13: He Works in Me to Do His Will (March 23–March 29)
Have you ever wondered if your prayers make a difference? Has your soul ever hungered for an answer to a question? In this week’s Sunday on Monday study group, we’re going to study the purpose and meaning of prayer as we dig into Enos, Omni, Jarom, and the Words of Mormon. In fact, we’re going to look at a recipe based on Enos’s prayer that will help us find answers to our own prayers.
Enos 1:1-4: Who was Enos?
Enos was the son of Jacob, Nephi's nephew, and grandson of Sariah and Lehi.
He is also given charge over the plates and was taught in the language, nurture, and admonition of the Lord (Enos 1:1). What does this mean?
Nurture: Instruction that promotes growth.
Admonition: Instruction in duties; caution; direction.
We also know that Enos:
He was a hunter (Enos 1:3).
He was seeking forgiveness of his sins (Enos 1:2).
His “soul hungered” (Enos 1:4).
Lutte: The French word for wrestle, fight, or struggle (see collinsdictionary.com).
Bible Dictionary Definition of Prayer:
“As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings” (“Prayer,” Bible Dictionary, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Enos 1:4 Steps of Enos’s Prayer:
- He kneeled.
- He engaged in mighty prayer. (In Hebrew, "to cry" is to utter a loud sound for help.)
- He asked for supplication, which is a prayerful petition, earnest request, for his own soul.
- He cried all day long.
- He cried into the night.
What can we pray about?
“18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.
“19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.
“20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
“21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
“22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
“24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
“25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.”
Recipe for Receiving Answers to Prayers
- Mosiah 26:39: “pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.”
- Mormon 9:21: doubt nothing
- Enos 1:11-12: struggles, labored, diligence
- Enos 1:8,12: faith ("help thou my unbelief" Mark 9:17-24)
- Enos 1:9,11 and 1 Nephi 1:5, 15: pray for others like Lehi and Enos
- 3 Nephi 18:20: ask for that which is right, doubting nothing
Do prayers matter?
James 5:16: “. . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much.”
2 Nephi 32:9: “Pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee that the performance may be for the welfare of the soul.”
Are prayers necessary?
“Prayer is nowhere specifically commanded as a duty in the law, and prayers were not prescribed at the sacrifices except on two occasions: a confession of sin on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:21) and a thanksgiving when offering the firstfruits and tithes (Deut. 26:3, 13). It is, however, certain from the nature of things, and from the custom in later times, that prayer accompanied sacrifice” ("Prayer," Bible Dictionary, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
President Gordon B. Hinckley said this of prayer:
"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him. What a marvelous and wonderful thing is prayer. Think of it. We can actually speak with our Father in Heaven. He will hear and respond, but we need to listen to that response. Nothing is too serious and nothing too unimportant to share with Him. Pray to the Lord with the expectation of answers. . . . The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another" ("Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley," p. 114).
Amen: It doesn’t mean “over and out” or “I agree.” The word "amen" derives from the Hebrew word “emunah,” which means faith and trust and the Hebrew word “aman,” which means confirm, support.
Facts about Jarom:
· Jarom is the son of Enos, grandson of Jacob.
· He had the gift of prophecy and revelation (Jarom 1:2).
· Jarom received the plates from his father, Enos, and recorded the Nephites’ struggles and blessings over a period of approximately 40 years.
· Jarom didn’t record his own prophecies and revelations because he believed those recorded by his fathers sufficiently “revealed the plan of salvation”
· The book of Jarom is the shortest book in the Book of Mormon.
· It provides details about the growth of the Nephite civilization.
Jarom 1:9: Jarom is telling the reader that the Lamanites were numerous (more numerous than the Nephites) and bloodthirsty. But Jarom’s kings and leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord. When the Lamanites came up against the Nephites, they did not prosper because the Lord’s word was verified.
Verify means to establish the truth, accuracy, or reality of.
The Book of Omni
Omni was given the plates by his father, Jarom.
The Book of Omni contains the writings of five different Nephite record keepers and covers approximately 193 years.
Omni 1:12-13 tells us about a man who lived in the land of Nephi and was warned by the Lord to flee out of the land of Nephi.
Lehi wasn’t the only one brought to America. After King Mosiah and his followers fled the land of Nephi, they discovered a group of people who were called the people of Zarahemla (also called the Mulekites). Besides the Mulekites, Lehi’s group, and the Jaredites, there were likely other groups of people who came to the American continent. The Book of Mormon does not claim that it is the record of all peoples who inhabited the ancient Americas. President Anthony W. Ivins (1852–1934) of the First Presidency said:
“We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon teaches the history of three distinct peoples … who came from the old world to this continent. It does not tell us that there was no one here before them. It does not tell us that people did not come after. And so if discoveries are made which suggest differences in race origins, it can very easily be accounted for, and reasonably, for we do believe that other people came to this continent” (Anthony W. Ivins, in Conference Report, April 1929, 15).
This book is a historical account and it serves as a bridge between the small plates of Nephi (1 Nephi–Omni) and Mormon’s abridgment of the large plates of Nephi (Mosiah–4 Nephi). Words of Mormon was written by Mormon and was handed to his son Moroni.
Guided by the Spirit of the Lord, Mormon included the small plates with his abridgment of the large plates. He did this “for a wise purpose,” according to the Lord’s will (see Words of Mormon 1:4–7).
A Wise Purpose
"When Joseph Smith began translating the Book of Mormon, he started with Mormon’s abridgment of the large plates of Nephi—the secular history. Martin Harris, who was the Prophet’s scribe for this portion of the translation, lost 116 pages of the manuscript. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that wicked men had obtained those pages and changed the words (see D&C 10:8–10). If Joseph had translated the same material again, those men would have claimed that he was not a prophet because he could not translate the book the same way twice (see D&C 10:11–19). The Lord told Joseph not to translate that part again but to translate the small plates of Nephi that Mormon had included with his abridgment of the large plates (see D&C 10:30–45)" ("Introduction to Words of Mormon," 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“Obviously it would be exciting if someone were one day to find the lost 116 pages of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. But whatever those pages contain, it could not be more important or more fundamental to the purpose of the Book of Mormon than the teachings . . . recorded on the small plates” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon , p. 35–36).
Words of Mormon 1:13-16 describes a difficult time: The Nephites were fighting with the Lamanites, there were false prophets, false Christs, false preachers and teachers.
Words of Mormon 1:17-18: Much sharpness was used "because of the stiffneckedness of the people."
In May of 2005, President Oaks spoke to a group of youth (18-30) and I like how this relates to Jacob:
“A message given by a General Authority at a general conference—a message prepared under the influence of the Spirit to further the work of the Lord—is not given to be enjoyed. It is given to inspire, to edify, to challenge, or to correct. It is given to be heard under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, with the intended result that the listener learns from the talk and form the Spirit what he or she should do about it" (President Dallin H. Oaks, "The Dedication of a Lifetime," BYU Speeches).
