on any list of the people that were there.
I think that if she had been there, she would have been baptized. I also think that she didn't understand that that was what was happening, that the Church was going to be officially organized. She had several milk cows, and she had a dairy, and that was the way that she supported their family. Joseph was off doing Book of Mormon translation and publication and speaking and missionary work and all of that.
She was holding the fort down in Harmony and making sure that they had enough money to survive. Also, they'd had so many staying in their home, and I think maybe she just took a deep breath and said, "I need some alone time."
[00:19:03] Tammy: That actually plays out well in my mind because they needed 6 to 10 witnesses in order for the Church to be established as a religion, and it wouldn't have been a woman who was a witness, and it wasn't even on a Sunday, it was on a Tuesday that this meeting took place. I could imagine Joseph saying, "Now we're just going to get together and fill out the forms and just finally establish the Church.
"You're fine. Go to Harmony," just a formality like, "We got to sign the paperwork, and we just have to have these names" because then the first church meeting won't be until the next Sunday. That's interesting, Jenny. I'd never thought of it.
[00:19:35] Jenny: Well, and think about it, too. Today, we look at April 6th, 1830 as this big, huge, important day, which it was, but they're organizing the Church, and they're trying to figure out the restoration. They're just doing it piece by piece and bit by bit. They might not have thought it was as big a deal as we think it is now.
[00:19:58] Tammy: Right. Wow. Thank you, guys. That's great because I've wondered that. I wonder what you thought about Emma not getting baptized that day that the church is organized. That makes sense. This mob that destroyed the dams in church history, they believe there are about 50 people, and they really had it out for Joseph. This is interesting. Right after the meeting and baptisms on the Monday, Joseph was attacked with ''insults and threatenings without number.''
That's what he said, by people who actually attended the meeting, which I thought was interesting. There was another meeting planned for later that night to confirm those who'd been baptized that morning. Before that meeting could even begin, before people could be confirmed, the mob showed up and a Constable arrested Joseph on the charge of-- this was his charge: being a disorderly person, of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.
Now, he's going to have a trial, and after being declared innocent, Joseph Smith said, "In the very moment that I was acquitted by this court, another warrant was served," and he was immediately arrested again. Another trial ensued, and he was declared innocent, but I have to share this part because the reason he was declared innocent at this trial was by the testimony of Newel Knight, and this is such a funny story.
I'm just going to read this real quick. These are the notes that are written down as to word for word what happened. They asked Mr. Knight to come up. They swear him in, and the attorney says to Mr. Newel Knight, "Did the prisoner Joseph Smith Jr. cast the devil out of you?" Newel says, "No, sir." Then the lawyer says, "Why have not you had the devil cast out of you?"
"Yes, sir." "Had not Joe Smith, some hand and it's being done?" "Yes, sir." "Did not he cast him out of you?" "No, sir. It was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God on the occasion. He commanded him to come out of me in the name of Jesus Christ." "Are you sure that it was the devil?" "Yes, sir." "Did you see him after he was cast out of you?"
"Yes, sir. I saw him." "Pray. What did he look like?" Now, it says, "Here, one of my lawyers informed the witness that he didn't need to answer this question." The witness replied, "I believe I need to answer your last question, but I will do it provided I will be allowed to ask you one question first and then you answer me after. Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand things of the spirit?"
"No," answered Mr. Seymour. "I do not pretend such big things." "Well then," replied Knight, "it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like for it was a spiritual sight and spiritually discerned, and of course, you would not understand it were I to tell you of it." "The lawyer dropped his head whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture." I just love that. [crosstalk]
After that, Joseph was declared innocent. It's such a good story. We have these sections because shortly after Joseph returned home, he received three revelations, 24, 25, and 26. It's just interesting to me that they're given after he's blamed for two things he just didn't do, and nobody could come up with enough evidence to convict him. Then knowing that back history gives us some insight into these next three chapters and why they were given and the wording that he uses.
Let's go to Section 24. I had you guys just read these and point out some different things that stood out to you. The title for Section 24 is, Magnify Thine Office. Let's go into Section 24, and you can see in verse 1, it supports the story that I just shared. "Behold, thou wast called and chosen to write the Book of Mormon, and to my ministry, and I have lifted thee up out of thine afflictions, and have counseled thee, that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies," that's talking about the two convictions he had, "and thou hast been delivered from the powers of Satan and from darkness." Chere, will you read verse 3 for us?
[00:23:42] Chere: "Magnify thine office; and after thou hast sowed thy fields and secured them, go speedily unto the church which is in Colesville, Fayette, and Manchester, and they shall support thee, and I will bless them both spiritually and temporally."
[00:23:58] Tammy: Thank you. Tell me, ladies, in this Section 24, is there anything else that stood out to you? Anything that you're like, "Oh, wow, those are verses to get after being arrested"?
[00:24:07] Chere: Well, I think the thing that was interesting to me was in verse 9, "And in temporal labors, thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling," and that he's supposed to put all of his efforts into leading the Church and doing spiritual things and that the rest of the Church is called upon to take care of him and his family. It goes back to magnifying your calling.
It made me think about a time with my family after my mom and dad had served their mission in Arkansas as mission presidents. We came back, and they really had a lot of financial issues and hardship. The one thing that my dad always would tell me is "No matter what has happened and the hardships we had, the Lord completely takes care of our family." We had our bills taken care of, we had all of our needs taken care of.
We didn't have excess, but we had our needs taken care of. I feel like no matter what, the Lord's going to take care of you, especially when you do your calling and do the things that he's asked you to do.
[00:25:22] Tammy: Well, Chere, I liked that you brought up that point in verse 9 where it says he won't have strength in temporal labors because, in verse 7, it tells us where he does have strength, which goes back to your dad. This idea, he says, " For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion, and in this thou shalt have strength." He's going to have strength when it comes to his callings and comes to his duties, and he really will struggle temporarily for the rest of his life, Joseph will. He will barely be able to make ends meet, but his strength is in the work that he's doing for God. What other verses stood out to you? Anything else, Jenny?
[00:25:54] Jenny: Verse 13, because you just shared the of Newel Knight, the Lord tells Joseph, "Require not miracles, except I shall command you, except casting out devils, healing the sick, and against poisonous serpents, and against deadly poisons." Right there, he is giving Joseph the permission and the okay to cast out devils and heal the sick. He's just done that. It's like evidence or testimony that he did the right thing and that he could continue to do it.
[00:26:28] Tammy: Oh, I love that, Jenny, because in the Newel Knight story when he's having this, these being afflicted with this, he calls for Joseph, and Joseph walks in the house. Joseph was like, "What do you want me to do, Newel?" Newel was like, "Help me. Remove this devil." I love how Joseph is like, "Do you think that I can do this?" Newel's like, "Yes, I do." Then Joseph's like, "Okay, then I'm going to do it." I just think it's so great. He waited to be asked and then he went in and did it. Oh, I think that's so cool, Jenny, you just brought up that verse.
[00:26:57] Jenny: I love that Newel Knight is the son of Joseph Knight Sr. In Section 23, verse six, the Lord tells Joseph Knight that he has got to pray vocally before the world and in his family and among his friends. He has prayed before his son Newel. Newel has caught that and understood that and seen the power of that prayer.
[00:27:23] Tammy: Absolutely, Jenny. That's great that you pointed that out. That's so cool. Thank you. Thank you for doing that. Well, and going back to verse 13, we have to talk about 14, 15. That is the dusting of the feet. This is going to come up again in scripture. I'm just going to give you some crossreferences. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 60 verse 15 is where we read about doing this.
