14: “Remember This Day, in Which Ye Came Out from Egypt” (Exodus 7–13)
What is it about the heart? Phrases like, “bless your heart,” “cross my heart,” “young at heart,” and more pepper our everyday speech. But other than the obvious fact that a beating heart is essential for life, what compels us to so often speak figuratively about it? In this week’s lesson, we’ll dive into that question as we study Pharaoh’s response to the ten plagues of Egypt in Exodus 7–13. And we’ll learn what actually softened his heart enough to let the Israelites go.
I will harden Pharaoh’s heart = Pharaoh hardened his heart (JST Exodus 7:3)
In Near Eastern cultures the disposition or orientation of the heart is very important. For instance:
· Final Judgment in Egyptian religious imagery is the weighing of the heart ceremony.
· An individual’s heart was weighed against the feather of Maat (goddess of truth, justice, righteousness)
o Light Heart = The more righteous the person was
o Heavy heart =The eviler a person’s deeds were
“The symbol or image of the serpent represented deity in most cultures of the ancient world. The king of the very Egyptians before whom Moses would stand wore the Ureas (cobra image) on his headdress—symbol that he was a living god on earth. Ironically, the serpent image really did represent God but not the false god of other civilizations. Rather the serpent was ultimately a symbol of Christ” (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, 185-186. See also Sunday on Monday season three episode three).
- Turning the Nile to blood
“Both time and place are of significance here. Pharaoh went out in the morning to the Nile, not to merely take a refreshing walk, or to bathe in the river, or to see how high the water had risen, but without doubt to present his daily worship to the Nile, which was honored by the Egyptians as their supreme deity” (Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, 1:478).
“The frog was sacred—a symbol of life springing forth, of childbirth, and thus a symbol of resurrection. Heqet presided over the birth of kings and queens, as a divine, unseen midwife, She has assisted Osiris to rise from the dead. Among Egyptian Christians the frog would become the symbol of the resurrection” (Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, 2:90).
- Lice or stinging gnats
“Stinging gnats issued from the very soil worshipped by Egyptians. Again, one of their own gods was now controlled by Israel’s God. This one came without warning” (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, Deseret Book).
Lice = Stinging gnats
“[Some] interpreters suggest a symbolic correlation between each plague and an Egyptian deity, assuming they were each meant to demonstrate Jehovah’s superiority over a specific god. This explanation is difficult to confirm in every case. … [However,] there is no doubt that the plagues as a whole were intended to demonstrate the power of Jehovah over the Egyptian pantheon, which included the divine Pharaoh himself” (Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Dana M. Pike, and David Rolph Seely, Jehovah and the World of the Old Testament: An Illustrated Reference for Latter-day Saints , 90).
“The devil is the father of lies, and he is ever anxious to frustrate the work of God by his clever imitations” (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Two Lines of Communication,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 84).
President Joseph Fielding Smith mentioned the magicians of Pharaoh as an example of Satan’s power to duplicate some of the miracles that God performed through Moses and Aaron. He then said, “It should be remembered that Satan has great knowledge and thereby can exercise authority and to some extent control the elements, when some greater power does not intervene” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. , 1:178).
“Although the magicians of Egypt were able to perform some imitations, they were never able to overcome the plagues the Lord sent upon Egypt. In fact, their imitations of the first two plagues only made circumstances worse for the people of Egypt. The contrast between the Lord’s priesthood power exercised by Moses and the imitations wrought by the magicians of Egypt illustrates that God’s power is superior to all other forms of power” (Old Testament Seminary Teacher Material, “Lesson 48: Exodus 7–11, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Exodus 8:21–32 (Fourth Plague: Flies or Scarab Beetles)
Exodus 9:2–7 (Fifth Plague: Livestock Plague)
Exodus 9:8–12 (Sixth Plague: Boils)
- Flies or Scarab Beetles
“The ‘fly’ has been identified as an Egyptian Beetle or scarab—emblem of the sun-god Ra (one of the greatest and most enduring gods.) In the fourth plague, the fly or beetle—sacred emblem of the sun-god, Ra—became a torment by swarming the Egyptians and their possessions and running the land” (Renee Vorhaus, “Since God is all-powerful, couldn’t he have freed the Israelites from Egyptian bondage without sending all those plagues?” Ensign, Sept. 1980, 65).
“[This plague was] centered on both the sacred bull god, Apis, and the cow goddess, Hathor (ex. 9:6). The sacred nature of both is well documented, Among other things they symbolized strength, power, life and fertility. (which helps to explain why, later, the Israelites made a golden calf.) Thus these Egyptians deities were also overpowered by Jehovah” (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, Deseret Book).
“This plague showed Jehovah’s power over personal health. Egyptian religion did not promote the idea of a personal god who could heal from sickness or even prevent it—no one-to-one relationship with the gods” (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, Deseret Book).
“A very heavy hail Hebrew barad some scholars have connected this word to the Hittite word for iron, meaning “Metal from stars” and the Egyptian word for iron, meaning, ‘Metal from heaven’ (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, 193)
- Locusts and the East Wind
“Famous Egyptologist Wallis Budge noted: “Ideas of religious enjoyment seem to have been associated [with the grasshopper], for in the Book of the Dead…the deceased says ‘I have rested in the Field of Grasshoppers’….The grasshopper is mentioned as early as the 6th Dynasty, and in the test of [Pharaoh] Pepi II….the king is said to ‘arrive in heaven like the grasshopper of Ra’”. The destructive power of the east wind, is well known from the scriptures. ‘The infamous east wind carries such negative connotations that few associate it with the divine, as will be seen in the following examples. However, anciently it was perceived as the instrument of God's wrath’ (Alonzo Gaskill, The Lost Language of Symbolism).
“The Egyptians formed the conviction that human life is a close parallel to the course of the sun: man is born like the sun in the morning, lives his earthly life and dies, like the sun, which emits its life-giving rays the whole day and sets in the evening; but the analogy requires that his death should not be final, and that in a certain sense it does not take place at all” (Jaroslav Cerny, Ancient Egyptian Religion, 83).
- First Born of Egypt Will Die/Passover
“The meaning and purpose of the Passover has been explained by Joseph Fielding Smith:
“The term Passover is from the Hebrew word pesach (Greek pascha), to pass by, and from the incident of the angel passing by the homes where the sign of the blood of the lamb was found, the lamb slain and eaten at the feast of the Passover is known as the Paschal lamb. This lamb had to be a male of the first year, and without spot or blemish, which was the requirement in all sacrifices, and not a bone was to be broken. The reason for this is that the sacrifice was typical of the great sacrifice which should be made by Jesus Christ. In commemoration of this passing by of the angel of the Lord and the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, the Lord required that this feast should be observed annually in Israel. Moreover, this month (the month of Ahib [Abib], later called Nisan) was to commence their year.
“The ceremonies connected with this annual feast were to continue for seven days, beginning on the fourteenth and concluding on the twenty-first day of the month. During that time only unleavened bread should be eaten. (Real Ex. 12; Deut. 16:1-8; and Ezra 6:18-22.) (CHMR 1:130.)
“The Feast of the Passover was fulfilled in that form in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Passover was a law given to Israel which was to continue until Christ, and was to remind the children of Israel of the coming of Christ who would become the sacrificial Lamb. After he was crucified the law was changed by the Savior himself, and from that time forth the law of the sacrament was instituted. We now observe the law of the sacrament instead of the Passover because the Passover was consummated in full by the death of Jesus Christ. It was a custom looking forward to the coming of Christ and his crucifixion and the lamb symbolized his death. (AGQ 5:153-54.) (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, Deseret Book).
“The blood used by the Israelites, symbolic of the Savior’s future Atonement, was a product of the sacrifice they had offered. Nevertheless, the sacrifice and the blood alone would not have been sufficient to obtain the promised blessing. Without the application of the blood to the door posts, the sacrifice would have been in vain” (Elder Christopher Waddell, “The Opportunity of a Lifetime,” October 2011 general conference).
“Consider the courage the ancient Israelites showed when they obeyed the command to place blood on their doorposts. Four hundred years of Egyptian rule likely included persecution for those who openly worship Jehovah. Thus, the placement of the lamb’s blood on the doorposts was a bold public statement, a marker that identified those who worshiped Jehovah” (Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual, “Lesson 45: Exodus 12-13,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
What is it about the heart? You know, we use the heart in so many everyday phrases such as, “Oh, he has a big heart,” or “a heart of gold,” “a bleeding heart.” What about, “Eat your heart out,” or “faint of heart?” How about, “a hard heart,” or, “cross my heart”? Then there's the, “heavy heart,” “young at heart,” and, “oh, bless his heart.” The heart is a significant organ, but its function goes beyond pumping blood and keeping us alive physically. The heart just bears the weight of so much more. In today's discussion, the star of our discussion is the heart and Exodus 7-13 teaches us the importance of the heart in the lives of every person involved in our story.
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, bless my heart. Now if you're new to our study group, I want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description that will explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your “Come, Follow Me” study just like my friend Phyllis Aycock, who teaches Sunday School in her ward and she is killing it with the amount of studying she's doing. So good job, Phyllis.
Now, here's my favorite thing about this episode and this podcast is, each week I get to invite two friends, so it's always a little bit different. So today is totally different. We have a regular: Hollee MacKay is back. Hi, Hollee.
Hollee MacKay 1:22
And we invited a friend of ours, Jolyn Skousen. Hello, lady.