Segment 1 0:00
Wow, oh my gosh. These have been some crazy weeks. Holy cow. I cannot believe all that has happened in the last couple weeks, the last couple days. I just want you to know we are here for you. We are going to keep recording and we're going to keep studying and I encourage you to do the same. You got this.
I just think it's fascinating, never has home centered, Church supported been more real than right now. So you got this. Keep studying your scriptures, keep teaching your family, and whatever that looks like for your family is the right way. For me and my family, we came up with such a great plan with the kids home from school and we are going to just study the Scriptures every morning at breakfast, and we're going to listen to 10 minutes of my podcast, and oh my gosh, we did it for one day, and it was pretty awesome.
A great discussion, and now we're going to try and do it again. But that's going to work for us, so do what works for you. Just keep on keepin on, study from the scriptures, get ready for your Sunday together as a family, and just engage in some great conversations, and come back every week because we have some really great guests coming up, and we're gonna have some really great discussions about the scriptures.
Two weeks ago, my guest and friend Holly asked a question about prayer. She said, "I don't get it. I don't understand how prayer works." And I told her I would answer her question, and I actually didn't do a very good job of it, but then I assured her if she could just hang tight for two more weeks, I would answer her question. So Holly, this is for you and anyone else out there who wonders about prayer and wants to learn all they can about it.
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.
And I have to tell you my favorite thing about this podcast, so it's really cool because it's broken up into six segments. I didn't realize how awesome this was until my sister told me that she and her family listen at dinner eating and then boom, Come Follow Me, or "Aunt Tammy" for 12 minutes. I guess anyone can handle my voice for 12 minutes at a time, or you can listen to the whole all at once.
However you do it, we're just so glad you're here with us today. We're also here with two of my dear friends. I get to have Sara Sargent Williams and Riley Jensen, and these two people I love so much. I almost want to cry a little bit when I say how much I love them because we've known each other forever, right?
Feels like it.
We did some hard time didn't we?
Hard time in the Singles ward.
No question. We were there entirely too long.
I was supposed to be there. I didn't meet my husband in the singles word, but I met some great friends that influenced my life for the good and that's why I needed to move to Utah for a decade. So thanks.
You're welcome. Glad we could help you through that time. Here's a unique situation about what we're doing right now is that there aren't two other people I'd rather be with here in my bedroom.
Yes, that's right.
We're recording this from my bedroom and how crazy is that? A week ago I had an unexpected accident. I dropped a plate on my foot, perfectly severing the tendon to my big toe, and now I'm on two weeks bedrest, I have to keep my foot elevated, no weight bearing, nada, zip, zero. And we were like, "What are we going to do?" And I thought, "Well, we could just record it from my bed."
So make sure you guys go check out the show notes because I'm here with my dear friends and they're sitting next to me. And I just thought, "There's nobody else I could pull this off with than you two cause you're so easygoing, and you're hilarious."
So go check out the show notes because also in the show notes will be BIOS about my guests. So you can read all about Riley and Sara and see pictures of them, and maybe they'll include pictures of their cute families because we're all a hopeful story. We did get married and we did have kids, much later than we planned.
Much later than my patriarchal blessing made me think.
Well, and I have to give a shout out to my anesthesiologist who listens to this podcast. So hi Dr. Timmons, and hi to the whole Timmons family. So thank you for listening and thank you for taking such good care of me in that room My foot's healing and I'm feeling a lot better.
Well, this is a great episode because this week we're going to talk about Enos, Jerom, and Omni in the words of Mormon. You know, at first it doesn't seem like it's a lot to study because really the chapters are so, so short. But like I said in the beginning, they're just packed with goodness. So let's go ahead and get started and we're going to jump right into Enos chapter one. And Riley for whatever reason, when I thought about studying this book a long time ago, you came to my mind.
I love this book, I love Enos. Number one because he's kind of this manly man, right? Like, he's going out to hunt beasts, but he's also spiritual, right? So scriptures like this really speak to me because number one, you can be spiritual, and you can hunt beasts, and you can do this and you can be who you are supposed to be.
Yeah and in fact, what makes this book so interesting is just understanding who Enos was, and his background, and just turn the page back to Jacob chapter seven, verse 27 because I think it's important for us to have a little bit of understanding of where this Enos character is coming from, and Sara, will you read verse 27?
"And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu."
So Jacob gives his plates to his son Enos, so Enos's dad is Jacob, but I think what's so interesting is that then who's his uncle?
The Uncle Nephi and Grandpa Lehi, right? Like no small pioneer stock is come from...
I mean all three of those saw the Lord, that would be like, how do you measure up to Jacob and Nephi Lehi like? No wonder he sometimes felt unworthy.
Totally. Absolutely. And, you know, it's really interesting because there's two words that he uses in verse one, and go to Enos chapter one, verse one, because I like the way he uses these words. And Riley, will you read verse one?
"Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—"
Tell me about that, Riley.
I mean, obviously you told us that we're going to talk about Enos before we came here, but that's what and you just brought up like another thing that I really felt interested in is that this is the son of Jacob, his grandfather is Lehi, and he's feeling weak, but he's trusting in his father to pass this down to him. He's like, "I'm not sure if I'm worthy. I'm not sure if I'm the best person to be the steward over this, but I'm gonna go on your faith for a minute, and hopefully mine comes around. And you know what, I'm gonna go to the forest and I'm going to pray about it right now because this is overwhelming," right? And I don't know why that just hit me so hard, but I think it's because the older I get, the more I look back at like stupid mistakes that I make or do dumb things and I feel like I'm hypocritical.
Right, like you feel like, "Oh, well, I love the gospel and I love this so much, but man, I have all these things that I mess up." I'm not always the perfect father. I'm not always the perfect husband. I'm not always the perfect person to everybody. I'm trying. He gives me hope.
Well, it's really cool because Riley as you were reading that it made me think there's two words in that verse that we have to mark and know what they mean and they are "nurture" and "admonition." The word "nurture" means "instruction that promotes growth," but the word "admonition" means "instruction in duties and cautious direction." And that's what you do as parents, you're raising them to grow but you're also giving them caution. "I know what I've done. I get it, listen to what I..." and that is what he's saying about his dad. "My dad taught me in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Yeah, I love that. And I love that obviously his dad and I'm sure Uncle and Grandpa have taken opportunities to have teaching moments to make that impactful because sometimes we just talk too much and it's just words, and then your kids say, you know, "Are we talking about Jesus again?"
"Yes we are." But if you can make it count so they're actually receiving the message, not just hearing the words.
Sara, I like how you said that, "We're talking about Jesus again?" And we're like, "Yeah, we are."
And in verse four, we're going to read what prompted Enos to say this prayer. Sara, will you please read verse four?