It comes from Nehemiah 5:13 in the Bible. You can put that, a crossreference. Here's what James E. Talmage has to say about dusting off the feet. "To ceremonially shake the dust from one's feet as a testimony against another was understood by the Jews to symbolize a cessation of fellowship and renunciation of all responsibility for consequences that might follow.
"It became an ordinance of accusation and testimony by the Lord's instructions to his apostles. In the current dispensation, the Lord has similarly directed his authorized servants to so testify against those who willfully and maliciously opposed the truth when authoritatively presented. The responsibility of testifying before the Lord by this accusing symbol is so great that the means may be employed only under unusual and extreme conditions as the Spirit of the Lord may direct." Don't go dusting your feet off on anyone's doorstep if they don't like your message when you're going to minister to them.
[00:28:42] Jenny: Can I just tell you a funny story? When I was in the MCC, we were learning Italian, and there was one elder in my district who used to ask all the time the teacher, "When that happens, can we just dust off our feet?" The teacher was always like, "No [crosstalk]
[00:28:59] Tammy: "No. Don't do it."
[00:29:01] Jenny: He was so excited to dust his feet.
[00:29:04] Tammy: That's so funny. Don't do it unless you're directed. To everyone listening, to future missionaries, I'm going to steer clear of that one, but that's what that verse means. We're going to pause right here in Section 24. We're going to come back in a minute but jump in Section 26 because we just have to mention this section. It's super short, two verses. The title for Section 26 is All things by Common Consent. Now, the reason why it's given this title is because of verse 2. Chere, will you read verse 2 for us?
[00:29:36] Chere: "And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen."
[00:29:47] Tammy: Isn't it amazing. Jenny, it goes back to what you were saying how the Lord is giving-- it's a new church, and the Lord's giving them this information bit by bit, piece by piece. Right here, we have this established at the beginning of the organization of the Church.
[00:30:00] Tammy: "Oh, by the way, all things will be done by common consent." How powerful that consent has been, even now, today, we still believe that all things are done by common consent, right?
[00:30:11] Chere: It makes me realize that God trusts us so much, and it is a matter of agency, but when we raise our hand and sustain people, we are active living members of this body of Christ. I love that idea, that we help things along that way.
[00:30:34] Tammy: You're absolutely right. I think it's so cool.
[00:30:36] Chere: Don't you love at conference time when you get to raise your hand to sustain the Prophet? That's one of my favorite things at conference. No matter where you are when you're listening to conference, you get to raise your hand to sustain him.
[00:30:49] Tammy: I make my kids come in or stop whatever they're doing just for that part. "All right, everybody, you all have to do this. This is just part of what we do." Yes, I think it's powerful. Okay, let's jump back into 24, then, and tell me a couple of other verses that stood out to you.
[00:31:03] Jenny: I love verse 8. Joseph has just come from Colesville at the neighboring county, Broome County, where for the first time, in my understanding, he has been cast into prison and held trial, but the Lord says, "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many." He's already seen some of those, and he has no idea what's ahead of him. That's just the beginning of his jail time.
[00:31:33] Chere: And of his imprisonment and his afflictions.
[00:31:35] Jenny: He says that "Endure them well, for, lo, I am with thee, even until the end of thy days." I think that's just saying, "It's going to be okay. I'm going to be with you. We're in this together."
[00:31:49] Tammy: Absolutely. I love the quote from Joseph when he says, "My object is to let you know that I am right. I should be like a fish out of water if I were out of persecution."
[00:32:00] Jenny: Oh, gosh, yes.
[00:32:00] Tammy: When he has said that, he says, "Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble." Just this idea like, "You're going to have a lot of afflictions." Boy, he will. I like you pointed out, Jenny, this is the first of his many arrests and the first for Emma to have her husband arrested [crosstalk]
[00:32:15] Chere: That's a good point because Emma's right there in all those afflictions. A lot of times, she's having to sit back and take care of things and pray and get women together and pray for him and help him get out of those afflictions, but she's right in the middle of it, too.
[00:32:33] Jenny: I love that, Chere, because that's exactly what she did in Colesville. She, I think, initially freaked out, and then she gathered women to pray for Joseph. Then she went to her sister's house, she didn't live too far away. When he was released, he found her there and said he found her very anxious. She was so grateful that he was okay, but this is the beginning of her afflictions as well.
[00:33:02] Chere: Don't you love to think about, too, that she was just baptized, and she literally gathered the women together, and they did what our covenant is when we are baptized: to mourn with those that mourn. She gathered those women, and they prayed to help Joseph through this affliction.
[00:33:23] Tammy: Wow, Chere, okay, I've never thought about that before. That's so powerful. The first chance she gets to live her baptismal covenant, she does it. Oh. That is a great segue into our next segment where we are going to just start talking all about Emma in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 25.
Okay, you two, I could not be more excited about the next four segments. Tell me about Emma, what people might not know about her that we should.
[00:34:05] Jenny: Emma is a very attractive, intelligent woman. She was 5'9, so she was just shorter than Joseph, but she had a very commanding presence. She also had a very beautiful singing voice. She loved to ride horses. Her brothers taught her how to ride horses, and she had a dairy. She kept cows, and she knew how to provide for her family. She also learned, from her mother, how to post people and how to cook for them and how to care for them.
Her father was a hunter, and sometimes, he would leave meat on the neighbor's table. Emma would often do things like that. She learned so much from her family, and they were so important to her.
[00:34:49] Tammy: How many people were in her family?
[00:34:52] Jenny: Emma was the seventh of eight children and the third of four daughters. Her older brothers taught her how to canoe in the Susquehanna River and to ride horseback. Her sisters taught her how to keep house.
[00:35:09] Tammy: I love that.
[00:35:10] Jenny: I think it's interesting that two of her sisters married uneducated, very poor men. One of the things that her father had issue with Joseph was that he was poor and uneducated, but mostly, it was because he had some crazy religious ideas.
[00:35:30] Tammy: How did Joseph come into contact with her family?
[00:35:34] Chere: He was asked to go and work for Josiah Stowell as a treasure-seeker, and he ended up boarding with the Hale family for a while, and he met Emma then.
[00:35:49] Tammy: Oh, wow. That's where the treasure-seeking thing comes in, right?
[00:35:53] Jenny: Yes. There was this rumor that there was old Spanish silver in the Susquehanna Valley. Josiah Stowell and others were very interested in finding that. Josiah had heard that Joseph had a gift for finding hidden things.
[00:36:10] Tammy: So does my friend Holly
[00:36:12] Jenny: Boo, I wish I had that gift-
[00:36:14] Tammy: She really does.
[00:36:15] Jenny: -so I could find my keys and stuff.
[00:36:17] Tammy: Yes, but treasure-seeking was just so normal back then. It was a job like, "Oh, you're he's a treasure-seeker," right?
[00:36:23] Chere: Oh, yes. A lot of people thought, especially around the Revolutionary War and beyond that, there were pirates that they felt like they had taken their treasures and buried them in the ground in all places. People always were looking for treasure. That was a normal thing.
[00:36:41] Tammy: Today, they're called archaeologists.
[00:36:43] Chere: There you go.
[00:36:44] Tammy: They just have a more astute name. It's not that big of a deal, I think.
[00:36:50] Chere: That's true.
