12: “I Will Give You Rest” (Matthew 11-12, Luke 11)
What goes into making a winning team? First things first: you need to pick a team and sign up. And in today’s discussion of Matthew 11–12 and Luke 11, we talk all about the best team to sign up for. Because when you join Christ’s team, know the rule book, and put on His jersey—er, yoke—then you always come out on top. So let's study the game plan of what Jesus’s winning team looks like and accept the invitation He gives to come claim our spots.
Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)
Too Much to Carry Alone by Camille Fronk Olson
2 Nephi 9:41 (God’s path is narrow)
Matthew 11:28 (Come unto me)
Matthew 23:4 (We sometimes add our own burdens)
We all carry burdens—some resulting from our own sins and mistakes, some caused by the choices of others, and some that are nobody’s fault but are simply part of life on earth. Regardless of the reasons for our struggles, Jesus pleads with us to come unto Him so He can help us bear our burdens and find relief. (Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families)
Matthew 11:29-30 (Christ’s yoke)
Easy = usefully kind or suitable; serviceable, good and can mean well fitted (Greek)
Words of the Prophets:
Several months ago, Sister Osborn and I were traveling a narrow road in central Luzon in the Philippines, where I was serving as a full-time Regional Representative. We passed a farmer on his way to market. He was trotting along, carrying an enormous load of vegetables and produce hanging from both ends of a wooden yoke carried across his shoulders. I stopped the car to take his picture. After I snapped the camera, he lowered his burden in order to visit. I asked my friend if his load wasn’t really too heavy to carry a great distance. He replied, “No, it isn’t, because it’s balanced.”
“Doesn’t that yoke hurt?” I asked.
“At first it did, but I carved and sanded it with a rough stone, and now it fits and is comfortable.”
I noticed, also, that he had a small cloth pad that spanned his neck—I suppose to cushion the shocks of a rough road. (Spencer H. Osborn, “Service in the Church”, October 1984 General Conference)
You and I may call these intersectings “coincidence.” This word is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by “coincidence” but instead by “divine design.” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Brim with Joy”, BYU Speeches January 23, 1996) (Also quoted by Ronald Rasband, “By Divine Design”, October 2017 General Conference)
I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it. (Mae West, not anywhere in the scriptures)
Matthew 11:29-30 (Learn of Christ)
Luke 11:34-36 (The light is Christ)
If we are dedicated to our Savior’s glorious cause, then our whole body will be full of light (D&C 88:67). He is our light, so our whole life can be filled with his influence, and no darkness will persist in us. There is no life without light. (Skinner/Ogden)
Matthew 12:1-2 (Jesus plucks corn on the Sabbath)
CR: Luke 6:1
Matthew 12:3-8 (The true law of the Sabbath)
Luke 6:9-11 (Jesus heals on the Sabbath)
Matthew 12:11-12 (Do well on the Sabbath)
Words of the Prophets:
In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear. (Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight”, April 2015 General Conference)
By participating in these activities at church and at home, members can establish family traditions that will help nurture multigenerational families who are faithful to the Lord and who call the Sabbath a delight. (Gospel Topics: Sabbath Day)
Luke 11:37-39 (Clean the outside and inside)
CR: Matthew 23:25-26
CR: Alma 60:23
Words of the Prophets:
Over the years, my mother’s counsel has had enormous application to me in many different ways. It is especially applicable to the task of spiritual housecleaning. The aspects of our lives that are on public display usually take care of themselves because we want to leave the best impression possible. But it is in the hidden corners of our lives where there are things that only we know about that we must be particularly thorough to ensure that we are clean. (L. Tom Perry, “Discipleship”, January 2001 Ensign)
Cleansing the Inner Vessel for Spiritual Flow by Jerry Earl Johnston
I'm married into a major sports family. Like, they love their teams. My mother-in-law could give any sports fanatic a run for their money. Like she really knows her stuff. When we get together, there is a lot of talk about teams, players who got traded, who should leave the team and get traded, and discussion about what makes a team great. If the goal is to win, what makes a winning team? So today's discussion of Matthew chapters 11-12, and Luke 11 gives us some pretty cool insight into what Jesus's winning team will look like. And we can decide after today whose jersey we're going to be wearing.
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 our scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure you know how to use this podcast, so 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 study just like my friends. Oh, I love these two: DD and Steve Alberola . Oh, they are the greatest from Arizona. Hi, you two. I love and miss you, and then DD's sweet sister Lynette Peterson. Hey, Sis, I'm so glad I got to meet you. Now another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends. So it's a little bit different each week. And today we've got - oh this is fun - we have Courtney and Taylor Cotterell. They are my neighbors, they are my friends, they're married. And Hi, guys.
Hello. and thanks for having us.
Oh, gosh, thanks for being here. They're just like three doors down for me. How did you two meet? Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Oh, I'm going to take this one. So Taylor and I met - surprise, surprise - down at BYU where it seems like everyone who goes to BYU, lots of people meet each other there, and Taylor actually collected my fast offering. So the joke is, is that he served in Young Men's forever; the first probably 10 plus years of our marriage he was in young men's and I think it was just because he needed to help those boys understand the blessings that can come from......
Yeah. I have a testimony of faithful priesthood service, the blessings that come from it. So
Oh, my gosh.,
Truth be told Tammy, I kind of had a crush on his roommate. So, ya know.
Isn't that how it goes? Wow. That's pretty funny. I didn't even know people collected fast offerings. I went to BYU for two years, I would have paid it more differently if I had known .
You know, it's all about, it's all about just meeting other people in the ward. It's all about that.
And how long have you been married?
We've been married 19 years, just over 19 years, and we have five children. So they range in ages from 17 to 9. And we have four girls and a boy. Our boy is our second. And the kind of funny thing about it is that Taylor and I only have brothers, both of us come from families with just boys. So when we had these girls, there were lots of tears shed. And when I finally was pregnant with our fifth child, I looked at my son and I was just like, I'm so sorry, I understand. But this is the way it is.
And he is the coolest. My favorite is when he shows up to church sometimes with a mohawk. Or just kind of something cool on the side of his head. That's what I love about you guys: you just let him be a boy.
Yeah, he's a funny guy.
Oh, okay. Well, if you want to know more about my guests, you can read their bio and see a picture of their family in our show notes, which are at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. So grab your scriptures, your scripture journal, and something to mark them with because boy, are we going to dig in today.
Okay, so for this first segment, I've actually asked Taylor to teach it. Because last year, he spoke in sacrament meeting, and he told the coolest story and it just has stayed with me forever. And I, I always tell everybody I don't read the lesson ahead of time and then think of who the guests should be. Like, I look at upcoming episodes, and then the name pops into my head. And this is exactly what happened for this episode. So I was like, Oh, that's interesting. Matthew 11-12, Luke 11. The Cotterells. Then I read the whole episode, and I was like, Of course, it's the Cotterells, because this story is a perfect way to set up what we're going to study for the rest of the day. So Taylor, hit it. Tell us your awesome story and your connection to covenants. Here we go.
Sure, sure. Thank you. So like you my family is into sports. Courtney said that I just had brothers growing up. And I'm not exaggerating when I say everything was a competition that we did growing up: where you sat in the car, the order you got into the car, the order that you ate, like where you sat on the couch. Everything was a competition. And so naturally, we gravitated towards sports. And so I've always gravitated towards the teams and the universities that dominated. It's just fascinating to me watch just dominance and about 10, 15 years ago, I started hearing about this university in California. And they are known for the things that isn't quite dominance I guess is what you'd say, it's quite the opposite. It's a little little University called Caltech. (California Institute of Technology) There's about 2200 students there and they're in Southern California in Pasadena.
And as you look into the athletics, it's it's not great. And so I just started researching the school. And here are some of the feats that they had. In in January 2007, within one week of each other, the basketball team snapped an 11-year 207-game losing streak. And a week later, the women's basketball team snapped a 50-game losing streak. And so I guess to their credit it was a good week for them. They they both won. Similar timeframe their their men's water polo team went seven years without a win. The women's volleyball team lost their first 197 conference games. And all of this, not to be outdone, the baseball team, they were on a 228-game losing streak.
Holy cow. That is the worst losing streak ever. Like, this school is not known for athleticism. Is that correct? Am I understanding this right?