"And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul..."
I'm going to stop you right there, and I want to know, what does that phrase "my soul hungered" mean to you?
I think that it means that it's some overwhelming need, not just a small thing. I mean, and everyone's small thing is important to them, but there's been times in my life where I've needed a little help here and there and I make sure to say my prayers, but then there's been times that I've been trying to draw a miracle down for either from me or my family. And those are the times that you know, you're into it 100% with all of your energy, all of your thoughts. I mean, you're just physically craving some help.
What about you, Riley?
Yeah, I like that word "crave," like, because there's different points in our lives, right? Where we're really trying to find that connection, and there's other parts where life gets busy and fast, and my kids are really good kids, but my goodness, I'm tired, right? It's hard to get focused on and I'm just trying to be the best I can to get through that day. And then there's other days where like, "I can't wait to talk to you Heavenly Father about this cool experience that I had and tell him what's going on."
I think about myself, and I can't help but think of this because I'm with you guys, but how many times my soul hungered, as a single woman in the church. And I think about how many times Enos says, "...the times I kneeled down, the times I cried, the times I went to him in supplication." And then that, like you said that craving that hungering to have answers to my prayers or to have a connection to go, "Am I doing it right? Is there something I'm missing? I think everybody experiences that at some point in their life and the beauty of the book of Enos is that he experienced it, and then he's going to tell us how to get through it.
In the next segment, we're going to talk about that, and we're going to understand what the word "wrestle" has to do with getting these answers to our prayers.
Segment 2 10:09
Riley, I have a memory of us being in the Singles ward, teaching a class or something and saying that Enos was one of your favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. Like, is that right? Or am I just making that up?
Well, it certainly had an impact. But I think maybe the thing that I shared with you in the Singles ward a long time ago is I remember specifically reading Enos for the first time and having the words just jump off the page to me and being really impactful on my mission.
And in Enos one, verse two, he talks about this "wrestle" that he had with God, and for some reason it was new and I was trying to learn the French language and I'm like, "Lutte? I don't know, what is lutte?" Then I looked it up and I'm like, "Wrestling, like what cool imagery."
Like he's wrestling, like he's fighting against, he's uncomfortable with, he's talking to the Lord and wrestling and wrestling to me also means that like, there's an extended period of time. Right?
So to me, I imagine Enos being in the in the woods for a long time that day like, "Hey I need an answer like, I'm pleading with you for an answer." And I just remember having like, really just kind of some irreverent prayer sometimes, like wrestling back and forth with the Lord. And I can just imagine him laughing at me like, "You have no idea how great this life is gonna be for you. Just Just take a deep breath."
"Yeah, I'm in charge," but understanding the timing of the Lord is I mean, maybe that's true with wrestling matches, it's you know, if you don't pin somebody you go for a certain amount of time and but the time is determined just not by us. And that was a hard lesson for me.
And for those of you listening, you need to know that Riley is the resident sports man of Utah. This guy knows his sports and so it's interesting that you're here talking about this wrestling because I have no schema for wrestling other than trying to wrestle my siblings in the 1970s/80s. Sara, same right?
It's still very applicable.
Still very applicable, but talk to me a little bit about this because you learned that word and it struck you, it did not strike me the same way. When I read "wrestle" in Enos I'm like, "Mhmm that sounds about right." But for you as being the "sports man" that you are, what role does this word "wrestle" play because let's in fact read verse two, and tell me what role the word "wrestle" plays in what he's trying to do in verse two.
"And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins."
I mean, as you read that "wrestle" sticks out to me because I feel like he's going back and forth, like we talked about, but I also feel like, it indicates a passion for wanting to know these answers, and if you want to compare it to sports, like, I actually feel like as a mental performance coach and as a sports psychology consultant, that what I deal in is fear.
And if you think about the opposite of fear is faith. He was wrestling with the Lord because he had faith. When we're wrestling with the Lord and we're questioning the Lord, we don't have to think that as, "I don't have faith." I think it's that we do have faith, and that we're that we're actually going back and forth like, "I know you have the answer to this, help me out."
And I think the phrase "even if" is a faithful, is a faith promoting phrase instead of "what if." So instead of "what if," "even if."
"Lord, even if this is not the answer that I want to hear, I want to hear it." Sara, you were in the NICU you with your babys and I was in the NICU with a 25 weaker who's just my miracle child, and I had friends who lost children, and I don't mean to minimize that because my child happened to be a miracle, but how powerful is it to think that even if things are bad, you're going to feel the power of love. You're going to feel me.
You know and sometimes for me when I think of "wrestle with the Lord," I just think of, you know, I was starting a marriage, I was 38, it's something that all I ever wanted to do was be a wife and a mom. Turns out it's a lot harder than I expected. A lot more hands on.
Yes, way harder.
So when we were single and we told people like, "I just don't know what I would do with all that happiness." We were right?
Yes, I was absolutely right.
But, you know, that was a 20 year prayer. I tell that to my kids in primary, I teach the singing, and that's always my story about prayers like 20 years, I prayed that prayer. And there was a lot of times I made the best of it and I had fun and I had faith and there was a lot of times I was super discouraged, and the only thing that got me through was a priesthood blessing from a friend or my brother, my dad, fasting, just to get to the point where you could be okay with it again for a while.
Unknown Speaker 14:51
And I love that it goes back to what Jacob said about Enos was that he had promised obedience. And I love that because I like to say I hope I do it as much as I say I will do it is to, you know, don't say, "Well, if you only mean, you might," and he just had total faith in his son that he had promised obedience that you'll keep these records, which was super important to Jacob and to me. I'm so glad he kept the records.
What you guys have just talked about in your stories have reminded me of this word that we have to use as we study about prayer today. You cannot teach a lesson or study prayer without looking up the word "prayer" in the Bible Dictionary because this is one of my favorite definitions. In the Bible Dictionary, find the word "prayer" and I want you to go to the paragraph that says, "As soon as we learn the true relationship..." do you see that paragraph? It's on the second column, and it's the very last paragraph at the bottom, and whose turn is it to read?
Sara hit it, will you read this paragraph.
Now this is the key, read this.
“As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them."
"Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings” (“Prayer,” Bible Dictionary, ChurchofJesusChrist.org)."
I love the idea that prayer is a form of work and when I think of wrestling, I don't know a lot about sports, but in my mind, I'm imagining wrestling seems like the sport that requires the most amount of physical, mental, all in, opponent on the ground, it just seems so involved...
Yeah, every muscle, every toe, every finger.
Every bit the whole entire time. You don't get to stand and wait for a pass or anything like you're in it the whole time, right?
I wasn't a wrestler. So you're looking at me as like the expert on sports but it really is really difficult both mentally and physically. And when you talk about prayer, sometimes I think right now, like we say a prayer, and the answer doesn't come, we're like, "Okay, well, I guess I'm done."