Jolyn Skousen 1:27
Oh, this is gonna be fun. Okay, first of all, how do we know each other? You guys have any good stories for each other?
Hollee MacKay 1:33
Where do we begin?
How did you guys meet? How long have you known each other?
Hollee MacKay 1:40
Hollee MacKay 1:43
And it was interesting because I moved into our ward after they'd been here for a while. And I just, we both have realized we both kind of had our eyes on each other like there was a connection. And I think we realized really quick that she Jolyn doesn't have any sisters. I don't have any sisters. And we were kind of the sister we never got. So we've been through the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly together.
Oh, I love this friendship. I didn't know that about you guys.
Jolyn Skousen 2:11
So this is how I first learned about the MacKays. My daughter Alex was a Beehive and went to girls' camp for the first time and I was coming up later as a leader but I had a young baby and so I couldn't go the whole time. And she told, she came back from girls' camp and told me about what happened the night that I had missed being there. And they had gone to I think it was down in Spanish Fork - Diamond Fork, like Payson. It was Payson Lakes, that's where it was. And they had run into snow and they hiked in it and these girls were ill-prepared. They weren't planning on hiking in snow; the elevation was so high, there's a lot of snow. And Brady MacKay, Hollee's husband, stayed up all night long, and dried their shoes around the fire while they slept.
So when Alex came back and told me that story, she's like, Mom, you have to meet the MacKays; they're just the best. And she told me. And so we, and it took a while for us to really get in the same circle or whatever, but once we did it, that was all it took.
Hollee MacKay 3:16
No turning back,
Jolyn Skousen 3:18
no turning back.
That's a beautiful story.
Jolyn Skousen 3:21
Isn't that sweet?
I will say, people who know us know that I know Hollee and her husband because they've both been on. But for Jolyn, I met Jolyn 15 years ago for the first time. She was PTA President. And I had just barely married Jim, with these two little girls. And I thought, Oh, I probably should get involved. And I walked in and watched her run the show. And I remember thinking, I will never be PTA President, ever. Like, she did it so well with such, then after getting to know her - I say this thing where I have a wagon train and I want certain people on my wagon train if we have to go back to Missouri - and I remember thinking, Oh, Jolyn's gonna be on my wagon train.
And then of course, I ended up being PTA President and I had to pull from my resources. And I thought, Okay, I got to do it just like Jolyn. And so you were such an inspiration to me, going to the meetings and just seeing how it was run. And wow, yeah. And then I was in the thick of it. But you are a good example. And I would want you in my wagon train, with the MacKays. You got to have the MacKays on your wagon train.
Jolyn Skousen 4:15
For sure. For comic relief, if nothing else.
Oh, well, for sure that. Well, for those of you who want to know more information about my guests, you can read their bios and see their pictures in our show notes which are found at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. And I just have to give a disclaimer about this episode today. Because I gave these two women a very strict assignment. I had rules that they had to follow as they were studying, because here's what I knew about them: If I was going to assign this section of Exodus, they were going to do a deep dive. These women are brilliant. And I said, You are not allowed to. You may not go into what words mean. You just have to read the story for story's sake, and then we're going to discuss it. And I have to ask, was that hard? Did you want to do a deep dive?
Hollee MacKay 4:55
Jolyn Skousen 4:56
I don't like to be caught with my pants down. (laughter)
Well, no one does, Jolyn.
Wait. Wait. Did I just say that? (laughter)
Yes, no, you're totally right. I knew that about you guys. So, they are going to totally represent the everyday listener who will never have known any of these things before, which is going to be fun. Because we're talking about the plagues. I mean, honestly. We're gonna have fun, I can't wait.
Okay, so everyone, grab your scriptures and your scripture journals. Oh, and by the way, lots of marking pencils, you're gonna want different colors, because we're going to mark up and bracket these scriptures all hour long. Okay, let's do this. Here's my question: When I started out at the very beginning with heart phrases, do either one of you have a heart phrase that you guys like to use?
Hollee MacKay 5:44
Well, I think, in general, we all use, 'bless their heart'. Right?
Right? What's, what's the connotation of that when we say it?
Jolyn Skousen 5:55
or Bless your heart.
Oh, I'm sorry you have to go through that. Or I'm sorry you're dealing with that, or, I don't know. What, you know, when you hear that, 'bless your heart', you know, you're empathizing or sympathizing with someone.
Hollee MacKay 6:12
It's kind of the same thing as Brady's mom. Instead of heart, she used to say, "Bless his pointed head."
I can totally imagine that.
Hollee MacKay 6:21
When I think of heart, it's interesting because Brady had open heart surgery five years ago, he had a heart attack. We learned so much about the heart. But the biggest thing of all, is the heart is the conduit of the Spirit. And I believe that, through and through. And we witnessed that, that Brady's cardiologist, the first time we met with him post-surgery he said, after they had established - Brady was in the bishopric, he was the Elders Quorum president - after they got past that he said, Okay, tell me about your spiritual experiences.
He said, I don't care who you are, if you're a believer or not, if you've had trauma to your heart, you will have spiritual experiences. And boy, did Brady ever have spiritual experiences! And he said, he goes, "If I didn't have to get my chest cracked open, I'd go through it again, just for the spiritual side of it."
Hollee MacKay 7:15
This is very fascinating. And when you think about the Scriptures - the heart - it always refers to the heart. And we always think our brain rules everything, but it's the heart. And I believe it's the conduit of the spirit.
Hollee, thank you so much for teaching us that about the heart. That was so cool. And you know what? There is a very important connection to what you just said, and Pharaoh's heart. So let's turn to Exodus chapter 7, verse 3. We studied this a little bit last week. But we really want to understand what this means because it's going to repeat it over and over and over again throughout all of the chapters. Jolyn, will you read Exodus chapter 7, verse 3 for us.
Jolyn Skousen 7:54
Ex 7:3 "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt."
Okay, let's underline "I will harden Pharaoh's heart". One of the things we learned last week is the footnote for this. It doesn't mean that the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. What it really is saying in Hebrew is, 'Pharaoh hardened his heart.' And so he will continually do that throughout the course of this story. It will always say, 'The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart', but we have to just switch that in our brains to go, No, 'Pharaoh hardened his heart'. Now, here's some really cool things about the heart that I wanted to share with you. And I want to get your thoughts on this, because when it says right here that 'Pharaoh's heart was hardened', what does that mean, 'to have a hard heart'? First of all, tell me about that.
Jolyn Skousen 8:39
I think what we're mostly dealing with is pride. And, and that he's not willing to accept that he's not the best thing out there, that there could be something better than him.
Hollee MacKay 8:53
Well, and Pharoah believed he was a god. So he was all-powerful. Nobody could do anything, you know. Nobody could have any influence on him. And so there's a stubbornness. Pride's the best word for it, but an absolute stubbornness. Not to be o..., it's his way or the highway.
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, both of you for those comments. Now, you guys, here is something that is so interesting when it comes to the heart in the Egyptian culture. There was this Weighing of the Heart ceremony that they believed in, and it took place in the afterlife. So Egyptians bury the deceased with their heart, it was the only organ that they were allowed to keep because they believed that in the next life, a ceremony would take place determining where they would move on to. So in this ceremony, their heart was weighed against the feather of Ma'at.
Now the weight of your heart was a representation of your deeds and your acts in the physical world. So if your heart did not weigh more than the feather, you were more righteous. If it did weigh more than the feather, it meant that you were more evil - and so this is so good - because going back to what you both said, Pharaoh thought that he was a god. And there was pride involved in Pharaoh's heart being hardened. It had to have been so hard, since Pharaoh knew and believed in this ceremony, and it has no weight on his decisions. Like that's blowing my mind. He really thought he was in the right, and that what he was doing was good. So if that's not pride, right? Wow.
And so they have this Weighing of the Heart ceremony. And I thought this was so interesting, because when we go into Exodus, chapter 7, verse 3 where it says, "I will hardened Pharaoh's heart", I want you to put a cross reference next to that. Put Exodus chapter 10, verse 1. This is so unique. And let's turn to Exodus chapter 10, verse 1. In 10, verse 1, it says,
10:1 "And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart," If you look it up in Hebrew, it doesn't say I have hardened his heart, it says "his heart is heavy." Isn't that cool? So the Lord's using the same wording in imagery here that the Egyptians would recognize that, 'Oh, his heart is heavy, it's not going to pass the test of the feather of Ma'at, I can tell you that.' And so when we have this imagery here, and we're talking about the heart, it, there's a very real meaning. So it, that's why it's written throughout the story that Pharaoh's heart is heavy if it were to be weighed today in the balance, in the scale. And so you can see that the place that it has on the people.
So Hollee, I have a question, because your husband's job took you to live into some pretty precarious situations. Hollee, what was the full name of your husband's job title?
Hollee MacKay 11:30
He was a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, a federal agency.
Wow! His job was to take down anything drug related in the world. And so did you ever notice the weight of someone's heart? Did a heavy heart play a role in bringing ruin on a family or a people or anything like that? The people that Brady worked with, did they have heavy hearts?
Hollee MacKay 11:53
Oh, certainly. Absolutely. And it, I mean, it could be, it could apply to the good and the bad side, because, you know, he dealt in such an evil world, but you look at people's motives. He was dealing with the evil of, the most evil of the evil, but the motives were about power, lust, drugs, and money. And, and certainly he ran into that all the time and to the threat of his own life. People get consumed with power, and he even dealt with a lot of corruption, you know, in a third world country, where he even had people on the good side that had a hard heart.