[00:36:50] Jenny: Also, the Hales when they first moved to Harmony, they lived in a log cabin. Then they built this beautiful home. Often, people would lodge in that log cabin on their property very close to their home. That's probably where Joseph stayed. After a short while, though, he believed that it wasn't going to be fruitful to spend time looking for this hidden treasure.
He convinced Josiah Stowell to let him help him farm his land. During that time, he met Emma, and he was very impressed with her, and she was impressed with him. They were able to have great conversations together. I think she readily believed in what he told her about his spiritual experiences. She'd had her own spiritual experiences praying in groves of trees, as she had been taught as the Methodists taught people.
[00:37:48] Tammy: Now it adds another layer to Emma because she marries Joseph, who had these cool spiritual experiences, not really knowing full well what that was going to mean for her. I'm thinking in terms of our own language today, where your husband finds this new religion, and he's like, "This is it, we're doing this." She had to gain her own testimony. She had to come to terms or figure it out for herself, as we use our own language, become a convert, however you want to say it. That is amazing to me now.
[00:38:17] Jenny: I think it took a lot of people a little bit of time to understand. For example, Peter Whitmer Sr. didn't get baptized until the end of June. I think everyone took their time before they jumped in the water, literally.
[00:38:33] Tammy: Exactly. Emma and Joseph will have nine children. I think if I did the math correct, she'll bear nine children, adopt two, four of them will die at birth, or shortly thereafter, and two will die as toddlers. The grief of that heart right there to lose that many children, oh.
[00:38:56] Jenny: It's awful. I think even despite the fact that infant mortality was pretty high at that time, it's still something that sinks into your heart.
[00:39:08] Tammy: Oh, yes.
[00:39:08] Chere: She has to when she read in the Book of Mormon when Joseph tells her about the infants being saved at the end of the Book of Mormon and not having to be baptized and going straight to hell if they hadn't been baptized, all of that had to have just given her so much joy to talk about that and learn about that because she had lost so many of her children and been through so many difficulties that way. Then she'd lost family members and different things. There's a lot of that doctrine that came up that mattered a lot to her.
[00:39:46] Tammy: Oh my gosh, I'd never considered that before. To everyone, because you're right, infant mortality was so high, that doctor must have been so confirming to a lot of grieving hearts. Oh my gosh. Wow. I'll never read those verses again the same. That is so cool.
[00:40:03] Jenny: Another thing that I think is so beautiful about Emma, and I think it's such a natural part of who she is, is she took in so many orphaned children, not only the two that she adopted in 1833.
[00:40:18] Tammy: The John Murdock twins?
[00:40:20] Jenny: Right, but also all throughout Noveau and after the Church left, she took orphaned children and young women into her home and mothered them. Even her second husband's children, she took into her home. That was such an important part of who she was, and I think she learned that from her own mother, but she was so anxious to mother and to care for people and people that needed her help.
[00:40:49] Chere: When we were reading some of those letters in the Community of Christ Archives, it was so fun to read what neighbors would write about her. The children always talked about her cookies and how she always made cookies for them, and they could always go to her. She was known as a mother, in her neighborhood, that would care for children.
[00:41:13] Jenny: Yes. Her grandchildren wrote about those cookies, too. I love it.
[00:41:17] Tammy: Oh my gosh, I never knew that about her. Here's a fun quote. This is what Lucy Mack Smith had to say about her. Jenny, I just want you to read this because you love this quote so much.
[00:41:27] Jenny: Yes, I do love this quote. Lucy Mack Smith, who was Emma's mother-in-law and who Emma also nursed to help and cared for at the end of her life said this about Emma, "I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has always done.
"She has been tossed upon the oceans of uncertainty. She has breasted these storms of persecution and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which have borne down almost any other woman." I really think Lucy said that because she spoke from experience. Many times, Emma would give up her bed for others and sleep on the floor. Many times she would nurse people who were sick with malaria or cholera or whatever it may be. Many times she gave everything that she had, her food to these people.
[00:42:32] Chere: She really did give her all to this church and to the restoration. There was a revelation talking about the men that needed to go out to the Lamanites and do missionary work. She sewed and sewed all this clothing to the point that she was exhausted and was sick for many months afterwards because she was pregnant at that time.
[00:42:54] Tammy: Oh my gosh, that's so great. Okay, well, let's then move on because she gets baptized. She thinks she's going to get confirmed and then that's when Joseph Smith gets arrested. After he comes back from his trials and he'd been gone for a while, he decides, "Okay, let's get some people confirmed." In the next segment, we're going to dive into Section 25, so get your highlighters, your pen, and a journal because this is going to be so good. [silence] All right, ladies. Let's just jump into Section 25. What are your thoughts about it?
[00:43:32] Jenny: I wonder if Emma had seen Joseph receive all these revelations for all these men that he was working with and if she wondered maybe if he had a revelation for her. We don't know the details that she asked him like the other men have, but I wonder if she wanted to know what her part in this work was.
[00:43:55] Tammy: Oh my gosh, this makes so much more sense because maybe she was asking, "What's my duty?" just like all the other men did. That's so cool, Jenny. For this segment, we are only going to talk about three verses, really, and one more but verses 1 through 3, that's it, and a little bit of 16. Actually, let's just go to 16 so we can have a feeling for the whole chapter. Chere, will you read verse 16?
[00:44:19] Chere: Yes. "Verily, verily, I say unto you that this is my voice unto all. Amen."
[00:44:27] Tammy: What does that tell us about Section 25?
[00:44:29] Chere: That it's for not just Emma but for all of us, and I love how President Nelson, in his October 2019 talk, he invited us all to read this section and to preferably seek our own personal revelation. He really told us that this is for all of us.
[00:44:47] Tammy: It truly is. You have to know that before we can even begin studying this section. Now, let's go to verses 1 through 3. We're going to just go word by word almost. I just cannot wait to talk about this. We have to start out with the word "hearken" because we've talked about it before, and we've learned about what the word means in Hebrew. Remember, it means not just to listen but to obey, to obey what the voice of the Lord, our God, is going to say to us. Highlight the word "hearken." Now, let's just go into these verses, ladies. Tell me some things, just start teaching us about these.
[00:45:20] Jenny: I love the relationship that the Lord establishes with Emma, and he does this throughout this whole section. He says, "Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God," and then he's speaking into Emma Smith, "my daughter." There is a relationship there, and it's so beautiful. Not only does he say that in that first verse that "All who receive my gospel are my sons and daughters in my kingdom," he's speaking specifically to Emma, "my daughter."
[00:45:52] Chere: It's like how he did the same thing and called Joseph by name in the Sacred Grove. He's telling us that his daughters are just as important as his sons and that we each have a relationship with him, and I love that this is that same idea that Joseph was getting in the Sacred Grove. In verse 3, he says, "Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee." That's exactly what happened with Joseph in the Sacred Grove.
[00:46:22] Tammy: Oh, Chere, I love that you pointed that out, that he knows her name.
[00:46:26] Jenny: Then, of course, in verse 2, everything points to the fact that Emma has a divine mission, that she has a divine purpose, and it is his will that she do this. They are connected in that way, also. I want to say this because we know that Emma was his scribe but I wonder if he was the one that wrote this down as Joseph received it. We also don't have the original copy of this revelation. It's just written into the Book of Commandments in 1833. I wonder if she kept that original and she kept it close to her because it was for her.