I hope that we'll remember that we're spiritually like, we're gritty. Like we keep asking, and we keep trying, and we keep bobbing and weaving and throwing punches and wrestling and whatever sport analysis you want to throw in there. Like we're trying to get answers, and we're trying to be good people, by being tenacious for the answers to our question.
Right. I mean no one wants a 20-year answer, but sometimes that's what it is.
But sometimes it's the only way that we can understand it.
And it makes me appreciate more of my marriage and the relationships I gleaned during that time have been life changing for me.
That was a really incredible discussion on prayer, and I'm so grateful for both of you being willing to be vulnerable and share your thoughts and feelings because I feel like a lot of people listening really get that, especially when we talk about the 20 year prayer.
Well, this is a good place for us to start because we are now going to get into the nitty gritty and the depths of Enos's prayer, and then we're going to talk about how to receive answers to our own prayers in the next segment.
Segment 3 18:10
We just had a really great discussion about Enos and the wrestle or the work that he engaged in during his prayer. And now I think it's worth noting all of the things he did, what that work looked like, and when I teach seminary, I'll put up on the board, "Recipe to receiving answers to your prayers," the steps that we can take to receiving those answers.
So we're going to do that and we're going to talk about how to have our own answers, and so if you're listening and you have a prayer, something that you've been praying for for a while. Enos chapter one, verses four and five are really special to me because when I was teaching in the women's prison, we had a day where we shared our favorite scripture and whenever a student would share a favorite scripture with me, I will put their name in my scriptures because I want to remember, and so this sweet woman named Pat, on June 21, shared these two verses: "And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens."
"And there came a voice unto me, saying..." and then she put her own name in here, she said, "Pat, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed." And I love that because here's this woman seeking parole, and she knew that she had sinned, and for her to read those verses and believe with all of her heart, that she could be forgiven.
That was a game changer for me because I love the verse she read, verse six says, "And I, Pat (or Enos), knew that God acould not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away," and it was for her, and I saw the atonement in action, better than I ever thought I would by working at this women's prison.
And she did the steps in verse four, she "kneeled down before her maker." Let's mark these in this verse. "...kneeled down before her Maker, cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul..." How long? "...all the day long did I cry unto him...and when the night came I did still raise my voice."
So here are the four things or four parts to the recipe that I think we need to mark in verse four because number one, Enos says, "I kneeled down before my maker." Number two, "Cried unto him in mighty prayer." Number three, "And in supplication for mine own soul." And number four, "All the day long did I cry into him," and then I like this fifth one, "And even at night, I did still raise my voice."
Like those five steps right there are things that we can incorporate into our own life as we think about things that we're praying for.
So Tam, what exactly does "supplication" mean?
That's a really good question, Sara. I like that you asked that because I think sometimes we can just read over it and we think we know what it means, and I think we do in our minds, but I really like this definition of it. So when it says "he cried unto him in mighty prayer," we understand that, and supplication, this is beautiful, it's the "action of asking or begging for something earnestly and humbly."
And I think the idea of begging for somethingm, that idea when we come to pray, I think resonates really with me, I have begged.
Unknown Speaker 21:20
I feel like the times I've begged, it's been for other people that need help, you know, for help, or sickness or survival. And maybe it's because I don't feel like I can beg for myself, I don't know, I've never really thought about it. But that's the memory that comes to my mind is in asking for other people and trying to bring a miracle down for, you know, this person or that person.
Yeah, I think it's interesting as you read that "in supplication" and maybe praying for other people that there's a humility that's involved in it. I can't remember what you said earlier but it was something about maybe not feeling comfortable to pray about something, but whatever is important to us is important Heavenly Father, right?
Yes Riley, and I love that you said that because that's the first thing we need to talk about when we talk about receiving answers to our prayers with the recipe. That's the first question kids ask, "Well, what can you pray for?"
Go to Alma chapter 34, verses 17 through 27. What can you pray for?
Repentance, mercy, your fields, your flocks, your household, all the things really.
Yeah, there is not anything you can't pray for. And now turn the page to Alma chapter 37. Since we're here, it's worth doing. Alma 37 verse 37 because this is really incredible. And Riley, will you just read that first kind of sentence?
I don't know if I can. You just picked my favorite scripture.
"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
Why is that your favorite scripture?
When you're counseling with him you're moving in a direction and he can steer you to where you need to be. And I want to be lifted up with the last day. What's more beautiful than that? I want to come forward and see his face.
And this beautiful thing about counseling with him, that word, I love the idea of sitting down knee to knee with our Heavenly Father, and just counseling and talking and getting advice and giving feedback. That's what counseling is to me.
And if you aren't willing to talk about the little things, then like if you go to a counselor, now, you're not going to start with like, "Well, let me tell you this big bad thing." You're going to start with little things to develop some trust before you're willing to share the real reason you came to a counselor or to go to counseling.
And what's so great is that he's the ultimate counselor. I love that you brought up this idea of counseling. It makes me think of this scripture in Romans chapter eight. Let's go there. He's the ultimate counselor. So how cool is this verse? Go to Romans chapter eight, verse 26. Sara, will you read that?
Yes, I will.
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
Why did you do that face?
Well I'm trying not to cry as much as Riley. My dad once said, "It's a good thing you learned how to talk to your tears or you'd get nothing said at all." But I don't know. I don't recall ever reading that verse and just knowing that we're spirits that are on an earthly mission and so even though maybe our body doesn't know what to say, our spirit does, and we just have to kind of give over to that spirit to be able to utter the words.
I really like that. And I think sometimes we dare not even say the things in our hearts. Or we dare not take it to the Lord Because like, "Can I really talk to Heavenly father about this? Is this something he's going to care about?" And the spirit's like, "Yes, he already knows."
Well, and that makes me think of one of your first episodes where, you know, "we're our Heavenly Father's favorite," and like, there's nothing I wouldn't ask my dad, and I hope that my kids wouldn't ask me, and so I guess I don't feel nervous to ask the Lord about stuff because whether it's some weird thing with work or personal or my mom's cancer, or whatever it is, like, I know that he cares. So if my kids ask for whatever thing, even if it's silly, as you know to an old lady, but to a seven year old, it's not silly.
And you're absolutely right, Sara. That's how God feels about our prayers. Continuing on with this idea of receiving answers to our prayers, and we see Enos's example, which was so beautiful. In the next segment, we're going to continue this conversation and introduce you to more scriptures that teach us how to receive answers to our prayers.
Segment 4 26:09
So now that we have established what we need to do to receive answers to our prayers and that God knows our prayers, and that we can pray about anything.
Mosiah chapter 26, verse 39, has a great scripture reference about prayer. I'm going to read that right now.
"And they did admonish their brethren; and they were also admonished, every one by the word of God, according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things."