And I guess the hard heart was this pride, and it's this obsession of power. And they even tried to get him killed in a couple of stories that I remember. That's about as hard a heart as you can get: you're killing, you're killing those on your side and the other side.
Wow, absolutely. Hollee, I'm so grateful for that answer you just gave us. It's the perfect setup for this story with Pharaoh. He was so consumed with power that he even had the people on his side killed. Oh my gosh, I love that you shared that. So let's do this, then. In the next segment, let's start diving in to the story about Moses and Pharaoh and the 10 plagues. We're going to start that in the next segment.
Segment 2 13:10
Jolyn Skousen 13:16
So here's my question to both of you. I want to know, when you were little, how old was 25?
Twenty-five seems old to me.
Jolyn Skousen 13:28
What about somebody who was 40?
Hollee MacKay 13:32
I remember when my mom turned 40. I don't know why I remember this birthday, but I just was in awe. I could not believe that my own mother was 40 years old. I just remember being floored by that.
Because it's so old. Right?
Jolyn Skousen 13:46
Oh, I have a funny story about turning 50. Todd and I were actually dating when my mother turned 50. And he said to her, "Dawn, think about it. You are a half a century. You are 50 years old!" I mean, he just went on and on like, and my mom's just standing there like, 'Is he really saying this to me?' And now look at us - fifty's so young. We're just young chicks.
Totally! Isn't it funny when you hear someone dies when they're in their 60s or 70s? You're like, uhh, they were so young. But when I was a teenager I'm like, 70! I can't believe he lived that long. Okay, I want you to think about that age because it gives us some perspective for Exodus chapter 7, verse 7. And tell me, how old were Moses and Aaron when they went to see Pharaoh?
Hollee MacKay 14:36
80 and 83
Hollee MacKay 14:39
And the only way I know that is because I had to memorize, what was it in history: "Four score and seven years ago" - Abraham Lincoln. that's how I knew what four score was.
Well done. There's a little math involved there, yeah, cuz a score is 20, right? So
Well and I've always broke Moses', you know, they say that Moses had his 40 years in Egypt. And then his 40 years learning about God, and then his 40 years of, so yeah, that would be 80. Yeah.
Yeah. So we got some older gentlemen going in for the first time here. These are not 18 year-old kids who are going to just avenge the Israelites. So we've got these men, they go in, and now we're going to read some verses of scripture, because here's what the Lord is sending them to do. Let's go back to Exodus chapter 7, verse 1; we have to start with verse 1. And Hollee, will you read that for us.
Hollee MacKay 15:29
7:1 "And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet."
Now this is cool. There's actually a retranslation of this verse. So let's mark some words. If you look down at the footnote, it will give us the Joseph Smith translation. What the verse really should say is, "And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee, as a god, a prophet to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy spokesman." So that's what that verse should be translated as.
And I like how you brought up Hollee: you said that Pharaoh was a god. And so it's very interesting how the Lord is saying, Oh, I'm gonna send Moses in as a god, or as a prophet to this Pharaoh. And so there will be this real battle of wills between the Lord and Pharaoh - who has the most power? And we're going to see that play out in this story. Any of your thoughts about that?
Hollee MacKay 16:24
I just think it's interesting because he's sending in Moses as the prophet, but he's not alone. He's sending Aaron with him and as a spokesman. I don't know, I almost feel like that's equal to like an apostle, you know. The brethren, they do things together. Even though the prophet speaks for God, they still are not alone in all the things that they do.
Jolyn Skousen 16:44
Well, you know, it reminds me of Joseph Smith, and Hyrum, and how Hyrum always had Joseph's back. And it gave Joseph a ton of strength to do what he needed to do. And Moses actually felt and had some weaknesses. I know when the Lord told Moses to go in, there's a verse that says, I mean, 'Pharaoh is not going to listen to me, because some of the Israelites don't even listen to me.' And, because he went to them first, right? And he went to some of them and they're like, 'What? How are you going to do that?' You know what I mean?
So, so imagine how Moses must feel? I mean, he's not, I mean, obviously he's a prophet, but he might not feel completely confident. It's like what you talked about last week where Moses had his brother there to support him and have his back.
Well, Jolyn, you're so great to bring that up, too, because, well, because here's another cool connection with this. You can go to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 8 and read how Oliver Cowdery was the Aaron of this dispensation. In fact, it literally says, "You are blessed with the gift of Aaron", and he would be the spokesman for Joseph. Oh I just love how this is all playing out and this connection. And there's so much power in the mouth of two or three witnesses; that's why we send missionaries out in twos.
We need two witnesses. And these two witnesses are going to go in, and they're going to witness before Pharaoh that God is in charge. And the first way they're going to do it is in verses 9-12. So grab your colored pencils, and we're going to start bracketing off all the cool things that happen in this story today. So bracket off verses 9-12. And what word could we write to the side of these verses, that people are afraid of?
Hollee MacKay 18:21
Oh, the serpent
Jolyn Skousen 18:22
Yes, put 'snake' next to these verses. This is crazy. So the first thing they do, and we love this from the movie is, they walk in, and they, he's going to show a miracle before Pharaoh. He's going to take his rod, he's going to cast it before Pharaoh and it's going to turn into a serpent. And then we have in verse 11. Jolyn, will you read verse 11 for us.
Jolyn Skousen 18:43
7:11 "Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
So what did, that what happened there?
Jolyn Skousen 18:57
They replicated it, through trickery and sorcery.
It's exactly what happened
Hollee MacKay 19:02
They were magicians.
Yes. And then it's so interesting because then we have verse 12. Hollee, read verse 12 for us. And after she reads this, I want you to tell me, what's the symbolism in this way the story played out? Will you read verse 12.
Hollee MacKay 19:15
7:12 "For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods."
What is the message there that the Lord's teaching the magicians?
Hollee MacKay 19:26
You may think that you can do this, but in the end, God will prevail?
Jolyn Skousen 19:33
Or they that be with us are more than they that be with them?
Hollee MacKay 19:36
Well, and really in the end, I mean, I just think, okay, Moses had God's power, right? He had the priesthood, and the priesthood of God is the greatest power on the earth. So there are other powers, but it will never be greater than God's power.
Oooh, I like that you just brought up there are other powers.
Hollee MacKay 19:57
Oh, for sure.
Yeah. And we're going to see that in every one of these stories is, because the magicians can mimic what's happening. Do you have any questions why it was a snake that they had to turn it into a snake, first? Did any of you wonder that?
Jolyn Skousen 20:12
Well, I know that snake represents deity or did at one point.
Jolyn Skousen 20:20
So maybe that is representative of hey, this is, you know, pointing people to Christ, or this is we're, you know, using symbolism that way?
I know, you're totally right, Jolyn.
Hollee MacKay 20:31
Was the snake a big symbol in Egypt to a huge symbol?
Yeah. Here's a really good quote that backs up what you two just said. And Hollee, will you please read this for us.
Hollee MacKay 20:40
"The symbol or image of the serpent represented deity in most cultures of the ancient world. The king of the very Egyptians, before him Moses would stand, wore the Uraeus Cobra image on his headdress symbol that he was a living god on earth. Ironically, the serpent image really did represent God, but not the false god of other civilizations, rather, the serpent was ultimately a symbol of Christ."
Very cool. Both of you knew that. And now when you think of that headdress that a pharaoh wore, he does, he has that Cobra at the top of his head. And so it was very strong symbol. And so right out of the gates, the Lord is attacking this symbol of deity that they believe in, to teach them, 'No, I'm in charge.' And that's why Moses' snake will eat up the snake. So I love what you've taught about that. That is awesome. And, Jolyn, when you said that there are other powers out there, wow, that is so good. Because there are, and we see that right here.
A lot of times I would have students say, 'Well, why can the magicians do that? Like, how do they get that power? Oh, because there's other powers.' So in the next segment, we're going to jump into that idea of other powers, and talk about two more plagues.
Segment 3 21:54
So I gave you instructions that you are not allowed to dive deep into these plagues. So here's what I want to know. Right out of the gates, what did you know about the plagues before you read Exodus 7-13?
Jolyn Skousen 22:06
Well, if I had read it or learned it before, I'd forgotten a lot of it. It didn't, I didn't remember about all the weird plagues.
Hollee MacKay 22:15
The only thing, the image that I always had in my head - and I don't know if it's from the movie or what - but I always remember the river turning to blood, never forgot that one. But all these others: I forgot about frogs, and blains, and blisters, and whatever. There's a lot there.
Jolyn Skousen 22:30
And wasps and
Yeah, crazy stuff.
Hollee MacKay 22:34
Flies and lice.
Um-hm, totally. Because when we'd get into these, I would ask students, "Can you name them in order?" No, they couldn't even name a few. Well, let's be clear: neither could I. But it was so fun to teach because their eyes just got bigger and bigger with every plague. Did you notice that? We were like, what? Now THIS? So many crazy plagues. Okay, so we're gonna dive into this. The first thing we want to do is we are going to go in
Hollee MacKay 22:59
Can I ask a question?
Hollee MacKay 23:01
What's the timeframe of all these plagues? Like, how long is this going on? That's one thing I didn't understand. Because you would think that this plague would come, cause utter devastation, and then did they have a time to recover then? I mean, what is the timeframe? Do we know?