Absolutely. And I can't count to 228 sometimes. But so if you look closely, more closely at the baseball team, their player profiles. If you look at an athletics team, you go into, you can dig into each player. You can see what they've accomplished in high school and college and different awards that they've won and records that they broke and, and so on. What was unique about this on the baseball team, specifically, they had, each of them had specific sections called research and STEM activities, where they listed out different things that they were involved with when it came to the academics. And they were using terms like electromagnetic induction, and small decentralized robotic swarms. And on the sports page this definitely stands out. And so it draws into the what the purpose of Caltech is. The purpose of Caltech is not athletics. It's not to be a dominant athletic team. It is academics. And they are a non-athletic powerhouse.
Some people call them the MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology) of the West, where they founded and they currently run NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. They've had 76 Nobel Prize winners that either graduated from the school or taught at the school or have been affiliated with the school in some way or another. And that only trails their rival of MIT - they have 98. But they're ahead of Princeton's 74. And so their graduates anyway have have just founded multiple companies, and made amazing discoveries when it comes to Sciences and Technology, and so on. So if you go back to the baseball team, they understand their purpose. Their purpose is not to be on Caltech's athletic team, their purpose is the academics. And going to what you were saying earlier about that - what team our purpose here in life - it's not to be this or that. It's not to be so accomplished when it comes to athletics or profession or social media or have this type of page or that type of page.
Our purpose is to be on God's team, our purpose is to come in and show God our desire to follow His Son and be on Team Christ. And one of the things that stood out to me as I was thinking about this, is in 2 Nephi 9:41, where it says, "O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there;"
So that phrase "he employeth no servant there" really stood out to me as I thought about this Team Christ.
Tell me why.
He's the leader of the team. And it's up to Him to allow us onto His team and into the kingdom of God, ultimately. It's not anyone else; we don't have to pass any other judgments of man here on Earth, women here on Earth. It's based on our relationship with the savior, that "He employeth no one else there" is really the phrase that stood out to me when it comes to this.
That's a great scripture to cross reference to this idea. You know, as you said player profiles, it made me think. If I was teaching this to my seminary class, we would stop right here and I would have all of my students create their own player profile, because that was what I thought about your talk. Like, what would my player profile say about me? What would my personal stats be when all is said and done on Team Jesus, as we're gonna call it today? Because I, that, your talk was just really striking to me. What terrible statistics, how sad for this team if it's all about sports. And I love how you beautifully put that it's not, that it's about being on Jesus's team. And again, what would our player profile look like? How are we all doing? And what is our purpose here? Are we winning the Nobel Prizes for - I don't even know - spirituality? even if there is one. I don't even know
God's Nobel Prize.
Yeah, God's Nobel prize. I think God's Nobel Prize is a temple recommend. Could we say that?
I think that is it. I think I've, I have one! And I get a new one every year. Yeah, we're winning in that area. And so Courtney, there you are. You heard the same talk as me in Sacrament meeting and you're obviously married to Taylor so you probably knew what he was gonna talk about.
Tell me about that.
These stories always, you know, jump out at me. I never know what he's gonna say. But I mean, it's kind of interesting, because it makes you think like, what kind of fans do they have, you know? Like, who are, who are the fans that are, are their fans their parents cheering them on? Are their fans other graduates who have done these amazing things and understand how hard it is to be a student athlete and to be I mean, so amazingly smart? But it's kind of interesting. This morning I was thinking about this idea and it, it reminded me of kind of a visual that I had in Seminary back, you know, we're not going to say how many years ago. But years ago when I was in Seminary, and it just reminds me of that whole like analogy of the Savior just being there and rooting for you. And you know, we have the, you've probably heard of the backpack analogy where we have so many burdens, and one person's holding it, and you're, the Seminary teacher's having that kid hold it for however long.
Or another analogy where a person's standing there and they have a book in each hand, and they're holding it for as long as they can until someone comes up and takes their place. And you're just in all of those different instances, you're just thinking, who's always there? It's always the Savior who's there willing to help us, cheering us on, you know. We go through hard hardships, we go through trials, we go through successes and joys. And I mean, as a parent, you think about that, too. Like, I feel so deeply what my kids feel. And it's something that kind of has caught me off guard. The older I get it affects like my, my physical health because I'm just so invested in their lives and making sure that they, you know, are learning the things they need to learn. And it just makes me feel that that's the way my Savior is. He's just as invested, He's just there ready to help. And we just need to allow Him to, you know, come in and give us the comfort and the peace that we need. But in the end, we are on the Savior's team, and He is the one who's there cheering for us.
Ahh, I love that. He's invested in us and He's cheering for us. Courtney, that's what I wrote down right there as a note, I don't want to forget that. That was awesome. And of course, I'm having a million sports analogies. Listen, I don't know a lot about sports but from my beautiful mother-in-law and family, I'm imagining them being like, and no one gets traded, and the General Manager is not going to sell the team.
Right. It's true,
There's so many cool analogies you could do with this. But that's the overall theme for today's episode is we are on Team Jesus. And you know, when it comes to being a disciple of Jesus Christ, you know, I want us to think about what will your covenant path look like? What will your player profile say about you? Because we're going to discuss several aspects of what our focus is. Like this college, their focus is on scholastic stuff and not sports. And it kind of just makes us think right now, like, what is our focus on? And we're going to discuss all of that today. It's kind of like a personal inventory for us. And then maybe after today, many of us will actually break a losing streak. Maybe? I don't know. Or maybe we're going to continue on the right path. Maybe we don't have to change sports or anything like that. Maybe we'll actually win in this battle and have success. So in the next segment, we are going to, and we're going to discuss several aspects of this path and what we want to do to maybe change or take a look at our personal player profile. And we're going to do that in the next segment.
Segment 2 13:14
All right, everyone, turn with me. Here we go. Oh, I'm so excited for this discussion. Let's go to Matthew 11:28. We're going to discover the first step to the covenant path. And you guys, it's just three words. Okay, so here's what I want you to do. Grab something to mark your Scriptures with. We're gonna read it and when you see it, mark iat: the three words that invite us onto this Team Jesus, here we go. I'll read it. You guys mark the three words.
Matt 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." What are the three words that invite us?
Come unto me.
Yes, highlight that. Come unto me. Okay. Now Look back at verse 28. There is one word that I love, and I pass it every time I read it, because He is specific about who can come and it's just one word: come unto me all. Circle the 'all' there. This is so cool. "All ye". Now He's gonna give us a description of who that 'all' could be. And, Courtney, I want you to tell me right there, who can come unto Him in this verse?
Well, we all can. It shows us how much He loves us, right? He's not judging us. He's not telling us that, you know, you need to go stand in that line. And you need to go stand in that line, and this line here, you move forward, you're good. It's everyone that He's willing to help. And it's just really interesting because it makes me think of how many times I feel heavy laden in my life. Because it's so easy to read the scriptures and to understand and say, Oh, yeah. No, He gives rest to all for sure. But not me. Or, But I don't, I don't understand how to bring that into my life. He provides rest for everyone else, and it's easy, it's really easy, at least for me personally. It's really easy for me to see that for everyone else and sometimes it's hard to see it for myself. And that's something that I think is kind of like my, my overarching lesson I need to learn in life is, all of these invitations are not for everyone else. They're also for me personally, and just how that, it's, I don't know. It's just one of those things that I mean, it sounds so simple, but it's really hard for me to internalize sometimes. And
I almost want you to write where it says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, except for Courtney Cotterell. And I will give you rest."
Right? I mean it's so dumb.
I think you're right.
It is everyone, but it's just so hard sometimes to take that and be like, No, He's talking about me. Like even though my issues that I struggle with right now, are just, you know, maybe in the grand scheme of things aren't as heavy as others, right? Or maybe my personality makes certain things heavier than really they probably should be because I overanalyze or something, you know? It's just, it's just like, it's just a great reminder of that invitation that's always there from our Savior, just saying, No, come, everyone. He's not going to, you know, when He comes for the Second Coming He's not going to show up and, and go to a church building and be like, Actually, all of you on the first four rows, please come forward.
It's so fun because my daughter just recently said, "Mom, I'm gonna play this sport in high school." And I was like, "Oh, you've never played that before." And she goes, "No, it's okay. Everybody makes the team." And I was like, "Oh, that's fantastic. Do it." And I'm thinking right here, verse 28. Everybody makes the team; everybody, no matter who wants to come plays.