This is what Enos did and it's taught again here in the book of Mosiah. And if you look at the very last sentence of this verse, it says, "They were commanded to pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all things," so there's nothing better than a grateful heart. I think we can all agree like when your kids ask you for something and then they say, "Thank you," boy, that melts my heart, a grateful kid. I just love that.
And so when we come to Heavenly Father with things, we are asked to then give thanks in all things. And that's the part of praying and the recipe we talked about in the last segment. So let's look at the rest of this recipe. Let's go to Mormon, chapter nine, verse 21. And Sara, will you read that for us?
"Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth."
I have to tell you that I've probably read this Scripture, I mean, I don't want to exaggerate... 7000 times. I mean, I used to read this every day for 20 years to just say, this is a righteous prayer, and it's gonna work out. I'm gonna try to be happy in the now. So that's really not strange I guess, I know that there's no coincidences but that you'd asked me to read that. So thank you.
Yeah, I didn't even know that about you. And that "doubting nothing" part. Wow. That's tough.
Yeah, that is tough.
Especially like when we talk about what Riley said, "But what if?" And now I like how we can say, "Even if." I love that Riley, the "even if" part with the "doubting nothing." So let's go back to Enos. And Enos has just had the experience where his sins, he feels forgiven and his guilt is swept away and he asks, "Lord, how is this done? Like how have you not been able to answer my prayer?" Riley will you read verse eight, and let's read the answer that God gives him.
"And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole."
And then skip over to verse 12, and let's connect those two like if you have your own scriptures draw a pen connecting these two verses because this connection really teaches us what role these verses have in receiving answers to our prayers.
"And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith."
What do these two verses have in common? What was it that gave Enos his answer?
Yeah, for sure faith, I would give you this cross reference to put next to verse 12. And it's Mark chapter nine, verses 17 through 24. This is the beautiful story in the New Testament where this dad brings his son to the Savior, and he's gnashing, and he's foaming at the mouth, and this dad is saying, "My son has been like this since birth, there's nothing we can do for him. The only thing left is for you to heal him." And the Savior looks to the dad and says, "Do you believe that I can do this?" And I just love the dad's answer because he says, "Yea Lord help thou mine unbelief." I think of so many times in my life where I was like, "I do believe you can do it, but there's a small part of me that doesn't. Can you help thou mine unbelief? Help thou my little bit of lack of faith?" Like I look back on my life and I wonder if it really was my faith that got my answers, but it still worked out.
But isn't that what faith is? Isn't faith not a complete knowledge? Isn't it 80%, isn't a 40% prayer, isn't it a 64%? prayer? He always bridges the gap. I think that's the beauty of the gospel to me is that everything in the Church requires a certain amount of leap of faith, a little bit of faith. You want to know the blessings to paying your tithing? You gotta pay your tithing. You want to know the blessings to be married in the temple? You need to get married in the temple. Do you want to know what it's like to be baptized in the Church? You gotta get baptized. You got to take that leap. And then he fills in the gaps beautifully, and he illuminates and he makes our life brilliant when he fills in those gaps. It's so much better than I ever anticipated that it could be.
I love that because I'm envisioning me coming to him, lacking the faith, but the fact that I'm even coming to him is enough faith. Right?
Okay. So I think also we need to remember that it's because of his faith in Christ, not faith in the answer or faith in your desire, the faith that Christ will do what needs to be done.
He means when he said, he said what he means, right? He's the ultimate in fulfilling his promises.
And I like that in Enos where he says, "...and I knew that God cannot lie." I had that highlighted from some time over the last half of a century. I don't know when I highlighted it, but I love that because that's one of the characteristics of the God that we learn.
Yeah. And, you know, it draws me to the word "amen." I love this word. When I learned the word in Hebrew. It's really powerful because forever anytime I would say "amen," I always just thought it meant, "Yeah, I agree." In fact, sometimes I'd hear a talk in sacrament and not say "amen" because I thought it was the dumbest talk I ever heard. I'm like, "I'm not gonna 'amen' that."
That was the rebel streak?
That's the rebel streak. "I'm not gonna 'amen' that." But it makes me laugh because I did some research and here's what I love about the word "amen." It changed the way I pray because "amen" comes from a Hebrew word of "emunah," and this or “aman," and it's kind of cool because it means the word means "faith, trust, confirm, or support."
And to put that into a sentence, it would be, "In the name of Jesus Christ in whom I have faith, trust and the support of." And that's amazing to me when I think of that instead of, "In the name of Jesus Christ, over and out," or you know, "See ya tomorrow night," whatever. It's amazing how when we say, "In the name of Jesus Christ, in whom I have faith, and trust, and the support of and confidence in," that what I'm praying for, is okay to ask for and that I just love. Having faith in Christ, we can see the role it plays when we end in his name, and it just made me think of that.
Okay, let's go for a couple more verses of scripture about receiving answers to our prayers. Let's go to James chapter five, verse 16. I think this is one of my favorite verses of scripture when it comes to prayer. In James chapter five, verse 16, it says, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
It does say man but I think women are included in this, but how beautiful the "effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous woman availeth much," you better believe it does.
My daughter really struggles with trying to get answers. And I think she's, you know, she's seven, she just wants to know for sure. And she feels like she doesn't get specific answers and that's my current prayer is that she'll have an answer where she'll know and just be able to take that and hold on to that and remember that, "I do feel different when I pray. I do feel the Holy Ghost answer my prayer. I do feel guidance." And I've tried to help her find some ways that she can feel that isn't a voice, that's just the feeling of peace and safety. And she's kind of recognizing those things, but that's what it makes me think of when I think of that scripture.
Can I say amen to that now that I know like a better definition.
You bet. Yeah.
Perfect. That's perfect.
I think I love that you changed that to "the prayer of a righteous woman." I can't tell you how many times that I know that my mom's praying for me. I can't tell how many times that my mother in law who's such a sweetheart, has been praying for our family, and I just feel the power of a righteous woman's prayer in my life all the time. That's beautiful. I am so glad you did that.
And the cool thing about that verse two is where it talks about praying for one another, and this idea of being unified as a people and praying for each other. And when we talk about how "you're in my thoughts and prayers," we really are, and that the effectual fervent prayers that we offer on behalf of others, how powerful that can be.
But I think the idea of praying for other people goes back to the definition of prayer. Let's go back to that in the Bible Dictionary because this is an interesting thing you need to know is that we already talked about how prayer is a form of work, and we know that, but I like the way the definition of prayer starts out.
So when you look at the definition of prayer in the Bible Dictionary, the second paragraph says, “Prayer is nowhere specifically commanded as a duty in the law, and prayers were not prescribed at the sacrifices except on two occasions: a confession of sin on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:21) and a thanksgiving when offering the firstfruits and tithes (Deut. 26:3, 13)."