That's a good question. I have no idea. I've never - hold on, maybe I can find out. We have a time, we have.
Jolyn Skousen 23:23
I mean, that is a great question, Hollee, because you want to say, is it one week after the next or
Hollee MacKay 23:30
Yeah, because I don't get Pharaoh get to the point where he's like, okay, stop it, stop it. And then you wonder how much time goes by, because then after it stopped, then he hardens his heart again.
So here's the timeframe that we're talking about. So if Moses was 80 when he first began, and then he brought the children of Israel out, and they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, and then he died when he was 120 years, then the belief is - you do the math, carry the 1, pi r squared, that - (laughter), I know, because I'm so bad at math. So there is a belief that the plagues would have ended in under a year. So it would have happened that fast.
Hollee MacKay 24:15
That Pharaoh was a stubborn guy.
Jolyn Skousen 24:18
That is a lot to go through in one year.
Yeah. Because he was 80, yeah, cuz he was 80 when he went. And they wandered for 40 years. 80, 90, 100, 10, 20. and he died at 120. So this is a fast turnaround time for Moses. And for those plagues. I love that you just asked that question. It just gives such a new perspective. Because then you think it was just plague after plague, you barely had time to clean up all the dead stuff before the next plague came!
Jolyn Skousen 24:46
Think about what what we've gone through with COVID And oh, will this ever, you know, and they're hit with boom, boom. I mean, in a year, think what we've been through in just a year and we're like, and what they were hit with.
Oh, my gosh.
Jolyn Skousen 25:00
That tells you really how hard Pharaoh's heart was.
Absolutely. He didn't have a lot of time. It just went hard, hard, hard, like, I don't care. Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you asked that question, because now it changes a lot as we study these plagues.
Jolyn Skousen 25:13
Really gives you perspective.
Hollee MacKay 25:15
It's really overwhelming.
Oh my gosh, so overwhelming. Well, here's some cool facts about the plague. We know that they happen in cycles of three. So boom, boom, boom, a little bit of a break, then boom, boom, boom, again. It's believed that the first plague of each cycle was announced to Pharaoh at the river in the morning. So that's kind of cool that he would be standing along the river, which we'll come to learn later, that he worshiped the river. So he'd go out there to think and Moses would come to him and say, Here's what's gonna happen. And then Pharaoh's like, Whatever.
I also thought this was kind of cool, and you mentioned this earlier, Hollee, that he thought he was a god. When Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice?" We talked about this back at last week in Exodus, chapter 5, verse 2, he says, 'Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.' Because Pharaoh was a God to the people. And they believed it, too.
It's interesting: they weren't allowed to worship a God on their own. There was no religious experience for these people. All their religion happened through the Pharaoh, they would worship through him, and they would worship their gods. And so he really did believe that he was a god to the people that he ruled over.
So when he is saying, "Who is this Lord, that I should obey his voice"? Like, 'No, everyone obeys my voice, I'm in charge.' And then we have through a series of the 10 plagues, umm, nope, we're not gonna even say that. Well, and then Jolyn, I want you to read this quote about some cool stuff about the plagues.
Jolyn Skousen 26:38
"Some interpreters suggest a symbolic correlation between each plague and an Egyptian deity, assuming they were each meant to demonstrate Jehovah's superiority over a specific god. This explanation is difficult to confirm. In every case, however, there is no doubt that the plagues as a whole were intended to demonstrate the power of Jehovah over the Egyptian pantheon, which included the divine Pharaoh himself."
Thank you. So we're going to go into each one of these plagues. And where we have it, we're going to connect it to an Egyptian god, because this just blew my mind, where the God of Israel, the God over the whole earth is now going to break down this belief pattern that the Egyptians have in all of these myriads of gods they believe in. And so each plague will represent one of the gods that they believed in, and the Lord will destroy them. And so it's really cool as we go through these plagues.
So the first plague we're going to do, you guys ready for this? Here we go. The plague of blood. This is the one that scared all of us as little kids, when we saw the original "Ten Commandments" movie. So you remember that as a kid at Easter time? And then you saw all this water turn to blood, it freaked me out. So mark and bracket off verses 18-25, and write to the outside, 'blood'. This is the very first plague that happens. And the Lord tells Moses to tell Aaron to go talk to Pharaoh and say, Here's what's going to happen.
And Pharaoh is out walking along the river, he is worshiping in the morning, because that is what the Nile was to them - it was a God. And the Nile River was the source of all life and fertility in the land. And Pharaoh went to the Nile every morning to worship this major deity. And so it's the first thing that the Lord is going to attack. And we have the story where we come in verse 21. He turns the river into blood, and the result is, Hollee will you read 21 and 22.
Hollee MacKay 28:29
7:21 "And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22 "And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said."
Thank you. So the magicians could recreate it. There's that power you brought up, Jolyn. They were able to do it. The result of that? I mean, isn't that gross? The river stinks. Oh, it's just such a dirty, gross plague, right?
Jolyn Skousen 29:01
Terrible. I don't really get how the Egyptians could do that, though. Because there's one thing to, you know, make something red. But to really turn something to blood. I mean, that's inter, that's really interesting.
Oh, Jolyn. That is such a great question, and one that many of us are thinking. So I have some really great quotes explaining why they can do it. But real quick, I just want to do this. So let's mark the next two plagues, and then I want to connect it back to your question and the quotes. So look at verse 24. It may be a little sad. Pharaoh goes back into his house; he probably has clean water, and so what's this to him, right? He doesn't care if the water turns to blood. And I want to look at verse 24. Because the imagery in my mind is so real. Let's look at that verse.
Hollee MacKay 29:46
They were trying to dig for clean water
Jolyn Skousen 29:48
for clean water
Yeah. I mean, can you imagine just digging in the sand reaching and like thinking, Can we just get some clean water? And they couldn't.
Jolyn Skousen 29:56
Well, you know, this tells you a lot about the kind of God that Pharaoh was Because isn't a God, a loving person over, or shouldn't he be taking care of the people he's a God over supposedly? And look at what he's putting his people through. And so this is interesting because, I mean, not only his Heavenly Father trying to show or, or our Savior trying to show Pharaoh who's God. But look at what the Egyptians are learning: 'Oh, you know, who, does Pharaoh really love me? Does Pharoah really care about me? I don't think so.'
Hollee MacKay 30:30
But look at what has happened. That's how tyrants are and look what's happening with Putin and Russia right now in this war. He doesn't care about his own people. He is letting his own country completely go down the drain, economically, everything, all for his own lust and power.
Very interesting. I'm so glad you put some modern-day application to that, Hollee, because you're right. It is about pride, it is about greed, it is about power. And the people are, I mean, just, I'm imagining in my brain them digging for any type of freshwater and how sad that must be.
Okay, let's go to the 2nd plague, then. Pharaoh hardens his heart. So we come in and then I want us to mark the phrase at the beginning of chapter 8, verse 1. This is the phrase that Moses and Aaron will come to say to the pharaoh over and over and over again. "Let my people go, that they may serve me." That is all he asks. He asks that every time he comes to Pharaoh. He's not a man of many words, that's the message he has: 'Will you please let my people go that they may serve the Lord?' Pharaoh won't do it, so the next plague that comes - bracket off verses 1-15 and this is a crazy one. What is it? What is the Lord sending here?
Jolyn Skousen 31:38
Frogs! And not just a few frogs. How would you describe this plague?
Jolyn Skousen 31:43
Oh, it'd be terrible. I don't really like frogs anyway.
Hollee MacKay 31:48
Frogs were everywhere in their houses, in their drawers, in their everywhere; can you imagine?
Jolyn Skousen 31:55
And jumping? And yeah, and
Hollee MacKay 31:58
they're slimy and smelly.
Verse 3 was interesting: in your ovens, in your kneading troughs. Like they are everywhere. It was so gross, so gross. They covered the whole face of the land. That's what verse 6 says, frogs are everywhere. It's crazy. Well, and I wondered why frogs? So here is the symbol of the frog: 'It was a sacred symbol of life, springing forth of childbirth, and thus a symbol of the resurrection." Isn't that amazing? - that we have this symbol of the resurrection? And so that is why they did the frogs, then.
So going back to Pharaoh and his magicians in verse 7, once again, the magicians replicated or at least in part, the plague by way of their enchantments. So a lot of times they're like, 'Well, why? What's going on here?' Now, why can these magicians recreate it? And so Jolyn, this goes back to this question. It just seems so awful. And so in our show notes we're going to put three quotes that kind of support why He does this, but I appreciate this quote by Dallin H Oaks. He says, "The devil is the father of lies, and he's ever anxious to frustrate the work of God by his clever imitations." And then we have Joseph Fielding Smith. Hollee, will you read this quote by Joseph Fielding Smith.
Hollee MacKay 33:10
"President Joseph Fielding Smith mentioned the magicians of Pharaoh as an example of Satan's power to duplicate some of the miracles that God performed through Moses and Aaron. It should be remembered that Satan has great knowledge and thereby can exercise authority, and to some extent control the elements when some greater power does not intervene."
Thank you. And so he does have some power, until we get to the next leg.
Hollee MacKay 33:36
I just think it's fascinating how Satan has all these counterfeits. If the Lord gives us something good, he has to turn it around and like, look at the Internet. The Internet is this incredible miracle that allows us to communicate, that allows us to gather Israel, but look at all the evil and everything that Satan has clouded it with.