Team Jesus, He's always there for you.
Yeah. In fact, you don't even have to be the best; you can be, you can labor, you can be heavy laden. Like, I'll take you.
Go ahead. Taylor, you were gonna say
I like to, we took it the other direction. But I like the way it could read, "Come unto me Courtney Cotterell as you labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
inserting our name in there and make it a little bit more personal.
I'm going to do that right now. "Come unto me." And above "all", I'm gonna put my name.
Yeah, I definitely need to do that in my scriptures.
I think it's, it's the context is important here. Because the, as we look at the timing of Christ in His arrival, the law of Moses is now years, decades, centuries old. And on top of that, Pharisees and other leaders, church leaders at the time have added other man-made things onto the law of Moses, additional requirements. And if you cross reference Matthew 23:4, it says, this is Christ saying, "For they bind," referring to the Pharisees, He says, "For they bind heavy burdens and grevious to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." And so part of the labor and heavy laden that He's referring to specifically, here are these requirements that other people are putting on Him. And so when He says, "Come unto Me", He's saying, slough off all these other things. Slough off the requirements at that time of certain steps or certain things to eat or what not to do. And for us He's saying slough off these other things that just don't matter. Slough off what you see on social media, slough off what peers are saying or what you see on the news. Or slough off these things that just don't matter, and Come unto Me personally.
Taylor, I really appreciate that. I wrote that scripture reference, Matthew 23:4, and then I put "requirements or expectations" to the outside of that. I think you're totally right. That is heavy. That is labor for a lot of us. Courtney, tell me what that feels like for you , "labor and heavy laden".
It can feel a lot of different ways, right? We can we can feel maybe lonely or, I just think back of how in this time of the Savior's life you read all of these different stories of the many different types of people that Jesus healed. And it wasn't just there were lots of miraculous things, right? Like the blind to see, the deaf could hear. He was helping lepers be cleansed, and unclean spirits to be cast out. And then He turned to them and tell them to tell no man, which just shows me the amount of humility that the Savior has, right? He doesn't want everyone to just know. And I know part of it was because He didn't want to be followed and have these mass amounts of people so He could actually perform His ministry but....still, the multitudes would follow Him. But lots of us carry really heavy burdens that could be divorce or death, sickness, loneliness, addictions. We can have like financial and relationship types of issues and so many different things.
And like I said previously, I feel like so many of these things are just day-to-day life that just really stinks. We just really don't like the things that we're dealt in life and we know that that's what we signed up for when we came down here, but I think lots of us when we're in the midst of it, it's kind of like, Ah, dang it. I don't want to have to deal with this. And for me, one of the first times, where I remember kind of feeling this as a grown adult was Taylor and my parents both were serving as mission presidents, and I'm gonna get emotional talking about it. Because I remember those feelings so well. But I, like I said previously, we have five kids. And I had five kids in, the oldest wasn't even eight by the time the fifth one was born. So maybe a little madness, maybe, maybe. But we survived. But at the time, I had my third child, both of our parents were serving as mission leaders in,here in America. And but we were alone, they were far away.
And we, at, you know, when you're a new mom, you have these little tiny kids, especially when the oldest is three and a half when you have 3, three and a half and under. It's tricky. And Taylor was working. And he wasn't given a lot of time off just at the time. I was kind of carrying a lot of that weight. And I kind of had a moment where I was feeling just so overburdened. Like how, why, like, why? And Tammy, to be honest, I was not one of those girls who grew up dreaming of being a mom. Like I wanted to be a working woman. I wanted to have my day, like all these things that we're talking about, you know, being on Team Jesus and not having the world think that we're amazing. Oh, I wanted the worldly things. I for sure wanted to work. I wanted to be a businesswoman. I wanted to wear the suit. I wanted to be in charge, like, all of these things. And here I was, I found myself totally opposite, right? Just these lessons I keep learning from Heavenly Father, like, Nope, we're gonna humble you, we're gonna humble you.
So here I am just having this third baby feeling so alone, and so overburdened. And I had a distinct thought one day that I needed to really focus on what was most important. And those three things that came to my mind were that I needed to make sure I kept my kids alive, right? Like, that's, we got to keep them alive. So do all of the things to keep the kids alive. Another thing was I needed to support Taylor, and how I was going to do that was I was going to make dinner every day. And that was something I was going to do. And the third thing was that I was going to read my scriptures every day. And you know, for someone who loves a good checkbox of lists of things to do, and I love accomplishing things, it was, it was very humbling to sit there and go, Okay, these three things. If I do these three things each day, I'm, I'm going to be fine. And this is going to be an "accomplished day" for me.
And just to have that kind of perspective change of like, No, I'm doing the things that Heavenly Father wants me to do. I'm supporting my husband and our family. And I'm helping these kids and helping raise them. And I'm also trying to improve on my own spirituality. So I don't feel so lonely and so overburdened, you know, taking care of everyone by myself. And that was, that was a really big moment for me, one that stuck with me for sure.
Well, Courtney, thank you for sharing that and for being transparent about that experience. I think there's a lot of us that can relate to that. Nothing prepared us for it. I always laugh, like I didn't go to college to be a mom. And I'm not getting paid for it, either.
It's just, it, and while my husband's doing things to support the family on his end, I wasn't ready to raise kids and, and that heavy, that labor and heavy ladened? Yeah. That is lonely most days.
Well, and later when I had my fourth baby, I realized I had been dealing with postpartum depression that I didn't know anything about. And so by the time I had my fifth child, I mean, I was in the doctor's office, like telling him I was pregnant, just sobbing. Like, how am I gonna do this? And doctors are fantastic, and we we were good for the fifth. He helped me out and we got, we got what needed to happen happen. But man, when you're trying to figure life out, and then you have those added things on that you just don't really realize are there, it can be really lonely and it can be really tough.
Yeah. I appreciate that you brought up the word lonely, because I think that that is significant to the Savior saying, Come to me. Like if you feel alone and you have no one, again, He's like you said earlier, He's there to cheer us on. He's the greatest coach of all time. So at least you know you're not alone. Wow. I've never considered verse 28 being the message of that.
Tammy, one other thought that actually coincides with that loneliness. President Nelson, in this last Conference, gave a talk "Overcome the World and Find Rest". And he tied 'rest' to 'covenants'. When we keep our covenants we can find that rest. And that sent me down a little bit of a rabbit hole. And this, Matthew 11:28-30, has been quoted 15 times or referenced 15 times in the last three years of General Conferences.
Oh my goodness.
And if you look at the print, and it only had been quoted six times in the previous 10 years. And so if you look at what we've been through in the last couple years with the pandemic and, and all the challenges and struggles that have come with that, and the loneliness that have come with that and trials. They're, the leaders of the church have really done a good job of pushing us towards the Savior, come to the Savior. He can give us that rest.
Wow, I appreciate those stats, you are a sports guy. I've never known that. That's really cool about those verses. And it makes sense for the world we live in today. Okay, so here's what I want everyone listening to do. Just take a quick minute, and in your journals or on a piece of paper, I just want you to write down everything that you are heavy ladened with, or that you want rest from. Just take a minute and write all of that down. Because I think it'll be important to have that in your head as we discuss everything today. I really like the Come, Follow Me manual, this is interesting. It's, this is what it says about the burdens we carry. And Courtney, will you read this for us, please.
Yeah, it says "We all carry burdens, some resulting from our own sin and mistakes, some caused by the choices of others, and some that are nobody's fault, but are simply part of life on Earth. Regardless of the reasons for our struggles, Jesus pleads with us to come unto Him so He can help us bear our burdens and find relief."
Thank you. So in the next segment, we are going to discover what the Lord offers to those of us who labor and are heavy laden, and we will discuss that next.
Segment 3 26:36
Okay, we're still in Matthew chapter 11:28-38. We just have to take a lot of time to discuss these. There's so much packed in these three verses. And Taylor, I appreciate that you pointed out how often has been used in General Conference in the last three years. That is so cool. So let's go in because I have to say this, if I was teaching Seminary, this is exactly how I'd start it. We're going to study the most famous quote that Christ never said. And I want you to finish the quote for me. "I never said it would be easy
I LOVE this scripture.
Tell me this scripture : "I never said it would be easy.
I only said it would be worth it.