"It is, however, certain from the nature of things, and from the custom in later times, that prayer accompanied sacrifice.” Every time in the Old Testament when sacrifice was offered, prayer accompanied it. I love that idea of prayer accompanies sacrifice.
Okay, so that's all Old Testament. But this is what's neat.
There's this really cool quote by Gordon B. Hinckley, and he talks about prayer and the role of sacrifice and what we need to do and Riley, will you read this quote right here from him.
"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him. What a marvelous and wonderful thing is prayer. Think of it. We can actually speak with our Father in Heaven. He will hear and respond, but we need to listen to that response. Nothing is too serious and nothing too unimportant to share with Him. Pray to the Lord with the expectation of answers. . . . The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another."
Thank you. I just think that's a great quote. The idea of ordering groceries, I'm guilty of that, for sure.
Well, nowadays, everyone's so busy that it's hard to take the time to meditate and slow down and listen and wait for those answers or thoughts or impressions to come.
And that's a sacrifice for a lot of us so...
This has been a great discussion about prayer, and I have loved the direction it's taken. It exceeded my expectations. And I just love talking about prayer because I am absolutely a witness that it works, and that sometimes it does take longer than you imagine, and sometimes it doesn't, but the beauty is that prayers do get answered.
And so when we talk about the story of Enos, and we look at how the Lord just promised him, "I will keep the records, I will make sure the records make it to the next group of people," because that's what he wanted. He prayed for then and once he received remission of his sins, he started to pray for the lamanites and for the records.
And in the next segment, we're going to see in Jarom and Omni how the Lord remained true to that promise that he made with Enos, and that he answered that prayer not only for Enos, but for all generations.
Segment 5 37:33
So I mentioned earlier that Sara and Riley and I, we did some hard time in the Singles ward, I always joke especially with my older girls that are in Singles wards now I'm like, "Really? You think you got it bad? We played enough room hockey to sweep probably every basketball court in North America and Europe." Like every activity am I right? We did everything diligently. Like why, why did you guys keep doing it?
Well, I didn't want to be home in my apartment by myself so there was that.
I just like people. I'm so glad that I'm your friends. I'm so glad that I get to meet people through you and connect and I just love the connection of people like it's just a really, it's a really powerful thing, but I think sometimes it cheapens it when we say, "Oh, I just love to go to church because I love the people."
Yeah, like why did you keep going to Sacrament meeting?
Because there were cool opportunities for me to serve that I can't get anywhere else. And I think the thing that separates us too is there were miracles happening all the time in that Singles ward too. Our Church is a Church of miracles, and I know it's a little bit of taboo to like, talk about the miracles and like, throw them out, you know, to wherever for everybody to see him, but our Church is a Church of miracles.
And there were miracles happening all the time, whether it was two people getting together and falling in love, but the miracle for me was to sit in priesthood or to sit in Sunday school and go, "Wow, all of these people are struggling the same way I am, and they're here, and they're giving their best effort. They're making a sacrifice to do what's right." And it's beautiful to me. That was a miracle in some ways.
For me, it was the first time I lived outside of a community that knew all my family, knew all my friends. Oh, this is from my home ward, everyone knows you look just like your mom's family, your dad's family. So like, when I first got here, I thought, "Okay, this is where the rubber meets the road. No one's gonna know if you don't go to church, but you're gonna know, and the Lord's gonna know. So like, where's your makeup at? Where's it gonna come down? Like, are you gonna remain faithful when no one's watching? Or are you just gonna, you know, lay back and take some time off," which I didn't do.
And I felt like it was really welcoming. There were some good activation stories, and I liked how you said "miracles" because even if they weren't, like outstanding, they were little and that's kind of where the magic is in just the little day by day things.
Definitely. What I love about what you both have said is, for me, the crux of the Book of Jarom Because here's Jarom now, Eno's son, and Jarom gets the plates. And Jarom writes a lot of great things about how he believes that the Plan of Salvation is taught and he was taught in a really great way and that the leaders were mighty in their faith. But what I love in Jarom, is Jarom chapter one, verse nine, he just got done saying that the Lamanites would fight against the Nephites, and that every time they would fight, the Nephites would conquer and they would win. And the reason why was in verse nine, and Sara, will you read verse nine, please.
"And thus being prepared to meet the Lamanites, they did not prosper against us. But the word of the Lord was verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land."
Circle and highlight the word "verified." The word "verify" means to "establish truth, or to establish the accuracy or reality of," but what he's saying is that the Lord established the truth or reality of the statement, "Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land."
So here we are, and we're going to church and like you said, Sara, you could have easily stopped going and no one would have known. We never would have known. I mean, we just happened to meet you randomly. You come to this new singles ward, and who knew what you were going to do. And I think a lot of times you join words, and we think, "I'm going to get a calling, and it's going to be something great." And you were...
I was a made up calling.
You totally did. Well, and tell us your calling.
I was the fellowshiping chairman.
And you met people...
I had to meet all the hundreds of new people and make them feel welcome until they could get encircled in old school home teaching and visit teaching, and try to make sure that they didn't have the option to drop out as their records moved to a new word.
Exactly. Like and I love it because then she also introduced us to the word "foyer."
Yes, I would meet them in the foyer.
She always does this, we'd be like, "You mean the foyer?" And she's like, "No, I correct you. It's the foyer." And we would, we would meet there and she'd give us assignments and we'd go meet people in their homes and welcome them to come to the ward and make them feel loved and welcome. But boy, no one did that calling better than you.
No I had a good time. It was fun. You got to find joy in the journey, right? You got to do the work.
Hey whatever you are, be a good one.
Exactly. But let me ask you this, Sara, because how did the Lord verify His word in you then? Because it just seemed like you did. You got this little calling and you could have so easily been like, "This is dumb, I'm out of here." Well, what kept it?
I don't know. That's a good question. I guess because when they said, "Will you do this?" I said, "Yes, I'll do it." And I try to live that, "Don't say you will if you only mean you might."
You have taught me that. It's one of my favorite Sara Sargent Williams sayings. "Don't say you will, if you only mean you might."
And I wanted to make friends, I mean, so you can't make friends if you're sitting alone in your apartment at home. I needed to have friends to have my opportunities in Utah be successful.
Sara, did you feel like you prospered then by keeping the commandments and you moved here not knowing anybody, did he verify his word in you?
He did. He did. He helped me be successful at work and even though my job and things I do at work aren't important to the Lord probably, I am important to the Lord. And so I can ask him for help in the dumbest little things, and he has helped me be successful in my job which you know, provides income and opportunities.
What about you Riley? Has the Lord verified his word in you? If you keep the commandments you'll prosper in the land.