Right. Satan is the great counterfeiter for sure.
Hollee MacKay 34:04
And the great imitator. Yeah. I mean, look it from the get go in the Garden of Eden. He imitates what? a serpent.
Exactly. A symbol of deity. Yeah. He does have power, but not all power. So let's go into the next plague and find out where he loses the power, I think this is interesting. We're going to go into Exodus chapter 8, and I want you to bracket off verses 16-18. And here's the next plague that is sent.
So Pharaoh, 'All right, fine, just get rid of the frogs. I'm gonna let all you people go.' And that's in verse 8. 'Okay, okay, we'll let them go.' And Pharaoh says, 'As long as you get rid of all the frogs.' And Moses is like, 'Great, I'll get rid of them all.' And so verse 13, the frogs died out of the houses and out of the villages and out of the fields. Well, and here's what, here's what's so fascinating is, we have these frogs that are dead, that are stinking up the land.
And remember, the frog represented the God over the Resurrection. And so if their God was real, the frogs should have lived, they should have come back to life! And so again, it's just going to show that our God is greater than theirs. And that's the point of all of this.
And so now we have the next plague. Bracket off verses 16-20 and write to the outside: Lice. And this word is actually translated differently in Hebrew, because we think of lice like, itching your head gross, but it was actually gnats. So just think of just so much craziness with these gnats. And they were stinging gnats, according to many scholars, and they came from the very soil that was worshipped by Egyptians. So I thought that was interesting. Again, one of their own gods was now being controlled by Israel's God, and it came without warning. So we have all these stinging gnats. This is awful, and they're everywhere. What did you notice in those verses, as it describes the lice or the gnats?
Hollee MacKay 35:55
The Magicians couldn't replicate them.
Right? Exactly. Let's read those verses. So Jolyn, will you read verses 18-19. And as Jolyn reads these, I want us to talk about what the result of these versas was, because it's so cool.
Jolyn Skousen 36:10
8:18 "And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.
19 "Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said."
What are we beginning to see here with the magicians?
Jolyn Skousen 36:31
Well, I think they can create it, but they can't fix it. Only the Lord can take it away. They can't take it away. So the Lord comes in and fixes it.
What did they see in 19 that's so surprising?
Hollee MacKay 36:45
That they admit it: this is the finger of God.
Yeah. Yeah. And they admit it to Pharaoh and Pharaoh's reaction? 'No, it's not', you know. He's just, his heart is going to be hard. He's not going to listen to these people who've been able to perform the miracles before, and now they can't. And then they realize, Oh, boy, we might be wrong here. Isn't that powerful? So as a result, then, those three plagues are done. And so we're going to have three more to go, and we will study what those are in the next segment.
Segment 4 37:17
So I asked Hollee to think about this question before we met because I wanted to know her answer. It plays in nicely to these next three plagues. So Hollee, were there any religious rights taken from the people in the places that you lived?
Hollee MacKay 37:38
Oh, yes. In China we saw that all constantly. We are very restricted about how we could behave as members of the church. Every single Sunday they read a long list of rules: can dos and cannots and how we were supposed to behave with the Chinese. We were not allowed to talk about the church; they were not allowed to ask us any questions. There were some Chinese members, but they met at four o'clock in the afternoon and our services were eight o'clock in the morning so we would have no crossover. And the interesting thing is with communism, they, religion is their biggest threat. They don't like religion, it's the threat of the law. Their god is the party and communism is the religion.
And so they're very threatened. And we saw this often, where if people would gather, like I remember when we were there, there was, there were these Bible study groups that would pop up. And when we were there, there was one and people were congregating in a park. I guess the numbers kept growing and the police came in and disbanded them and arrested people. And that's still going on today. They look at the Dalai Lama as worse than Osama bin Laden, and he's a religious leader.
So yes, they're, they're very, very threatened by that and try to keep the clamps on it. And even though the church is, the Lord works in mysterious ways - and the church is getting into China in different ways - they have to be extremely careful on the restrictions or they will be shut down immediately.
Wow, Hollee, thank you for answering that question, because I thought about you and your experience living in different places. Every time I read this phrase in Exodus chapter 8, verse 20, and we've marked it before and we're just going to mark it again. Just the plea that the Lord and Moses are giving to Pharaoh at the very end of verse 20. There it is, again, "Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me." That's all they want to do; they just want to serve their God.
And we see that playing out today, that people just want freedom of religion; they just want to be able to serve their own God. And so Pharaoh's refusing still - he won't listen to his magicians, and so we have the next plague. We are going to bracket off verses 21-32. This is the plague of flies. But it's not really flies. I thought this was interesting. So when you bracket off those verses 21-32, write 'flies' to the outside, and then put scarab beetle, because the fly has been identified as an Egyptian beetle or a scarab, which is the emblem of the sun god Ra, which is one of the most enduring gods. So I put to the outside 'Ra, the sun god'.
And in the fourth plague this fly or beetle, the sacred emblem of the sun god became a torment of swarming the Egyptians and their possessions, and ruining the land. So this god they believe in is now swarming them and destroying their possessions and ruining their land. And were there any verses that stood out to you about the flies?
Hollee MacKay 40:46
Well I just thought it was interesting, in 23, 'And I will put a division between my people and thy people. And tomorrow, this shall be the sign.'
Hollee MacKay 40:56
Because now the Lord is going to protect his people. How can they not see that? Who's getting attacked and who's not?
Because at this point on, that's exactly what happens. The Lord protects the children of Israel from all the rest of these plagues. Oh, that's so good. Jolyn, what were you gonna say about that?
Jolyn Skousen 41:14
No, I was just going to bring up that same thing that Holly did, I was just going to read 22 where it said, you know, that it won't happen in the land of Goshen in which my people dwell. And I think it's, I love that He says, "in which my people dwell." And the reason why I love that is because these people were people whose ancestors were of the covenant. And that makes them His people. So that's what I liked about that verse.
Hollee MacKay 41:44
Well, I think it's interesting, too, when He talks about the division between my people and thy people, the Lord does protect His people. He pulls them out and calls them out. And Lehi had to leave. I mean, through His, the children of Israel, the Lord will remove His people and protect them. And it's happened over and over again through the history of humanity.
Absolutely. Wow. Thank you, both of you. I've marked that. That might be my takeaway. That was very good. They are, they're His people through covenants. We talked about this last week that the reality is, is they're also human, like none of them are perfect covenant keepers, but they're trying. And that is the key here is that maybe their parents were great covenant keepers. But everyone's protected through the covenantal line, everyone.
Jolyn Skousen 42:29
Well, and that's the power of the covenant, Tammy. I mean, in our day and age, I know, you know, a lot of people will say, what do we do about our children that are leaving the church? What do we do about you know, our younger generation that's making different decisions? And you know what you do? You keep your covenants, because by you keeping your covenants you will bless those lives of people that are making different decisions at this time. And that's what I felt when I read that about my people.
I'm like, Oh, my goodness, they were of the Abrahamic covenant, and that covenant is powerful. And Heavenly Father isn't going to forget that covenant, right? Everybody gets to use their agency, but those covenant powers are very strong, and God has not forgotten those people.
That was a powerful discussion on covenants and my people. Thank you. Okay, so let's go to verse 24. Because that verse sends a grievous swarm of flies or scarab beetles. And Pharaoh relents in verse 28, asking Moses to remove the plague. Moses asked the Lord for the Beatles to depart. And after they are gone in verse 32, Pharaoh hardened his heart again.
And now we are in Exodus chapter 9, verse 1. "Let my people go that they may serve me." Highlight that again, "Let my people". Wow, that is going to be so significant now from every time I read that, Jolyn. "Let My People Go, that they may serve me." And so as a result, the next plague - I want you to bracket off verses 2-7. This is called the "livestock plague". Let's read who the livestock plague is going to affect. Jolyn, will you read verse 3, please.
Jolyn Skousen 44:09
9:3 "Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain."
Yes, very good. The footnote down below says "a very severe plague". So, they're attacking everything there in verse 3. And I thought this was so interesting because the God that they believe in, this whole plague is centered on both the sacred bull God, which is Apis, and the cow goddess Hathor. And so the sacred nature of both is very well-documented. And among other things, they symbolize strength, power, life, and fertility. And so He's going to attack all of that for the children of Israel. But verse 4....Hollee, read that for us.
Hollee MacKay 44:54
9:4 "And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the capital of Egypt" and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel."
Very good. So they'll be spared, their cattle will be spared. Thank goodness too, right? Did anything stand out to you like anything you want to add with this plague?
Hollee MacKay 45:11
Well, it just made me think they're gonna need their cattle when they leave. I mean to survive. Once again, He's calling out the distinction between the the Egyptians and the Hebrews. Very distinct separate groups,
Very distinct. In fact, in Exodus chapter 10, verses 24-29, Moses and Pharaoh have a conversation. And finally Pharaoh was like, 'Fine, you guys can go but you can't take your flocks and your herds', in verse 24. And Moses says, 'Oh, no, no, we need those for our sacrifices. Isn't that awesome that the Lord protects the animals - not necessarily for food, even though that will help - but it's so they can offer sacrifices.
Jolyn Skousen 45:51
Oh, good point.
Yeah. I love that you made that connection.
Hollee MacKay 45:53
But isn't it interesting that they sacrifice to worship, but Pharaoh is sacrificing everything and everybody. Everything because of his own pride,
so people can worship him.