[00:47:08] Tammy: Like going back to patriarchal blessings, how we do that with ours. I have my original, and it's hidden in my journal, and I rarely use it. I made a photocopy. That's what I always read, but the original one, I barely touch because, as a kid, I did, and there's oil marks on the sides. You can see how my thumbs held it. I was like, "I don't want to ruin this."
Oh, I think that's incredible, Jenny. I get that. In fact, let's go back to verse 1 where it says "your God" and "my daughter" and then he calls us "sons and daughters in my kingdom." There are some cool crossreferences, and I think these are important for us to know, especially for new missionaries. I loved showing this to people that believed in the Bible. I wanted to prove to them that God really was our father and that we are his children, we are his offspring.
Some cool crossreferences to verse 1 would be Acts 17:28-29 and then Romans 8:14-17. These are beautiful New Testament scriptures that say that we are the offspring of God and that he calls us his sons and his daughters. I love that we talked about that in verse 1. Thank you for bringing that up. Can we talk about verse 2 for just a second when the Lord tells Emma to "walk in the paths of virtue before me," that word "virtue"?
Now you guys know I'm a huge advocate for the word. We need to reframe it because "virtue" means power or strength in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and that power or strength comes through covenants, which is huge in this verse. I don't this verse is saying, "Emma, you probably struggle with the law of chastity or you're not that modest, so you better walk in the paths of virtue." I think this is a powerful alluding to what she's going to do.
[00:48:47] Jenny: Can I say something else about verse 2?
[00:48:49] Tammy: Oh, yes, please.
[00:48:50] Jenny: In the way that, in verse 2, the Lord says to Emma that "You are my daughter," he also continues that relationship in verse 2, where he says, "I will preserve your life, and you will receive an inheritance in Zion." I love that. Verse 15, I know I'm jumping ahead, but it says that she-
[00:49:09] Tammy: Go ahead.
[00:49:09] Jenny: -will be given a crown of righteousness. I really think that's part of her inheritance in Zion. A few days before she passed away in April of 1879, she had a dream. In that dream, she dreamed that Joseph came to her. Now, of course, Joseph had already died, and she dreamed that he took her to a beautiful mansion, and they walked inside, and they went into a nursery, and there was her baby, Don Carlos, who had died as a toddler in 1841.
She picked him up. She was so excited to see him. She picked him up and then she turned to Joseph and she said, "What about the rest of them?" Joseph said, "You shall have them. All of them." She turned around and there was Jesus Christ in
full glory. I think that is just an indication that she truly did walk in the paths of virtue and that she did receive her inheritance and she was crowned with righteousness.
[00:50:14] Tammy: Oh my gosh. I love that. Well, and that she truly was, what verse three says about her, she was an elect lady. We have to highlight those two words an elect lady, because we have to talk about what that means. Dive into that wording with me because there's so many things that made her elect.
[00:50:33] Jenny: Absolutely. When the Relief Society was formed, 12 years later in March of 1842 in Nauvoo, she is also called on that first day, March 17th, an elect lady. Joseph says that she was elected or chosen, that the women there elected her, they voted for her, they selected her to be their president. He also refers back to II John chapter one that talks about an elect lady.
[00:51:06] Tammy: Well, I liked that the footnote supports that down below, chosen or set apart. I thought what was interesting is when I learned that she was the first woman to receive the fullness of the temple blessings. I didn't know that. She was the first female to receiving the endowment and it was in the Red Brick Store.
[00:51:24] Jenny: Red Brick Store where the Relief Society was organized. I loved that.
[00:51:28] Tammy: Yes. I didn't know that until I started studying her. I loved learning that about her. It's interesting that she's the first to receive that because she wasn't the first to get baptized, but how cool is that she's the first to receive this endowment? That makes sense. Okay. I love that.
[00:51:44] Chere: Well, and when we go back to the elect lady idea that the temple ordinances could not be received completely until the women had been organized into the Relief Society. Joseph knew that. Was it Newel Night, Jenny?
[00:52:01] Jenny: Newel K. Whitney.
[00:52:02] Chere: Newel K. Whitney. He knew that. He talked about that.
[00:52:05] Jenny: Joseph said that the church was never fully organized until the women were organized. Chere said, that is an integral part to the women receiving their endowment. It's kind of interesting because after the women were organized in March of 1842, men began to receive their endowments in May of 1842, again, in the upper room of the Red Brick Store. That was a really holy space for them. The day after that happens, Newel K. Whitney came to the Relief Society and talked about that.
He said, "The man is not without the woman, nor is the woman without the man. Both are needed to understand the fullness of the priesthood and the fullness of the temple." The other thing I love about that, and I think this goes back to what Chere was saying about the elect lady is that because she was the elect lady then passed the endowment, the initiatory, on to other women and it came through her. In an interesting way, I think the same way that men, their lineage to the priesthood, who gave it to them, if we kept those records, we could say the same of Emma, that we received our temple endowment because of Emma.
[00:53:23] Tammy: Oh, I love that. Now, ladies, we've talked about this before, the meaning of names in Hebrew. Chere, I remember one time you told me how much you love learning what different names mean? Like Joseph means, 'I will increase', meaning God will increase. Hiram in Hebrew means 'My brother is exalted'. This is so cool because the Hebrew name for mother or mommy in Hebrew is Eema. I guess I just like to think that Emma was the mother of the restoration. Why weren't their names like Frank and Stacy? Am I right? Jenny, share your thoughts with me about her name.
[00:53:57] Jenny: I just thought of this just like Sarah, and gosh, who else? Rachel, and Hannah, Emma had a hard time bearing children. She lost her first baby. She lost her second twins. She had another miscarriage and Joseph Smith Sr. gave her a patriarchal blessing in 1834. He called her a mother in Israel and that she would have children. I think she had to hold on to that and cling to that promise.
[00:54:30] Tammy: I didn't know that.
[00:54:31] Chere: At that point, she had lost at least three children, hadn't she?
[00:54:35] Tammy: Yes.
[00:54:38] Chere: She wasn't sure if she was going to be a mother in Israel.
[00:54:42] Tammy: No. Which would make sense why she mothered so many in her home. Oh, that's beautiful. Wow. Thank you. Well, this would be a great time then. We're going to take a quick break right here and end this segment. I'm so excited because in the next segment, we're just going to go through as many verses as we can in section 25. I can already tell this is going to be so mind-blowing.
[00:55:11] Tammy: Let's go to verse four. Then we're going to try and do as many verses as we can. Just for a little bit of background here, this is counsel that the Lord is telling Emma to do or not to do. Is that right, Jenny?
[00:55:22] Chere: Yes.
[00:55:24] Tammy: We got the first one, murmur not.
[00:55:28] Jenny: I also think that's really interesting because this is at a point where people become witnesses of the gold plates, and the Lord tells her murmur not because of the things which though has not seen. She's never seen the gold plates.
[00:55:44] Tammy: Yes. It must have been so hard for Emma.
[00:55:48] Jenny: Yes. I think it must've been, especially because the Lord addressed it. She's handled the plates and she's covered them and protected them with a linen cloth. She's done everything that she could to protect those plates. She talks about later in her life, as she was cleaning, she would lift up them up under the linen clothes, but she could feel the pages. I think in her own way, she was a witness.
[00:56:16] Tammy: For sure.
[00:56:16] Jenny: After all, she did witness Joseph translating them. She did know that he didn't have any kind of literary gifts.
[00:56:23] Tammy: She did. In fact, didn't she write that he couldn't even pen a letter to friends? There's an actual quote from her saying that.