I don't think there's any question, and it's not just from a temporal standpoint to me that like these blessings have come, like I've been blessed to feel the spirit on Sundays. And I don't think I was praying perfectly, but I think because you keep the commandments that the Lord's like, "Okay," or better, like you're praying for this and he goes, "Yeah, or better." We'll even up the ammy a little bit and that doesn't mean temporary, that means spiritually, like, things might not work out perfectly for me every day financially or for someone in the Church financially, but spiritually, he's going to be there with you.
You know, it's interesting in this book of Jarom, the only commandment they mentioned, as Jarom's talking about what was taught to the people is found in verse five. And it's worth noting and marking in our scriptures because it really stood out to me.
When he talks about that the Lord's word was verified because they kept the commandments, he specifically points out in verse five.
"And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord."
And I just think it's amazing, did you know that when you look at the Sabbath day holy, it's actually one of the only of the 10 commandments that has a principle with promise, all the other commandments are just listed, "Thou shalt, thou shalt, thou shalt," but this one the Lord expounds on. A great cross reference to that would be Doctrine and Covenants, section 59 that teaches you about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy.
I know from my perspective, when I think about keeping the Sabbath day holy and what that looks like, it's different for everyone. Like my husband and I have talked a lot about this. There's the main general principles and guidelines that we're not supposed to do or do.
But we've recently had a beautiful experience in our own home, where my husband and I had to have a conversation about playing with friends on a Sunday. And my husband and I decided, is that really a rule for us because we have this sweet little girl in our neighborhood who's being raised by her grandparents and she's not a member of the church. And it never felt right for us to send her away on a Sunday when she'd come over and want to play.
And I thought, "Maybe we should just let her come and play and at least have a good experience in a home on a Sunday with a mom and a dad." And we just decided we're going to let her come and play. When I think about how keeping the commandments and we will be prospered in the land, I feel like it prospered her and her family because of that experience with her she joined the church, and she got baptized, and our whole family got to be a part of that baptism.
And were we keeping the Sabbath day holy? You bet we were, like we were in the home as a family with this sweet friend, playing and having a Sunday experience different than what she may have experienced anywhere else.
And so I love that the Lord really will use us as instruments and that when we keep the commandments, he really does prosperous and it looks different for so many people. But whatever that prosper is, he will verify that in our lives. He will be true to that word. So when we have Jarom, then we skip over to the page, now let's go to Omni and Omni is so much fun because I want to meet Omni. And this is the guy that's like, "Look, I'm not even that righteous. I'm not sure why I'm even here."
Imposter syndrome, right? Like, just a little bit worried that like, "Maybe I'm not, maybe you got the wrong guy."
I kind of feel like they're just signing in on the wedding book. Like, "I came, registered, signed, remember I was here."
Yeah, exactly. And, "I'm out, I'm handing it over to the next person." Totally. And so that's what the book of Omni is. It's being handed down, handed down, handed down.
So can I just, I don't understand why they're talking about King Benjamin and Omni when we really don't learn about him untill the next chapter of Mosiah. Like is that just Mormon recondense that and mentioned it, like "Here's a little trailer coming up."
I'm so glad you asked that because remember the Book of Omni wasn't just written by Omni. It's been handed down and handed down and handed down to different people. And now we have Amaleki, who's the son of Abinadom. And now he's saying, "And now I'm going to tell you a story about a man by the name of Mosiah, and how this man left our people. He lived with us in the city of Nephi in the land of the Nephi. And he left because he felt inspired by the Lord to leave, and as he did, he fled into the wilderness, and he met up with a group of people in this place called the land of Zarahemla.
And so we're getting the context for where the book of Mosiah starts because this right here, the Book of Omni is where the small plates of Nephi end. This is the end of those plates. And then the words of Mormon are going to come in and Mormon is gonna interject and be like, "Alright, hey, everybody, I have these small plates, I just finished abridging the large plates. I don't know why I'm combining them," and we're going to talk about that when we get to Words of Mormon. But this is how we get the story of the Book of Mosiah and Alma and on. This is so cool, I'm glad you asked that.
So he tells us about the city, the land of Zarahemla. And let's go to verses 14 and 15. Because these verses will tell us who the people are that live in Zarahemla and let's see, Sara, will you just read that for us?
"And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews."
"Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon."
Okay, here's where the scripture chain begins. So, to the outside of those verses of scripture, let's write this, put, "Second Kings chapter 24 and 25." And remember when we do a scripture chain, I'm going to give you the verse, and then we're going to go to Second Kings 24. And then I'm going to give you another verse of scripture to write next to that and we're going to connect them all so you'll always have these, okay? So go to Second Kings chapter 24 and 25, and I say 24 and 25 because it's going to be the end of 24, beginning of 25.
And I want you to go to verse 17 and verse 18, and here we are introduced to a man by the name of Zedekiah. The same Zedekiah we just read about in Omni.
Is he the same King when Lehi...?
Same king. Yes, Sara. Very good.
So, in Second Kings 24, verse 17 and 18, it says, "And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah."
"Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."
"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done."
So he's not a good guy. Now I want you to take a pen and I want you to draw a line from verse 17, all the way over to verse seven in chapter 25. Do you see that verse seven right there? Because then in verse seven, it says, "And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon."
One of the traditional things that they would do in Old Testament time as a torture device to a man is they would kill all of his sons and then poke their eyes out so it was the last thing they'd ever see. So that's what that verse is, but here's what's interesting. It says, "they slew the sons of Zedekiah," look at the footnote for the word "sons" in verse seven, right there "seven a." That's the next scripture reference we're going to go to.
We're going to go to Helaman chapter eight, verse 21. And let's go there. In helium, chapter eight, verse 21. This is so fun, when I made this connection, I got so excited. So Helaman chapter eight, verse 21. And Riley, will you read that when we're there?
"And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem? But behold, this is not all."
Now, put a cross reference after that verse. Put "Helaman chapter six, verse 10."
"Now the land south was called Lehi, and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south."
Wow. Okay, so after that, then I want you just to we're going to go back and we're going to connect it and you can put back to Omni 1, 14 through 16. That takes us that's our scripture chain. Well how cool is this? So now he's saying, now we have people from Mulek in the north, Lehi's in the south, but if you continue to read in Omni, they're gonna say, "We also met another group of people." And that's the Ether people, the people from the Book of Ether.
There's just the one guy left, right?
Yes. And this people have Coriantumr, and he's gonna say, "We met them and then the Lord brought them," and then this is a really cool quote by President Anthony W. Ivins, and he was alive from 1852 to 1834. He was a member of the First Presidency, and here's what he had to say about the inhabitants on the American continent. And Sara, this is a fun one, will you read this?
“We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon teaches the history of three distinct peoples … who came from the old world to this continent. It does not tell us that there was no one here before them. It does not tell us that people did not come after. And so if discoveries are made which suggest differences in race origins, it can very easily be accounted for, and reasonably, for we do believe that other people came to this continent” (Anthony W. Ivins, in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 15)."