Hollee MacKay 46:05
Oh, great point. Great point, Hollee, so good. Okay, so there's the livestock plague. And then here we go, this one I would hate. Let's go and we're going to brackett off verses 8-12. And I want you to put to the outside 'Boils'.
Jolyn Skousen 46:20
Hollee MacKay 46:21
Come on now. Anyone ever had a boil? Just wanna know if you have.
Hollee MacKay 46:26
Yes, I have.
Okay, Hollee, what is a boil?
Hollee MacKay 46:29
Oh, they're horrible! I was traveling home from Thailand and I had a little like, spider bite right on my waistline. And it just got worse and worse. And by the time we got here, it was a boil. But then they went through my whole body. I had numerous ones all over me. It is horrible, excruciating pain.
Is it painful to the touch?
Hollee MacKay 46:51
Yes. Oh, it's horrible. It is awful. And they, and they have to drain them because they're so painful. And that hurts, too. It's awful. I will never ever forget that pain.
That's my, like that is my biggest fear nightmare is this, when I read about these boils that came upon the people. In fact, let's just read the description of it. Here we go, verse 8 and 9. Hollee, I'll let you do the honors since you've had these before.
Hollee MacKay 47:21
9:8 "And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
9:9 "And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt."
Look at the footnote for blains, it just makes you cringe: blisters and pustules. agh
Hollee MacKay 47:49
That's what they are. I can attest to that.
Jolyn Skousen 47:52
Hang on. Is this the first plague that affects them, like their health? Or
Yes. I'm so glad you brought that up.
Jolyn Skousen 48:02
So all done and said, so now it's becoming, I mean, it's always been, you know, you're worried about what to eat and what to drink. But now all of a sudden it's on their, themselves, right? on their body
Yes, a physical pain. Jolyn, that's awesome because this plague showed Jehovah's power over personal health. Like it's the first one. And I thought this was interesting because Egyptians' religion, it did not promote the idea of a personal God who could heal from sickness or even prevent it. Isn't that interesting? They didn't have a god that had control over that. And so there wasn't this one-to-one relationship with the gods, you were on your own for this one. Like, their way, couldn't turn to anyone for help. And how interesting is this, that in verse 11 it says the magicians couldn't even stand before Moses because of their boils. They had no power because they were in so much pain.
Okay, so let's go to verse 13 because we have the boils; it is awful, people are crying, it's so sad. And in verse 13, again the request "Let My People Go that they may serve me." And you guys, now we have some very powerful words from the Lord to Pharaoh. So verses 14-16 is like a mini-sermon to Pharaoh that ends with verse 17. And verse 17 basically says that the Lord will tell him 'yet because of your pride, you still won't let my people go.' So Hollee, will you please read verses 14 and 15. And then we're going to read verse 16 together.
Hollee MacKay 49:22
9:14 "For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Jolyn Skousen 49:32
15 "For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth."
Okay. And then we have this awesome verse in verse 16. And a couple of weeks ago, Tamu asked a question and she said, "Why are there italicized words in Scripture?" And we taught that when the translators were going through and translating the Bible, they added words that they thought would help it make more sense and those are what the italicized words are. They do not exist in the actual Hebrew Bible. So in their original translation of verse 16, the italicized words are not in this verse in Hebrew, and it makes it so much more powerful.
So let's read this verse and I'm going to read it without the italicized words. So we can just get the power of what the Lord is trying to say.
16 "And in very deed for this have I raised the up, for to show thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth."
This is even better without the italicized words, right? It's so much more powerful. Like, here's what I'm going to do "for this have I raised thee for to show thee my power." Oh, it's so good. And then verse 18, says,
18 "Behold, to morrow, about this time...." and we're going to pause there. Dun, dun, dun. And in the next segment, we're going to find out what happened tomorrow at this time.
Segment 5 50:52
So I just have to say this quick story: a few years ago I went to visit my friend Amy in Colorado. And we arrived the day after this really violent hailstorm that we had heard about on the news, but I didn't have any context for what that meant. I was just like, hail. I've never seen big pieces of hail before. And we pull up to the restaurant where we're meeting and I looked at the cars that we're parked next to and there were literal dents all over the hood and the whole car, like it blew my mind. Multiple cars were dented.
And I was like, What in the world? I've never ever seen anything like it. Talk about severe hail. The hail was so heavy and so big that it just, any car that wasn't under a garage was not safe. And then my husband was like, Boy, there's gonna be a nice paycheck for the Dent Master in Colorado. Like, no kidding. Because you got to fix that. And I'm wondering if either of you experienced crazy, destructive hail?
Jolyn Skousen 51:55
I was visiting my son once in, he was going to medical school at the time in Lubbock, Texas. We experienced a hailstorm like that and his or little sole Kia was destroyed. It's sad. No, yeah, what you're saying is true. It, I mean, and it is scary, the sound of it when it hits and they're so big that they don't like splash on the ground, they bounce up, you know. Like they hit down hard, and then it bounces off the ground. It's really quite frightening.
What kind of things can that hail destroy? What would you say, a blanket statement?
Jolyn Skousen 52:31
It can destroy all kinds of property.
Hollee MacKay 52:35
Jolyn Skousen 52:36
Hollee MacKay 52:38
It could destroy a garden.
Yep, that's exactly it. That is the type of destruction we're talking about here in the book of Exodus. Let's go into chapter 9 and we're going to bracket off verses 18-26. And we are going to write 'hail'. And this hail is so interesting to me, because it's not just a typical hail. In fact, in verse 18, it says, tomorrow at this time, I will cause to rain, a very grievous hail. That word 'grievous' actually means 'heavy' in Hebrew, a very heavy hail. Now, this blew my mind. This very heavy hail, in Hebrew the word is BARAD. And some scholars have connected this word to a Hittite word for 'iron', meaning 'Metal from the stars'. And the Egyptian word for iron, meaning 'Metal from heaven'.
And so we have this like, it was so heavy it was if it was metal raining down from heaven, is what the Egyptians would have called it. Blowing my mind, because it really then did destroy everything. Go into these verses and look at the destruction in verses 22-24. Jolyn, will you read that for us.
Jolyn Skousen 53:45
9:22 "And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field throughout the land of Egypt.
23 "And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
24 "And there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation."
So not just' not just a little bit of hail. Crazy, right?
Jolyn Skousen 54:28
Well, when something
Hollee MacKay 54:29
Hail and fires
Jolyn Skousen 54:31
They've never seen, like, they can't say, oh, this has happened before, because this is, I mean, it clearly says that something that they had never seen before.
Yeah. And this blew my mind because the hail from the sky, it was mimicking the lightning god Min, which was one of Jehovah's targets. So the Egyptians had a god of lightning.
Hollee MacKay 54:52
How can you deny God, watching those fantastical things happen? That's what blows my mind over and over again and they're still questioning.
Such a good point, Hollee. Well, now listen, and then how much do we just - verse 28, it gets me every time I read it, because now Pharaoh says "intreat the LORD" and then what does it say next?
Jolyn Skousen 55:15
We're, it is enough,
Hollee MacKay 55:16
like, okay, enough!
'Fine, I'm going to let you guys go. Go, just leave, worship however you want. We can't handle this', because everything has been destroyed, every single thing. And then look at verse 34. Hollee read that for us.
Hollee MacKay 55:31
34 "And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants."
And he wouldn't let 'em go.
Jolyn Skousen 55:40
How could he do that? They've destroyed all of their food, all of their property.
I know, it's crazy. So they're going to get another one then, here we go. Exodus chapter 10. And we're not just going to get one, we're going to get a double plague, double duty in one plague. So here's, this is so interesting, why I want you to bracket off these verses. Exodus, chapter 10, verses 4-6. And then verses 12-20. So here's what the Lord says, 'Again, go to Pharaoh, his heart is hardened, but you're gonna have to do this again. And then in verse 3, "Let my people go that they may serve me." I love this phrase so much. And then He says, and if they won't, what you're going to do is we're going to send, in verse 4, we've got the locusts. Agh. What are we really dealing with here? Are they really locusts? They are what?
Jolyn Skousen 56:27
Ugh, just so you know, it's my least favorite bug. I hate grasshoppers more than anything in the world, because they can jump and they can fly, and then their little legs stick on you. I'm freaking out right now.
Hollee MacKay 56:41
And they eat your flowers. I hate them bad.
Jolyn Skousen 56:44
I hate anything that eats your flowers.
Hollee, read verse 5, because we're not talking about a few grasshoppers. What's the description of 'em; read that for us.
Hollee MacKay 56:52
10:5 "And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:"
Oh and verse 6, because this grosses me out.
Hollee MacKay 57:09
6 "And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh."
Hollee MacKay 57:25
That just covers it all. They're wiped out.
So Jolyn, read verse 7, because we have to talk about this conversation that must have happened. Read that for us.
Jolyn Skousen 57:34
7 "And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare into us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?"
I mean, what? Let's break this conversation down. What are they really saying?
Hollee MacKay 57:55
I mean, we're sick of this. We're done.
Jolyn Skousen 57:57
If a little piece of blade of anything was left, the grasshoppers have taken. They can't see, I mean, it's covered all the earth. I mean, there's nothing left.
And they're just like, we're done. I like how you said that, Hollee, we're done. We're done.