Yeah, He never said that. He said just the opposite in these three verses. So and I'm laughing because I remember that as a kid growing up, it was in my Seminary building. And you know what? You know who actually said that quote? You're gonna die.
Who's Mae West?
She is an old-timey lady who like, was in the black and white movies when they finally got to have sound. She was sort of this seductress. And she would invite men. I know. She would invite men to come on, she's one who said, "Why don't you come over and see me sometime?" She really said that. She said, "I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it." Is that awful that somebody put that
Oh, my goodness. Well, I've seen that printed under pictures of Christ's Second Coming photo.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay, let's be clear. He never said that. He said exactly the opposite in Matthew 11:29-30. Now I have a picture to show you that, this is so cool. And I want us to connect this picture to these verses. And will you describe to everybody what you're looking at?
It looks like, so a man has a big wooden, not a beam, but a big wooden stick across his back and carrying. It, to me it looks like he's going home from a long day's work. Selling, potentially selling something on the side of the street. He's carrying all of his all of his goods, all of his setup, going, maybe going back home for the evening, but it's it looks heavy. It's weighing him down. He's, and there's a long path ahead of him too. It looks like there's no, no turn off anytime soon. He's gonna have to be carrying that for a little bit.
Yeah, it's a great description. Courtney do want to add anything to that description?
Yeah, Well I would just say it's just an older man who's walking in shoes that maybe are a little worn. And he has hands on both sets of strings that are holding these heavy baskets along with that beam, a beam across his back that's balancing everything. And it just looks like really heavy probably, kind of hunched over a little bit and no end in sight of his path.
Absolutely. I encourage everybody to go to the show notes. So you can see this picture because this is, what he has on his back is called a 'human yoke'. This is a yoke. There are scholars who believe that maybe the Savior was referring to this type of yoke when he said, "Take my yoke upon you, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Now it is absolutely possible, and we have taught this before that it means to be equally yoked with Christ and it could mean that. But I do appreciate that Camille Fronk Olson, she wrote a book called "Too Much to Carry Alone" and the entire book is based on this premise that the Savior is asking us to take His own personal yoke and to remove the one we've been carrying our whole life because Hs yoke is easier to carry. She actually shares a very cool story from Elder Spence H Osborne.
Elder Osborne told this story in the October 1984 General Conference, you can also read it in the November 1984 Ensign. He tells a story about how he and Sister Osborne were travelling through the Philippines. And while they were there serving as full-time Regional Representatives, they pass this farmer on the way to the market, and he's trolling along and he's carrying these enormous load of vegetables and produce hanging from a wooden yoke, just like the man you saw, and each side with a basket. So they stopped the car they were in to take a picture of this man and ask for permission, can we take a picture of what you're carrying? And so he then took the yoke off of his shoulders so he could have a discussion with them. And Elder John, Elder Osborne said to him, "Is it so hard for you to carry that like, isn't it really, really heavy?"
And the man said, "No, it's not because it's balanced." And then they said, "Well, does the yoke hurt?" And the man said, "Well, at first it did, but then I carved and sanded it with a rough stone, and now it fits and it's comfortable." Then he says he also noticed the small cloth pad that was on his neck that made it cushiony for shocks and for a rough road. And then Elder Osborne said it wasn't until he drove away that he thought of the Savior's invitation found in Matthew, "Come Unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Again, "my yoke is easy, my burden is light." Now, tell me right now. I want you to connect this, how does this visual image of that human yoke change our understanding of this verse?
Well, for me, I would say every time I've thought of a yoke, or growing up, when people talk about you being equally yoked with Christ, we think of those oxen yolks. So to see this picture, and to kind of take it in this different context, I mean, it changes it 100%. Right? Because Christ is taking every, He's willing to take everything that's on our shoulders and take it on His. And I don't know, I'm kind of sitting here in like, awe a little bit. Now it's kind of like mind-blowing moment like, oh, yeah, that really does change things.
Let me do this with a word in verse 30. It said, "For my yoke is easy." Now, this is kind of cool. The word 'easy' in Greek means 'usefully kind or suitable, serviceable, good, and it can also mean well fitted.' Now, isn't that interesting? For my yoke is easy. My yoke is kind, it's suitable, it's serviceable, it's good. And my yoke is well-fitted. Wow. Now that changes everything. Because then I'm like, my yoke isn't, of course, it's heavy. It's so uncomfortable. I haven't even, like I don't want to carry this anymore, right? Like, everyone has been carrying this heavy burden. You're like, there's nothing serviceable about my yoke right now. I need Christ's yoke.
As you're saying, well-fitted as being a description of easy, I appreciate that our burdens and Christ's yoke is well-fitted, because we all have different edges that need to be polished off. And we all have different things that are working. And I've seen that as we've, as I've had different struggles and trials and problems through my life, that they have ultimately come around to be, being for the good. And what is well fitted to me may not be well fitted for someone else. And so I'm grateful. I'm grateful for that insight. The other thing is, as you think about yoke, in ancient cultures yoke is also a form of submission. And so as we put on that, on Christ's yoke, in a way we're submitting to Him, or if like we were talking about all of last year, you know, letting God prevail where it's a way for us to really follow Him and follow isH path. Be on His team.
Yes, that's so good. And then again, He's the greatest coach ever. Like He's like, No, you're not doing that right. You're making it too hard. Come on, let Me show you a much easier way, a more effective way to play the game, right?
Absolutely. He's a coach. He's a player. He's the cheerleader. He's, He does it all for us.
So I asked you guys this question to think of in preparation for this episode and I just want to know, has the Lord ever taken your yoke? I mean, do you have an experience where His yoke was easy and His burden was lighter than what you'd been carrying?
Yeah, Tammy, we have had many of those experiences. And a few come to mind, but probably the most formative one that I've had recently; a couple years ago, and within our business, it was, we were evolving. We'were changing the way we've done business for a long time up to that point, and it caused some pretty significant growing pains within the business. And as part of that, and then significant growing pains for our income, our income dropped substantially. And it was about a two-year period where we were really relying on the Lord to get through. And like Courtney said, we with five kids who are very active and busy and involved with lots of activities. It's not cheap. And it got to the point we were talking and thinking about where, where do we need to move to, what do we need to do to make it through this and to survive?
And the lessons that I learned from that personally, it felt summarised, when we....During the Christmas season we like to do things that, where the kids can get to know the Savior and the Christmas season. And one of the mornings during this very heavy time we were reading from Mark 4. And this is when Christ and the apostles were on the ship, and the storm was coming in, and they're being tossed within the storm. And one of the apostles came to Christ and said, "Master, carest not that we perish?" And I had never vocalized that in our setting. But as we read that it felt like those were my words, that I was talking to the Lord saying, Don't you care what we're going through? And as you keep reading the next verses says. Christ says, "Peace ,be still." Of course He knows. And being far enough out of that now, we see amazing blessings that have come from it. Our kids are, they are ambitious, they're willing to go out and earn some money.
Tammy, you probably remember this time because or my kids probably knocked on your doors trying to sell you cookie- my son had this cookie subscription business selling all sorts of things. But it taught them work ethic, it taught them the value of money because we were open with them about this and what we were going through. And you know, the situation that we find ourselves in now is just great. It's, but without the trial that we went through, we would not be in the situation that we're in now. And so it's just a testament to me that I can rely on the Savior, I can rely on God. What I'm going through may be very, very painful and uncomfortable, but my testimony is that, I know that what comes out on the other end will be well-fitted for me.
Wow. Taylor, thank you. And thank you to both of you. And Courtney, you haven't shared yours yet but I'm just gonna thank you right now, because to be transparent and willing to share your own experiences, it's a lot. And so I am so grateful you're both willing to share what this looks like for you. Because it's hard for people to understand how do I do this, though? How am I able to give this to the Lord and I want Him to, I'd love to trade out yokes. But I don't know what that looks like. And Taylor, yours is a great example where this moment where you really did think, Do you even care? Like it seems like that was a turning point where you asked Him, "Do you care if I perish?" And I think we all have those moments. So Courtney, tell us about yours.