[00:56:31] Chere: Didn't know the Bible. Didn't know that there was walls around Jerusalem.
[00:56:35] Jenny: He didn't know how to pronounce Sariah, but she witnessed the power of translation that he had. She knew that this was, she called it a marvel and a wonder.
[00:56:48] Tammy: I would say that Emma believed Joseph and everything that had happened, but she also believed in him. She really witnessed that he was a prophet even to the end of her life. They were close. Joseph listened to her and they would have conversations about the doctrine and the things happening and what was going on in the Book of Mormon. She had been the scribe for most of those 116 pages that had been lost. She had been such an integral part of everything. Then for her not to be able to ever see those plates, she would be a better woman than me that wouldn't murmur against that.
[00:57:37] Chere: Me too.
[00:57:37] Jenny: I really think I would have been tempted to peek.
[00:57:40] Tammy: 100%. I absolutely would have peeked.
[00:57:46] Jenny: I want to say this too, because if we look through the next couple of verses, there's a lot of interesting words that speak about speaking. Murmur is complaining, but then in the next verse, she's told to speak consoling words to her husband in his afflictions. Then in verse seven, she's told to expound scriptures and to exhort the church. While the Lord is telling her to not say one thing, he's telling her to say lots of other things.
[00:58:22] Tammy: Oh, I love that you pointed that out. In fact, those words. Tell us about the words, expound scripture and exhort. What is he telling her to do when it says expound scripture?
[00:58:33] Chere: Well, he's telling her that you're teaching about the scriptures that you're actually bringing forth truth from the scriptures. That was an unusual thing that women did at that time. That did not happen. He is actually enlarging her mind to what she's capable of at this time. Often we don't think that we have the ability to do the things that the Lord knows that we can do. For him to tell her that you are to expound and to exhort the church and expound scriptures, to me, just is telling her, "Listen, Emma, you can do this. This is your mission on earth. This is what I need from you."
[00:59:21] Jenny: I love that President Nelson taught the women, and was October of 2019, Chere?
[00:59:27] Chere: Yes.
[00:59:28] Jenny: Then he said, "We need you to speak up and speak out." This is really significant. Of course, Tammy and I both love the 1828 Webster's Dictionary. Right?
[00:59:39] Tammy: Oh, yes.
[00:59:41] Jenny: Expound means to explain or to lay open the meaning to clear obscurity and to interpret. It really is preaching. Whereas exhort is to encourage and embolden, to cheer, and advise, or give strength, or spirit, or courage. I love that those are two separate things and that are put together and they are incredible, important, valuable instructions in how to lead the church especially, I think, in 12 years, to lead the Relief Society. [crosstalk]
[01:00:18] Chere: You look at that, that was not something that women did as you look at the Relief Society being organized. That gave the women a location and a place, a time to learn how to expound and exhort. Emma was the example of that. She taught women what it meant to expound and exhort in this church. We, as women, are living that legacy now because we're able to give talks in church. It's not unusual for us to be able to teach. That's just a common thing, but you'll talk to other people that they don't ever have an opportunity to get up and talk to people and it's amazing to them that we can get up and talk in church or pray in church or do the things that we do and do that in public and do that with confidence. That's the legacy of Relief Society that started with this idea that the Lord told Emma about.
[01:01:21] Jenny: You know, Tammy, it goes back to what we were reading in section 26 about common consent. To me, that idea not only does it mean that we vote and sustain and all of that, but it also means that we speak, that all of us speak. It's common to all of us. Of course, we're also coming from the time of the second great awakening where people are encouraged to find their own voice and to speak up and share their conversions and be excited about what they believe. There's another woman named Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt who talks about how she had fire in her bones. That's, of course, a scripture from Jeremiah.
She had to let that out and share her beliefs and her feelings and her testimony of the Book of Mormon. It's an incredible time when women are having these conversion experiences. They are, like Chere said, given a place in this church where they can speak up and speak out.
[01:02:20] Tammy: It makes me think like we have lived the last year hearing the word unprecedented said a billion times, but truly section 25 is unprecedented on so many levels for women and for religion as a whole. To encourage this type of behavior from women is unprecedented. It's so cool.
[01:02:40] Jenny: Yes, it is. It's funny because if you look at women who do expound and exhort at this time, they're often seen as bad women. Hutchinson was of course, 200 years before this because she would gather people into her home and teach them scripture, was banished. Other women were seen as bad women. I love that, that they were given the permission and the location.
[01:03:11] Tammy: Okay. That is so good. Thank you, Jenny. Was there anything else that stood out to you?
[01:03:17] Jenny: I love verse five, that first of all that it starts out that she has an office. So often, we talk about office as a priesthood thing, as a man thing, but then we also talk about the general officers of the church and those are the general organization presidencies, but her office is something that is given to her and she is called and set apart for that. Her office is that she will be a comfort to her husband, Joseph Smith. Comfort is also a word that we find in John when the Lord tells his disciples that he will not leave them comfortless and we know that that's associated with the Holy Spirit.
I think that gives Emma a place in that companionship with Joseph. It also makes me think of the way the angel came and comforted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It's something that comes from above. She's not underneath him holding him up and supporting him. She's reaching down and comforting him and holding him and giving him consoling words and speaking with meekness. That's a power that's--
[01:04:34] Tammy: That's a powerful image right there, Jenny, because a lot of times, you can read that and go, "Oh, all right. Well." Like it's demeaning to women, but when you just put it in that light that it's from above, that is so powerful.
[01:04:50] Chere: I was just thinking when you talk about comfort, this isn't just a normal comforting. Joseph is arrested at least 50 times. Think about when he was hard and feathered and she has to clean him up and get him ready for when he preached the next morning. This idea of comfort is such a bigger idea than what you normally think of because of the kinds of afflictions and the kind of life that they've led. She was his biggest support. She was the rock right there in that family that he could turn to all the time and be comforted.
[01:05:33] Jenny: Chere, think of the letters that they wrote especially when he was in Liberty Jail, she was such a comfort to him in those letters and she went and visited him, I think, three times. She took that role very seriously.
[01:05:48] Chere: Yes, she did.
[01:05:50] Tammy: When it says at the end in the spirit of meekness, but sometimes we twist that in the spirit of weakness, but meekness, we've learned, means power under self-control. Just right there telling her that she has the power to do this. She's been given the power to be able to help her husband in the way he needs the help.
[01:06:09] Chere: I just think, when you think about that in itself, she probably needed that idea that she has the power to be able to comfort him because of the kinds of things that they went through.
[01:06:22] Jenny: I also think it's significant that she decides to name the Relief Society the Relief Society. There is a little bit of discussion about benevolent society and Relief Society. Eliza Snow was worried that relief would sound like they were giving relief to criminals and they didn't want to do that, but in the end, they all decided that relief was a better word than benevolent. I think that, too, is a word that brings Jesus Christ into it because he provides relief for us and that's what these women were doing is providing relief for the poor in heart and the poor in spirit and the poor physically. They provided that comfort and assistance in ways that those people didn't have. It was a great act of grace and mercy.
[01:07:15] Tammy: Absolutely. I love that. It's so powerful.
[01:07:22] Jenny: Can I say something also in verse seven? Along with the word office in verse five, we get in verse seven, Joseph be ordained. I love what Elder Packer says about ordained meaning it's set in order. It's given a place. Also, when the Relief Society was organized on March 17th, Joseph said that Emma had already been ordained in 1830 in section 25.