Hollee MacKay 58:15
They're still kind of prideful, though. Because 'Moses is the problem; we're not the problem, he's the problem. Just let, get him out of here. He's the problem.' They're still not humble enough to admit that, Oh, we may be wanting to change our ways here.
Oh, interesting. I like that. Yeah. Let him go so this doesn't hap, you're totally right. They haven't been convinced that, that really Israel's God is the God of all.
Jolyn Skousen 58:40
which to that point, as I've been thinking about this. If the Savior, Jehovah really wanted to let those people go, He did not have to do all these plagues. He did not. He is all powerful. He could have just done whatever and arranged this. But here's the thing: He is trying to bring any or every soul to Him. I am your God. Stop all this madness with what you've taught us, the frogs, the lice, that all these things that you think are your gods, including Pharaoh. Stop it. I mean, it's more than just letting the people go is what's coming to my mind as I'm doing this. He is trying to save any and every soul that will believe and see that I am your God. Follow me, follow my prophet, right? And so it's sad that you have to do all this to prove this point.
Hollee MacKay 59:41
Once again, though, the Lord always will protect agency of man, they get to choose. So it's just interesting because you think, you know, some people say, Oh, if I hear, if I see this miracle happen, then I'll believe. And they think miracles are gonna solve everything or even this destruction you would think would convince people. But the Lord still will let them choose.
And I remember when the lockdown happened with COVID. And we were all, I mean, you would walk into Costco or any store and there was just this nervous energy and people were scared. We've never been through anything like this. And I remember thinking this is gonna be really fascinating to see if people turn to God. And yet religion's gone down in this country at a very fast rate the last couple years. So isn't it fascinating? It doesn't matter if He performs a miracle or it's a, it's a trial; that's not going to convince you. You have, He will let you, you have to choose; He gives you your agency.
Jolyn Skousen 1:00:43
In this case, it's even more than just a miracle. Because it is going after their gods. And it goes back to the serpent. I will eat all of you up.
I just had that thought right now that that was a foreshadowing of everything He was about to do. Yes, like, you think that is exactly what that was. He was foreshadowing: 'I'm gonna eat up all your gods. I will destroy,' Oh, I love that. That was so good. Okay, so let's finish these last two plagues, then. That was great conversation, ladies. So we have the locust and then I had you mark verses 12-20. Highlight in verse 13, because the other plague that goes with the locust, it says,
And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought in an east wind. Highlight 'east wind'. So this is very important because the east wind and grasshoppers, oftentimes the east wind is associated with a negative connotation. It is divine wind that comes in and destroys. So it's really powerful. I thought that was neat. Then we also have grasshoppers - this is, blew my mind: famous Egyptologist Wallis Budge noted, "Ideas of religious enjoyment seem to be associated with the grasshopper." He says "for in the Book of the Dead, the deceased says, I have rested in the field of grasshoppers. The grasshopper is mentioned as early as the Sixth Dynasty. And in the test of Pharaoh, the king is said to arrive in heaven like a grasshopper of Ra."
So there's wonderful things about the grasshopper to these people. And now they're going to come and just make everyone's lives miserable. The east wind will blow in the grasshoppers. That's the yuckey thing about that. And we have Pharaoh again, 'Come on, do we really, can you just let these go,' right? We get this back and forth. I give up. That's what he says here. And if you keep reading the story, Pharaoh asks for the locust to be taken away. And in verse 19, a west wind comes in - now that's interesting - and takes away the locust that there wasn't even so much as one left.
But of course, Pharaoh hardens his heart and so the Lord sends in another plague. He sends in thick darkness. Now I want you guys to just think about this for a minute, bracket off verses 21-23. Write ]thick darkness' to the outside. It even says in verse 21, "it will be so dark, it's a darkness that may be felt." But just sit with this for a minute, because we have this thick darkness. I mean, and hail has just destroyed everything and all you can do is sit in the dark. Why is that a plague?
Hollee MacKay 1:03:10
It's a darkness we don't even, we can't even comprehend. You can't even see your hand in front of your face.
Jolyn Skousen 1:03:17
Well it reminds me of the death of the Savior and how the darkness was on the earth then, to the point where if He's not alive, if we don't have His light, that's as thick as darkness as you can get.
Right. In fact, read verse 23, Jolyn. I love that you've just said this because it connects to this verse.
Jolyn Skousen 1:03:37
10:23 "They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days:...."
three days. Isn't that cool?
Jolyn Skousen 1:03:46
23 "....All the children of Israel had light in their dwellings."
So see, He was showing them what it would be like to not have a god, to like not have the light of Christ. OH!
Exactly it! Because Ra was the Sun God. And He took that God completely out of their lives. Kind of cool, some symbolism there with those three days. Alright, so that is those plagues. Now, each plague came closer and closer to the very existence of the individual. And each time Pharaoh rejected the command to release Israel. So the final plague, touched their deepest ultimate concern with the perpetuation of life. And so in the next segment, we're going to discuss the significance of plague number 10.
Segment 6 1:04:29
So this is the one plague that I asked you guys to come prepared to talk about. And here we have the plague. Let's go in and mark it. We're going to bracket off in Exodus chapter 11, bracket off verses 4-9. And this is where the Lord's saying to him, here's what's going to happen. 'About midnight. I'm going to go in the midst of Egypt and verse 5, "and all the firstborn of the land of Egypt will die." Tell me ladies, what did you find? What was so significant about this plague and what did you discover as you studied it?
Hollee MacKay 1:05:01
It's all symbolism. It's all a foreshadowing. Like the death of the firstborn, it's a foreshadowing of the death of the Savior. They're, they were told to sacrifice an unblemished lamb, the Pascall lamb. That symbolizes the Savior. The blood, the dripping blood on the door signifies His blood that He lost in Gethsemane in hanging from the cross.
Who was asked to put blood on their doorposts?
Hollee MacKay 1:05:30
Hollee MacKay 1:05:32
The Israelites were asked to put blood on their doorposts as a way of protecting them from the Angel of Death passing over. If the blood was on their doorposts, they would not be affected.
Um-hmm. Excellent. This is the first plague where there's rules given to them, or guidance. The Lord comes and says, 'Here's what you're going to need to do to prepare for this plague.' Before, they were just happening. So they were given very clear instructions, right?
Hollee MacKay 1:05:55
Very detailed. So all of the things that they were asked to do with the Passover, and with the feast, all represent Christ. And you know, even to the point where you don't break a bone on the body of the animal that you're going to eat. But I was listening to a talk about missionaries, and it was Elder Waddell, and he said something so significant that applies to this, that the blood represents Christ. But putting it on the posts, and on the top represents us applying the atonement in our lives. So the blood by itself doesn't do anything unless we do something about it and apply that in our own lives.
And so that's what I thought was really significant about applying the blood on the post, saying, you're kind of saying, "I need the atonement in my life. I'm going to, you know, this is what I need for protection and to help me in this life."
Hollee MacKay 1:06:56
I find it so interesting how detailed the instructions were, too. And do this, this, and this in this order, in this manner. And really, it's in our doing, and we're, it's, where we are told what to do, even down to the 10 commandments, do it and you'll be protected and saved. It's really that simple. Obedience.
Jolyn Skousen 1:07:18
Well, and you know what else? It, this is, this is what really hit me this morning as I prayed about being in, you know, a part of this podcast. And what have I learned and what is really applying in my life? And the thought of how the Israelites were so blessed to have a prophet. They had Moses who taught them what to do so that their firstborn could live. And if you obeyed him, and if you followed him, and if you did it, you were protected. And it reminded me: in our stake, Elder Rasband came and taught some of the leaders of our stake. And two things that he said about a living prophet that I heard secondhand through my husband, because he was in the meeting was, 'a prophet is on the earth today to lead us to Christ, and to protect us.'
And as I was reading about this whole Passover, and what Moses was doing for these people and telling them to do, that's exactly what he was doing. He was protecting them, and leading them to Christ. Everything about this Passover, and everything that he told them to do was a symbol of Christ and Christ in their lives. And it also protected them. And how does that apply to our lives? Do we believe in a prophet? Do we believe that he speaks for God? And not only that, but the urgency of if a prophet asks something are we going to, well let me pray about that and make sure that's what I want to do?
Or if Moses says at 11:30, this is what you need to do. I mean, are you gonna believe him? Or are you going to let midnight happen? You know what I mean? I want to know that he's a prophet of God, so that when he says it, I'm ready to act, that I don't have to wait and think, Oh, is that? Should I pray about that? Is that what I should do? I want to just pretend that the Savior's telling me what to do so that I won't be too late. So that at midnight I don't lose my first child, so that I am good to go, right?
Hollee MacKay 1:09:14
Well, and it's so liberating if you can make that decision and have that testimony before what the prophet tells you to do happens. Because it's liberating. There's no question, there's no searching, there's no you are obedient to what the Prophet says. It feels good that you know you're just in that space, no matter what.
Jolyn Skousen 1:09:33
Well, because - correct me if I'm wrong - but these people weren't killing their animals up to this point, because they were sacred to Egyptians, right?
Jolyn Skousen 1:09:41
There was something about even Moses saying, Well, we can't do that in front of you, because he's like, just - I think at some point - Pharaoh was like, just do it here. And he's like, why, so you'll stone us to death? Because this is sacred. So
K, like, let us just go three days away, and do our sacrifices and then come back. Yeah,
Hollee MacKay 1:09:59
Well, so these, so these people aren't accustomed to doing this. Like this is a new thing.