This was given in 1929.
That's a long time ago.
Yeah, that makes more logical sense.
Yeah. What did you think before?
I don't know, you just think, "Well, should they really replicated themselves quickly."
But you have all these different people coming onto this continent.
It'd be interesting to see if, like, why weren't their plates included, or if they just didn't have them yet or...
Well and that's the story we're going to get into, so let's get into Words of Mormon, and we're going to talk a little bit about those plates and the plates that they had in the next segment.
Segment 6 53:08
Sara, in the last segment, you asked a really good question. And it was, "Why was Amaleki talking about Mosiah and what's going on?" It's really important for us to know, we have just ended the record of the small plates of Nephi. And now here is Mormon. So Mormon wrote this book. He was a prophet. He was a record keeper, and the abridger and compiler of the Book of Mormon. And I like this about him.
He's a very righteous father and a military leader among the Nephites, and the Prophet Moroni was his son. So those are some important things you need to know about Mormon, and the words of Mormon were written some 500 years after the last books we had just read. So about 500 years after Omni is when the words of Mormon was written.
Look on this page where it says the "Words of Mormon," down below, it's about 385 a.d. so even after the death of Christ, that's how long out we are. And Mormon's interjecting his thoughts right now.
So it's not like an epilogue or a prologue, it's like a "middlelogue."
It's a "middlelogue," perfect way to put it, and what we need to read is verse three, Sara go ahead and read it.
"And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi."
So these plates, meaning the small plates of Nephi, and then turn the page. Sara, will you read verse six and seven.
"But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren."
"And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will."
He just got finished compiling and putting together these records into what we know as the large plates of Nephi. And then he says, "While I'm doing this, I see these small plates of Nephi and for some wise purpose, and I don't know why, I'm supposed to include these small plates, even though I'm already going to talk about it, but I'm going to include them."
This goes back to the 116 pages. And so the 116 pages were originally taken from the large plates of Nepfi. They wrote them out, and then Martin Harris takes them and then they get lost, and then Joseph Smith loses the ability to translate. When he gets the ability to translate again, the Lord says, "Do not retranslate, just start with those smaller plates." Yep, start fresh.
And these small plates of Nephi are exactly the same time period and things that were covered in what he translated in the large plates. So it's so wonderful how Mormon right here is saying, "For a wise purpose I'm doing this and I don't even know why, it kind of seems redundant, but here we go."
This is also kind of a fun quote from Elder Holland. He says, "Obviously it would be exciting if someone were one day to find the lost 116 pages of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. But whatever those pages contain, it could not be more important or more fundamental to the purpose of the Book of Mormon than the teachings … recorded on the small plates” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon , 35–36)."
And so that's what we just finished, the small plates go up to Omni, then we have this middle part, Words of Mormon, and he teaches us his faith. I just love the idea that he's like, "I don't know why I'm doing it, but I'm doing it."
So let's read Mormon's testimony of the Book that he has compiled, and I like the words of his testimony, and they're found in Words of Mormon one, verse 11. And Riley, will you read that for us.
"And they were handed down from king Benjamin, from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands. And I, Mormon, pray to God that they may be preserved from this time henceforth. And I know that they will be preserved; for there are great things written upon them, out of which my people and their brethren shall be judged at the great and last day, according to the word of God which is written."
I like how he says, "There are great things written upon them." It's just short and succinct is his testimony about this book. He is then going to teach us that these words were handed down from King Benjamin, and then what kind of man King Benjamin was. And let's read about King Benjamin in verse 17. And I want you to look for words that describe what King Benjamin did to help people. So Sara, will you read verse 17?
"For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people—"
Read verse 18 too because I think this is important.
There's this really powerful quote by Elder Oaks, and it's a talk that he gave to BYU students. And it was fascinating to me because he was speaking to a group of youth ages 18 to 30, and somebody came up to him and said, "Hey, I really enjoyed your talk." And he says, "When someone says that to one of the 12..." he said, quote, "...it's the worst thing an apostle can hear after a conference talk." He says, "I didn't give that talk to be enjoyed." He says, "A message given by a General Authority at General Conference, a message prepared under the influence of the spirit to further the work of the Lord is not given to be enjoyed, it is given to inspire, to edify, to challenge or to correct. It is given to be heard under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, with the intended result that the listener learns from the talk and from the spirit, what he or she should do about it."
"Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land."
I think about those. Are there any conference talks that you come to mind when you think, "Wow, that really hit right here." Are conference talks meant to be enjoyed? We're coming up on a general conference here.
Yeah, I mean, I think you can enjoy the delivery of a good speaker, but if you don't feel moved to make a change or to feel soothed, and maybe a hurt that you have, a wound in your heart or something. I mean, that is the point of the whole thing and that's why we watch, just not for the entertainment value.
And and you're absolutely right Sara, and it makes me think about me, and what role conference will play. I love the words of Omni and Jarom and Enos and the Words of Mormon. And we have definitely been edified today, for lack of a better word I just really feel like everything we've shared and discussed has been so powerful. So here's what I want to know from you. What was your takeaway? What's something that you've learned today?
I mean, it seems obvious to say prayer is the takeaway, but it's so powerful and it's real. And sometimes I get lazy in my prayers, and I need to step it up and be more willing to spend time pleading with the Lord and not just checking it off my list.
I think my takeaway is to stay hungry. And the way to stay hungry and hungered like Enos, is to get on my knees and to pray and to converse and to council with the Lord.
My takeaway was when Riley said, "The fear versus faith," and you compared it to the "what if," versus the "even if." And I really liked that and I'm going to remember that, especially as I continue to pray, and I think how many times I've said "what if," but to say "even if" is powerful. That was my takeaway.
Well, thank you. Thanks, friends. Thanks for coming to my bedroom.
It's been so fun.
I mean, it's so hot in here, we need air conditioning.
You do, you really do.
Thank you for being here. I love you guys so much.
Oh I love you.
This has been truly my favorite just sitting here with you. These are friends that I love, and I couldn't have done this today without you guys. We would love to hear what your big takeaway was, for those of you who are listening, I want to know what your takeaway was from this episode. And if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or followed us on Instagram, you should because it's a great place to ask questions, and to study, and every week at the end of the week, it's usually on Sundays, we do a post calling for what your big takeaway was and I read every single one of them. I love reading what you guys learn and what your takeaway was, and I love to comment on some of them. So make sure you share that.
You can get both to our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. And it's not a bad idea to go there anyway because that's where we have links to all the references as well as a full transcript of this entire episode. So check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our awesome study group participants were my dear dear friends Sara Sargent Williams and Riley Jensen, and you can find out more information about these friends at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday.
Our podcast is produced by KaRyn Lay with post production and editing by Katie Lambert. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here and we'll see you guys next week. And remember, you're God's favorite.