[01:07:53] Tammy: Holy cow, that's so cool.
[01:07:56] Chere: When I think about verse 10 and how it says, "Thou shalt lay aside the things of this world and seek for things of the better," I think it's--
[01:08:05] Tammy: Oh yes, give me some context for that verse.
[01:08:08] Chere: I think she being told that let's put God first in your life and the work of this restoration needs to come first in our lives because she will have lots of different things trying to claim her time and the different interests that she could pursue, but this whole thing is talking about how she's a support for her husband and how she's been called as the elect lady, and so God's telling here, "Put these things first in your life and then everything else will be able to be worked out and fall into place and you'll have the right priorities and stuff." I don't think it's really a chastisement or anything that sometimes we think it is. I think it's just words of wisdom that he's just saying of what direction she needs to do and not to be filled so much with trying to do so many things and being pulled in so many different directions.
[01:09:06] Tammy: Chere, when you said it tells me, it struck me that this verse was really for me. Especially the world we live in right now when you look all around and just the news and everything that sucks my time and my life, I just think verse 10 might be the perfect-- I don't know. I always joke about this but if I'm going to put something on vinyl lettering, maybe it's this verse [laughter] and put it above my front door. What a beautiful reminder to lay aside things of the world and seek for things of a better and that better, that idea, if you just told her what it is. All of this stuff that I've given you to do, that's the better. To comfort, to expound, to exhort, to be ascribed, to console. He's using action words in those verses and to speak and to speak boldly, I love that.
[01:09:59] Jenny: I love that. I love that, Tammy, and I love that you brought that up because I think when he is saying, lay aside these things, he's also telling her, pick up these other things, your time should be given to writing and learning much to making a selection of sacred hymns, all and all these other things that you just mentioned. It's not like she's losing, she's gaining so much more.
[01:10:25] Chere: I think the idea of when he tells her to study and to write and to learn much is just like us. How are we going to be able to expound and speak up if we haven't taken the time to study our scriptures, to journal and to put down the thoughts and the revelations that you're getting. Our mouth can not be filled with the words until we've put in that kind of work and so he's telling her that needs to be done in order for you to be able to do these things.
[01:10:56] Jenny: I think it's beautiful that he tells her that your time should be given to writing into learning much. This is a busy woman who is running a dairy and who is pregnant a lot and eventually, will have a lot of kids and is entertaining people and doing a lot of things, but he is telling her, you have got to take this time.
[01:11:19] Tammy: For that's in verse eight
[01:11:21] Jenny: Can I say something about verse nine? I love that the Lord tells Emma, "Don't fear. Your husband shall support you in the church, for unto them is his calling." I think that can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. One is that the church is Joseph's interests and where his energy will be, but also we know that Emma plays a significant role, particularly with the Relief Society and the temple and the hymns and I'm wondering if that says your husband will support you in these church callings that you will do.
[01:12:01] Tammy: Oh, I think it does. That's how I interpret it for sure.
[01:12:05] Chere: I think about this too and in verse nine and thou needest not fear, she just has left her family. She will never see her family again at that point because her father had finally just had had enough and so they had left and that goes on and says 'for thy husband shall be thy support,' and so for me too, I look at that and think it's another reason that they cleave together because Joseph is there. He's going to take care of her. He's going to be the person that will help support her in all of that she does.
[01:12:41] Tammy: Thank you, Chere. That's a good of discussion. I love that. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
[01:12:48] Chere: Going back to this idea of that we are living this legacy that was started with this section with Emma being told to expound and exhort, there's a quote President Hinckley, where he's in an interview and they're asking about women in our church and Relief Society and he says, "People wonder what we do for our women and I will tell you what we do. We get out of their way and look with wonder at what they are accomplishing," and what this is all about. We accomplished what we have. We are who we are because of this permission that was given to Emma back then.
[01:13:31] Jenny: Well, not only permission but an assignment.
[01:13:37] Tammy: Well, and going back to that word 'unprecedented' in the next segment, we are going to talk about a very unprecedented assignment given from the Lord to Emma Smith.
[01:13:57] Tammy: We're in section 25 and talking about the word unprecedented, my friend, Beth Holsey from Canada told me just how unprecedented this next assignment was from the prophet. I think it's interesting because she's getting a degree in music. She's working on her masters and she had just been talking to me about how for a woman to get an assignment like this was unprecedented because men were the ones that put together music, men were in charge of music. I appreciated her giving me some of that information because it gave me a good foundation for this next assignment, so Chere, will you read verse 11 and 12 for us.
[01:14:32] Chere: 'And it shall be given thee also to make a selection of sacred hymns as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me to be had in my church for my soul delighteth in the song of the heart. Yay. The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their head.' I love right here where he says that my soul delighteth in the song of the heart and the hymns that she picked were only words. There's no music given in that first hymn book and so it's like the doctrine of the church and the feelings of the church that these hymns are giving voice to the church to God, to tell them how they feel about him and about this doctrine and it also is a way that she's able to expound the doctrine is through the selection of these hymns. That was really an important part of it is that this is different doctrine and she has to pick hymns that have the words that will actually bring about the right doctrine that were being taught at that time.
[01:15:38] Jenny: I love that, Chere. I also love that we learn a little bit about the Lord in verse 12, we learned that He has a soul that delights. I love that. I love that He's telling Emma that, that He delights and that He hears these songs and He answers these songs with blessings on the heads of His children, of His sons and His daughters.
[01:16:05] Tammy: Have either of you ever had an experience where your soul did delight because of music, like a moment that stands out, because if you were saying that, there was one time for me, I was with my best friend and we decided to go to mass in a Methodist church in Iowa, but the choir sang the song and I was weeping. My soul was saturated with joy with this song and as I was listening to it, I'm like, this is not a song we've ever sang in our church before. It was so new to me and every word was truth, 100% truth that I actually made my word choir learn it and sing it. Listen, this is written by a Methodist and it's not LDS, but it's true. It's called, I am not my own, go and look it up on YouTube with a choir because it is so good. I get that like, my soul was the lighting. What about you guys?
[01:16:59] Chere: Well, I remember when the hymn I believe in Christ first came out, that was in the late '70s. It was Elder McConkie's last words, his last testimony, and they kind of put it to music and the first time I heard that I was living in Arkansas and it hit me so strongly, I'd never been able to sing a testimony and it felt like I was singing my testimony to the people that weren't members of the church, because I was in choir as a magical and did all of that and we talk about music a lot and different things. I felt like I could give this song to them, this LDS hymn and it would say exactly how I felt about Christ and how important Christ was in my life. I still remember sitting in church and singing that for the very first time and just being blown away and I was young. I was 16 or 17 when that happened.
[01:18:02] Tammy: That was a great example.
[01:18:04] Jenny: I love that, Chere. I've had two very formative experiences with the Spirit of God. One of them was interestingly enough, in the Pleasant View First Ward, I was young and an older woman was going on a mission and it just so happened to be Chere's landlady. [laughter] Anyway, for the closing hymn in that meeting, we saying the Spirit of God, and it was the most powerful thing I've ever had ever experienced. I have no idea how old I was. I was probably 12, but you could hear so many more people that were in that congregation than were actually there. I think everybody felt that. It was just like this thunderous loud choir and it was so beautiful to be a part of that.