So personally, a few years ago, I had to like unlearn some things about myself, that I had believed my entire life. And the tears come because it's still something that I struggle with on a regular basis. But it took a lot of praying and trusting, lots of tears, lots of talks to Taylor, explaining why I'm the way I am, why I do the things that I do. And to be totally upfront, I received great help from an amazing therapist that kind of helped me turn things around. And it's still a work in progress. I would say lots of the pain and the anguish and the hurt that came from kind of the self-discovery has been worked through. I mean, I have, I felt a deep sense of love towards relationships with other people that I have that were struggles. And, and it's just tricky, because still I know that I've done the work and that this is something that is just so difficult.
Like Taylor said, I, lots of times it's kind of like that natural man approach that comes up and it's like, well, why me? Well, haven't I suffered long enough? Lke, and for me, it's like, well, I've done all the work. I've done all this work. I've done the hard, I've done the bitter, I've done the pain, I've done the hired help, right? like with the therapist. Like I've done all of the things that I feel like I need to do, but still I find myself like, what do I need to learn when this pain resurfaces? Like what is that lesson that I still haven't learned? I thought I've learned this time and time again. And it's just tricky because it will pop, this pain will pop up at unexpected times. Different things will happen in our family's lives, or I'll be reminded of some memory, something that just makes it very difficult .bBcause it's kind of like a slap in the face of like, oh, yeah, remember? you deal, you deal with this and it's not over, right?
But I think knowing that it's continual growth and realizing that change can happen, and change needs to happen. And I signed up for this, right? Like, this is the thing that I was like, oh, yeah, I'll take that. I'll take that trial. Like let me take that one, that's fine. But just again, like learning the things, like doing the things that I've learned in therapy. But mostly just praying to Heavenly Father and just saying, You know, I just thought this was gonna be easy. And it still, it's just so hard. And realizing that He cares, He does care. And sometimes, yeah, you feel totally abandoned. And like, this is just the worst thing ever that we'd have to endure. But I will say that through these trials, you know, like Taylor said, it kind of has shaved off those rough edges. It's made me more empathetic, I hope I'm a better mother and a better wife and a better friend because of it, and a better neighbor.
And it's just, it's, it's caused me to kind of realize that, like, life is not all peachy all the time. Like, and if I'm struggling with something where, you know, probably most people would look at me and think I'm a pretty like, I'm just a regular person who's living a regular life, where deep down I'm, I struggle with this hurt and this pain. And it just, you know, as a good reminder that everyone has something, everyone probably has multiple things that are happening. And this kind of overlapped at the same time as Taylor's work stuff. And, and so we're both sitting here looking at each other. I'm looking at my husband, who's trying to basically, you know, rediscover himself. And we both were struggling in that financial place, obviously. And grateful we had followed church leaders' council to be prepared, because that's how we survived. And that's how we didn't have to move. And we didn't have to really change our kids' lifestyles because we, or the things that they were participating in because we had prepared for this.
But I mean it's hard, life is hard. And there's temporal things that can make it tricky, and there's personal, spiritual things that can make it tricky too, So, I don't know. It's nice knowing that Heavenly Father is there, that we can pray to Him and that Christ is there willing to take on that burden. And there were so many times for both of these things where I would just turn crying like, why, why? Like, why does this have to happen right now? And why do we feel like this burden isn't being taken from us really quickly? I mean, it'd be great if this were just like a few days or a few weeks or a few months, but it was years, Tammy. And when you're dealing with something that's a really hard trial in your life, no matter what it is, I mean, it affects you and can affect you for a lifetime. And that's sometimes a hard thing to grasp and to swallow.
And, Tammy, if I can jump in real quick on one other thing, what Courtney said. It reminded me of a, well, there's another experience and how the Lord prepares, prepares, I don't know about off-ramps, but He prepares soft landing sometimes with our trials. He prepares opportunities to find rest. And we we just recently found out that a family member has breast cancer. And the weekend that, she got the call late on a Friday night. And the "coincidence" in air quotes is that she and her family had set up an appointment six months before that, to all be in the temple together that morning on the following day on a Saturday, because her oldest just got home from a mission. And her youngest just was ordained a deacon, and so they, the whole family was able to be in the temple that day.
And coincidentally, our family was also in the temple that day with our youngest, our second youngest who is now able to go. And another brother and his family was able, coincidentally, to be in the temple that day. And it was a real testament to me that the Lord prepares us for these trials. He knew what was gonna be happening that weekend. And we'd all set up time or set aside time to be in the temple to receive His comfort and receive His peace.
Wow. Thank you, Taylor. And thank you Heavenly Father for coincidences. Or, you know, perfectly timed moments. That's great.
Wwas it elder Rasband that taught there are no coincidences.
Yeah. And Elder Maxwell: no such thing as a coincidence. Just perfect timing of God's, God's perfect timing, right? Oh, wow. Thank you to both of you for sharing that. And, Courtney, I'm just gonna ask you this question, because I had this thought, and I'm wondering if this is true. Do you feel like when we're finally ready to just deal with what the yoke has been on our shoulders is when we take it off? Like I'm imagining me going, No, I'm good. I'm fine. I can handle this. I got this. But was it that moment that you decided to get help go to a therapist and really deal with it that you were like, Okay, I'm tired of carrying this.
Yes, yes. And it's hard work to lift it off. Because you have to, you have to kind of accept these realities and these truths that you don't really want to accept. You don't want, no one wants to admit that life isn't perfect. Like who doesn't want to admit that? Lke
And it is ,like that is actually a really, I've never thought of it like that. And that is 100% true. Because once you feel like you're kind of on the path to recovery or on the path to changing and growth and, like, you get to that low, low, low spot where you feel like, Okay, Heavenly Father, like, come on Christ. This is the time where I need You. I've kind of been putting it off, but I'm ready to put in the work for sure it feels lifted.
I think that's, I have that visual image as you described that, and I think that for so many of us is how do I start? Acknowledgement.
Going back to what Taylor said, Really do you care? "Lord, carest thou not that I perish?" Oh, He cares. He's the greatest coach in the world. So thank you.
Yeah, and a lot of humility that I feel like that's where you really have to put off the natural man and you're like, K, all my pride is gone. Come, this is where I need it. .
Yep. Thank you, both of you, that that was a great discussion. So let's look back at Matthew 11:30, we're gonna look back at this verse, because in addition to taking His yoke upon us, we are asked to do one more thing. And we're gonna talk about that in the next segment.
Segment 4 46:01
So this is kind of fun. In fact, Courtney and I, we actually shared a calling for a little bit. I was not a big fan of, Courtney's really good at it, though. Courtney, what calling did we share?
Well, let me just say, first, that I could have been better, but we both were the ward organists.
She is an organ player. I am not so much. We know how hard that was for me. Hello. Remember how many, twice, twice I played chimes and bells in the middle of the Sacrament hymn. My finger accidentally slipped and hit the button.
That's the problem. You just accidentally hit those buttons and it changes Dang it.
Ohhh, it was so bad, it was so hard. It was so hard for me to learn how to play the organ. Okay, but I did it. And so I'm just wanting to know from either one of you, has there ever been something hard that you had to learn?
Well, Tammy, what I would say to that is, I served a mission in Germany. And learning German was not easy. It's definitely not Chinese. Our kids are learning Chinese, all of our kids are learning Chinese. Well, it's not Chinese, but and I lived in Germany as a kid. So I'd had some familiarity to German in Middle School. But you get thrown into the MTC where you're, all this pressure of being a missionary and learning how you teach the gospel. But learning it in a different language, and my companion, I felt like, to me it felt like he was fluent. And he was so far ahead of me. So I was just spending all of the MTC trying to catch up. And he was so kind and helpful in helping me but it, even once I got into Germany for a couple, it felt like for a couple months, I was still nervous to engage with German speakers.
Kind of goes back to the pride thing, because I wasn't very good yet. And they would ask me a question, I have no idea what they're asking. And so I just chose to be quiet instead of speak out. But what, well ultimately, I did get continue to get better. But my companion was just talking to me and say you just need to talk. You just need to do it and get your lumps. You'll have some embarrassing circumstances. And you just get over it and then you'll progress. So I followed his good advice and ultimately got pretty good to where I actually taught German in the MTC.
That's a great example. German. All right, what about you, Courtney?