Jolyn Skousen 1:10:07
And so are you going to question Moses and say, Okay, that's weird. I'm not going to put blood over my door.
Yeah, Jolyn, I'm so glad you said that, cuz I thought how many of these people were like What? No, it'll ruin our door. It'll stain, it'll stink.
Jolyn Skousen 1:10:23
I'm going to have to clean it up later!
Exactly, the moms are like, Then I'm gonna have to clean it up. How am I gonna get blood off my door? Has anyone thought this through? This does not even make sense.
Jolyn Skousen 1:10:31
That's what I'm gettin at.
Cuz I think we do that all the time as saints. 'Seriously, did the Prophet, now come on. Did they really think this through? Cuz I don't know about that.' OH, that's so good.
Jolyn Skousen 1:10:41
Yeah, but at this point, they, they knew. And they're, 'And Moses is our Prophet, and God is our God. And if he tells me to put blood over the door, which I think is super strange, and I think they probably did, too. They weren't killing and sacrificing at that point.
Oh, my gosh. This quote, this is such, this quote is right in line with what we were talking about. I love this. Hollee, read this quote for us, please.
Hollee MacKay 1:11:11
"Consider the courage the ancient Israelites showed when they obeyed the command to place blood on their doorposts. Four hundred years of Egyptian rule likely included persecution for those who openly worshipped Jehovah. Thus, the placement of the lamb's blood on the doorposts was a bold public statement, a marker that identified those who worshipped Jehovah."
And then I thought, What is our bold public statement? All of us have individual ones, what will be your bold public statement? Because everyone's gonna have to at some point, right? I like that so much. And what is the lamb's blood on your doorpost? What does that look like? You know, for me, it was keeping the Sabbath day holy. Back in 2015 when we were asked to keep the Sabbath day holy, I acted like one of those ridiculous Israelites and I said, Oh, that's great. It's just one more thing we're not doing, one more thing we're probably just like not good enough at. Okay, we'll keep the Sabbath day holy.
And for five years, the church just kept bringing it up over and over and over again. And then the pandemic hit. And I realized, oh, my gosh, wait a minute. We weren't being berated for not keeping the Sabbath day holy, we were being asked how we would do it because there will become a day when no one can tell you how. You're gonna have to figure that out on your own in your home with your family, you're not going to have two hours of church anymore.
And it struck me when the pandemic hit, I realized this really is a preparatory gospel. And we weren't being berated for not keeping the Sabbath day holy, we were being prepared TO keep the Sabbath day holy. And I think about these pandemics, these plagues; God was preparing His people with all of these plagues. What will you do when it really comes down to it? Will you make a bold public statement by putting the blood on the door?
And Jolyn, I'm thinking about what you said earlier, because when the family did this, when they kept the commandment to put the blood on the door, it saved their firstborn. But the firstborn didn't keep the commandment. And it goes back to what you said: when you keep the covenants, your family will be blessed, because none of those children did anything, right? Oh, I just love that.
Jolyn Skousen 1:13:17
You know what I found so powerful during the lockdown in the pandemic when we were blessing the sacrament in our own homes. It was just like this. And we had a conversation with our kids about it, how, by blessing the sacrament in our homes, we were being protected from the Angel of Death passing over. I mean, it was so, it was so significant because we were so scared back then. But that power of blessing the sacrament in our homes, that Passover, we were protecting ourselves. And it was it was symbolic, but it was very literal, too. I just felt so impacted by the power of blessing the sacrament in our individual homes.
It's one of the most oft-quoted commandments and the one that has the most explanation of, is keeping the Sabbath day holy. There is something significant about that. And for many of us, that is the blood on our doorpost, and what that looks like. And I just think all of us need to kind of think about this, like, what are we being asked to do? Jolyn, I appreciate so much what you taught us about that. And will we do it when we're asked? Because the children of Israel, they just did it. And I'm sure many of 'em were like, Boy, I hope this works. And ah,
Jolyn Skousen 1:14:25
sometimes you just have to put your trust in that, right?
Jolyn Skousen 1:14:28
You just have to put your trust in God. It might be, I mean, it's funny. I had a, I have a client that came in and said, "I trust the Prophet so much that if he asked me to wear purple socks on Tuesdays, I would do it." And I was like, Whoa, that sounds super silly. But look at her faith. She's gonna do whatever the Prophet asks her to do. And when did he ask her to do it? And I thought, That's protection, and it's also leading you to Christ.
And we're gonna see more and more of it - the Prophet, as this world decays and gets more wicked - the Prophet's going to ask us to do things that seem really crazy, I believe, going forward; they're not going to make sense to the rest of the world. But they will be as crazy as the purple socks on Tuesday. But then, or the blood over a door.
Yeah. Heck, I'm like, Oh, I'll wear socks. That seems easier, way easier than some of the things we've been asked to do. I wish it was purple socks on Tuesday commandment. Oh, my gosh. Thank you, ladies, thank you so much for this awesome discussion. And, and for those of you who are reading in Exodus, verses 29-31 is where the Angel of Death comes. And the firstborn is then killed. And if you want to really see it done beautifully, go watch "Prince of Egypt". It's probably the greatest scene of that cartoon. And it haunts me every time I see it, but it's done beautifully. And watch with your family; I, I'm just going to give a plug for that movie because it's so well done. I would show it to my seminary students, that specific scene when that angel of death comes, it takes your breath away.
And then sure enough, Moses and Aaron were allowed to let their people go. And we'll cover all of that next week. And as some of you are like, 'But you skipped the Passover in Exodus 12.' Don't worry. In two weeks we're going to completely cover the whole meaning of the Passover for our special Easter lesson. So we will be back in Exodus 12. So just kind of sit with all these plagues and sit with the truths that have been taught, because wow, what a great discussion today. So thank you, ladies. I want you to just take a minute, then; gather your thoughts. And were there anything, anything that stood out to you, any takeaways that you have from our discussion today?
Hollee MacKay 1:16:30
What struck me and my takeaway is, first of all, your question: What is my bold public statement, because we are going to have to stand out more and more and more and make those public statements, and also following the Prophet. He is there to guide us and to protect us and to lead us. I was just pretty impacted by that discussion of the Prophet, everything Moses did. And everything our prophet does for us, am I going to just automatically obey? I have to decide that and that as part of my bold public statement, I will go and I will obey.
Beautiful Hollee, thank you. Great takeaway. What about you, Jolyn?
Jolyn Skousen 1:17:07
Well, I really liked all the things you said about the heart at the beginning and, and thinking about the heart. And I liked when Holly said that the heart is the conduit to the Spirit. Because when it comes right down to it, I mean, that's, that's really what you have to rely on. You have to rely on your, the feelings of the spirit, and what is being told to your, through the Spirit, you know, even when it doesn't make sense in your head. And so I really liked that, that I'd never heard that before. And I think to follow the spirit that way.
I agree. I agree with you. That was my take, I have two takeaways. The first one was "the heart is the conduit to the Spirit." And I wrote that in my Scriptures with 'that Pharaoh hardened his heart'. And then the moment when we talked about 'that my people', and I'd always read "Let My People Go that they may serve me", but I will never read that the same, when you were like 'His people', when He's saying 'my people'. And then at that moment when you said "you keep your covenants", that struck me like a thunderbolt, the spirit was so strong.
Because that really is what it's all about, is, you just as a struggling parent, or if you have loved ones that are struggling, kids who have parents who are struggling. You keep your covenants; there are promises in those covenants. And like we've talked about, you may not see it right now, it may take some time, but they are - the promises are sure, Absolutely. I felt it when you said that. So thank you.
Okay, so you get this thing with takeaways now if you've been listening long enough, so I want to know what your takeaway was from this episode. And if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go sign up, it is awesome! You can ask questions throughout the week, you can share your own experiences or thoughts throughout the week. And then at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this specific lesson and let us know what you've learned. And I read them all and then I share one on Tuesdays, that are my favorite - Tuesday takeaways.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday and go there anyway because that's where we have the links to the references we used today, as well as a complete transcript of this entire discussion. So go 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 an incredible study group participants were Jolyn Skousen and Holly MacKay. You can find more information about these ladies at ldsiving.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me; it is recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios, and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thank you for being here. We'll see you next week and please remember and don't ever forget you are God's favorite.
Hollee MacKay 1:19:49
Our favorite thing to do together is...nothing.
Jolyn Skousen 1:19:53
That's true. That's true. We, we've established a do-nothing trip.
Oh that's fantastic!
Jolyn Skousen 1:20:00
where you are not allowed to do anything, but nothing.
What do you mean? Like no crafts?
Hollee MacKay 1:20:05
We just lay in the pool and do nothing,
Jolyn Skousen 1:20:08
do nothing, Tammy.
Hollee MacKay 1:20:09
It's a beautiful experience. Everyone needs to do it.
No, I totally agree. There's nothing better than a do nothing trip.
Hollee MacKay 1:20:16
actually throwing in a massage or something is okay. But
Jolyn Skousen 1:20:20
you can get your feet rubbed or you can
while someone else is doing something.
Jolyn Skousen 1:20:24
The point is that if you don't want to do anything, you don't have to.
Ah, that is a level of friendship that few people get to reach, where you can just say, 'Yeah, I don't want to do it.'
Jolyn Skousen 1:20:35
'Yeah, I don't want to do it.'
And that's okay.
Hollee & Jolyn 1:20:36