Another time that I had an experience with the Spirit of God was actually in the Kirtland Temple. I was there for the Mormon History Association Conference and we had a musical worship service on Sunday morning in the Kirtland Temple and one of the great things about being a part of this Mormon History Association is that there are so many different people with different religious denominations that belong because we share this common heritage of Joseph and Emma and the hymns and the book of Mormon and the early church, and so the music was led by people from the Community of Christ, but there were people from all different groups that were singing this.
We were sitting in the four different choir pews in the corners of the temple and there was the most powerful experience in that unity and in that sharing of that beautiful, beautiful hymn that was sung at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836.
[01:20:00] Tammy: You can see it on your face, retelling that story. I wish everyone could see you right now. As you say that I'm like that happened, 100%. Oh, that's so cool.
[01:20:13] Chere: Can I share just one more story? My husband was involved in an avalanche and his best friend was killed in it a few years back. It was on a Saturday. Sorry. It's always hard to talk about. The next day was Sunday. We've been at the hospital all day, we've been through a lot of really hard things. A lot of times you would say, "Oh, I'm going to stay home. I'm not going to go to church." I had such a yearning to get to church and to be with my ward family and to partake of the sacrament. I felt like I just wanted to run to the church.
I remember sitting in sacrament meeting that day and just tears just running down my face. I could never stop crying, and feeling the spirit. There was a musical number and it was I know that my Redeemer Lives, and it hit me so hard. It was just like this bomb on my soul, that I knew that everything was going to be okay and that we could get through this. That because of Him and because He still lived is because I could get through all of that. I will never forget those feelings and every time I sing that song or hear that song that whole experience comes back to me.
[01:21:47] Tammy: Thank you, Chere. Now I will not forget that when I sing that song, I will remember that story. Thank you for sharing that. Both of you, those are great stories. I'm going to actually ask that question on social media. I want to know if anybody else has stories where they're so delighted in a specific hymn or song. That'll be fun to find out if people have stories.
[01:22:06] Jenny: Can I share another story? This is the experience of Amanda Barnes Smith, who was a member of the church in Kirtland and would have participated in that sacred dedication of the Kirtland Temple with that sacred music. Just a short time later, she and her husband and family went to Missouri as the saints were moving to Missouri. They were on their way to far west and spent one night in Huntsville. That happened to be the time when the massacre happened. She lost her husband and a son and another son was gravely injured.
The mob asked them not to pray. This is a couple of days later when she would gather with the other women and pray. They asked them not to gather and pray but she needed to pray. She went into a cornfield and she prayed aloud and she said that cornfield became her temple. As she was walking out of the cornfield, a voice came to her and gave her the words of a hymn that was in that 1836 hymn book from 'How Firm a Foundation. It was the last verse and it was Jesus speaking to her saying, "That soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not, I cannot desert to its foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, no never forsake."
He was telling her that He would never forsake her. She went through several other trials in her life, but she knew, she had a firm understanding of the doctrine that because of the covenants that she made, He would never forsake her. She testified of that. I think this teaches us that these hymns can not only unite members of a congregation who are worshiping together, members of saints who are singing together and raising their voices together, but it's also a very individual form of worship, and that that worship not only is delighting the soul of the Lord, but it's delighting our souls. It's giving us that understanding that He is with us. It's that at onement where we can become at one individually. Amanda Barnes Smith can do that, Chere can do that, I can do that, we all can do that is join our hearts with the Lord through this prayer, through this song.
[01:24:45] Tammy: Jenny, everything you said is so perfect. As I was looking at verse 12 I'm like, yes, when He says that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me. I think every one of our stories are evidence that that was a prayer. Absolutely. When we sang those words, we heard those words of prayer back to our Heavenly Father that the song of the righteous really is a prayer. Oh my gosh, I love the stories that you shared and the one about Amanda Barnes. That's incredible. Thank you for sharing those, so good.
[01:25:16] Chere: You'll never sing that song again without thinking of that.
[01:25:19] Tammy: Oh, no, for sure. I'll think of her in the cornfield, walking out of the cornfield. Is there anything else you can tell us about how she selected the hymns?
[01:25:30] Jenny: Emma was given this charge and she started selecting hymns probably from her hometown newspaper. They were living in Harmony when she received this charge. That newspaper in Harmony would often publish the lyrics of hymns. She also looked all over. She probably looked in other hymnals and in other places. I actually love the fact that her compilation of hymns is from a collection of different faith traditions. There is a congregationalist hymn in there, there's some Baptist hymns in there, there's some Methodist hymns in there. There's hymns by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
By combining all of these, she's allowing all these saints from different religious backgrounds to sing in their accustomed form of worship, and also to unite in that form of worship. Also they moved to Fayette after this and then they moved to Kirtland shortly after that in 1831. She starts sending hymns to William W. Phelps who is in Independence, Missouri. There he has a press and he's publishing a paper called The Evening and The Morning Star. That is a paper that goes out to saints all over. He publishes some of those hymns in that paper as well as some of the revelations. I think it's interesting that the hymns go together with the revelations.
We know the story of how in 1833 a mob attacked that publishing business, and the press was destroyed, and the papers were destroyed. It was like Emma had to start all over again. They moved the press to Kirtland, and William W. Phelps continued to work there. In 1835 the High Council met together and again said, "We've got to get this hymn book published." It's really interesting at that same day in the Kirtland Temple that was unfinished, Joseph Smith Sr. was holding a patriarchal blessing meeting. He gave a blessing to Elizabeth Ann Whitney. In that blessing he told her that she would have the blessing of song and of singing in times. Right after that, she stood up and sang a beautiful song in tongues and Parley P. Pratt interpreted it, and it was called Adam-ondi-Ahman. This is all happening at the same time as the High Council is saying, "We've got to get that hymn book published."
[01:28:11] Tammy: Is it the same song Adam-ondi-Ahman that's in our hymn book today?
[01:28:14] Jenny: It's very similar. That's how William W. Phelps worked, because he wrote the other one. It has the same cadence, but it's slightly different. That is actually one of our discourses in at the pulpit. If you want to go check that out that is there.
[01:28:34] Tammy: That's awesome.
[01:28:36] Jenny: The handbook says it was published in 1835. It was probably typeset by then, but it actually didn't come out until 1836. That is when huge efforts were made to finish the Kirtland Temple. A temple choir was started and they used that hymnbook. Emma wrote the preface of that hymnbook and it's beautiful. It sounds just like these verses is section 25.
[01:29:04] Tammy: Oh, wow. Where can we read that preface?
[01:29:06] Jenny: That preface is found on the Joseph Smith papers project that where you can actually see the first hymnbook.
[01:29:14] Tammy: Oh, wow, that's incredible.
[01:29:18] Jenny: In 1839, the quorum of the 12 decided that they needed a new hymnbook. At that point they only had that one. There were only I think 1000 copies. It was sold out immediately. At one meeting, they decided they needed a new hymnbook. Immediately after that meeting, Brigham Young and several others went to England on missions. They decided that there were so many saints in England, and that it was so expensive to import hymnals or books from America. They were in Manchester at the time. It was cheaper to just produce a British hymnal. That's what he thought he would do, but Joseph Smith and the rest of the apostles in Nauvoo realized that this was Emma's sacred responsibility, so they wrote a letter saying, "No, we're going to do it here. It's Emma's job."