Oh, dear. I don't know if I really have one. Because let's be honest, I probably abandoned everything that I'm not really loving to learn. But you know, I mean, I guess like this goes kind of way back. But there were definitely certain subjects in school at BYU that, you know, you have to take all those generals, and there are certain things that you just don't like. Some things your brain doesn't totally comprehend and, you know, it's just, you have to put in hard work, even harder work when it doesn't come naturally easy. And also, you also have to have a little bit of grit. Because chances are you don't really want to spend your time learning about physical science, if physical science is not your thing, you know? For me that was probably, it was probably a science or. No. I took geology at BYU. Very interesting. Not my most favorite subject. We will say that.
There it is. Okay, geology in German. You guys,yYou gave such good answers. K, so
But neither of us are learning Hebrew.
Well, I mean
That is very true.
Listen, now that.........that's been really hard, but
And I'm grateful you are, Tammy. Thank you for sharing the Cliff Notes version with us.
We all benefit from that.
I don't have to play Hebrew in front of my entire congregation. So. K, so you guys said you just have to do it. You have to just talk. You have to take some lumps sometimes. Courtney, I like your answer that you have to be willing to put in the hard work, put in the time, and it takes grit. And sometimes your brain doesn't get it and that's okay. You've just got to be willing to do it. Okay. I want you to remember all of these answers for what the Lord tells us to do in verse 29. So go back to Matthew 11:29. This is so cool. And you're answers were just perfect. You couldn't have set that up better. Matthew 11:29 it starts, here we are, we're back at "Take my yoke upon you", and what does He tell us to do next? "Learn of me:"There it is, underline that, learn of me:"
Okay. So how do we do this? And I'm gonna go back to your answers. In order to learn of Christ, you have to put in the time, put in the hard work. It does take grit, and sometimes your brain doesn't get it. Is that fair to say about the Savior? Oh, gosh, for sure. Right? Sometimes you have to take some lumps trying to learn about the Savior. And sometimes you just got to go back to what Taylor said, sometimes you just got to do it. Make it the goal to learn of Christ. So my question is, and I want to talk about this, how do we do this? Is there an experience you've had or how have you learned of Christ? Do you have one thing you've done to help you do it?
I will begin and I will just say that for me, again, going back to having five little kids, and that just meant constant busyness all throughout the day, I really looked forward to the day where my kids were in all-day school. And I hate to say that, but that youngest going to, hit preschool and then going into kindergarten, and then finally in all-day school, I felt like I would have so much time, right? Everyone tells you you have so much time. Well, that's not totally true. But it is true to the sense that I have, I did have time to prioritize some things that have been really important to me. And one of those things has been attending the temple on a regular basis. And, um, it's been something that I've had to do on my own. I go, you know, it seems like up until this point in our marriage, Taylor and I would go do an endowment session or go do sealings together, and it'd be like a date night, right?
Well, now I have more time in my schedule so I'm available to go during the day when Taylor's working, and it's been really cool. Um, it was really hard when the temple closed, because right before the temple closed down for COVID, I was a pretty, you know, regular temple attender and all of a sudden to have that gone. And just to feel the peace in the temple, and, you know, it's pretty, pretty awesome just going. And now I'm, I wouldn't say I'm like, they know I'm coming, but maybe some of them know I'm coming. When I went yesterday, a few of the ladies were like, Sister Cotterell, right? And I was like, Oh, we're friends, you know me, this is awesome. So but just having that and being able to feel like a little bit, a little bit closer to the Savior. You know, not on a Sunday, not at church. And doing it for me, not for anyone else, not with anyone else has been just a really good experience for me.
Wow. That's a great example. Well, let's do this. So let's go to verse 30 now, where at the end of verse 30 it says, "For my yoke is easy." We know what that means. Here it is, "and my burden is light." Highlight the word 'light'. And we're gonna put a cross reference to that. I want us to put a cross reference of Luke 11:34-36. I'm going to read these verses. And as I do, Taylor and Courtney, I want you to connect these three verses back to when the Savior says, "My burden is light". Okay, here we go.
Luke 11:34 "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, the whole body is also full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body is also full of darkness.
35 "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.
36 "If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light."
Now, a couple of weeks ago, we had a guest, and we connected the word 'light' to Doctrine and Covenants where it says that "the light is Christ", He is the light. So if we go back and read this, when He's saying, If thy whole body therefore be full of Christ, having no part of dark, the whole shall be full of Christ, as when the bright shining of a candle deaf give thee Christ or light. So connect that back to my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. What is he teaching us there?
As I look at that, and think back on what we've been talking about earlier about the yoke, and how it is essentially a way that as we take on Christ's yoke, we are able to let God prevail in our lives and get rest. And like President Nelson talked about it's we get rest through covenants, and the blessings that come from those covenants. And as you're reading that, Christ's reference of that "He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the light" also came to mind. Like He is, he is the path of those covenants. And when you walk that path, then we do have, we're both, we are a light to the to the world, but our burdens can also be made light.
Great connection, Taylor. thank you.
I was thinking about this, I was thinking about a prism. So I don't know if you've seen a glass prism before with a flashlight or some sort of light shining into that prism and how the prism expands, and the light comes through in a rainbow of colors. And it slows, and it bends, and there's different wavelengths that bend to different angles. And that bending and that separating is what causes the rainbow effect that you get. And it just makes me think like, how are we like this prism? Like we have that light of Christ with a flashlight coming to us, and we in return can then help others feel of Christ's light and His love for them. And we can magnify that light, we can choose to magnify that light, or we can choose to, you know, turn that flashlight off and not allow that to kind of come through and shine through us. And you know, Tammy, for me, lots of times I'll take all of these things that we talk about at church. And it's really, it, it's a testimony builder for me when I can connect the dots, to take the things that I learned at church and be able to know how I personally can use them in my life and my sphere.
And so for me, this would be, you know, maybe something I've actually learned from Taylor is talking to strangers. Our kids used to always ask, How Does dad know everyone? And he doesn't, he just talks to everyone and makes them feel like they're friends. And so you know, maybe it's just talking to someone who you can kind of tell is having a bad day, at the grocery store or wherever or just being that light for your kids, that soft landing for them when they get home from school. Or a friend or, I mean, there's so many different things that we could do. We could be of service to others. But I just really think that that's really what Christ wants us to do is yes, we hear about the light, you know? Shine your light, put it on a candlestick, don't hide those talents. Don't hide all those things under a bushel, we need to make sure that we're, you know, allowing those things to shine through. But really, when you do add that Christ aspect to it of the light is Christ, how can we know the things that we know and not act differently?
Right? Absolutely. Wow, thank you to both of you. This made me think and I appreciate it so much, Andrew Skinner and D Kelly Ogden in their manual, for specifically for this scripture. I like how they said this. It says, "If we are dedicated to our Savior's glorious cause, then our whole body will be full of light. He is our light. So our whole life can be filled with His influence, and no darkness will persist in us." But then this part right here, you guys. "There is no life without light." There is no burden without Christ, like He is in everything when we when our eyes are on Him. When we are learning of Him, and understanding about Him. And going back to what you guys said, when you're willing to put in the time, the grit, and to just do it. Like it, it makes sense. "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." And so I just love that message in these three verses. So it really is this Team Jesus. And I'm just gonna keep on saying like,
I think our mascot might be a yoke. I think that would be it on our, a big yoke with a light shining all around it. How cool would that be?
I'm sure someone out there can like make necklaces or tie pins, or you know,
Spmebody do that, make a flag "Team Jesus "with a yoke and a big light shining behind it? Ah, it's so good. Okay, this is such a fun discussion. I didn't even know that we'd spend this much time just on three verses, but how could we not. It just, it's packed with so much goodness. So in the next segment, we're going to discover something specific that we can, in this proverbial gym that we're practicing in with Christ that will help us train for a major winning streak.
Segment 5 58:24
When I was in Israel, we happened to be there on two Sabbaths. And in the hotel that we stayed in - and this was so fascinating to me - there were four elevators, and on Shabbat, which is Jewish Sabbath, there was only one for non- Jewish people. And then the other three were strictly just for Jews. And I was like, What is the difference? And here's what I found out. The one that was for us, you could push the button and it would take you to the floor. The other three were just elevators that you would walk in, and you would have to sit and wait until it was ready to go and the doors would close automatically and it would stop at every floor because it's against their Jewish observance to push a button to get something to move for you or work for you. So there are Jewish elevators on their Sabbath. And that just really blew my mind, because the Jews have a huge long list of things they cannot do on the Sabbath. Like for instance, you can't even juice a lemon because no extraction of any kind is allowed with the fruits or anything.
And so knowing all of this, it's going to take us into a story in Matthew chapter 12. Let's go there, verses 1 and 2. You want to know this information about a Jewish Sabbath: the Sabbath is the most quoted commandment in the Old Testament. Like it's very serious. And the Lord is like, if you can just keep this commandment, this is how you're going to learn with Him, right? You're gonna think of Him. It's very, very important. And so here we have an example of a Sabbath day and something that the Savior and His apostles did. So Taylor, will you read verses 1 and 2 for us, please.
Sure. 12:1 " At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
2 "But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day."
Okay, we've got to fix a couple of words. The actual translation, verse 1, you read that and you're like, Oh, okay, so they pluck some corn and they ate it. It's not actually corn. So the word 'corn' is grain. And they didn't pluck ears of corn, they took the ear of grain out of the sheath. Now, how did they do this? Let's go to Luke 6:1; you can cross reference those two verses with Luke 6:1 here gives us a little more information about what they did. And Courtney, will you please read for us, Luke 6:1.
Luke 6:1 "And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands."
And now that rubbing them in their hands is important in this. So it's actually grain. And what the rubbing in their hands was, is it was, they were passing through a field of grain, and they were being, they were so hungry. So Jesus and His disciples grabbed grain in their hands. And some Rabbi saw this. And what they did is they rubbed between their hands, these heads of the grain. And that's considered threshing. And then it blows the chaff away.,and then what's left in your hand is the grain that you can eat. And it's what we would use as our wheat that we then grind into bread. Does that make sense?
So when the rabbi saw this, they consider that winnowing and you're not allowed to do that on a Sabbath day. So let's do this. Let's go back to Matthew chapter 12. We're gonna go through a couple of these verses and tell this story because we're gonna talk about Sabbath observance. Now, we are not going to talk about what you can and can't do or what we do or don't do on the Sabbath. We're going to teach you the principle of the Sabbath, the three of us together, because it's such an important message in this story. So they get upset at Him in verse two, and then I love -bracket off verses 3,4,5 and 6, because the Savior says, didn't you read what David did? Because he pretty much broke the Sabbath day in Old Testament. He's citing scripture reference here. And He's saying, what about the priests who work in the temple that ate the bread? Like, you can't, like He's giving, citing examples they're very aware of. And then He says to them in verse - and I love how in verse 6 he says, "But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple." It's me. Everybody loves me. I love Jesus so much. And then verse 7 and 8; Courtney, can you read those for us.
12:7 "But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 " For the Son of Man is Lord, even of the sabbath day."
So He teaches them, 'I just want people to be kind, I want kindness.' And then He has the opportunity to prove it. Now in verse 10 it tells us there's a man with a withered hand. I like the rendering of this story better in Luke chapter 6. So let's go back to Luke again. We're going to read verses 9-11. And Courtney, can you read those verses for us please.
Luke 6:9 "Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
10 "And looking round upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
11 "And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus."
So the Savior heals this man. And look at verse 11. How did they react? I love that word.
Yeah. They're freaking out, right? They're so upset that He would even heal somebody. Now go back to Matthew. Matthew 12:11 and 12. Taylor read that for us, because here's the Savior's response to them and their madness, I think it's awesome.
Matt 12:11 "And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 "How much then is a man that better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days."
Highlight that at the end of verse 12. "It is lawful to do well,on the sabbath days." Here's a great quote by President Nelson and it's one of my favorite 'keeping Sabbath day holy' quotes. He gave this in April conference of 2015. And it so beautifully connects to doing lawful on the Sabbath days.
"In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn't until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of do's and don'ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, What sign do I want to give to God? That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear."
Thank you. I think that's awesome. "What sign do I want to give to God?" What is lawful for me to do on the Sabbath day? Go back to verse 12, both of you, and it says, "it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." Do you think the answer is different for everyone?
Tell me about that, Tailor. Why?
Well, that that's the line that stood out to me through the study of this as well, to do well. And in my view, as I've thought through that and think through that, and it's stuff that that we're trying to do as a family on the Sabbath and individually, we've never really said, Hey, you can't do this, you got to do that. We try to guide the kids. There are a couple of things that we do that maybe others don't, but, and vice-versa. Some think we're too stringent on one thing, but not stringent enough on the other. That doesn't matter. It's it's what the guidelines that I've tried to follow is the spirit . Am I feeling the spirit when I'm doing this? Am I feeling love and peace? And the way it as we look back to when we were kids and there were those lists, and there were the things that "that's not on the list, so I can't do it", or t"hat is on the list, I can do it, but maybe I shouldn't do it" in this context. It just, it felt a little bit kind of like the law of Mosesey.
And the, if we look at the way Heavenly Father and Christ have been pushing us the last few years really, to with the home church and doing Come, Follow Me. And they're really trying to teach us to get the Spirit, follow the Spirit and make our own decisions, even as recently as this last conference with the new "For the Strength of Youth". I love that, I love the way it's being taught now to the kid, to our kids. And really just following guidelines and principles as opposed to prescriptive.
Excellent answer. Yeah, just doing well; do well on the Sabbath. That is, that is what the key to keeping the Sabbath day holy. In fact, I almost think that if we, I'm imagining us, and here we are. We're at our first team meeting with Jesus. And He's like, Alright, first things first. This is the one rule I'm gonna ask you to keep: just keep the Sabbath day holy. Can you do that? like, more than anything. More than working out throughout the week, like that's the basic rule He's going to start with. I think that might be the qualification for making it on Team Jesus, because it's the one thing repeated throughout the Old Testament. Just keep the Sabbath day holy, but again, to do well, and it looks different for everyone. I'm grateful for that. Because I do know this, according to, to the way that Jews practice. If you are a doctor, it's okay to work on the Sabbath. And so there are provisions for Sabbath-keeping in that realm. And so many people have questions. But again, it's, it is your definition of "to do well", and it is your definition of what sign do I want to give to God on my Sabbath day? And I think that can guide us. So,
Yeah, Tammy. You know, it's interesting, under Gospel Topics under "Sabbath day", I really like the last line. And it just says, it talks about different activities. And you know, like taking the sacrament and things like that that we do at church. But it just says that, "After all of these things, by participating in all these activities at church and at home, members can establish family traditions that will help nurture multi-generational families who are faithful to the Lord and who call the Sabbath day a delight." I just think that's so great. Like the choices that we make in our own personal families are going to have multi-generational consequences, or make, the things that we choose to do, it can make it, the Sabbath a delight for multi generations. Like that's so cool.
And not a day to dread. That's a great thing. I'm so glad you shared that. That might be a really good question to ask my kids or ask everyone like, What do you do on the Sabbath's delight in Christ? Without saying, Here's what we don't do, like, because we do have early church now and we come home and we have a whole day.
Oh my gosh, yeah.
I want to have that discussion. Like, okay, what can we do to delight in Christ on Sundays to make it a day that we delight in?
Well, and there's so much that the church provides through their website. Like you think of all of the different broadcasts and the different multimedia things that they have that you can participate in that are just like, we have time for all these amazing things. Let's make good use of our time.
Yep, absolutely. Oh, this gives me a lot to think of. So thank you. Thank you. Okay, well, here we go then. So as we end our discussion about the ways that we can be on Team Jesus, we have one final challenge and we're gonna discuss that in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:09:28
Okay, so we know you're parents have five children. I want to know who washes the dishes in your family.
Oh, you know, everyone has a dish night. And actually Taylor cooks on Sundays and does the dishes, and that's amazing.
That IS amazing.
I make the kids do the dishes, but they get done.
No, we all kind of take our turns.
Have you ever had to rewash? How are their washing skills?
Yeah, we've had to rewash or if people have unloaded dishes that are not clean. That's always fun. Oh, that is Oh, I thought it was clean. Like do you not see the food?
And you go to the scavenger hunt of the entire kitfchen and they find all the dirty stuff.
Oh, totally 100%. Okay, now this question may be primary, but I want you to answer it. Why would it be bad idea to wash only the outsides of things,like bowls and cups?
Well, it wouldn't be clean.
Kind of clean
Well, but the the part that you actually use I guess is the inside part.