Because of the length of time it took to correspond overseas by ship, Brigham Young didn't get the letter and he made his own Manchester hymnal. That hymnal came back with all the British saints. There were so many British saints that came to Nauvoo, and even though Emma did create her 1841 hymnal, the preferred hymnal of the saints was the Manchester hymnal. Also, here's an interesting story, one of the songs in that hymnal was A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. It was a Scottish hymn and that's the song in Carthage jail. Before Joseph was killed, he asked John Taylor to sing that song because that was the hymn that brought him comfort and that gave him hope. Anyway, that Manchester hymnal was the one that crossed the plains with the saints while Emma's stayed in Nauvoo. I think it might illustrate a little bit of the tension between Emma and Brigham.
[01:31:22] Tammy: Oh, yes. Well, going back to what you said that there was some maybe conflict between Emma and Brigham Young, you all know there's that off quoted, maybe misquoted quote where Brigham said something about Emma and how Joseph would have to go to hell for her. I don't know, do we really even know that he said that? What do we know about that? Can we just put that to rest?
[01:31:42] Chere: Well, what I have found in researching and that we found about that is that I don't know that Brigham Young actually said that, but I do know that Emma was considered an incredible cook and hostess, and some guy that was there at their house was talking about how she's such an amazing woman and her cooking and whatever, and Joseph said, "I would go to hell for a woman like that." Talking about how much he loved her, how awesome she was, and I think it's been misinterpreted and taken out of context is what I think. What do you think, Jenny?
[01:32:22] Jenny: Yes, I agree, and certainly there was tension between Brigham and Emma after Joseph's death. They were both so devoted to Joseph, and after Joseph's death, Brigham as president of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles did everything he could to preserve the church. Emma did everything she could to preserve her family, and those two efforts were sometimes at odds with each other and caused a lot of tension. I actually think that's one reason why Emma stayed in Nauvoo. I think it's significant that in section 25, the Lord tells Emma in verse six, "Thou shall go with him at the time of his going." I think that she may have interpreted that after his death, as staying with him and with his body. This was a really significant thing for many people. Lucy Max Smith stayed in Nauvoo, and part of that is because her husband and three of her sons were buried there and she couldn't bear to leave them.
[01:33:26] Tammy: Because Samuel Smith will die just a few months after Joseph and Hiram die.
[01:33:30] Jenny: Actually four sons, because Don Carlos died there, too.
[01:33:35] Tammy: So Lucy stayed. I'm glad you pointed that out, especially in that verse, that she felt like she needed to stay.
[01:33:41] Jenny: Also I think it's interesting Brigham Young died in August of 1877 and Emma died in April of 1879, a year and a half later. They both said the exact same thing on their death beds, their last words, and those were, "Joseph, Joseph, Joseph."
[01:34:03] Tammy: Oh, my gosh. That's fascinating. I didn't know that. That's cool. Thank you.
[01:34:11] Chere: I think the thing, too, you've got to remember, there was such a love of Brigham Young to Joseph and Emma to Joseph, and Joseph, he respected what she had to say. She was his confidant and that was unusual at that time. I'm sure that Brigham Young at times had a hard time with how influential Emma was with Joseph.
[01:34:38] Tammy: Interesting.
[01:34:39] Chere: When Joseph dies, Emma's still feeling like she has a say in things and Brigham Young absolutely does not think she has a say in things and mostly because of the traditions of that time and the way society was.
[01:34:56] Tammy: For sure. Going back to how this section is unprecedented for women [crosstalk] and then for all of us. Well, thank you, ladies. Thank you for being here. Oh my gosh. What a great discussion. If this doesn't stir your souls to want to know more about Emma, I don't know what will. The name of the book, just so we all know is called First, The Life and Faith of Emma Smith. Go and get it, it's going to be incredible. Hurrah for Emma. I just thought that was such an incredible discussion. Thank you ladies for paying the price to know pretty much all there is to know about Emma Smith. That was incredible.
Just take a minute then and do you have any takeaways? Because I got about 100. Let me just go and get some-- No, I'm just kidding. What are your takeaways? Anything that stood out from our discussion today? I don't usually do this, but I'm just going to start out with my takeaway because you both have taught me so much during this lesson. I love that you told me that she made cookies. I didn't know that about her and just that she was good at making cookies, and then Chere, when you pointed out how poignant the doctrine of infants who don't need baptism would have been to Emma and to all of the saints who really, there was no doctrine about that other than hell. If they hadn't been baptized, that was it for kids. I'm never going to read those verses again the same way. There were so many others, especially in section 25, but whenever I make cookies, I'm going to think of Emma now. I love that.
[01:36:21] Chere: I think my takeaway is very simple. Emma was a witness of the restoration as well as a-- Such an important team member with-- They were partnerships, they were the first man and first woman of the restoration. When people diminish her role, they don't understand what her real role was and what she was able to do and what Joseph was able to accomplish because of her, but she definitely should be considered one of the witnesses of the restoration. She never denied the Book of Mormon. She never denied that her husband was a prophet. She always stood up for that and for the truth of that and the things that had actually happened.
[01:37:12] Jenny: My takeaway is this, it's adding on to what Chere said, is that not only was she a witness, but she was an active participant and those are her words. She said, "I was an active participant." I love talking about Emma, I love her, and I love that I can follow her and follow in her footsteps, that I too have a specific mission and that I too have the priesthood powers of the temple because of her. I'm so grateful for that, and I'm so grateful to have learned so much about her.
[01:37:55] Tammy: I'm so grateful to you for taking eight years to study her in just such an in-depth way that now we will all benefit from that from your books. Thank you. Thank you, both of you. I love you both so much. I'm so glad you're my friends. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
[01:38:11] Chere: We love you too, Tammy.
[01:38:14] Jenny: We do.
[01:38:15] Chere: How could we not love you?
[01:38:15] Tammy: Oh geez.
[01:38:18] Jenny: It is a lovefest.
[01:38:19] Tammy: It is a lovefest. Thank you, ladies. I love you, guys. Well, for those of you who are listening, we cannot wait to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. If you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, or if you're not following us on Instagram, just go do it because it's so much fun. It's a great place to ask questions as you study and I try to answer the questions as well as the whole community of people who belong to these study groups, answer each other's questions.
In fact, it's been so cool the last couple of weeks to see how everyone's rallied around people with questions. Go on there, check it out, and then on Sundays, we post a call asking for what your big takeaway was, so comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned. I read all of them and on Monday, I post the takeaway that really stood out to me. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram, by going to the show notes for this episode on ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. It's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we have the links to all of the references we used today, as well as the complete transcript of this discussion, which I think I'm going to be wanting.
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 Chere Clarke and Jenny Reader. You can find more information about these ladies at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by me and Katie Lambert. It's recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios and our executive producer is Aaron Hollstrom. Thanks for being here. We will see you next week, and please remember you are God's favorite.
[01:39:50] Chere: She had one sister younger than her.
[01:39:53] Jenny: Tryal?
[01:39:54] Chere: Yes.
[01:39:56] Jenny: Bless her heart.
[01:39:56] Tammy: Her sister's name was Tryal?
[01:39:58] Jenny: Yes.
[01:39:58] Chere: Yes, T-R-Y-A-L.
[01:40:01] Tammy: I don't care how you spell that.
[01:40:03] Jenny: That's Utah spelling.
[01:40:05] Chere: Maybe, it wasn't Tryal, maybe it's Tryal.
[01:40:08] Tammy: Tryal?
[01:40:09] Chere: Tryal.
[01:40:10] Tammy: I hope so.
[01:40:10] Jenny: It's so French.
[01:40:11] Tammy: I hope it's Tryal. She had a younger sister named Tryal-- Tryal?
[01:40:18] [END OF AUDIO]