You're totally right. Okay. Very good answer. Turn with me to Luke 11:37. We're going to see what this, what this discussion has to do with the Scripture. It's so cool. Luke chapter 11. And we're gonna look at verse 37. Okay, in verse 37, we get to see the setting of the story.
Luke 11:37 "And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat." So He's at a dinner party. Another one apparently. I love the stories at dinner parties. And then we get Luke chapter 11 and verse 38, and 39. So Courtney, will you read those for us.
11:38 "And when the Pharisees saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner.
39 "And the LORD said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness."
Ohhh. Brutal. And there's a cross reference you can put to this. It's Matthew 23:25, 26. That's where Matthew writes the same story. And I kind of like the wording that Matthew uses in Matthew 23:25, 26. Taylor, will you read 25 and 26?
Matt 23: 25 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."
Okay, thank you. Now, this is a great story about the importance of what is clean - our outside or our inside. I mean, there are so many great analogies we could put with just human nature and who we are as people. We're gonna put this cross reference and you could do this next to Luke or Matthew, wherever you are in your scriptures right now. The reference is Alma 60:23. Moroni is speaking in the Book of Mormon, and he also gives his own version of cleaning the cup or the bowl. Let's go to Alma 60:23. And Courtney, when you get there will you read that for us.
Alma 60:23 "Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed, also."
Thank you. Now this is kind of cool, this idea of a vessel. K, and you know what's interesting is that in Hebrew, the word for plates or cups is vessel. And so this idea of cleaning the inner vessel and making sure it's clean, but what I thought was so unique is there's a really great article in the Deseret News from back in 2011. And the author of this article points out that the word 'vessel' doesn't necessarily, to him It doesn't mean a container. It means it's about transportation, like a blood vessel, ocean vessels. Like it's getting something from point A to point V and what ?point V.
Wow, that's a long journey! (laughter)
actually it could be, you bet. Actually, I'm goona keep that, point A to point V, because some of us are on that long journey. And you know what? We're carrying precious cargo. It's the spirit. Is our vessel clean? In the Scriptures when it says that we need to cleanse our inner vessel, what does that look like in everyday life though? Is there something specific you've had to do to cleanse your inner vessel? Or to make it a little bit more clean? Because you are carrying precious cargo?
Yeah, you know, I think that for me, I am one who can easily get sucked into social media. And I had to have like a little "come to Jesus moment" as I call it with myself. You know, you hear all the time like social media is so bad, but there's also great things about it, which keep me on it, which I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But you know, there are accounts that when you're done following them, unfortunately for me, personally, I feel like trash when I'm done. Like, I noticed that my thoughts - I know that Satan - this is his way to get me is he's like, Oh, we're just going to make her think that she's not good enough. And she needs to do all these extreme things to change herself and, and so I've had to really just mute lots of accounts. I've had to unfollow some and it's been kind of one of those things where you know, you're like, well, it's nothing personal on them. It's just the way that I internalize the things that I'm ingesting from social media and how that affects me.
And you know it's, if it's something that I read, and then my mind just tends to grasp and hold on to it for sometimes long periods of time, it's like, Okay, that's the, that's the sign for me that things need to be wiped clean and we need to kind of start fresh. Because no one wants to walk around feeling like Satan's on their shoulder telling them horrible things about themselves all day.
Wow! Courtney, I love your litmus test for trash. That is yours. "If it's in my mind and stays with me for a long time." That is so good. And everyone listening, who's on social media knows exactly what you're talking about. So thank you for using that example. That is awesome.
So as you're explaining the analogy earlier, Elder Perry's talk from years ago, and I only remember it because of the way he says 'corners'. He was talking about how his mom taught him to clean the kitchen. And he said, Well, she taught him that if they swept in all of the 'carners', that's how he said, it, you sweep in the corners, then if all those edges are clean, then the center of the room will also just naturally be clean. Because if you're paying attention to the small things on the outside, making sure they're clean, everything else will be clean. So that's, that's something that just came to mind as you're explaining that.
But I, an experience that I've had when I was in college, living with a bunch of roommates, it was so fun. We had a lot of fun, we're all going to classes and it felt like music was always, there was always music on of some sort. And not all of it is probably Sunday-worthy music. And I was in the temple one day and I had a song going through my head, I couldn't get out of my head. And it was not appropriate for the temple. And I committed to myself that I need to be a lot more careful about the music that I listen to. Number one, because it impacts me. And number two, for whatever reason, my mind just holds on to things. And I still to this day wake up in the middle of the night, and this song's going through my head that I heard three days ago, and I can't get it out of my head. So just being a lot more careful about, and this is just one example, but be a lot more careful about the music that I'm I guess subjecting myself to and making sure that if it does get stuck in my head, that it's some, a message that I want going through my head for days, potentially.
Wow. Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. I agree with you. That's mine that I thought of. Because we live in a day and age now where we have access to so many TV programs, and so many movies. And seems to be my Achilles heel, I have got to just get it in my brain. But I always think, Oh, I'm mature enough to watch that, like I'm an adult, like, handle it, I'll be fine. And I ended up watching something a week ago. And then I was in the temple. And in my mind flashed one of the scenes and I was like, I am not mature enough. for this. I have got to stop it. So at that moment, I made a commitment.lLke I will never again, like I'm done. This is my parameters of what movies I will watch, what ratings I am willing to go above or like, I'm never doing that again. And I just, that is gonna be my consistent, like, just cleanse the inner vessel. I've got to knock it off, like I'm not mature enough and I never will be. And so maybe I'm gonna be on the JV team forever, I don't know how to make it up to varsity, but. Cleansing that inner vessel and, and what that looks like for every one of us.
And so my challenge to you listening, right now - and I would venture to guess everyone listening had something pop in their heads of what they need to do to cleanse their cup and their bowl, the inside out. Because it is carrying precious cargo, from A to V, really long distance. Still got a ways to go until we meet our maker and the GM, the General Manager of the team. But I think when we do it's going to be such a glorious day. And I think there'll be some serious fist pumps and hugs. And "Great job, you did an awesome, awesome job on that Team down there." So, thank you to both of you. This was so fun. This is the end of our discussion. You guys.,
Oh, Thank you.
Okay, so do this. Now just kind of gather your thoughts. Look through everything we studied today, and is, did you have an aha moment? Or is there a takeaway or just something you will use throughout this week? Just anything. What's your takeaway from today's discussion?
Well, I think that picture, that image of that man carrying that yoke by himself is going to kind of make a lasting impression on me. Because so many times when I think of the yoke, it's just the picture of the two oxen, right ? That I'm carrying it alongside Christ, when instead I'm going to willingly give up my burden and let Him carry it. And I'm gonna walk beside Him, actually, while He's carrying it.
Ah, I like that. Wow, that's cool, Courtney.
For me it was, it was the definition of light that you helped us understand. And specifically the some of the words that use there of useful, I think usefully kind, serviceable, well-fitted. That it doesn't mean that they're going to go away. I was thinking of in the book Mormon, we hear it a couple different spots that Christ doesn't take away our burdens, but He strengthens us to be able to endure them. And, and in a way, that's how they become light; that we're strengthened through them and they're tailored for us.
Wow, that's a great answer. Okay. Well, that's it. You guys are awesome. Thank you so much for giving me your time this afternoon.
Yes, I really enjoyed that.
Oh, oh, those were great takeaways. I am so anxious to know what you guys have learned from this episode. So if you haven't joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do that. Because it's a great place where you can just post things you're learning throughout the week. And you can even ask questions as you study and I try to answer them. And so does this whole community. They answer each other's questions, which makes it really fun. And then at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we post a call, which is going to be a question from this specific episode. So go on and give us your answer and tell us some of your thoughts. Comment on the post that relates to this specific lesson and let us know what you've learned. You can get both to our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. And it's a really good idea to go there because it's where we're going to have the links to all the references we used today, as well as a transcript of this whole discussion and a glue-in, which will be the picture of the yoke and you can put that in your scriptures.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Desert Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our really great study group participants were Courtney and Taylor Cotterell. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me; it is edited by Hailey Higham, and recorded then mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please remember, Team Jesus. Because you are God's favorite.
Tell me about that Cotterell.
I called you by your last name, like I normally would. Sorry,
Tell me about (laughing)
I knew you were talking to Taylor,
We're totally at a basketball thing. 'Tell me about th,at Cotterell.' Alright, try this again
Transcribed by https://otter.ai